Today I celebrate the life of Ninja, a black Netherland Dwarf rabbit with grey on the bottom of her feet. Ninja was born in the summer of '02 and I purchased her from Petco in January of '03. She was an active and alert bunny, happy and healthy, though she was the last one in the enclosure when I came to the store that day.

I wanted a pet, but my Minnesota apartment had a strict no pets policy. Fish and the like were acceptable but no dogs or cats or anything else that lives and sheds outside of its enclosure. So to get around this problem the answer was, of course, to get a quiet pet. The decision came down to either an iguana or a rabbit, and the rabbit eventually won out due to being fluffier.

Ninja made herself at home in my apartment at once. Although I had to keep her in a cage during the morning and night while I was at work and asleep, I always let her have free run of the living room when I was home to supervise her, keeping boxes next to the bookshelf and computer desk so she couldn't get behind them and chew on electrical wires. She generally stayed on the carpet, not liking the feel of slick linoleum flooring on her fuzzy bunny feet. I'm sad to report that Ninja lost some of her boldness, playfulness, and affection when I had her neutered. I was only trying to be a responsible pet owner.

She was a well-travelled rabbit, always coming with me when I returned to Chicago to visit my parents, sitting in a small travel cage buckled in to the passenger seat. One day I took her to a friend's house to meet her guinea pig, but she wasn't anywhere near as interested in the guinea pig as the guinea pig was in her.

Then the big day came when I moved to Mississippi. She traveled with me for two days in the car, with a brief stopover at my brother's house (who lived about halfway, by fortunate coincidence), to her new home. My new house had a spare bedroom I didn't need, so I took the door off its hinges and installed a low swinging door in its place, and turned it into a rabbit room. She no longer had to spend her mornings and nights in a cage, but had free rein of the room at all hours.

It was not to be her room alone, though, because a few months later I brought home Zasz, an albino rabbit. After Zasz was neutered I brought them together, and (as rabbits do) they fought for dominance by pulling fur out of each other and wrestling for top position. I'll never forget the day I came home from work to find black and white fur all over the room, but they eventually came to an understanding without anyone getting seriously hurt. A few months after that I brought home Daggoth, a brown Flemish Giant. Daggoth I left unneutered, and did a much better job of introducing to the other two by allowing them to meet in neutral territory before keeping them together in the same room. These friends would be with her for the rest of her life.

Ninja never knew want or hunger, she never knew the fear of being chased by a fox or a dog, and she was never cold. Despite fulfilling her physical needs, I have to admit that I was not the best owner. You cannot raise and train a rabbit like a dog, and I fear I made her skittish and shy by disciplining her the wrong way. She also suffered from "poopy butt" for most of her adult life, and I never discovered what I could do to help prevent it except to try to keep her clean.

In her new home in Mississippi, I would leave the rabbits alone with plenty of food and water when I went back to visit Chicago. They would always be fine when I came back, although sometimes thirsty if they knocked over one of the water bowls while I was gone, they always had enough to see them through until I got back.

But when I came back home this time after visiting my parents for Christmas and New Year, I returned from this joyful time of celebration to the sad scene of Ninja, lying cold and stiff, in one corner of the rabbit room. There was plenty of food and water left, and the thermostat was left on (but low) while I was away, so I know she didn't die of neglect. It was simply her time, as a six and a half year old dwarf rabbit. Rabbits are expected to live for five years, longer if neutered, but not as long I'm sure for the smaller breeds. From all appearances, she died peacefully, crawling to the corner, lying down on her side, and breathing her last breath. I don't know how long ago it was, but it couldn't have been too long since her body wasn't in a bad state when I found it. I buried her in the backyard this morning.

Ninja, I know I wasn't the best owner, but I did the best I knew how and you taught me what I know today for Zasz and Daggoth. The rabbit room will always feel emptier for your absence.

I can only hope the Black Rabbit of Inlé brought you the comfort that I was not here to provide in your final moments.

A big thank you to all the noders who extended their sympathies.

The true Scientologist believes that we are all trapped in this universe; that we used to be "free" and powerful but we have gone down a "dwindling spiral" of degradation, life after life, eventually, after trillions of years, becoming powerless and mired in suffering; that L. Ron Hubbard developed the only road out of this trap back to "real freedom" and power; that the Church of Scientology is the only valid source of this technology; and that we will only get this one chance to make it out. This is such an important belief that it, essentially, defines what makes a Scientologist. It is important to understand this concept because it explains how the Church of Scientology and David Miscavige can have such power over all Scientologists.

--quotation from alt.religion.scientology, 15 December 2008 to have pullThis is pretty much a PowerPoint-like talk about what the Bridge is, from a practical standpoint. Most Scientologists will claim that Anons such as we are can't, don't, or won't understand their philosophy, and that only someone who's gone through the process can really criticize it. (Which of course is forbidden.) In the last few bits I'll share some of my own ideas as what El Ron was really trying to achieve (apart from world domination and the rest of it). Essentially, the Bridge consists of:

  1. Becoming easily hypnotized as preparation for auditing (notice IRS-like nomenclature)

    1. Staring into someone's eyes for two hours

    2. Staring into someone's eyes while the other is trying to make them laugh, flinch, or get hostile

    This means that,effectively, all emotion is suppressed, and whatever the interviewer -- ah, "auditor" says will be taken as fact.

  2. Auditing, which consists of recounting past experiences, especially painful ones, to an auditor while in this hypnotized state.

    Using the E-meter, which is a crude lie detector, each and every experience is gone over, over and over until the meter registers that there is no emotion attached to the memory whatsoever.

    These memories are written down and dated, and gradually go backwards

    1. Present time (PT) to birth

    2. Neonatal experiences

    3. Past lives, evolutionary time, back to the creation of the Universe (Basic Basic), which is stated to be some quadrillions of years ago.

    Anyone who knows current memory theory can tell you that A is absolutely faked from birth to about eighteen months, unreliable in many places, but able to uncover enough that could be used for blackmail later on.B and C are whatever can be fabricated, which tends to be really, really crappy science fiction. Since a mild hypnotic state is enough to produce false memories, it's generally unclear exactly how accurate these memories are, leading to the third stage.

  3. Reprogramming, using Hubbard's data

What the OT levels are supposed to do is to implant vivid memories of various conflicting and enigmatic data (including the Xenu story, and the not-unsurprising revelation that Lafayette Ronald Hubbard is God) that is supposed to have happened trillions of years ago. Speaking as a sometime devotee of Aleister Crowley and free-range Woman of God, I find various parts of OT II, especially, to be both interesting as meditational exercises, and utterly incomprehensible, the scribblings of an advanced schizophrenic. However one bit stands out as the metaphysical "smoking gun" --
"That's what you get for making this Universe."
"Get Out-"
which corresponds to Skidoo in Crowley's Book of Lies, "Thou art God" in Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land", the beautiful hymn that begins the Gospel of John in the Bible, and the marvelous koan "Who is wiser than all the saints and sages?" in the strange Christian-influenced Buddhist philosophy that is Zen.

(Pardon me while I stifle a tear. It's been too long since I've been back There. It was so startling a revelation-- he knew! I just had to look it up in his own handwriting....there, there, he did have a Teacher a LOT better than he was...)

What's interesting is that this utterly on-target passage occurs right before the weird space opera of Xenu, the so-called "Wall of Fire". It's as if you'd told me that the real problem in climbing Everest wasn't the trip up 29000 feet, but a tiny jag on the top you might stumble over....and not understanding the message of humility this conveys.

After that, I don't find much more interesting in the rest of the OT's, and NOT's ...most of them are simple exercises in controlling other peoples' minds, which I guess means that you can get a great many new converts that way. The only last bit I find interesting is that Miscavage seems ed out the old OT VIII which contains the wonderful "Pedophile Jesus" quote, which I tender here--

"For those of you whose Christian toes I may have stepped on, let me take the opportunity to disabuse you of some lovely myths. For instance, the historic Jesus was not nearly the sainted figure has been made out to be. In addition to being a lover of young boys and men, he was given to uncontrollable bursts of temper and hatred that belied the general message of love, understanding and other typical Marcab PR."
Good Sir Lafayette, as a God speaking to a God, if to believe that is to be on the side of the Angels, then I will gladly go to SP Hell.

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