Daily Archives: September 7, 2011

How Scientology works: Re-stating the obvious

The other day, Mike Rinder posted an entry on Marty’s blog that gives a great illustration of the Scientology mind-set.

Mike posted a passage from LRH called “Invalidation.” In it, Hubbard basically says that people with dominating personalities either demand that others do what they say as a condition of a continued relationship, or belittle others in order to increase their perceived importance.

Except, in typical Hubbard fashion, what I’ve explained in one sentence, he stretches to well over five hundred words. And Scientologists confuse this verbosity for intelligence.

The concept Hubbard presents is not earth-shattering. It’s the basis of abusive relationships. (In fact, it’s the basis of Hubbard’s relationship with his Scientology followers – that man is weighed down, and that without Hubbard’s help, they can’t get out of the morass.) I’m sure that most of you, like me, have understood the basic concept since they were in their teens or twenties.

But Scientologists take this restatement of common sense as proof of Hubbard’s brilliance.

How does this happen? I have a theory, and it stems from the fact that the most ardent Scientologists are those that are born into the religion or are attracted to it in their teens or twenties – the time of life when we really start to figure life out. While us wogs are out experiencing life and learning these lessons first-hand, Scientologists are encouraged to turn inwards, reading LRH’s writings, listening to LRH’s lectures, and surrounding themselves with people who feel the same way.

We’ve all had “a-hah!” moments when we figure things out – when we suddenly realize, for example, that our dominating parent or partner was belittling us to make themselves seem more important, because in fact they have low self-images and feel that any importance they have must be manufactured. Maybe we figured it out on our own or maybe it was pointed out to us. It’s called an epiphany; Scientologists call it a “cog” or “cognition.” On the outside, we generally credit these epiphanies to our own understanding. Scientologists credit their “cogs” to the “technology” of LRH.

No wonder Scientologists think LRH is brilliant – and no wonder it’s so easy for the rest of us to see that he was a man of average intelligence at best.

Remember, Scientology preys on those who are looking for answers. Scientology’s streetside Personality Tests and slick TV ads are meant to ensnare those who are seeking out truths. Ever notice how few people become Scientologists in their 40s or 50s, and how those who dabble in it tend to drift away? That’s no coincidence. Scientology is designed to latch on to the needy. Inside LRH’s “Admin Tech” you’ll find LRH’s simple marketing philosophy: Do market research to find out what people want and then write ads promising them the answers.

Do you see the sense of what I’m saying? Of course you do, and there’s a reason for that: Most of you are either not Scientologists, or ex-Scios who have figured out how the scam works. It’s an easy leap for us, but nearly impossible to fathom for those who are still “in” – and by “in” I don’t mean “in the Church of Scientology,” but rather “in the Scientology mind-set.” People like Mike Rinder and Marty Rathbun actually do read essays like “Invalidation” and believe that Hubbard has some unusual insight into life. And when there’s a coincidence – like Hubbard’s first question dealing with height – they say things like Mike did: “Oh, how prescient LRH is.” (Note the use of present tense.) They really do believe this.

How do you explain this to a Scientologist? I’ve tried, pointing out to Scientology friends that much of LRH’s tech is just common sense and life experience. Their answer? “Yes, but nobody ever dived into it to the depth that LRH did.” In other words, no one else could be bothered to stretch one sentence into five hundred words. It’s enough to make you bang your head against the wall. If anyone has had any success explaining this to Scientologists, or if you’re an ex who cares to share how you figured it out, by all means, comment away.

The sad part is that Hubbard treats his followers just as he says in this essay: He explains everything and invalidates their ability to discover these things on our own. So sad, because figuring out life is half the fun of living, don’t you think?