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Blogging Dianetics, Part 8: The Demon Seed

DianeticsStandardWelcome to our ongoing project, where we blog a 1950 first edition of Scientology’s bible, Dianetics, with the help of ex-Scientologist, Bay Area lawyer, blogger, and author Vance Woodward. Go here for the first post in the series.

We’ve now reached the chapter titled “The ‘Demons’,” and after a superfluous flourish, L. Ron Hubbard gets to his subject: that his “engrams” explain what mankind had thought of as demons plaguing the mind.

In case the reader might think he was being literal, he writes “There are no real demons in dianetics” in italics. “That’s underscored in case some mystic runs around telling people that a new science of the mind believes in demons.”

After the disclaimer, however, Hubbard then goes about describing how his engram-demons are capable of demonic possession, sapping a person of his or her ability to access the self-agency of their analytical minds. We’re all just slaves to our engrams, apparently.

Vance, we’re struck by the examples Hubbard uses here. He suggests that we can be practically debilitated by a random statement made in our presence while we’re “unconscious.” (Hubbard seems to assume that human beings get knocked out by falls a lot more than we’ve ever noticed.)

In one example, he describes a child falling from a bicycle who is knocked cold. A policeman at the scene happens to say, “Never say can’t” in the semi-conscious kid’s presence. And for the rest of her life, that child will have a difficulty saying the word “can’t” because that cop’s command has turned into an engram that possesses her like a demon.

Really? Vance, we have to say, this and other examples that Hubbard provides seem extremely unusual and not very convincing. After supposedly doing years of research, shouldn’t he have better tales to tell?

VANCE: When I first read this, it struck me how careful he was being to clarify that Dianetics “demons” aren’t supernatural. I suppose I probably accepted this as more evidence that Hubbard was legit. I’m noticing now that he didn’t go so far as to say that supernatural demons don’t exist, only that Dianetics demons aren’t supernatural. Huh.

But, yeah, you’d figure he’d have come up with better examples. Then again, maybe we don’t know what awful material the man had to start with. Maybe, out of the hundreds of cases that Hubbard audited, these examples represent some of the more believable yarns that his hypnotic subjects invented as the source of their problems. And that’s saying a lot considering they were no doubt spun with the assistance of Hubbard’s story-telling expertise. On the other hand, maybe he just pulled these out of thin air as he wrote the book.

Either way, I reckon this kind of writing gives many Scientolohics a sometimes-laughable aversion to pain, not to mention a positive fear of drugs (which are viewed as poisons that invariably cause unconsciousness, pain, and engrams). As an example, preclears must be medication-free for a full week before auditing, with individual dispensations (always given with a pout or sneer) for “therapeutic” medications. But aren’t all medications therapeutic? What other kind is there? For a long time I used inhalers for asthma and invariably got grief about it.

As another example, I remember exchanging wart-removal therapies with an otherwise normal fellow. I’d tried the freezing method; he’d tried the apple-cider-vinegar method. During the discussion, this guy said something to the effect of, “I don’t want to get an engram,” in reference to the idea of freezing a small chunk of his skin. The guy was seriously concerned that he’d get a mind-wrecking engram from from freezing a wart off his skin. In fairness to the guy, I can now tell you that the apple-cider-vinegar method works way better.

Of course, this whole aversion to pain gets tossed out the window as soon as we start discussing what’s in the best interests of Scientology, the group. When the group is at stake (it’s always at stake whenever any addict starts demanding time and money), then your personal pain is inconsequential.

THE BUNKER: Hubbard goes on to list a number of additional examples, and we are struck by the picture that emerges. According to Hubbard we’re all helpless creatures crippled by things that people happened to say while we’d been knocked unconscious. (Again, we’ve never, in our lives, been knocked unconscious, but maybe in the 1950s it was more common for someone to get slugged cold.)

How crippling to go through life thinking that you have been programmed to act certain ways by unknown persons who said unknown things while you were unaware of it. And yet, if you’re going to accept Hubbard’s ideas about therapy, you’re going to have to accept this dim view of existence. We’re just helpless automatons, floundering through life because someone said “You can’t think!” or “I can’t remember!” or I can’t feel anything” in our proximity while we were unconscious (to use some of Hubbard’s actual examples).

Do we have this right, Vance? Is that what we’re supposed to take from this, that we are slaves to very literal interpretations of voices stored in our cells?

VANCE: If you don’t mind, I’d like to quote a paragraph that sums up the full-on insanity of it all. I recommend you close any open windows before proceeding:

Absolutism is a fine road to stagnation and I do not think Spencer meant to be so entirely absolute about his Knowable and Unknowable. SURVIVE! is the demarcation point between those things which can be experienced by the senses (our old friends Hume and Locke) and those things which cannot necessarily be known through the senses but which possibly may be known but which one does not necessarily need to solve the problem.

Oh, so many questions. Do the caps on “Knowable” and “Unknowable” indicate that they are, like, important but not absolute? Do the all-caps on SURVIVE! mean that SURVIVE! is absolute? Or does it just mean that Ron likes to SCREAM AT HIS READERS? Does this mean that nothing, including Dianetics, is absolutely true? Either way, Hubbard certainly must know what he’s talking about to so masterfully toss around those lofty names in such a casual manner. I mean, like, golly. I’m impressed … and utterly confounded.

Well, anyhow, the answer to your question is sort of, kind of, maybe. In later times, Hubbard articulated a reverse attitude, which more or less marks the difference between Dianetics and Scientology. Basically, the premise of Dianetics is, as you said, that you are the victim of your engrams, that all this stuff has been done to you and is causing your problems. The premise of Scientology is 100 percent the reverse: that you are ultimately responsible for your problems and conditions, that you did it to yourself, that your real problem isn’t what happened to you but rather what you caused to happen to yourself. And yes, interpret that as ludicrously as you like. We’re talking about deciding that a certain horrific event was humiliating or degrading. We’re even talking about allowing yourself as a five-year-old child to be placed into the custody of a child molester. In Scientologese, no matter what happens, the follow-up question is, “What did I do to pull that in?” So, there’s something there for everyone. If you wanna feel like a victim, Dianetics is your thing. If you wanna blame everything on yourself (more my style), Scientology has you covered.

Anyhow, isn’t it wonderful? Here Hubbard has discovered that we’re all total victims to this engram business and yet he simultaneously discovered the solution to them. If I were cynical, I’d suppose that he was playing up the severity of these engrams as a method of playing up the importance of his solution to them. But I’m not cynical. So, instead, I’ll just scowl at people who don’t agree with me.

THE BUNKER: We are, as usual, rather in awe of your observations and experiences. You are truly Hubbard’s demon seed. And so we push on.

Next week — Blogging Dianetics, Part 9: Hubbard and Perversion!



Yesterday, we reported that Scientology’s drug rehab network, Narconon, is the subject of yet another investigation, this one regarding the credentials of its staff members. The National Association of Forensic Counselors is looking into allegations that Narconon employees improperly received Certified Chemical Dependency Counselors (CCDC) credentials. Specifically, two former Narconon officials have come forward to say that they were given answers before taking exams by the test proctor, a man named Kent McGregor.

McGregor’s involvement with Narconon goes back many years. Carnegie Mellon University professor David Touretzky has been watching McGregor for much of that time, and made us aware of a page he’s assembled about McGregor. We encourage you to give it a look for a more full picture about this interesting character.



In the current media climate, things are starting to get tougher for Scientology’s normally stealthy front groups. We noticed two recent stories a world apart that both involved journalists uncovering attempts to get Scientology into schools.

In Phoenix, Arizona, radio station KJZZ revealed that a charter school is using Scientology’s “Applied Scholastics” for its curriculum. It’s hard to tell from the story whether the charter school’s president can be taken seriously that he thinks the material is purely secular and is not a recruiting tool for the church.

Meanwhile, in Australia, a high school seminar put on by another Scientology front group, Youth for Human Rights, got exposed in the local press.

It’s almost like Scientology can’t get away with anything anymore.

LATER TODAY: We’ll have an update on the Narconon legislation in Oklahoma.


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 21, 2013 on 07:00


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  • John P.

    I have never fully understood the examples for “engrams” being absorbed by the mind. As Tony says, Hubbard seems to think most of us seem to spend a lot more time being knocked unconscious by head trauma than most people actually experience — if this happened often enough to get as many “engrams” as the average adult would likely have, it’s surprising that the incidence of Parkinson’s or other brain injuries like the ones affecting football players aren’t present in 100% of the population.

    I also find it really tough to understand why the reactive mind that accumulates these engrams is so literal minded that it doesn’t understand idioms and metaphors, but only individual words out of context… Even a four-year-old can understand that “Never say can’t” means something other than a command not to utter a particular sound.

    Absolutism is a fine road to stagnation.

    The paragraph where this is quoted makes almost no sense to me. But taken as a single sentence, this is exactly the problem with the cult of Scientology… their belief in absolutes — that there is exactly one way to study, that there is exactly one way to administer self help, that there is exactly one way to get off drugs — is exactly why the cult is stagnating (at best, unwinding increasingly rapidly at worst) in membership and in ability to attract new members. It’s amusing that Hubbard tosses out what have turned out to be horribly ironic sentences in the middle of all the rest of his logorrhea.

    The premise of Scientology is 100 percent the reverse: that you are ultimately responsible for your problems and conditions, that you did it to yourself, that your real problem isn’t what happened to you but rather what you caused to happen to yourself.

    This seems like a great summation of the Scientology mind-fk: you are a victim of your own omnipotence, of your super powers to manipulate the universe. You are actively, directly responsible for the tornado that rolled through your town. And once you believe that, you are open to spending a fortune trying to understand why you did something so obviously counter-survival as “pulling in” a twister.

    It’s almost like Scientology can’t get away with anything anymore.

    That is the true legacy of the Internet, even more than the billions of dollars we at Global Capitalism HQ have made investing in stocks of Internet companies. It’s almost impossible to make controversy disappear anymore. The picture of Sen. Nick Xenophon in the article about Youth for Human Rights in Australia looks like it was done up by Central Casting for the role of “crusader against dangerous cults taking our children.”

    • Xenu’sAdvocate

      “I also find it really tough to understand why the reactive mind that accumulates these engrams is so literal minded that it doesn’t understand idioms and metaphors, but only individual words out of context… ”
      Stranger still, Hubbard’s solution in part is study-tech, i.e. looking up definitions of individual words while ignoring context.

      • Roger Larsson

        Hubbards engrams caused secondaries in preclears and locks in critics but then came Internet and cleared preclears and critics from his engrams. What’s pulled in can also be dropped.

        • LOL wut?

          • Roger Larsson

            With the help of Internet can the ones at the bottom rise.

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              I think that was the slogan for the women’s movement in the 60’s.

            • Roger Larsson

              And here we are today. Thanks to us or to the women?

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              I’m gonna go with “the women”, Roger.

            • Roger Larsson

              So women isn’t scumbags, whores and so on, they are mothers to lovely children making good without a dot behind good?

            • blissfulldreams

              just because someone is classed as a scumbag and whore does not mean they was not good parents! being one does not negate the other

            • Roger Larsson

              Hubbards mother loved her child, why didn’t he love them?

            • blissfulldreams

              it’s the madona-whore complex

              In sexual politics the view of women as either Madonnas or whores limits women’s sexual expression, offering two mutually exclusive ways to construct a sexual identity. The duality implies that women must assume subservient roles, either as madonnas to be protected or as whores to be punished by men or misogyny



            • Roger Larsson

              We have all arrived to the world through a mother a father made pregnant and we are all the owner of a planet together to do the best of in our common interest.

              I don’t think Hubbards mother was attempting an abortion with dress hangers and stuff like that all the time.

            • So a woman gets to be a scumbag and whore OR a mother to lovely children? That sounds like L. Ron Hubbard, so I am going to take a wild guess that you are making fun of him with this.

              Between those two choices, I’ll take “scumbag and whore”. No kids for me, thanks.

          • thank you …i thought it was just because i was stoned 😉

            • BuryTheNuts2

              No, thank you for making me realize I may need to get stoned.

            • Roger Larsson

              Pipes of peace brings love, peace and understanding around the corner.

            • blissfulldreams

              as being stoned is the only way to fully understand Hubbard’s Life works “it all becomes clear and makes sense” whist using the pipes of peace knowledge and understanding

            • q-bird

              Aye! Up from the bilge are ye Roger?! Roger that, fine as kind. Face into the wind, hands upon the wheel. Front & center… permission to speak freely… your shipmates surround you here, this you know. And although many times your words are unclear & salty, truth is, every once and a while, you place your words exactly right & I can feel what you feel. You sly dog you. Fair winds & sunshine indeed.

            • Roger Larsson

              In the matter of die in ethics I could make something long short as I do in ARS. If Ron Hubbards horny mother had used her mouth instead of riding on his fathers willie we had all gone jammy-jammy instead of basic-basic.

            • BuryTheNuts2

              OK Roger that! You are a keeper.

            • Captain Howdy

              I thought Roger was a troll a few days ago but Andrew explained to me he knows him from ARS and that English isn’t his native language and he has his own style of communicating but he’s definitely one of the good guys.

            • Roger Larsson

              I HATE you! But to keep the hate up and going there must be at least two in a similar way as it requires two or more to keep Tony Ortegas blog UP!

            • Captain Howdy

              Roger Wilco that and out Roger.. 10-4 good buddy.

            • Roger Larsson


            • BuryTheNuts2

              Oh my god…its like you guys are doing the vulcan mind meld or something.
              I am impressed Capt.
              can you do this with potato juice injections or is it a natural gift?

              I am jealous…I want a gift too.

            • Sandy

              Sorry, Cap’n. he is a troll… no doubt

          • TheHoleDoesNotExist

            I totally understood what he means and yet, I can’t translate the scientologese into English on this one. I’m no good when someone throws in a third language/culture into the mix.

        • grundoon

          L. Ron Hubbard’s not the only one who can turn an incomprehensible phrase.

    • FistOfXenu

      “I have never fully understood the examples for “engrams” being absorbed by the mind. As Tony says, Hubbard seems to think most of us seem to spend a lot more time being knocked unconscious by head trauma than most people actually experience — if this happened often enough to get as many “engrams” as the average adult would likely have, it’s surprising that the incidence of Parkinson’s or other brain injuries like the ones affecting football players aren’t present in 100% of the population.”

      Maybe there was some kind of theory back then that trauma could make you technically unconscious in some special way that doesn’t look or feel like unconsciousness. I don’t know how’d you’d find a thing like that out but maybe somebody here does.

      Or maybe Hub was just a big girl about pain and HE was knocked out anytime something bad happened. You know, maybe he got all weird like a rabbit in headlights whenever he was hurt or upset. That could explain why he spent his whole life trying to be this big explorer tough guy hero in the bullsh- sorry, I mean anecdotes he told about himself.

      • Trustmeonthis

        On behalf of all girls, fuck you. 🙂 We’re not taking him!
        I believe the word you want is “coward.” Thank you!

        • FistOfXenu

          My humble apologies, Trustmeonthis! It’s an expression from my youth, I don’t think I’ve had a reason to say that since I was about 12. No offense intended. And you’re right, the girls and women I know don’t have to invent adventures, they just did stuff. Real stuff.

          Coward’s a good word to start with. Then let’s move on phony, and land on waste of skin.

      • Try having cramps every month. Or giving birth. If girls and women were cowards about pain, the human race would die out.

    • Ziontologist

      I also wondered about being knocked unconscious when I was first exposed to Dianetics. When does that happen?
      It doesn’t seem plausible that everyone would have a history of being knocked out unconscious!

      All in all, I’m not too thrilled with Tony and Vance and their review of Dianetics. They don’t seem to have the humor or insight to make it interesting.

      • Trustmeonthis

        When you’re not looking, they run up and smack you in the back of the head with the hardcover version.

    • Ze Moo

      If humans are so stuffed with engrams (millions or billions per person) and these engrams cause us to not have our thetan super powers, how do we ‘pull in’ everything that happens to us? Doesn’t it take thetan super powers to order the universe to do what we want it to do? Of course, scamatologists will say engrams cause ‘unfocused’ thetan super powers and the unfocusing is what causes every problem. Logical fallacies abound in Dianutty.

      If Lron found so many people getting engrams while unconscious, did he live in a Popeye cartoon?

      • Captain Howdy

        At OT 8 Elron Elrey tells the clams everybody mocked the whole thing up and engrams and past lives don’t really exist, so it’s all just a joke at the clams expense.Hardy Har Hah

        • FistOfXenu

          “expense” is right! I wonder what he had planned for when enough people got to OTVIII that some of them decided the “joke” wasn’t funny and they wanted money back?

          • Captain Howdy

            His parting line “Now that you know what you are not, are you ready to find out what you truly are ?” indicates that Commander McBragg had the next part of the yarn germinating.

            • RMycroft


      • Observer

        The following would knock *me* unconscious. I snagged it from Karen at OCMB. She said it recently arrived in her inbox, so I’m assuming the prices are current.

    • Need more coffee. I read your sentence as “You are actively, directly responsible for the tomato that rolled through your town.” I need to hook that tomato up to some cans.

    • The only place I have come across the term “engram” is in the work of one of the greatest geniuses of North American psychology, Silvan S. Tomkins, 1911-1991.

      His work is carried on by the Silvan Tomkns institute where I studied for several years. I subsequently led a seminar for psychologists and laymen for about three years.

      His magnum opus is the four volume Affect Imagery Consciousness (AIC), which I have traversed with intense and detailed study four times and to which I constantly resort somtimes just for the sheer pleasure of Tomkins’ humanism and his oten enchanting prose which sometimes verges on poetry.

      Tomkins created a Copernican revolution in the understanding of human motivation. Up to Tomkins it was held that cognition provided the primary motivating system for human beings.

      Tomkins showed that affect constitutes the primary motivating system. It is the discovery of the hard-wired biological affect system that is Tomkins’ greatest contribution to understanding of human functioning..

      His “aha” movement came in the late 1940s when he was pondering implications of the drive for oxygen. We think that cutting off the supply of oxygen always induces fear and panic.

      Tomkins realized that withdrawal of oxygen does not necessarily induce panic because in WWII pillots flying at high altitudes where oxygen was withdrawn slowly died with smiles on their faces.

      He nearly fell off his chair when he understood this, and he devoted the next forty years to studying affect and how the affect system interacts with the cognitive systems to arrive at a comprehensive account of human functioning.

      Tomkins asked fundamental questions: What is affect? What is the organ of affect? What are the primary affects?

      He identified nine primary affects, and gave double-barrel names to most of them to indicate they exist on a spectrum of intensity.

      There are two positive affects: interest-excitement and enjoyment-joy. And five negative affects.

      In order of increasing toxicity they are: distress-anguish; disgust; and the Malignant Trio, fear-terror; anger-rage; and dismsmell.

      He called the last three the Malignant Trio because at high levels of density they can kill a person as in the phenomenon of Vodoo Death.

      Shame is also among the negative affects. As one wag put it: We have two ways of feeling good and five ways of feeling bad.

      The ninth primary affect is neither positive nor negative: surprise-startle. It is a reset mechanism that clears out consciouness to put us on alert for what is going to happen next.

      Shame–humilation Tomkins called “one step from heaven” because it only occurs when the two positive affects are blocked or interrupted, and shame’s function is to restore them.

      This is most clearly seen in the apology.

      A man enjoys his relationship with his wife. And then he forgets their anniversary. His wife reminds him immediately triggering shame. His shoulders slump, and he hangs his head in shame.

      He says, “Honey, I am sorry”, buys her flowers and takes her to a fine restaurant, and their enjoyable relationship is restored. This affect is to be distinguished from self-disgust, with which it is commonly confused.

      Dissmell deserves a word of explanation because it is so unfamiliar. Just as we are equipped with disgust to dispel contaminated food we ingest we are also equipped with dissmell to withdraw from noxious orders like poop in baby diapers.

      Dissmell is the affect of “smelly Negro” and “stinking Jew” and drives lynchings and the Holocaust.

      In Scientology dissmell drives the War on Psychiatry and the doctrine on Suppresive Persons and their handling. Psychs are not merely disgusting but dissmelling and must be wiped from the face of the planet.

      In day to day life the most ubiquitous positive affect is interest-excitement. The most prevalent negative affect is distress-anguish.

      Distress is the least toxic negative affect. It doesn’t overwhelm like the greatly more toxic affect of fear. It is just self-punishing enough to motivate us to put in long hard hoiurs solving problems and aquiring knowledge and mastering skills.

      Distress is the characteristic affect of social reform movements motivating people, for example, to work 24/7 year after year working for the dismantling of the Church of Scientology in its present form.

      Tomkins’ work on affect indicates what a complete hodge podge and total mess L. Ron Hubbard’s Tone Scale is.

      The term “engram” occurs in Tomkins’ understanding of cognition to which the fourth and final volume of AIC is devoted.

      Tomkins’ first interest as an undergraduate at UPenn was playwriting, and dramaturgy furnished him with a model for human behavior.

      We move from scene to scene in our lives. I write this at a computer. That is a scene. Next I have breakfast, and that is a scene. Next I sit in a chair and read Lucas Catton’s new book – that is a third scene.

      Tomkins used the term script to describe the ordering of scenes. Scripts are not behaviors, but the cognitive rules we use to understand, produce, respond to, and defend against scenes. In essence his is an affect-scene-script psychology.

      As we move from scene to scene all conscious experience (and not unconscious experience as in Hubbard) is stored as imagery.

      The scene with its affects is compressed down and stored as affect-laden imagery as a brain trace, and this trace in the brain is what Tomkins called an engram.

      This term was undoubtedly in use in psychology before Tomkins used it, but Google search is so fagged up with page after page of Hubbard’s use of the term it is impossible to find references.

      Tomkins observed that we are incurably visually-minded. But an image of a scene is not merely what we see, but everything we consciusly experience – how we hold our bodies, sounds in the scene, how we are feeling etc.

      Imagery is the basis for the nightmare and the psychological mechanism of projection.

      It is impossible to “audit out” let alone eliminate engrams. In auditing as in all talk therapy scenes stored as compressed affect-laden imagery are retrieved from memory and expanded and brought into conscious awareness.

      A very important consideration is the mechanism of analogization. One scene may be a variant of another in which the core element is the same but the details and circumstances of the scene vary.

      When a man’s wife buys a new dress he doesn’t say, “You look like my wife.” He says, “Honey, you look great in that new dress.” That is variant. The wife remains the same; the clothes vary,

      Tomkins offers himself as an example of analogization.

      He was the only child in his family, and when he was very young his younger sister was born. This was a psychological crisis of great magnitude, for his monopoly on his mother’s affection was broken as his mother turned from him to take care of the new sister.

      It was a very good scene turned very bad, and little Silvan devised scripts to reverse the catastrophic scene back into a very good one.

      He would play sick to feel the warmth of his mother’s affection. He strutted around with pillows tucked in his pajamas to show that he too could be a mother.

      He would make exaggerated displays of stroking his sister and cooing to show that he could be as good a mother and thus worthy to regain the lost paradise of her complete devotion and affection.

      Tomkins gave an example from his own life of how we are constantly encountering negative affect through analogization.

      One day he was driving on a newly-opened highway enjoying the beauty of the scenery, the only car on the pristine highway. And then over hill came an eighteen-wheeler bearing down on him.

      He returned home and experienced a deep depression which he could not understand. He later understood that he had been ambushed by analogization.

      The enjoyable scene of driving along in solitary splendor was an analog of the good scene with his mother. The eighteen-wheeler was an analogy was an analog of the intrusion of the distressing, disgusting, and enraging sister turning the enjoyable scene very bad.

      Since the scene was an analog and not a more easily-recognizable variant he could not understand what was going on, What he experienced was the recruited and greatly magnified and dense affect of the original scenes with his mother and sister.

      Everyone of us without exception experience these dynamics.

      Hubbard undestood none of this. He was a world-class logorrhetic bloviator and a fifth-rate amatuer psychologist.

      The value Scientologists and some exes find in auditing is the same as in all talk therapy: the discharge of backed up negative affect and some cognitive awareness of the scripts involved in either current recurring and problematic scenes or scenes recruited from memory.

      But a person can leave an auditing session feeling great from the release of negative affect only to be seized within an hour by an analog of which he is completely unaware and experience another attack of negative affect,

      Tomkins’ thought reveals Hubbard’s dichotomy of the reactive mind and the analytical mind, which he cribbed from popularizations of Freud, to be invalid and empty.

      The reactive mind is nothing more than our vast collection of negative affect-generating scripts. Because of the affect system Tomkins wrote that all information is at once informed and biased. We can overcome and revise some scripts,, but we can never be rid of them all.

      It was Hubbard’s illusion that we could do so.

      We never escape negative affect least of all Hubbard with his towering rages, his intense paranoia, the imperious demand that his clothes be washed seventeen times, and his murderous scheme to destroy the dissmelling Paulette Cooper as the Nazis had destroyed her Jewish family whom they found dissmelling.

      Tomkins’ comprehensive theory of human functioning also provides a basis for exposing Hubbard’s utterly bogus promise of “total spiritual freedom” and rejecting Scientology’s claims to religious legitimacy.

      At the heart of all authentic spirituality and all authentic religion is the cultivation of awareness.

      In the meditative Buddhist traditions this is called “practice”. In the monotheist and most Hindu traditions this is called “prayer”. There is no diffence between them. They are the same.

      One day a disciple came to the Master and said, “Master, I have memorized the sacred scriptures, and I chant many more hours than is required. There must be something else. What is it?”

      The Master replied, “Awareness.”

      The student said, “Awareness? Surely there must be something else.

      The Master replied, “There is nothing else, just awareness, awareness, awareness.”

      We are all frantically trying to fix ourselves, but we are fine just as were are. As the great Suzuki Roshi, who sparked the explosion of interest in Zen in the US said, ” You are fine just as you are, and you can use a little improvement.”

      We don’t have to get rid of anything just become aware of, in Tomkinsian terms, our affects and scripts and everything in our conscious experience as it occurs from moment to moment. When we are aware we do not engaging in manifold misdeeds and we are free to respond to the world with intelligence and compassion.

      The practice of awareness is simple but extremely difficult to do. It is arduous and the work of a lifetime as we move from our grosser ego-desires to subtler and subtler levels of attachment.

      Practice is so demanding that most of us don’t want to engage in it, and people usually only come to authentic spiritual practice when they have tried everything else, and it doesn’t work.

      One need not be religious to do this work, but it is difficult to do outside of a community that is a repository of the accumulated wisdom of the sages who have gone before.

      The spiritual path is strewn with illusions the greatest of which is “I have no illusions.” One needs good and experienced teachers on the path.

      Enlightenment is nothing more than awareness, awareness, awareness. At the end of years of regular practice one may become enlightened in some areas of one’s life and not in others. A few may become 95% aware; very, very few reach 100%.

      Occasionally you may come across such people – a Zen master free of all inner tension into whose clear eyes you look and can see a million miles.

      Or a Carmelite nun completely bereft of ego on duty at the gate of her cloistered convent her face shining radiantly with love and compassion as she talks to people who come to share their joys and woes and ask for the prayers of the nuns.

      It is this sort of spiritually free person who is true “homo novus”. Often you wouldn’t even recognize such people,

      I know such a person at my church. She is completely ordinary. She is huge baseball fan and a Boy Scout den mother. She doesn’t yakk on about sprituality.

      Praise means nothing to her. Blame means nothing to her. She just takes care of one thing after another as it comes up.

      Scientology is the complete antithesis of authentic spirituality and religion. It is driven by lust for control, power, and wealth just as Hubbard was.

      It replaces authentic spiritual freedom with bogus psychic powers purchased at the cost of half a million dollars and selling your soul to become a slave to the Scientology mini-poiice state with its characteristic atmosphere of the affect of fear-terror endemic to all totaitarian societies.

      • sugarplumfairy

        If anyone does an abridged version of this, let me know.. Until then, happy happyhour..

        • BuryTheNuts2

          Ditto and ditto!

        • blissfulldreams

          SP the conclusion of Damian’s thesis

          Scientology is the complete antithesis of authentic spirituality and religion. It is driven by lust for control, power, and wealth just as Hubbard was.

          It replaces authentic spiritual freedom with bogus psychic powers purchased at the cost of half a million dollars and selling your soul to become a slave to the Scientology mini-poiice state with its characteristic atmosphere of the affect of fear-terror endemic to all totaitarian societies.

      • grundoon

        In the 1930s and 40s L. Ron Hubbard evidently dipped into the works of prominent theorists of the psyche – Freud, Jung, and no doubt Silvan Tomkins – seeking to make sense of his own personal strangeness and to more successfully manipulate others. He later drew on this material to give an air of learning to his self-promotional schemes, one of which improbably turned out to be “workable” (i.e. a moneymaker). Hubbard may have borrowed more than the word “engram” from Tomkins – for example, the idea for the Tone Scale.

        On the other hand, maybe an early enthusiast such as Astounding SF editor Campbell put him on to Tomkins and “engrams.” In Hubbard’s earliest Dianetics publications he tried a couple of more awkward coinages, such as “comanome,” before settling on “engram.” See his 1950 article in the journal of the Explorers Club, Terra Incognita: The Mind.

        The theories of the 20th century psychologists, like their predecessors Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Kant, derive from introspection, intuition, imagination, and contemplation, but scanty science as it is known today. They may have intellectual and humanitarian appeal, but since the theories are not amenable to scientific investigation, they offer thought experiments and anecdotes (“case studies”) whose interpretation tends to be wholly subjective. Apparently Hubbard thought he could theorize in the emerging field of psychology with as much validity as Freud or Tomkins; the mid-20th-century standard of evidence was not high.

        Thanks to Damian DeWitt for introducing us to Silvan Tomkins, and outlining his thought in such detail.

        • Thank you. Tomkins is really a remarkable thinker. He was remarkably well equipped intellectually. He is a philopher-experimental psychologist.

          His first doctorate was a PhD in Philosophy focusing on value. He then took a break and supported himself by handicapping horse races. He was very good and was able to support himself that way.

          It also gave him first-hand experience dealing with people ordinary psychologists and philosophers don’t truck with, and got him interested in studying addiction, on which he did a great deal of work.

          When he saved enough money he went to Harvard at a time of great creavity among psychologisrts and did his second doctorare in psychology.

          You are quite right that Freud et al. did mostly case studies. Tomkins however was an experimental pschycolotogist who devised ingenious experiments to provide empirical backing for his conceptualization of affect.

      • grundoon

        Damian, to find non-Hubbard uses of “engram” you can use minus signs in your Google search:

        engram -hubbard -scientology

    • Tray

      Lrh had to be shocked as anyone that his crap was accepted as dogma. I bet he went to bed shaking his head in disbelief every night until he ‘abandoned his body’. What a crock of crazy these ppl sell tax free.

  • LongNeckGoose

    I agree that Dianetics and Scientology are the opposite answers to the question “Am I to blame for all my problems or is someone else to blame?” Poor people often blame bad luck or other people for their circumstances while rich people are more likely to say that people make their own luck (therefore if I was born on third base, then I must have hit a triple at some point). So would you rather ask for donations from poor losers or from “big beings” who have “pulled in” their large bank accounts?

    • grundoon

      You’ve exposed the crucial question. It’s all about the donations.

      On OT III, Hubbard goes for the double reverse. You didn’t pull it in, Xenu is the cause of it all. Xenu implanted you and your BTs with 3D movies.

      I would love to have seen the triple reverse beginning at OT IX.

      To thoroughly clean a person’s pockets, first you shake them upside down, then right side up, then upside down again to get every last penny.

  • Observer

    Did people in the 50s just assume that if they couldn’t understand somebody’s dense gobbledygook that meant it had to be a work of genius? I’m with John P on that paragraph Vance quoted. I can just see LRH, after having disgorged it, leaning back and savoring what he undoubtedly thought was a fine piece of writing. Either that or chortling with glee because he knew his target audience would swallow it whole.

    • Missionary Kid

      Probably both.

    • Pineygrrl

      I have SO often thought of the Emperor as an analogy to the cult.

    • Captain Howdy

      “Did people in the 50s just assume that if they couldn’t understand somebody’s dense gobbledygook that meant it had to be a work of genius?”

      After surviving the worst event in human history. WWII, I think folks were just happy to have made it through and they were open to the possibilities of things they previously weren’t due in part to the quantum leap in technology the war caused, as wars are wont to do.

      • They were also the first generation that was confronted with the possibility of all-out nuclear war. The thought of potential mass destruction hanging over one’s head daily skews perception and probably invites magical thinking.

        • Captain Howdy

          Yeah I was going to mention that also but I didn’t. I definitely think it’s true though.

      • Ze Moo

        After WW2, huge numbers of former soldiers went to college on the GI bill. A new economic class, the ‘company man’ was born. Using big words and high falutin logic could get you a good job. People valued and respected university book learning. After 1953, Korean brain washing became a psychological puzzle that interested a lot of people. Lron just positioned himself to be a guru to those who could be impressed with big words and flawed logic. When you start a business, you should know your market. Lron had a good understanding of marketing.

    • FistOfXenu

      “The Emperor’s New Clothes could have been written about LRH and his flock.”

      Yep. It’s a cult thing.

    • stanrogers

      ‘Twas ever thus, and probably always will be. Let me introduce you to the Sokal hoax, if you’re not already friends:

      At least in that case, the point was not to trick anybody into believing anything, but to point out that people will believe just about anything that can be made to sound impressive enough — even when it’s essentially meaningless gibberish.

      • Trustmeonthis

        It is certainly true that you can get some people to believe anything if you make it confusing enough, but this guy Sokal sounds like a mean-spirited dick who chose a journal (and the particular issue) that he knew would run his drivel. So I can’t congratulate him all that much on his prank.

        • John P.

          Sokal was making a point: that a lot of humanities “research” sounded just like Hubbard’s “research” — opinion, wild supposition and intellectual flights of fancy about things that would be really interesting if they were true — dressed up in fancy language to make them seem “scientific.” And he was pointing out that many journals in their fields were enabling this by essentially falling down on their primary task: to serve as gatekeepers and arbiters of what constitutes valid research.

          I have to say that I was very pleased to read about the Sokal hoax when it came out… I was horrified when I was taking a bunch of English classes that most of the professors were working on papers like “Milton as Proto-Marxist,” which is ludicrous because there was no concept of economics, much less capitalism or communism in the poet’s day, so it’s obscene to claim that Milton was advocating a particular economic theory in his poetry. Talk about an extreme case of Coase’s law, “If you torture the data long enough, it will confess.” That makes about as much sense as saying that Aristotle, because of his contributions to elementary logic, was a “proto-software engineer.”

          • TheHoleDoesNotExist

            So Aristotle was the original Pretzel Logic founder? I did not know that.

            • John P.

              Yes. However, the song “Pretzel Logic” doesn’t name check Aristotle. They only go as far back as the time of Emperor Bonaparte: “I have never met Napoleon/But I plan to find the time.”

              There are no other references to ancient Greeks that I can recall, but there is a reference to ancient Rome, since Josie “prays like a Roman with her eyes on fire.” But that may be a veiled reference to something else, as is often the case with Steely Dan lyrics…

    • blissfulldreams

      in the 50s the Beatnik culture came about meaning people were open to new ideas and theory’s and most of the masses did not understand them but due to popular culture and shallow people wanting to be cool and interesting, an intilectual and be part of the in crowd they listened to gobbledgook and spouted it also,

      Much of Beat culture represented a negative stance rather than a positive one. It was animated more by a vague feeling of cultural and emotional displacement, dissatisfaction, and yearning, than by a specific purpose or program.

      • FistOfXenu

        We already had Beat after the war in the 40s. Just sayin’. But mostly I wouldn’t blame them for buying into the $cientarCONon malarkey. I don’t see that. I think that came later if it happened at all when the wannabees came along and tried to be weekend Beat.

  • sugarplumfairy

    Aaaaagggghhh.. Is it dia-frking-netics day already??

  • EnthralledObserver

    The Demon Seed… didn’t Hubbard and whatshisname already try that ‘magick’? :p
    Wow, just wow… I cannot believe anyone swallows this Dianetics crap. Even concentrating hard, taking each word individually, then constructing the sentences trying to put them all in context Hubbard’s prose means nothing at all to me… just word salad, there is genuinely no other description for it. I am sure Hubbs was just writing thought upon thought trying to wrest some meaning out of his jumbled ideas, but just forgot to go back and delete the ones that ultimately made no comprehensible sense. Well, he really did have to leave in as many words as possible, as each one he understood made him a penny each at least…

    • grundoon

      Your mistake is in thinking L. Ron Hubbard has an idea which he is trying to communicate.

      It is a deliberate technique. It is meant to draw you in to concoct a concept of your own that seems to give meaning to the gobbledygook. You’ll then begin to pick out other bits of word salad that convince you that Hubbard believes as you do although he expresses it oddly. His words present a puzzle which you want to solve. You mentally align yourself with Hubbard and become receptive to his suggestions.

  • BuryTheNuts2

    Yeaaaa….Dianutty Day!


    For some reason I don’t like watermelon or any other kind of melons. So, I must have pulled in one of you bastard SPs to say something bad about them while I was unconscious. If I find out who it is, you will be so KR’d.

    • BuryTheNuts2

      It was me! I wanted all your watermelons…so I knocked you out and whispered repeatedly that all melons taste like an old used dish sponge.
      It worked.
      I am making watermelon salsa this evening because now you made me crave watermelon.

      • DMSTCC

        Knowledge Report
        BuryTheNuts2 – Ortega Public SP

        The Above Ortega cult member has wellingly and purpisfley deprived the Be-Do-Havingeness of watermelon, one of lrh’s greatest discoveries, to a fellow member. She put an implant in him after knocking him out to make all melonds to make it taste like an old used dish sponge.

        Now my report here is not to have a game condition at all, I’m reporting her because she just might do this to others to hoard melonds and other things. And somebody Must to find why she is so stuck in her greed.

        This is true.

        D/Snr C/S for Enturbulating C0$

        PS. It’s not easy trying to write like a cult member.

        • BuryTheNuts2

          I did it…I did it..!
          Hear that Scions…?
          Now take me to you your tiny little leader.
          I want to have a chat with his smarmy manical little self.

          And after 3 days on Bourbon street….I am NOT afraid!!!

          • Captain Howdy

            So you’re in the Big Easy ? On business ? Have they finished rebuilding the place yet ?

    • Captain Howdy

      Maybe somebody dropped a melon on your head rendering you unconscious. That would be my theory in my professional capacity as a Astrophysicist.

      • FistOfXenu

        But I’m a Quamtumographer and I think you you’ll find he was rendered unconscious when a butterfly landed on a melon in the Brazilian rain forest.

        • Captain Howdy

          But was that butterfly an example of random chaos in action or was said butterfly an agent of SMERSH ?

          • grundoon

            It’s a little known fact that the Fifth Invader Force is made up of butterflies.

    • 1subgenius


      • grundoon

        and the infinite sadness

  • AstroLadyBoy

    This Youth for Human Rights campaign backfiring in the Australian highschool takes me back to one of my favourite cult footbullets. The whole thing really blew up a few years ago when the Education minister ordered schools to throw out the cult material.
    This is a good writeup by the national broadcaster:

    They put an extended interview with a YFHR representitive on their website. 7 minutes of pure lulz..

  • Do you k now what is really scaring (and possibly scarring) me right now? I have suspected for several years now that I was subjected to Applied Scholastics when I was in grade school. To keep me from being bused from the Valley (Los Angeles) to East Los Angeles every day like everyone else in my neighborhood, I was put into a “Progressive” and very new, small private school. It was a fantastic school and probably the greatest experience of my educational career, however I recall seeing the word “scholastics” on many materials and having one year where we did nothing but look everything up in a dictionary. When I first saw the logo associated with the cult several years ago, I recognized it.

    Of course, the word Scholastics isn’t only used by the clams so maybe I’m not ‘clear’ (heh) on it as it was several decades ago. But the school was near Clam Ground Zero (Los Angeles) and ripe for some “new” type of learning. We even called our teachers by their first names….for years. But I wonder about it

    • Poison Ivy

      Thank God you escaped unscathed! (Or maybe, deep in your subconscious, those “engrams” from that year of interminable dictionariness has led you here to the Bunker, to set right what felt so very wrong to you at the time!!)

      • And Tony charges so much less to set things right than Davey does, or even Marty!

        • sugarplumfairy

          I love that about Tony..

    • Captain Howdy

      It’s quite possible seeing as how I remember Darby Crash and Pat Smear from the legendary L.A punk band the Germs both stating that they attended a school that used scientology teachings in the LA area in the 70’s and no one in their families were scilons.

      • sugarplumfairy

        Why oh why would they name themselves the Germs when they could have been Crash & Smear???

        • BuryTheNuts2

          What an awesome observation SPF!

          • sugarplumfairy

            Why thank you, Bury..

  • BosonStark

    “SURVIVE! is the demarcation point between those things which can be
    experienced by the senses (our old friends Hume and Locke) and those
    things which cannot necessarily be known through the senses but which
    possibly may be known but which one does not necessarily need to solve
    the problem.”

    I wasn’t really into philosophy but in my first year of college I took a course in it because the elective courses I wanted were closed out. Anyway, in this survey course, I struggled to understand or care what the assortment of great philosophers were getting at, but I could always pretty much figure it out–at least what their basic ideas were.

    Then I took a psychology course, and I remember not having to struggle at all. Freud’s ideas were fascinating and logical — almost intuitive, partly because they permeate our culture. I just don’t understand WTF Hubbard means by this crap, and so much of it eventually contradicts or loops back on itself. It loops back to — trust it, believe it, be “certain about certainty,” buy into it, and that kind of nonsense.

    All I can think is, it is no wonder there has been no serious discussion of Hubbard’s ideas as ideas, philosophy, method, or even theory. It’s so full of pseudo BS about words heard while unconscious, or the conscious sperm and egg etc. Relatively, I suppose it makes more sense that DC-8 space planes 75 million years ago, but does that really matter? Sure, it creates a mystery sandwich, as Hubbard said himself, but it one I don’t find appetizing — it doesn’t stimulate my wishful thinking at all.

    When I first started reading about Scientology, I understood how people, in the 70’s let’s say, got drawn in by the enthusiasm of others, and the promises of the propaganda. What I couldn’t fathom were the people who were drawn to it solely from reading Dianutty at that time (the 70’s), and willing to pay for classes to understand it and have the processes performed on them. I guess because it was a “best seller,” it took on a certain pseudo authority but other than that, this stuff was contained to cult land, and that was it.

    For example, I’d read plenty of novels — watched TV or movies — that made references to seances, astrology and other such practices, but nowhere was Scientology or Dianutty mentioned. I read dozens of books on the mind and consciousness, and again, not one mention of Dianutty or Hubbard’s ideas.

    • 1subgenius

      Religious discrimination.

      • blissfulldreams

        i struggle with that term it is only in certain parts of the world that scamotology is classed as a religion

  • OTVIIIisGrrr8!

    Chinese driving proves that demon circuits exist:

    We in RTC have watched Tony Ortega and Vince Windward struggle and fail to understand Dianetics. Frankly, it is impossible for the Reactive Mind to understand the Reactive Mind. This would be like asking a Canadian giraffe to drive a car, use a slide rule, or to undo the engrams that occur when it has been knocked out, for yes, even Canadian giraffes get knocked out at times, say, when they are hit by lightning as happens dozens of times per year or are stampeded by herds of savage armor-plated dinosaur giraffes that still exist in Canada.

    All of this is very scientific. and, as science researchers and Doctors of Scientology Danny Sherman and Jeff Pomerantz have discussed, as much as 98% of the population gets knocked out at least 90 times per year and yet cannot recall and does not remember, for indeed to be knocked out is to not remember. So come in today to your nearest Ideal Org for a free personality test and also a free examination of your skull.

    Reading the shape of your skull and the bumps thereon, Scientology phrenologists will be able to tell exactly how many times you were knocked out this lifetime and then offer you a technical estimate of what this will cost to handle in session.

    • sugarplumfairy

      If I can understand that, how come I still can’t understand diafruitynetics? And why does it make me crazy to even try?

      • grundoon

        It’s because OTVIIIisGrrr8! is grrr8!

        L. Ron Hubbard, not so much.

        • sugarplumfairy

          I’ll second that..

    • Captain Howdy

      Seeing as how boxers get knocked more than any other group, RTC is missing a golden opportunity to prove the efficacy of dianetic theory buy grabbing some punch drunk pugilist off of skid row and giving him 6 months of auditing and then calling a press conference where the former rummy will recite Shakespeare and explain quantum theory to all present. Why doesn’t COB think of these things ?

      • RMycroft

        Or what about that rundown where they can make a drunk sober in a few minutes? If they really really believe that works then they should set up tables outside of bars near closing time. Skeptics can bring breathalyzers to test that Hubbard tech actually works.

        • Captain Howdy

          Just think of the drunk driving victims and marriages they could save and the money they could make..especially after they get done rolling the drunks.

          • TheHoleDoesNotExist

            You are in The zone today, Cap’n. Rave On, Rave On.

            • Captain Howdy

              My nurse came by to administer my klonopin therapy earlier. Whoopee !

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              I knew it! (that’s because I’m OT -8)

            • Observer

              Prove it–what color is the Cap’ns patio furniture?

        • OTVIIIisGrrr8!

          We don’t show off.

          We don’t knock hats off people’s head at fifty yards using our powers.

          What we do instead is to issue powerful denials.

          • Tray


      • OTVIIIisGrrr8!

        COB isn’t paid to think.

        He is paid to look.

        And right now COB is on a stepladder looking at you over your fence….

        • TheHoleDoesNotExist

          We Know. You didn’t notice the minicopters overhead? We heard your leader doesn’t Look Up to anyone. Knowledge is power, right OTGrr8? It’s in the file notes. Oh, you don’t know about The Miscavige Files? Stop by the Bunker Lounge sometime. We pee in our pants laughing so hard. We’ll keep a seat warmed up for ‘ya as guest of honor.

          • grundoon

            That’s one way of keeping a seat warm.

        • Captain Howdy

          “And right now COB is on a stepladder looking at you over your fence..”

          Something tells me that the Cambodian Bloods that live next door won’t appreciate that, neither will their pit bulls.

          • Observer

            That has the makings of a scenario I’d pay to see …

      • grundoon

        RTC is looking oh-so-hard for a wealthy punch-drunk pugilist on skid row, who won’t clock them when they hand him a personality test.

        • I’d like to see them try to keep Mike Tyson in the room watching the indoctrination film.

          (That is, Tyson when he had money.)

    • Tray

      No wonder your membership is so great, the charisma with which you write has pulled me in.

  • Poison Ivy

    This has been an awesome week at the Bunker; thanks Tony!! You are on fire!

    • BuryTheNuts2

      Yes it has. It was rough being out of town and trying to catch up and read.
      The “Awesome Herb” shit was off the chain!
      These people were killin it.

  • PreferToBeAnon2

    As for all of the knockouts, I suspect that ol elron thought that we have all been touched by goat engrams. See:

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      And all this time, I thought we were sheeple, when really, we were just old goats. It all makes sense now. Hysterically.

      • Captain Howdy

        I’m an old goat, older than time. My name is Nick and I’m doing fine.

  • guest

    Scientology making good use of photoshopping skills… .

    A great example of the dwindling amount of ‘professionals’ that are willing to lend Scientology credibility.

    • Ha, ha – the lulz are strong with this one…. gona purloin it for my bollocks site

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        Now I’m going to have to reread “1984”. That quoted section made me wonder if Hubbard’s world was really like that:

        “Winston did not know why Withers had been disgraced. Perhaps it was for corruption or incompetence. Perhaps Big Brother was merely getting rid of a too-popular subordinate. Perhaps Withers or someone close to him had been suspected of heretical tendencies. Or perhaps — what was likeliest of all — the thing had simply happened because purges and vaporizations were a necessary part of the mechanics of government. The only real clue lay in the words ‘refs unpersons’, which indicated that Withers was already dead. You could not invariably assume this to be the case when people were arrested. Sometimes they were released and allowed to remain at liberty for as much as a year or two years before being executed. Very occasionally some person whom you had believed dead long since would make a ghostly reappearance at some public trial where he would implicate hundreds of others by his testimony before vanishing, this time for ever. Withers, however, was already an unperson. He did not exist: he had never existed.”
        — “Ninteen Eighty-Four”, by George Orwell

        “Tommy Davis did not know why Debby Cook had been disgraced. Perhaps it was for corruption or incompetence. Perhaps OSA was merely getting rid of a too-popular subordinate. Perhaps Cook or someone close to her had been suspected of suppressive tendencies. Or perhaps — what was likeliest of all — the thing had simply happened because purges and vaporizations were a necessary part of the mechanics of scientology. The only real clue lay in the words “Dead File”, which indicated that Cook was already gone. You could not invariably assume this to be the case when people were RPF’d. Sometimes they were released and allowed to remain at liberty for as much as a year or two years before being declared. Very occasionally some person whom you had believed dead long since would make a ghostly reappearance at some public trial where she would implicate hundreds of others by her testimony before vanishing, this time for ever. Cook, however, was already an unperson. She did not exist; she had never existed.”
        — “Nineteen Eight-Four For Real”, by TheHoleDoesNotExist

        • blissfulldreams

          plagiarism at its best now who owns the rights to George Orwell’s 1984

  • I find it interesting that given his experiences with Jack Parsons and his attraction to Alistair Crowley that Hubbard uses the term “Demon” in relation to engrams and then denies that these “demons” are supernatural. The fact that he doesn’t deny the existence of demons out of hand raises the question whether he believed in the supernatural. The denial of supernatural engrams reminds me of Kaiser Soze’s line in “The Usual Suspects” – “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was to convince mankind that he didn’t exist.” If Hubbard believed in and sought supernatural power in order to control his followers he may have downplayed the question of the supernatural in Dianetics to avoid running the risk of disclosing his knowledge to a more powerful adept.Whether or not he believed in the supernatural it’s clear that he convinced himself that he was superior to Jack Parsons and thus was justified in taking Parson’s girlfriend and boat.

    Rather than a repudiation of Dianetics, Scientology is an evolutionary step in the effort to control.. Both Dianetics and Scientology are geared to keep the follower focused on his problems (his “progress along the bridge” in Scientology) rather than looking beyond himself. This allows for his manipulation and control by others. Scientology just takes the number of ways that the individual can be inhibited in his growth and controlled to a higher level by introducing body thetans, thereby extending the longevity of the scheme. Thetans are non-corporeal but don’t appear to be supernatural in the religious sense. Their attachment to the individual isn’t limited to the individual’s personal experience. They act as free agents, attaching themselves leech-like to the individual whose actions “pull them in”. The idea that the individual can “pull in” this negativity gives Hubbard another hook for control by introducing a level of paranoia. The only way they can be removed is through exorcism (auditing) provided by the CO$, in which the individual again hands over his autonomy..

    All of this calls into serious question whether a reform of Scientology is possible.

    • BuryTheNuts2

      I don’t think anyone will ever convince me that Dianetics and then Scientology are not veiled Occultism. I think Hubbard thought those voices in his head were demons and angels.
      He just tried to call it science for the acceptance he so craved.

    • grundoon

      Very perceptive.

  • Ze Moo

    Jenna Miscavige Hill gives a 10 minute interview on WTSP in Tampa Bay. Clearwater is next door, I wonder how the clams enjoyed the interview? Jenna has become very experienced at the art of interview, I continue to worship her from afar.

    • scnethics

      Most “Clams” don’t watch the news – many of them literally never watch or read the news. They let other people tell them if there is something they need to know about.

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        Besides, who has the time for such dilettante wog stuff? There are Knowledge Reports to write, credit card applications to lie, I mean fill out, family to lie, I mean, beg for cash, bowling for donations, hip hopping for donations, piggy banks to break, emeters to calibrate, auditing notes to write up, scientology book shops to visit, make up to apply for the Sec Check cameras, megavitamins to gulp and seaweed smoothies to blend, and by the end of the day, more Knowledge Reports to write up.

        • Captain Howdy

          Wogs Watch TV, Scientologists Watch Other Scientologists

          • TheHoleDoesNotExist

            When I reluctantly agreed to a sort of “meet up” around 2004 or so, lured in by an old friend at the expansive home of another old friend, all scientological, I learned a lot in a short time. I mentioned to the person sitting across from me my dismay after all this time still having to work a “real job” along with entertainment work. Nearly all of the 30 people in the room suddenly hushed for a moment followed by weird vibe nervous laughter. Someone finally explained: “You only have TWO jobs?”

    • SP ‘Onage

      I would like to see Jenna’s book made into a movie with Paul Haggis directing it and Jenna actually staring as herself. She has a movie star quality about her. That would be so cool…I wonder if she can act?

      • Captain Howdy

        She kinda of reminds me of Claire Danes.

      • Are_sics

        She’s getting more comfortable on camera, and speaking better, for sure. She’s still awkward — though this makes her appealing in a way. And she’s a real beauty, for sure, which always works on camera. I doubt at this point, at least, she “can act” though. Her aspirations don’t seem to be in that direction at this point, either.

        I just finished reading her book — she’s a heroic lady, all right.

  • Sherbet

    I’m worried. I’ve never been knocked unconscious. Does this mean all my engrams (read: neuroses) came to me the traditional way, from my strict Italian mother?

    • sugarplumfairy

      Maybe we should start a support group.. There’s got to be millions of us..

      • Sherbet

        I’m not sure there’s any hope for us after our moms did their parental best on us. Adult Children of PTSes?

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        I thought this Was a support group?

    • Captain Howdy

      Yes a strict Italian mother or a nagging guilt tripping Jewish mom are known sources of engrams according to LRH who sometimes jokingly referred to the former as “pasta trouble source”

      • Sherbet

        Oh, PTS, I get it. And I’m laughing.

    • RMycroft

      Perhaps you just don’t remember being knocked unconscious? Did you ever go to Disneyland/Disneyworld and lost track of hours of time? You might have suffered a Disney Abduction.

      • Sherbet

        You’re right, Mycroft. I remember gray-faced aliens with big eyes….and big ears.

      • Observer

        Every time I’ve been dragged onto the It’s a Small World ride.

  • Sidney18511

    I have discovered that applied scholastics has wormed its way into Florida schools, as a tax payer funded tutor program along with other programs. I was so horrified that I shot off several emails and made some phone calls.

    • RMycroft

      Bleh! How many times does Scientology have to get kicked out of Florida schools before people remember?

      • BuryTheNuts2

        The entire State of Florida has short term memory problems. I think it because of the swamp gas.

        • TheHoleDoesNotExist

          Also, the State Swamp People.

          • I think it’s the State Strip Malls and State Traffic Fumes.

        • The snowbirds forget everything when they go back to Michigan or Canada. The Cubans are stuck in an electronic incident from 1959. Most of the rest have Alzheimer’s.

          • BuryTheNuts2

            And now we have the Russians! I was in North Miami last Saturday and the whole area is completely Russian now.
            I told my husband we had to get outta there because I had a serious urge to dive under a desk and cover my head.

  • Are_sics

    I read the transcript of the KJJZ story. I noticed myself yawning about a quarter of the way through, and feeling a little dizzy. So i went back to find my MU. It must have been in this section:

    “She explained teachers at her school were encouraged to distribute booklets called, “The Way to Happiness.” It’s another Hubbard creation that lays out 21 precepts for moral living.

    Some of the tenants include: Do Not Murder. Do Not Steal. Honor and Help Your Parents.”

    Precepts? No, I’m good there. Got that one. Tenants! I look up “tenant” in my Oxford English Dictionary. Man, the cover is heavy on that thing. Once it’s open, I can’t even see my coffee table under it. It’s just the greatest tool!

    Tenants. This seems like a very strange metaphor, but it’s written, and therefore must be true. So Do Not Murder is one of people living in (maybe) the big blue building? Or Flag? Or The Hole? I’m not sure. Having cleared the word and remaining stuck, I now realize I must make a clay model. It took me all morning to make the building look anything like the berthing I’ve seen in videos, but I forged on, dauntless and defiant. Then I tried to mock up “Honor and Help Your Parents”. Maybe the problem is I ran out of modeling clay and had to use some plasticize? Anyway, it took forever, and I’m a bit ashamed to show my work — I’m just not a very good sculptor. But the final product did have mass. I put it inside the building with a great sense of accomplishment.

    I’m still yawning. Maybe I did all that too fast? I’m not sure about how to apply the proper “gradient” to my work so far. Maybe I needed to start with one of the other tenants. I didn’t go in the order the article listed. That must be it. Still, I don’t have the rest of the day to get through this particular article and I have not enjoyed the process so far.

    I was kept away from bothering any teachers for most of the morning with my questions, or my incessant yawns. Maybe this Applied Scholastics stuff does work. Now let’s skip math class — maybe you tell me about having been the Marcabian Julius Caesar. I want to get to the good stuff!

  • TheHoleDoesNotExist

    Hat tip and nod to this Ortega Dianetics Blog. New site . Helpful if you know of someone thinking about dipping their toe into the crazy without having to hurt them by actually trying to read the crazy. Easy to digest explanations and SP Facts. I believe it is a work in progress.

    In a nutshell, Hubbard gave us all a hammer to hit ourselves in the head with, and when he commands us to stop, we feel better and naturally appreciative. We then go to the examiner to claim our win, write our success story, and see the reg to pay for another hammer. Hubbard pours over our notes to see if we have Finally found the cure for the voices in his head. So far, no sign of a cure, or Hubbard. But never fear, Tom Cruise is here, and he will save the day. Soon, real soon.

    “Blogging Dianetics — On January 11, 2012, former Village Voice Editor-in-Chief Tony Ortega began a project on The Underground Bunker blog to dissect the first edition of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health
    in weekly installments. This insightful series examines the claims in
    L. Ron Hubbard’s seminal work with additional commentary provided by
    ex-Scientologist, Bay Area lawyer, and author Vance Woodward.”

    • Are_sics

      Thanks for the pointers. I went a bit down the rabbit-hole with links, only to find it depressing. Surprise, surprise, I guess!

      But also, I’m quoting you, right away, just for emphasis, because this is genius:

      “In a nutshell, Hubbard gave us all a hammer to hit ourselves in the head
      with, and when he commands us to stop, we feel better and naturally
      appreciative. We then go to the examiner to claim our win, write our
      success story, and see the reg to pay for another hammer. Hubbard
      pours over our notes to see if we have Finally found the cure for the
      voices in his head. So far, no sign of a cure, or Hubbard.”

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        Thanks! It only took me about 40 years off and on to nail it.

        Oh, and about that depression….

        • Are_sics

          Right… read up about Hubbard and all things related, and depression is where all roads lead. the “Dianetics Scam” website is a very good resource, but of course takes a strong constitution and busload of hope.

          • TheHoleDoesNotExist

            I didn’t actually read much more than the talking points to see if it was in English so mere wogs could understand why it was dangerous. For those like myself, inspecting Dianetics is like trekking to the city dump to find old diapers and trying to understand the meaning of Hubbard’s mental diarrhea. I’m not that brave and my stomach is weak.

            • blissfulldreams

              THDNE edit pls fetal=fatal

    • grundoon

      Excellent nutshell!!

  • scnethics

    I was at a scientology school during recess (not a student thankfully), when a kid slipped and fell onto the ground and started crying. In seconds, every kid on the playground, ages 8 to 15, probably 50 kids, had all fallen silent and stood watching and doing nothing. No one was talking to the kid on the ground, and then the nearest kid knelt down and began to silently interact with them.

    After the kid on the ground was feeling better, they were helped up and walked to the office. Only then, did talking and play resume.

    Scientologists believe that any moment of pain makes you somewhat unconscious, so even if you aren’t out cold, there’s is a risk of engram implantation. Parents teach this to their children, falling silent anytime anyone hurts themselves.

    I felt like it was wrong to worry about engrams because clearly scientology auditing made us cause over our reactive minds and the emphasis on avoiding physical pain or treating present-life engrams was gone. But I knew I couldn’t say that to anyone because it would be what’s called a “tech degrade”, which would have gotten me in trouble. To say that anything Hubbard once said is no longer valid because of something he has since said, without Hubbard himself explicitly saying this was so, is a big no-no.

    • Captain Howdy

      That scene in the playground reminds me of the kids in Village of the Damned. Spooky.

  • 0tessa

    Psychofraud, that’s what it is. At best Dianetics and Scientology are placebo’s.
    There is a interesting definition of psychofraud by John David Garcia: ” An ideology about human behaviour. Any model which purports to predict and control human behaviour and cannot be scientififcally verified is psychofraud. Examples of psychofraud are found in all religions, political ideologies and forms of psychotherapy”.
    Another quote of the same writer: ” It is the magical ingredient which makes psychofraud most effective. It is the synthesis between psychotherapy and mysticism which is growing and threatens to destroy Western Civilization, even as it destroyed the great civilizations of the East”.
    I think Scientology is a mixture of psychotherapy and mysticism (Xenu, bodythetans and clusters of bodythetans, etc.).
    The quotes are taken from the book ‘Psychofraud and Ethical Therapy’.

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      This is why I love this place. I’m always learning. Some of it is useless, tasteless, but lulzy. Other stuff is useful, tasty, and delicious.

    • Trustmeonthis

      There is a difference between mysticism and making shit up. Just FYI. I think $cientology is a mixture of hypnotism and psychological manipulation. They don’t claim mysticism themselves (and often specifically deny it) so don’t be dragging it in on their behalf.

      • 0tessa

        I think it depends on how you define mysticism.

        • Trustmeonthis

          Sure. So, how do you define it? Hypnotism and making stuff up don’t really qualify.

  • TheHoleDoesNotExist

    This is what Dianetics does to your brain:

    (thanks to Karen de la Carriere for linking this short video. A little comic relief is always needed by Friday at the Bunker). I’d like to call this one “Scientology says: Do a Knob” or “Scientology Door Users, the Cure” or “Scientology Ideal Doors”

    • Do a knob today!

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        What till the Cap’n gets a load of this.

        • Captain Howdy

          I did and it made me sad for these poor ladies. First of all they raise the money to buy the property, then they turn over the deed to DM, Next they have to pay to refurbish the building, down to the door knobs.Then to add insult to injury they have pay rent on a building they bought.. These poor people have no street smarts or common sense whatsoever. How did they manage to survive to 30 ? 40 ? 50 ? It boggles my mind.

          • TheHoleDoesNotExist

            Okay, so here’s an Up version: Imagine these are scientology Exit Doors.

        • BuryTheNuts2

          $75.00 for a door knob? I will buy five if I can have them engraved and they actually go on the door on the mission (or org or whatever).

          Dead serious!
          I would even let the bunkerites come up with the sayings.

          But really. 75.00 for a KNOB ( Ilovethatword) or $200.00 for a door.
          Next thing they are going to be making videos to beg for hinges at 5.00 each.

          When did Scientology whore for a lousy $75.
          Oh shit….Nevermind.

          • TheHoleDoesNotExist

            Debby Does Doors?

            • blissfulldreams

              debby does doors
              looking for knobs
              on valley floors

    • Are_sics

      It’s so enlivening to see such up-tone ladies. Somehow I sense they’re a half-tone up from me, and making me reach for my wallet….

      Oh wait, that’s not true. I did, however, withstand a wave nausea with no mess. At cause over reverse peristalsis, here. That’s not a claim I expected to make when I woke up this morning. Where does this bridge lead??

  • Missionary Kid

    In LRHs world, the rest of us must have been professional American football players who played too long without a helmet, since we are all knocked unconscious so easily. Oops, maybe it was in a past life…

    I’m surprised that he or some of the scibots who he declared “clear” didn’t try to sue George Lucas and claim that the idea for the Force came from him, and that they all had control of it, as demonstrated by all of his “scientific experiments.”

  • My favorite LRH quote is from Dianetics – “Book One”:

    “A science which depends on Authority alone is a breath in the wind of truth and is therefore no science at all”

    Translation: In Scientology, the determination of truth depends not on scientific methods of observation and analysis, but on the Authorities of whatever LRH said the truth is, or whatever David Miscavige says LRH said the truth is. Therefore, Scientology is a breath in the wind of truth and despite the etymology of the name “Scientology” is no sciance at all.

    • 0tessa

      Quod erat demonstrandum.

  • Bob

    You rubbish the theory of engrams, but its a different matter if you see it in action.

    During one family Christmas, my wifes mother was accidentally knocked out by a copy of Guess Who?, which was thrown by our eldest in a fit of pique. Gladiator was on the Television at the time. Ever since then, Gladys has taken an unnatural interest in whether those around her are adequately entertained.
    This phenomenon can ruin lives.

    • sugarplumfairy


  • This perhaps the one unarguable piece from the first edition of the book to have a large Crowley influence. In his 1904 preface to _Goetia_ he suggests that the demons of the text are simply parts of the human brain stimulated by the name and symbol which must be confronted and integrated by the magician. Although LRH’s later ideas on Thetans and Body Thetans seem to have a touch of the idea of Qlippoth this early idea of Engrams as Demons seems particularly in debt to Crowley.

  • Kaarli Makela

    Hubbard reminds me of Mr. Haney on Green Acres, or at best, The Music Man … who has to figure out how to convince you he has the cure to your problem, as soon as he figures out a problem for you to have!
    Here is the Youtube clip of the Great Persuader Robert Preston performing “Ya Got Trouble”