The following is an exchange with a commentor on Marty Rathbun’s blog named Conan.
In this exchange, I was able to clearly and simply express what I have learned that L Ron Hubbard was really up to with Scientology.
I appreciate the softballs that Conan threw me which allowed me to finally knock this idea out. I’ve tried many times over the years to simply communicate what I have learned about Scientology, and I guess having been subjected to Scientology’s brainwashing tactics myself, it has been very difficult for me to crystallize these ideas and to simply and clearly communicate them.
It was a kind of personal victory – something I’ve been trying to accomplish for years.
I think I finally did it.
The excellent article that Marty Rathbun wrote, and which prompted this exchange, can be read here: Scientology Indoctrination Abomination
I took a statement that Marty made out of his article, and commented on it.
“So thorough is Hubbard’s ‘tech’ for ferreting out and disappearing ‘false data’ that conflicts with his data, ironically, that those steps applied to one’s scientology experience could actually de-hypnotize someone from years of mind control programming. “
This is a very important point, Marty.
I have seen the Scientology mindset collapse in just this way on a number of Scientologists over the years.
For me, the concept of “intellectual honesty” was a datum from the value system I held before I had become a Scientologist. When I focused on this concept again, after years in, Scientology just started collapsing all around me.
A writer friend of mine and I were discussing being a member of an ideology and trying to write true things. His contention was that you couldn’t because when you are pushing an ideology, you have to make wrong anything that opposes the ideology, or what shows the ideology to be false – even though it might be true.
The topic between us became “what is intellectual honesty and how do you apply it as a member of an ideology?”
I had grown up valuing intellectual honesty. My father was an engineer and my mother a highly literate and well read woman who encouraged literacy and critical thinking in me. I realized that this value system of mine had been lost when I became a Scientologist.
Scientology was pretty much done for me when I saw that. It just started collapsing everywhere around me.
And then I made the decision to never lie about Scientology again. And that’s what eventually made me an “SP” and brought OSA down on me.
If a Scientologist compares points of his present value system as a Scientologist with points in his earlier value system, and he begins to see the values he gave up in order to become a Scientologist, Scientology will collapse on him.
Hubbard knew this and talked about it on the BC, especially on the tape “Moral Codes, What is a Withhold?” That tape, more than almost any other, reveals what Hubbard was actually working on when he ran the BC. He was trying to create synthetic personalities, complete with moral codes, that he could instill and maintain in people who would do his bidding.
When he took off and developed the Sea Org, he implemented this brainwashing technology he developed on the BC on a group of people he could have total control over on a ship in the middle of the ocean.
Hubbard very intentionally created and instilled brainwashing techniques into Scientology. And you are touching on the very points that will undo it.
Way to go, Marty.
Way to go.
Conan | September 21, 2014 at 9:10 am | Reply
“Hubbard knew this and talked about it on the BC, especially on the tape “Moral Codes, What is a Withhold?” That tape, more than almost any other, reveals what Hubbard was actually working on when he ran the BC. He was trying to create synthetic personalities, complete with moral codes, that he could instill and maintain in people who would do his bidding.”
Are you referring to some angle other than his usual what others have done to us?
Please elaborate a bit more about the “how to create synthetic personalities”.
Alanzo | September 21, 2014 at 9:55 am | Reply
“Are you referring to some angle other than his usual what others have done to us?
Please elaborate a bit more about the “how to create synthetic personalities”.
There is a public congress tape series, which I can’t remember the name of, from the late 50’s, maybe even early 60’s, where he presents the GPM tech, which he had been developing on the BC, to the public for the first time.
In one of his lectures there, he says that he has “discovered what a personality is made up of”.
Now, that is not what he ever said about GPMs on the BC, that I can remember. He always told BC students that this was “how the case was constructed” and this was the whole reason for his “research line” – to create “Clears” and “OT”s.
Most techniques of brainwashing – not just influence – target the self-identity of the person you are trying to control by replacing it with a self-identity that you have developed.
Remember, a self-identity is who you tell yourself you are. This is the key element of this form of extreme brainwashing. If you can change who a person tells himself he is to something that you can control, then you have someone whose very life is spent doing what you want him to do.
Some of the core pieces of your self identity are your memories (which Hubbard had always targeted with auditing), your goals (which Hubbard targeted on the BC with his SOP Goals tech, and later the GPM tech, and still later FPRD tech) and your moral codes or value systems, which he targeted using all forms of OW write ups and sec checking.
Over time, Hubbard developed auditing as a gradient form of brainwashing to replace the self-identity that you were born with, and which you had been developing all your life, with a self-identity that had the memories and goals and moral codes that he could control.
The BC was his Edison-style inventor’s laboratory where the BC students, who paid him to be there, were his lab rats and co-developers.
And then the Sea Org was the highly controlled environment he created to apply what he had developed on the BC in order to produce a core group of brainwashed followers whose memories, goals and moral codes had been fully supplanted and who would do anything he told them to do, all on billion year slave labor contracts.
From the use of TRs to create a hypnotic state in the pc, to the creation of false memories, to the development of SOP Goals, Sec Checking and GPM tech, Hubbard was doing something very different from what he was telling anyone else about.
Scientologists were reaching for Clear and OT while Hubbard was always targeting them for everything of value that they had.
This is the “long con” which L Ron Hubbard spent decades of work developing as Dianetics and Scientology.
Conan | September 21, 2014 at 11:27 am | Reply
Thanks for your great exposition of Hubbard’s final intent.
I too observed that was were the ship was going when I was in the SO. But I did not have the mental capacity to actually comprehend what was taking place, let alone be able to articulate the fine points of mind control, entrapment, etc..
I’m telling you this has been an incredible education for me, however tough, I’m happy that I know why I know now.
Alanzo | September 21, 2014 at 11:38 am | Reply
“I’m telling you this has been an incredible education for me, however tough, I’m happy that I know why I know now.”
It has been for me as well.
It is the oddest thing ever that learning about what Hubbard was really up to with Scientology has been one of my greatest spiritual lessons of this lifetime so far.
This technology of brainwashing is being used in Guantanamo Bay, in North Korea, in China and elsewhere.
When it is applied in a spiritual context, as it was in Scientology, it is the most profane corruption of the best impulses in human beings.
For some reason, coming to see this has been a huge spiritual “win” for me, helping me to understand things that I always wanted to understand.
Here’s some more information on brainwashing.
21 thoughts on “Brainwashing in Scientology: Switching Your Value System”
This is a brilliant summation of the long con. Just…fucking perfect!
Big Thanks for this one!!!
Thanks Mark. I’ve been trying to articulate this for many years.
Wow, Lanzy. What you pointed out so articulately, pierces and enlightens me. Thank you. Another crack in my Wall….:)
This whole brainwashing thing is just making me so happy lately!!
Good post Alanzo. I am happy for your newest understanding.
I think a confidence game exploits our assumptions about relevance. By this I mean that I believe that the truth is relative. It is relative to context. I no longer believe in truth as a broad absolute but I believe in truth as the broadest consistency for a given context. An example is that Scientology is true for the Scientologist within the metes and bounds of Scientology. My words end up reading as a tautology but maybe there’s a clue in that.
Language is inherently self-referential, and breeds tautologies.
The Scientology Ideology is even more self-referential: it refers only to itself, and is confirmed only by itself.
Scientology breeds Scientology.
How’s that for a tautology? 🙂
I listened to Leah Remini’s interview on Howard Stern last night and tried to understand her strength. Though just an opinion formed from a brief interview, I thought that what came out strongly is that she seems to <em>get</em> relevance. Though outspoken, brash, a little blunt, etc., I picked up a tolerance in her tone that I ended up attributing to relevance. She seems to grant that people know what they know, think what they think, have the opinions that they have (all tautology, I know, I’m sorry) and that seems to allow her to cut them slack. I wonder if she would agree with that.
I think that her whole recent hurricane of SP entheta book tour has been recognizing the exact “reality level” of her audience, which is mostly mothers and females who want to protect their kids from cults.
As a celebrity, she was very sheltered from the abuse and suppression suffered by a Sea Org grunt like you, and a mission staff member like me. But wait a minute – she was in the Sea Org, too. So she should remember how bad that can get as well.
I hope that after she sells all her millions of books, Leah is not done. I hope that she is just laying the groundwork for effective activism to get rid of Scientology’s tax exempt status and get it prosecuted for its criminal activity.
But hey – my hopes have been dashed before….
LOL. Howard Stern asked her a couple different times with space between whether she was bitter about giving millions to Scientology and she repeatedly said “No, I gave it with a good heart and for a good reason to me at the time,” and “I was trying to help save the planet.”
As she simmers down from this extraordinary attention because of the book, etc., she will have time alone to reconsider his question. I hate how that is going to feel.
I don’t know. I think it is a good use of hindsight bias.
I’m for anything lately that helps settle things, rather than keep them stirred up all the time.
Agreed. I do not regret my financial losses to Scientology which were greater than Remini’s as much as i regret the broken family heartache. Yet without that loss, I wouldn’t have the rich life and family that I enjoy now. God only ‘doubled’ (Job 42-10) and he quadrupled me, so guess who God likes better?
THOSE ideas should be formatted into a book.
Here’s a working title:
“The Fundamentals of Thought Control”
Since I’m not a PhD, it would be more fitting for me to fit them into a novel. Or a screenplay.
Know what I mean?
KG’s Phil could be the subject of the novel and he could knock it out over the weekend…
Not bad KG. Catchy.
When we are the mark of a confidence game, the people who are exploited the best have matching assumptions to the con. Currently, my best defense to “cons” of every sort is to know my own assumptions, bias, opinions, and the like. This can make me look very jaded but I do not feel “jaded.” I try not to lean heavily on my assumptions and beliefs but to cling to them lightly. This allows me to survey my current environment for patterns using with the broadest possible reach of my knowledge and experience. It results in some queer ideas such as regarding the commercial Russian jet that was shot down on October 31st, I ask myself if a bomb were placed on board, internationally who would benefit most from the rude destruction of 224 Russian men, women, and children tourists aboard a commercial jet? ISIS? How? Sudan? Egypt? Russia? United States? If I allow my assumptions to be conditioned by the media, then I begin to believe that Islamic terrorists did the murdering. Well, the media reports that they <em>did</em> take credit for it. So that’s true, right? Well it is or it isn’t true. But the assumptions would not end there at all. Nothing in politics is so simple.
Recently, in addition to trying to always examine my assumptions like you say here, Chris, I’ve been trying to remind myself to examine my own expectations.
I have found that Scientology was a universal answer to all my un-met expectations, and to the disappointments I felt everywhere based on them.
And then I have also found that my whole creation of the character of “Alanzo” was fueled entirely by, and runs totally on, disappointment and unmet expectations.
The key question I have been asking myself lately when I realize that I am enraged enough to begin building a bonfire to light a million torches is “What exactly are my expectations here?” “Are they realistic?” “If they are realistic, (which is turning out to be a big ‘if’ lately) in exactly what way have my expectations not been met?”
These three questions have alleviated a lot of my own suffering that I have caused to myself because of my own expectations.
They may even “as-is” the character of Alanzo completely.
A really great slogan/quote that I have learned from my study of Buddhism is, “If you are shot with an arrow, make sure you do not shoot yourself with your own arrow.”
Great advice about arrows.
Expectations increase my ego and lower my tolerance. In place of that I’m trying to be watchful for opportunities and try to remember to feel gratitude when they appear.
I feel that my current path has me embracing the orders of magnitude of things large and small. This is rooted in the idea that “simple code” joined to enormous orders of magnitude of iteration can build many or possibly all of the patterns that I recognize. This is comforting to me. That’s sort of off topic but related to your comment the other day about how feeling good matters and you are right. Some people feel comforted by believing that God has everything well in hand. I have been having that type of comfort from my latest understandings of determinism (yet apparent randomness) of really large numbers. It’s totally a “spiritual feeling.” No joke. There is sooo very much room for every imagining in the universe to hand that I do not yearn for more universes . I feel so very satisfied with this metaphor/simile. It’s not quite an ideology and i’m liking it that way.
I got some really good spiritual feelings over the years from the understandings that I got from reading Alanzo. I would miss my daily dose of Alanzo if he ever as-ised. But Allen would be a fine substitute.
As you write about expectations, I find a lot to agree with there. We were going to be gods. But it was good to fly so close to the sun, to feel that warmth and to be a part of something that we felt was so big!
But this time of our lives is good too. Now I replaced “sitting in the center of the sun” with “sitting in the warmth of the sun on my patio.” it’s all good.
Even though I’ve only been around the blogs for a little while, I knew from the start that you were “pretty smart”. 🙂 If anyone can get their hands on and publish the Truth Rundown that might be the end of CoS defending “our religious scriptures”. Any disinterested observer would clearly see it as brainwashing.
The “ethics” tech of “removing counter intention and other intention” seems to have stemmed out of the “GPM tech” which was used to remove the person’s own goals and replace them with Hubbard’s then protect Hubbard’s goals from being supplanted by others, basically creating blind believers who just did what they were told, which was enrich Hubbard at the expense of their own lives. He gobbled up the lives of his followers like they were popcorn.
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