Here’s what Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard had to say about the “Dead Agent” PR technique:
“The technique of proving utterances false is called ‘DEAD AGENTING.’ It’s in the first book of Chinese espionage. When the enemy agent gives false data, those who believed him but now find it false kill him-or at least cease to believe him.
“So the PR slang for it is ‘dead agenting.’
“This consists of disproving utterly the false statement with documents or demonstration or display.” — LRH, HCO PL 21 November 1972, HOW TO HANDLE BLACK PROPOGANDA
(Ask yourself: How many legitimate religions have stuff like this in their scriptures?)
Now here’s an example of the Dead Agent technique in action, in a comment from Marty Rathbun on his own site:
I’ll add to my last comment that I know for a fact OSA has been working on a program for eighteen months which has the objective of trying to make me look as arbitrary and ruthless as Miscavige. It calls for flooding my blog with trolls, being very 1.1, inviting me to out them and ban them. That is to be followed by a hue and cry about Marty being no different than Miscavige, paranoia and all. So, with that context, all the “oh, whoa to me” business is sort of suspicious too.
See what Marty did there? He’s setting up anyone who says Marty is similar to Miscavige (which, by the way, he is) as an OSA agent (a member of the Church’s secret police). Marty’s followers don’t trust OSA, so Marty is conditioning his followers not to listen to legitimate criticism. Oh, Marty, Ron would be so proud of you! You’re doing a great job of isolating your Scientologists from the outside world.
But there’s a problem: Hubbard did say that proper dead-agenting required documented proof. I’m sure many of the people haranguing Marty do work for OSA, but many, including me, don’t. Proof that I work for OSA would be impossible to find, because it doesn’t exist. But according to Hubbard, that’s OK, because truth can be massaged to agree with your audience:
“Handling truth is a touchy business also. You don’t have to tell everything you know… Agreement with one’s message is what PR is seeking to achieve.
So PR becomes the technique of communicating an acceptable truth – and which will attain the desirable result.” — LRH, HCO PL 13 August 1970, THE MISSING INGREDIENT
And if the truth isn’t on your side, Hubbard says, then change the subject:
“You only challenge statements you can prove are false and in any conversation let the rest slide.” — LRH, HCO PL 21 November 1972, HOW TO HANDLE BLACK PROPOGANDA
“If there’s no chance of obtaining a desirable result and the truth would injure then talk about something else.” — LRH, HCO PL 13 August 1970, THE MISSING INGREDIENT
By the way, anyone with a clear view can tell I don’t work for the Church; I’d be declared in a second for saying what I think about Hubbard (which, for the record, is that he was a lying cheating money-grubbing narcissistic power-obsessed abusive evil sociopathic tub of shit).
But simple logic like that isn’t enough to stop the Indies from labeling anyone who speaks out against them as OSA. They’ve gone so far as to say that OSA is intentionally talking smack about Hubbard to make themselves sound like legitimate Anons. Now, anyone who has deal with Scientologists knows that’s about as likely as a born-again Christian saying Jesus had sex with young boys*. But logic doesn’t enter into the equation here.
* Which is allegedly what Hubbard said about Jesus.
To be fair, Marty may be Dead Agenting without even realizing it. The us vs. them mentality is so deeply ingrained in Scientology that most Scientologists do it without thinking. According to Hubbard, people don’t criticize something simply because see it as bad and want to speak out for the good of the community. No, according to Hubbard, if they criticize, they must have crimes*. Marty’s twist is that they work for OSA, which he sees as a crime (and I suppose he’s got a point).
* This, despite the fact that Hubbard pointed out that everyone has crimes:
“No person, company or nation has totally clean hands… in childhood, one stole a few apples, broke a window or two, dented a fender, went joy-riding in a “borrowed” vehicle or took pennies or candy bars that weren’t his own. […] One… commits various large and small sins of which society disapproves. Any of these things tend to make one vulnerable to attack.” — LRH, HCO PL 21 November 1972, HOW TO HANDLE BLACK PROPOGANDA
Incidentally, if you really do think the Independents are all that different from Church-going Scientologists, compare this comment chain with this video of Scientologists harranguing Mark Bunker (first video, the fun starts at 2:03). Bully bully, invalidate invalidate, and whatever you do, don’t even consider an alternate viewpoint.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go report to my boss David Miscavige. He gets so impatient when reports are late, and the last thing I need today is a right hook to the kneecap.