Category Archives: LRH Tech

“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transcript from a half-decade-old speech, but let’s give Marty the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s accurate, if outdated.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.


My OT powers at work

Just a quick post to validate my Operating Thetan powers! In my last post, I predicted that Marty would leave the Mayo thing behind and get back to his “greatest hits”: Talking about how David Miscavige is screwing up the Church. Sure enough, that’s exactly what his latest post, Doomsday Dave – KoS pt 2 is – complete with unverifiable hand-typed “dox”.

Stand in awe of my ability to predict the future! Or, better yet, stand in awe of L. Ron Hubbard’s “condition formulas,” which dictate exactly what a Scientologist must do in any situation. In this case, Marty’s readership is slowly starting to trend back up, showing an apparent recovery from the Mayo fiasco. If Marty is watching stats daily, he’s in the condition of Normal, and he’s following Hubbard’s instructions:

“Don’t change anything… If a statistic betters, look it over carefully and find out what bettered it and then do that without abandoning what you were doing before.”

Marty went back to trashing David Miscavige and his stats went up, so he’ll do more of that. And he can turn to his friends and say once again how LRH’s technology, when properly applied, always works.

One wonders how “wog” businesses manage to survive without Hubbard’s tech. I mean, the concept that if a new product or service fails, you should get rid of it and go back to what sells, and if something improves your bottom line, you do more of it – this is earth-shattering Teeegeeak-shattering stuff! It’s amazing the wheels of commerce didn’t grind to a halt before Ron came along.


I’ll get back to talking tech and policy tomorrow, I promise. Unless Marty does something irresistibly bone-headed, that is!

Incidentally, Gerry Armstrong wrote an interesting essay on this whole Mayo fiasco. I disagree with his religious views, but I always respect the opinion of Hubbard and Scientology from those who were neck-deep and got completely out.


Reverse! Reverse! Full throttle! Reverse!

I have a blog entry on “Look Don’t Listen” almost ready to go, but I can’t resist posting a commentary on Marty’s latest, The King of the Squirrels.

This is what is known in Scientology as an attempt to repair an ARC break. For those unfamiliar, the “ARC Triangle” is Affinity, Reality, and Communication. In Scientologese, affinity means regard or liking; reality means a common point of agreement; and communication means the same thing it does in English. According to LRH, these three things go hand-in-hand, and raising one factor will raise the other two. (This isn’t entirely true, something I talked about in this blog entry.)

What Marty did was go out-reality with his public, thereby causing an ARC break. Translation: Marty said something people disagreed with (David Mayo is a bad guy) and pissed people off. So how does Marty fix this? He has to get reality (agreement) back in by posting something his readers will agree with: David Miscavige is a ruthless little twat who is ruining Scientology. Can’t go wrong with that!

As part of his damage control, Marty tries to downplay the controversy:

“The earlier beginning to my having even gotten into this terrain, was a controversial comment of mine to the effect that folk promoting their skype auditing, and long-distance internet NOTs supervision was, in my view, squirrel.”

That’s a rather creative way of looking at things, especially when you consider what Marty actually said:

“I have noticed over the past year several old AACers coming out of retirement and hanging up their shingles… Well, over the past couple months I have had some bedraggled souls wind up on my doorstep who have been mauled by old-timer squirrels… Squirrels leave the church seeking freedom to do whatever hair-brained scheme their banks feed them.”

No matter; the way I see it, the real reason this whole thing started (and forgive me if I’m repeating myself) was that Marty posted what amounted to an advertisement for his auditing services, saying that he has legitimate OT-level materials (because the OT5-OT7 materials published on the Internet by Mayo are legit) and he’s best qualified to deliver them (because other Free Zone auditors are – and I quote his original post – “hucksters, clowns and pick-pockets”).

No matter what spin he puts on it, the bottom line is that Marty pissed off the faithful, so now he’s doing what any good performer does: Give ’em what they want. If a comic tries some new material and it bombs, what does he do? Go back to the old stuff that always gets a laugh. In this case, there’s nothing like some anti-DM rhetoric and a Tale from the Ol’ Days to rally the troops.

Of course, if one reads between the lines, one can see that Marty’s foot is still firmly in his mouth. After all, he just labeled David Mayo and his ilk as squirrels, and now he’s calling David Miscavige the King of All Squirrels. So basically, he’s lumping Mayo in with Miscavige. (Marty was less subtle in his previous post, where he came right out and classed them together as “iconoclasts.”)

So will this latest post alienate his followers even further?

Of course not!

See, Scientologists have a knack for ignoring uncomfortable truths – all you have to do is give them some little shred they can agree on and they’ll rally around it. (I shouldn’t single out Scientologists; this is a common trait among the blindly faithful.) All it takes is a shiny object to distract them, and an anti-Miscavige story is the perfect gem.

And the proof that this works is in the comment section: Karen De La Carriere has returned with this comment about how evil David Miscavige is. I bet Marty breathed a sigh of relief when he saw that! And unlike her defense of David Mayo, after which Marty wisely kept his trap shut, this time he was Johnny on the spot with a reply – six minutes after she posted her comment, he replied with “Nice sum up Karen. Your conclusion is absolutely spot on.” Way to go, Marty – the customer is always right!

Judging from the comments posted – or at least the ones Marty didn’t censor – the shitstorm isn’t entirely over, but the worst has passed. If Marty is smart, his next few posts will get back to basics: More trashing of DM and stories of Scientologists leaving the Church, and fewer advertisements and swipes at Free Zone auditors.

Personally, I’m hoping Marty isn’t that smart, because this has been a very entertaining week!


Related: The BS of ARC

Positioning, Misunderstanding Of

Back in college I read a fantastic book called Positioning, which is now considered a marketing classic. The basic idea behind Positioning is that brands occupy a sort of ladder in the mind, and the goal is to be on the top step. If I ask you what the number-one fast food chain is, chances are you will say McDonalds. If I ask you about cola, you’ll probably think of Coke. Those brands occupy the lead position in your mind.

So when I went to work for a company that uses Scientology’s “Administrative Technology,” I was pleased to see that Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard was also a fan of Positioning; in fact, The Positioning Era, an article which preceded the book, is reprinted in the current Admin Tech volumes as HCO PL 13 September 1988R. (For those who have this PDF, it’s in MS3 under Marketing Series.)

The realization that Scientology embraced Positioning was like running into an old friend in a foreign country. I was hugely relieved. Finally, I thought, some proven marketing methodolody that actually makes sense!

But my joy was short-lived when I turned the page and came to a Hubbard policy called HCO PL 30 January 1979, POSITIONING, PHILOSOPHIC THEORY. The beginning is classic Hubbard:

“Although Madison Avenue has used ‘POSITIONING’ for some years, it has not fully understood the actual philosophical background that makes ‘POSITIONING’ work.

“There is an excellent booklet called The Positioning Era put out by Ries Capiello Colwell… It is an excellent booklet. It does not, however, give the philosophical background which, probably, is not generally known. Probably it was never discovered. I had to work it out myself.” — LRH

Did you get that? Jack Trout and Al Ries, the marketing geniuses (and I don’t say that lightly) who came up with Positioning, did not understand the philosophic theory behind it. It took L. Ron Hubbard to straighten them out.

Here’s the true tragicomedy: Once you read the entire policy letter, it becomes clear that Hubbard has no idea what Trout and Ries’ Positioning is all about. The subject appears to have gone entirely over his head.

Hubbard’s idea of positioning is that one can influence someone’s opinion by comparing the unfamiliar to the familiar. Which, by the way, is true. You may have no idea what frog legs taste like, but if I tell you they taste like chicken, you’ll understand.

Hubbard writes:

Positioning takes advantage of a fact that one can compare the thing he is trying to get the other person to understand with desirable or undesirable objects… one can position above a familiar object, with a familiar object, below a familiar object, at, to, against and away from a familiar object. This opens the door to an opportunity to establish an opinion of the thing one is seeking to communicate. You might call it an ‘instant’ opinion.

“For example, we know that an astronaut is a familiar, highly regarded being. Thus, we position a product above, with, below, at, to, against or away from an astronaut.” — LRH

Of course, Hubbard can’t resist taking a swipe at his old friends, the “psychs” and the IRS:

“We know people loathe psychiatry, so we communicate something as being loathsome as saying it is below (worse than) psychiatry. We could also make people think something was good by saying it was against psychiatry, bad because it would bring them to psychiatry, or awful because it used psychiatrists (like the tax people).” — LRH

(This, by the way, is one reason Scientologists come up with such ridiculous opinions. Society at large does not loathe psychiatry, but Scns believe this because Hubbard said so.)

Again, this is sound marketing. But original to Hubbard? Not by a long shot. Advertisers have been using it for years — beer ads showing people having a good time, watch ads showing people getting off private jets, etc. Nothing new. And yet in a different policy (HCO PL 27 Septemper 1979, ADS AND COPYWRITING), Hubbard says this that doing it this way is wrong:

“Here’s an example of an ad that doesn’t communicate… It’s actually supposed to be a cigarette ad but it shows somebody getting dragged on a sled through the snow. It’s obvious what they’re selling – they’re selling snow!” — LRH

As someone with a fair bit of experience in advertising, stuff like this makes me wonder if there isn’t a higher-than-normal suicide rate among “wog” marketing professionals forced to use the Admin Tech.

Anyway, let’s get back to POSITIONING, PHILOSOPHIC THEORY. Hubbard goes on to say how the pros on Madison Avenue are doing it all wrong:

“A common use of positioning in advertising is to take a product which… is regarded by [the public] as the leader in the field and then positioning a new, untried, unfamiliar product above it, with it, or just below it…

“Apparently, from talking to ad guys, they thought that by putting their products in the pecking order against the top product they made their product higher or just with or just below the top hen. That’s what the advertising people get for associating with such ‘experts’ as psychologists.” — LRH

This last bit proves that Hubbard doesn’t understand what Positioning is all about. In fact, Trout and Reis came right out and differentiated their concept of brand positioning from the sort of product positioning LRH is talking about:

“Yesterday, positioning was used in a narrow sense to mean what the advertiser did to his product. Today, positioning is used in a broader sense to mean what the advertising does for the product in the prospects mind.” — Trout/Reis

How did Hubbard miss this?

Trout and Ries are very clear: If a brand owns the top rung on a ladder, like McDonalds does on the fast food ladder, it is very difficult to unseat them. That’s the whole concept of Positioning – it’s better, they say, to try to create a new ladder – for example, fresh-made fast food or “The Un-Cola”.

Now, if Hubbard really understood Positioning, he’d be talking about trying creating a new ladder in the mind by making Scientology synonymous with some concept – say, freedom or charity. The idea would be that when people think of freedom, they think of Scientology.

Instead, he goes off on a tangent about finding a concept that people can relate to, and then writing copy and generating illustrations that will give people an instant favorable opinion. To be fair, this does have some validity. And one could argue that “positioning” is the correct word to use, in the sense that one is positioning a product with something people find favorable. But to say that this is the previously-undiscovered philosophic theory behind Trout and Reis’ thesis just shows that Hubbard had no idea what these guys were talking about. The two concepts simply don’t connect.

Fortunately, at the companies I worked for, my fellow marketers (mostly Scientologists) did have a good understanding of Positioning and we were able to put it to use with excellent success. From what I see of Church ads, the Co$ doesn’t — and I suppose that’s a good thing.

This is why it irks me when people defend Hubbard by saying that, for all his lousy personality traits, his “tech” was basically good. Here we see Hubbard claiming to have discovered the philosophy behind Positioning, and yet it’s clear to anyone with a two-year degree in marketing that he doesn’t understand the basic concept.

Much of Hubbard’s marketing “tech” is good and usable, but very little of it is original – it’s a collection of good ideas that were already in widespread use in the real world. Where Hubbard does claim to have some original insight, he comes across as naïve and oblivious. As we discussed recently in The Art Series, the same is true of his artistic “tech” – and we have the awful music and movies to prove it. I’ve read anecdotes about ship captains who were appalled by his seamanship. It seems that any time an expert in any field weighs in, they find Hubbard’s “philosophies” to be baseless and ineffectual.

And yet Hubbard’s followers are convinced that he has uncovered the true secrets of life, the universe and everything.

Perhaps there’s one thing at which Hubbard did have some true expertise: He was one hell of a con man.


The Art Series

Today I want to talk about The Art Series, a set of Scientology policies that I find both highly amusing and deeply offensive. The Art Series provides an excellent illustration of a) how full of himself L. Ron Hubbard was and b) how tight a grasp he had on the minds of his followers. If you’re looking for evidence that LRH was a megalomaniac, you’ll find it in the Art Series.

(For those who want to read along, you’ll find the Art Series policies in the Management Series volumes, which you can download from this MegaUpload link.)

The first Art Series policy, HCOB 30 August AD15 (1965), “ART,” is typical Hubbardian drivel. Basically, it says that the subject of art has been confusing and confounding people for centuries, so LRH magnanimously decided to engage his superior powers of comprehension and sort out the subject once and for all. And in doing so, he accomplished what millions of people have been unable to do for centuries.

Hubbard’s definition of art is pretty narrow. “ART,” he says, “is a word which summarizes THE QUALITY OF COMMUNICATION.” But that doesn’t stop him from administering a healthy dose of microanalysis and mumbo-jumbo:

“The rule is if one is being too perfectionistic to actually achieve a communication, reduce the mass, time, impedimenta or facilities sufficiently low to accomplish the communication but maintain the technique and perfection as high as is reconcilable with the result to be achieved and within one’s power to act.”

In otherwords, “Don’t over-complicate things.” This is hardly a new concept, but it always amazes me Hubbard was able to stretch out the simplest ideas into unnecessarily long diatribes, and how his followers seem perfectly willing to mistake his needless verbosity for intelligence. People sometimes assume that if something is difficult to understand, it must be above their level of comprehension — a concept of which LRH took full advantage.

What really sticks out about the Art Series, to me at least, is Art Series 11, HCOB 1 February 1984: “HOW TO VIEW ART.” Yup, that’s right – Hubbard actually told his followers that there was a specific and correct technique to view art. Basically, it involves clearing your mind and pretending you haven’t seen the artwork before.

In typical Hubbard style, he takes two and a half single-spaced pages to say this.

I’ve always believed that art is an intensely personal thing. People create art for their own reasons, and people see art the way they see it for their own reasons. According to Hubbard, however, I’m wrong. From Art Series 16, MESSAGE:

“Successful works of art have a message. Art is for the receiver. It is not enough that the creator of the work understands it; those who receive it must.” — LRH

And what about all those art professors who tell you it’s okay to create something simply for the sake of creating it? According to Hubbard, they’re just trying to protect their own interests. From Art Series 2, HCOB 19 July 1973, “ART, MORE ABOUT:”

“Some professors who don’t want rivals tell their students “Art is for self-satisfaction.” “It is a hobby.” In other words, don’t display or exhibit, kid, or you’ll be competition!” — LRH

The Art Series goes on and on and on and on like this. In Art Series 3, STAGE MANNERS, Hubbard gives actors blindingly obvious advice such as, “If you goof, ride right over it. Do not break off, call attention to it or look helpless or foolish.” And surely no artist can accomplish anything great without the advice given in Art Series 9:

“To do a montage, shot or work of art that talks, one must: 1) Figure out what your message is. 2) Decide to communicate the message. 3) Put in things or arrangements that contribute to the message. 4) Take out or exclude things that don’t contribute to it.” — LRH

Art Series 4, RHYTHM, defines rhythm for music, poetry, and the like, with information that one of our musically-inclined readers tells me is completely wrong. Art Series 14, COLOR, has frustrated countless Scientology art directors by making it policy to use a color wheel for their creations. And Art Series 17, ART AND EQUIPMENT, contains the earth-shattering revelation that knowing how to use your equipment will yield better results.

Here’s the rub: For all that Hubbard claimed to have “discovered” about art, Scientology artwork tends to be pretty fucking terrible. The over-the-top backgrounds for David Miscavige’s televised extravagasms are about as good as Scientology-inspired artwork gets; all of the other Scientology paintings I’ve seen have been sci-fi-themed anonymity of the type found on corporate office walls.

LRH’s influence on music can be heard in the horrifically bad album he produced, The Road to Freedom (samples here; download the whole thing here, and if listening to this prompts you to rip out your own eardrums with a salad fork, I am not responsible). And let’s not forget Hubbard’s Hollywood opus, Battlefield Earth, or Marty Rathbun’s awesomely awful Ode to L. Ron Hubbard, presumably written using LRH’s “tech”.

Practical applications aside, the implications of the Art Series go way beyond Hubbard’s laughable delusions of adequacy. The idea behind the Art Series is that all things in the human experience can be quantified and measured. The truth is that no one can really explain why the right arrangement of paint on a canvas or the right combination of musical notes can move a person to tears.

In Scientology, such unexplainable emotional reactions are a bad thing. After all, “THE PRIMARY BARRIER TO PRODUCTION IS HUMAN EMOTION AND REACTION,” LRH wrote in HCO PL 2 June 1971-II — and in all caps, no less.

Personally, I prefer living a life where some things are beyond explanation. I’m not a Scientologist; I am a free wog, and I don’t need Hubbard to tell me what is art, what is beautiful, and why.

Especially when it’s so plainly obvious that he doesn’t know what the fuck he’s talking about.


So Hubbard lied – so what?

We’re seeing a shift in the arguments from Independent Scientologists, those folks who are stuck somewhere between the organized Church and true out-of-Scn freedom. Since it’s been pretty well established that Scientology cannot be proven to deliver the “OT Abilities” as promised by LRH, they are now attributing other miscellaneous phenomenon to their OT levels.

I’ve heard a similar argument about Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. It’s been well established that Hubbard lied about much of his past, including his Navy records, his war injuries, even how many times he was married and how many children he had. So Hubbard apologists supporters have taken a new tactic:

“So what if LRH lied about his past? If his ‘tech’ works, does it really matter?”

I happen to think honesty and integrity are the most important traits a person can have – but let’s face it, lying isn’t always the end of the world.

Let’s say you have a great plumber, and as he’s quoting you a job, he tells you all about his wonderful childhood in Bali, swimming across the bay to school each day and fishing for his dinner. Later, you find out he grew up in a trailer park in New Jersey. All those stories he enthralled you with? All fake. So what? As long as his prices are reasonable and he does a good job, where he grew up really doesn’t matter much.

Now, let’s say you hire an investment counselor, and he tells you that his average growth rate for his clients is 230%, and provides letters from past clients talking about how his stock recommendations made them huge amounts of money. You later find out that he’s done nothing of the sort. He spent the last five years doing taxes at H&R Block, and before that he worked in a car wash. The letters were fake, although he did give some stock tips to his parents – tips that he read about online and claimed as his own.

Do his lies matter? You bet your ass they do, because you’re basing your decision to do business with him on his past experiences.

Based on that reasoning, yes, the fact that LRH lied about his past does matter.

Key to LRH’s story is his assertion that he had severe injuries in World War II, including blindness, and he was able to cure himself. That is the basis for his claims that Dianetics can heal the human body (a claim he later had to back down on when the FDA came after Scientology). Dianetics is key, because it’s the first step most people take into Scientology. (And logically so – if you told even the most susceptible person about Xenu or body thetans right off the bat, they’d run away and never look back. That’s why Hubbard used the concept of the gradient, which he redefined as “a gradual approach to something, taken step by step, level by level, each step or level being, of itself, easily surmountable.” He billed this as a key concept in learning, but it’s also a key element in luring people into Scientology.)

As we now know, Hubbard’s claims about his injuries were false. He was never blinded in the Navy, and the closest he came to real action was when he mined a submarine that didn’t exist – unless you count the time he fired on an island belonging to Mexico and nearly caused an international incident.

In fact, the self-styled Commodore of Scientology’s navy once was evaluated as “lacking in the essential qualities of judgment, leadership and cooperation” by the U.S. Navy.

LRH wrote a book on the effect of radiation, referring to himself a nuclear physicist, when in fact he took one class in atomic and molecular phyisics from George Washington University (which he failed – check out Hubbard’s GWU transcript). He has written books on how to have a good marriage, despite being a bigamist and lying about the number of times he was married. He wrote books about raising children, even though he refused to acknowledge two (and later three) of his own children, one of whom was estranged from him and another who took his own life.

Hubbard’s supporters and apologists say that LRH’s lies don’t matter because “his tech still works.” But if you can’t take Hubbard’s word on his past, how can you take his word that his tech is actually his tech?

The truth is that much of early Dianetics – the bits that many people agree does produce noticeable “gains” – is taken directly from proven psychotherapeutic techniques. Hubbard has said his methods have their basis in Freud and Eastern philosophy, implying that he somehow improved on them. That’s an understatement (rare for Hubbard). In truth, he stole them outright, changed and re-defined the terms, and then set about doing what he did best: Going into long, rambling detail about the most trivial subjects. And his followers make a mistake that is all too common: Mistaking verbosity for intelligence.

So yes, Hubbard’s lies matter.

Even if you’re one of those people who doesn’t claim to be a Scientologist but simply someone who believes that Hubbard’s “technology” helped you, ask the question: Is the “tech” really Hubbard’s? If you’re talking about Dianetics, especially the bits that involve bringing past incidents out into the light for closer examination, bear in mind that this “tech” actually comes from the field of psychiatry and psychotherapy – you know, the folks that Hubbard tried to paint as the root of all evil. (They aren’t evil. But to L. Ron Hubbard, they were competition for Scientology.)

Let’s go back to our mythical stockbroker, who got his stock tips from a web site. Are they good tips? Yes. Will they make you money? Yes. But if you’re looking for the best possible advice, who would you rather to go – the actual source of the advice, or a known liar who simply read someone else’s work and claimed it as his own?


More about Hubbard’s military record

Marty, have you no shame?

I’ve been making an effort not to write headlines about Marty Rathbun, because it makes me sound too much like these guys (a pro-Church, anti-Marty site).

But in Marty’s most recent blog entry, More Truth Revealed, I read something that made me see red. It came right smack in the middle of yet another diatribe about how David Miscavige is screwing up Scientologists, and one day after a blog entry in which Marty said he can fix those screwed-up Scientologists (for a modest fee, I imagine). Here’s the sentence that set me off:

“The last folders I am aware of David Miscavige personally reviewing and C/Sing were those of Lisa McPherson shortly before her spin, psychotic break and untimely death.”

All I could think was: How dare you, Marty?

Seriously – how fucking dare you?

Need I remind you, Marty, that Lisa McPherson is dead because of LRH’s “technology” – the technology you believe in and push on your followers?

Need I remind you that you’ve repeatedly blamed Lisa’s death on Miscavige’s “mishandling” of Lisa’s “case” – not on the Introspection Rundown, in which LRH says that the way to cure a psychotic break is to lock someone in a room and not talk to them? Not even if they are fighting to leave? Not even if they are starving to death?

Need I remind you that you were part of Church management, you were Miscavige’s right-hand man, and you didn’t do ONE SINGLE FUCKING THING to save that poor girl’s life?

What were you doing for the two weeks when Lisa was locked in that room, trying to fight off her silent captors, slowly going crazy, her body slowly dying from lack of food and water?

What were you doing as Lisa made the transition from a beautiful, vibrant young woman to a scrawny, dehydrated, cockroach-bitten corpse?

What were you doing at the moment Lisa died, Marty? Sitting in your office, sucking down a Kool and reading LRH policy?

I know there are a lot of people who did a lot of terrible things in Scientology, people who left and feel a lot of remorse. And I feel sympathy for those people. I feel sorry that they carry so much guilt.

You told the St. Petersburg Times that right after Lisa’s death in 1995, you wanted to “follow your heart” and tell the Attorney General that the Church would “take responsibility.” To the unwary, that sounds like remorse.

Except that about a year later, you later ordered the shredding of the documents that could have forced Scientology to take legal responsibility.

And fifteen years later – fifteen years that you’ve spent starting a new life, falling in love, getting married, getting a house, and starting a business – fifteen years of life that Lisa McPherson was denied – here you are trying to use Lisa McPherson’s death as a pawn in your stupid battle for personal satisfaction. Here you are, using her as a sales tool to get people to pay you for auditing.

Have you no shame, Marty? What kind of a person are you?

Of course, I know what kind of a person you are. You’re the kind who fell under the spell of L. Ron Hubbard – the man who penned the Introspection Rundown, Lisa’s death warrant.

I know you believe in LRH’s bullshit, Marty. I know you look to LRH for the answers, just like Lisa did. I know you trust LRH, just like Lisa did. (I wonder if she figured out it was all a scam before she lost what remained of her grip on reality?)

I know it could have been you in that hotel room.

I know that I should pity you just as much as I pity poor Lisa McPherson. But when you write shit like this, I just can’t.


Is thinking a lower function?

Today, I want to talk about how Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard classified thinking on one of his ubiquitous scales.

For those not familiar with the concept, Hubbard arranged several concepts into scales; the Tone Scale (which ranked emotions) is the most widely know. Items that are higher on a scale are positive; items lower down are negative.

L. Ron Hubbard wrote one called the Know to Mystery scale. It went through several iterations; this is the 1971 version, which appears to be the last. If this seems like gobbledygook, well, I won’t argue with you. Hubbard had a tendency to gloss over important concepts and go into great detail on the trivial. Still, when you see where “think” comes in, I’m sure you’ll get my point.

Tone Description

40.0 — Know
30.0 — Not-Know
22.0 — Know About
20.0 — Look
8.0 — Plus Emotion
2.0 — Minus Emotion
-1.5 — Effort
-3.0 — Think
-4.0 — Symbols
-5.0 — Eat
-6.0 — Sex
-8.0 — Mystery
-10.0 — Wait
-20.0 — Unconscious
-40.0 — Unknowable

Source: Scientology 0-8 The Book of Basics by L. Ron Hubbard, 2007 edition

Thinking is just above eating and sex, which Scientology views as almost involuntary actions necessary to survive. So you can see that per this scale, thinking isn’t very sophisticated. Note also that doing something (effort) is a higher function than thinking.

Now, in the real world, thinking is up higher. It’s an integral part of knowledge – you learn something, you think it through, you judge whether it is valid, and you know it.

Not so in Scientology. Hubbard will tell you what to know; you don’t need to think about it or pass judgment on its validity.

Once you start taking into account those numbers in the left column, the Know to Mystery Scale takes on even more sinister undertones. “Tone” indicates numbers on the Tone Scale, which goes from +40 (“serenity of beingness” down to -40 (“total failure”). Anything above +3 (“conservatism”) is pretty good. +1.1 is “covert hostility,” the criminal state that Marty accuses David Miscavige of being (Churchies say the same thing about Marty). +0.7 is “hopeless”. Zero is “body death” (presumably, the spirit lives on).

And -3.0, where “Think” is? That’s “owning bodies.”</p

Which, when you think about it, makes no fucking sense whatsoever, but if it’s down that low, it’s got to be pretty bad.

The point is that per Hubbard, thinking is not a higher function. Looking and knowing – those are higher functions. Scientologists often talk about certainty – the certainty that they are doing the right thing, and certainty in LRH’s tech. They look, they see cheery Scientologists and LRH’s tech, and they just know it’s correct.

They don’t ever think about it, because thinking is for degraded beings.

Of course, thinking also leads to freedom. Which means that for LRH and Scientology, thinking is very bad for business.


Another attempt to whitewash Hubbard

Marty’s latest blog post talks about something I’ve already discussed here – the Pro-Church Marty H8r site‘s take on the New Yorker article. Marty pull-quotes the following passage from this post:

As a sure indication that there are skeletons he’d rather hide, Haggis tried to head off possible revelations of what he’s really been doing, saying that he expected a ‘scandal’ about him to be the result of his attack on the Church. Methinks he knows he deserves to be exposed…hmmmmm….

Hell, he admitted to early criminal acts he withheld, and you can be sure that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Clarification: That’s a Church member talking, not Marty.

Marty goes on to say:

This latest passage I can intrepret [sic] no other way than as a threat. It is a threat to unlawfully use confessional data among other things. For Miscavige to direct such thuggery… publicly is testament to his complete loss of sanity, in my opinion.

Whoa, whoa, wait a minute there, Mr. Rathbun. Don’t go saying that Miscavige is doing this because he’s insane. The fact is that the Church is doing exactly what Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard ordered. There is ample written evidence that all involved are following Scientology policy.

The concept that anyone who attacks the Church has criminal acts that must be exposed was originated by Hubbard; he repeated it again and again in the “scriptures” that Scientologists hold up as truth. A few examples:

“Now, get this as a technical fact, not a hopeful idea. Every time we have investigated the background of a critic of Scientology, we have found crimes for which that person or group could be imprisoned under existing law. We do not find critics of Scientology who do not have criminal pasts.” [Emphasis in original] — LRH, HCOB 5 November 1967, CRITICS OF SCIENTOLOGY

“A person, to be a critic, must first have assumed that he could not create anything.” — LRH, MARITAL SCIENTOLOGY, Journal of Scientology issue 13-G

“As far as public attacks upon individual auditors, the HASI* or LRH are concerned, it has been discovered that all those who have attacked… are criminally liable for other things… Behind every one of these attacks… has rested a criminal record of one kind or another.” — LRH, THE SCIENTOLOGIST, Ability Magazine issue 1

* HASI: Hubbard Association of Scientologists International, predecessor of the present-day IAS. More on HASI/IAS similarities here.

“Supressive Acts include public disavowal of Scientology [and] public statements against Scientology… The real motives of Suppressive Persons have been traced to quite sordid hidden desires.” — LRH, HCO PL 23 December 1965, ETHICS SUPRESSIVE ACTS – SUPRESSION OF SCIENTOLOGY AND SCIENTOLOGISTS – THE FAIR GAME LAW

“People attack Scientology; I never forget it, always even the score.” — LRH, MANUAL OF JUSTICE

These are just a few examples. As any Scientologist, past or present, active or ex, will tell you, the Tech is rife with the concept that anyone who criticizes Scientology must have hidden crimes. Remember, in Scientology, you cannot cherry-pick the Tech; per Keeping Scientology Working, all LRH “tech” is valid and true unless LRH says otherwise.

Let me be perfectly clear, lest Marty and crew attempt to dismiss me as an OSA agent: Digging up dirt in order to silence critics is WRONG. It was WRONG when Hubbard came up with the concept, it was WRONG when it was done by Scientology’s Guardian’s Office under Hubbard’s wife Mary Sue, and it is WRONG now when it is being continued by David Miscavige and current Church management.

But to present this as evidence that David Miscavige has somehow derailed Scientology, without even acknowledging that the concept comes from L. Ron Hubbard – that too is WRONG, Marty, and you should be ashamed of yourself for trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes.

Just because something is true for you, Marty, that doesn’t make it true. Not even if you really, really, want it to be true. Here’s one true datum you won’t find in Hubbard’s tech: Sooner or later, the real truth always comes out.


The “Dead Agent Caper” in action (sort of)

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.