Criticizing Scientology: What Exactly is Criticism?

No CriticismEver since October of 1950, when Dr. Joseph Winter publicly left the burgeoning Dianetic movement and wrote a book called “A Doctor’s Report on Dianetics“, L Ron Hubbard had a problem: Books like that made his stats crash.

People who were involved in Dianetics, or the families and friends of those involved, would read these books and begin asking difficult questions about things that might uncover “unacceptable truths” in Ron’s past, or other problems for his credibility and income. Sometimes it was easy for Ron to handle the difficult questions which came from the information these books exposed.

Other times – not so much.

In order to keep his stats up, LRH developed many handlings for his criticism problem over the years. One of the handlings he developed was to define the word “criticism” itself as meaning something almost completely different than its ordinary English definition.

In HCOB 21 January 1960 “JUSTIFICATION”, Hubbard wrote:

“Most criticism is justification for having done an overt. There are rightnesses and wrongnesses in conduct and society at large, but random carping 1.1 criticism when not borne out in fact is only an effort to reduce the size of the target of the overt.”

And then in February of 1962, on Saint Hill Special Briefing Course tape number 119, LRH said that:

Dr Joseph Winter - A Doctor's Report on Dianetics

The Basic on the Chain

“…criticism is a hope that they can damage, and that’s what a criticism is, with an inability to do so.”

However, the English definition of criticism is somewhat similar to LRH’s, but LRH’s definition leaves out a very important concept that is essential to the word, one contained in the first definition of the Random House College dictionary:

the act or art of analyzing and judging the quality of something, esp. a literary or artistic work, musical performance, dramatic production, etc.”

The derivation of the word “critic” contains the essence of this concept – which LRH also leaves out:

From Latin critic(us) from Greek kritikos: skilled in judging. Also kri(nein): (to) separate, decide.

Present day Scientologists, still thinking with Scientology, tend to hear the word “critic” or “criticism” and think only what LRH taught them to think. LRH’s built-in make-wrong of the concept kicks in and this instantly tells them not to listen to or try to understand what the critic is saying.

What LRH taught them about criticism acts as a thought-stopping mechanism for them.

Indeed, LRH himself, in 1967 developed the technology for handling “Critics of Scientology” in HCOB 5 November 1967 of the same name:

“Never discuss Scientology with the critic. Just discuss his or her crimes, known and unknown. And act completely confident that those crimes exist. Because they do. Life will suddenly become much more interesting—and you’ll become much less suppressed!”

So a Scientologist who uncritically accepts LRH’s handlings for critics of Scientology tends to avoid all criticism of Scientology, including reasoned, critical analysis of Scientology by outside, objective sources. To be sure, there is good, honest, skillful and disciplined criticism. And there is criticism that is not.

Good, useful criticism does require logical skill, discipline and intellectual honesty. In fact, the study of logic itself is now called the study of “critical thinking“.

Is that anything like “justification for having done an overt”?

Absolutely not.

So contrary to what LRH taught Scientologists over the years, real criticism is valuable. It is the ability to see the good and the bad of something, and to evaluate and to report those qualities with accuracy.

When you are going to involve yourself in a subject that invades your mind and thinking so deeply, can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, contains 2.5, 5 and 1 billion year no-pay indentured servitude slave labor contracts, and which puts your family and friends at risk of disconnection, good criticism of Scientology is a vital social service. It exposes information that would remain hidden from you, and it creates a climate that allows people to make more informed decisions as to their own involvement in Scientology.

Ever since the days of ole Doc Winter, good Scientology criticism has helped people to keep their good judgement intact, and to avoid Scientology’s traps and pitfalls.

Good criticism, actually, intends to help – not to harm.

Now. I am going to reveal something to you:

This post is an example of Scientology criticism.


That wasn’t so bad, was it?

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John Doe
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Mark Foster
Mark Foster

Ironic, isn´t it, that it´s THE EXIT from scientology that really gets you thinking clearly!
At least, that´s the case for me.
Thanks for presenting the derivation of the word ´criticize´, heh 🙂


I thought of another thought stopping technique he used:

In some of the beginning courses he talks about good control and bad control – positioning scientology with good control – such as a policeman directing traffic in order to get us to think that we should accept control by scientology. I believed this bogus nonsense for years, only just realizing what it was there for. Scientology is a whole series of hidden mind tricks like this, no wonder when you first join everything seems to run backwards to normal.