Author Archives: cinderella911

L Ron Hubbard and the Church of Scientology

The Church of Scientology, known as the biggest cult in the world and probably more aptly named the church of sci-fi-tology is unlike any religion you have ever encountered before, probably because it was written by a L Ron Hubbard, a Science Fiction writer who according to his son was a madman, a drug addict, a fraud and a vicious woman beater who aborted his own children with a coat hanger during his attempts to create the antichrist before deciding that HE was the antichrist aka Satan, the beast – 666.

If you go the the site official Scientology site however they paint a vastly different picture. Born March 13, 1911 in Nebraska they would have you believe that he was an absolute prodigy and a saint.  He grew up in Montana under the tutelage of his educated mother.  He broke in broncos and became a blood brother of a tribe of indigenous Blackfoot Indians before he was even 13 and became the youngest Eagle Scout in the US to date. They go on to elaborate about his extensive travels in the East with his father, a naval officer, and delve into his studies into psychology, maths, engineering, etc.  In a letter to the FBI Hubbard describes himself thus: “I am, basically, a scientist in the field of atomic and molecular phenomena. At least, that was my course in college. I followed this into the fields of human thought, identified an energy and produced through twenty years of research, a science of thought known popularly as dianetics.

The Church of Scientology credits him with the following legacy:-

  1. drug rehabilitation procedures employed by some 50 nations.
  2. a criminal reform program is presently at work in more than 2,000 prisons and penal institutions internationally and has produced an 80 percent reduction in recidivism.
  3. learning and literacy technology that is delivered across more than 74 countries.
  4. The Way to Happiness – a nonreligious moral code and guide to better living which has sold about 100 million copies in 90 languages in over 150 nations.

That said, here is my favourite amongst the quick explanations regarding him and the religion he founded:

L Ron Hubbard Jr., his son which I will refer to as Jr. from here on, was involved in the deep and shady under dealings of the church till he made a run for it with his wife and kids while his father was away on a trip to Australia. Jr. had to change his name in order to escape persecution from the followers of the cult.  He said in an interview with Penthouse that his father was a broke science fiction writer who 1. regularly beat women (resulting in broken teeth, bruises, lacerations, etc); 2. fed him drugs as a child by feeding him bubblegum laced with phenobarbital (a narcotic and sedative barbiturate drug used chiefly to treat epilepsy) to try and get him in touch with the dark magic he was practising and; 3. who also told everyone that the way to get rich was to start a new religion. Which incidentally is exactly what he did in 1953 when he started the modern Church of Scientology in Arizona and New Jersey after writing the book Dianetics – The Modern Science of Mental Health which was published in June 1950.

Jr. claims to have witnessed his father performing and abortion on his mother and says that he himself was born at 6 and a half months as a result of an abortion ritual his father was trying to perform (after a party) had failed.  Despite the rituals and abortions his father had two more wives and 6 more children of whom 2 died under mysterious circumstances and one ‘disappeared’.  Even though Jr. had a lot of reasons to make a run for it he says it was the fact that his father was leaking top secret government information, like the heart of the radar, to the Russians and employing communists working against the government that finally made him break away from his father and the world they had created because it went against everything his grandfather, a good an patriotic man, had taught him.  He went on to say that fooling the masses had been a lot of fun and that his father was a wonderful and convincing public speaker but in the end he just had to get away from it all.  During a court case in Massachusetts Jr. delivered the following affidavit: “I personally know, relied specifically on my father’s represented qualifications and credentials. The stated representations are all false. He never obtained degrees from those universities, or ever served in combat. He was relieved of duty three times as being unfit, and ended up in a psychiatric hospital at the end of the war. He is a fraud and has always been a fraud.”

The FBI kept a close eye on him and his new foundation. The details are revealed in The H-Files which is a collection of files 1940-1983 that the FBI kept on him.  In March 1951 one of the agents who interviewed him described him as a mental case. According to their files he went to George Washington University Engineering School and got his engineering degree there in 1934. They also mentioned that his publishers referred to him as a mathematician and a philosopher but he does not have a degree in either and he was embarrassed by that. When war broke out in 1941 it interrupted his work but he got access to the Naval medical library by posing as a doctor. He was honourably discharged 4 years later but noted as ‘not to be readmitted’. Extracts from a personal notebook suggests that he faked an injury in order to get out of his duties.  After the war he started focussing on writing science fiction and his son recalled that he was always broke in the ’40s. Other information supplied by the FBI, including an extract from the Times Herald, seems to corroborate his son’s story:

“Mrs. Sara Northrup Hubbard, 25, charged in her divorce suit that Hubbard subjected her to “systematic torture” through denial of sleep, beatings, strangulations, and suggestions that she kill herself, “as a divorce would hurt his reputation.”

She and her medical advisors declared him insane by the time he was 40 and wanted him committed for paranoid schizophrenia. She was his second wife and incidentally he married her (having presented himself as unmarried)on 10 August 1946 but only got divorced from his previous wife in December of 1947. She asked for sole custody of their child of 13 months and said that he had abducted the child. He wrote a series of letters to the FBI in his defence, you can read them here. She later wrote a letter to the FBI and recanted her own statement but I can’t help but wonder whether she did so out of fear for her life.

In 1952 his organisation was again investigated by the FBI for mail fraud and Hubbard was reported as having delusions of grandeur. As early as 1953 the church reported the institution and asked the FBI to look into them again. They were alarmed by his ‘Handbook for Pre-Clears’ and the trend it was setting, what his motives were.

In any case I could write a book about the man, he was involved in so many shady and scandalous incidents that it almost overshadows the religion he invented.  Not the least of which being the fact that he was mentored in Freudian psychology by the same man that mentored Hitler in it. When I think of L Ron Hubbard, the founding father of Scientology, and everything I’ve read about him in the past day with regards to his religion then two words stand out- 1. Satanist and 2. Science fiction writer.  I can’t blame them entirely for following him though, as some of his work has brought about change for the better in many people. Still, he’s not exactly the guy I’d want to pick as a role model.

Hubbard claimed to have written a book after he ‘died’/had a near-death experience. It was called Excaliber (also known as ‘the dark sword’) and he couldn’t get published because it was too radical and ahead of his time. He claimed the book had a profound effect on the people he submitted it to in that they all killed themselves. He said one guy read it, walked back in, threw it on the table and jumped out of a window. He claimed that as a result he ended up locking the manuscript up in a bank vault never to be seen or read again.  Apparently it was the same principles he spoke of in this unpublished book that lead him to write Dianetics.  Dianetics was a huge success but unfortunately Hubbard wasn’t making as much money as he would have liked seeing that he had to pay tax on the money he was making via the Dianetics sensation besides which as with all fads this one was starting to lose steam.  So he redressed it and resold it to the public as Scientology which being a religion was now tax exempt.  He further capitalized by offering the 8 levels of courses which was a tremendous shift from his ‘self-help’ system in The Book (as his fans refer to it).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L Ron Hubbard himself went into hiding when his health started deteriorating and became a victim of his own mental illness.  His son says that he went into hiding because he is a living testament that Scientology does not work (they claim to be able to cure anything including cancer) and he didn’t want the world to know that it is a hoax. A long time after his father’s disappearance, more precisely Nov 10, 1982, he brought a petition to court to prove his father was dead. At his time one of Hubbard’s associates proved this false by producing a letter containing his fingerprint which was written in his handwriting using the ink the court provided.  Hubbard died a couple of years later on 24 January 1986.  The year after his death the religion sky-rocketed and was not surprisingly the year that Tom Cruise joined the cult.

Despite all of the above information I would like to remind you that most men are neither this nor that but a sum of all their parts, so I’m sure the good part that his followers put forward did exist; as did the bad part his son revealed.  But even if his son had never revealed these details of Hubbard’s life one would have to question the validity of a religion based on the story of a man with such a deplorable character, even if the story did not involve spaceships and galactic settlement.

Interestingly enough Jr., even during the times he was part of the staff, would not let his own wife and children join the cult.  With the upbringing he had it is no surprise that Jr. was no saint either and makes no claim to be that, in fact he goes into detail explaining the things he himself did in the name of the church.  He said that no student could just walk away, they would physically drag them back to continue their training and went so far as to lock a girl in a hut in the desert for weeks.  He went on to explain the connection between the dark arts and scientology and maintains that certain satanic doctrines are also a part of scientology. Most importantly that their core belief, though dressed differently, is exactly the same being ‘Do what you will’.  The Wicca religion has a similar but much nicer principle being ‘Do what you will but harm none.’ Scientology can’t include something like that because then they would be unable to practise their missives or ‘fair game’ policies.  I’m not saying Scientologists are Satanists, most of them don’t even know about their founder’s foray into dark magic or its associations to their religion.

Scientologists defend their faith with a vicious candour and a ‘fair game’ policy which entitles them to completely destroy the life of anyone who crosses them or tries publishing anything about the secret practises of their church.  Many families claim that their loved ones were either murdered (for trying to leave or leaking information) or died as a direct result of the practises of the church e.g. the purif (a extreme and dangerous detox new recruits have to subject themselves to, which includes using a sauna for 5 hours a day).  By 1994 they had tied up several people in litigation trying to stop them from publishing the truth and in doing so they earned the wrath of the public and the internet.  This has snowballed on them completely for as we have seen in the past the more you try and cover things up, the more people will want to uncover whatever it is that you are hiding.  And them more you try to silence people, the more people will start standing together and speaking up.  As a result of this little by little their hidden world has come to light.

Another core practise in Scientology is auditing. Right from the beginning a new member is constantly audited, supposedly to get rid of the Body Thetans which are clustered together and stuck to us.  Body Thetans are the spirits of dead thetans clinging to the host. The auditing process essentially involves being connected to an e-meter (device similar to a lie detector) and going through all your fears, secrets, past indiscretions as well as past lives and the lives of the Body Thetans attached to you in order to ‘clear’ the subject – all this while being recorded. A pre-clear is someone who has not been cleared. An OT is an Operating Thetan which is someone who has been cleared via auditing and is supposedly able to do anything including moving things with the mind, healing people and creating things out of nothing. They claim that Jesus was an OT.   Jr. mentioned that they liked delving into people’s sex lives first during the auditing process, focussing especially on sexually deviancies and past indiscretions because that information gave them a hold over the individual being audited.

The missives I mentioned mostly pertain to government infiltration and essentially taking over the world and eliminating all other religious institutions and governments so that the world is ruled by the Church of Scientology.  This more than anything else sends out warning bells for any religion which is aggressive at its core will, without a doubt, lead to conflict, sometimes on an epic global scale. What alarms me most is the rate at which it is growing.  Any religion which defies all others and has objectives like the ones the Scientologists have is a religion to be wary of.

As so many other religions have shown us in the past – there is nothing more dangerous than an aggressive religious fanatic. Once obsessed with a religion it is as if man completely loses respect for the lives and beliefs of others that are in contradiction to their own viewing them rather as a threat that needs to be eliminated. Hence the history of holy wars our species has and we need another one of those pretty much as badly as we need assholes on our foreheads.  As with all things balance, sound judgement and consideration for others HAVE to be applied.  In the 1993 article with Penthouse, Jentzsch, Hubbard’s right hand man, said that there were 6.5 million followers living happy lives.  When last checked this number had risen to 14 million.

Despite claims that these despicable practices of intimidation and infiltration no longer exist it is part of the core of Scientology and several of it’s more recent ‘fled’ victims have given accounts of their experiences with the cult and it’s missives to infiltrate the government.  You can read more about that on the Xenu Directory.

Excerpt from Scientology scriptures, “TARGETS, DEFENSE”
Note the date: September 24, 1987, long after “Operation Snow White”
Source: Wikileaks.org, “Church of Scientology Office of Special Affairs and Frank Oliver”
[…]

In order to become a fully-fledged scientologist you have to complete a series of 8 courses – OTI-VIII, one at a time, all of which you have to pay for. You can read an in-depth account of these OT training courses as well as some original scientology documentation amongst Fishman’s Papers which contain various documents and evidence presented during the Church of Scientology International v. Fishman and Geertz court case.  It is I gather a very expensive religion to belong to. Many people find fault with this but personally I must point out that even the best of churches ask tithes and need finances in order to be able to operate so I don’t really see the problem with that. Also despite various accusations I have read in some of the articles that they will train you for free if you join their staff.

The best part about all of this is the Space opera in Scientology scripture:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia: 

“It is a basic belief of Scientology that a human being is actually an immortal spiritual being, termed a thetan, that is presently trapped on planet Earth in a “meat body.” The thetan has had innumerable past lives and it is accepted in Scientology that lives antedating the thetan’s arrival on Earth lived in extraterrestrial cultures. Descriptions of space opera incidents are seen as nonfiction in the beliefs of Scientology; they appeared in the online Glossary for Dianetics and Scientology, although they were later removed from it.

Hubbard said that the modern-day science fiction genre of space opera is merely an unconscious recollection of real events that took place millions of years ago. These events include the story of Xenu, the ruler of the Galactic Confederacy who brought billions of frozen people to Earth 75 million years ago, stacked them around volcanoes and blew them up with hydrogen bombs, creating swarms of disembodied alien souls known as Body Thetans. Xenu is only one element of Scientologist beliefs in alien civilizations. Such doctrines have existed in Scientology virtually since its beginning:[3] In the 1950s Hubbard wrote and lectured about civilizations such as Helatrobus, Espinol and Arslychus, and in the 1960s he introduced Xenu’s Galactic Confederacy. He described repeated instances of their using brainwashing implants on hapless beings. He also spoke of alien invasions of Earth, such as that carried out around 6235 BCE by the Fifth Invader Force, who were “very strange insect-like creature[s] with unthinkably horrible hands.”

That sums what the Scientologists refer to as Incident II nicely but I would like to give you a little more detail. Now the details do differ a little from site to site but the gist of it is this.

  1. We were all thetans, immortal beings who have existed since before the creation of time, gods if you like.
  2. There were 76 planets in the Galactic Federation and they were seriously overpopulated by Thetans.  Xenu, ruler of the Galactic Confederacy, took action.
  3. Xenu gets pissed off about something relating to his rule and the overpopulation situation. Now here the facts are uncertain as to what may have caused this but you have options: a) he imposed a tax on the overpopulated planets, the people who could not pay were rounded up and killed one by one, and/or brought en masse to teereeack (earth); b) he was about to be ‘dethroned’ and as a last act of defiance he rounded up his trusted officers (who were renegades against the people’s wishes) and had them purge the galaxy.
  4. They positioned the prisoners around volcanos and blew the whole bunch up with H-bombs.
  5. Thereafter they captured the souls with some kind of electric ribbon.
  6. The souls were then collected in clusters and implanted.
  7. The implants included 7 and also R6 – a series of images, including god, satan, modern england etc.  A process which took 36 days. The implants are supposed to inhibit our true potential and kill us if we discover the truth.  The intention being to render them servile and incapable of decision.
  8. Officers loyal to the people start a war against Xenu.
  9. Xenu is imprisoned in a mountain after the 6 year war.
  10. The Galactic Federation never recovers from the tragedy and earth is plagued by the souls of the disembodied thetans.

This information is all part of what you learn when you reach OTIII – the third in the operational thetan course.  This is top secret. Scientology followers pay a small fortune for this knowledge if they even reach that tier.  They also tell followers not yet on the tier that if they receive this information before they have completed the first two courses they will get pneumonia and die because of the implant.  Basically in all of the courses if you aren’t complete with the previous tier before moving on to the next information they claim that you will die. Scientologists deny the existence of this and will get agitated if you mention Xenu (or Xemu as some call them, having looked at Hubbard’s original note – attached beneath – I opt for Xenu).  However even the name of their modules suggest that that is in fact part of their doctrine.  The best explanation of OTIII and the information I managed to find was the fishman affidavit which contains the original documents and breaks down the information for regular people to understand. If you’re interested in OTIII it’s a must read.  Fishman also gives a lot of information on the other OT courses here.

ORIGINAL NOTE IN L RON HUBBARD’S HANDWRITING


But perhaps you will enjoy watching these videos a little more:

There exists another institution with the same beliefs who feel that everyone should receive this knowledge for free.  As they were sued and are no longer allowed to refer to their religion as Scientology, they are now known as the Freezone and needless to say these two factions hate each other.

Much as I’d like to buy into this (being an avid sci-fi fan, UFO enthusiast and all) I simply can’t write this religion up as anything other than an institution posing as a church which practises certain methodologies which are based loosely on satanic rituals + certain psychiatric and psychological techniques (mostly Freudian) + eastern spiritualism and which has been built on nothing more than the notes to a science fiction novel. Having read over most of the material I can safely say that it wasn’t even a well thought out one at that. There are certain, uhm, let’s call them ‘continuity errors’ in the story. Lets just say that if anyone with a brain read it they would notice immediately that certain facts in the story contradict one another.  For one, since he wrote this the human race has been able to calculate the exact age of the earth and that alone blows his story out of the water completely. Then there is the fact that some of the islands referred to (like Hawaii and Los Palmas) are less than 75 million years old. And then of course it is really funny that the volcanos themselves remain in tact despite the supposed H-Bombings.  It would have made an excellent science fiction novel if he had thought it through a little better.

That said, I think that most religions take certain liberties with the truth and is nothing more than a collective of people who believe in the same thing. Faith rather than fact being the driving force. In that way scientology has proven itself to be a formidable one and its followers have the right to believe whatever they wish and should be allowed to do so.

Here is another entertaining and informative video courtesy of NBC:

The Church of Scientology has also actively recruited celebrities to further the popularity of their religion.  Celebrity recruits include – Jenna Elfman, John Travolta, Tom Cruise, Juliette Lewis, Katie Holmes, Jason Lee, Kelly Preston, Lisa Marie Presley, Priscilla Presley  and others.  I can’t say I’m surprised that John and Tom joined as they probably already have a serious god complex (which fits in nicely with the scientology doctrine) but I can’t help but wonder what the others were thinking. The Church of Scientology does not deny that they actually have lists of celebrities, especially younger more gullible ones, who they try and recruit.

In any case :

UNCUT SCIENTOLOGY VIDEO WITH TOM CRUISE DEFENDING SCIENTOLOGY (BADLY)

Say what you want about Tom but at least he’s committed to something. I have to admire his enthusiasm even if I do think he might be a little crazy.

WILL SMITH DEFENDING TOM

DR PHIL ON THE OTHER HAND IS CLEARLY IS NOT BUYING IT

That is all from me for now, I hope you found this article informative.  In case you were wondering I didn’t set out to slam scientology but unfortunately the research all pointed in the same direction. There is still so much I could tell you but if you’re interested this article does provide you access to all of it so you can look it up yourself. I have attached some more links and information for you. If I suddenly disappear or mysteriously drop dead from pneumonia please inform the authorities. 😉

AN EXTRACT FROM OT III – Scientology’s “secret” course
rewritten for beginners by Jon Atack

OT III glossary for those who have the original materials but cannot make head nor tail of them:

7s – a set of supposed “implants”, part of the OT 3 incident.
ARC – Affinity, Reality and Communication.
ARC break – upset.
auditing – Dianetic or Scientology “counselling”.
basic basic – the earliest traumatic incident.
blow – leave.
blowdown – a sudden change in electrical resistance, shown by downward movement of the Tone Arm on the E-meter. Held to mean release of emotional “charge”.
body thetan – “a thetan who is stuck to another thetan or body but is not in control”.
BPC – bypassed charge, q.v.
BT – body thetan.
bypassed charge – upset stirred up during auditing but unhandled.
case – personal difficulties, the “reactive mind” and the “implants” and “body thetans” of OT levels.
C.C. – Clearing Course.
chain – a string of similar traumata arranged according to time.
charge – harmful energy stored in the reactive mind.
circuit – post hypnotic suggestion.
clear – an individual without a “reactive mind”.
cluster – a group of fused body thetans.
cognite – realize.
comm laggy – (comm – communication) hesitant.
C/Sing – case supervising, overseeing auditing sessions.
earlier similar – earlier similar incident or trauma.
exterior – out of the body.
exterior with full perception – out of the body and able to perceive fully (this is the goal of Scientology).
flat – finished.
F/N – floating needle, an E-meter reaction supposed to show that “charge” has been released from the topic being addressed.
GF 40 – “Green Form 40”, an auditing repair list.
grades – preparatory auditing.
grades IV & V – preparatory auditing.
grind – keep on going over a traumatic incident without change.
HDG – “Hubbard Dianetic Graduate”, Dianetic auditor.
implant – implantation of post-hypnotic suggestion.
Interiorization processes – designed to return an “exterior” being into his body.
item – something that bothers the individual psychologically.
itsa earlier itsa – itsa “it is a”, to find earlier realizations.
LIC – “list one 0”, an auditing repair list.
low TA – unable to face life.
meter – E-meter (Hubbard Electropsychometer). The psychogalvonometer adopted by Hubbard. A simple lie detector.
milazzo – an auditing technique used on OT 3.
none on OT 3 – no body thetans found.
one-hand electrode – soup can used as an electrode. The “solo auditor” uses two soup can divided by a piece of plastic connected to an E-meter.
O/R – overrun, q.v.
OT – “Operating Thetan”, a being who can operate independently of his physical body; who can supposedly cause events through intention (or will-power).
out of valence – behaving as if he were someone else (see “valence”).
overrun – taken beyond the end of an auditing process.
PC – preclear, person receiving auditing.
picture – mental image picture.
process – auditing procedure.
R3R – “routine 3 revised”, the procedure of Dianetic auditing.
R6 – the “reactive mind”, supposedly created by the “OT 3 implant” or “incident 2”.
Review – review auditing which seeks to “repair” earlier auditing errors.
rudiments – upsets, problems or “withholds” that prevent the individual from being attentive to an auditing procedure.
ruds – see “rudiments”.
running – going over a memory or following an auditing procedure.
S & D – “Search and Discovery”, procedure for finding who is supposedly suppressing the individual receiving auditing.
soaring TA – increased electrical resistance, supposed to indicate an inability to face a memory.
solo auditing – on OT 3 the subject audits himself.
SP – Suppressive Person. A critic of Scientology. Anyone who thinks that OT 3 is nonsense.
space opera – science fiction.
TA – Tone Arm action – change of electrical resistance, supposed to show relief of emotional “charge”.
Teegeeack – Earth.
theta bop – E-meter reaction, supposed to indicate that the thetan or spirit is going in and out of the body.
thetan – “an individual being … not a body”.
TR – training routine. Role play drill (which can be practiced to hypnotic excess, leading hallucination, euphoria, heightening of colour and sound and a feeling of floating). The most famous of these is TR 8 where scientologists shout “stand up” and “sit down” at an ashtray.
TR 1 – a drill to make sure you can be heard (and induce obedience, but that isn’t the point here).
TR 4 – getting questions answered (in the role-play drill the scientologist repeats either the question “do fish swim” or “do birds fly” sometimes for hours on end).
rim knob – an E-meter control.
triple flows – what was done to the individual, what was done by the individual and what the individual saw others doing.
unflat – not finished.
valence – an adopted personality.
withhold – an undisclosed moral transgression.

Further Reading:

The FBI’s H Files

Interview with L Ron Hubbard Jr 1983 Penthouse

Infiltration a Scientology doctrine

http://www.scientology.org/

http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Secrets/

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/OTIII/

http://kspaink.home.xs4all.nl/fishman/ot3.html

http://www.spaink.net/cos/essays/atack_ot3.html

http://www.xenu.net/archive/lrhbare/

http://www.xenu.net/archive/books/bfm/bfm08.htm

http://www.xenu.net/archive/books/bfm/bfmconte.htm

http://www.xenu.net/archive/lrhbare/

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Fishman/Declaration/index.html

http://www.lermanet.com/scientology-and-occult/tape-by-L-Ron-Hubbard-jr.htm

http://www.scientology.org/faq/scientology-founder/who-was-lronhubbard.html

http://www.lermanet.com/ot8-revealed/index.htm

http://www.lermanet.com/cos/openmic.htm

http://www.lermanet.com/scientologynews/latimes/lat-1c.htm

http://www.lermanet.com/shannon/index.html

http://www.lermanet.com/cos/rondewolf.htm

http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/cult/pl-dept-govt-affairs.html#goal

http://www.scientology-lies.com/

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/08/scientology_att.php

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Spending, Materialism and How to Avoid the Credit Trap

Cover of "The Joneses"

Cover of The Joneses

I just finished watching ‘The Joneses’ which incidentally was a lot better than I thought it was going to be but not quite worthy of making too much of a fuss over.  For those who didn’t get it – the name of the family in the film references the saying “keeping up with the Joneses” which is often used in modern society to reference the acquisition of things to keep up with one’s neighbours’ acquisitions.  The film does carry with it a very strong message which got me thinking about materialism and the way society operates.

It seems as if there is always ‘the next new big thing’ to buy which isn’t all that different from ‘the previous new big thing’ other than having a few minor improvements.  But what impressed upon me most is how we’re always trying to outdo or copy each other.  And there will always be the next thing because well, that’s just how it work. How else would the company get you to spend money on buying what is essentially what you already have.  That’s what keeps companies in business.  Releasing a newer model/version forces you to upgrade.  Think of it this way: Billy buys an iPhone3, John likes it but buys the iPhone4 to outdo Billy, Billy is disgruntled because John now has a better phone than him so Billy buys the iPad, John then buys an iPad and an iPhone5.  And so it continues.

Part of the human condition I suppose is to envy and covet, one sees something in the possession of someone else and if it is better than what you have then suddenly even though you had no need for or thought of it before… you want it, you want it BAD.  It could be a car, a phone, a pair of shoes, a handbag, a hairstyle or something more abstract.  It is this very phenomenon which helps plastic surgeons make a killing.  There is always someone who wants someone else’s cup size or nose or plump lips or youth.  Look at the Blackberry for instance, at this stage 90% of the people who buy it are just buying it because everyone else has it.  Personally I’ve never liked having the same thing as everyone else, which I find saves me a lot of grief in the long run. In fact I get a little irritated when other people do have the same things as me – as unavoidable as that is.

The film also addressed the repercussions of living beyond your means.  Sometimes people strive so hard for materialistic things that it can have horrific consequences.  It is never a good idea to buy things if you don’t have the money to pay for it.  For instance you should use your credit cards as a way to manage your expenses rather than to buy indiscriminately.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a veritable shopaholic, my greatest fix in life is retail therapy.  And I’m absolutely terribly at making choices, if I can afford it I’ll often end up buying everything because .. well.. I want it all and can’t decide what to leave.  A huge pay cheque = shopping heaven and in all likelihood a new wardrobe. But nothing gives me as much pleasure as buying that thing I’ve had my eye on.  For me purchasing something I want rather than need is like instant happiness – just add water and shake. I suppose as a result of this weakness of mine I’ve adopted a few survival strategies.

Credit Hole Avoidance Techniques:

1.  Avoid impulse shopping.  It almost never ends well.  Unless it is a rare shop that you are never going to visit again then you should think about it a bit.  If you don’t want it enough to go back for it then you really don’t need to buy it. Chances are more than 70% of the time you’ll forget about it in hours or days and if you don’t then you can simply go back and buy it.  If you are concerned that it will be sold out then ask the shop assistant if they can keep it for you for 2 days.

2.  Avoid malls unless shopping for something specific. (they are a death trap to any shopaholic)

3.  Don’t count your chickens before they hatch, i.e. don’t spend what you don’t have.  If you lost your job right now would you still be able to make your payments for a few months at least?  If not think twice before buying on credit.

4.  Live within your means.  If you don’t have a 6 figure salary – adapt by shopping at places in your price range.  If you buy on credit still make sure that the sum of your accounts don’t exceed what you have saved away and especially that the payments you have to make on them don’t exceed more than a certain percentage of your income.  What that percentage is is up to you but if it’s hitting 50% then you’re heading for trouble.  My rule of thumb is that if everything went to hell at that particular moment would I be able to pay everything I owe, if not then I don’t buy.

5.  Budget when buying expensive items. – i.e. buy one big thing at a time and don’t buy another until you have paid it off. Those purchases and payments add up.

6.  Keep track of your purchases. – Save your receipts. Keep a little book in your bag and either write things down as you buy them or write-up the receipts at the end of the day.  Whichever way you do it make sure you know what you are spending.

7.  Keep a wish list.  –  Whenever I want something I find an image and cut it out.  Then I think about it.  If I still want it after some time has passed then I will at some stage buy it for myself as a reward for some achievement or the other.  If it is something that I can’t afford then I hold off on buying it until it is within my budget to do so.

8.  Shop around. – I really can’t stress that enough.  Frequently something you want can be bought at a fraction of the price. Appliances especially can differ greatly in price from one retail outlet to the next.  Especially when making big purchases be sure to use a site like pricecheck to see what it is selling for elsewhere.  When in doubt google is your friend.  Also be sure to look at the comments other customers leave about the products, it is the surest way to find out: a) if a product is really as good as it seems; b) what problems you can expect to have. Doing a bit of research can save you a lot of grief.

9.  Online shopping.  If I know what I want the internet is a great way of getting it.  Not only does it allow you to shop around but in many cases the product can be delivered to your door, free of charge in some cases, saving you time and money.  Again be sure what they are charging for product and delivery and only use your credit card on secure sites.

10.  Learn how to prioritize and balance what you want with what you need.  There will always be things that need buying and there will always be things you want.  It is important to be able to tell the difference.  Make sure you have covered the things you HAVE to buy before purchasing the things you WANT to buy.

Be clever when you shop. Smart shopping can save you a fortune while enabling you to buy what you want and what you need. You can spend less and have higher quality simply by settling for a different brand.  Don’t put yourself in a compromising situation, the only thing you should compromise on is price. And before you buy something because Johnny has it or spending a fortune just to have a brand name ask yourself if the object you are buying is worth the price you are paying. And especially when buying expensive items ask yourself whether it is something you will want or need in 3 years from now, if not you may want to rethink that in order to avoid facing a future which leaves you thinking  :  “It seemed like a really good idea at the time…”

Credit cards

Image via Wikipedia


Even Carnivores Know That Animals Are Sentient Too

Pigs behind bars

Image by Farm Sanctuary via Flickr

I stumbled across two stories in my ‘green’ mailer this morning that grabbed my attention.  These two stories made me sad because of the way that people treat animals but it also made me happy because it shows me that people are slowly but surely being made to account for their behaviour towards other species.  The mistreatment of animals is something which has bothered me for a long time. Considering how many animals we have tamed and how many species we have turned into pets one would think that most human beings would have realised that animals have emotional responses and experience distress just like the rest of us.  Since we’ve figured out the difference between right and wrong more or less the same time we bit the golden apple,it stands to reason that the average person can figure out that hurting something and causing it suffering and distress is wrong.  The people who don’t acknowledge this are generally the same kind of people who rationalise using abortion as a contraceptive because a fetus is not a person….  I’ll be honest with you.. I really don’t like those people.

Here are the links to the aforementioned articles:

pupils-fall-fowl-of-law-on-youtube

nspca-slams-brutal-killing-of-rats

As De Lange said in the one article: “Animals are sentient beings and should be shown compassion and respect.” I agree 100%.  And no, I’m not of the vegan or vegetarian persuasion.  And no, I don’t favor posting horrible pictures of animals being mutilated in order to convince people to be nice.  I do try to spread the word about the mistreatment of animals and share info when I can.  I think it is important for average people who care to stand up and speak out.  Ever since Free Range products have been made available I have stopped buying regular animal products and by-products and if I can’t afford to do so then I skip on buying meat, etc., altogether.  I can’t stand the way dairy farms treat their cows and I definitely can’t support the battery chicken industry or the guys who put their cattle in little metal boxes… I understand the need to provide the masses with a cheaper solution but I’d rather not eat than know that I basically permitted torture so that I can stuff my face.

This was winner in a logo-design competition t...

Image via Wikipedia

You don’t have to give up your lifestyle in order to be a kinder, more conscientious consumer, everything has its place on the food chain after all.  And you don’t have to refrain from eliminating pests but should perhaps take the time to consider humane means of doing so. As human beings we have been given the ability to reason and we should use our reasoning abilities more often.  We are not the only species living on this planet and we are not the only species who feels.  Animals are Earthlings too.  Perhaps it is time for us as a species to re-evaluate the way that we go about doing things.


A Question of Availability

These days there are so many things that could be wrong with a guy and ladies I am not referring to body odour or any of the potential physical defects.  No.  I am in fact referring to something which we can’t detect so easily.  I am referring to availability.  Now you may think to yourself – ‘but surely that is not a problem?  Either a guy is single or he isn’t?’ But no, it is in fact far far more complicated than that.

When I was fresh out of school I formed a rather naive theory (naive as in limited not naive as in misplaced).  I called it the Sheep Theory which illustrated my very “high” opinion of men at that stage.  Though the theory had it’s faults some of it has relevance to this topic.

The Sheep Theory:

Men can basically be divided into 6 categories

1.  – black sheep – the ones who behave badly towards woman. guaranteed.  May appear in the form of a eligible bachelor an educated man. Usually jaded and cynical. Women scare him.

2.  – white sheep – the ones you want to take home to  meet your parents. They almost rush you into a relationship and then are likely take things slowly.  They are prone to be relationship hoppers. They are most likely to treat and surprise you though some of them may be too silly to think of it unless it is suggested to them.

3.  – spotted sheep

a) either white with black spots which are the ones who are generally well behaved but act out from time to time; they are gentlemen unless you cross them; they are likely to have an addictive personality and several bad habits.

b) black with white spots who are usually badly behaved but surprise you from time to time; you’ll be ready to dump him and as if sensing he’s pushed too far will try to save the situation with an elaborate romantic gesture. Unlikely by nature to settle down or change his ways. Likely to marry and get divorced.

4.  –wolves in sheep clothing –  The Player. He knows what he’s doing and he knows just what you want to hear.  He always seems like a white sheep but he never is. He’s the lover. One woman just isn’t enough for this guy. Runs at the sight of conflict or commitment.

5. – Marked sheep –  These guys may have been white or black but at one stage they were idealistic and probably romantic about relationships.  They have however been in a relationship that has forever branded them.  Either because it was so good or so bad that every relationship thereafter will forever trigger thoughts of the other party. The comparisons never end.  Their world centres around the memory of the other person.  The other person is likely to have dumped them, in which case you may be able to get through to them, or died, in which case you’ll forever be competing with a ghost.

6.- Mama’s sheep – A very special category indeed. They’re a lost cause.  Everything you do, make, wear, say will be compared with his mother.  If she doesn’t like you and he doesn’t stick up for you then do yourself a favour and bail.

I have since realised that this can be adapted to most people, not just men and that there are still a great many additions which can be made to this list.

Some men just aren’t emotionally or physically available even though they may be single and may appear interested in you.  If you’re going to play the game make sure that you know which sheep you are dealing with. Forewarned is forearmed.

Likewise men who aren’t single may be in a position where they seem available and may even go to the extent of pursuing you.  Respect yourself and the other relationship enough not to follow up on that.  If you hook up with a cheater you’ll forever wonder when he’s going to do the same to you.

Relationships are a dance and you have to find the right partner at the right time to the right tune to make it work.  You both have to be in a space where you are emotionally and physically available because simply being compatible or liking each other, even loving each other, isn’t enough to make a relationship work.

People may be unavailable for a variety of reason. They may simply not be ready. They may be figuring out who they are.  They may be trying to find their feet in a career environment. They may have unresolved issues.  They may have their priorities in life all wrong.  Whatever the reason may be always seek someone who is on the same wavelength as you and looking for the same thing.  Pay attention to the signals the people around you are giving off. Listen to what they are saying and what they’re not saying.  Match your expectations to the reality of what you are dealing with in order to avoid wasting your time waiting for the wrong person.

xx

Cinderella911


Perfect Skin Secrets

Rotating image of Optical Coherence Tomography...

Image via Wikipedia

Here are a few factors which might be causing your problem skin:

1.  Stress

2. Hormonal Imbalance

3.  Nutritional shortcomings

4. Existing skin infections/problems

5. Improper routine/incorrect products

6. External elements like pollution and smoke

SUPPLEMENTS:

What you put in affects your skin as much as what you put on.  By taking the following supplements you can avoid the problems altogether:

Fish Liver Oil – Vit A + D (preferably Vital)

Helps to keep your skin fresh and clear. Products like Roacutane use Vitamin A to solve skin problems but at a high cost to your health. By taking a smaller healthier dose, in the form of a supplement, you can still achieve the same.  The fish liver oil also acts as a natural disinfectant so when you get some bumps or infections it will help it to clear up more quickly.  If your skin is really bad you can take three of the small ones per day till it starts clearing up.

Omega 3 + 6 + 9

Helps the skin heal and regenerate more quickly.

Ginette35 (the generic of Diane35)

For women only.  It stabilizes your hormones so zits and acne and bumps are less likely to occur. Also makes pores appear smaller.

Vitamin B Complex

Helps to fight the effects of stress and vitamin deficiency.  For fastest results Vitamin B shot can be taken – just ask your doctor or pharmacist about it.

PRODUCTS:

Vichy Normaderm Exfoliating facewash – for use once bumps and zits are clear

Vichy Normaderm gel facewash – for use on affected areas (you can use the toner too but it is not a necessity

Benzac Gel – Use this at night. Will clear up zits, pimples, acne. If a reaction occurs take a piece of cotton, wet with water and use that to apply the gel.

Dalacin T Lotion – Use this every morning. It will clear up bumps and whiteheads and blackheads.

Environ Claytech Mask – Use once a week to purify skin.  It not only feeds the skin but helps to soothe it. Using a clay mask helps lift impurities and balance skin. This one is the best I’ve encountered.

Glycolic peels – Removes top layers of skin. I recommend sticking to natural fruit acid based ones.  In cases of really troubled skin you could do a series of 4, one a week, to clear the skin more quickly. I can recommend Guinot and Regim-A. The treatment removes the layers of dead skin, encourages new skin to grow and dries problem areas causing it to peel. It is also great in the treatment of some cases of scarring and pigmentation.

*A prescription may be necessary for use of Benzac, Dalicin T and Ginette35, ask your doctor or dermatologist to supply you with one.

HANDY TIPS

1.  Wash your face with a facecloth. It’s great for minimising pores. Change the cloth regularly, daily if you can, so bacteria doesn’t gather.

2.  Keep a separate towel for drying you face.

3.  Only wear make-up when you have to and clean face immediately after. No matter how good the product excessive use can clog the pores. Your skin needs a chance to breathe.

4. Don’t use an abrasive exfoliator on infected areas, if you have to exfoliate only work on the areas around the infection/s otherwise you could just be spreading the problem.  When your skin is clear use a daily exfoliating wash that contains salicylic acid.

5.  Always hydrate and/or moisturise skin after exfoliating, scrubbing or removing skin cells in any way as you’ve just removed the skins natural barrier and protective layer. The more vulnerable your skin the higher protection you need from the sun otherwise pigmentation is more likely to occur. Always opt for an spf of 30 or higher.

6.  Wash your hands regularly and try not to touch or rub at or pick at the skin on your face.

7.  Keep your hair clean and, when possible, off your face.  Your hair is oilier than imagined and product you use on it may also have a reaction with your skin when in constant contact.

8.  Blot shine with tissue or blotting paper instead of powdering.

9. Don’t overwash your face, stick to twice a day.

10. Drink lots of water and eat lots of fruit and green leafy veg.

Please note that you should always consult your doctor or pharmacist when trying new products, if something doesn’t work for you find something better.


You’re not Perfect (and you don’t have to be)

There is definitely something to be said for taking pride in yourself and your work but we place a great deal of unnecessary stress and pressure on ourselves by having unrealistic expectations and ideals.  I suppose a part of the problem lies in the fact that we live in a society where we constantly compare ourselves, weigh ourselves; and when you compare your bank account to Bill Gates (who really ain’t that great) or expect yourself to look like the model on the billboard or expect your boyfriend to be the next Brad Pitt then yes, you are setting yourself up for epic failure.

explored

Image via Wikipedia

Not all of us are destined to be the next multibillionare. The model in the window was selected from the best of the best, then she had her hair and make-up done, was styled by a professional, photographed at the best possible angle and to top it all off, retouched by airbrushing afterwards.  As for the hunt for Brad Pitt… let’s face it people, genetics was just too ridiculously kind, the rest of the men out there are normal, average looking, good kinda blokes and you should stop  judging the book by its cover anyway.

We live in a society where we are constantly bombarded with what we should look like, who we should be.  Magazines and adverts tell us what to wear, how to look.  It occurs far too often that people try to no avail to be the next celebrity.  What is wrong with just being you?  You’re human, you’re imperfect and there is nothing wrong with that.  Don’t let your magazine tell you otherwise.

I’m not saying that you should stop trying to improve yourself or strive for greatness.  I’m not saying that you should sell yourself short or settle for second best.  I’m saying that you are perfectly you.  Instead of setting unrealistic expectations and wasting hours and days and weeks of your life pursuing vanity, wasting your hard-earned money on products and clothes and stuff that probably doesn’t even work anyway…  you should perhaps rather consider just loving yourself, as you are, wrinkles and cellulite included.

I’ve been a plus model for the last 4 years and one of my greatest banes has been trying to keep up that appearance.  People think modelling is a walk in the park and that all models look amazing but I tell you now that that is not the case.  It is the shallowest most fickle career on the face of the planet.  I also give you my personal guarantee that none of us look the way we look in the ads.  If I try to maintain that kind of appearance I would be wasting my life away because grooming is good but spending your life in front of a mirror is not a life well lived.

So please for the love of all that is right and holy give yourself a break. You’re not perfect, I’m not perfect, none of us are perfect.  It is our individual imperfections that make us so very endearing. We are exactly the way that we should be so rather than trying to look like Angelina Jolie simply be the best that YOU can be, don’t compare yourself or your face or your nose or your hair with that of other people.  Love yourself first as you are or you will never be happy.

So go to the store without make-up, go a week without straightening your hair, I promise you… the world will not end.  Skip reading that beauty magazine dictating your life and your behaviour for a month or three and see what happens.  Look to the ads only to find the things that you need rather than let them dictate your life.  Find your own style.  Find your own look.  And in so doing find your own happiest most beautiful self.  Don’t set yourself up for failure, live each day as if it were your first, the world is your canvas and you are meant to play.  Who wants to be a carbon copy of someone else when you can be your own wonderful unique self?

xx Cinderella911


Best Deals in Town (South Africa)

Shopping and doing recreational activities is fun but few of us have the funds to buy and do stuff on a daily basis.  If you use the following links you can make your money go a lot farther.  Many of these sites operate on the principle of group discounts and social buying power, bringing strangers together so they can get a discount for buying the same thing.  There are many similarities between these sites and you might find a deal you just missed on the one pop up again on another for a slightly higher or lower rate so I like keeping my eye on all of them.

UbuntuDeal

The best way to enjoy and entertain yourself for your money

Every day, UbuntuDeal offers unique specials from various restaurants, beauty salons, spas, gyms, entertainment providers, shops and many more companies, at a discount of 50% to 90% off. The daily deal is on, provided that a certain amount of people buy it on the day.

The more people who buy, the more attractive the future deals they can get for you.

How it works:

  • Find your deal before it expires
  • Purchase via Payfast, EFT, bank card, ubuntudeal cash or credit card
  • Once the deal receives the recommended amount of people you receive voucher
  • Only takes place when a minimum of people buy the deal

BONUS:  You get R30 to spend with them for every friend you successfully refer after they make their first purchase.

Dealio

Bringing you the freshest, the best, the most insane deals in South Africa

Dealio focusses on ‘living the high life’ products.

How it works:

  • You hear about a deal, you buy it with your credit card, via EFT, with a uKash voucher, with a PayFast voucher, or with your prepaid Dealio Cash
  • If enough people buy the deal and it goes over the minimum the deal is ON
  • Receive an email directing you to your coupon
  • You go to your My Stuff section and print your coupon
  • Redeem your voucher

YouDeal

Get a deal a day with YouDeal

YouDeal releases a deal a day for you to choose from, their deals are valid for longer so you have a little longer to make up your mind about a deal.

How it works:

  • You sign up and get an email daily
  • If you see a deal you like you purchase it via Credit card or an EFT transfer before the expiry date
  • Pay via credit card or EFT
  • Log into your account, access your voucher

CitySlicker

Your Daily City Deal

CitySlicker scours your city for cool deals, exciting adventures, brilliant restaurants and luxuriously pamperlicious treatments and then puts them up for your buying pleasure. They also offer 50-90% discounts.

How it works

  • They find the best deals and email you daily
  • You select your deal and pay
  • They email you your voucher
  • You print and redeem it.

BONUS:  You get R25 to spend with them for every friend you refer who makes a purchase.

SA COUPONS

Where the deal is always on

SA Coupons sports a variety of deals to choose from.  There is no minimum amount of buyers needed in order for a deal to go through so you get your voucher immediately.

How it works:

  • Select Deal before it expires.
  • Pay with EFT or Credit Card via payfast which is a secure payment gateway.
  • Receive your coupon/coupon code which is sent directly to your inbox.
  • Redeem your coupon and enjoy your deal!

CityMob

A Mob with a difference

Citymob sharing those “city insider” secret places, businesses, goods, and offers to keep you “in the know” and “on the go”

  • Sign up and receive deal offers
  • Purchase
  • Once amount of necessary buyers is reached you receive your voucher
  • Redeem voucher

BONUS:  Get R25 CityMob bucks to spend when a friend you refer makes their first purchase within 72 hours of clicking on your referral.

GROUPON MyCityDeal

Discover your City for up to 90% off!

Groupon MyCityDeal

Image via Wikipedia

Groupon has multiple new and diverse deals to choose from daily.They focus on helping people discover hidden gems in their city with ridiculous specials for restaurants, leisure, spa, beauty and sport.
How it works:
  • Select your deal before it expires
  • Pay via EFT or credit card
  • You receive your printable voucher via email.
  • Redeem your voucher and discover a new side to your city!
  • Only takes place when a minimum of people buy the deal.
BONUS:  You can earn R25 Groupon credit with which to buy your vouchers by recommending Groupon to friends, relatives and colleagues who haven’t heard of Groupon. If they buy the deal you referred them to within 72 hours then you receive your R25 Groupon credit.

BidFair

Rethink the way you shop

Much like ebay and bidorbuy with a few differences.  You have to purchase your bids.  The deals however are amazing, you could buy a brand new laptop for only a couple of rand.

How it works:

  • When you sign up you get 4 free bids with which to bid
  • My recommendation is that you use those bids to try and buy a bid pack
  • Failing that you can buy yourself bids
  • Then you bid in the same way you do on the other sites.
  • Each bid adds a few seconds to the timer so no-one can outfox or cheat you by waiting till the last second.
  • If you win the bid you get your item for ridiculously cheap prices (for instance one person got the Dell inspiron notebook for 84 cents… need I say more)

BONUS:  You get 10 free bids each time you refer a user that ends up buying bids.

My personal favourites that I use regularly are UbuntuDeal and Groupon.  Hope you enjoy these sites as much as I do.  And remember – shop responsibly. ;-)

xx

Cinderella911

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