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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Scientology Thought Control - Part 2

As mentioned in Scientology Thought Control - Part 1, there are many ways that Scientology trains people to properly control their thoughts so that they can accept concepts and controls that, under normal circumstances, would be difficult to accept.

In that article, we saw how the concept of "entheta" allows Scientologists to reject "negative" information, even when true, and accept "positive" information without inspection.

While this is a start to good thought control, it really isn't enough.

The next part of training Scientologists to control their thoughts is embodied in L. Ron Hubbard's famous "Keeping Scientology Working" (KSW). This policy letter from Hubbard is the very first thing that every Scientologist must read and "duplicate" when they do any Scientology training.

Now, you must understand what that "and duplicate" phrase means in Scientology-speak. While the official Scientology definition is to "make a perfect copy", this isn't how it is applied when you're studying Scientology. To "duplicate" when studying Scientology means "completely agree with".

Let me explain. In Hubbard's Study Technology, the source material being studied is always assumed to be 100% correct and 100% workable. If the student doesn't understand the material or (gasp!) disagrees with the material, it is the student's fault, never the material's -- and once the student "handles their study difficulty" they will agree with the material being studied.

And the very first item on every course that a Scientologist takes is this "Keeping Scientology Working" issue.

And what does this policy letter say? In it, Hubbard modestly states that he has created an absolutely perfect and always workable technology for everything. No one helped him; everything anyone else has ever done is, from Hubbard's analysis, horrible and destructive; only Hubbard's solutions are good; if you apply Hubbard's technology and it doesn't work, it's your fault, you did something wrong; and (in my opinion the most clever assertion), it is the very evil people who disagree with Hubbard and his technology.

And all Scientologists, as the very first order of business, must completely agree with these concepts before they can get on with any other studying.

From that point on, the Scientologist's ability to control their thoughts in the proper Scientology manner is quite simple.

If Hubbard said it: It is true.

If evidence disagrees with what Hubbard said: The evidence is false.

If someone disagrees with Hubbard: They are evil.

If someone applies Hubbard's technology and nothing happens, or something bad happens: It's their fault, not Hubbard's.

If someone doesn't get wonderful results from Scientology: They are one of the Evil People.

And so on.

The "Keeping Scientology Working" policy letter has installed these fixed ideas. Once these "facts" have been installed in a Scientologist, all their perceptions, all their logic, all their conclusions must be warped around to fit into these "facts". Actual, independent thought is no longer possible.

The thought control works like this:
  • "Gee, this thing Ron said just doesn't make sense!" (Thought Control: You must have a study problem, it's all your fault. Keep studying it until you agree with it.)
  • "I did exactly what Ron said, but nothing happened!" (Thought Control: It's your fault, you did something wrong, go back and restudy the material.)
  • "I got some processing, but I don't feel any better." (Thought Control: Be quiet! Only evil people fail to get gains from Scientology!)
  • "I don't really like this part of Scientology!" (Thought Control: Shut up! Shut up! That means you're one of the Evil People! You do like it, you can't be evil!)
This is the real reason that "Keeping Scientology Working" is the first thing studied and why it must be agreed to before going on. From that point on, good Scientologists never criticize L. Ron Hubbard or David Miscavige or Scientology, no matter what they see, no matter what happens. To do so would mean that they are EVIL! Any failure, any disagreement, any problems in Scientology are always and only their fault.

Now, Scientologists believe that the reason "KSW" is first in every course is to ensure that Hubbard's technology remains pure and to insist that every Scientologist defend it. Well, if that were true, then why has every single bit of Hubbard's technology been altered since his death? Nothing of Hubbard's remains exactly as he left it. Nothing. No, nobody is using "KSW" to defend and protect Hubbard's technology. Obviously, that isn't its purpose.

Even after someone has left Scientology, they often retain this fixed idea that any and all failures were their fault and that they are evil. But most finally do recover their ability to see what is really there, evaluate what is really true and to know who and what is evil and why.

Hubbard never provided any proof that he was "always right". He never provided any proof that his technology was "100% workable". He never provided any evidence that "all who disagree with him are evil". None. Not ever. He just said it was so and insisted that anyone who questioned him, doubted him or disagreed with him was evil and must be punished.

If the person gets through "Keeping Scientology Working", and "duplicates" (agrees with) it, they have truly mastered their advanced thought control skills.

Now they are a full-fledged Scientologist.


  1. Another great post! I'm amazed at how slight yet how effective so many of the control mechanisms of Scientology are. It's testament to their effectiveness that they turn up in all sorts of other places. Your point about the use of the word "duplicate" is a good one. Following Harold Pinter's death, I've been re-viewing some of his plays. He often wrote about authoritarian situations. In one play, an authority figure kept using the phrase "do you get my point"? I thought immediately of Scientology's use of "duplicate". He's asking explicitly "do you understand" but by phrasing the question in such a way he is also asking "do you agree". He makes it impossible for you to answer in a way that suggests that yes, you understand, but no, you do not agree.

  2. Very, very important post. Thank you.

  3. "This is part of Hubbard's "Study Technology" and "duplicate", when you're studying Scientology, means "completely agree with"."

    This is absolutely false. Duplicate means make for yourself a perfect copy. In other words, understand it completely. Nowhere does it say that it means completely agree with it. Quite on the contrary, only when you perfectly understand what the person means to say, or duplicate it, can you have valid disagreement with it if you wish.

    Since this post is based on the above misunderstanding, the whole line of reasoning that follows is seriously flawed as well.

    One thing I would agree with, though. That reading KSW at the start of each course reinforces Scientology indoctrination.

  4. I'm sorry, but what I said is absolutely true. I do understand that "duplicate" can mean "understanding" without necessarily agreeing -- but that is absolutely not true and is never true when Scientologists study Hubbard.

    What I said is not a misunderstanding of "duplication". I understand what it means in Scientology perfectly. Obviously, you are the one with the misunderstood word.

    Let me repeat my explanation so you understand it.

    In Scientology, when a student "has a disagreement" with Hubbard it means the student is wrong, and that the student "must be corrected" until the disagreement is "handled".

    This is factually how Scientologists study Scientology. Disagreement = student is wrong.

    The only end result of a Scientologist studying Hubbard is full agreement. That, in Scientology, is "duplication" of Hubbard's material. Period.

    Get it? You quoted the Scientology definition, but you totally lack the understanding of its application. How it's defined is immaterial. What counts is how it is applied.

    Do you get it now? Or are you too indoctrinated?

  5. Bernie said..."..only when you perfectly understand what the person means to say, or duplicate it, can you have valid disagreement with it if you wish."

    This is not a luxury a scientologist has. Bernie pretends to be a critic, but I've seen his web-site and see that he only wants to blunt our intellectual application with diversions.

    Does he know how easy it is to obtain a copy of KSW on the internet? Not to mention solid evidence of Hubbard's absolute control from the cult's own collection of writings and tapes.

    Bernie does not want us to see the control mechanisms, which are fascinating for their deceptive simplicity. His attempt at persuading us with his logic is a typical cult form of intellectual dishonesty. Well done Bill,for your repost to him. I admire your patience immensely -it is a great encouragement to me to keep mine.

  6. Thanks so much for presenting information about Scn in a manner that makes it easy for people who haven't been steeped in it for decades to grasp.

    My question: Is KSW really presented at the beginning of EVERY course? I was never in, but I was under the impression that it is presented before more advanced courses. Thanks for (cough) "clearing" this up.

  7. Bernie, I got your two additional comments.

    Now Bernie, you tried to use your Scientology definitions to invalidate what I said. I always like it when Scientologists think that using Scientology will prove me wrong. Only a Scientologist would think like that. Funny!

    So, to be nice, I explained it all again. I don't mind, it gives me a chance to make the points again.

    But I'm not going to do that yet again.

    Your two additional comments are just lame Scientology trolling, they add nothing to the discussion. As usual with Scientology trolling, you simply say I'm "wrong". Well fine. Noted. Bernie the Scientologist thinks I'm wrong. Wow, we're all surprised.

    If you have anything actually useful to contribute, be sure to come back. OK Pumpkin?

  8. @Anonymous - about KSW at the beginning of every course.

    I believe that the very, very beginning courses might not have KSW. These are for the "raw public" and KSW may be a bit too much at that level. But once you're into the standard courses, yes, KSW is the very first thing you study. Always.

  9. To answer the question from the other anonymous poster about KSW being at the beginning of EVERY course, that is no longer the case when it comes to the beginning courses. However it used to be the case! When I took the old Comm Course in 1976, I had to get a starrate checkout on KSW before I could study the comm course tech (which back then was the professional TR bulletins)! Needless to say I blew that course at first and had to be actively recovered. In the late 1980s the beginning courses were repackaged to make them simpler and to exclude KSW as the first issue to study.

  10. I am surprised by your reaction. You seem to be someone reasonable, posting reasoned posts, but alas this is not how you react in this case.

    I like to give people the benefit of doubt and will presume this is still a misunderstanding, so I will try to make my point clear again for the last time before I possibly comment about it on my own blog.

    By writing in this paragraph that duplication means agreeing 100%, you give the impression that this is your understanding of what duplication means. As it turns out, it is not the case, but this is the impression it gives.

    All you would have to do is re-write the paragraph to remove the ambiguity, then you could leave all the rest intact, because if this ambiguity is removed, then it makes more sense.

    I presume that part of the public you aim to are Scientologists, and I am quite confident that a Scientologist would not read your argument past the point where you say that duplication means agreeing 100%. Removing the ambiguity may lead him to read further down. You could still make the same point, but worded differently as to avoid this possible misunderstanding. I am not saying that you should not end up making the point that the way it is applied means agreeing 100%, only to make this more clear at the outset.

    If you still chose to ignore my comment and just dismiss it as "lame Scientology trolling", it is up to you, but I invite you to consider the point I am making with a cooler mind, and see if maybe it would be a valid one.

    I think your reaction may have stemmed from me putting it a bit roughly too, accusing you of writing something completely false. For this, I apologize. I maybe should have worded it differently.

    Now it's up to you. This is my last attempt to try and address this question in a reasonable manner.

  11. Thanks Bernie,

    I am not speaking from within the Scientology bubble, so I am not using that contextual framework.

    I understand your point about speaking to Scientologists and "misusing" their terms -- you were thinking that such "misuse" would turn some off.

    I sincerely doubt that would happen. All Scientologists already know the real meaning of "duplication" when studying Scientology. They already know they're required to agree as a condition for passing a course. It isn't a secret. You know, and they know that I'm simply saying what is true.

    But, actually, my intention is to explain Scientology thought control to those with no experience in Scientology. Non-Scientologists often find it difficult to understand exactly how someone could become so warped in their perceptions, logic and thought. I hope, with this series, to help some of them understand.

    In this context, my explanation of what "duplicate" means within Scientology is completely and totally accurate, as I'm sure you know.

    Instead of using a Scientology definition and then explaining that that definition isn't how it is actually applied -- and then saying what it really means in usage, I simplified it. Why go through all those convoluted steps and confuse things, when my purpose is to clarify?

    But, thanks for giving me the opportunity to make my points again.


  12. Just Bill --

    I think that Bernie has brought up a good point that you may want to go back and clarify -- if for no other reason, then so that those who have a burning desire to let Scientology off its well-deserved hook won't be able to pretend they've found an "error" that discredits you.

    It might be true that nowhere in Scientology literature is it written that to "duplicate" the dogma of Scientology is to agree with it 100%. In fact, it's demonstrably true that the "dictionary" definition of duplicate does not include that requirement; a Scientologist may claim that he "duplicates" what a critic is saying and that surely doesn't mean he 100% agrees with the critic.

    What Bernie failed to pay attention to, however (even though he quoted it) is your qualifier of "when you're studying Scientology". It's not in Scientology's definition of "duplicate" that you must agree 100% -- it's in Scientology's definition of "Scientology". KSW defines Scientology as always being 100% right, so obviously if you disagree with some aspect of Scientology that you're being taught, you couldn't be completely understanding it, could you??

    So it may not be written down anywhere that "to duplicate, when you're studying Scientology, means 'completely agree with'", but if the only people who will use "duplicate" to mean "understand" in the first place will never recognize that you understand if you don't agree completely -- then in fact the de facto definition of "duplicate" is "to understand completely, and in reference to Scientology, to also agree with completely."

  13. @Antaeus

    That is such a good point. Yes, if Scientology/Hubbard is "100% correct", then "duplication" must include full agreement.

    OK, OK, I've made a minor edit to the article.


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