Because of various problems with Blogger, I've copied everything as of November 26, 2012 over to WordPress. The new location is Ask the Scientologist. I am not deleting this blog and will still accept comments and answer questions here too, but any new articles will appear at the WordPress location. I apologize if this causes any problems.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Scientology Thought Control - Part 3

We covered, in Scientology Thought Control - Part 1, how simple definitions can change the way that people think. In that example, the Hubbardisms entheta and theta cause Scientologists to reject "negative" information ("entheta") about the church even when true, and accept "positive" information ("theta") about the church even if false.

However, I don't want to give the impression that these are the only words and the only concept that inculcates the thought control ability in Scientologists. There are many, many Scientology words, phrases and concepts that work in that direction.

One of the most pervasive and powerful concepts for thought control is Hubbard's ideas about the "Overt-Motivator Sequence". This is, really, Hubbard's reworking of the idea of karma. The short version is: One first does something bad (an "overt") and subsequently, one "pulls in" (causes something to happen to oneself) something bad (a "motivator") as an after-the-fact excuse for the previous overt.

Get it? If anything bad happens to you, it's because you "pulled it in" -- because of your overts!

Understand that, in Scientology, this is an absolute. Anything bad that happens to you is your fault!

The engine falls off a jetliner and lands on you, it's totally your fault. How can that be? Well, it's probably because sometime, in some past life, you dropped a jet engine on someone else -- or something.

See? It's all your fault.

And one of the manifestations of having an overt is that you start complaining about what was done to you. The Scientological response to someone complaining about what was done to them is, "What did you do?"

This is one very important component in Scientology thought control.
Now, it must be noted here that this concept does not include David Miscavige or the Church of Scientology, nor did it ever include L. Ron Hubbard. If anything bad happens to Miscavige or Scientology, it is because they only do good -- and Evil People are attacking them. When Miscavige complains about all that has been done to him, it's because he is the only good person around. No overts there!
So, to get back to the rest of us, this means that you can never complain. If you're in deep debt from paying Scientology so much money -- it's completely your fault. If you didn't get the expected gains from Scientology -- it's your fault. If you ran your business strictly according to Hubbard and it failed -- it's totally your fault.

And here is a key point: Anything the Church of Scientology does to you is your fault! And you can never complain.

If the church, or Miscavige, does something harmful to you -- you "pulled it in".

Woe betide you if you dare complain or even hint that it's not right. Oh boy! If you did that, you'd be in serious trouble! "What did you do? It's your overts! It's all the bad things you've done!"

So Scientologists never complain. Further, to stay out of trouble, they will actually lie and say "I'm happy, everything is fine!"

Scientology thought control: It's all your fault, you are the criminal, so shut up and "be happy!"

So, for Scientologists, here is a little thought exercise: Why don't you apply the same criteria to Miscavige and the Church of Scientology that they impose on you.
  • Miscavige constantly complains about everyone else, what they've "done to him", what "crimes" they're committing against him, how bad everyone else is. His rants are famous. So ask: What are his crimes?
  • The Church of Scientology is collapsing. Governments are investigating and taking Scientology organizations to court. There are protests -- and they are not stopping. Lawsuits are being filed against the church. People are leaving and very few new people are coming in. Bad things are happening to the church all over the world. So ask: What did the church do to "pull it in"?

I'm not saying this whole "Overt-Motivator" theory is absolutely correct, but if you believe it, then apply it to Miscavige and Scientology as well. What did they do?

Then find the answers. You will learn a lot.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Scientology and the Emperor's New Clothes

You are, undoubtedly, familiar with the fairy tale "The Emperor's New Clothes" by Hans Christian Anderson.

Plot summary from Wikipedia:
An emperor of a prosperous city who cares more about clothes than military pursuits or entertainment hires two swindlers who promise him the finest suit of clothes from the most beautiful cloth. This cloth, they tell him, is invisible to anyone who was either stupid or unfit for his position. The Emperor cannot see the (non-existent) cloth, but pretends that he can for fear of appearing stupid; his ministers do the same. When the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they dress him in mime. The Emperor then goes on a procession through the capital showing off his new "clothes". During the course of the procession, a small child cries out, "But he has nothing on!" The crowd realizes the child is telling the truth. The Emperor, however, holds his head high and continues the procession.
The point, of course, is that when people buy into some idée fixe that does not match reality, they inevitably have to choose: Deny reality or deny the fixed idea. What makes the story so odd and funny is that all the adults in the story chose to deny reality.

Scientologists will be familiar with this concept as Hubbard's "held-down seven". He compared the aberrated mind to a calculator with a stuck "7" key. No matter what you enter into that calculator, the results will be wrong, because "7" has been arbitrarily and automatically entered into every calculation.

So what does all this have to do with Scientology?

Scientologists have a very, very strong and inflexible idée fixe that alters and colors everything they see, everything they hear, everything they do. It is completely arbitrary, unproven and even uninspected, yet it is the foundation of all they believe in.

It is this:
L. Ron Hubbard created a technology that solves everything and always, always works perfectly.
There is, actually, no proof that this statement is true, but all Scientologists would agree, without hesitation, that this statement is absolute Truth.

Because reality doesn't conform to this statement, once this idée fixe has been accepted as absolute Truth, more assertions must be made and must become incorporated into a Scientologist's "reality".

If Scientology "always, always works perfectly", what do you do when it doesn't work? It can't be that Hubbard was wrong! It can't be that the technology was ineffective, or wrong! It must be someone else who is wrong. And so you get this:
If Scientology doesn't work, you haven't applied it correctly.
Ah! Now everything is OK! This is the ultimate excuse and the most amazing and perfect way to ensure that Scientology "always works perfectly".

If Scientology failed, well, by definition, it wasn't Scientology!

If Scientology succeeded, then it was Scientology!

It's the ultimate excuse for any failures in Scientology. No one can prove that Scientology works, no one can guarantee that Scientology works -- but they can redefine any failures as "not Scientology", and, well, that fixes it.


You will still get a few people who will very carefully apply Scientology exactly as Hubbard said, and it still doesn't work. What to do? Scientology was applied exactly as Hubbard said, and the good results didn't occur!

Do we accept that Scientology is flawed? Nope! Here's what we do:
Scientology won't work on Evil People!
Perfect! If you don't get better from Scientology -- it's your fault! You are an Evil Person!

Ah! This is really nice! Now you can't complain if you don't see any results! To do so would be to confess that you are an Evil Person! Perfect!

Here is what happens: There are probably several tens of thousands of Scientologists out there, and each one of them didn't get the promised gains from Scientology. I'm not kidding here, not one single person got the promised gains from Scientology. They will inevitably claim they were "happier" after this action or "more certain" after that action, but it is absolutely true that none of them actually got the promised gains from Scientology.

Let me be very clear, here. Some people are confused about what I'm saying. I'm not saying they get no benefit, I'm saying that no one is getting what is specifically promised as abilities to be gained from each and every one of the Scientology levels. These abilities are explicitly promised by Scientology, but never delivered to anyone.

But Scientologists can't admit it! They think that every other Scientologist got the promised gains, and only they didn't. And, because they didn't get the "guaranteed" gains from Scientology, they believe they must be Evil! So they can't admit it. Since they can't talk about it, and they certainly can't tell anyone that they didn't get the gains, nobody in Scientology knows that this lack of results is universal.

No one is getting the promised gains from Scientology. They're all pretending they did and thinking that everyone else really did. And they are all hoping that the next Scientology level will be the one where they get the gains.

They are all wearing Hubbard's New Clothes! Each one is naked and pretending that their clothes are just as beautiful as the clothes every other Scientologist is pretending to wear.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Scientology Thought Control - Part 2

As mentioned in Scientology Thought Control - Part 1, there are many ways that Scientology trains people to properly control their thoughts so that they can accept concepts and controls that, under normal circumstances, would be difficult to accept.

In that article, we saw how the concept of "entheta" allows Scientologists to reject "negative" information, even when true, and accept "positive" information without inspection.

While this is a start to good thought control, it really isn't enough.

The next part of training Scientologists to control their thoughts is embodied in L. Ron Hubbard's famous "Keeping Scientology Working" (KSW). This policy letter from Hubbard is the very first thing that every Scientologist must read and "duplicate" when they do any Scientology training.

Now, you must understand what that "and duplicate" phrase means in Scientology-speak. While the official Scientology definition is to "make a perfect copy", this isn't how it is applied when you're studying Scientology. To "duplicate" when studying Scientology means "completely agree with".

Let me explain. In Hubbard's Study Technology, the source material being studied is always assumed to be 100% correct and 100% workable. If the student doesn't understand the material or (gasp!) disagrees with the material, it is the student's fault, never the material's -- and once the student "handles their study difficulty" they will agree with the material being studied.

And the very first item on every course that a Scientologist takes is this "Keeping Scientology Working" issue.

And what does this policy letter say? In it, Hubbard modestly states that he has created an absolutely perfect and always workable technology for everything. No one helped him; everything anyone else has ever done is, from Hubbard's analysis, horrible and destructive; only Hubbard's solutions are good; if you apply Hubbard's technology and it doesn't work, it's your fault, you did something wrong; and (in my opinion the most clever assertion), it is the very evil people who disagree with Hubbard and his technology.

And all Scientologists, as the very first order of business, must completely agree with these concepts before they can get on with any other studying.

From that point on, the Scientologist's ability to control their thoughts in the proper Scientology manner is quite simple.

If Hubbard said it: It is true.

If evidence disagrees with what Hubbard said: The evidence is false.

If someone disagrees with Hubbard: They are evil.

If someone applies Hubbard's technology and nothing happens, or something bad happens: It's their fault, not Hubbard's.

If someone doesn't get wonderful results from Scientology: They are one of the Evil People.

And so on.

The "Keeping Scientology Working" policy letter has installed these fixed ideas. Once these "facts" have been installed in a Scientologist, all their perceptions, all their logic, all their conclusions must be warped around to fit into these "facts". Actual, independent thought is no longer possible.

The thought control works like this:
  • "Gee, this thing Ron said just doesn't make sense!" (Thought Control: You must have a study problem, it's all your fault. Keep studying it until you agree with it.)
  • "I did exactly what Ron said, but nothing happened!" (Thought Control: It's your fault, you did something wrong, go back and restudy the material.)
  • "I got some processing, but I don't feel any better." (Thought Control: Be quiet! Only evil people fail to get gains from Scientology!)
  • "I don't really like this part of Scientology!" (Thought Control: Shut up! Shut up! That means you're one of the Evil People! You do like it, you can't be evil!)
This is the real reason that "Keeping Scientology Working" is the first thing studied and why it must be agreed to before going on. From that point on, good Scientologists never criticize L. Ron Hubbard or David Miscavige or Scientology, no matter what they see, no matter what happens. To do so would mean that they are EVIL! Any failure, any disagreement, any problems in Scientology are always and only their fault.

Now, Scientologists believe that the reason "KSW" is first in every course is to ensure that Hubbard's technology remains pure and to insist that every Scientologist defend it. Well, if that were true, then why has every single bit of Hubbard's technology been altered since his death? Nothing of Hubbard's remains exactly as he left it. Nothing. No, nobody is using "KSW" to defend and protect Hubbard's technology. Obviously, that isn't its purpose.

Even after someone has left Scientology, they often retain this fixed idea that any and all failures were their fault and that they are evil. But most finally do recover their ability to see what is really there, evaluate what is really true and to know who and what is evil and why.

Hubbard never provided any proof that he was "always right". He never provided any proof that his technology was "100% workable". He never provided any evidence that "all who disagree with him are evil". None. Not ever. He just said it was so and insisted that anyone who questioned him, doubted him or disagreed with him was evil and must be punished.

If the person gets through "Keeping Scientology Working", and "duplicates" (agrees with) it, they have truly mastered their advanced thought control skills.

Now they are a full-fledged Scientologist.