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Think for Yourself

November 5, 2010

Of course, that’s one of the slogans of the Church of Scientology. I ought to know – I was very much involved in its development and implementation.

Here’s some of the back story.  In the late 1980s and early 1990’s, we did a lot of surveys on the subject of Scientology, in preparation for the launch of a major campaign. Our surveys showed that Scientology was vastly unpopular. In order to handle this negative public image, I started digging in with more surveys. I found that people considered Scientology to be a cult. And so I had further surveys done to find out what people thought a cult was. The top “cult” item was that one could not disagree with the cult leader or the cult doctrine.

In this, public perception of what constitutes a cult was pretty accurate. In a cult, one may never, never, never challenge the cult doctrines or the cult leader (guru, prophet, founder). Here’s Steve Hassan again, from Combatting Cult Mind Control:

“Thought-stopping is the most direct way to short circuit a person’s ability to test reality. Indeed, if someone is able to think only positive thoughts about his involvement with the group, he is most certainly stuck. Since the doctrine is perfect and the leader is perfect, any problem that crops up is assumed to be the fault of the individual member. He learns always to blame himself and work harder.”

So, we knew that public thought Scientology was a cult, and we knew what they thought a cult was, so how do we handle? About this time, I came across a memo Hubbard had written in the 1950s about using the slogan “Think for Yourself” to promote Dianetics.  Perfect, I thought. It’s directly counter to the number one cult button. So it should be effective in changing public perception.

I should have taken it one step further. I should have asked, is it true? Can one actually think for oneself in Scientology?

A Scientologist would argue – and I would have argued, as a Scientologist – that yes, of course, Scientologists do think for themselves. And one might pull out some LRH quotes to prove it. Quotes like these:

From “How to Study Scientology” (Ability Magazine, Feb 1959)

You are asked to examine the subject of Scientology on a critical basis—a very critical basis.

So then we ask you to look at Scientology, study it, question it, and use it as we present it and you will have discovered something for yourself. And in so doing you might well discover a lot more.

When you have applied it as it should be, and applied as it is taught at the school, and still find it unworkable, it is your privilege to question it and, if you like, reject it.

Or this one, from the 1960 lecture, Differences Between Scientology & Other Philosophies:

“If it is true for you, it’s true. And if it’s not true for you, it still isn’t true. Not even if Ron told you is it true. It’s just not true, that’s all.”

But a former Scientologist might argue that it is not actually true that one can disagree with Hubbard or disagree with Scientology doctrines. In fact, there are many, many procedures and remedies to handle people who disagree with the tech: word clearing, Study Tech, cramming, Ethics, Keeping Scientology Working, Keeping Admin Working, and so forth. Just think of voicing a disagreement with LRH inside a Scientology Org and imagine what happens.

So we could argue this back and forth. “Yes, Scientologists think for themselves.” “No, they don’t.” We could have one of those black-and-white arguments I talked about in the last post.

But there is a way to test this out.

Let’s envision a Scientologist going through the process described in the Hubbard quote, above. He picks up each bit of technology, looks at it, compares it to his own experience, tries using it and either accepts it (decides it’s true for him) or rejects it (decides it isn’t true for him). And let’s say he has three bins: Uninspected Data, Accepted Data, and Rejected Data. (He could have an “Undecided” bin, but for simplicity, let’s just say he throws any undecided bits back into Bin #1.) So it would look like this:

How do you know if he’s actually going through this process?

Inspect the contents of his Bin #3.

Just ask a Scientologist this one question: “Is there anything L. Ron Hubbard has said that you disagree with?” Watch his or her reaction. I’ve actually done this. Some people just respond with confusion, they hem and haw and stall. Some are just outraged at the idea of disagreeing with Hubbard. And some will actually tell you the things they personally disagree with or found not to be true.

And some will say, “I inspected everything and I agree with everything Hubbard says.”


No, the bottom line is this: If your Bin 3 is empty, then you are not thinking for yourself.

  1. Joe Howard permalink
    November 5, 2010 3:07 am

    Well, Jeff, good point here. However, I think most Scientologists DO think for themselves. They just keep some of their thoughts to themselves! Like we all did at the base. Hence, we get auditors like Lesley Worstell once asking me in a sec check session that was going nowhere, “Did you have any thoughts about your thoughts?” Luckily, I was too anaten to do any serious spinning off that one. But I did remember it!

    • Fidelio permalink
      November 5, 2010 10:58 am

      LOL!! Luckily too anaten… wonderful!

    • November 6, 2010 8:53 pm

      whoa! “Did you have any thoughts about your thoughts?” Leslie was a truly caring human being, you gotta admit. She’s just about the nicest sec checker ever, and NEVER invalidative, at least not to me.


      Imagine, Joe/Dan, what went on in Leslie’s mind when she asked that?

      I imagine, like David Mayo, like Julie Gillespie, that somewhere in Leslie’s mind is a tiny corner that she’s doing the right thing, despite Miscavige, and probably/honestly, even Marty’s influence on the sec checking/interrogatory emeter questioning trends (I include Marty in the trend, since in my heart, I think Marty only applies the Code selectively, and probably all of us are frail in not being able to apply the code like angels; this is all side thought, but I thought Leslie, Heidi and your ex wife Sue K, ALL 3 applied the Code superior to all other Int Base Sec checkers, minus older timer base sec checkers, I’d grant that Coldwell and some others still applied the Code OVER “swinish suspicion”), in any event I imagine Leslie had a part of her own mind where she was on the pc’s side, versus being on DM’s side.

      But for sure, the “Did you have any thoughts about your thoughts” digging in kind of question, is indicative of wishing to toe the DM line and get right in and discover the anti DM disaffection, so she could survive in her role as auditor.

      What a life, the Int Base auditors.

      I’d love to hear Leanora Adams tell her story, or AK, or Leslie, or Heidi.

      This auditor beinginess that evolved at the Int Base, I think is so crucial to the minister beingness that Scientology has to be transparent about, if the movement IS to be considered a religion.

      A Scientology minister can NOT be a thought police practitioner for the political top dog(s) of the movement.

      And I’d say there’s a whole bunch of discussions that they at Int in the auditor ranks CAN’T have, but they need to have.

      Have you ever read Julie Gillespie’s (Julie Mayo’s) writeup Dan/Joe? It is worth finding and reading and thinking about.

      Some of David Mayo’s writings and lectures about the tech are so important to Scientology’s minister role model history.

      Scientology ministers simply CANNOT be thought police. I think some of the problem is the nature of what LRH allowed auditors to ask of preclears, and the old List 1 assessments, and having bad thoughts about LRH and Mary Sue, that’s so close to making the problem of this thought policing systemic.

      I wish a psychotherapist could weigh in on why thought policing in therapy is wrong, but we at least see now it IS wrong.

  2. November 5, 2010 4:19 am

    Being tech trained Jeff, I’ve never looked at word clearing and disagreement checks as forcing a person to agree to a concept they may disagree with but handling one of the symptoms of a misunderstood word or some aberation that may cause the person to say put a horse to bed instead of a stable or close the barn door after its stolen or maybe decide to put it before the cart despite what the manual says on the proper use of horses.

    I think there is a difference between “thinking for yourself” and squirreling.

    This applies to any subject.

    Not just Scientology.

    Why do you think there are such things as owner’s manuals to vehicles?

    Sure you can disagree with changing the oil every 3000 miles!

    However don’t go crying to AAA when your busted flat in Baton Rouge.

    There’s a difference between what could be considered common sense and “mind control indoctrination” or whatever!

    Oh by the way.

    There are many things that I’ve stuck in bin 3.

    • Jeff permalink*
      November 5, 2010 5:05 am

      That’s my point, you have stuff in Bin 3 – so you’re thinking for yourself. And that’s a good thing.

      • November 5, 2010 5:52 am

        Here’s the funny part Jeff.

        My wife and I were driving by the Beverly Center back in ’05 and we saw one of your signs.

        Both of us said to each other something like if only Scientologists these days could and that is when we both realized that the Church had become a “cult”.

    • November 6, 2010 9:08 pm

      TR’s and Cognitions IS such a dominant more important HCOB, and the point is the Auditor’s Code, and auditor beingness is SO important. C/S Series 1, the point that some pc’s DON’T want to be audited by some auditors, HAS to be followed.

      The point is the auditor plus pc is greater than pc’s unconfronted bank.

      Too much “swinish suspicion” is simply a violation of the pc plus auditor formula, and it is anti pc, and NO CASE GAIN and pc fights the auditor.

      So important are the LRH auditor tapes where LRH applies “swinish suspicion”, there is HUGE amount of compassion, and it is SO CLEAR when you listen to LRH audit, that HE is on the pc’s side!

      I am NOT a Scientologist, but I thought LONG and HARD about this all, I truly took this to heart, and the political climate at the top ranks is ANTI Auditor’s Code, it is ANTI therapy fundamentals.

      I am NOT a therapist, and I think today, that ex members going on to become genuine trained therapists in psychology or psychotherapy is BETTER than being independent Scientologists.

      But I looking back with the hindsight of rear view mirrors think that if the Scientologist JUST applied their damned Audtior’s Code for real, then things would be SO MUCH BETTER for them.

      The Auditor’s Code is so goddamned important, that if were applied in full, it would eliminate so much.

      Anyways, Leslie Worstell I loved as a person/Scientologist and auditor. She and Heidi Stahli and Sue Koon were probably my favorite all time auditors.

      What a damned rat race, being an Int Base auditor.

      Coldwell was a damned excellent auditor, and I remember when he and Craig Wright got some of the auditor or C/Ss of the year awards, back in 1983 I think it was.

      Personally I think Marty needs to do some soul searching about some of the negative “swinish suspicion” overbearing in-your-face stuff that the OSA auditors like Joan Diskin and even RTC auditors like Gerda Herrera got away with, in their time as sec checkers.

      The whole damned 1980s to 1990s sec checking was anti Audtior’s Code and anti the pc plus auditor versus pc’s bank formula, and THAT is why that whole damned era is a goddamn travesty and ANTI religion thought police BAD thing in Scientology history, in my opinion.


  3. November 5, 2010 4:48 am

    LOL! My #3 Bin was full to overflowing long before I finally left. It’s just too crazy how we can continue to convince ourselves that we really ARE thinking for ourselves…even as we struggle to keep that #3 Bin from sloshing all over the place.


  4. Tony DePhillips permalink
    November 5, 2010 5:26 am

    Pure genius Jeff!!

    I think that this is one of the best “one shot Clear” question ever developed for the Indies to use on the people inside the church that refuse to look.

    If you asked someone that question and they say “yes” then you have an entrance point and ARC. If they say “no” then you have a good gage on how bad off the person is and then you could start assessing: Do you agree in disconnection? Do you agree that it isn’t ok for you to look at “entheta”? (what reference is that by the way?) Etc. This is a very workable tech you have developed Jeff.

    Oh, by the way. If you really make Scientology your own, I believe that you can create your own processes or drills and help people enormously. One of the biggest setbacks for Scientology in my opinion was to make everyone ( or at least a lot of people) scared shitless to apply the tech or misapply it. Hell, I say make it fun and easy to use and don’t make people fear it. I think it would spread and be accepted that much faster if that is truly what your intention was.

  5. Frankie permalink
    November 5, 2010 5:39 am

    Yet another insightful article! I couldn’t agree more!
    There is a LRH lecture called “The Free Being”, part of the Whole Track Lecture series. Ron describes how we became trapped (an imbalance between force and intelligence) and states that this is the goal of Scientology: Free Beings.
    Of course today this is the last thing Scientology wants. The church has done a 180 degree flop, from freeing beings to entrapment.
    There is a LRH quote (I don’t recall from where) “That which you resist you become, if you lose”. I remember it from a mag article, so you may well recall where its from.
    This seems to describe the current scene in the Church: Don’t think for yourself, Don’t communicate with anyone we deem improper, Don’t read materials we disapprove of, Do what WE say, and DON’T ask any questions!!!
    The Church has become what it resisted.
    And that is sad!

    • Marta permalink
      November 5, 2010 11:20 am

      The church has become what it resisted.

      And that it poetic justice.

    • plainoldthetan permalink
      November 5, 2010 3:25 pm

      I believe the quote ” That which you resist, you become — if you lose.” comes from lecture Miracles 9 Feb 1955. It’s on CD as a Classic and as lecture 6 in the Golden Dawn CD lecture set.

  6. Cool Observer permalink
    November 5, 2010 9:14 am

    When confused, Scinetologists look for the stable datum, and everything will become clear. And if you decide to find one that doesn’t suit the “church”, you haven’t identified a stable datum, you’re out-ethics. Ethical Scientologists oly need one bin – accepted data. As long as these datums are irrefutable, they will always manipulate all thoughts, everything has to be twisted in the mind to fit what one perceives to be an unshakeable fact. On ESMB are a couple of very entertaining threads, as the original poster is presenting “possible evidence” that Incident 2 really happened. Well, Hubbard said it, so it must be true…

    […] A philosophy can only be a route to knowledge. It cannot be crammed down one’s throat. If one has a route, he can then find what is true for him. And that is Scientology. […]
    L. Ron Hubbard, My Philosophy

    I like the ambiguity within the last two sentences, and isn’t it internally inconsistent to claim that knowledge cannot be crammed down one’s throat, only to send people to cramming if they do not apply Scientology exactly as Hubbard (or DM) expects them to?
    Have a nice weekend, everyone.

  7. November 5, 2010 10:36 am

    Very smart observation.

    I think cults come about simply because for most people thinking is just too damned hard. It requires dealing with abstracts and variables and you have to do a lot of comparisons.

    Ugh! TOO MUCH WORK!!!

  8. November 5, 2010 11:54 am

    I don’t want to start gushing here, but this is pure genius.

    That three bin thing is awesome.

    OK, that’s it. I’m stealing it.

    It’s mine now!


  9. November 5, 2010 1:11 pm

    As a former Course Supervisor and Div 6 FSM, I ran into many sitiations where I had to stop students or selectees from thinking for themselves. I always justified it because the tech and policy demanded I follow the rules related to getting that product. It did not matter to me what the person did, as look as he did what was expected. It was my job to get compliance and completions. In KSW, LRH states that we have the tech and he created it, so there was no questioning that. right? I served with an unwavering dedication to these presumptions. And that being so, I never ventured to really look and see if I was accomplishing the overall goals I thought scientology existed for : freeing mankind. All I did was reinforce the barbed wire fences that prevented people from thinking for themselves. I was part of a philosophy that reinforced other determinism.

    This 3 bin system is an excellent tool for helping get scientologists out of the robotic trap of believing everything without full inspection. It cuts right through thought stopping mechanisms.

    Thanks so much for your insight and helpful articles, Jeff. This is a top 10 one, for sure!

  10. November 5, 2010 1:48 pm

    Excellent article, Jeff.

    There’s a corollary to the principle that applies to critics. It is whether their bin #2 is empty, whether they *accept* any data that passed through Hubbard and was published in his name.


  11. MostlyLurker permalink
    November 5, 2010 1:49 pm

    It may be that *any* empty Bin indicates a cultie, just from a different angle.

    Bin#1 empty = may indicate “Know best” attitude
    Bin#2 empty = hardcore critics
    Bin#3 empty = a true follower


    • John Doe permalink
      November 6, 2010 3:12 am

      Good point!

    • Tony DePhillips permalink
      November 6, 2010 3:16 am

      Good point Mostly Lurker. 🙂

    • just_passing_thru permalink
      November 10, 2010 5:33 pm

      “Bin#1 empty = may indicate “Know best” attitude”

      Hmm. Wouldn’t that actually be “Bin#1 *full* = may indicate ‘Know Best’ attitude” ? Then again, maybe it’s the glass half-full/half-empty perspective. ; )

  12. Anna permalink
    November 5, 2010 2:01 pm

    I think this essay needs to be read side by side with the essay on “black and white” thinking.

    IMO simplification ultimately results in black and white thinking.

    I very much have an undecided bin. I also have a sometimes bin. And I also have a bin containing contradictions and a don’t have enough data bin. Then there’s the bin containing “for testing” when I get a chance or some means of testing. Then there’s the disagree bin or I don’t get it bin but maybe there’s some truth there under certain circumstances. And the I agree for situation x but not for situation y. It goes on. Nothing I ever study is just three bins as you have described.

    As I see it, simplification is a fine method of pinning people to the wall with questions that don’t have a yes / no answer or simple answers to every situation and every instance. Its all very black and white then, whether pro or con. I saw this in the Church, I see it in life and I see it in this essay.

    What really amuses me though is to see how much of a role my own life experiences with other people play in the shifting status of various studies and how I evaluate them. Perhaps that is what wisdom is. Working with something over time, seeing how it all rolls out, learning from one’s mistakes, and so on.

    • Tony DePhillips permalink
      November 6, 2010 3:21 am

      The rejected bin could be broken down into sub containers such as rejected, uncertain, needs to be tested, etc. The correct label for that bin would incorporate all of the potential sub-parts. Maybe these: 1. uninspected 2. accepted 3. not accepted .
      Maybe reject is too strong of a word for the overall label.

      • November 6, 2010 7:15 am

        This is the whole thing about the Golden Age of Tech, Knowledge, Ethics whatever B.S.

        No one is allowed to evaluate data for themselves or actually inspect it.

        In the case of these “basics” the person is totally overwhelmed with significance.

        Where once course rooms trained auditors they are now turning out glib book worms who parrot quotes.

        (Sorta like college or university Philosophy Majors)

        Then if they make it through this hurdle of books and lectures that rivals the size of the SHSBC they are then drilled on auditing procedure much like marines in boot camp.

        (Usually the wrong way but that’s another story)

        After this.

        It’s a wonder they can think for themselves at all!

        When I first got in Scientology study and drill were minimal (in fact I never even got a chance to read “Self Analysis” before I was thrown into session with a PC.

        Never mind drill!

        I was reading the book in between giving the PC the command and her answers.) because the Supervisor applied ‘Supervisor Stable Datum’.

        Now you have to be a “perfect” idio….er auditor before they allow you to audit anything except that useless simulator that gives you these nice “perfect” reads that only exist in Miscavige’s twisted universe and not in the real world at all.

        You know that “F/N” that supposedly swings back and forth like a frickin’ metronome doesn’t exist except in a tech film or a meter simulator.


        Not only are Scientologists these days not allowed to think for themselves but they’ve become totally deluded by their unreal “training”.

    • Synthia permalink
      November 7, 2010 9:32 pm


      Brilliant. Agreed. I think we could have a whole, big long and very satisfying discussion on what you have posted here.


  13. earthmother permalink
    November 5, 2010 3:41 pm

    Great article, Jeff!

    Early on I disagreed with the barley formula for babies. I had read in a variety of books that honey can be toxic for babies up to a certain age. I voiced my disagreement and was promptly instructed to word clear the HCOB. I soon realized that if I didn’t agree with something, I’d best keep quiet about it.

    My #3 bin has been filling up and I keep putting it out on the curb for recycling. I realized that as so much of the materials I have I disagree with, I don’t want to pass it on to anyone else. Who knows, someday I may be wiping my arse with recycled HCOB’s!

    • Cowboy Poet permalink
      November 12, 2010 1:14 am

      Too funny!

  14. plainoldthetan permalink
    November 5, 2010 4:27 pm

    Jeff: Thanks for pointing out the Ability magazine article HOW TO STUDY SCIENTOLOGY (V:81). I had studied it once and put it in my bin of “I don’t need it now” data.

    The problem I have seen very often is that people who reject some piece of LRH data haven’t actually inspected.

    They’ve told themself they inspected. They convinced themself they inspected it. But they really didn’t.

    I recently had a disagreement with someone on the procedure of Dating and Locating.

    It turns out that the person I was disagreeing with hadn’t studied (only “read”) HCOB 15 Nov 1978 DATING AND LOCATING and other pertinent issues, like HCO B 8 Jun 1963 R THE TIME TRACK AND ENGRAM RUNNING BY CHAINS, BULLETIN 2.

    They had no auditor training. They never applied the procedure to anyone, and neither had they actually used the procedure as a preclear to blow a stuck point on the track.

    They’d never done any meter training; they’d never done EM-22 (E-Meter Hidden Date This Life) or EM-25 (Track Dating).

    They’d “thought about it” and decided to reject it based on the conclusion it didn’t make any sense to them.

    It also turned out they had never done a physics course or history of science course where they learned how Einstein did “thought experiments”. (Einstein would do thought experiments, but then would formulate and codify physical universe experiments to confirm or deny the results of the thought experiments.)

    This is what I call “lazy inspection”.

    There is a real way to confirm if the Dating and Locating procedure works, or is true.

    The problem is that in the Church, you have to train to Class V Graduate Auditor before it comes up.

    Many people find it too overwhelming to train up that far just to verify or deny their “hunch”.

    And they certainly wouldn’t go through that much Church training if they weren’t a Churchite.

    So they do the “lazy inspection” and reject it.


    Their “inspection” in many cases consisted only of applying a Service Facsimile to the question and stopping the “inspection” after that.

    The joke of course is that a Service Facsimile is something that prevents inspection.

    • Jeff permalink*
      November 5, 2010 6:05 pm

      Do you think it’s possible for someone to fully inspect a piece of LRH data, as you’ve described here, and still reject it? Have you yourself ever fully inspected an LRH datum and ultimately rejected it?

      • plainoldthetan permalink
        November 5, 2010 10:17 pm

        Yes, indeedy. I have come to reject everything LRH wrote about homosexuals in Book One.

        I have come to reject the notion that one cannot be exposed to upper-level data without going insane.

        I have come to reject the datum that Scientology is the most ethical practice on planet Earth.

        There are many things I have come to reject, after actual inspection.

        Or was this just a test?

      • plainoldthetan permalink
        November 5, 2010 10:58 pm

        I thought of another. The bullsh about ILLEGAL PCS. I have audited bundles of people the Church labelled ILLEGAL PCS. In most cases they required more work. In a few cases, I should have had them sign a no refund/no repayment waiver. But in over 50% of the cases, the person who was denied auditing by the church ended up doing very well in auditing.

        The HCO PLs on ILLEGAL PRECLEARS are well reasoned and lucid. And just plain insufficient to the task at hand.

      • Tony DePhillips permalink
        November 6, 2010 3:26 am

        I agree on the illegal pc status thing. This to me is an arbitrary that impedes the expansion of the tech. The prices of auditing are way too high in my opinion. The precautions make sense and if the proper precations were taken I don’t see why these people couldn ‘t get auditing. Unless the auditor actually felt that they couldn’t help the person.

      • plainoldthetan permalink
        November 6, 2010 6:15 pm

        Tony: It seems to me labeling pcs illegal was a purely political thing, and a pointless one at that. If you label a pc illegal and he really has a drive to rid himself of some difficulty, you just drive him back into the arms of the pharmo-psycho-industrical complex. The church for many years also required illegal pcs to make some huge effort, such as training to Class IV or Class V intern, only to then refuse to yank the label. Wotta racket.

        Why couldn’t the church have said: psychiatric history, heavy drugs, or PDHd, no refunds/repayments?

      • Tony DePhillips permalink
        November 6, 2010 9:42 pm

        Geat points P.O.T.
        Yes the manipulation of the “illegals” is another indicator of the low tone management and how he tries to run bad control on vulnerable people. Really sick for a “church” to do this.

  15. November 5, 2010 4:41 pm

    As usual you have hit another nail on the head!

    This is true as I witnessed and experienced inside. However, I often got away with stating, “well, it’s just that this piece of data is not yet ‘true for me’,…and I have a lot of such datums.

    There are a lot of pieces that I feel are true for me and work as well, but nothing is really black or white as you have stated. Even LRH says there are no absolutes. “BRIDGE TO TOTAL FREEDOM” is a bit of an absolute, isn’t it?

    I’m sad to be realizing that the whole thing has really turned into a cult. It has.

    I really love your articles. Please keep up the good work!

  16. Tony DePhillips permalink
    November 5, 2010 5:21 pm

    Hey Jeff,
    Another thing I just realized is that I was on Solo Nots when that slogan came out: “Think for yourself”. I loved it because it summed up a lot about what I liked about Scientology . I always thought that I was thinking for myself, but when I heard that slogan I took it as an official OK to think for myself including the church itself. It was about this time that I defined for myself that a cult was a group that had to follow unquestioning the dictates of it’s leader. So I started thinking and questioning things that I saw within the church. And presto-gigo HERE I AM, no longer in a cult. I still like the Scientology philosophy but didn’t and don’t like the man made cult.

    So in a round about way Jeff, you were partly the cause of me thinking for myself and gettting out of the cult and you did so while you were still part of it yourself!! Now THAT IS OT!! LOL.

  17. AMY'S MOM permalink
    November 5, 2010 5:43 pm

    Hi Jeff,

    I really appreciate your writing all over the place and back again. This was another great article.

    Long before I left, I had a very full Bin 3. But what kept me there was the tag on it that read “but it’s my fault”. That’s such a hard one to lose. Apparently I didn’t have it in me to “make it go right”, and was therefore part of the problem, instead of part of the solution. I left because whatever they were trying to mold me into I wasn’t it. Thank God!

    • Tony DePhillips permalink
      November 6, 2010 3:34 am

      Great point Bonnie!!
      One of the things I think helped to turn Scientology into a cult is how fearful they got everyone to become about “not applying it correctly”. I mean threat of ethics and SP declare, pinishing m-9’s, to prevent the dreadful “MU” ooohh scary!! I mean I agree that a person can have a misunderstood word for sure. Is it really necessary to clear all the definitions and go through all that to duplicate a reference?? Then if you alter the tech you are a SQUIRREL, or you are in lowers or you have O/W’s or you are in a suppressive valence. Or if you cant’ do the Pro metering course then you need to redo your TR’s or get a metered debug. If you miss reads then you are an SP or a DB. I mean this is somewhat of an exaggeration but not much. How can many people be interested in helping others when this is what they need to go through to help??

      • GetTheConcept permalink
        November 7, 2010 2:32 pm

        Here, here!

  18. Watchful Navigator permalink
    November 5, 2010 5:52 pm

    I remember the unveiling of the “Think for Yourself” campaign for Europe with the most beautiful, aesthetic graphics and the complete validation of the artist through and through. Very impressive! As an artist, I felt validated and reinforced by the overall message.

    Now I also remember that very event (1998?) that campaign was rolled out. I remember it because it was the loudest gasp in the crowd ever (in 9 years of events) and we were cheering wildly with the correct indication!!! I remember the suppression coming off in myself and I believe, I could feel it in others around me. Yes!!! our Church acknowledges it’s okay to “Think for Yourself”!!!

    I also remember I even surged in tone with the hopeful idea, “you know, someday we’re not going to be thought of as a cult…?”

    With that campaign you “gave the scarecrow a brain”, man! (if I only had a brain… if I only had a brain…) I don’t think that many of us had a “bin 3” even started, up until that moment.

    Imagine that, “doing what Ron said” – you rebel revolutionary, you!

    • Cool Observer permalink
      November 5, 2010 6:57 pm

      I also remember I even surged in tone with the hopeful idea, “you know, someday we’re not going to be thought of as a cult…?” END QUOTE

      Seems to me that by then you were already thinking for yourself, maybe you just didn’t realize it. The average members NOT thinking for themselves have no idea that the world thinks that Scientology is a cult. They believe in millions of members, breathless expansion and a world reaching 0ut for Scientology.

      • John Doe permalink
        November 6, 2010 3:05 am

        Actually, I believe the the average scientologists DOES know the world thinks of it as a cult. Most scientologists I know and have known didn’t really disseminate the subject very much to friends because they had run into this resistance to the subject a few times too many. “He/she has failed purposes on dissemination,” is a phrase you’ll hear often. It is a thought-stopping idea that explains why they don’t disseminate without examining why failed dissemination is so common.

        What the the average scientologist wants to BELIEVE, is that the subject is expanding tremendously, so that maybe even if things kind of suck in their own experience or around their local org, well, at least somewhere else, it is doing great.

      • Cool Observer permalink
        November 6, 2010 8:57 am

        You’re right, I should have been more precise. I was referring to the members not thinking for themselves, without wanting to imply that this is typical for the average Scientologist.

      • Synthia permalink
        November 8, 2010 3:44 am

        John Doe,

        Interesting point. In the day to day affairs of the church, as a staff member, I viewed many circumstances where my fellow staff members and the public would not or could not think for themselves. The subject of dissemination is one and I would like to add other “reasons” that we given to justify the lack of FSM activity so as not to actually think for oneself or say what one actually does think.

        What a person really wants to say if he or she is thinking independently is:

        ” If I bring someone in here, you are not going to really care for and properly handle the person. You will talk about out gradient things, ask for money when you shouldn’t, suggest something the person isn’t interested in, not really listen, sound like a cult member, and besides, they have lots to say about Xenu and other negative stuff on the Internet that you won’t be able to address because you aren’t allowed to know about it, etc., etc., etc. ”

        This is not allowed. So, the person says “I don’t really have contact with any non-Scientologists”, “I’m so busy with the various campaigns, etc.” “I’m on course all the time”, ‘I need to drill the Dissem Drill again (for the 500th time), “I can’t find the ruin”, blah, blah, blah.

        If the church was on purpose and really helping people with no ulterior motives and all actions were always in that direction of improving service, training of staff, compassion, help etc., all you would have to do is just bring someone in and that person would see that this place is different from any other place they have ever been. You could probably be the worst disseminator in the world if you could just get someone there.

        How can you think for yourself and stay in accord with your group when the entire organization, from the top down, is in denial?

      • John Doe permalink
        November 9, 2010 2:53 am


        Well said. You nicely articulated a number of my thoughts on this. Besides what you’ve said, I’ve come to realize that the main reason I stopped disseminating, the most basic statement of it, is that I am an honest person. If I were to be active with dissemination, I would have to compartmentalize my basic honesty in order to tell the selectee, “acceptable truths”, and not reveal too much so as to not go “out-gradient”. Etc., ad nauseum.

        So, I just avoided the idea of dissemination altogether and made up lame excuses to the more insistent queries by staff. I just decided that “Scientology is my own thing and I am not going to force it on anybody,” because I knew quite well, the force that would be “gradiently” brought to bear on any friends I took into the org.

        Interesting note is that in the mid 70s, at the mission where I began scientology, it was the environment you described in the second to last paragraph. I was excited to tell my friends about scn, and I got a number of them on the comm course.

      • Anna permalink
        November 10, 2010 2:21 pm


        “If I bring someone in here, you are not going to really care for and properly handle the person. You will talk about out gradient things, ask for money when you shouldn’t, suggest something the person isn’t interested in, not really listen, sound like a cult member, and besides, they have lots to say about Xenu and other negative stuff on the Internet that you won’t be able to address because you aren’t allowed to know about it, etc., etc., etc. ”

        Exactly what I thought to myself. Add to that – the person I sent in will come right back to me with complaints and wonder how this could be what I showed them in the books about ARC or be upset with me for putting them into a non-optimum situation. Or perhaps they would be regged for the Sea Org and fail to continue in the Sea Org or protest outpoints and be declared or decimated. Net result: One more person I am not supposed to communicate with because they are “bad” “SP” PTS” and so on. Or one more person who took my recommendations and it came out a hash. If I write any of this up and demand a sort out either nothing happens at all or I find myself on the receiving end of ministrations intended to shut me up and get me to see how its all for the greatest good…

        I had all the same excuses for not disseminating as you listed and later on another one that I didn’t know any non-Scientologists as all I ever did was Scientology and I worked only with Scientologists. No time in the day to meet or do anything with anyone who wasn’t a Scientologist.

        All of that misbehavior was thrown into my rejected bin (oh yes, I do have a rejected bin after all and it is full of my own and others misbehavior that cause less than beneficial results – I consider this “school of life”) along with any confidence that anyone in the Church was going to do anything to handle this rejected behavior. I don’t know what that bin is called — but I do know its there — kind of like completed mini-doubt formulas if you will.

  19. November 5, 2010 8:02 pm

    That’s a good post. I’ll share it on FB.
    I also like a lot this one :

    “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your …religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it. ~Buddha

  20. Soderqvist:1 permalink
    November 5, 2010 8:58 pm

    Soderqvist1: plainoldthetan The Scientology Tech – Dating and Locating, is derived from Alfred Korzybski’s indexing and Dating (1938). Show your “student” that as a “lower gradient” and ask him if it make more sense?

    Soderqvist1: btw, because “we” are able to think for our-selves are no guaranty that the conclusion is correct. For the sake of argument let’s say that Scientology is made up of 100 data, it is reasonable to assume that critics will fill the rejected data bin with more data say 80, and the independent, and CoS Scientologists will put at least 80, or more in the accepted data bin. That we end up with 160 or more data shows that our “think for your selves” doesn’t add up, it proves it is something wrong with our modus operandi! May I quote Alfred Korzybski, and William Alanson White?

    There are two ways to slide easily through life: Namely to believe everything or to doubt everything, both ways save us from thinking. – Alfred Korzybski

    “The trouble with people is not so much with their ignorance as it is with their knowing so many things that are not so.” — William Alanson White.

    Soderqvist1: CoS Scientologists claim (black, and white thinking) that all psychiatrists are bad. I have found at least one psychiatrist (Dr Walter Freeman) who fit their “industry of Death” criteria, but Compare him with said William Alanson White?

    Walter Jackson Freeman II
    Freeman performed nearly 3500 lobotomies in 23 states, mostly based on scanty and flimsy evidence for its scientific basis, but more significantly he popularized the lobotomy as a legitimate form of psychosurgery. Freeman embarked on a national campaign in his van which he called his “lobotomobile” to demonstrate the procedure to doctors working at state-run institutions; Freeman would show off by icepicking both of a patient’s eye sockets at one time – one with each hand. The “ice pick lobotomy” was, according to Ole Enersen, performed by Freeman “with a recklessness bordering on lunacy, touring the country like a travelling evangelist. In most cases,” Enersen continued, “this procedure was nothing more than a gross and unwarranted mutilation carried out by a self righteous zealot. Freeman’s most notorious operation was on the ill-fated Rosemary Kennedy, who was permanently incapacitated by a lobotomy at age 23.

    The Lobotomist Walter Freeman
    Officials at state mental hospitals and veterans hospitals across the country also found the trade-offs acceptable. (An exception was William Alanson White, superintendent of Freeman’s own St. Elizabeths, who never allowed lobotomies in the hospital during his tenure.) Lobotomy arrived on the scene at a time when these institutions overflowed with patients, many of them servicemen who developed mental illnesses during World War II, with no reliable courses of treatment ahead of them. Mental health practitioners desperately needed new therapies.

    Soderqvist1: L. Ron Hubbard has claimed that he has met said William Alanson White!

    Lecture: Dianetics the Modern Miracle by L. Ron Hubbard
    Well, there was Dr. William Alanson White, a very fine man. He was head of the big St. Elizabeth’s, the big mental institution there in Washington, D.C., and he had been a friend of mine for quite a while. I had met him through other friends of Dr. Thompson’s. And I went over there and very proudly I said, “Now, look what I’ve done.”

    He took a look at it and — “It doesn’t run on energy, huh?” I hadn’t realized it, but he hadn’t ever considered that it even ran on energy. He had just never looked at it from this viewpoint, that it was a machine, that it was an electronic computer, that it was any of these things. And he was very, very nice about the whole thing and he told me the sky is the limit, and he said, “If you carry out these researches, if you’ve got nerve enough to do it, then one of these fine days,” he said, “you’ll certainly, undoubtedly wind up with something. Bad or good, you’ll certainly come up with an answer.” After that he used to see me every once in a while, and he would smile at me and we would have a talk about the subject. We were in different worlds as far as that was concerned, because he was a Jungian and he believed in the soul and basic instincts.

    • Cool Observer permalink
      November 6, 2010 9:29 am

      Freeman didn’t “disseminate” the practice of lobotomy to harm people or to become rich, he truly believed it was not just beneficial, but the only way to give many people a chance of reclaiming their lives – people who would have spent decades locked away in filthy, overcrowded and prison-like institutions. He must be blamed for his narcism as he dreamed of becoming famous, and for the fact that he allowed his “sientific mind” to fade out, when he became so obsessed with his theory that he refused to recognize the many outpoints of is “allegedly fool-proof method”. The man harmed thousands of people, many of them permanently, some died during the operation, but there was no malicious intent. That does not excuse anything, but it serves to explain his deeds. It’s interesting to note that in the 1950s this horrible practice was outlawed in most countries, including Soviet Russia and that “evil country that invented psychiatry in the first place”. In the US and England that didn’t happen until the 1980s.

      When looking for people that fit the “industry of death”-cliche, I don’t think Freeman can be compared to people like Mengele. He did horrible things to his victims, like injecting gasoline into the heart of living people to find out how long it took them to die, and many other atrocities. Pure evil.

  21. November 5, 2010 10:37 pm

    Lots of excellent comments and examples. There’s nothing better than a good blog article that gets people thinking.

  22. idle org permalink
    November 5, 2010 11:09 pm


    Thank you for informing me about Steve Hassan. After watching several of his talks and reading some of his writings, I’d say that he has written The Basics on cults. Only, they would be the pre-GAT Basics, directly from source.

  23. Panda permalink
    November 6, 2010 2:31 am

    Great essay, Jeff. Can you tackle “Make Up Your Own Mind” next?
    That is a slogan which has more than one meaning in scientology. LOL 🙂

  24. Mickey permalink
    November 6, 2010 3:07 am

    The questioning mind perceives itself in time, and therefore looks for future answers.
    The closed mind believes the future and present will be the same.
    This establishes a seemingly stable state that is usually an attempt to counteract an underlying fear
    that the future will be worse than the present.
    This fear inhibits the tendency to question at all.
    Thus the resultant phenomena….thought-stopping.

  25. Karen#1 permalink
    November 6, 2010 5:55 am

    Thank you for another great essay Jeff.
    There is something fundamentally wrong when your job is intertwined with your religion, which is intertwined with family.
    As soon as one employs BIN #3, the job and workplace is endangered.
    The family connections, even parent to child is endangered and controlled and
    I am of the opinion that one’s workplace and religion should not be intertwined at all,
    especially when Behind-the-Scenes Dirty tricks go into play to FIRE the staff member for using Bin #3.

    • Aeolus permalink
      November 6, 2010 2:46 pm

      Well Karen, we were sure encouraged to do that, weren’t we? Align Our Dynamics! It seemed logical to me. Still does, in fact. If each area was doing well and they reinforced each other, that should add up to power, shouldn’t it? And it does seem to work well for the Mormons, the Amish and others.

      Of course, of the many WISE companies I worked for, none ever lived up to the promise and a couple were downright insane. Only in hindsight can I begin to understand why that was. Fortunately my marriage is sound, but include extended family and I encounter some more insanity, and yes, it’s Church-related. So these areas apparently do reinforce each other, just in the wrong direction because of the craziness the Church has become, and it can be a little tricky trying to extricate the sane parts of one’s existence.

      My problems are nothing though in comparison to the owners of some of those WISE companies. Their employees are all Scientologists, their kids are in the Sea Org, they’ve donated their retirement to the IAS, and their lives are now basically a runaway train headed for a cliff.

      So perhaps the old cliche about not putting all of your eggs in one basket is good advice, after all. Just like not putting all of your inspected data in one bin.

    • November 6, 2010 7:47 pm


      And Jeff’s site, and Jeff’s points, ARE in fact engaging in the very examination which at LRH’s moments of clarity not only allowed, but ordered his members to engage in.

      I’ve thought and hoped for years, that “we’d” (Scientologists, although I am NOT one today, but I had HOPED to find the kinds of discussions that go on on Jeff’s and Marty’s and Steve Hall’s sites).

      It’s hard to say what LRH’s reaction to all this examination would be.

      LRH himself unfortunately labeled the people who put out the “Aberree” magazine as squirrels.

      And in Roy Wallis’ great critical book on Scientology “The Road to Total Freedom” the history of the early free thinking Scientologists are shown to have been marginalized and tromped on eventually, by LRH.

      LRH said one thing, and later, things evolved against his earlier writings and lectures which allowed greater freedom to criticize him and his ideas.

      That YouTube clip from “Religulous” movie with Bill Mayer being “handled” by the Vatican PR Catholic priest in front of the Vatican, THAT is how tolerant official Scientology needs to someday evolve into being.

      My thoughts are that ex members are the only ones who will bring that about.

      It’s only the ex members, or the ousted members like the independent Scientologists, who are free enough to allow free communication about it all.

      Thanks Jeff and Karen!

  26. Jethro Bodine permalink
    November 6, 2010 8:51 am

    I don’t think Scientology is so much about Thought Control as it is about Behavior Control. In my opinion/experience, I never felt a cramming officer was trying to “control my thoughts” when he or she was trying to find MUs on me or trying to strip false data from me or even trying to show me the correct reference to something (though in Scientology one is encouraged to only find the “on Source” solution to something). A trip to the ethics officer, by contrast, is much different. God forbid your moral code should be different than the ethics officer’s moral code. God forbid you like to go watch mud wrestling on a Saturday night. As long as one is a “good little Scientologist” and goes to course five times a week, donates lots of money to the IAS and Idle Orgs, brings all their friends and family into the org, and says nothing but good things about the org, Scientologists, David Miscavige, and who’s that other guy? Oh yeah, LRH. Hip hip! It was actually the ethics officer’s attempt to control my behavior that caused me to leave Scientology for good as I never wanted a religion to tell me how to live my life.

    • William permalink
      November 7, 2010 3:52 pm

      I would have to disagree with your assessment of the Cramming Officer’s job. It really is about thought control. The definition of “false data” is “data that does not agree with Hubbard”. So “false data stripping” is removing any data that does not align with Hubbard’s pronouncements, isn’t it?

      Likewise, where a student’s understanding of a concept does not match what Hubbard said is true, that is considered an MU, and must be “cleared” until the student’s “mis”understanding is removed.

      I’m not saying the Word Clearer, Supervisor or Cram Off is consciously doing thought control, but their job is to get rid of any disagreement with Hubbard’s teachings, no matter what it takes, isn’t it?

      • November 7, 2010 9:22 pm

        Cramming is basically intensive instruction on many subjects not just Scientology and false data on any of them has nothing to do with Hubbard’s view.

        Also what is false is determined by the individual not by the cramming officer.

      • Jethro Bodine permalink
        November 7, 2010 10:03 pm

        >> The definition of “false data” is “data that does not agree with Hubbard”. So “false data stripping” is removing any data that does not align with Hubbard’s pronouncements, isn’t it?

        No William, that actually isn’t the definition of “false data”. It means simply what it it says – data/information which isn’t true. A statement like “David Miscavige is six feet tall” would be an example of a false datum. In fact, I think most of Miscavige’s PR events consists mostly of false data, e.g. “the church is expanding like never before”. A person can even receive false data stripping and word clearing on non-Scientology subjects like computer programming. Word clearing is simply looking up the definitions of words and using them in sentences until you get a really good concept of that word. Again, the job of the word clearer is not trying to get the person to agree with Hubbard or whomever, at least that was never my experience. There are efforts inside and org to get one to agree with Hubbard, but that is more likely to be done by an ethics officer or course supervisor or senior/executive. Example, a senior might say something to a junior such as “You can always get your stat up every week, no excuses, and if you don’t think so you’re out-ethics”. One can’t overtly disagree with such statements without looking like an SP.

      • GetTheConcept permalink
        November 8, 2010 5:08 am

        William, it could be attempted the way you say, where the “cramming officer” is trying to do false data stripping where he tries to simply “get rid of any disagreement with Hubbard’s teachings, no matter what it takes” and I would venture to say that it is possible this might have been attempted on you at some time, or you have seen it done that way to someone else. I believe I may have seen it done also. But my observation has been that it doesn’t work when that is attempted and it doesn’t resolve the student’s ability to think with and use the data. The student may think he “feels good about” it, or he may just say he does just to end the horrific action where he knows his reality is being violated. All people concerned may be fooled into thinking the situation is “resolved” where it just results in glib, robotic application and it makes it more difficult to really handle it later when he still can’t apply because he can’t think with the data for himself (there’s Jeff’s “think for yourself theme coming up again). A “cramming officer” who does that just doesn’t get it and will fail. What false data stripping does is it handles false data, and in my opinion that means data which if used will mess things up or at least not get the desired result. I have done hundreds and hundreds of false data strippings on people and all I cared about was data that was causing a conflict in the student’s world, not about whether he agreed or not with LRH, and it was usually very obvious that it freed up the student’s thinking and ability to apply. Just like everything else, it as a lot to do with the intention of the person applying the technology.

  27. November 6, 2010 7:37 pm

    The bin #3 people, well Hubbard course room policy is quite clear, and the study tapes are quite clear, as a Course Sup, one’s job is transforming those bin 3 people into “How Could It Be That Way” and the “That Way” is the LRH way, and one’s JOB as a Course Sup is dealing with the student disagreements, and smoothing the student over to the LRH data 100% of the time, otherwise NO WAY could students pass their end of course examinations in Qual.

    “How Could It Be That Way” (and making students see HOW LRH was correct in whatever it was that LRH said, THAT was my greatest accomplishment as a course sup. I spent years doing it, and Al Baker mentored me at it, and Al Baker was a consummate professional course sup of the admin tech, and Al was my boss when I started as Course Sup.

    Jeff your blog is priceless GOOD stuff.

    Thanks again Jeff!


    • GetTheConcept permalink
      November 7, 2010 3:17 pm

      For what it’s worth, I’d like to tell you how I put it all together, as a Course Sup for many years. My understanding was (and is) that I could apply any and all references. “How to Study Scientology” from the Ability mag is just as valid in the courseroom as the part in the Study Tapes about “set yourself up some examples of how it’s not that way and how it is that way” and Word Clearing. I found that making sure that the student was thinking for himself was a very effective element in clearing up the confusion or disagreement or whatever it was.

      I felt that my job as a Supervisor was to make sure the student got what LRH was actually saying or writing to the student’s satisfaction. It was NOT my job to interpret the data for him, nor was it my job to see to it that he agreed with LRH.

      In my opinion, this was the best way to go about it: If the student had a disagreement with something he was studying, the first thing I would do was ensure that he really duplicated what it said there. He could have been disagreeing with something that LRH wasn’t actually saying. This was very often the case. When we would find the misunderstood word or whatever it was that caused him not to get what the reference really said, then often this would result in him realizing that he does agree with what it actually says. If the student understood what the reference actually said and he still disagreed or he couldn’t see it that way, we would use the “how it’s not that way and is that way” examples, and make sure he did it enough. The main thing I was concerned with here was not whether he agreed with LRH but whether he was actually looking and thinking for himself and wasn’t doing some non-confront on some aspect of the data or something like that. Once I could see that he was making his own observations and was looking at it to a sensible degree, if he still didn’t agree, he didn’t agree. What was I supposed to do, force him to agree with something he didn’t agree with? He had applied “How to Study Scientology”. And yes, it did occasionally occur that the student agreed to disagree and he happily went on with his studies. Usually, he could at least see some usefulness in the data by that time or see it from certain viewpoints. And very often I would find that I myself hadn’t had the data right and now understood it better myself or at least got more viewpoints on it than I had before.

      I think this is essential to any study of anything. Without the student having his own viewpoint his ability to apply and get results is minimized anyway, so it’s all for the better to make sure he thinks for himself.

      • Joe Howard permalink
        November 7, 2010 7:15 pm

        Great approach, GetTheConcept. I can tell you are one hell of a Supe.
        The church is much poorer for your no longer being on post.
        But there are Indie academies springing up and I know someone who could use
        your expertise. Maybe we need to work out a way to put training on line.

      • Synthia permalink
        November 7, 2010 8:55 pm

        If you are in a University or some other sort of “think tank”, there are lots of different viewpoints to access, sift through and use to amalgamate, interpolate, extrapolate, induce, deduce, etc., etc.

        In this environment, there may be an agenda or you may have faulty texts to begin with as in revisionist history by any faction. Knowing that, you must take responsibility to be diligent in your studies and fully understand the source. In this way, with all of the wide varieties of materials to choose from, you are in control of your learning experience and “at cause”, if you will.

        In this environment it MAY be possible (though I am still working this out in my own mind) to use the tools of Scientology, ie., Study Tech, False Data Stripping, Debug Tech, even correction lists and Method One auditing to work things out for yourself if there was ABSOLUTELY no evaluation and you were the one ALWAYS deciding what tool you might want to use (and that may not be possible in the case of auditing).

        In the above example of a student in the courseroom going through all the Supe tech as described and possibly finally coming to the “agree to disagree” stage and moving happily along in his or her studies, I would venture to guess that this would happen only when the data in question is, in the end, inconsequential to the continued study. It would not be a datum, such as, “I don’t think I believe in the reactive mind anymore and here is my hypothesis regarding this idea….” I would also submit that even when one agrees to disagree, that person still walks away not feeling understood. That’s okay but where this happens to often, the person is gone.

        In my opinion, one of the very exhilarating and tremendous growth opportunities that is missing in Scientology is the ability to throw individual ideas (not filtered through the Scientology think) around with others, to debate, to discuss other authors and experiences. We are expected to assume LRH distilled this all down for us so we no longer have to look but just “understand” what LRH said. And I would appreciate it, if at this point, a reader would not go off on the tangent the LRH said, “If it’s not true for you, it’s not true” as the “church” demands so much of a person that he or she would never have the opportunity to do the kind of travel, research, etc. that brought LRH to his own conclusions and, in fact, the individual would be chastised for wasting time why the survival of mankind was in the balance.

        The fact that the one would actually “get routed” to false data stripping, etc. infers that the person’s thinking is faulty. Also, once the spell of Scientology and the myth of it’s all encompassing perfection is broken, these tools, in the hands of non-critically thinking individuals, can begin to look like thought and behavior modification tools. That is scary.

        I wonder, in an ideological organization that includes specific codes, and creeds and policies if it is ever possible to fully think for yourself and still remain a member.

      • Synthia permalink
        November 7, 2010 10:23 pm

        When I said:

        “The fact that the one would actually “get routed” to false data stripping, etc. infers that the person’s thinking is faulty.”

        I meant that someone is inferring that and then implying to another that…

      • Aeolus permalink
        November 8, 2010 2:29 pm

        GetTheConcept, you were supervising exactly as Hubbard intended, in my opinion. In a similar vein, a friend of mine who was the CS at the local mission once got a call from a PC who was having a computer problem he needed to fix before he could come in for his scheduled auditing. This CS walked him through the Debug Checklist over the phone, having each question apply to the computer problem, and they actually fixed it!

        I think the main problem with Scientology (other than the psycho in charge) is that it has been too often delivered/managed by people with no Bin 3 themselves.

  28. Anon permalink
    November 7, 2010 7:54 pm

    Actually i disagree somewhat about the bin test.
    The content of bin #3 doesn’t indicate whether you are really thinking for yourself or not.
    You could be disagreeing to something just because someone else told you to and then you wouldn’t think for yourself, even though bin #3 is not empty and on the other side bin #3 could be empty, although you are really thinking for yourself.

    An alternative way to test if you are really thinking for yourself or not is this:
    If someone asks you WHY you agree or disagree with something, then you are perfectly able to explain it to him with your own arguments.
    If you are able to convincingly (convincingly to yourself at least) explain to someone why you do or don’t believe something with your own arguments and reasons, then this is an indication that you have really thought about the subject yourself and not just accepted it because everyone else does too.
    The reasons themselves again have to be your own and not just uncritically adapted from someone else.

    A result of the “thinking for yourself” process is this:
    -You will not be afraid anymore to voice disagreement, because you can now defend your position with good, thoroughful arguments, which stem from your own conviction.

    • November 7, 2010 11:54 pm


      If it was up to me.

      I’d say you made the comment of the day on this blog.

      However since that’s up to Jeff.

      All I can say is:

      You totally rock dude!

      High 5 🙂

    • Anon permalink
      November 8, 2010 12:47 am

      I want to add another point, which is imho an important prerequesite for being able to think for yourself:

      You need to be allowed to look also at data from other sources about the same subject.

      If you only get data from one source, then this data could be so manipulated or biased that it leads you to come to the same conclusion as the source, simply because you can’t even imagine an alternative viewpoint.
      For example, if you only read Dianetics: the modern science of mental health, but no other books about the mind, then you can’t really have an informed opinion about the subject of the mind.
      Only if you also study books about psychology, neuroscience or other disciplines, which concern themselves with the human mind, can you come to an informed, self-determined opinion about it.

      Using data from multiple sources instead of just one, is also part of the process of “thinking for yourself”.

      • November 8, 2010 2:48 am

        I agree with you Anon.

        After reading Dianetics I read some of the works of Freud, Jung, Reich and even Skinner.

        Back in those days you didn’t have any self appointed censors telling you what you could read and not read.

        I even read Cooper’s ‘Scandal of Scientology’.

        Nowadays if you ever admit to an MAA or EO that you read any of the sources listed or the above book. They’d probably lock you in ethics and throw away the key or if your SO expose you to Miscavige’s special brand of “tough love”.

      • GetTheConcept permalink
        November 8, 2010 5:13 am

        I agree. I think that just getting your data from only one source all the time is too much flow in one direction and it stops up your thinking with the data to one degree or another, and hinders understanding.

      • plainoldthetan permalink
        November 9, 2010 5:22 am

        I believe that anyone in the church who says you’re not allowed to read anything else about the mind than LRH is extremely poorly educated in Scientology itself.

        I myself read the introduction to the October 1951 printing of Science of Survival.The 1951 version contains a single page that has curiously been omitted from the current Miscavig-ized version of the book (it also is not in my 1989 copy of the book):


        Acknowledgement is made to fifty-thousand years of thinking men without whose speculations and observations the creation and construction of Dianetics would not have been possible. Credit in particular is due to:

        Anaxagoras Thomas Paine
        Aristotle Thomas Jefferson
        Socrates Rene Descartes
        Plato James Clerk Maxwell
        Euclid Charcot
        Lucretius Herbert Spencer
        Roger Bacon William James
        Francis Bacon Sigmund Freud
        Isaac Newton Cmdr Thompson (MC) USN
        van Leeuwenhoek William A. White
        Voltaire Will Durant
        Count Alfred Korzybski

        and my instructors in atom ic and molecular phenomena, mathematics and the humanities at George Washington University and at Princeton.


        That let me know I could read others’ work to get insight into how Dianetics worked.

        I was further impressed when I was studying on the Briefing Course that LRH advised auditors to study and learn things about psychoanalysis in lecture 21 July 1966 6607C21 DIANETIC AUDITING SHSBC 433.

        If there is a covert or overt operation in Scientology to keep people from reading and studying things for themselves, it doesn’t seem to me to be backed up by LRH’s actual written documents or recorded words.

        Oh, wait, I forgot. The Church of Scientology doesn’t work on LRH’s actual written or recorded works anymore. It operates on verbal tech and verbal data issued by DM and things “based on the works” of L. Ron Hubbard.

        My bad.

      • Synthia permalink
        November 9, 2010 9:06 am


        Dig it. I know what you mean. Unfortunately that acknowledgment, where credit is given to those authors, has been removed from the current edition of Dianetics.


      • plainoldthetan permalink
        November 11, 2010 1:18 am

        It’s actually from Science of Survival.

      • Fidelio permalink
        November 12, 2010 2:33 pm


        in my book that random name dropping on the first page of SOS is lukewarm and scientifically pointless.

        I would like to know on which points Hubbard refers to who, where he builds on when and with what, which books he recommends for deeper edification and broader education, where and what are the roots of which idea he developped further…..

        Just saying.

      • Synthia permalink
        November 13, 2010 6:54 am


        Agreed. To just write a list of names is to, IMO, try to give some greater credibility to the book without really giving any credit or showing the thought process and how it evolved, etc. in regards to the particular work of those named. IMO, from what I have researched so far, it may be that LRH had only a cursory understanding of much of the work of the authors listed.

      • Fidelio permalink
        November 13, 2010 12:18 pm


        exactly! 😉

    • Synthia permalink
      November 8, 2010 3:23 am


      This is a brilliant post.


  29. Summer Wind permalink
    November 10, 2010 10:09 pm

    THIS is a fantastic article, VVWD!! I like the demo a lot and am so happy there are people like you around to demonstrate the obvious. Thank you so much.

  30. freespirit permalink
    November 11, 2010 5:19 pm

    I just read an excellent article concerning Kieran Egan, author of “Learning in Depth: A Simple Innovation QThat Can Transofrm Schooling”. Keagan proposes an idea that goes like this: Assign each student a single specific topic, which he or she will study over and over again, from every possible angle, from early elementary to high school. The hope is that by the time theya re finished they will be world-class experts on their topics- as well as more effective citizens. Egan states”People who know nothing in depth commonly assume that their opinions are the same kind of thing as knowledge.” And that “acentral feature of becoming a moral person is to learn to become engaged with something outside the self.”

    Yet, in the current organization of Radical Scientology is doing the exact opposite: public and staff are being punished for looking outside the realm of its writings, and from one man’s interpretations of those writings. Past philosophers? Current new age writings? God forbid. There is something mortally wrong with you is you feel the desire to expand past LRH writings and look to see what others have awritten before him. God forbid if you should want to find common truths in all religions…..Instead of producing enlightened individuals, with real kniowledge, or encoruaging such, it is producing a society of robots with no peripheal vision. Who needs to see further? “WE” have ALL the answers!

    I believe eventually the whole thing will implode on itself. Robots cannot export knowledge or self awareness.

  31. November 12, 2010 2:09 pm

    [NOT FOR PUBLICATION. I figured it’s the best way to reach you.]

    I became aware of an old article yesterday re. Scientology. Although the author is not identifiable, the article is most certainly authored by a former member. When I read it, I thought about you, because you where in at the time, and like the author, you are looking into “what happened?”(my impression.) Although the article is dated 1973, it strikes me that the description of Scientology at the time matches quite well the description of Scientology nowadays overall. Given this, I think it’s excellent food for thought for recently departed members:
    (there is no detailing of upper levels etc.)


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