Good Grief?

DIANETICS
VS.
PSYCHOANALYSIS
by.L. Ron Hubbard

WORKING PROFESSIONALLY with the problems of the mind, it is only natural that I should frequently be asked for my opinion of Dr. Sigmund Freud’s discoveries and of psychoanalysis in general.
As a youth I was inspired by Commander Thompson of the US Navy Medical Corps, who died in San Francisco in 1943, he had studied under Freud in Vienna and later brought psychoanalysis into the navy.
From Commander Thompson I learned a great deal about the investigatory spirit that motivated Freud, who, although he was not a trained neurologist and was violently opposed by the medical men of his day, laid the very foundation of orderly research in the field of the human mind. Indeed, Freud’s postulation that full recall equals full sanity was the starting point of the work which culminated in the scientifically advanced but vastly simpler process which we call Dianetics.
Regardless of this debt to Freud, there are major differences between Dianetics and psychoanalysis which should be delineated before Dianetic’s vital advances can be fully appreciated.
A primary tenet of psychoanalysis is that the individual’s attitudes and behaviour are influenced by previous experiences so painful and shocking (trauma) that the memories of them are not available to his conscious recall. Psychoanalysis also maintains that the individual tends to relive these experiences.
Freud considered only the earlier of such experiences as original, hence important, while the analyst Rank held that the first and foremost was birth, which is said to be excruciatingly shocking and painful to the human infant. Theirs was a symbolic interpretation.
Dianetics, while agreeing with both precepts, is a doctrine that goes much farther. It has proved that birth is far from the earliest trauma and that the most important of earliest experiences usually lie in the prenatal period, particularly in the month following conception.
Dianetics also proved that the most serious parts of the prenatal experiences are those containing unconsciousness or grief they have literal rather than symbolic command power over the individual. The commands derive from the exact words of the experience.
Psychoanalysis uses as its aim and therapeutic technique the bringing into consciousness of these hidden memories for the purpose of understanding them and their influence. It hopes to gain an insight with which to analyze and possibly nullify their effects.
Dianetics makes the same approach but in a much more incisive, precise and effective fashion. It makes no attempt to analyze the effect of any incident upon the life of any person. It constantly demonstrates that the person himself is best able to understand the effect any incident has had upon him, once that incident has been clearly contacted by his own analytical mind. A Dianetic auditor, unlike the analyst, makes no effort to explain traumatic experiences. He merely helps to uncover them and erase their harmful power by the technique of frequent recounting.
This is equally true of incidents involving grief, for Dianetics has found that grief can just as easily install hidden memories of aberrative content. Dianetically recounting the loss of a loved one is enough to relieve the person of the hitherto unknown weight that oppresses his mind.
Psychoanalysis, which varies from school to school, bases its technique on discussing, interpreting and pointing out to the patient the nature and meaning of material recovered from early life. in amounts varying with each of its schools, it teaches that much of this material, particularly that which relates to birth and intrauterine life, is sheer fantasy and has no literal value.
Dianetics, on the other hand, places considerable emphasis on auditors not evaluating the data of the individual and the dangers of breaching this code. It holds that the pre-clear’s data is the literal data of actual experience.
Again, psychoanalysis divides the human personality into various elements, such as the id, ego and superego. These entities are grossly defined and considered to possess certain mystical and unknowable qualities in their details. But Dianetics cottons to good, responsible and autonomous basic-personalities, and finds that aberrative forces are nothing but the content of engrams, which, as stated in previous articles, are the recordings on a cellular level of unpleasant experiences during unconsciousness.
Psychoanalysis does not recognize the concept of cure, due perhaps to its inability to penetrate the prenatal period by its methods and successfully vitiate the recordings of traumatic experiences in that area. But Dianetics does have a concept which is attainable‑that of the Dianetic Clear, a person who has had all his engrams erased and, freed from their aberrative force, is able to work in accordance with his basic human nature.
Dianetics, accordingly, finds that human nature is fundamentally good and that its basic drive energies exert themselves over a spectrum ranging from self at one extreme to universal thought at the other. This basic drive is commonly considered to be channelled into the four dynamics of Self, Sex and Family, the Group and Mankind as a whole.
Finally, Dianetics includes in its scope the field of psychosomatic illnesses, which are but loosely linked in psychoanalytic theory. Dianetics proves that these illnesses derive from the literal content of engrams and are nothing but manifestations of their aberrative force.
In short, Dianetics integrates into one basic pattern our whole knowledge of the human personality and its normal and abnormal functioning. Moreover, Dianetics takes but a fraction of the time consumed by other methods and is within the economic and intellectual grasp of the average layman.


INTRODUCTION

While L. Ron Hubbard is known to millions as an author, philosopher and humanitarian, the fact remains that each calling stands as a complete part of his life unto itself. That is to say, it was all one story. Indeed, by adding a single word ‑ explorer‑ to the catalog, it becomes a single epic with a single thread.

By the age of nineteen, he had already travelled a quarter of a million miles, including twice to the Orient in an era where most young Americans never ventured beyond the next state.

Thereafter, with his Caribbean Motion Picture Expedition and Puerto Rican Minerological Expedition‑not to mention his aerial adventures as a pioneering aviator‑it is no surprise L. Ron Hubbard was invited into the exclusive ranks of the famed Explorers Club.

LRH shared the prestige of membership with the likes of South Pole explorer Ernest Shackleton and legend of the North Vilhjalmur Stefansson, while he himself would conduct three expeditions under the Club’s legendary flag. However, it is the aims of the Explorers Club charter that are most pertinent to L. Ron Hubbard’s life story: “To act as the wellspring of the impulse to explore and serve as a stimulus to the enduring spirit of exploration inhuman life.”

Given those aims, it was only appropriate that LRH’s first publication on Dianetics would appear in the pages of the Explorers Club journal. After all, his track of explorations are not what led him to Dianetics. Rather, Dianetics is that exploration.

So here, in the following pages, is that first‑ever published work on the hitherto uncharted realm of the human mind.

Probably the strangest place an explorer can go is inside. The earth.’s frontiers are being rapidly gobbled up by the fleet flight of planes. The stars are not yet reached. But there still exists a dark unknown which, if a strange horizon for an adventurer, is nevertheless capable of producing some adventures scarcely rivalled by Livingstone.

During the course of three minor expeditions before the war, the realization came about that one of the most dangerous risks in the field of exploration is not located in the vicinity of the geographical goal, but is hard by ‑from the first moment of planning until the last of disbanding‑ the unbalanced member of the party.

After some years of war it became even more of a conviction that there are some things more dangerous than the kamikaze, just as they had been more dangerous than malaria.

For a mathematician and navigator to become involved in the complexities of the mental frontiers is not particularly strange. To produce something like results from his explorations into the further realms of the unknown definitely is.

There is no reason here to become expansive on the subject of Dianetics. The backbone of the science can be found where it belongs, in the textbook and in professional publications on the mind and body.

But in that Dianetics was evolved because in exploration for the purpose of bettering expl results and safeguarding the success of expeditions, it would be strange, indeed, to make no mention of it in its generative field.

Based on heuristic principles and specifically on the postulate that the mission of life is survival and that the survival is in several lines rather than merely one, Diabetics contains several basic axioms which seem to approximate laws. But regardless of what it approximates, it works. Man surviving as himself, as his progeny, as his group or as his race, is still surviving equally well. The mechanisms of his body and his society are evidently intended to follow this axiom, since by following it in a scientific manner, several other discoveries came about. That Dianetics is of interest to medicine, in that it apparently conquers and cures all psychosomatic ills, and that it is of interest to institutions, where it has a salutary effect upon the insane, is beyond the province of its original intention.
What was wanted was a therapy which could be applied by expedition commanders or doctors which would work easily and in all cases to restore rationale to party members unduly affected by hardship and, more important, which, would provide a yardstick in the selection of personnel which would obviate potential mental and physical failure. That goal was gained and, when gained, was found to be relatively simple.

It was discovered that the human mind has not been too well credited for its actual ability. Rather than a weak and capricious organ, it was found to be inherently capable of amazing strength and stamina and that one of its primary purposes was to be right and always right. The normal mind can be restored to the optimum mind rather easily, but that is again beside the point.

The focus of infection of mental and psychosomatic ills was discovered in a hidden but relatively accessible place. During moments when the conscious mind (Dianetically, the “analytical mind”) is suspended in operation (by injury, anaesthesia, illness such as delirium), there is a more fundamental level still in operation, still recording. Anything said to a man when he is unconscious from pain or shock is registered in its entirety. It then operates. on the return of consciousness, as a posthypnotic suggestion, with the additional menace of holding in the body the pain of the incident. The content of the moment or period of unconsciousness is called, Dianetically, an “engram.” The words contained in the engram are like commands, hidden but powerful when restimulated by an analogous situation in later life. The pain in the engram becomes the psychosomatic illness. Any perceptic in the engram is capable of reviving some of the strength of that engrain when it is observed in the environment. The engram so planted in the mind has its content of perceptics ‑smell, sound, sight, tactile, organic sensations. It has them in a precise order. The engram can be played off like a drama when awake life perceptics restimulate it, which is to say that for every perceptic in the engram there are a variety of equivalents in awake environment. A man becomes weary, sees one or more of the perceptics in his surroundings and becomes subject to the engram within him.
For example, a man falls into a crevasse and is knocked out. His companions haul him forth. One is angry and comments over the unconscious man that he was always a clumsy fool and that the party would be better off without him. Another member defends the unconscious man, saying he is a good fellow. The unconscious man received a blow on the head in his fall, and his arm was slightly injured in the recovery.

After regaining consciousness the injured man has no “memory” of the incident, which is to say, he cannot recall it consciously. The incident may lie dormant and never become active. But for our example, the man who criticized him one day says, at the moment when the formerly injured man is weary, that somebody is a clumsy fool. Unreasonably, the formerly injured man will become intensely antagonistic. He will also feel an unreasonable friendship for the man who spoke up for him. Now the engram is keyed‑in or has become a part of the subject’s behaviour pattern. The next time the injured man is on ice, the sight of it makes his head ache and his arm hurt in dwindling ratio to how tired he gets. Further, he may pick up a chronic headache or arthritis in his arm, the injuries being continually restimulated by such things as the smell of his parka, the presence of the other members, etc., etc.

That is an engram at work. How far it is capable of reducing a man’s efficiency is a matter of many an explorer’s log. A case of malaria can be restimulated. A man has malaria in a certain environment. Now having had it, he becomes far more susceptible to malaria psychosomatically in that same environment and with those people who tended him. He can become a serious drag on the party, for each new slight touch restimulates the old one, and what should have been a mild case is a highly painful one, being the first case of malaria plus all the subsequent cases. Malaria is a bug. As a bug it can be handled. As a engram it will defy cure, for there is no Atabrine for engrams, short of their removal.

Almost all serious engrams occur early in life‑amazingly early. The early ones form a basic structure to which it is very simple to append later engrams. Engrams can wait from childhood to be “keyed‑in” and active at twenty‑five, fifty, seventy years of age.

The engram, a period of unconsciousness which contained physical pain and apparent antagonism to the survival of the individual, has been isolated as the sole source of mental aberration. A certain part of the mind seems to be devoted to their reception and retention. In Dianetics, this part of the mind is called the “reactive mind.” From this source, without otherwise disclosing themselves, the engrams act upon the body and cause the body to act in society in certain patterns. The reactive mind is alert during periods when the analytical mind (or conscious mind) is reduced in awareness.
It is a matter of clinical proof that the persistency, ambition, drive, willpower and personal force are in no degree dependent upon these engrams. The engram can only inhibit the natural drives. The value of this unconscious experience is valuable in an animal. It is a distinct liability to Man, who has outgrown his animal environment. The reactive mind, so long as it limits its activity to withdrawing, instinctively, a hand from a hot stove, is doing good service. With a vocabulary in it, it becomes deadly to the organism. Those familiar with general semantics will understand how the reactive mind computes when it is stated that it “computes” in identities. The word horse in the reactive mind may mean a headache, a broken leg and a scream. Such an engram, one containing these things, would be computed that a broken leg equals a scream, a scream a broken leg, a horse equals a scream, etc etc. If the engram contained fright, then all these things are fright. The value of such a mental computation is entirely negative, inhibits the perfect calculations of which the analytical mind is capable and reduces the ability of the individual to be rational about, as noted, horses. Engrams also contain complimentary material which can bring about a manic state and which, again, is of slight use in computations.
The technique of Dianetics deletes from the reactive mind all engrams. They were hidden beneath layers of unconsciousness and unknown to the conscious mind before therapy. They were inhibitive to good impulses and productive of bad ones. After they are deleted by therapy, the conscious mind gains certain attributes it did not possess before, the individual is capable of greater efforts, his actual personality is greatly heightened and his ability to survive is enormously enhanced.

Engrams are contagious. A man has one he dramatizes as a rage pattern, and everyone has many. He dramatizes it while another individual is partly unconscious. The engram has now been implanted in the second individual.

Deletion of all engrams is practicable. The technique is relatively simple. There is little space here to give more than a most cursory glance at it, but an expedition commander can use it without any great knowledge of medicine and no other knowledge of psychiatry, which was the original goal at the beginning of research eleven years ago.

Therapy does not depend upon hypnosis. A state has been found which is much more desirable. Hypnosis is amnesia trance for the purpose of planting suggestions. The problem of hypnosis is to put the patient to sleep. The purpose of the Dianetic reverie is to wake the patient up. Narcosynthesis and other drug therapies have some slight use in Dianetics. But the primary technique consists of stimulants. The best stimulant is Benzedrine. In its absence an overdose of coffee will do.

The patient is made to lie down and shut his eyes. The operator begins to count. He suggests the patient relax. At length the patient.’s eyelids will flutter. (Medicine drumming will also accomplish this without producing a harmful amnesia hypnotic state.) He is permitted to relax further. Then the operator tells him that his motor strip (his sensory perceptions) is returning to a time of unconsciousness, the time being specifically named. With coaxing, the patient will begin to feel the injury and sense himself in the location and time of the accident. He is then asked to recount all that happened, word for word, feeling by feeling. He is asked to do this several times, each time being “placed back”‘ at the beginning of the incident. The period of unconsciousness he experienced then should begin to lighten and he can at length recount everything which went on when he was unconscious. It is necessary that he feel and see everything in the period of unconsciousness each time he recounts the incident. Nothing is said about his being able to remember and no hypnoanalysis technique is used. He merely recounts it until he cannot longer feel any pain in it, until he is entirely cheerful about it. Then he is brought to present time by just that command and told to again recount the incident. He may have to do this twice or three times in present time, for the somatic pains will again have returned. The treatment is repeated two days later. All feeling of injury from it and all aberrative factors in the incident will vanish.

This technique is outlined here for use on a patient who is not cleared of engrams prior to this new accident. A Dianetic Clearing from the first unconsciousness of a lifetime to the present time places a man in a situation which is almost injury‑ and aberration‑proof.

The emergency aspect of this technique is valuable. Clinical tests have shown that when shock is Dianetically removed immediately after an injury, the rate of healing is enormously accelerated, so much so that burns have healed in a few hours. Malaria and various fevers, when their peak effects are Dianetically removed, improve with great speed.

Incidents of hardship and deprivation can be markedly lightened in the recovery period by removing their psychic shock.

It is quite remarkable that the various manifestations and “cures” of native witchcraft and shamanism can be uniformly duplicated and bettered by a modern science like Dianetics. An engram can bring about a mental hallucination (with a simple command like “You can only listen to me!”) which gives a “demon” aspect. The individual containing such an engram would be considered by a shaman to have within him a demon, for the demon is the only sonic memory the individual would have.

While Dianetics does not consider the brain as an electronic computing machine except for purposes of analogy, it is nevertheless a member of that class of sciences to which belong general semantics and cybernetics and, as a matter of fact, forms a bridge between the two.  There can be as many engramic commands as there be can be words in a language and as many engramic injuries as there can be illnesses and accidents. Therefore it is no surprise that circuits can be set up in the brain which approximate any school of witchcraft, shamanism and religion known to Man. The Banks Islander sitting around talking to his deceased relatives and getting  answers would be found, on examination, to have a fine array of engrams and a very active reactive mind.

The selection of personnel who will not be subject to sullen or hostile behaviour and who will not become ill under various climatic conditions depends in a large measure on the perceptions of the individual. If an individual can recall things he has heard by simply hearing them again (audio imagery), if he can recall things he has seen simply by seeing them again, in colour, in his mind (visio imagery), if he can imagine in terms of colour‑visio and tone‑audio (imagine in terms of colour motion pictures with sound) and if he can recall his father and mother as of early childhood, the chances are very good that he will prove to be a very stable man.

Additionally, he should prove to be, within the limits of his intelligence and physical being, an able man. Unfortunately, such persons are quite rare.

If a man has definite anger patterns, worries about things and has unthinking prejudices, he may prove difficult, for these are the outward manifestations of a large reactive mind.

Taking a man back into a geographical area where he has many times been may be profitable from an experience standpoint, but a record of accidents and misadventures in that area would be a definite point of consideration. While it would not mean entirely that a man was a bad risk, there is a double factor involved. He might have had his accidents because he contained a variety of engrams which commanded that he have accidents (the accident‑prone is the extreme case). And having had accidents in the area, he probably gained several engrams there which would reduce his efficiency in that area.

A man whose service, in point of experience, would be invaluable to an expedition might be, in point of potential aberration, a risk to that expedition. There is a remedy for such a valuable man: he can be cleared of his engrams, in which case his past record of accidents and failures becomes entirely invalid as a criteria for future conduct.

Dianetics has been variously tested and has been found to work uniformly and predictably in all cases. There are many more aspects to it than have been elucidated here, but it is possible to use just these facts to obtain excellent results. In a true, complete erasure of past moments of unconsciousness, the engram disappears utterly. In the above case it will probably only alleviate, return slightly in three days and then reduce to a null level of reaction and stay that way, no longer affecting the patient.

The science has the virtue that it can be worked by any intelligent man after only a few weeks of study. That is, for the entire art of Clearing a case. An intelligent man could learn all he needed to know about alleviation of a case in a few hours of reading.

The original goal was to provide expedition commanders and doctors with a therapy tool which would increase the efficiency of personnel and reduce incidence of personnel failure. Dianetics, after eleven years of research and testing, bit off a trifle more than it had bargained for. There had been no intention to go holistic and solve the ills of Mankind. That it began to cure psychosomatic illnesses such as arthritis, migraine, ulcers, coronary, asthma, frostbite, bursitis, allergies, etc., etc., that it did quick things about mental derangement on the institutional level and began to replace that strange barbarism, the prefrontal lobotomy, was entirely outside the initial scheme of research. That it would now sail off on a new course to chase down the cause of cancer and cure it was not on the chart

If it does these things, as it appears to be doing, it is in the medical and psychiatric province. No such intentions existed when the terra incognita of the mind was explored for its answers. It was intended as a tool for the expedition commander and doctor who are faced with choosing personnel and maintaining that personnel in good health. It is hoped that to these it will be of good value. If it is not, then despite acclaim, it will in some measure have failed.


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Voice of Martyrs

[RICHARD WURMBRAND – FOUNDER OF THE VOICE OF THE MARTYRS – CHAPTER 2]

I worked in both an official and underground manner until February 29, 1948. On that beautiful Sunday, on my way to church, I was kidnapped from the street by the secret police.
I had often wondered what was meant by “man-stealing,” which is  mentioned several times in the Bible. Communism has taught us.
Many at that time were kidnapped like this. A van of the secret police stopped in front of me, four men jumped out and pushed me into the vehicle. I was taken to a prison where I was kept secretly for over eight years. During that time, no one knew whether I was alive or dead. My wife was visited by the secret police who posed as released fellow-prisoners. They told her that they had attended my burial. She was heartbroken.
Thousands of believers from churches of all denominations were sent to prison at that time. Not only were clergymen put in jail,  but also simple peasants, young boys and girls who witnessed for their faith. The prisons were full, and in Romania,as in all Communist countries, to be in prison means to be tortured.
The tortures were sometimes horrible. I prefer not to speak too much about those through which I have passed; it is too painful. When I do, I cannot sleep at night. In the book In God’s Underground, I recount many details of our experiences with God in jail.
A pastor by the name of Florescu was tortured with red-hot iron pokers and with knives. He was beaten very badly. Then starving rats were driven into his cell through a large pipe. He could not sleep because he had to defend himself all the time. If he rested a moment, the rats would attack him. He was forced to stand for two weeks, day and night. The Communists wished to compel him to betray his brethren, but he resisted steadfastly. Eventually, they brought his fourteen-year-old son to the prison and began to whip the boy in front of his father, saying that they would continue to beat him until the pastor said what they wished him to say. The poor man was half mad. He bore it as long as he could, then he cried to his son, “Alexander, I must say what they want! I can’t bear your beating anymore!” The son answered, “Father, don’t do me the injustice of having a traitor as a parent. Withstand! If they kill me, I will die with the words, “Jesus and my fatherland.”  The Communists, enraged, fell upon the child and beat him to death, with blood spattered over the walls of the cell. He died praising God. Our dear brother Florescu was never the same after seeing this.
Handcuffs with sharp nails on the insides were placed on our wrists. If we were totally still, they didn’t cut us. But in the bitterly cold cells, when we shook with cold, our wrists would be tom by the nails.
Christians were hung upside-down on ropes and beaten so severely that their bodies swung back and forth under the blows. Christians were also placed in ice-box “refrigerator cells,” which were so cold that frost and ice covered the inside. I was thrown into one while I had very little clothing on. Prison doctors would watch through an opening until they saw symptoms of freezing to death, then they would give a signal and guards would rush in to take us out and make us warm. When we were finally warmed, we would immediately be put back into the ice-box cells to freeze. Thawing out, then freezing to within minutes of death, then being thawed out-over and over again! Even today there are times when I can’t bear to open a refrigerator.
We Christians were sometimes forced to stand in wooden boxes only slightly larger than we were. This left no room to move. Dozens of sharp nails were driven into every side of the box, with their razor-sharp points sticking through the wood.
While we stood perfectly still, it was all right. But we were forced to stand in these boxes for endless hours; when we became fatigued and swayed with tiredness, the nails would pierce our bodies. If we moved or twitched a muscle-there were the horrible nails.
What the Communists have done to Christians surpasses any possibility of human understanding. I have seen Communists whose faces while torturing believers shone with rapturous joy. They cried out while torturing the Christians, “We are the devil!”
We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and powers of evil. We saw that communism is not from men but from the devil. It is a spiritual force – a force of evil — and can only be countered by a greater spiritual force, the Spirit of God.
I often asked the torturers, “Don’t you have pity in your hearts?” They usually answered with quotations from Lenin: “You cannot make omelettes without breaking the shells of eggs,” and “You cannot cut wood without making chips fly.” I said again, “I know these quotations from Lenin. But there is a difference. When you cut a piece of wood it feels nothing. But here you are dealing with human beings. Every beating produces pain and there are mothers who weep.” It was in vain. They are materialists. For them nothing besides matter exists and to them a man is like wood, like an eggshell. With this belief they sink to unthinkable depths of cruelty
The cruelty of atheism is hard to believe. When a man has no faith in the reward of good or the punishment of evil, there is no reason to be human. There is no restraint from the depths of evil that is in man. The Communist torturers often said, “There is no God, no hereafter, no punishment for evil. We can do what we wish.” I heard one torturer say, “I thank God, in whom I don’t believe, that I have lived to this hour when I can express all the evil in my heart.” He expressed it in unbelievable brutality and torture inflicted on prisoners.
I am very sorry if a crocodile eats a man, but I can’t reproach the crocodile. He is not a moral being. So no reproaches can be made to the Communists. Communism has destroyed any moral sense in them. They boasted that they had no pity in their hearts.
I learned from them. As they allowed no place for Jesus in their hearts, I decided I would leave not the smallest place for Satan in mine.
I have testified before the Internal Security Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate. There I described awful things, such as Christians tied to crosses for four days and nights. The crosses were placed on the floor and hundreds of prisoners had to fulfil their bodily necessities over the faces and bodies of the crucified ones. Then the crosses were erected again and the Communists jeered and mocked: “Look at your Christ! How beautiful he is! What fragrance he brings from heaven!” I described how, after being driven nearly insane with tortures, a priest was forced to consecrate human excrement and urine and give Holy Communion to Christians in this form. This happened in the Romanian prison of Pitesti. I asked the priest afterward why he did not prefer to die rather than participate in this mockery. He answered, “Don’t judge me, please! I have suffered more than Christ!” All the biblical descriptions of hell and the pains of Dante’s Inferno are nothing in comparison with the tortures in Communist prisons.
This is only a very small part of what happened on one Sunday and on many other Sundays in the prison of Pitesti. Other things simply cannot be told. My heart would fail if I should tell them again and again. They are too terrible and obscene to put in writing. That is what your brothers in Christ went through and go through now!
If I were to continue to tell all the horrors of Communist tortures and all the self-sacrifices of Christians, I would never finish. Not only were the tortures known, but the heroic deeds were known also. The heroic examples of those in prison greatly inspired the brethren who were still free.
One of the really great heroes of the faith was Pastor Milan Haimovici.
The prisons were overcrowded and the guards did not know us by name. They called out for those who had been sentenced to get twenty-five lashes with a whip for having broken some prison rule. Innumerable times, Pastor Haimovici went to get the beating in the place of someone else. By this he won the respect of other prisoners not only for himself, but also for Christ whom he represented.
One of our workers in the Underground Church was a young girl. The Communist police discovered that she secretly spread Gospels and taught children about Christ. They decided to arrest her. But to make the arrest as agonizing and painful as they could, they decided to delay her arrest a few weeks, until the day she was to be married. On her wedding day, the girl was dressed as a bride-the most wonderful, joyous day in a girl’s life! Suddenly, the door burst open and the secret police rushed in.
When the bride saw the secret police, she held out her arms toward them to be handcuffed. They roughly put the manacles on her wrists. She looked toward her beloved, then kissed the chains and said, “I thank my heavenly Bridegroom for this jewel He has presented to me on my marriage day. I thank Him that I am worthy to suffer for Him.” She was dragged off with weeping Christians and a weeping bridegroom left behind. They knew what happens to young Christian girls in the hands of Communist guards. Her bridegroom faithfully waited for her. After five years she was released-a destroyed, broken woman, looking thirty years older. She said it was the least she could do for her Christ. Such beautiful Christians are in the Underground Church.

Resisting Brainwashing
Westerners  have  probably  heard  about  brainwashing in  the Korean and Vietnam Wars.  I  have passed through brainwashing myself. It is the most horrible torture.
We had to sit for seventeen hours a day-for weeks, months, and years-hearing:
Communism is good!
Communism is good!
Communism is good!
Christianity is stupid!
Christianity is stupid’
Christianity is stupid’
Give up!
Give up!
Give up!
Several Christians have asked me how we could resist brainwashing. There is only one method of resistance to brainwashing: it is “heart washing.” If the heart is cleansed by the love of Jesus Christ, and if the heart loves Him, one can resist all tortures. What  would  a loving  bride  not  do for  a loving  bridegroom? What would a loving mother not do for her child? If you love Christ as Mary did, who had Christ as a baby in her arms, if  you love Jesus Several Christians have asked me how we could resist brainwashing. There is only one as a  bride loves  her  bridegroom,  then you can resist such tortures.
God will judge us not according to how much we endured, but how much we could love. The Christians who suffered for their faith in prisons could love. I am a witness that they could love God and men.
The tortures and brutality continued without interruption.
When I lost consciousness or became too dazed to give the torturers any further hopes of confession, I would be returned to my cell. There I would lie, untended and half dead, to regain a little strength so they could work on me again. Many died at this stage, but somehow my strength always managed to return. In the ensuing years, in several different prisons, they broke four vertebrae in my back, and many other bones. They carved me in a dozen places. They burned and cut eighteen holes in my body.
When my family and I were ransomed out of Romania and brought to Norway, doctors in Oslo, seeing all this and the scars in my lungs from tuberculosis, declared that my being alive today is a pure miracle! According to their medical books, I should have been dead for years. I know myself that it is a miracle. God is a God of miracles.
I believe God performed this wonder so that you could hear my voice crying out on behalf of the Underground Church in persecuted countries. He allowed one to come out alive and cry aloud the message of your suffering, faithful brethren.

Brief Freedom–Then Re-Arrest
The year 1956 arrived. I had been in prison eight-and-a-half years. I had lost much weight, gained ugly scars, been brutally beaten and kicked, derided, starved, pressured, questioned ad nauseum, threatened, and neglected. None of this had produced the results my captors were seeking. So, in discouragement -and amid protests over my imprisonment-they turned me loose.
I was allowed to return to my old position as pastor for just one week. I preached two sermons. Then they called me in and told me that I could not preach anymore, nor engage in any further religious activity What had I said? I had counselled my parishioners to have “patience, patience, and more patience.” “This means you are telling them to be patient and the Americans will come and deliver them,” the police shouted at me. I had also said that the wheel turns and times change. “You are telling them the Communists will not continue to rule! These are counterrevolutionary lies!” they screamed. So that was the end of my public ministry.
Probably the authorities believed that I would be afraid to defy them and continue with underground witnessing. That was where they were wrong. Secretly, and with my family’s support, I returned to the work I had been doing before.
Again I witnessed to hidden groups of the faithful, coming and going like a ghost under the protection of those who could be trusted. This time I had scars to corroborate my message about the evil of the atheist viewpoint and to encourage faltering souls to trust God and be brave. I directed a secret network of evangelists who helped each other spread the gospel under providentially blinded Communist eyes. After all, if a man can be so blind as to not see the hand of God at work, perhaps he will not see that of an evangelist either.
Eventually, the ceaseless interest of the police in my activities and whereabouts paid off for them. Again I was discovered and imprisoned. For some reason they did not imprison my family this time, perhaps because of all the publicity I had received. I had had eight-and-a-half years of prison and then a couple years of relative freedom. Now I was to be imprisoned for five-and-a-half years more.
My second imprisonment was in many ways worse than the first. I knew well what to expect. My physical condition became very bad almost immediately. But we continued the work of the Underground Church where we could-in Communist prisons.

We Made a Deal: We Preached and They Beat
It was strictly forbidden to preach to other prisoners, as it is in captive nations today. It was understood that whoever was caught doing this received a severe beating. A number of us decided to pay the price for the privilege of preaching, so we accepted their terms. It was a deal: we preached and they beat us. We were happy preaching; they were happy beating us-so everyone was happy.
The following scene happened more times than I can remember. A brother was preaching to the other prisoners when the guards suddenly burst in, surprising him halfway through a phrase. They hauled him down the corridor to their “beating room.” After what seemed an endless beating, they brought him back and threw him -bloody and bruised– on the prison floor. Slowly, he picked up his battered body, painfully straightened his clothing and said, “Now, brethren, where did I leave off when I was interrupted.?” He continued his gospel message!
I have seen beautiful things!
Sometimes the preachers were laymen, simple men inspired by the Holy Spirit who often preached beautifully. All of their heart was in their words, for to preach under such punitive circumstances was no trifling matter. Then the guards would come and take the preacher out and beat him half to death.
In the prison of Gherla, a Christian named Grecu was sentenced to be beaten to death. The process lasted a few weeks, during which he was beaten very slowly. He would be hit once at the bottom of the feet with a rubber club, and then left. After some minutes he would again be hit, after another few minutes again. He was beaten on the testicles. Then a doctor gave him an injection. He recovered and was given very good food to restore his strength, and then he was beaten again, until he eventually died under this slow, repeated beating. One who led this torture was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, whose name was Reek.
During the beatings, Reck said something to Grecu that the Communists often said to Christians, “You know, I am God. I have power of life and death over you. The one who is in heaven cannot decide to keep you in life. Everything depends upon me. If I wish, you live. If I wish, you are killed. I am God!” So he mocked the Christian.
Brother Grecu, in this horrible situation, gave Reck a very interesting answer, which I heard afterward from Reck himself. He said, “You don’t know what a deep thing you have said. Every caterpillar is in reality a butterfly, if it develops rightly. You have not been created to be a torturer, a man who kills. You have been created to become like God, with the life of the Godhead in your heart. Many who have been persecutors like you, have come to realize -like the apostle Paul- that it is shameful for a man to commit atrocities, that they can do much better things. So they have become partakers of the divine nature. Jesus said to the Jews of His time, `Ye are gods.’ Believe me, Mr. Reck, your real calling is to be Godlike -to have the character of God, not a torturer.”
At that moment Reck did not pay much attention to the words of his victim, as Saul of Tarsus did not pay attention to the beautiful witness of Stephen being killed in his presence. But those words worked in his heart. And Reck later understood that this was his real calling.
One great lesson arose from all the beatings, tortures, and butchery of the Communists: that the spirit is master of the body. We felt the torture, but it often seemed as something distant and fat removed from the spirit which was lost in the glory of Christ and His presence with us.
When we were given one slice of bread a week and dirty soup every day, we decided we would faithfully “tithe” even then. Every tenth week week we took the slice of bread and gave it to weaker brethren as our “tithe” to the Master.
When one Christian was sentenced to death, he was allowed to see his wife before being executed. His last words to his wife were, “You must know that I die loving those who kill me. They don’t know what they do and my last request of you is to love them, too. Don’t have bitterness in your heart because they killed your beloved one. We will meet in heaven.”
These words impressed the officer of the secret police who attended the discussion between the two. He lacer told me the story in prison where he had been sent for becoming a Christian.
In the Tirgu-Ocna prison was a very young prisoner named Matchevici. He had been put in prison at the age of eighteen. Because of the tortures, he was very sick with tuberculosis. His family found out somehow chat he was in this grave state of health and sent him one hundred bottles of streptomycin, which could make the difference between life and death. The political officer of the prison called Matchevici and showed him the parcel and said, “Here is the medicine that can save your life. But you are not allowed to receive parcels from your family. Personally, I would like to help you. You are young. I would not like you to die in prison. Help me to be able co help you! Give me information against your fellow prisoners and this will enable me co justify before my superiors why I gave you the parcel.”
Matchevici answered, “I don’t wish to remain alive and be ashamed to look in a mirror, because I will see the face of a traitor. I cannot accept such a condition. I prefer to die.” The officer of the secret police shook Matchevici’s hand and said, “I congratulate you. I didn’t expect any other answer from you. But I would like to make another proposal. Some of the prisoners have become our informers. They claim to be Communist and they are denouncing you. They play a double role. We have no confidence in them. We would like to know in what measure they are sincere. Toward you they are traitors who are doing you much harm, informing us about your words and deeds. I understand that you don’t want to betray your comrades. But give us information about those who oppose you so you will save your life!” Matchevici answered, as promptly as the first time, “I am a disciple of Christ and He has taught us to love even our enemies. The men who betray us do us much harm but I cannot reward evil with evil. I cannot give information even against them. I pity them. I pray for them. I don’t wish to have any connection with the Communists.” Matchevici came back from the discussion with the political officer and died in the same cell I was in. I saw him die -he was praising God. Love conquered even the natural thirst for life.
If a poor man is a great lover of music, he gives his last dollar to listen to a concert. He is then without money, but he does not feel frustrated. He has heard beautiful things. I don’t feel frustrated to have lost many years in prison. I have seen beautiful things. I myself have been among the weak and insignificant ones in prison, but have had the privilege to be in the same jail with great saints, heroes of faith who equalled the Christians of the first centuries. They went gladly to die for Christ. The spiritual beauty of such saints and heroes of faith can never be described.
The things that I say here are not exceptional. The super-natural things have become natural to Christians in the Underground Church who have returned to their first love.
Before entering prison, I loved Christ very much. Now, after having seen the Bride of Christ (His spiritual Body) in prison, I would say that I love the Underground Church almost as much as I love Christ Himself. I have seen her beauty, her spirit of sacrifice.

What Happened to My Wife and Son?
I was taken away from my wife and I did not know what had happened to her. Only after many years I learned that she had been put in prison, too. Christian women suffer much more than men in prison. Girls have been raped by brutal guards. The mockery, the obscenity, is horrible. The women were forced to work at hard labour building a canal, fulfilling the same work-load as men. They shovelled earth in winter. Prostitutes were made overseers and competed in torturing the faithful. My wife has eaten grass like cattle to stay alive. Hungry prisoners ate rats and snakes at this canal. One of the joys of the guards on Sundays was to throw women into the Danube and then fish them out, to laugh about them, to mock them about their wet bodies, to throw them back and fish them out again. My wife was thrown in the Danube in this manner.
My son was left to wander on the street when his mother and father were taken away. Mihai had been very religious from childhood and very interested in matters of faith. At the age of nine, when his parents were taken away from him, he passed through a crisis in his Christian life. He became bitter and questioned all of his religion. He had problems that children usually don’t have at this age. He had to think about earning his living. It was a crime to help families of Christian martyrs. Two ladies who helped him were arrested and beaten so badly that they were permanently crippled. A lady who risked her life and took Mihai into her house was sentenced to eight years in prison for the crime of having helped families of prisoners. All of her teeth were kicked out and her bones were broken. She will never be able to work again. She, too, will be a cripple for life.

Mihai, Believe in ]esus!”
At the age of eleven, Mihai began to earn his living as a regular worker. Suffering had produced a wavering in his faith. But after two years of Sabina’s imprisonment he was allowed to see her. He went to the Communist prison and saw his mother behind iron bars. She was dirty, thin, with calloused hands, wearing the shabby uniform of a prisoner. He scarcely recognized her. Her first words were, “Mihai, believe in Jesus!” The guards, in a savage rage, pulled her away from Mihai and took her out. Mihai wept seeing his mother dragged away. This minute was the minute of his conversion. He knew that if Christ can be loved under such circumstances, He surely is the true Saviour. He said afterward, “If Christianity had no other arguments in its favour than the fact that my mother believes in it, this is enough for me.” That was the day he fully accepted Christ.
In school, he had a continuous battle for existence. He was a good pupil and as a reward he was given a red necktie -a sign of membership in the Young Communist Pioneers. My son said, “I will never wear the necktie of those who put my father and mother in prison.” He was expelled from school for this. After having lost a year, he entered school again, hiding the fact that he was the son of Christian prisoners.
Later, he had to write a thesis against the Bible. In this thesis he wrote: “The arguments against the Bible are weak and the quotations against the Bible are untrue. Surely the professor has not read the Bible. The Bible is in harmony with science.” Again he was expelled. This time he had to lose two school years.
In the end he was allowed to study in the seminary. Here he was taught “Marxist theology ” Everything was explained according to the pattern of Karl Marx. Mihai protested publicly in class, and other students joined him. The result was that he was expelled and could not finish his theological studies.
Once in school, when a professor delivered an atheistic speech, my son rose and contradicted the professor, telling him what responsibility he took upon himself by leading so many young men astray. The entire class took his side. It was necessary that one should have the courage to speak out first, then all the others were on his side. To get an education he constantly tried to hide the fact that he was the son of Wurmbrand, a Christian prisoner. But often it was discovered and again there was the familiar scene of being called to the school director’s office and being expelled.
Mihai also suffered much from hunger. Many families of jailed Christians in Communist countries nearly starve to death. It is a great crime to help them.
I will tell you just one case of suffering of a family that I know personally. A brother entered prison on account of his work in the Underground Church. He left behind a wife with six children. His older daughters of seventeen and nineteen could not get a job. The only one that gives jobs in a Communist country is the state, and it does not give jobs to children of “criminal” Christians. Please don’t judge this story according to moral standards; just receive the facts. The two daughters of a Christian martyr -Christians themselves- became prostitutes to support their younger brothers and sick mother. Their younger brother of fourteen became insane when he saw it and had to be put in an asylum. When years later the imprisoned father returned, his only prayer was, “God, take me to prison again. I cannot bear to see this.” His prayer was answered and he was jailed again for the crime of having witnessed for Christ to children. His daughters were no longer prostitutes, as they received jobs by complying with the demands of the secret police -they became informers. As daughters of a Christian martyr, they are received with honor in every house. They listen and then they report everything they hear to the secret police. Don’t just say that this is ugly and immoral –of course
it is- but ask yourself if it is not also your sin that such tragedies occur, that such Christian families are left alone, and are not helped by you who are free.


sound is god

According to George Harrison’s good friend Ravi Shankar, “sound’ is God and music can bring you to God or take you to hell – depending on which type/format it is.

I’m not sure that’s 100% right, though.

One of the most ancient Indian [Hindu] revelations is called the Sound Incarnation of God – The Sri Mad Bhagavatam. Thus, in this case God is sound. But generally speaking, God might not be thought of as sound at all.

Ravi Shankar is a musician and the fact he’s from the East doesn’t stop him from seeing himself in terms of ego and ultimate truth/realization. But there is a belief that ‘”sound” is very important when it comes to God, which is why the most successful of the Eastern teachers who have travelled to the West devote a great deal of their time to talking, face to face, or to vast crowds, it makes no difference – it’s the fact of using words to make people curious and then take them that one step further, where they are ready to give material things.

Curiosity is a strange thing. Sometimes it’s hard to know the difference between it, and a genuine interest. Fads are based upon it. Cults begin with it. And most religious conversions start with it. It’s also how the modern pop music scene evolved – very young females became very curious about all the groups making the noise [music] – and before too long became seen as fans. Movie actors used to have fans, but musicians hardly ever did until the early 50s when people didn’t know what to do with all their time and literacy. Today, curiosity has enabled a bunch of male teenagers who were competing in a TV talent show 3 years ago, to become not only over-night sensations, but close to billionaires as well. (One Direction)

This same process took place when Paramahansa Yogananda started lecturing in the USA back in the 20s; he not only talked, but sang! He could hold an audience spell-bound with his famous chant, Oh God Beautiful, and in New York at Carnegie Hall they joined in and sang it for over 2 hours non-stop. That’s how he became famous, and ended up in The White House meeting US President Coolidge.

In 1938 he even released a 78 rpm album called Cosmic Chants which was very popular and is still listened to today. Here’s a sample of one track from the album, called “God, Christ, Gurus”.

Likewise, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi didn’t simply come to the West to teach people how to meditate – it had been done many times before. He came to lecture as well, and used any opportunity he got, to pronounce his belief system. He talked at Universities, town halls, hotels, on TV and film, and more recently (2000 – 2003) via the Internet. Journalists in particular were curious about his so called message and followed him everywhere. He held Live Press Conferences on the Internet during 2002 and made quite an impact.

What he spoke about seemed quite relevant and the use of the new technology impressed lots of people. I was quite curious about those events and saw a few of them live on a very slow dial-up connection. His technology was good enough to allow you to choose what format your system was capable of streaming. I wound up with a picture the size of a postage stamp and with quite clear audio. Still, those files were over 350 Mbs. I managed to save one or two and you can listen to them here if you click the colored text.

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yogic fliersHere you see Maharishi’s teacher Guru Dev. Next is the Yogic Fliers who he says bring peace to any environment. Finally there’s Dr. Byron Rigby, a Psychiatrist who was the Minister of Health and Immortality, until the World Government of the Age of Enlightenment ceased to function. He then “retired” to Melbourne, Australia where he now works at his own private practice of Psychiatry!Image
rigby

It was all about listening to another human being. Not about understanding what was said, but just simply being passive for however long it took.

Yet, you always find there are detractors who’s curiosity fails to take them to the “next” level while some people don’t even have any curiosity about such subjects at all.

These talkers, therefore, spend a lot of time answering their critics and detractors trying to convince their followers about their sincerity and closeness to Truth. If anything, that’s the one thing about Eastern “teachers” I just can’t stand! The way they feel they have to defend themselves and therefore justify their existence.

There’s a good example of that type of thing in a “talk” recorded of Yogananda celebrating his birthday. The people assembled are there because they are devoted followers and have great belief in him. Some have totally dedicated their lives to him. Some have known him for 20 years. Yet, he still feels it necessary to defend himself from detractors and critics. In that way, he talks about himself a lot! Click the colored text to listen to a “rare” wire recording of Yogananda’s birthday party celebrated at a swank hotel in Los Angeles back in the 40s.

lst smilegandhi

Paramahansa Yogananda an hour before he passed away in I think 1953; Yogananda with Mahatma Gandhi, who he initiated into the “science” of Kriya Yoga; Sri Yukteswar, Yogananda’s guru. And finally, the cover of his autobiography, now published in over 16 languages

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