Month: February 2019


You can find a lot of information about Scientology on the Internet, mostly of a critical nature. What Scientology is not accused of, the religious organizations that classify it as a destructive cult, and its main organization, the Church of Scientology, equating almost with the Church of Satan, are particularly zealous in this regard.

In fact, this is certainly not the case, and Scientology is not a destructive cult or sect. But at the same time there is a certain surprise in the abundance of criticism against her, I do not know any other practice of spiritual growth, causing so much irritation and rejection by society. There is a certain rational grain in this, and it must be said that Scientologists give plenty of nourishment that does not allow this blooming criticism to wither. What is only one, often quoted, statement of the founder of the movement, Ron Hubbard:

“If you want to make a fortune, make your religion.”

On the other hand, it is absolutely impossible to explain the popularity of Scientology, if you perceive it only as a totalitarian sect and a means to extort money from gullible adherents. Commitment to Scientology John Travolta, Tom cruise and a number of other popular Hollywood actors has long been the occasion for endless parodies and sharpness from comedians around the world. But it is hardly necessary to perceive these successful and happy people as round fools who are not able to distinguish the working equipment from obvious deception in mysterious packing.

So what is Scientology?

First of all, it is a practice of spiritual growth, which, in my subjective opinion, is ineffective. I suppose I can afford that kind of judgment. Still, I spent about 50 hours of my time and about one and a half thousand dollars in an online session with one popular in Runet coach in Scientology. And of course it is a business based on learning this practice.

Again, we are interested in Scientology as a tool for treating depression. We can safely escape from the metaphysical worldview of Scientology and Dianetics. Ron Hubbard written many books, thousands and thousands of pages where he talks about the Universe, other worlds, aliens and macarenco. We should not forget that Hubbard was a science fiction writer, perhaps even a good one, so if you are interested in this genre of literature, you can devote some time to his books. Again, we are not interested in this now.

It is no secret that Scientologists are extremely negative about the methods of modern psychiatry, in particular the use of psychotropic drugs, and offer their own alternative methods of getting rid of this disease. There is a scandalous case when Tom cruise attacked with accusations and reproaches against the actress Brooke shields after the public recognition of the latter in the use of antidepressants.

This approach is clearly wrong and, in some cases, extremely dangerous. About the role of antidepressants we have already mentioned above, they are rarely sufficient to treat depression, but very often – necessary. Already one such categorical rejection of one of the main and, undoubtedly, effective methods of treatment of depression and denial of its obvious positive impact on the course of the disease raises doubts about the scientific value of the approach of Scientologists. But let’s take a closer look at what Ron Hubbard’s followers have to offer.

As far as I can tell from my own experience, Hubbard has adopted one psychotherapeutic technique, the so-called psychological desensitization. In practice, this means that an aspiring Scientologist is encouraged, under the guidance of a specially trained member of the Church of Scientology, to review his entire life experience. This procedure is called auditing, from the Latin “audit” – “listening”, “listening”. During the process, painful episodes from the past are revealed, causing unpleasant emotions in the passing auditing. Lead process auditor, offers repeatedly to scroll in the minds of this particular episode, until he is completely emotionally “drained”.

That such discharge has come, the auditor learns on indications of the special device, and-meter. I also had to buy it for the procedure, as a result I paid

$ 200 for a regular ohmmeter to which two hollow metal cans were connected. During the process, I held the banks in my hands, the device was turned to the front of the auditor, who read his testimony. Does that make any sense? I do not know, the feeling was no difference that before the “discharge” that during that after.

As for the method of desensitization, it certainly has a right to exist, although it should be noted that it was not invented by Hubbard. Psychological desensitization has long been used in various types of psychotherapy and is one of the many existing methods in the Arsenal of doctors of the corresponding profile. How correct is the isolation of only one method and its application to all in a row, despite the completely different pathogenesis of the disease in each case, I leave you to judge. I can only say that any psychiatrist would call it absurd.

Desensitization didn’t help me at all. This does not mean that it does not help anyone, by no means. I have no reason not to believe the enthusiastic reviews of practicing Scientologists that can be found on the Internet. For someone, perhaps, this method is ideal, but no statistics on successful and unsuccessful sessions Scientologists will not provide you. Again, we must understand that people can set different goals. It was important for me to get rid of depression, and in my case Scientology was powerless. For some science fiction fan interested in spiritual growth, Scientology may well prove useful. However, even from this point of view, I believe that there are many other, much more effective practices.

I practiced auditing online, with an auditor who works in the “free zone”, that is, has nothing to do with the Church of Scientology and does not pay them any fees. Such freelancers prices are usually lower than the official, which, frankly, was one of the factors of choice in my case. Regardless of the price of services, my auditor is considered to be quite advanced in the Network and has some unimaginable for a mere mortal titles, like “Acting Tetan” of some sort.

Our sessions were held three times a week and lasted about one hour, sometimes up to one and a half hours. It cost one hour of classes 35 US dollars, I stood a little more than three months, that is, only about 40-50 hours. All this time we were engaged in “repair of life”, the first phase of auditing, in which we had to handle all the traumatic situations from the past and from scratch to develop further. Actually, the successful completion of the first phase would suit me quite well, I was not going to become any “Tetanus”. But alas.

My patience has burst, when the auditor declared that the prices for their services, it translates into euros, which at the time meant the increase in the amount of 30 percent. I figured $ 1,500 wasted was enough for 50 hours of exhausting exercise and the auditor’s constant whining about the antidepressants I was taking at the time. It seems to me that the” Acting Tetan ” himself by that time understood that we were going nowhere, and was glad to get rid of such an unpromising student.

Of course, he blamed everything on my pills and said that by continuing to take them, I discredit Scientology and him personally. That’s bullshit. Taking antidepressants didn’t stop me from doing qigong and transcendental meditation, which I really enjoyed.

Summing up, I, based on my own experience, categorically do not recommend Scientology practices for the treatment of depression. For me it was a waste of time and money.

Holotropic breathing

The authorship of the technique of holotropic breathing belongs to the now-living American psychiatrist of Czech origin Stanislav Grof, already mentioned in the Chapter “Psychedelic drugs“. After the legislative prohibition of the use of LSD in psychiatry, the Grof began to search for a legal alternative. Having tried many different methods of changing consciousness, he eventually stopped at a deep frequent breathing, which he called “holotropic” (holistic).

With a sufficiently long and intense deep breathing, the gas composition of the blood changes, carbon dioxide is washed out of it and oxygen saturation. Hyperoxygenation causes the practitioner effects similar to those arising from the use of LSD. In addition to the breathing technique itself, specially selected music and bodily manipulations by the teacher, techniques for overcoming pop-up muscle clamps and barriers are also used.

The session lasts about an hour and a half, the result is the ascent, the manifestation of unconscious material in the minds of holonaut. Grof believes that in this way it is possible to realize not only the deep personal experience, but also to go beyond it, in the area, which he calls transpersonal.

Here is how he writes about Grof:

The content of holotropic States is often spiritual or mystical. We can go through a series of psychological death and rebirth and a wide range of supra-personal phenomena, such as feelings of unity and identification with other people, with nature, the Universe, God, discover something that seems to us memories from other incarnations, meet with bright archetypal images, communicate with ethereal beings and visit countless mythical lands. Our consciousness can be separated from the body and yet maintain its ability to perceive both the immediate environment and the most remote places.

Stanislav Grof’s “Transpersonal vision»
The topic of transpersonal experience is very interesting and extensive, but beyond the scope of this study, those interested in this field of knowledge, I refer to the works of Grof, many of which are translated into Russian and available in electronic form. We are also interested in the practice of holotropic breathing in relation to an important topic for us, the treatment of depression.

Theoretically, if, according to Grof, holonaut experiences are equivalent to the effects achieved by the use of LSD, and also are safer, then this practice should have greater therapeutic value for the detection and study of hidden unconscious material, which plays a significant, as we found out above, role in the development of depression.

Reasoning in this way, I signed up for a seminar to a fairly well-known coach in one of the major Ukrainian cities. The seminar was held for three days, the program included two breathing sessions. Before the seminar, I told about my problem to the coach and received assurances from him that, at least, to eliminate the somatic manifestations of depression, holotropic therapy is the best. He told me his own story of getting rid of a chronic stomach ulcer with just one successful breathing session. During the session in his mind he had a vision of a medieval battle in which he participated and was stabbed with a sword in the area of the right hypochondrium, in right in place of the projection of ulcers on the anterior wall of the abdomen. Needless to say, after this experience, the pain stopped, and the instrumental study showed no signs of a disease resistant to therapy over the previous five years.

I must say that this story and everything I previously read about holotropic therapy, it is very reassuring, but unfortunately, I was waiting for another disappointment. I can’t blame the coach or talk about the ineffectiveness of the method itself, in any way. Just personally, I did not succeed. It was extremely difficult for me to physically withstand a given rate of breathing, especially given my pronounced asthenia. I lost my rhythm after a few minutes and could not return to it, despite all efforts. The same story was repeated at the second session, and as a result I had to come back empty-handed.

Holotropic breathing is a very interesting phenomenon worthy of careful study, but for its successful practice, it seems to me, it is necessary to be in good physical shape, which is rarely possible for a depressed patient. In addition, a certain inconvenience is the impossibility or, let’s say, the undesirability of independent practice. During a session you may lose control over their movements, disorientation in the environment, it can be easy to cause yourself some injury (without control on the part of the sitter?).

As for the analogy between the effects of holotropic breathing and LSD, which is carried out by the Grof, it is certainly an exaggeration. LSD gives almost instant access to unconscious material, which is stored for several hours, in the case of holotropic breathing, in order to gain such access, you have to make a lot of physical effort for at least an hour and as a result, if you’re lucky, to be able to open the door to the subconscious for just a few moments. The difference seems obvious to me.

Later, while doing primary therapy in the center of Dr. Yanov, I realized how naive were my ideas about the possibility of awareness of one traumatic episode from the past and the subsequent immediate recovery. But this is a story for another Chapter of the book.

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