I guess I was a lucky kid. In addition to being lucky, I was able to see with some clarity despite being a misemotional, confrontational and just plain screwed up brat.

I never got trapped in the heaven and hell, God vs Devil crap this lifetime like so many people. When I was a little kid my parents used to take me to church occasionally. It was a protestant church, which was damned lucky, I'd have been in trouble if my parents had been Catholics.

So anyway, when I was about 7 years old a minister took me aside to a private room to explain God to me.

Keep in mind that at 7 years old I was precocious, disconcertingly intelligent, obnoxious, and an arrogant little shit. Come to think of it, I haven't changed much in overall personality, except that I'm much more loving and cheery now.

So the minister goes into this long, involved spiel telling me all about how God is everywhere and made everything and that we are his children and that God is in each and every one of us, that there's a divine spark in all of us...

I cognited.

"Oh I get it," I told him brightly, "We are God! All of us together make up God!"

"Oh, nononono!" the minister protested in horror, "That wasn't what I meant at all! That's WRONG."

To my credit I didn't believe him. Instead of being crushed and allowing my cognition to be invalidated, I told him, no, I DID have it right.

Sometimes it's helpful to be a little arrogant. And I have the perfect excuse for that arrogance (service fac): that "everyone" else was so stupid! (Sounds like a terminal-oppterminal, huh? *grin*)

Fast forward to when I was 18. I'd encountered Scientology, and was at a party. Instead of partying down I was considering what I'd read. (Most people began with "Dianetics: Modern Science of Mental Health", but I started reading "A History of Man" and really got it!)

I cognited.

It suddenly dawned on me that I could do anything. At that moment I recovered the knowledge that I was a spirit with unlimited potential; and that I didn't have to be limited to using my body, because I was effectively (small g) god. One fallout from that cognition was a trifle strange: I never got toothaches after that day. A tooth could have a HUGE gaping hole in it and the worst thing would be some sensitivity to cold drinks or ice cream. No throbbing aches. None. Why? Simple: I saw no reason the tooth should hurt! So it didn't!

For some reason Dianetics never particularly interested me, except for the fact that one could access past lives with it. Past lives interested me. Book One style auditing never, ever interested me except in the most abstract way. It was fine by me if other people wanted to do Book One auditing. I was more interested in Scientology, and the Whole Track.

But I also constantly committed what that church regarded as a sin -- I never gave up my interest in the multitude of related subjects: Zen, Theravada Buddhism, Astrology, western ceremonial magic, Taoism, Sufi, Yoga, Huna, and many others. I guess I was lucky that I possessed a hyperactive curiousity about the mind, and indulged it by reading every book in easy reach. Instead of lightly toying with these subjects I recognized that I needed to dig far deeper in order to achieve true understanding. So I did. Possessing such a broad base of information, I began to see where they all related. And I could also see how Hubbard had succeeded in undercutting most of them in practical terms. Disturbingly I could also see where Hubbard had completely missed or ignored the areas of sex and divinity. So I studied those elsewhere.

Even more alarming, I observed that church go from almost okay to completely bonkers in a few short years. Their prices skyrocketed, their ethics actions became savage, and their worship of Hubbard left me breathlessly disgusted. I watched them convert from a friendly place where a person could walk in and be comfortable, into a steely-eyed group of fanatics intent on destroying enemies and catering to only a public who were rich and successful. To say it in the terms of Yogi Berra, that included me out! The only other way to receive their services was to become a staff member. I guess I was lucky to be smart enough to refuse becoming part of their slave labor Sea Org.

To actually possess the means by which people may become spiritually free(r) --which the Co$ do possess -- and not allow the ordinary schmuck to get free...

That is an overt act of omission of biblical proportions. They might as well be actively engaging in implants for all the harm they are doing.

I was lucky. I stayed free. I stayed independent where it counted: my mind. Damned lucky.


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