the _alf blog

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Scientology Volunteer Ministers Needed in the Philippines to Help in the Wake of Typhoon Durian

Super Typhoon Durian, now over Vietnam

Scientology Volunteer Ministers are urgently needed to join the relief effort in the Philippines.

Volunteer Ministers from Taiwan, Japan and Australia are traveling to the Philippines to help the people of the region recover from the devastating typhoon that ravaged the area leaving as many as 1,000 presumed dead and 40,000 homeless; and Scientology churches from around the world are assembling teams to join them.

On Thursday the 30th of November, the Philippines was struck by the typhoon. Landslides and floods have caused most of the deaths and destruction resulting in the President of the Philippines declaring a state of national calamity.

The most urgent relief needed at this point is the providing of food and supplies, particularly for those left homeless or in shelters.

The International Volunteer Ministers Coordinator has put out a call for volunteers and donations to help in the disaster relief effort.

The Scientology Mission of Manila is the headquarters for the Volunteer Ministers relief effort. From there volunteers will be dispatched to the disaster areas — 11 provinces in all throughout the area southeast of Manila.

With the need to respond with as many personnel as possible, the Volunteer Ministers Coordinator has specified that anyone who wants to help will be given disaster relief training and is welcome to join the teams.

To learn how you can participate in the Scientology Disaster Relief effort or to donate funds to help with the airfare and support of these volunteers on the ground, contact the Volunteer Ministers Coordinator or your local Scientology church or mission.

Contact information:
800.435.7498(US &Canada)
323-960-1949 (International callers)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

North Korea

It's interesting to read the CIA fact book page on North Korea. It ends off by says that they agreed to disarm - ah well, I guess North Korean political leaders are much more trustworthy the political leaders of certain other countries...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Lone Star State Hosts the Scientology Volunteer Ministers Cavalcade

The Scientology Volunteer Ministers Western US Cavalcade set up its big yellow tent at the Texas State Fair in Dallas.

Dallas not only has the largest state fair in the United States, rivaling Disneyland for the number of rides and variety of entertainment it offers, but for 24 days this year it also hosted the Scientology Volunteer Ministers Western US Cavalcade.

Little did the fun-loving Texans know when they arrived, that inside the big yellow tent were real solutions to help them feel as extroverted and full of life all year round as they felt at their favorite fair.

The nearly 10,000 people who toured learned about the effective solutions available from the technology developed by L. Ron Hubbard.

But that’s exactly what the nearly 10,000 people who toured the tent learned this October.

And that’s the Scientology Volunteer Ministers Cavalcade Texas style!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Scientology Resource Page

Here's a Scientology resource page that some might find interesting.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Scientology Volunteer Ministers Goodwill Tour Providing Teachers in India with Effective Tools

The world over, teachers enter their profession to help create the future of society by providing children with the tools they need to succeed in life. Perhaps no profession is in greater need of the technology developed by L. Ron Hubbard.
Teachers at a primary school in India attend a seminar in study technology, developed by L. Ron Hubbard.

In the course of researching how to educate people to effectively apply Scientology principles, Mr. Hubbard came face to face with the fact that there was no technology of study — obviously so with declining literacy in schools despite billions being poured into raising the quality of education.

Mr. Hubbard isolated key factors that prevent a person from being able to assimilate information and use it, a vital factor in education in a technological age.

And the study technology LRH developed to overcome this is part of the skills of a Volunteer Minister. In surveying the leaders of the countries they visit, the Scientology Volunteer Ministers Goodwill Tours find this subject to be one service that nearly every city or town recognizes as important.

And so it was with this seminar given recently to teachers at a primary school in Delhi, India. When educators learn the simple tools covered in the chapter of TheScientology Handbook called "The Technology of Study" and the booklet by the same title which is now published in Hindi and Bengali, the recognition of the value of this is immediate.

Having isolated the most basic barriers to study, Mr. Hubbard provided simple tools any student can learn to then be able to learn any subject.

As covered in The Scientology Handbook:

"Consider this for a moment: In all your schooling, did anyone ever teach you how to study something?

"Today, people are graduating school unable to read or write at a level adequate to hold a job or deal with life. It is a huge problem. It is not that subjects cannot be learned; what isn't taught is how to learn. It is the missing step in all education.

"L. Ron Hubbard filled this gaping hole by supplying the first and only technology of how to study. He discovered the laws on which learning is based and developed workable methods for anyone to apply. He called this subject 'Study Technology.'

"This technology provides an understanding of the basics of learning and supplies exact ways to overcome all the pitfalls one can encounter during study."

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Danish Scientologist Documents the Work of the Scientology Volunteer Ministers in a Book called After the Tsunami - Part III

What motivates volunteers to travel thousands of miles during times of disaster, to live under the same desperate conditions as those they seek to help?
Jennifer Bird, a young woman from London traveled to India where she helped the victims of the 2004 tsunami.

The After the Tsunami web site sheds light on this, with its story about Jennifer Bird, a young woman who left her home in London to travel to post-tsunami India, where the December 2004 tsunami left over 10,000 dead, more than 5000 missing, and nearly 3 million personally affected by the disaster.

"Every day for the last month has been amazing!" Jennifer begins. "I still take a step back and look at what the team and I are actually doing and achieving here in India. We are helping hundreds of people daily with what L. Ron Hubbard developed and seeing the results instantly, how fantastic is that! Any other self-help technology or any technology for that matter usually takes 'time' and you only see the results after a long sluggish process.

"Then, of course, there are the results that we don't get to see when the person has gone home after receiving a Scientology Assist* that blew them away. They might then give their mother or sister an Assist which will then blow them away! I am completely dumbstruck and in awe of the effect we are creating here, it is almost so great that I find it hard to comprehend."

For more information on the Scientology Volunteer Ministers, their disaster relief work and the training they offer, based on the Scientology Handbook, visit

* Assists are techniques developed by L. Ron Hubbard. They operate on the principle that one tends to withdraw mentally or spiritually from an injured area. Only by restoring communication with this area can one bring the spiritual element into healing, thereby greatly speeding the healing process. Assists are used to alleviate stress and orient a confused or distraught individual to his environment.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Danish Scientologist Documents the Work of the Scientology Volunteer Ministers in a Book called After the Tsunami - Part II

Through his travels to South East Asia to document the Scientology Disaster Relief Team in December 2004, Danish Scientologist Thorsten Overgaard created a record of a pivotal moment in the history of the Scientology Volunteer Ministers program.

The tsunami relief effort was not only the largest mobilization of Scientology Volunteer Ministers to that date, it was also the most diverse. And it served as the inspiration for Volunteer Ministers from around the world from that point forward to join the relief efforts for such disasters as Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita, the Pakistan Earthquake of 2005 and the Java earthquake in 2006.

Overgaard's web site features the story of Robbie Scandrett, a stage and television actor from London, whose desire to help brought him to India in the wake of the tsunami.

Scientology Volunteer Minister Robbie Scandrett

Scandrett, who spent 4 weeks in the disaster zone, describes an incident of helping an 11-year-old girl who was suffering from acute trauma. The young girl's mother asked for his help, explaining to him through the interpreter that her daughter had not slept since the tsunami, tormented by the sound of the giant waves that she could still hear, and terrified of the sea.

He describes how by giving the girl a Scientology assist,* he helped her come through the pain of the incident and leave the ordeal behind her.

"Suddenly she looked me dead in the eyes.I asked how she was doing. Her response was that she no longer felt any fear of the sea -- she felt stronger and had lost the pain in her back. She wandered off into the crowd that had gathered around us during the assist and I never saw her again. The moment was over in flash [but] will stick in my memory for decades to come. A truly beautiful moment in my life."

To watch a slide show of the events, order Overgaard's book or get a copy of his free ebook go to

*Assists are techniques developed by L. Ron Hubbard. They operate on the principle that one tends to withdraw mentally or spiritually from an injured area. Only by restoring communication with this area can one bring the spiritual element into healing, thereby greatly speeding the healing process. Assists are used to alleviate stress, or to orient a confused or distraught individual to his present environment.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Danish Scientologist Documents the Work of the Scientology Volunteer Ministers in a Book called "After The Tsunami" - Part I

'After The Tsunami,' by Danish Scientologist Thorsten Overgaard is not just a beautiful book, it is a journey - one made by hundreds of Scientologist from around the world to help the people of South East Asia recover from one of the worst natural disasters in recorded history

After The Tsunami, by Danish Scientologist Thorsten Overgaard is not just a beautiful book, it is a journey - one made by hundreds of Scientologists from around the world to help the people of South East Asia recover from one of the worst natural disasters in recorded history.

Featured on the web site, Overgaard's odyssey is described in the following terms:

"Danish photographer and feature writer, Thorsten Overgaard, traveled 12,000 miles throughout South East Asia after the tsunami, a virtual fly-on-the-wall, documenting the day-to-day lives of the Scientology Tsunami Relief Team Volunteers. After The Tsunami presents in detail a behind-the-scenes look at relief work when everyday western people - from a real estate agent from Germany to a student from Los Angeles - leave behind families, studies, careers and businesses to help strangers in crisis, whom they only know from media reports.

"It is a heartwarming story of the spiritual bonds between religions, ordinary western world people engaged in dangerous but important work that will change their lives forever, and daily miracles. It is a story in pictures that is in sharp contrast to the seemingly endless pictures of overwhelming devastation that played again and again on televised newscasts and on the front pages of the world for weeks and months.

Danish photographer and feature writer, Thorsten Overgaard, traveled 12,000 miles throughout South East Asia after the tsunami, a virtual fly-on-the-wall, documenting the day-to-day lives of the Scientology Tsunami Relief Team Volunteers

"It is a story that brings hope to the world and shows how ordinary people can make a difference - that something can be done about it."

The web site describes the devastation the volunteers confronted when they arrived in the area:

"When the tsunami crashed into the coast of Sri Lanka on the morning of December 26th [2004], over 30,000 people were killed and 1 million people became homeless in one stroke. Despite the unprecedented death and destruction along the coastal areas, a major portion of Sri Lanka's critical infrastructure remained intact, allowing government and rescue workers to head off further catastrophe from widespread starvation and disease."

Overgaard describes what motivated him to interrupt a thriving career and travel to the disaster zone, taking on this project.

"'The wrong thing to do is nothing.'

"That is a quote from L. Ron Hubbard that resonates as a profound truth for me and how I think and how I work.

"My two biggest regrets in this life were (and are) that I didn't drive to Berlin the night the Berlin Wall fell and that I didn't go to New York after September 11. In both cases I had a strong urge to go, but something in me said, "be sensible."

"We all carry an urge in us to reach out and do something as well as a voice urging us to be sensible and behave as if everything wrong is somebody else's problem.

"In the instance of the tsunami in South East Asia my urge to reach out and help conquered all my fears of strange diseases, pictures in my mind of dead bodies floating in a sea of chaos and a generally low knowledge about Asia and the people living there."

In the following days we will feature photographs and stories from Mr. Overgaard's book, available as an ebook, which can be ordered free of charge at

- Volunteer Ministers Official Site

Monday, October 30, 2006

Volunteer Ministers - They Bad Enough Fo' Me

Just a quote post about the Scientology Volunteer Ministers.

Check out this page:

Intense - these guys were on the ground at 9/11, amidst the wreckage with the fire fighters and other rescue workers - that's enough to gain my respect. But it also looks like they have also been at all kinds of other sites, such as hurricane Katrina, and the London subway bombings.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Dianetics in Kazakhstan

Pretty wild, they got Dianetics out in the middle of Kazakhstan. They're all over the place.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Just noticed today that there is a new site. Looks cool.

Some of the photos are phenomenal; of shots after 9/11, the Tsnami, an others, where the Scientology Volunteer Ministers helped with the rescue efforts.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

After the Tsunami

Just heard about an excellent site that promotes a documentary that was done of the Scientology Volunteer Ministers in South East Asia in the wake of the tsunami, pushing forward the disaster relief effort.

From it's promotional blurbage:

"Danish photographer and feature writer Thorsten Overgaard traveled 12,000 miles throughout South East Asia after the tsunami, a virtual fly-on-the-wall, documenting the day-to-day lives of the Scientology Tsunami Relief Team Volunteers. "After The Tsunami" presents in detail a behind-the-scenes look at relief work when everyday western people - from the a real estate agent from Germany to a student from Los Angeles - leave behind families, studies, careers and businesses to help strangers in crisis, whom they only know from media reports.

"It is a heartwarming story of the spiritual bonds between religions, ordinary western world people engaged in dangerous but important work that will change their lives forever and daily miracles. It is a story in pictures that is in a sharp contrast to the seemingly endless pictures of overwhelming devastation that played again and again on televised newscasts and on the front pages of the world for weeks and months.

"It is a story that brings hope to the world and shows how ordinary people can make a difference - that something can be done about it."

Check it out:

Monday, October 23, 2006

Looks like they just did a big number on the Church of Scientology in London:

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Guinness World Records Awarded to L. Ron Hubbard

An interesting tidbit on

Guinness World Records recently acknowledged L. Ron Hubbard as the world's most published author with 1084 works - exceeding the record held by Brazilian author Jose Carlos Ryoki with 1,058.

Guinness also officially verified that Hubbard exceeded his own previous record as the world's most translated author when his works were published in six more languages raising the record from 65 to 71.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Oh boy, here we go again (today's headline news on

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The United States believes North Korea attempted to detonate a nuclear device and that "something went wrong," a U.S. government official told CNN Tuesday.

The official confirmed North Korea informed the Chinese government prior to the test that it would be a 4 kiloton nuclear device.

The official added that the unexpectedly small blast, of a half kiloton or less, indicated "something went wrong."

Nuclear tests in 1998 by India and Pakistan were about 24 to 50 times as powerful - or in the 15 kiloton range, according to the Federation of American Scientists.

The United States still cannot say for sure the underground detonation was a nuclear blast; the working assumption is that it was, but not very successful, the official said. (Dud or deception? Read the full story)

Another U.S. official said it is possible North Korea may attempt a second test, but cautioned there has been no evidence of any preparations at another test site.

"I would not say we expect it," the official said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly, "but it would not be a total surprise."

Russia's Defense Minister said Tuesday that his agency has estimated the power of the explosion at between 5 and 15 kilotons.

But the U.S. intelligence community is sticking by an estimate that the blast was approximately a half kiloton, or even less, although it's possible the hardened tunnel in which the test took place could have "muffled" the seismic waves, an official told CNN.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Article on Mars Probe

This is an internet article on Mars and the probe that is crawling the surface.,9171,1543944,00.html

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Youth for Human Rights PSAs

Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) recent produced 30 different public service announcements which visually describe, each one, a point of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Interestingly enough, most people have never heard of the document (I think there was a survey that was done that showed had it at less than 2 or 3 %). With a 1948 date on it, it (like the UN itself) was created in the wake of WWII, and clearly defines those human rights with which we are all endowed - regardless of race, color, creed or any other factor.

The whole concept of the PSAs seems like a good one, since most people don't have the time or interest to sit down and read such a document - but watching a 30 second ad that makes the people communicates it much more effectively.

Maybe this will help wake people up to the human rights violations that occur around the world each day. Afterall, historically speaking the thing that prevents tyranny and injustice from occurring is enough people who understand the problems involved banding together and making enough ruckus to stop it.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

I was checking out the news on the web site that they added in a new section (or I never noticed it before) which lists out different Scientology organizations.

It mentions on these pages that there will be news comming. Interesting - I know there is a lot of good news happening with Scientology around the world, so it would be good to be able to see more of it on the web.

This site in general is pretty cool, because it gives the down-to-earth view of what Scientology does around the worl.d What with so much happening in the news regarding Scientology, with all the press coverage of high profile Scientologists like Tom Cruise, John Travolta and the leader of the Church, David Miscavige, one can lose sight of what it's average parishioners are doing. This site seems to give a pretty good snapshot, with news on a regular basis.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Over the past several years, the Church of Scientology has gotten pretty serious about it's Volunteer Minister activities.

I think this is a pretty cool program, and aside from being a heart-felt effort to help people survive better and make it through desparate times, it also looks like a hell of a lot of fun.

These guys go all over the place. Fiji, Taiwan, Hawaii, every major city in the U.S. you can think of - they're all over.

Best of luck to them.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Interview with a Scientologist: Tom Cruise has attained a level in Scientology known as "Operating Thetan". What does that mean?

Interviewer: Tom Cruise has attained a level in Scientology known as "Operating Thetan". What does that mean?

Scientologist: Operating Thetan is a spiritual state of being above Clear. Thetan refers to the spiritual being, and operating means here “able to operate without dependency on things.” An Operating Thetan (OT) is able to control matter, energy, space and time rather than being controlled by these things. As a result, an OT is able to be at cause over life.

Basic levels of Scientology help a person deal with his personal relationships and day-to-day problems, to free his attention to address higher aspects of existence. At the level of Operating Thetan, one deals with his own immortality as a spiritual being.

Like any other spiritual level in Scientology, the state of OT is attained by proceeding through a series of gradient steps, each one slightly more advanced than the last. The precise sequence is firmly established and variations from that sequence are unproductive. Thus, it would be fruitless to try to move somebody onto the OT levels before he is ready for them. One may as well demand that a baby run before first learning to crawl and learning to walk. Similarly, in Scientology individuals can only receive the benefits of the counseling that brings one to OT after completion of more basic steps.

At the level of OT, Scientologists study the very advanced materials of L. Ron Hubbard’s researches. According to those who have achieved OT, the spiritual benefits obtained are beyond words.

Interview with a Scientologist: I've heard Scientology called a "secret society" - is that true?

Interviewer: I've heard Scientology called a "secret society" - is that true?

Scientologist: Well, let's see, with somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 million members, thousands of organizations all over the world, and a bunch of tables setup down near Times Square in New York where they give stress tests all day long, telling people about Dianetics and how it can help them, opening discussing their experiences and how lives can be improved - I'd have to say that it is definitely not a "secret society". In fact, the church is really more "unsecret" than it has ever been. And I can assure, secrecy has never been an objective of the Church, never will be.

Interviewer: Okay, good point.

Scientologist: The Church even published a 1,000-page book entitled What is Scientology?, an encyclopedic reference book that explains everything one might want to know about the Church. Another reference work, primarily for scholars, is Scientology: Theology and Practice of a Contemporary Religion. The Church also holds open house events and tours regularly, and many of our churches open their facilities free of charge for use by community and civic groups.

There is nothing mysterious about Scientology or its members and practices. The Church’s leaders are in close touch with the membership and they hold events throughout the year which are attended by tens of thousands.

Scientologists are actively involved in their communities, visible and effective.

The Church has found that those who allege the Church is secret are almost always those who never bothered to try and communicate or find out anything, in which case they would have discovered Scientologists to actually be more outgoing with information than adherents of other faiths.

Interview with a Scientologist: What about black people, does the church have back members?

Interviewer: What about black people, does the church have back members?

Scientologist: Definitely. By the Creed of the Church, “All men of whatever race, color or creed were created with equal rights.” Thus, there are no limitations placed on who may participate in Scientology services.

There are Scientologists of all races, colors and ethnic backgrounds among the Church’s parishioners and staff.

For example, there are Scientology churches or Dianetics organizations in Ghana, Zaire, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone, among other countries and black Scientologists are applying Scientology technology in their communities wherever possible.

L. Ron Hubbard’s study technology is used in many countries to help students and teachers alike. In South Africa, these programs have helped over two million underprivileged black Africans to improve their ability to study, well before their fate became a popular cause and the walls of apartheid came down.

Many churches of Scientology maintain a Department of Ethnic Affairs specifically to interact and work with minorities. One example of this is a literacy project in Compton, California, which with the Church’s effort, successfully turned drug abusers and gang members into responsible members of the community. The program has won endorsements from both community leaders and educators.

Interview with a Scientologist: Okay, and Criminon?

Interviewer: Okay, and Criminon?

Scientologist: Criminon, meaning “no crime,” is a volunteer criminal rehabilitation program which utilizes technologies developed by L. Ron Hubbard to help convicts recover pride and self-esteem.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, Criminon grew out of the Narconon prison programs. By the 1980s, with increased drug usage in all sectors of society, the Narconon program shifted its emphasis to community-based activities. At that point, Criminon expanded into correctional facilities.

Criminon provides inmates with the knowledge and skills to change their lives and become productive members of society.

Interviewer: How big is this program? How many people are on it?

Scientologist: Criminon operates in over 750 prisons, assisting some 4,000 inmates weekly, with remarkable results.

A southern California municipal judge alone has sentenced more than five hundred misdemeanor offenders to Criminon instead of jail. In his words, “The efficacy of Criminon has surpassed even our most optimistic expectations.”

Among those who have completed the Criminon program, compliance to conditions of probation—including restitution, fine payment and community service—approximates 90 percent. Recidivism dropped to 1 percent, remarkable when compared to the 80 percent recidivism rate which plagues the general prison population.

Interview with a Scientologist: What is Narconon? Isn't that part of the Church's anti-drug push?

Interviewer: What is Narconon? Isn't that part of the Church's anti-drug push?

Scientologist: Narconon is a highly effective drug-free withdrawal, detoxification and rehabilitation program which utilizes techniques developed by L. Ron Hubbard to give drug and alcohol abusers back control of their lives. Meaning “non-narcosis” or “no drugs,” Narconon started as a grassroots movement in the mid-1960s when a prisoner in the Arizona State Penitentiary solved his own drug problem using the principles expounded in one of L. Ron Hubbard’s books. He then used what he learned to help solve drug-related problems of many of his fellow inmates.

Narconon conducts broad public education campaigns to alert the general public, especially school children, to the dangers of drug use and abuse.

Courts refer individuals guilty of drug-related offenses to Narconon instead of jailing them.

Interviewer: So Narconon must be pretty workable then?

Scientologist: Absolutely. One medical doctor who has served as consultant on drug abuse to many sports organizations including the National Football League and now administers a system of 30 neighborhood medical and substance abuse clinics, wrote of Narconon, “Perhaps only a physician like myself can truly appreciate Narconon’s willingness to treat the hardcore addict. Narconon takes people no one else will. If you come to my clinics and I couldn’t help you I don’t have anywhere else to send you except Narconon.”

The Narconon drug rehabilitation program operates 50 centers in 21 countries, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand. Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.

More than a quarter-million drug-free lives have been achieved through L. Ron Hubbard’s technology. In addition, an estimated one million people worldwide have availed themselves of Narconon’s drug education services, including more than 115,000 school children in 1997 alone.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Interview with a Scientologist: What's this I hear about Scientology and reincarnation, or "past lives"?

Interviewer: What's this I hear about Scientology and reincarnation, or "past lives"?

Scientologist: Reincarnation is a definite system that is not part of Scientology.

But, it is a fact, proven conclusively in countless thousands of cases, that unless one begins to handle aberrations built up in past lives, he doesn’t progress.

The common definition of reincarnation has been altered from its original meaning. The word has come to mean “to be born again in different life forms” whereas its actual definition is “to be born again into the flesh of another body.” Scientology ascribes to this latter, original definition of reincarnation. That is to say, yes, one has lived many previous lives, and will live again.

Today in Scientology, many people have certainty that they have lived lives prior to their current one. These are referred to as past lives, not reincarnation. Past lives is not a dogma in Scientology, but generally Scientologists, during their auditing, experience a past life and then know for themselves that they have lived before. Afterall, there is really no better conviction than you recalling something from your own memory.

Interviewer: So you're saying that Scientologists, in the course of their auditing, are able to recall experiences from before this life.

Scientologist: It definitely does happen. That's not to say that all auditing deals with is past lives - not by far. But, as I'm sure you can understand, if you spend a good amount of time recalling things as part of Scientology auditing, using exact procedures that were developed and tested and proven time and time again - if there were such a thing as past lives, and they could be remembered, sooner or later you'd run into it. Well, that's exactly what happens.

Also, to believe one had a physical or other existence prior to the identity of the current body is not a new concept. There are many religions that believe this. Moreover, it's actually quite an exciting concept.

In Scientology, one is given the tools to handle the upsets and aberrations from past lives that adversely affect one in present time, thus freeing one to live a much happier life.

Interview with a Scientologist: I've heard of something called the "dynamics" - what's that all about?

Interviewer: I've heard of something called the "dynamics" - what's that all about?

Scientologist: It's pretty simple, really. Every individual has an urge and determination to survive, right? If you take good look at it, you'll see that the pursuit of survival is the common denominator of all life.

For an individual, this drive for survival embraces eight distinct divisions. In Scientology these are known as the dynamics. The dynamics are best conceived as concentric circles with (1) self in the middle and extending to (2) family and sex, (3) groups, (4) mankind, (5) all life forms, (6) the physical universe, (7) spirituality and (8) infinity or the Supreme Being.

You've got the first dynamic, which one's self, and is the effort to survive as an individual, to be an individual and to fully express one’s individuality.

The second dynamic is creativity. Creativity is making things for the future and the second dynamic includes any creativity. The second dynamic contains the family unit and the rearing of children as well as anything that can be categorized as a family activity. It incidentally includes sex as a mechanism to compel future survival...

Interviewer: And so on from there, I'm tracking. But how do Scientologists use this information?

Scientologist: Well, a good example is in making decisions about whether or not an action one might do would be right or wrong. If you make your decision based on which solution does the most good for the greater number of dynamics, you'd have the better solution.

Interviewer: Hmm - yeah, I see that.

Interview with a Scientologist: Where does the Church of Scientology get it's money from?

Interviewer: Where does the Church of Scientology get it's money from?

Scientologist: Well, the Church is supported by it's members, just like every other church.

Some churches have a system of tithes, others require their members to pay for pew rentals, religious ceremonies and services.

But in Scientology it's a bit different. Instead parishioners make donations for auditing and training they wish to receive. These contributions by Scientologists are the primary source of financial support for the Church and fund all the religious and social betterment activities the Church engages in. Scientologists are not required to tithe or make other donations.

Scientology does not have hundreds of years of accumulated wealth and property like other religions - it must make its way in the world according to the economics of today’s society. When one considers the cost of ministering even one hour of auditing, requiring extensively trained specialists, and the overhead costs of maintaining church premises, the necessity of donations become clear.

The Church selected the donation system as its primary funding because it is the most equitable method. Those who use the facilities of the church should be the ones who contribute most to its maintenance.

Of course, no donation is expected from members who are at the church to participate in services other than auditing and training—listening to tape plays of L. Ron Hubbard’s lectures, reading scriptural works in the church library, meeting with fellow parishioners, receiving counseling from the Chaplain or attending Sunday services, sermons, weddings, christenings and funerals.

Scientologists’ donations keep the Church alive and functioning, fund its widespread social reform programs, make Scientology known to people who may otherwise never have the opportunity to avail themselves of it, and help to create a safe and pleasant environment for everyone.

Interview with a Scientologist: What's this "Way to Happiness" I hear about?

Interviewer: What's this "Way to Happiness" I hear about?

Scientologist: The Way to Happiness is a non-religious moral code written by L. Ron Hubbard and based wholly on common sense.

It's like this: A major concern today is the continuing decline of moral standards, a problem which underlies a wide variety of other ills that plague our society.

Mr. L. Ron Hubbard was keenly aware of this situation in 1980 when he observed that our modern world lacked a code of morals befitting our past-paced society. Old values had been broken but not replaced and many people left to founder.

Even as he continued with his religious researches, Mr. Hubbard always endeavored to bring solutions to the world from a purely humanitarian perspective. And in this instance, quite separate from his religious works—the Scientology religion already had a moral and ethics code— he saw the need for a non-religious moral code.

Interview with a Scientologist: Does the Church engage in interfaith affairs?

Interviewer: Does the Church engage in interfaith affairs?

Scientologist: Absolutely. The Church of Scientology is a strong advocate of the interfaith approach on issues important to all religions. Scientologists work with representatives of many religions to support and encourage interreligious dialogue, religious freedom, constitutional law and respect for religion in society.

Scientologists have fought actively for religious freedom in Europe. In Strassbourg, France, 2,500 Scientologists proclaimed a “Declaration of Religious Freedom” which was subsequently accepted by the Council of Europe. In Denmark, Scientologists are active members of the Danish Interfaith Forum, an outspoken voice for religious freedom in that country.

Also, in Belgium, the Church played a key role in establishing the ecumenical European Council of Religious Movements whose members represent their respective churches and religions in dealing with issues of religious freedom.

To mark the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Church organized the “European Journey for Religious Freedom.” News of this 3,225 kilometer marathon through eight countries reached an estimated 33 million people, raising public awareness of the importance of human rights. In many countries of the world, the Church has brought together diverse religions to speak out against intolerance.

And to further bring the message of human rights to Europe, the Church launched the European Marathon for Human Rights—4,500 kilometers through seven countries in 13 weeks. The team of runners carried a Proclamation to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and as they traveled through new cities, the runners invited others to show their support by signing the Proclamation. Soon, the document was covered with thousands of signatures from mayors, city council members, parliamentarians, police commanders, Olympic athletes, famous musicians, leading artists and religious leaders from throughout Europe.

Interview with a Scientologist: What are these Scientology religious retreats I hear about? How does that work?

Interviewer: What are these Scientology religious retreats I hear about? How does that work?

Scientologist: Certain Scientology Churches maintain religious retreats for the benefit and use of parishioners. In Scientology, some upper levels of spiritual counseling require the parishioner’s full-time participation for a period of several weeks for the parishioner to achieve the full benefit. So, the Church has religious retreats, away from the distractions of the world, which provide parishioners the ideal environment for advanced religious studies and spiritual counseling.

There are currently two such religious retreats—one in Clearwater, Florida, and another aboard the motor vessel Freewinds, whose home port is in the Caribbean.

Interviewer: Yes, I've heard of the Church's presence in Clearwater.

Scientologist: The one in Clearwater is the spiritual headquarters for the religion and hub of the international Scientology community. With more than 20 buildings and nearly 1,000 staff, it is the largest Church of Scientology facility in the world. It delivers advanced spiritual training and auditing to parishioners who come from around the world to this Church.

The other retreat is located aboard the 450-foot motor vessel Freewinds. It is there that the highest level of spiritual counseling available in Scientology is delivered. A seagoing vessel is the ideal setting for this level of spiritual counseling, because it provides parishioners with a calm environment set apart from the crossroads of the workaday world where, without distraction, they are free to concentrate on spiritual advancement. While freedom from distraction is important during all counseling, it is vital at the highest level of services which are available on the Freewinds.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Interview with a Scientologist: What is the Citizens Commission on Human Rights?

Interviewer: What is the Citizens Commission on Human Rights?

Scientologist: The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) is a Church of Scientology sponsored social reform organization formed in 1969 to expose and eradicate criminal acts and human rights abuses by psychiatry. There are 118 CCHR chapters in 27 countries throughout the world. These chapters investigate psychiatric abuses and bring these to the attention of the media, legislators and law enforcement agencies.

CCHR is not anti-psychiatry. Rather, it opposes brutal practices, and its aim is to end the use psychosurgery, electroshock treatment and the administration of dangerous psychiatric drugs that have destroyed the minds and lives of millions of individuals.

And Scientologists believe that the treatment of mentally caused ills should not be divorced from the field of religion. Psychiatry has attempted to preempt this religious role.

Professor Thomas Szasz, author of The Manufacture of Madness, said of CCHR at its 25th anniversary celebrations in February of 1994:

“We should all honor CCHR because it is really the organization that for the first time in human history has organized a politically, socially, internationally significant voice to combat psychiatry. This has never been done in human history before.”

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Alf Funnies: Napolean Dynamite Google Map

Check out this set of images and locations for Napolean Dynamite. Put together using Google Maps, you can see the markers of the various locations, along with choice clips from the movie.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Bona Fide Scientology - What's it all About

The Church of Scientology, while it differs from other religions in certain ways, is in fact a bona fide religion. This collection of links will help answer the question of why Scientology is a religion. I've tried to break it down further than just the major sections in order to assist you in finding specific things you are looking for.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Scientology Handbook

The Scientology Handbook

One publication that I've found very practical and useful is the Scientology Handbook.

The book goes through various parts of peoples' lives, different situations or difficulties we have and gives some down-to-Earth Scientology techniques to resolve these issues.

The key point to understand is that Scientology is based on many years of intense research by L. Ron Hubbard into how the mind and life work. With the magnitude of the discoveries he made, and the fact that these discoveries were of the basic components of life itself, simple techniques to handle situations in one's life naturally followed.

Techniques given here represent Scientology that can be applied by anyone to resolve the problems each of us confront in our day-to-day lives.

- Modern relationships often degenerate into petty arguments and grudges. But why? In this section you can find out what relationships are actually based on, and how to prevent them from going up in smoke by applying some simple, but extremely power concepts. Be it personal, business, whatever.

Life's Goals - In my experience, as one gets older he starts to ask himself: So what's the deal with my life? What have I accomplished, and what am I going to accomplish? And of course this leads into so how to I organize this so I can really achieve it. This section explains.

Marriage - Additional concepts embrace the subject of marriage. Learn what specifically keeps a marriage together and how to apply this to yours (I can personally vouch for this one, as my marriage - going on five years - has only gotten stronger and better with the passage of time).

Children - It is common knowledge that a child raised properly will grow up to become a successful adult, and happy at what he or she does for a living. But the question is, what is a "proper upbrining". I can think of quite a few definitions. The key is to define it in terms of rock-bottom basics about what people are and the principles on which they operate.

Stress on the Job - As one's work consumes a rather significant portion of one's life, you mind as well figure out what that is all about as well and learn to be successful at that. Besides, being successful at one's work can mean the difference between success and failure in one's life overall, since economics tends to have a heavy bearing on ones standard of living. Learn not only to deal with the stress, but to become a positive success.

The Future - Learn to plan and organize the future. The basic principles of life can easily be applied to one's future in order to organize it so that one achieves his objectives.

Drug Dependency - With drug use a common scourge in today's society, it's no wonder the drug dependency is so common. And while this isn't a problem for everyone, it's not a pretty sight when yourself or someone you love has an addiction. Scientology takes a unique approach and deals with the person himself, not just his body, and gets to the root of the problem.

Self-Esteem - Why does one's esteem fade? What can be done to fix it? Scientology can help you find this out as well.

Integrity - Above all else, one's personal integrity is key to living happily. If you betray yourself - your done for - no doubt about it (maybe slowly, maybe quickly, but nonetheless definitely) .

Communication - The magic of communication is difficult to overstate. Many of the other subjects covered here are in themselves based on communication. In Scientology the basic concepts have been isolated and documented, making it simple for you to understand and apply the principles of communication to your life.

Study Trouble - Becoming educated is a vital part of survival for each one of us. Unfortunately, we are not taught how to study in school, just that we need to. The basic concepts on this are very simple and can be learned and applied rapidly by anyone. (As a note: This material is designed to be very simple, since it needs to be understandable by all - however, this - like all of these Scientology concepts - is based on basic principle and has been proven workable time and time again - statistics in schools all over the world prove it.)

Conflicts - Find out why people have hidden and mysterious conflicts, and what you can do about it.

Solutions to a Dangerous Environment - Learn what a dangerious environemnt is, and what can be done to resolve it.

Predicting People - This is, from my personal observation, another point that many, many of us fall down on. In business it is absolutely vital to know how to choose your people.

Illnesses & Injuries - A number of simple Scientology Assists as they are called, exist to help people speedily recover from illnesses and injuries.

Ups and Downs - Learn what causes the ups and downs in ones life. It might not be what you think!

Additional Resources:
Scientologist and Human Rights Activist - David Miscavige

Religious Discrimination in France — A Modern Day McCarthyism

Religious Discrimination in France — A Modern Day McCarthyism

A publication posted by the Church of Scientology on discusses how the modern day tactics of the French government in their attempt to squash minority religions resembles the "red-scare" tactics that senator Joseph McCarthy used in 1950 to point fingers at and discredit his opponents. Thus "McCarthyism", and the adaptation: A Modern Day McCarthyism. The full publication is here, but here's my take:

This tactic seems to be a common one actually. Senator McCarthy lent his name to his spear campaigns and gave us the new word "McCarthyism", however, it seems to me that this tactic is also a cousin to what is being done in America today on the terrorism front as well.

When you boil it down, it looks like this: Some vested interest decides that they need to take out some people because they are causing trouble (numerous examples of this exist, I won't bother to expound - this could be political, economic, social, etc.) But of course you have to do this in a politically correct way, so you start spreading the word about so and so and such and such (any good media man can tell you in half a second what will get people to start screaming if published in the papers) and get people all up in arms: Textbook black propaganda. Then you use the social upheaval, egged on via the media through the government and other connections, to pass some laws (or create blacklists, etc.) that allow you to get rid of the target person or group. Simple, has been done time and time again. This is another good example.

In this publication, they describe "Guilty by Association" - and this is an imperitive point. The primary tool is the use of propaganda to associate the target with something that the public considers negative. Examples: capitalism & democracy with aristocracy (Russia, 198x), minority religions with cults (France, 200x), Jews & blacks with animals (Europe, 1938-1944), the list goes on.

The article also discusses the connections used to forward these campaigns, and the list isn't pretty. We're not talking about just a few random people who decided to start a smear campaign - all kinds of people are tied into this thing.

One of the favorite defense tactics when this campaign is running is to simply point the finger at whoever is opposing you. In 1950 it was "he's a communist". Today it's "they're a cult". Different words, identical tactic: Use innuendo to fuel the unrest and create enmity toward any opposition by positioning them with the "cultists", "communists", and so on.

As the saying goes, history oft repeats itself.


At you'll find a number of additional resources on this subject. However, there are some choice picks that seem to make the point pretty well:

Unfounded Claims

U.S. Congressman Joseph Pitts in a hearing regarding international human rights explained how France and other countries had compiled unsubstantiated lists of minority group which were being discriminated against. One example, for Belgium was:

"The parliamentary commission actually believed the account of one person who said that Hasidic Jews were dangerous because they stapled their children’s fingers together - it’s absolutely ludicrous. But these kinds of accusations have dangerous consequences and so the Belgium government has restricted religious freedom. There are other Western European nations whose actions are disturbing."

False Identification

Congressman Chris Smith in another hearing pointed out the use of specific incidents to put into place legislation which restricts freedom of religion overall (note again, was is the same tactic used to install the Patriot Act, and others - not to get into a whole thing on that, but just notice the mechanism).

"The mantra seems to be that there is a need for the state to respond to the mass suicides of the Solar Temple or even the Guyana suicides more than twenty years ago. They keep bringing out that as if that justifies this sweeping new crackdown on other religious and free exercise of conscience. Rather than allowing criminal provisions in the law to address those practices whenever and wherever they may occur."

And of course, the churches in France were not happy either.


In 1996 a "cult blacklist" was drawn up by the French government. The United States State Department criticized the way it was drawn up. Its 1999 Religious Freedom report states: "The [Cult] report was prepared without the benefit of full and complete hearings regarding the groups identified on the list. Groups were not told why they were placed on the list [and] there is no mechanism for changing the list."

One example (more):

'The Ministry of Education has advised schools in France not to contract with Panda and to stop using its software, solely because Panda’s founder is a Scientologist. On May 3rd, 2001, an official of the Rectorat of Montpellier, a Ministry of National Education entity for the city of Montpellier, sent a letter to Colleges under the Rectorat’s jurisdiction in France. Tellingly, while the letter admits that the software poses “no danger”, it instructs colleges to cease using it: “Even though this material presents no danger in its present form, I am asking you to put it out of use.”'

A number of different religions are targeted, you can read more about them here.

Hearings & Testimonials

A number of hearings and testimonials on Human Rights in France have occurred to help spread the word and make these indignities known.

In an open letter to "Persons Concerned with Religious Liberty in France" by Anson Shupe, he said:

"France's President Chirac's signing of the About-Picard Bill passed by that country's legislative bodies is the modern day equivalent of similar legal maneuvers in Germany in the 1930s. That regime also had categories of religions to be monitored and possibly eliminated if not repressed, including Jews, Jehovah's Witnesses, Baptists and others. This is quite similar to almost 200 religious groups that have been listed in this legislative process..." - Anson Shupe: Professor, Sociology & Anthropology, Indiana

In 2000, the Church of Scientology helped form an organization called CAP, which is made up of 30 minority religious and spiritual groups, and its aim is to document the discrimination and bring it to the attention of human rights organizations. It has also held hearings in an out-spoken effort in this matter of human rights.


Religious discrimination is not a new concept, in fact the subject itself and the techniques used to effect it have evolved very little in the past decades and even centuries. However, societies change slowly, and are readily susceptible to the same ploys again and again. In France, we have a problem of religious discrimination, and it sets a precedent for other more grave turns of fate for religious liberties. Who knows what the scene will look like in 5 or 10 years — and it is that fate that we must continue to be alert for and speak out against.

Additional Resources:
Chairman of the Board, Religious Technology Center - David Miscavige

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Chronology of the Global Human Rights Struggle

The struggle for Human Rights is, unfortunately, not a new concept.

The historians tell us that since the beginning of recorded history (about 10,000 years or so), it is well documented that we've been dealing with this problem. With oppression in the form of ruler or over powering adversary, it seems humankind has continually fought this battle.

And heck, if it's been going on strong for 10,000 years, what's been happening for the prior millions? Statistically, the same thing!

This article gives the timeline:


And so we find today instances of human rights abuse the world over. In France, for example, the freedom to practice one's religion has been targeted.

Here are some more links from about that:

Actions for Religious Tolerance
European Criticisms of Religious Intolerance
Specific Organizations that were Discriminated Against
How France's Minority Religion ("Sect") Discrimination Resembles the Tactics of Senator Joseph McCarthy in his "Red Scare" Campaigns
Side-by-Side Comparision of Anti-Religious Statements with the French Constitution
Additional Examples of Discrimination and the Connections Thereof
Publisher of Scientology Books had Application to Exhibit in French Bookfair Denied
Minority Hearings that Have Been Held
Personal Stories of Discrimination

Additional Resources:
Scientologist and Human Rights Activist - David Miscavige

The Space Shuttle Columbia Incident and Microsoft PowerPoint

I know this is old, old news, but I ran into this today and thought I'd put up a post on it.

This is the Washington post article about the PowerPoint presentation that led to faulty decisions and disaster: article/2005/08/29/AR2005082901444.html

Personally, I think it pretty rediculous to blame the software for the poor conveyance of vital information. This is the same category as blaming the gun instead of the guy that pulled the trigger. Besides, what do you want them to do? Put a big label on the box that says "Listen you fool, if you are trying to communicate information that might involve people living or dying, or things exploding, etc., then make sure you put it in big enough type because the default is made for sales presentations and is too small." Hmmn... something wrong with this picture.

The Alf Recommends Issue Tracking Software for Politicians

It just occured to me today that there is a significant problem with American and International politics that the software development industry has had licked for years: Issue Tracking.

Don't you ever wonder what happens to all those issues that hear politicians talk about? I was going to give you a list, but you know what - I can't hardly remember any because they're not tracked!

Where's the database? Who's making sure these "bugs" get fixed before the next candidate gets released? You hear about it on the radio one day, next week it's like it never happened.

Can you imagine if software companies were that slack with thier issue tracking. Windows and Internet Explorer bugs would be nothing in comparison.

So the fix is simple: Fire up BugZilla or other issue tracking software and enter in all of the crazy and alarming stories you hear on the major news networks, and assign them to the different political leaders responsible. Then, when election times rolls around, compare the list of outstanding "bugs" ;-)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Alf Funnies: Man Blames Dell Laptop for House Fire

This is a funny article about an exploding Dell laptop battery (supposedly anyway) that set a man's house on fire. Picture included. man-blames-dell-laptop-for-house-fire-195540.php

Disaster Relief

Unfortunately, events in recent years seemed to have brought the subject of disaster relief much closer to the limelight than in the previous decade. With 9/11 and all of the various smaller terrorist-related incidents, plus several major natural disasters like hurricane Katrina and the tsunami in Southeast Asia, it's a big deal.

The Scientology Volunteer Ministers are a group of vounteers who freely offer help using Scientology techniques to anyone in need.

One thing that I find very important for people to understand is the difference between what the Scientology Volunteer Ministers do and what others do as part of disaster relief efforts. While governments already employ all manner of staff to handle the physical destruction that happens during these times (I am referring to firemen, police officers, etc.), there is however, another, additional function which is not performed by any of those fine people: What does one do to address the mental state of all of the people who survived but with torn lives due to injuries, loss of property in many cases the deaths of people they knew and loved.

This is why I feel so strongly about what the Scientology Volunteer Ministers do: it's extremely vital, is often not done in their absence, and they are uniquely suited to the job due to their Scientology training.

Afterall, once the dust has settled and the immediate disaster is over, the highest priority is to put the survivors back together so they can carry on. It can be a tough job sometimes, and isn't one that can be done with just building materials - it's a mental and spiritual matter.

As a note, the VMs don't just work in times and places of disaster. All year round they continue to give help to those in need of it. Check out the Volunteer Ministers web site for more info.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

AIDS Pharmaceutical Scam

This is a pretty wild story about a lady that was diagnosed for AIDS when she was pregnant, and it turned out be a wrong diagnosis. She decided to participate in a “study” where she was put on heavy experimental phamaceuticals and died shortly after giving birth. She was kept on the drugs for a number of months, getting sicker week after week, and she was kept on it - as part of the "experiment". It’s sad that corruption like this goes on. Don’t know what the figures are on things like this, would need to do more research, but I’m sure this isn’t just some isolated case. Apparently this was part of a NIH-directed study.

The article is hosted at

Resources on Human Rights in France

I was doing research on human rights and started digging into the Human Rights in France site, sponsored by the Church of Scientology.

Here is a list of resources that I came up with. The Personal Stories of Religious Discrimination (last link) is particularly telling.

Human Rights France Resources:

Human Rights France Home Page

International Actions for Tolerance in France

European Criticisms of Status of Human Rights in France

Companies that Were Blacklisted in France Due to Religious Beliefs

Human Rights France Publications

Resources for Mr. David Miscavige, Humanitarian and Scientologist

Documentation of Intolerance

Specific Religions Discriminated Against

Personal Stores of Religious Discrimination

Saturday, August 19, 2006

This one made me laugh, I just had to throw on here: There is a company called the Soylent Green Biscuit Company. Of course they sell Soylent Green T-shirts instead of biscuits, but it's still an interesting name.

What it T-I-Z with da R-F-I-D


RFID is Radio Frequency ID technology, and is basically just a short-range radio-based communications technology. The difference between it and previous technology primarily lies in it's size (small enough to be easily concealed in common objects) and it's cost (cheap enough to be distributed at a massive scale).

RFID chips are used for many things including detecting theft of merchandise, tracking shipments as they pass through plane/train/ship ports, as well as in up and coming credit and identification cards.

This (edited) excerpt from C|Net news helps explain:

"The generic name for this technology is RFID, which stands for radio frequency identification. RFID tags are very small microchips, which already have shrunk to half the size of a grain of sand. They listen for a radio query and respond by transmitting their unique ID code. Most RFID tags have no batteries: They use the power from the initial radio signal to transmit their response.

"You should become familiar with RFID technology because you'll be hearing much more about it soon. Retailers adore the concept, and CNET's own Alorie Gilbert wrote about how Wal-Mart and the U.K.-based grocery chain Tesco are starting to install 'smart shelves' with RFID readers. In what will become the largest test of the technology, consumer goods giant Gillette recently said it would purchase 500 million RFID tags from Alien Technology of Morgan Hill, California.

"Alien Technology won't reveal how it charges for each tag, but industry estimates hover around 25 cents. The company does predict that in quantities of one billion, RFID tags will approach 10 cents each, and in lots of 10 billion, the industry's holy grail of 5 cents a tag.

"It becomes unnervingly easy to imagine a scenario where everything you buy that's more expensive than a Snickers will sport RFID tags, which typically include a 64-bit unique identifier yielding about 18 thousand trillion possible values. KSW-Microtec, a German company, has invented washable RFID tags designed to be sewn into clothing. And according to the EE Times, the European central bank is considering embedding RFID tags in banknotes."

The 1984 Aspect

All this is just wonderful, but what does this mean in terms of us, as citizens of the United States (and other countries - for while they may not be affected directly, this does seem to be an international trend.) This C|Net News article, dated more than three years ago, raises concerns about a DARPA project designed to enhance survielance of U.S. citizens, and also brings to light the key question: What happens when this technology gets into the wrong hands.

The reason that RFID starts debates and gets people are stirred up, is because it brings to light the fact that socially, we are not able to be responsible with the increase in technological power.

Here's my point: Short of a global cataclysm, technology will continue to be developed, it's just a matter of who and how it is put to use, and whether or not the people in the society allow pursuant corruption to occur.

There will always be those who will devote their life's work to developing some new fangled technology that the world has never seen before. Often, the people doing this are well intentioned. Einstein didn't do his atomic research so that we could atomic-bomb Japan, most biological scientists don't study disease so they can create new ones, and so on.

The problem lies in the fact that our social structure is not setup to handle those few who would manipulate in order to use technology for their own evil ends.

Do you really think that George Bush, John McCain, Nouri al-Maliki, Tony Blair, etc., etc. call the shots on an International scale? Listen to George Bush say something that wasn't written by one of his speech writers, and you decide for yourself if this man is in charge of the United States.

Certain people pull the strings. If would of course be logical for them to remain omitted from the public spotlight, because if they were they could be targeted - you can target something that you don't know the locatin of. What's more, this isn't a new concept! We've had this same damned problem for a really long time.

But it really just boils down to this: The vast majority of people in society are basically well intentioned. Sure people are this and people are that, but I mean when you get down to the basic question of whether or not they would rather their fellow man survive or be destroyed and subverted, most people would be in the former category. As such, "we" have an advantage in numbers.

We also have a significant disadvantage: It's all too easy to assume that because YOU don't have a subversive plot, that others don't either. But I assure you, these elements do exist.

That said, I personally look forward to advancing technology. It makes life easier and more productive for everyone, plus: it's fun. BUt, I make it a point to discern the development of the technology itself from the use to which it is put - since the latter is often masked behind other forces.

The Alf Recommends the Lensman Series

Since you are now convinced about the value of literature after my last post, I'd like to hazard a brief description of E. E. "Doc" Smith (plagarized, I admit, but I don't think the owners of the original clip will mind).

E. E. Smith was a chemical engineer in Washington DC when, in 1915, a next-door neighbor suggested that he turn his speculations regarding space travel into a science fiction novel. Smith at first demurred, saying that the story would be a failure without romatic content and that he did not feel comfortable writing that himself. His neighbor's wife suggested that she would be willing to take care of those details if he wrote the larger framework. Smith set to the task.

They finished "Skylark of Space" in 1919. It would be eight more years before it was published as a serial in Amazing Stories. Smith actually lost money on the venture, since the $125 he was paid by Amazing Stories didn't cover the cost of the postage he had spent sending the manuscript to dozens of uninterested publishers over the years.

Skylark was an immense success and Smith devoted much time over the next forty years to writing novels. His stories involve huge contests fought with fearsome and rapidly evolving technology between the spirited forces of good and democracy against the many-layered cabals of evil. His name has become closely associated with the space opera genre,and his work has greatly influenced modern science fiction — print, movies and video games.

Note, incidentally, that Smith was a real PhD and chemical engineer. He worked in the food industry for much of his life and popular legend has it that he was the researcher who figured out how to get powdered sugar to stick to doughnuts.

Unfortunately, many of Smith's books have been out of print for years, and copies of the original hardcover editions can be hard to find.

The Alf's last post after it's gone through the jive translator

Here's my last post after it's been run through the jive translator.

Not too long ago some homey uh mine and ah' were feedin' da bud lunch togeder, and he told me he'd recently eyeball some numba' of sto'ies by Louis L'Amour. Ah be baaad... Mah' reply wuz, uh course, "Whut? Ain't dat Western? Cowboys and Indians stuff?"

He simply said "Yeah, but it's waaay coo'."

Afta' readin' several uh de "Sacket" series, ah' figured out whut he's rappin' about. Man! De doodad ah' gots out uh it wuz dat some real scribbler kin truly immerse ya' in his wo'ld - make da damn ya' feel de characters' problems, dig it de strengd, de fears, etc. Co' got d' beat! From eyeballin' Louis L'Amour ya' end down wid some real feelin' uh depd into de frontia' of dis country some couple hundred years ago. 'S coo', bro. And, fum whut he scribbles, ah' assho' man ya' it wuz not some matta' of plum some cheesey shoot-em-up tails; but rada' an adventurous treck uh survival on de frontier. Ah be baaad... Sho' man, some sucka's dig blown away wid revolvers, and uh course many uh de sto'ies gots some fine goat involved - but if youse comparin' t'some one-hour-fifteen-minute Western ya' saw on public television in de 90's, oh joker is it some different deal. Whut's mo'e, dis be plum a simple 'esample uh de effect dat some piece uh quality literature kin gots. Dis be an 'espuh'ience ya' plum duzn't dig fum watchin' TV o' eyeballin' some newssheet. And while eyeballin' literature kin in itself pull one away fum reality enough t'disrupt one's life, it be my observashun dat allowin' oneself t'be immersed in one's own self-created reality, guided by de audo', be a much healdia' 'sperience dan some continual co'pse-likes infusion uh some sucka elses pictures fum de television. 'S coo', bro.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Alf encourages people to read classic fiction

Not too long ago a friend of mine and I were eating lunch together, and he told me he'd recently read a number of stories by Louis L'Amour. My reply was, of course, "What? Isn't that Western? Cowboys and Indians stuff?"

He simply said "Yeah, but it's cool."

After reading several of the "Sacket" series, I figured out what he's talking about. The thing I got out of it was that a real writer can truly immerse you in his world - make the you feel the characters' problems, understand the strength, the fears, etc.

From reading Louis L'Amour you end up with a real feeling of depth into the frontier of this country a couple hundred years ago. And, from what he writes, I assure you it was not a matter of just some cheesey shoot-em-up tails; but rather an adventurous treck of survival on the frontier. Sure, some people get blown away with revolvers, and of course many of the stories have some pretty girl involved - but if you're comparing to some one-hour-fifteen-minute Western you saw on public television in the 90's, oh man is it a different deal.

What's more, this is just a simple example of the effect that a piece of quality literature can have. This is an experience you just don't get from watching TV or reading a newspaper. And while reading literature can in itself pull one away from reality enough to disrupt one's life, it is my observation that allowing oneself to be immersed in one's own self-created reality, guided by the author, is a much healthier experience than a continual corpse-like infusion of someone elses pictures from the television.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Alf has nothing to do with the animal liberation front

Just as a matter of record, the pseudonym "Alf" (yes, it's a pseudonym, my mother didn't name me "Alf") has nothing to do with the Animal Liberation Front, or the American Liver Foundation, or the Alien Life Form, as seen on TV in the 80s. (Although I have nothing against any of these three entities.)

Alf is just my alias: Alf.

What is the Mind?

This article on, is an explanation of what the mind is. I really like it, I've never gotten anywhere near as succinct an answer from a psychologist:

In Scientology, the mind is a communication and control system between the individual being—i.e., the thetan—and his environment. The individual uses his mind to pose and resolve problems related to survival and to direct his efforts accordingly.

The mind is composed of mental image pictures which are recordings of previous experiences. These mental images are what is often thought of as memory. They are three-dimensional color pictures with sound, smell and all other perceptions. These pictures are actually composed of energy. They have mass, they exist in space and appear when a person thinks of something. For example, a person who thinks of a cat will get a mental image picture of a cat.

The mind is made up of two parts—the analytical mind and the reactive mind. The analytical mind is the rational, conscious, aware mind which thinks, observes data, remembers it and resolves problems. The reactive mind works on a completely stimulus-response basis. It operates below the level of consciousness and is not under the individual’s control. The reactive mind exerts force and the power of command over his awareness, purposes, thoughts, body and actions.


Searching for 1984 on the web selects some rather interesting results. This page in particular I found very humorous, a translation of google news into goodspeak. Excellent work comrad.

The Alf quotes from 1984, by George Orwell:

The Ministry of Truth -- Minitrue, in Newspeak -- was startlingly different from any other object in sight. It was an enormous pyramidal structure of glittering white concrete, soaring up, terrace after terrace, 300 metres into the air. From where Winston stood it was just possible to read, picked out on its white face in elegant lettering, the three slogans of the Party:




The Alf's Favorite Quote from the Declaration of Independence

The second paragraph:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States..."