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.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Scientology Logic

In a recent comment, a Scientology True Believer was absolutely convinced that when I criticized L. Ron Hubbard, it was exactly the same as saying I wished for the total destruction of the belief system of Scientology.  No amount of logical discussion could alter that bizarre thought process.

Anyone following along in the discussion thread would have thought the Scientologist to be very, very stupid.  There was no way the actual words written could mean what he interpreted them to mean.

But to the Scientologist, it was completely logical.

Let us explore, once again, a bit more into the strange world of Scientology.

For those who have never talked to a Scientologist, Scientology logic looks, to an outsider, like this:
  • If A
  • And if B
  • Then: Tuesday!
It just doesn't seem to make any sense.  For instance, let's take a very common example:
Does Scientology work?
  • L. Ron Hubbard proclaimed that his technology would and does produce a "Clear", who would have perfect memory, be able to do lightening fast calculations, be free of most diseases and mental upsets.
  • On inspection, in the entire history of Dianetics and Scientology, with tens of thousands of people applying Hubbard's technology, not one person has attained this mythical state of Clear.
  • Therefore, Scientology works!
This is exactly what happens when you try to discuss Scientology's failures with a Scientologist.  Of course this makes it impossible to have any reasonable discussion.  But how can they be so, so ... illogical?

Logic is not taught in Scientology, obviously.  In fact, logic is frowned upon.  They have a drill, called the "Obnosis Drill" which drills a Scientologist to not draw logical conclusions. (Ironically, "obnosis" is a bafflegab word created by Hubbard to mean "observing the obvious").  For example, the course supervisor brings in a person for the students to do the drill on.  The drill would go like this:
Supervisor: What do you see?
Student: I see an old man.
Supervisor: Flunk! Do you see "old"?  Do you see "man"?  What do you see?
Student: I see a person with wrinkles and short grey hair.
Supervisor: Where do you see wrinkles and grey hair?
Student: I see a person with wrinkles on this side of its face and on the one hand I can see, and grey hair on this side of its head.
Do you see?  Students are drilled not to think, not to draw obvious conclusions, not to assume the self-evident fact that there is an old man there.  As ridiculous as you may think my example is, it is essentially a verbatim quote from a real course room drill I witnessed.

And that is just one of a number of Scientology techniques that turns off logic.

Another technique is the constant repetition and enforcement that you may never question anything Hubbard says.  What you see, if it contradicts what Hubbard said, is wrong.  You must work at it until you can work out that what you saw actually validated what Hubbard said.

The final trick is the installation of certain "truths" that may never be questioned.  Some of these are:
  • L. Ron Hubbard is always right.
  • Scientology always works.
  • Evil forces are fighting Scientology.
  • Anyone who disagrees with this is Evil.
  • ... and so on.
And now you have Scientology Logic.  Let's look at that example, above, but let's peek behind the scenes to see what is going on inside the Scientologist's mind:
Does Scientology work?
  • L. Ron Hubbard proclaimed that his technology would and does produce a "Clear", who would have perfect memory, be able to do lightening fast calculations, be free of most diseases and mental upsets.
  • L. Ron Hubbard is always right.
  • On inspection, in the entire history of Dianetics and Scientology, with tens of thousands of people applying Hubbard's technology, not one person has attained this mythical state of Clear.
  • That statement must be a lie because it contradicts what Ron said, and Ron is always right. 
  • There must be Clears somewhere, even if I've never seen any, because Hubbard said that Scientology does produce Clears.
  • L. Ron Hubbard said Scientology always works.
  • Therefore, Scientology works!
Now you can see it.  Now you can see why, to a Scientologist, that whole "logic" sequence makes sense.  They have these additional, hidden, "truths" that color every thought -- and they can't think about or question these "truths", they must only believe and accept them.

Now you can see why, when I dared to criticize Hubbard, I was (to the Scientologist) actually saying that all of Scientology should be destroyed.  That's Scientology Logic!

And, until a Scientologist recovers their ability to think logically, to perceive what is really there and think about and draw obvious conclusions from what they actually see, they will continue to make the most bizarre statements and erroneous "leaps of logic".

But now you know why you can't reason with a True Believer.  Their "logic" is pure Scientology Logic.


  1. Brilliant. And rigorously logical!

  2. Why don't you add a link to that page?

    That way people would be able to judge for themselves how irrational my comments were. No?

    Any somewhat sane person reading your blog will walk away with the idea that you want Scientology destroyed. You just don't want to be caught saying that because then, your "Scientologist-friendly" facade drops.

    Since we are on the subject of logic, let's look at yours. It's kind of funny.

    According to you:
    A. Miscavige is a psycho dictator, LRH was a pathological liar
    B. LRH's Scientology does not work
    C. Scientologists are brainwashed and can't think logically because of LRH tech
    D. Scientology destroys families
    E. Scientology orgs enslave and torture their staff
    F. You write tons of articles criticizing every aspect of Scientology and/or Scientologists' activities out of the goodness of my heart
    G. You are a good guy
    H. You don't want Scientology to be destroyed and consider yourself offended that someone could infer that from your writings.

    See, logically speaking, that point "H." is a bit of an issue within that context.

    What a joke.

  3. Jon Atack used to write about the Alice-in-Wonderland logic of Scientology, and you've put your finger on some of the bizarre premises they appear to reason by. But the fact that more and more people are breaking free demonstrates that there is a way back through the looking glass: even if for some, the first port of call is a revised vision of Scientology that blames all its failings on Miscavige instead of recognising its roots in Hubbard's writings.

  4. How very obnotic! I read most of your posts for entertainment, but this was very informative.

    BTW: Scientology logic is called "circular logic",right?

    German Anonymous

  5. @Sylver

    Perfect! I really should just leave your comment as-is without further exposition because it really does prove my point, but I do love to rub it in...

    I'd only make a few corrections to your list.

    B. LRH's Scientology does not deliver what is explicitly promised. No Clears have ever been produced. No real OTs have ever been produced - not even "somewhat OT". Very few, if any, Releases have been produced.

    That is significantly different from what you said. You really don't seem to be able to actually duplicate what someone says, do you? I say one thing, quite consistently, and you cannot understand it, so you dub in some completely different meaning. I hear Scientology can help you with that.

    E. The Scientology International Base at Hemet enslaves and literally tortures their staff.

    Yes, that's true. The outer orgs do not do this, although the upper orgs are getting into it now.

    Also, you may be confusing "Scientology" with "the Church of Scientology". These are distinctly different things. These things are almost diametrically opposed to each other. Scientology is a belief system which can be used by people to potentially help others. The Church of Scientology is a totalitarian cult bent on total control of individuals and on world domination.

    If you want to accuse me of advocating the destruction of the Church of Scientology, I'd happily agree with you. It has become quite evil under David Miscavige's rule. But if you accuse me of desiring the end of the subject of Scientology, I will object.

    Is that clear now?

    Otherwise, your little list, and your vast upset are good examples of Scientology Logic. Thanks for your contribution.

  6. @Jonny Jacobson

    Thanks. Yes, much has been written about the strange thinking engendered by Scientology. People are getting out of the church, if not totally out. The ex-churchies who still believe do not worry me -- they are waking up.

  7. @German Anonymous

    Yes, "circular logic" is definitely part of it, but Scientology Logic encompasses many more logic errors as well. I really should make up a list, it would be fun.

  8. Wait, what? "Scientology is a belief system which can be used by people to potentially help others."

    Are you kidding? Anyone who follows all of Hubbard's writings fully is going to end up with something just like the destructive, controlling, totalitarian, take-over-the-world cult of Scientology.

    I mean, really!

  9. Re: Wait, what?

    OK, I fudged a little so that I could use that "diametrically opposed" phrase.

    What you say is true. However, I do know Scientology believers who quietly audit people and don't go into the whole "control and punish" thing, so it is possible to apply some Scientology without the rest of the garbage that Miscavige loves so much.

  10. German Anonymous sez:

    Hi Bill, I need to add something. When I said "reading your post for entertainment" doesn't mean that I consider them 'shallow', it's just that I've done a lot of research, so I often know what you're explaining. This obnosis drill was new, and I must admit that I'm beginning to develop a certain respect for Hubbard - in a sick way: How clever and insidious did this man proceed, what clever traps and subtle manipulative twists did he weave into this endeavor? No wonder Scientology is the most succesful cult in history, no wonder it can take over ten years to disentangle the mind from this crazy mindset!

    @Sylver: It would be logical to avoid entheta,
    your case is in peril! Isn't that what Scientology is all about: Turning human beings into 'cases' that can be processed and debugged? Maybe you've got money to burn, but most Scientologists are broke or in debt. This tends to happen to people trapped in a money-grabbing cult.

  11. Any chance we could read the Sylver conversation?

    Also, do you think the moniker represents his/her AIS donation status or just the tongue?

  12. Re: The "Sylver conversation"

    There were several. The conversation mentioned in this article is actually from Scientologists: Don't You Wonder? where Sylver says that my statement "I believe that LRH created the environment that inevitably resulted in Miscavige" is exactly the same as if I'd said I wanted "to destroy Scientology as a subject".

    No, really. Exactly the same meaning... WTF?

    Definitely not "Sylver" tongued, LOL!

  13. Re: Scientology Logic Flaws

    One of the primary ways that the Church of Scientology attacks whistle-blowers is via the "strawman" logic flaw.

    You've just seen that, above, by Sylver. He creates this fictitious "Just Bill" and assigns "me" a list of things I never said, then attacks "me" for saying them.

    Here's the list "I" was supposed to have said:
    A. Miscavige is a psycho dictator, LRH was a pathological liar
    Note the loaded language. I never said any of that. I did call Miscavige a psychopath, although I've been told by those who know him that a more accurate term is "sociopath". I've never said LRH was a "pathological liar". Although lying is one of his defining characteristics, I don't thing he was pathological.

    B. LRH's Scientology does not work
    Never said that, not ever. I did say that Scientology never delivers what was explicitly promised: No Clears, no Releases, no OTs. But, although it has never been proven, I think some Scientology does something good.

    C. Scientologists are brainwashed and can't think logically because of LRH tech
    Loaded language again. I'm pretty sure I've never said that Scientologists were "brainwashed". I've referred to it as self-thought control. But, yes, they cannot think logically, obviously.

    D. Scientology destroys families
    This one is interesting. Scientology does destroy families, but I've never written about that. Exactly where is Sylver getting this list? Oh, right, OSA.

    E. Scientology orgs enslave and torture their staff
    Another deliberate mis-quote. The Scientology International Base enslaves and tortures their staff, the lower-level orgs do not. Lately, the abuse has appeared in all the Sea Org orgs, so it might yet show up in the lower orgs.

    F. You write tons of articles criticizing every aspect of Scientology and/or Scientologists' activities out of the goodness of my heart
    Eh? Confusing pronouns here but let that go. A vast generality. I write articles criticizing some aspects of Scientology. But then, only on Planet Scientology is all criticism of Scientology Evil.

    G. You are a good guy
    Now, I know I've never claimed that!

    H. You don't want Scientology to be destroyed and consider yourself offended that someone could infer that from your writings.
    Finally, an accurate statement of what I've said.

    See how it works? If I were gullible, I'd get fooled into trying to defend this bogus "Just Bill". But, since I didn't say those thing, I don't have to defend that position.

    I'm really going to have to make a list of all the bogus logic that Scientologists use. It would be fun.

  14. Well said. But even "quiet auditing" can be misused, as it was by my brother to end his guilt feelings about his abuse of his sisters without actually confessing to us or making amends. In fact, he used the theory that people "pull in" their own abuse to justify to himself a lifetime of feeling superior to us.

    Nothing about Scientology is safe, imo. It is a funhouse that distorts even the elements that in other contexts might be helpful or harmless.

  15. Just Bill,

    Do you feel like you're having a battle of wits with an un-armed man? Because that's what it looks like from here.

  16. Re: Quiet auditing

    Well, anything can be misused and abused -- I'm not sure that proves the point.

    There is an ongoing debate as to whether any piece of Scientology can be completely separated from the intrinsically abusive parts.

    I think it's possible, but Hubbard's pervasive theme of "Scientology is only for the able" and his idea that he was creating a "homo novis", a new, superior type of person who would be above the law and would, of course, lead the world out of its aberration, is exactly the type of message that would appeal to the wrong sort of person.

    Does this message of Hubbard's taint the whole subject so that it would always end up being abused?

    I really don't know the answer to that one. All I know is that I have seen good people who did not seem to be using Scientology in an abusive way, and I've read stories, like yours, of the opposite.

    I guess only time will tell.

  17. @Nancy P.

    Yeah, I have to admit it is like that most times.

    When I was just getting started doing this sort of thing, I was a lot more gullible and got tricked by the trolls. I would fall for the Strawman trick or the various ways a thread would be hijacked, the insults, the false accusations and all.

    I still have to pay attention, but OSA hasn't come up with anything new in a long time.

  18. Sylar, your utter denial of any wrongdoing or flaws in Scientology is a slap to the face of my mother for her mental anguish and hardship because of my father's longterm involvement with Scientology.

    You can deny all you like, but the truth of my mother's experiences and my own prove you're just lying or willfully ignorant. (As Just Bill has pointed out: thousands of ex-Scientologists tell their stories. He is not lying or fabricating anything.)

    You look like an idiot or OSA. No mater how many posts you write you FAIL. I say this gleefully because reading your comments made me cry for my mother's suffering and just reaffirmed my utter rejection of Scientology, the organization and its abusive tenets.

  19. The scientology state of clear or OT may well be fictitious but the validation,respect, and at times awe, he receives amongst his 'church' peers,is by design,very real,it becomes his adopted reality.
    To the adherent its interpreted as 'proof' that scientology works.

  20. Just Bill,

    I’ve been a fan since your blog began and have read every post. I find your observations incisive and conclusions compelling. Not for the weak of heart or mind certainly.

    Some of the statements about no Clears and no OTs are disturbing. Though actuality is often disturbing. I’ve been pondering the same issue myself after a trek to the top of the Bridge on both sides, though a majority of the time sitting in the safety and comfort of the sidelines.

    Would you mind sharing what training and processing you did while in? It would help me put some things in perspective. I have no unspoken motive here other than my own curiosity.

    If you’d rather not, why that’s OK.

  21. @ILove2Lurk

    I'd rather not. This is not a personal blog. That sort of thing would distract from what I'm attempting to do here, which is to clear things up that got so muddy.

    I have said before that I've done some of the OT levels and training, I've audited others, and that I was in Scientology for over 30 years. One can infer from that that I found some things that I liked and I found some things that worked for me and seemed to work for others.

    The realization that the goals of Scientology, Clear and OT, have never been attained was very hard for me to accept at first. But that conclusion is simply inescapable. I, like so many others, thought that the huge sacrifices - of time, money and a normal life - were all worth it because of "OT". But to realize that all those sacrifices were for nothing, that's a very bitter pill to swallow.

  22. Very adequate response. You've "been there, done that, and have the t-shirt." Me too.

    Gives me the perspective I wanted. I'm swallowing a bit of a bitter pill right now too. However, I'd rather swallow it than blind myself to what I see in front of me.

    Thanks, Just Bill.

  23. JustBill said: "anything can be misused and abused"

    The Obnosis Drill is a case in point for this statement. What the Obnosis Drill could teach, that is, not to draw conclusions when you don't have all the facts, could be a good thing, as in the case of someone acting as a police witness. If one cannot see the other side of someone's head, one cannot say with certainty that the other side is also gray and wrinkled, but experience teaches us that a person is usually somewhat symmetrical on both sides of the body.

    This drill, as used, teaches one to ignore his past and present experiences, which might cause too much cognitive dissonance, and instead observe only what one is allowed to observe in Scientology - that L. Ron Hubbard is always right, and that L. Ron Hubbard said Scientology always works.

    If Scientology always works, how is it David Miscavige alone could produce the results he has produced, when surrounded by so many well-trained Scientologists?


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.