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

Monday, May 25, 2009

Scientology's "Mental Manipulation"

In the recent news about the Church of Scientology on trial in France, one of the lawyers for the church, Patrick Maisonneuve, said:
"We will contest every charge and prove that there was no mental manipulation."
Oh, really?

That is going to be a very, very hard thing to prove. After all, Scientology is all about mental manipulation!

How do you suppose the lawyer is going to prove that an organization that boasts that its "technology" can handle any and all "mental problems" does not practice mental manipulation?

Let's see. L. Ron Hubbard's book Science of Survival, a rather large book, is specifically and only about how to use Hubbard's "Tone Scale" to evaluate and control people using mental manipulation.

Hubbard's extensive issues about surveys and marketing are all about how to control people without their consent or knowledge. His advices to "registrars" (salesmen) are all about how to use tricks and how to persist until they "get the sale".

Hubbard carefully selected the images for his book covers because, he believed, they would mentally manipulate people so they would buy his books without knowing why they felt compelled to do so. The most famous image is, of course, the "Dianetics volcano" on Dianetics, the Modern Science of Mental Health, which was supposed to trigger OT III and force people to buy the book.

Hubbard's famous "TR" drills are all about controlling people. These drills are billed as "communication drills" but that isn't what they teach. Their purpose is to teach a person how to control others. The TR0 drills train the person to not react in any way to what others might say. The rest of the TR drills train the person to get an answer or, especially, to get compliance from others by means of mental manipulation. These drills have nothing to do with how to have normal, social conversations, they are all about control and how to force compliance.

In fact, when you get right down to it, there isn't any part of Scientology that isn't about mental manipulation. Scientologists are all busy being controlled and working to control others through their "superior mental technology".

So, just how is it that this lawyer thinks he can prove that mental manipulation wasn't involved?

Ah! Perhaps he will contend that, because Scientology's attempts at mental manipulation are so feeble and ineffective, it really shouldn't count. In other words, their only defense will be to prove that Scientology doesn't work!


  1. The TR thing really bugs me. The simplicity of it stems from the definition of communication, of the information being sent from the communicator to the listener. What happens when the information is a command? It's that fuzziness of the definition of "duplication" again.

    And of course, because you are twinned in the TRs, you're learning both sides of the drill - to manipulate, and to be manipulated. The bull-baiting exercise is explicitly about learning not to buckle when confronted with aggressiveness, but is implicitly about learning how to confront someone with irrational levels of aggression. And we know that goes on in the field!

  2. @Beacon Schuler

    That's all true, but the TR0 drills are more than just about not reacting to aggressiveness. The drills train the Scientologist not to react to anything that other people say or do. Anything. Funny, sad, odd, aggressive, shocking, happy... anything.

    Because, you see, when you react to something, you are "at effect" -- and so you can't get compliance. And that is why a "conversation" with a Scientologist is like talking to a robot. No reaction.

    And that's why I say these are not "communication drills". In real communication, people DO react to what other people say.

    Not in Scientology.

    But, of course, as you pointed out, Scientologists don't actually do very well with that confronting thing in the real world.

  3. Great article, JB. I hope it makes into the French prosecutor's hands!


Comments will be moderated. Have patience, I get around to it pretty quick. As a rule of thumb, I won't approve spam, off-topic, trolling or abusive stuff. The rest is usually OK. Yes, you can disagree with me.