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.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Scientology and "Know"

This word, "know", when used by a Scientologist does not mean what you think it means. When you hear a Scientologist say they know something about Scientology or the Church of Scientology, they are not saying what you think they are saying.

This can be very confusing. Let me clarify this. First, you need some basic Scientology concepts.

When Scientologists speak about knowing something, they are talking about what L. Ron Hubbard called "knowingness". Hubbard defined knowingness as "self-determined knowledge".

To say that more plainly, in Scientology, "knowingness" is what you "know" without any information, facts, evidence from outside yourself. It is what you, yourself, have decided is true.

You will note that this definition of "knowingness" would also be a perfect definition of belief.

This is not some trivial bit of Scientology, this is core Scientology dogma. This is tied to what Hubbard said about "OT" powers of "postulating". According to Hubbard, postulating is creating reality by just deciding that something exists or that something is in a certain state.

According to Hubbard, if you "postulate" something without any doubts or reservations, it must become true. This is what OT powers are all about.

And this is "knowingness". If you self-determinedly "know" something, and hold that "knowingness" without any doubts or reservations, then, according to Scientology, it will be true.

It's like telling people that, if they can hold a wish in their mind for an hour without ever thinking of pink elephants, that wish will come true.

Good luck with that.

But Scientologists believe this. And so they believe, pardon me, know that Scientology works, that everything the church says is true, that David Miscavige is the most wonderful person in the whole universe.

And they must hold this belief knowledge firmly in place without any doubts or the whole thing will fall apart!

And so you have someone who has attested to being "able to talk to anyone on any subject" -- and who obviously can't do that -- still "knowing" that Scientology works.

You have Clears -- who get sick -- who still "know" that Scientology works.

You have Scientologists, who can easily see the "OTs" around them struggling and failing in life -- still "knowing" that Scientology creates "true OTs".

Scientology true believers will put up with the most amazing abuse, broken promises, greed and fraud from the Church of Scientology -- and still "know" that the Church of Scientology is perfect and good.

Because when they say they "know" these things, it means they believe these things and they desperately hope that their belief will make it come true.

Scientology defines itself as "knowing how to know". Using the Scientology definition of "know", we can finally translate that: "Scientology: Learning how to believe".

And now you can understand what a Scientologist is actually saying when they say they "know Scientology works", and why they cannot tolerate any discussion or outside facts. They are trying not to think of pink elephants.


  1. As usual, great observations. Scientology also defines reality as "agreement." "What we agree to be real is real." Therefore, if a bunch of Scientologists agree on something, like "Hubbard is always right," then that is "reality."

  2. HwWow.

    I've never heard that before.

    But it makes sense. Helps me understand the Scientologist worldview. And reinforces, once again, the dangers of Hubbard's self-perpetuating Pyramid Mindf**k.

    Definitely one of your best posts ever. WANT MOAR! :)

  3. Awesome post, as usual. Hope you had some fun this weekend as well as thinking great thoughts!

  4. @anonomomily

    Thanks Milly! Yes, I do have lots of fun. Life is good. Hope the same for you!

  5. I am highly impressed that a rational scientologist like yourself actually do exist in this world.

    Mostly I've seen the stereotypical scientologist that the media has been mocking and what tom cruise has been amplifying through the years before the explosive and sudden protests.

    I'm also surprised on how much information you are willing to give even though it would seem that scientologists are forbidden from spreading this kind of doctrine information so openingly.

    You have earned my respect not only as a person but also as the FIRST rational scientologist to intelligently explain their scientology beliefs.

  6. Re: Rational

    Thanks. But I have to admit, I'm actually an ex-Scientologist. That's why I can speak so freely.

  7. Intresting, though have the overly zealous scientologists ever tried to intimidate you for leaving the church?

  8. I really haven't been subject to much intimidation at all.

    First, Scientologists may not talk to people who have left Scientology. So, really, they would be forbidden from saying anything to me.

    And, while there is a specific department in the Church of Scientology assigned to attack, threaten and intimidate ex-Scientologists and critics, they are so understaffed, and so overwhelmed, they can barely keep up with threatening and intimidating just a few of the top critics.

    So, they mostly leave me alone.

    I've actually had quite a number of Scientologists, newly out, who have thanked me for my blog and my articles. These have far outnumbered any attacks.

  9. Just Bill,

    Thanks for another great post. So glad to see you helping others with your insights and keen observations and glad too to hear that you're enjoying a good life! Such as it should be.

    Can you tell us any more about yourself and your own experience in scientology?

  10. Re: Myself

    Well, I have written a lot about myself over the years. I was in Scientology for more than 30 years, I was in the Sea Org for some 15 years and have worked in Scientology organizations in various countries. I've trained in tech and admin.

    I was, at one time, very much in Scientology and I've seen some of the best and worst parts of it.

    I'm good friends with many Scientologists and ex-Scientologists and I've learned much more about Scientology, Hubbard, Miscavige and the organizations of Scientology since leaving than I ever knew while in.

    I am grateful to all those I've met, both IRL and on various blogs and forums, for helping me understand what I've been through and what others have experienced.

    At one time I helped get people into Scientology. Now, I figure I need to balance the books and help people get out.

  11. RE: Yourself

    Thanks for sharing that. Ditto on most counts except I was only in 17 years. How do you see ex-scn/ex so can help at this stage? Especially those who want to just live their lives w/out harrassment from scn but who see a responsibility to share their experiences to help others. I think there are many, many ex-scn like me who feel they want to help, but don't want to make it a crusade. I already spent many years as a crusader and not interested in that.

    And btw - what is IRL?

    Thanks again for a great blog. You do an excellent job.

  12. Re: Myself

    IRL = In real life.

    I can understand your desire to simply get on with your life. I don't think there is any obligation to go on a crusade to help Scientologists, ex-Scientologists, S.O. and so on. I think we can be done with such "saving the world" obligations.

    For anyone who just wants to help, without any fuss, the absolute best thing is to share your story. I think Ex-Scientology Message Board is a good forum, but there are quite a few others. I think newly out, or thinking-of-leaving Scientologists are helped greatly by such stories. You could write it anonymously.

    Also, letting those who are on the front lines know that you appreciate and support them is a great boost.

    But most of all, live a good life and have fun. Be free.

  13. RE: IRL

    Thanks. Will do. And I hope to meet you IRL some day!

  14. Is this "knowingness" concept what Hubbard was getting at when he said:
    "Certainty, not data, is knowledge." (The Factors, 1967)?

    I have previously tried to use this quote to point out to a Scientologist that Hubbard was placing strength of personal conviction above facts with regards to what he considered "knowledge". However, the Scientologist gave me the typical response of claiming I didn't know what I was talking about, while of course neglecting to clarify what Hubbard supposedly WAS talking about.

  15. @NarkAnon

    Oh, yes. Definitely. The Factors are certainly part of the whole concept that Hubbard was selling, that belief ("knowingness", "certainty") was senior to reality.

    This is what he is saying, but it is carefully phrased to avoid the word "belief". In this way, Scientologists can pretend they are talking about a "higher reality".

  16. Great post Bill. I've never quite looked at it in this light..but it's right on. Again, another self-serving mind screw that, as a Scientologist, you just don't "see" cause you "know".

  17. Great post and follow-up comments. A question: above you say that "Scientologists may not talk to people who have left Scientology." Is that a blanket policy? I have heard of disconnecting from "declared" "SPs", but does that extend to anyone who has left the fold, even quietly?

  18. Re: Disconnection.

    If someone leaves Scientology "quietly", meaning they don't let on they've actually left, then other Scientologists could still talk to them.

    But, if the ex-Scientologist ever says anything even slightly derogatory about Scientology, Hubbard or Miscavige, they will be declared Suppressive. That's what's supposed to happen.

    However, this actually is going on today. Some "quiet" ex-Scientologists are carefully spreading some of the information to regular Scientologists, and the Scientologists are listening. So, that wall is breaking down.

  19. Excellent insights, as usual. I'm really astonished to see how similar this "self-determined knowledge" is to the "name it and claim it" teachings of the Word-of-Faith crowd.

    My cult thought we were better than your cult, but in this area at least, they were the same :p

  20. When Scientologists speak about knowing something, they are talking about what L. Ron Hubbard called "knowingness". Hubbard defined knowingness as "self-determined knowledge".

    To say that more plainly, in Scientology, "knowingness" is what you "know" without any information, facts, evidence from outside yourself. It is what you, yourself, have decided is true.

    You will note that this definition of "knowingness" would also be a perfect definition of belief.

    . . . or delusion.

  21. I know this is a really old post and you'll probably never see this, but could you give me a source for this information regarding "knowingness?" I'd really appreciate it

    1. This is information from Hubbard's books and lectures available at Churches of Scientology. The core is in Hubbard's "The Factors" and his Axioms of Scientology. I'm not going to recommend any of it. If you find any of this outside of Scientology, it's difficult to wade through. Sorry, I know that isn't much help.

  22. so they are basically learning how to have a belief, but the only beliefs they are allowed to have are Scientology beliefs since that is the only data available to the, in other words learning to have a belief in scientology itself, is like a snake eating his own tail, and I believe LRH did mention that in one of his own tails.


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.