How Hubbard Lied: ReDefining “Individuation” Like It’s A Bad Thing

A couple of months ago I was talking to a friend of mine, who is a forensic psychologist, and I was telling him about my path into and out of Scientology, and then into and out of Ex-Scientology.

I told him that I got into Scientology and did everything I could to be a good group member, and then I saw things that I could no longer look away from and began speaking out and criticizing them. This led to my leaving the group, criticizing them on the Internet, and then their attempts at discrediting and fair-gaming me.

Then I became a member of Ex-Scientologists, and I did everything there that I could to support others who had been harmed by Scientology and were working to expose its abusive practices. But then I saw things with this group of Ex-Scientologists that I could no longer look away from and began criticizing those things, too. This led to my banishment from the group, and their attempts to silence and discredit me.

“So’, I asked, “rather than going into some kind of an infinite loop here, with your understanding of psychology, what is my next step?”

He said, “Individuation”.

I said “WHAT??”

“It’s a process of human development that, for instance, a child goes through growing up in his family and then discovering more and more about himself as a separate and unique individual. It is a natural process of human learning and growth.”

I could not believe it. The only time I’d ever heard this term was when L Ron Hubbard defined it in Scientology as:

Individuation: a withdrawal out of groups and into only self. The mechanics of individuation are first, communication into, and then, refusal to communicate into.

– Hubbard, L. R. (1959, 25 November ). Individuation. First Melbourne Advanced Clinical Course, (5911C25). Lecture conducted from Melbourne, Australia.

The trouble with O.T.s in the past has only been lack of cooperation and a commonly agreed upon objective. Without these O.T.s eventually fall prey again to smaller beings with bigger organization skill, O.T. is an unstable state only when O.T.s are not cooperating with O.T.s but each one going his own way in the strong but fatuous belief he can single-handedly survive. The proof is, O.T.s have not survived as O.T.s whenever this super individuation collided with the super organization of weaker beings.

– L Ron Hubbard HCOPL 25 June 1963

We were taught this term on staff, and were told by Hubbard that this was one of the most damaging things that could happen – Individuation.

When seen through the lense of cults and leaving them, I learned that individuation was actually becoming less of a cult member, and more of a unique individual.

Over on the Rachel Bernstein Marketing Channel, Chris Shelton asked her, during one of her many infomercials there, what the goal of therapy was. She gave a great answer. She said, “the goal of therapy is very similar to the goal of good parenting. You work until the person no longer needs you any more.”


I would only ask her why, then, does she work so hard to get an Ex to delete himself from any responsibility for his own life and decision-making as a cult member?

I think it is completely typical of Hubbard to re-define a fundamental term from psychology about a very important and valuable process, and turn it into a disease to be “handled” and stamped out.

The question for Ex-Scientologists is:

What if being a Scientologist was never a really a disease in the first place that you needed to “recover from”?

What if it was just one part of your own much longer spiritual journey that taught you many important lessons, and from which you emerged stronger and wiser than ever?

How would you know?


What if all this diseasification and catastrophizing of having been a Scientologist is actually a colossal disservice to the overwhelming majority of Exes who were not really harmed by their experiences, but who just graduated from Scientology, like one would graduate from kindergarten?

Some people were harmed, and do need to “recover” from Scientology.

But the overwhelming majority of Exes do not.

Studies of Ex-Cult members bear this out. From the wikipedia article on Apostasy, comes this gem of a datum to think with:

Sociologists Bromley and Hadden note a lack of empirical support for claimed consequences of having been a member of a “cult” or “sect”, and substantial empirical evidence against it. These include the fact that the overwhelming proportion of people who get involved in NRMs leave, most short of two years; the overwhelming proportion of people who leave do so of their own volition; and that two-thirds (67%) felt “wiser for the experience”.

– Hadden, J; Bromley, D, eds. (1993). The Handbook of Cults and Sects in America. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, Inc. pp. 75–97.

This is taken from Victor Daniels’ lecture on Carl Jung from the Sonoma State Psychology Department website:

victor daniels lecture on jung
So I say:



Splurge on it!

2 thoughts on “How Hubbard Lied: ReDefining “Individuation” Like It’s A Bad Thing”

  1. Off-topic, what do you think of Ortega’s latest post accusing Rathbun of giving/selling the Dror Center’s emails to Scientology lawyers? Horrible if true, but of course Ortega wants to believe the worst of Marty for not showing him respect.

    • Good question, Doloris!

      I see missing info:

      1. Where is the actual email that was part of a court record, and where is the rest of the court transcript? Tony, to his credit, usually publishes these. Why hasn’t he this time?

      2. Where is Dani Lemberger? What does he have to say about all this? Tony usually interviews someone who is so central to his indictments. Maybe Tony will have an exclusive with Dani Lemberger tomorrow.

      3. In Israel, can you enter evidence into court without having a live human being, like Marty Rathbun himself, swear under oath “I gave this email to this Church attorney”?

      Ben Shaul: I’m continuing with the same email, reading it to you. You said in that email that if you had a pistol, with just one bullet you would put it in Miscavige’s head. You said this at Flag. When were you at Flag.

      Lemberger: I didn’t say it at Flag. I said it to my personal therapist in the course of therapy, privately. That is forbidden from publishing…

      Ben Shaul: But it’s your email. Did you write it?

      Lemberger: My email is my private email and I don’t know if he [Marty Rathbun] was allowed to give it to you, without my consent. But the fact is that he gave it to you.

      4. You’ll notice that Dani does not answer the attorney’s question in the small snippet that Tony provided. Dani actually answers a question that was not asked of him and says “but the fact is that he gave it to you”. In Israel, can an attorney ask a question to someone on the witness stand and the guy does not have to answer it? Where’s his answer to the question (Did you write it?) that was asked of him by the Church attorney?

      5 If this was something Dani said “during therapy” was Marty Dani’s therapist? And was Marty auditing Dani via email?

      I notice that no one is asking these questions of Tony over at the underground bunker,[except for EricS – Go Eric!] they are just running with the Marty is an OSA Agent! line that Tony Ortega has been feeding them since April of last year.

      This is not nothing. Marty could be an OSA agent. But it’s not yet something, either, until the rest of the missing context is provided.

      I think that it would be far-fetched that the attorney is lying. How, exactly did he get this email? Did he meet Marty in person and Marty handed it over with a signed affidavit? Or was all this done over the internet without anyone meeting anyone face to face? In which case, could Marty’s email be spoofed? Or could there have been a hack?

      I wonder why Tony hasn’t addressed any of this. He’s usually so thorough, especially when it comes to his mission to prove that Marty Rathbun is an OSA Agent.


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