Now, I don't want anyone to construe this as a broad insult of Scientologists' intelligence. This has nothing to do with intelligence, it has everything to do with Scientology indoctrination. Certainly it makes Scientologists look stupid, but they all recover their original, higher intelligence when they free themselves of Scientology's thought-control.
While we have discussed Scientologists' inability to think logically before, we have never specifically addressed how they lost this important ability.
It is obvious, from the fact that this failing is universal to all Scientologists, that this destruction of the ability to think is built into Scientology.
I think you'll find that Hubbard intentionally created this nightmare. Let's see how he did it.
1. Hubbard Study Technology
This "technology" is key to destroying a person's ability to think logically and rationally. Every Scientologist is carefully indoctrinated into this method as the only way to study Scientology.
One of the fundamental assumptions in Hubbard's Study Technology is that the source material is always assumed to be completely and unquestionably correct in every detail. This flows from Scientology's basic premise that L. Ron Hubbard is always correct.
Therefore, any and all difficulties, confusions and doubts that Scientologists might have are their fault. The defect is always with the student.
So, when Hubbard's assertions don't match the reality that the student knows, the only solution allowed in Hubbard's Study Tech is for the student to modify their thinking so that they can "make Hubbard's words 'true for them'."
This aligns perfectly with Hubbard's statement that "what is true is what you, yourself, have found true." This is also called, in Scientology, "making the data your own".
Scientologists cannot use logic or scientific method or rational thinking to do this. Technically, logic, scientific method and rationality have proven most of Hubbard's assertions to be false.
Instead, Scientologists must alter the way they think, so that they can make whatever Hubbard says "true". They are actually learning a whole new way of thinking that doesn't use logic, but uses belief, "postulates" and quite a number of logic fallacies. "Your" opinion must always match what Hubbard said or someone will quote Hubbard to "prove you wrong". Eventually, Scientologists' "thinking" is reduced to just quoting Hubbard [Leaving Scientology].
After a Scientologist has completed a few Scientology courses, they will have mastered how to do this. This is not thinking in any normal sense of the word.
2. Redefinition of "true" and "false"
As part of his Scientology ideology, Hubbard coined two new, very unique words:
Note very carefully that this is completely unrelated to whether a particular "fact" is true or false. If a "fact" aligns with Hubbard's statements, it is theta, even if false. If a fact contradicts something Hubbard said, it is entheta, even if true.
- The word "theta", in the context of information, means positive information about Scientology, Dianetics and Hubbard. More exactly, it means any information that aligns with Scientology's viewpoint. For example, negative information about psychiatry would be considered theta by a Scientologist.
- The word "entheta" means negative information about Scientology, Dianetics and Hubbard. Specifically, it means any and all information that contradicts, disproves or disagrees with Hubbard's statements or Scientology's viewpoint.
However, Hubbard and all Scientologists use theta as if it meant "true" and use entheta as if it meant "false". To Scientologists, "theta" equals "true" and "entheta" equals "false". They will say things like, "Oh you can't believe that, that's entheta!"
It becomes impossible to think if you don't know what is really true and what is really false.
3. Censoring "other" information
Further, Hubbard expressly forbade all Scientologists from viewing, reading or listening to anything labeled entheta. It would "enturbulate" them, he claimed, and interfere with their "gains". There are penalties for Scientologists who access entheta information.
Now to make sure you understand exactly what this means, let me use non-Scientology words. Scientologists are expressly forbidden from accessing, in any way, information that contradicts anything Hubbard or Scientology says.
How can anyone think logically and rationally about a subject when they are forbidden from seeing or even knowing any differing information?
4. Asking for proof is outlawed
The first thing any normal person would do, when presented with fantastic claims about some subject is to ask for proof. "Show me the data!" "Do you have pictures?" "Can I talk to them?" "Let's go look!"
This is normal. This is healthy. This is good, logical thinking.
Well, Hubbard condemned it. Demanding proof was bad, it was "suppressive". He devoted one entire lecture (Flows: Basic Agreement and Prove It!) where he ranted on and on about how horrible it was to demand proof of anything.
In Scientology, asking for proof of anything Hubbard said or anything the church claims is a punishable act. If you insist on seeing proof, you are a suppressive person!
And, with that, Hubbard yanked one of the most fundamental principles of scientific thought right out of Scientologists' minds.
In Scientology, you can't ask for, and you will never get, any proof of anything. You can't even notice that you have no proof. How can anyone possibly think about a subject that they cannot verify any part of?
And that is, in a nutshell, how Hubbard effectively and intentionally destroyed every Scientologists' ability to think logically and rationally about Scientology.
All that is left is belief. As Hubbard often said, if you believe strongly enough, it will be true. This is why Scientologists always state their beliefs as if they were proven facts. Hubbard taught them: this is how you "think".
After leaving Scientology, the most difficult task may be learning how to think again and how to tell what is true and what is a lie.
*EDIT: By “Scientologist” I mean, very specifically, those who believe in Scientology, exactly as Hubbard taught it. I do not mean Freezone or those who only accept some of Scientology. Anyone who rejects some of Hubbard's technology would be called a “squirrel” by true believers. I'm not talking about squirrels.-
In my mind, those who are able to disagree with Hubbard and who are willing to reject parts of Scientology's dogma are well on the way to re-learning how to think. I commend them totally and this article is not about them.