Scientology: placebo plus abreaction


Anything is possible as long as you:

  1. Live inside the placebo.
  2. Perform abreaction religiously.

Why does abreaction work? Actually, we do not know that abreaction itself is helpful. What does help is the rapport and affinity between therapist and patient. Just communicating with someone is therapeutic. Primates secrete reward chemicals when they purge their complaints in the presence of and eager and attentive listener. So the Rogerian emphasis on unconditional positive regard just happens to be correct. And meta-analyses have shown that it is the mere being-with that makes an intervention effective (not the particular model and exercises).

But it may be the case that abreaction itself is helpful. Reenacting an event does appear to neutralize its charge. Beings that are posited (produced by the subject) have less ontological reality (for that subject) than beings that are given. In fact, an imaginary object has no real givenness. Reality is binary—a presentation either follows volition or it does not.

[This is an interesting place to consider Crowley’s ultra-broad definition of a magick act. A sequence of events is a magickal act just in case the consequent follows an act of will. Being self-consciously involved in the planning that precipitated the consequent, or being aware of its efficient cause, is not required.]

If something follows from my volition—if its givenness in intuition follows from my intention—then I see how it is ontologically dependent (think: Pratītya-samutpāda) on various causes and conditions. This is key: I can grasp a thing’s ontological dependence on preceding things, and how the dependence is truly and actually atomizing of svabhava, only when I my intention or choice is a link in the series.

If my will is a link in event-series A but not in event-series B, then I say that consequent A is real (given, svabhava) but consequent B is not.