The Alf


Google Spreadsheets…

Posted in Uncategorized by thealf on November 14, 2006

Call me behind the times, but I just checked out Google Spreadsheets for the first time today.

It’s pretty darned wild – must a be a serious chunk of JavaScript powering that one…

Could be useful for when you’re away from the ol’ homestead, or for sharing spreadsheets with others.  Check it out.

http://docs.google.com/

Scientology Volunteer Ministers Bring Real Help to Forgotten Island

Posted in Uncategorized by thealf on November 6, 2006

KIN MEN ISLAND, TAIWAN: In this land of quiet villages and peaceful beaches, it’s hard to picture a prison.

But crime is just as real here as it is anywhere else in the world. While many of the prisoners come from mainland China, the island has its own history of contention, dating back to World War II, and that’s why prison officials welcomed the Scientology Volunteer Ministers with banners and fanfare when they arrived here one week ago.

Setting out to help the prisoners with workable solutions from L. Ron Hubbard for repairing the wrongs one has done, the Volunteer Ministers delivered a workshop to 61 of the prisoners, who were joined by several policemen who also participated.

After the seminar, officials asked the Volunteer Ministers to introduce the prisoners to the successful drug rehabilitation model which was recently implemented in a Taipei prison, and which is based on Mr. Hubbards discoveries in that field.

HELPING CHILDREN

As important as working with prisoners so they reform and become productive members of society once again is the helping of the next generation our children.

As important as working with prisoners so they reform and become productive members of society once again is the helping of the next generation, our children.

For that reason, the Scientology Volunteer Ministers in Kin Men are helping people of every race, color, creed and yes, every age.

Young and old alike have come to the yellow Volunteer Minister tent to learn how to improve their lives and help their fellows. The children have learned how to help one another using the techniques of the Scientology Volunteer Ministers.

Boy Scouts pledge to be drug-free

Posted in Uncategorized by thealf on October 12, 2006

This program, organized by the Church of Scientology, seems pretty cool.  It makes sense to get agreement from children while they are young not to do drugs – looks like a matter of getting to them before the other factors do, and giving them the “ammo” they need to hold their ground about staying clean and not giving in to peer pressure, etc.

“…The Boy Scouts Oath specifically calls on scouts to do their best, help others at all times. To this, a troop of Boy Scouts from La Cañada, California added the commitment this week to live drug-free lives and help their families and friends be drug-free, when they were sworn in as Drug-Free Marshals by the Drug-Free Marshals Coordinator of the Church of Scientology of Los Angeles.

“A troop of Boy Scouts from La Canada, California, committed themselves to live drug-free lives and help their families and friends be drug-free, when they were sworn in as Drug-Free Marshals by the Drug-Free Marshals Coordinator of the Church of Scientology of Los Angeles.”

Scientology Volunteer Ministers Visit the California State Capitol

Posted in Uncategorized by thealf on October 10, 2006

Cool article, was just there about a year ago, stopped by on a business trip – looks a little different with the yellow tents:

http://www.scientologytoday.org/press/609122248491_scn-local.html

Posted in Uncategorized by thealf on October 9, 2006

In India, the Scientology Volunteer Ministers are on a roll, teaching children how to learn.

Personally, I have used the study techniques developed by Mr. L. Ron Hubbard, with remarkable results.  In many cases I have been able to study something which I previously considered impossible to learn.  Also, it was very simple – but don’t let that decieve you, it’s the simple things that are the worse when you don’t know them 😉  Furthermore, the study technology he introduces, because of it’s simplicity, can be used with children to help them learn.  However, it’s this same technology that has enabled me to study computer science, “politics,” and a number of other things – the point being introduces a way of studying, which is workable regardless of the simplicity or complexity of what you are studying.

There’s more information on Study Technology here.

Posted in Uncategorized by thealf on October 9, 2006

ScientologyToday.org appears to be expanding their news.

I noticed an archive section down the right side of some of the news pages with several months worth of news – interesting stuff, lots of info on the Scientology  Volunteer Ministers program as it had traveled around the world, helping people with Assists, et. all.

The Scientology Handbook

Posted in Uncategorized by thealf on August 24, 2006

The Scientology Handbook

One publication, put out by the Church of Scientology, that I’ve found very practical and useful is the Scientology Handbook.

The book essentially goes through various parts of people lives, different situations or difficulties people 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 intensive 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 the common situations in one’s life naturally followed.

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

Relationships – Modern relationships often degenerate into petty arguments and grudges. But why? In this section you can find out what relationships are really based on, and how to prevent them from going up in smoke by applying some simple, but exceptionally powerful 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 actually achieve it. This section explains the answer.

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 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 that make us who we are.

Job Stress – As one’s work consumes a rather significant portion of one’s life, you might 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 real 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 occurence in today’s society, it’s no wonder the drug dependency and addition 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 wane? What can be done to fix it? Scientology can help you discover this for yourself as well.

Integrity – Above all else, one’s personal integrity is key to getting along. 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 yourself, your family, friends, etc.

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 actually 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 founded on basic principles 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 to fix it.
Solutions to a Dangerous Environment – Learn what a dangerious environemnt is, and what can be done to change 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 – Scientology Assists exist to help people speedily recover from illnesses and injuries.  Proven time and time again this simple procedures can be used to in a variety of different situations with often miraculous results.

Ups and Downs – Learn what causes the ups and downs in one’s life.

Scientology – A Bona Fide Religion

Posted in Uncategorized by thealf on August 24, 2006

The Church of Scientology, while it differs from other religions, is in fact a bona fide religion. The work of extensive study by religious scholars resulted in the unanimous conclusion that Scientology is very much a true religion, and the results are documented in a book entitled “Scientology: The Theology and Practice of a Contemporary Religion”.

This collection of links below indexes it’s content in what I hope to be a useful tool that will help answer the question of why Scientology is a religion. I’ve also tried to break it down further than just the major section in order to assist you in finding specific things.

Religious Discrimination in France – Today’s McCarthyism

Posted in Uncategorized by thealf on August 24, 2006

Religious Discrimination in France — Today’s McCarthyism

A publication posted by the Church of Scientology on www.humanrights-france.org discusses how the modern day tactics of the government in France 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 the term “McCarthyism”, and the adaptation: Today’s McCarthyism. The full publication is here, but here’s my take:

This tactic seems to be a common one. 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 the U.S. 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 communication lines, to pass some laws (or create blacklists, et. all) 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 talk about “Guilty by Association” – and this is really a key 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 the campaigns, and the list isn’t pretty. We are not talking about just a few random individuals 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, same tactic: Use innuendo to fuel the unrest and create enmity toward any opposition by positioning them with the “cultists”, “communists”, etc.

As the saying goes, history oft repeats.

——————-

At www.humanrights-france.org you’ll find a number of other resources on this subject. However, there are some choice picks that seem to make the point:

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 as follows:

“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 cited the use of specific incidents to put into place laws which restrict 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 weren’t happy either.

Blacklists

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.”

Just 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.”’

Quite a few different religions are targeted, you can read more about them here.

Hearings and Testimonials

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

In an open letter to “Persons Concerned with Religious Liberty in France” by Anson Shupe, he stated the following:

“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 my mind, these words ring very true.
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.

L’Envoi

Religious discrimination is not a new concept, in fact the subject itself and the tactics use 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 sorry fate which we must continue to be alert for and speak out against.

The Global Struggle for Human Rights Throughout the Ages

Posted in Uncategorized by thealf on August 22, 2006

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:

http://www.globalissues.org/HumanRights/Abuses/Chronology.asp

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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 www.humanrights-france.org about that:

Actions for Religious Tolerance in France

European Criticisms of Religious Intolerance in France

Specific Organizations that were Discriminated Against

Additional Examples of Discrimination and the Connections Thereof

Publisher of Scientology Books had Application to Exhibit in French Bookfair Denied

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

Minority Hearings Held

Personal Stories of Discrimination

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