“Push-button McScientology:” Hubbard would have loved it!

A while back, Marty Rathbun published an entry criticizing David Miscavige for what he called push-button McScientology. The “document” he reveals is another alleged transcript from a half-decade-old speech, but let’s give Marty the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s accurate, if outdated. Anyway, it refers to DM wanting to install menu-driven audio-visual (A/V) kiosks at Scientology churches to introduce people to the subject, rather than hear about it from live people. The idea is that people can get instant Scientology answers to whatever issue they face, all at the push of a button.

Marty accuses David Miscavige of trying to eliminate the human factor from Scientology dissemination, and he’s correct. But from what I know about Scientology, I think DM’s video idea plays right into what Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard would have wanted.

Despite its reliance on cheap labor, very little of the manpower that runs Scientology is used to actually teach Scientology. While “auditing” (counseling) is done with another person – and eventually on one’s own – much of Scientology study consists of taking courses, which are delivered in Scientology course rooms.

Course rooms don’t have teachers; they have “supervisors” – and they aren’t allowed to teach. They can only steer “students” to LRH policies or dictionaries, look at their clay demos (Scientologists build models out of clay to show they understand concepts), and test them on what they have studied, but the actual information they are learning is supposed to come exclusively from tapes or writings – never from the Supervisor’s mouth. That way, there is no room for interpretation; students learn exactly what LRH wanted them to learn. And they are further conditioned to credit no one but LRH for delivering that information.

Matter of fact, explaining LRH’s “technology” is a sin — a major one. Christians, Jews and Muslims are free to sit up all night and debate the meaning of Bible or Koran passages, but not Scientologists! They are only allowed to show each other written references. Telling someone about a policy or bulletin is considered “verbal tech” and is a major sin. From the Admin Dictionary:

“VERBAL TECH: about the most ghastly thing to have around is verbal tech which means tech without reference to an HCOB [official Scientology bulletin] and direct handling out of the actual material.”

Here’s some of what the Ol’ Fraud Hisself had to say about verbal tech (sorry to shout, but LRH wrote the first policy all in caps):




“The worst thing would be to pretend to have a course but have missing materials and Supervisors giving verbal advice or tech.” — HCOB 27 June 1971, SUPERVISOR TWO-WAY COMM EXPLAINED

“If it isn’t written it isn’t true.” — HCOB 9 Feb 1979, HOW TO DEFEAT VERBAL TECH

Now, in the real world, one way to see if a student understands a concept is to have him explain it in his own words. But in Scientology, that’s a major no-no. Know what the Scientologese word for “learn” is? It’s “duplicate.” Now you know why.

It gets better: Not only can supervisors not actually teach the work, but students may not discuss it with each other. Most course room “study” is done on one’s own, but students must occasionally work together, a process known as “twinning.” Since Scientology is all about isolation, it’s no surprise that Hubbard wrote a long policy dictating the rules of twinning, including a warning that students must not exchange opinions about the material:

“The issues on verbal tech, HCOB 9 Feb 79 HOW TO DEFEAT VERBAL TECH and HCOB 15 Feb 79 VERBAL TECH PENALTIES, should be well-known in the course room.

“Even so, students, particularly when they are new, sometimes get into an exchange of verbal data or opinion while they are twinning. A Supervisor must be on the alert for this and step in to handle at once when he observes it happening. He … always refers the students to the above mentioned HCOBs on verbal tech.” — HCOB 21 August 1979, TWINNING

This is why I think Hubbard would have loved the idea of an all-A/V org – it’s the perfect way to wipe out the scourge of “verbal tech.” Even the best trained Scientologist can’t be expected to remember everything about the Tech – hell, not even Hubbard could keep it all straight. So why risk missing out on a chance to provide the right answer and sign up a new Scientologist?

The idea of A/V dissemination is not new. Remember, Hubbard was obsessed with making films – a fact David Miscavige would know, as he was one of Hubbard’s favorite cameramen. But at the time Hubbard was alive, reproducing films was an expensive and time-consuming process. Video was still in its infancy, and quality was not good.

Today, we have the ability to instantly broadcast HD-quality video to any place in the world from a central server, providing perfect quality with total control over the message – exactly what LRH wanted. If LRH was alive today, he might well give David Miscavige a gold star, a written commendation, and a pat on his little head for his A/V kiosk concept.


11 responses to ““Push-button McScientology:” Hubbard would have loved it!

  1. William Johnson

    This policy by itself will doom the cult. WHERE ARE THE REGS? Without a real live person to practically force ‘red meat’ to empty their savings, max their credit card, re-mortgage the house, where is the cult to get it’s money?

    As an aside, much thanks to Caliwog for providing this blog, and explaining cult-speak in English for those of us not indoctrinated.

    • I would assume registrars would still be kept. This only removes dissemination posts.

      But yes, nice post, CW.

      • Registrars are in the Dissemination Division. They wouldn’t get rid of dissemination posts, as those handle at the “re-sign” line of current public.

        The A/V is for Div 6 – Distribution Division – the division that outreaches and brings new public in – by way of stress tests and oca’s and such.

        What I don’t really see is how an A/V is going to find someone’s “ruin”. That is finding the bait to put on the hook to pull someone in. I don’t see how a machine will bait the hook.

      • SpecialFrog

        It will suggest a nice game of chess?

  2. And what do you know! Scn recently purchased KCET’s old studio, including its _satellite uplink system_, about which Scn stated it would be used to send a/v to its Chu..uh, buildings around the world. Part of me wonders if they’re going to do some kind of remote auditing crap, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re looking to eliminate hard copies of event videos. Instead have a Scn-On-Demand channel.

    But the applications for those kiosks would be massive as well.

  3. >Chu..uh, buildings


    ML, CW

  4. Helmuth, speaking for Boskone

    Why doesn’t he do the Golden Arcade Games of Tech: Dianetics Kong, Ms pARCMan, Techtris…

  5. Lure Rob & Hide

    Spot on !If LRH was alive today, he might well give David Miscavige a gold star, a written commendation, and a pat on his little head for his A/V kiosk concept.”
    Don’t forget that Misbabbleage would have been quickly done away with by the ‘lrh” as throughout his synthesis-ology no one ever lasted very long next to him due the the extreme paranoia of others(SPs) he invented and was obsessed with.

  6. I think you are right that DM may have gotten a pat on the head. However, as R did with other things (such as study tech, NOTs?…) R would have taken full credit and presented it as his own bright idea.

  7. How does a video console find your ruin? That’s the subtext of what Marty really means.

    After the raw meat has gotten bored with the button console video, a Thetan waltzes over and says “So, you ready to buy into this shit?”

    I think the interactive displays sometimes give the meat a second chance to think. Can’t have that! Although you made some excellent points, most of the meat aren’t ready to start “duplicating” when they walk through the door.

    That’s when they want the mystery, the allure of the good looking guy or girl who has something they don’t, the answers. Finding what is true for themselves. A Scilon, more so than a tech display, is able to more effectively dangle a class, or some piece of gibberish like Dianetics before the meat.

    Back to ruin…a live person can direct the chit-chat, find out what a person is REALLY after, even if that person is so confused they don’t know what they are after, but they just want to try something different.

    For example, let’s say someone is looking for something spiritually expanding, and they watch a video on all the front groups or something, it could be a turn off.

    People might wonder where the button is, for the course price list. With live people, they relied on the fact most people were willing to try it before they got into asking questions about the cost of things higher up the bridge.

    The displays remind me of a casino, except the bandits take hundred dollar bills instead of quarters. Instead of one arm bandits, they are two arm, two legged bandits.

    More and more people are becoming in tune with the idea of the undirected quest, via the web, rather than a bunch of rigged displays, that are so obviously trying to sell it.

    Scilons, at least, can seem sincere.

    However, there are no doubt people for whom the displays would seem more inviting, like it was about information instead of just selling it.

    I know at least one person who was intrigued by Scientology, but totally turned off when she talked to a live person. This was years ago.

    Before the web got so riveting, and revealing, I could see how the displays might be effective for two reasons:

    1. Some people might just be curious and not want to have to face a conversation with one of “them” right away.

    2. People who are primed by looking at the display, and just itching to talk to someone, or sign up and begin trying it.

    Even if the planes, houses, and clothes were much the same 75 million years ago, I agree that DM is just doing what Hubbard would have tried to do.

  8. You have a lot of misconceptions which you very freely give to others. I have at least read that you make the student explain “in his own words” to see that he really understands. Common wordclearing tech but that might have gotten lost somewhere since I left…

    If you don´t understand WHY students are not allowed discussing the subject in class maybe you should visit some forums and see how far off these discussions can get!

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