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Jon Atack: At the heart of Scientology is L. Ron Hubbard’s paralyzing use of contradiction

Jon_AtackJon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He has a new edition of the book for sale, and for more than a year on Saturdays he helped us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet. He was kind enough to send us a new post.

We always enjoy it when Jon dives deep into the origins of Dianetics and Scientology to teach us more about L. Ron Hubbard and how he managed to capture the imaginations of people who came to believe that he had unlocked the secrets of the universe. Take us on another journey, Jon!

JON: After 40 years of involvement with the teachings of Ron Hubbard, I believe that the key to Scientology is paralysis through contradiction. Hubbard would very often contradict a statement, making it impossible to decide which statement to believe without further interpretation. He had stumbled on the law of cognitive dissonance, developed during the early 1950s, by Leon Festinger.

When presented with conflicting information, the mind boggles. When Professor Festinger was testing his hypothesis of cognitive dissonance, he sent graduate students into a flying saucer cult to see what members would do when the mothership failed to show. Curiously, the leader of the cult had a live-in Scientology auditor. As Festinger predicted, those who did not go to meet the mothership fell away, where as those who went strengthened their belief. Belief usually trumps evidence, as conversations with Scientologists have frequently proved.

For instance, when I showed a fervent member contradictions between Hubbard’s accounts, she immediately insisted that he occupied two bodies — so, while crippled and blinded in Oak Knoll Hospital, he was simultaneously beating up Petty Officers in Los Angeles. I pointed out that his own statements often supported his Navy records — for instance, his interview with Look magazine in 1950, where far from the heroic career he would later invent, Hubbard said he was in Oak Knoll suffering from “ulcers, conjunctivitis, deteriorating eyesight, bursitis and something wrong with my feet.” The fervent believer insisted that Hubbard had been a wounded war hero. By then, I had sifted through thousands of pages of Navy and Veterans Administration records and over 20 usually conflicting Hubbard autobiographies, so I asked how she knew. “I was with him,” she explained. In her last life. It is hard to relinquish a belief, no matter how strong the evidence against it.

I’m happy to say that this former executive changed her tune, a year or two later, but she exemplified cognitive dissonance: The unease we feel when our mental map of the world is challenged. Hubbard was able to create dissonance through contradiction.

Unlike the Buddhists, who see four corners to every argument, Hubbard reduced everything to the “two terminal universe.” This notion reached its apogee with the “goals problems mass” — one of the half dozen or so notions that he reworked (and often renamed) from the early Fifties onwards. These GPMs form the core of the “R6 Bank” formerly known as the Reactive Mind. Once the “Bridge” was formulated, they were the material on Grade 6, the Clearing Course, the original OT I and OT II.

Such polarisation had earlier been criticised by Hubbard in Science of Survival, where he briefly spoke of Korzybski’s “infinity valued logic,” showing that polarisation — or black and white thinking — is overly simplistic. I am not aware of any further reference to this sensible concept in the voluminous Hubbard literature.

Two terminals, according to Hubbard, will generate “charge,” a term conveniently borrowed from Freud’s English translator to mean “emotional upset” as well as its more conventional electrical meaning. Here is the clue: by creating such “charge” out of conflicting ideas, you can trap the individual. You have to keep creating new “charge” to displace old, and Scientology is geared to do this.

Hubbard was probably aware of a popular idea in psychiatry (having absolutely scared his followers out of reading psychiatric literature, he was free to plunder it, after all). It provides more than a clue to Scientology. The “schizogenic double bind” was put forward by Gregory Bateson and his co-workers while working in a Veterans’ Administration hospital (something like Oak Knoll, where Hubbard claimed to have put on a white coat, so that he could sneak into the library and read the psychiatric textbooks). There is no overlap with Hubbard’s stay as a patient, as Bateson began working in the VA hospital in 1949, but his ideas were widely reported.

Bateson believed that schizophrenia might be caused by a family environment of conflicting emotions and instructions. In the simplest terms, a parent might tell the child he was loved and then hit him (“I’m doing this for your own good, because I love you”). While the notion that this causes madness is not supported by evidence, it can cause indecision and inaction. I recommend looking at the wiki on this subject (to save me the trouble of copying it in here).

The Goals Problems Masses of which the Reactive Mind is supposedly constructed are double binds (“to be or not to be”), but so is much of Scientology. Hubbard can contradict himself in a single text. See for instance Ron’s Journal 67, where he says it is not worth bothering with the dogs that yap at the wheels of the fire engine, and goes on to say that Mary Sue has hired “professional intelligence agents” to find information about at least two of those dogs — the British Prime Minister and press baron Cecil King.

When I pulled together the research for “Never Believe A Hypnotist,” I was frankly stunned by the amount of contradiction about the use of hypnosis in Dianetics and Scientology. I strenuously recommend that anyone with the slightest interest in the subject reads this paper, but here is a paragraph as a taster for the conflict generated by Hubbard: “Hubbard’s own claims become confusing, because they contain so much contradiction. Hubbard called hypnotism ‘an excellent research tool in Dianetics’ (Research & Discovery, first edition, volume 1, p.332; see also D:MSMH, p.385). He was also to say that he ‘used an awful lot of hypnotism in early research’(Methods of Research — the Thetan as an Energy Unit, Hubbard lecture, 6 November 1952). This conflicts with his assertion that the investigation which led to the discovery of Dianetics ‘was not approached through hypnotism’, adding, however, ‘and hypnotism is just another tool, a tool which is of only occasional use in the practice of dianetics’ (D:MSMH, p.58).

I often overheard discussions between staff about which policy to use: Do we always repay or never repay, for instance. In the Solo Pack there are two bulletins, face to face, where Hubbard instructs that the tone arm must be between 2.0 and 3.5 for a “floating needle” to be called, and then rails against the “idiot” who gave this instruction. The book Scientology 8-8008 flatly contradicts the bulletin “Obnosis and the Tone Scale.” One insists that the “chronic tone” is always “below death.” The other does not. Against the instruction of policy, the more recent issue was almost always followed.

And there are also many “absolute statements” — “absolutes are unobtainable” being one of them. For instance, we are told that the “only reason a person gives up a study or becomes confused” is the misunderstood word. But we later find that it can also be “too steep a gradient” or even “suppressive rendition.”

Perhaps the fundamental contradiction comes with the repeated assertion that communication is the basis of Scientology — the great discovery. So, we have, “more communication not less is the answer” as opposed to disconnection, verbal tech, and not talking about “case” (or “problems” for those uninitiated in the profoundly loaded language of Scientology). At Grade 0 release, we shall be able to “communicate freely with anyone on any subject,” but as all Dev-OTs know, we must never communicate with Suppressive People, because they will eat us for breakfast, like the frightened little souls Ron Hubbard had turned us into.

My old friend, George Shaw, reminds me that What is Greatness and the vile HCO Manual of Justice were written back to back. As were the four policy letters called “Attacks on Scientology.” In What is Greatness, we are assured that we must “refuse all invitations to hate.” In the Manual, how to hate is explained in fine detail. The same is true for the four policy letters. The one for broad public distribution tells us simply to “advocate total freedom,” the other three, with ever more limited circulation, tell us how to destroy enemies: “Start feeding lurid, blood sex crime [sic] actual evidence on the attackers to the press.” Another tells us to “investigate noisily the attackers.” The Guardian’s Office was formed just a few weeks later to make it so, and many of us know just how effectively they performed their tasks of hate.

In the face of such contradiction, cognitive dissonance sets in and the follower has to ask for instruction from the authority figure. Which is always the next person up the command chain.

It is not my purpose to list such contradictions here — life is too short — but I’d be grateful if others would, because it is a key to understanding the trap. My thanks are again due to mockingbird for encouraging this investigation, as it has progressed. I believe that he too will soon be making comment. The more the merrier, I say. Scientology requires that there be only one person allowed to do the thinking. I believe in self-determinism.


PatronLaureateFlip or Flop: Richie Acunto’s trophies go for $1K to $3.5K

On Saturday we told you about the rise and fall of insurance mogul Richie Acunto, whose business empire collapsed after he made a $9 to $10 million donation to the Church of Scientology in 2008. By 2011 he and his companies were bankrupt. And then on November 13, some of the trophies he was awarded by Scientology leader David Miscavige for donating huge amounts to the International Association of Scientologists (IAS) showed up on eBay after they were found in a storage unit auction.

Last night, those auctions ended, and the trophies went for some pretty hefty amounts:

“Silver Meritorious” (for cumulative donations of $750,000) — $1,025.00
“Platinum Meritorious” (for $2.5 million in donations) — $1,352.98
“Diamond Meritorious” (for $5 million in donations) — $3,550.00
“Patron Laureate” (pictured, for $10 million in donations) — $2,247.22

The Platinum, Diamond, and Patron Laureate trophies were all purchased by the same winner, who swooped in at the very last minute — the sign of an experienced eBay trader. And sure enough, within hours, the winner had already placed the Platinum Meritorious trophy back on auction, asking a starting bid of $5,000.

Many of our commenters assumed that the church itself would snap these up to save itself embarrassment. That didn’t turn out to be the case, but is this flipper banking on the church eventually forking over money to take them off the market?

Former church member Karen de la Carriere tells us she doesn’t think that will happen. “The more this drags on at eBay, the more embarrassing it is for the church, but they will not buy it back. They just won’t. It is not what money allocation is permitted to buy,” she says.


Posted by Tony Ortega on November 24, 2014 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS (We read Scientology’s founding text) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25

UP THE BRIDGE (Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN (Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING (Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ


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    • Graham

      There still seems to be a problem. The links all seem to lead to ‘this page can’t be displayed’. I think Pierrot is working on it, if I remember from the post on previous thread?

      • I see the links fine.

        • Graham

          When you click on them do they lead to the individual Craigslist page? I’ve just tried the first 10 and all but 2 give a ‘can’t be displayed’ message………

            • noseinabk

              Not working for me. I get a redirecting or page unavailable message when I click on any ads.

              Google Chrome could not load the webpage because took too long to respond. The website may be down, or you may be experiencing issues with your Internet connection.

              Just checked and craigslist home page wont even load.

            • Try Firefox.

            • MaxSpaceman

              or SeaMonkey, a Mozilla source code browser. []

            • Graham

              Just tried using Chrome instead of IE, and that’s just as bad. Don’t really want to start downloading more browsers ‘on spec’ so I’ll leave it for now.

            • It’s okay to have Chrome, IE and Firefox.

            • Graham

              Nope. Sadly it’s just the same. Could this be a UK thing? I’m not having problems accessing any other sites. I’m stumped. Looks like I may have to hang up my Red-X branding irons for today 🙁

            • NOLAGirl

              It’s not just a UK thing. I can get to wwp or spreadsheet pages but the CL links aren’t working for me either.

            • Sorry. It could be UK/Disqus overhaul combo. Thank you for trying.
              Things will settle soon, I am sure.

  • Dr_Orpheus

    What does “suppressive rendition” mean?

    • Good question, Doc.

      Let’s start with the context/quote from Jon:

      “And there are also many “absolute statements” — “absolutes are unobtainable” being one of them. For instance, we are told that the “only reason a person gives up a study or becomes confused” is the
      misunderstood word. But we later find that it can also be “too steep a gradient” or even “suppressive rendition.”

      Rendition means interpretation, I believe.

      Meaning, in scientology one must never explain the meaning of the word to another (it’s a crime of sorts).
      It’s always a dictionary or a word clearer (and Method 7 word clearing/explainging is ok sometimes then, haha!)

      I hope I answered your question.

      • Dr_Orpheus

        So it’s basically an excuse to keep his minions from using verbal tech less they see through the scam by discussing it with someone else?

      • beauty for ashes

        i read word clearing as “word cleaning” (pretty close)

    • Eivol Ekdal

      My take from reading this…
      The study a subject (navigation for example) focuses too much on the dangers/failures (look out for the rocks) that people are afraid to even try. Hubbard argues that instead of worrying about rocks you should just find calm open water. Makes sense to me!

  • 1subgenius

    “It is hard to relinquish a belief, no matter how strong the evidence against it.”
    Most, if not all, beliefs, are chains. Add to this the need to protect the ego from the embarrassment of appearing to be stupid.
    “It is easier to fool someone than to convince them they’ve been fooled”–Mark Twain

    • RBE

      The amount of energy necessary to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it

      Alberto Brandolini

      • 1subgenius

        It’s a brain thingy.

        • RBE

          It’s a quantum brain thingy.

    • richelieu jr

      The difference between faith and dogma is the same as that between hope and chains.

      • 1subgenius

        Neat thought.
        I’ll be contemplating that for a while.

  • Sergeant Pepper

    I continue to wonder if Hubbard was a genius or a lucky fool. So many of his contradictions seem to have arisen from his incompetence, yet they contribute to the cognitive dissonance that Jon shows is a core of the workings of the con. It’s risible and alarming in equal measure.

    • Sejanus

      He was a cancer.

      • Jon Atack

        No, he was cancer…

    • Chee Chalker

      I think LRH was incredibly creative and had an amazing imagination. But genius….no. Arrogant for sure.
      Remember, this was a man who said space was warm, smoking cures cancer, and running around a pole developed super powers.
      Sure, LRH may have hit on a few insights, but you know the old saying ‘even a broken clock is right twice a day.’
      IMO, he just recycled paper the thoughts of others added in some of his own gobbledygook and ran with it.

      • ze moo

        Lroon’s ‘creativity’ was in uniting snake oil sales with psychology and the American legal structure. He had 30 years to hone his craft and in the end despaired of making any real sense of the whole thing. He was a naughty boy, not the Buddha.

        • Chee Chalker

          He was shaped like Buddha….that should count for something.

      • Jon Atack

        He really did steal most of it – whether from Crowley (his chief source) or from followers – he wrote some amusing stories, but couldn’t redraft, such was his acute boredom. He was a thrill seeker – addicted to drugs and booze, and, when he could still manage, to sex (he seems to have become impotent in the early sixties – another superpower gone!). Jeff Jacobsen wrote a good piece about his plagiarism, many years ago, my own Possible Origins for Dianetics and Scientology linked the plagiarisms to Hubbard’s own statements, showing that he was aware of every source I give.

        Although there are about 2000 hypnotic techniques in Scn they are all based around the same simple notions – visualization, false memory induction, repetition, fixation, mimicry and confusion. And they make people high for the requisite three days, as the trance fades (then they are PTS and have to get another fix).

    • Jon Atack

      He was no genius. He was cunning and could simply grab an idea and sell it. I spoke with so many people who were involved in the research – and it always came out the same – someone offered him an idea and he twisted it (‘alter-ised’ it) and issued it, immediately. As this piece shows, it not only didn’t matter if it contradicted some other pronouncement, it actually helped to pin us to the Tech. He read pulps and condensed books, whenever he needed something more complex, he’d simply call up a clever follower – so Perry Chapdelaine was a mathematician and with the help of a bottle of Scotch assisted Hub’s ‘research’ on the night they cobbled together the Dianetic Axioms. Van Vogt, Heinlein and Sara had actually read Korzybski – Hub couldn’t.

      And, yes, absolutely, ‘risible and alarming in equal measure’. It is both comic and sinister. The comedy is a sort of gallows humour, all too often, given the amount of destroyed lives – which the cult is still managing to keep quiet. When a friend at the St Pete Times investigated Lisa McPherson’s death, she found eight other suspicious deaths at FLB alone.

      • richelieu jr

        In fact, it is incredible how badly (and baldly) he lied– He couldn’t keep blatant contradictions from slipping in from one page tot he next– That it played to his advantage was pure luck– as was the fact that the ‘church’s’ crimes were so outrageous that telling most people about them gets them looking at you like YOU’RE the liar…

        I really think, in spite of his desire to bash his name into History, that in the end he basicaly wanted to run out the clock… Had he wanted to make big splash he could ahve made hismelf a martyr for religion and faced the music– but he preferred to hide ina trailer, living like some sort of fat hillbilly while he had a mountain of money stashed away and his own wife was rotting away in jail for his crimes…

        I think you’ve go his number, Jon, especially a s far as his ulterior motives and initial intentions and sources.. THe thing I’m puzzling over is whether in the end he’d pretty much just gone bonkers and wanted to electrocute himself to get the satans off of him, or if he stikl figure dhe’d lined up his minions in order to be able to achieve immortality… Had he started to believe his own BS? Was he still counting on his initial intentino to dupe a bunch of poor sods into serving as his willing thralls, or was he just a guy who wanted to avoid prison and keep one step ahead of the net (and the law)? Any or all of the above?

  • Sejanus

    Regarding the trophies.
    If I were the Co$ and IA$ I would have bought them..relisted them…keep them bidding up and up and up, wash rinse, repeat for a few months to be able to show see…they HAVE value

    • Chee Chalker

      In the future, they will have the ‘winners’ sign an agreement stating that the trophies belong to the co$ and must be returned if they are not in good standing. Kind of like they did with the e-meters. Also, the should do themselves a favor and attach the nameplates with velcro…..makes it much easier to re-use the award for the next sucker.

    • ze moo

      Eventually, some whale will be tasked to buy them. The clampire can’t have them rattling about. “Hey Tom Cruise, do have space in your garage?”

  • Scientology is the cognitive paralysis through contradiction (add trust and betrayal to this equation).

  • Observer

    Thank you for this, Jon. It opens yet another can of Hubbard worms.

    L. Ron Hubbard: always more manipulatively despicable than you think.

    • Jimmy3

      Same worms, different can.

      • Sergeant Pepper

        So, they weren’t soup cans after all.

        • Jimmy3

          You say to me the soup is not soup? None for you.


          • Eivol Ekdal

            They should have just had the V8 and stopped there.

        • richelieu jr

          Nope, they were just paintings of soup cans!

          You see, that’s why Warhol was such a genius!

    • Eivol Ekdal

      I listened to some of “Scientology goals problems mass” video on youtube and it is a brain melter.
      I never really try to understand his stuff because once you start understanding it you’re in trouble.
      That is why the “just read a book” pitch bugs me so much.
      “Here is some poison but because it is in harmless book form…”

  • Sid

    Another brilliant write up by Jon. It’s amazing how something so supposedly scientific now often results in the argument of “respect my beliefs” and “my faith” when those things aren’t even part of Scientology.

    • Jon Atack

      It’s Robert Jay Lifton’s ‘sacred science’ – it if doesn’t work factually, then plead it as ‘sacred’. I remember in the 70s when no one believed it was a ‘religion’. I spoke to enough US citizens who had taken the minister’s course to dodge the draft…

      • Sid

        I’d forgotten about that. Yes, there were some who took the ministers course for just that reason.

  • flexible

    Love this^^^^^^^^ lol Well said. I need to use this if I may. :0)

  • BosonStark

    Although Jon’s friend didn’t respond right away, when he pointed out contradictions, she did eventually “change her tune.” Ex-members or members on their way out have an opportunity to challenge current members with the contradictions.

    Even though it may not appear to work, and they may invent outlandish explanations about Hubbard occupying two bodies etc., at least they are challenged. And they may be the spark that will work later on. Even if the person is too touchy about Scientology or Hubbard for it to be discussed, perhaps they could be given some examples of cognitive dissonance.

    Inside the cult, with the injunction on verbal tech, members don’t even discuss Hubbard’s ideas, let alone get challenged on Hubbard’s background, for example. I think they want Hubbard to be anything they want him to be, just as they themselves are trained to believe in limitless opportunities and endless possibilities, as long as they have the tech.

    • mimsey borogrove

      The way we would resolve these contradictions was to go with the later dated one. A good example is the shaking out of hands before a can squeeze. This was a common practice was to do that before establishing a can squeeze – and it was written that way in the book e-meter essentials, and if I recall, he does it on some of his 60’s demo auditing tapes. Then one day an HCOB was released of his critiques of auditing and he was positively vehement about using the practice. So we followed the later practice though it contradicted 30 something years of doing it in the opposite fashion

      • richelieu jr


      • Jon Atack

        How many times do I have to tell you, it’s ‘borogove’ not ‘borogrove’. I’d hate to have to write you up for squirrelling! But you are absolutely right. Notice his double acknowledgements, too. McMaster told me that Hub was livid that he could always get a result with a PC, whereas Hub often struggled (and frequently grew bored, so started telling the PC what the incident was – but then if you never evaluate for the PC what the hell is OT III?)

    • richelieu jr

      “Ex-members or members on their way out have an opportunity to challenge current members with the contradictions.”

      Well-said, Boson, but I’d go further. They have a RESPONSIBILITY to do so.
      Like any addict, there is apologizing and damage- repair to be done.

  • Fascinating analysis, Jon. It’s not an easy task. Thank you from this Ex.

    • Jon Atack

      Thank-you. It really helps that some few people are appreciative, believe me!

      We need to spread this stuff around, so that we can all recover from the nightmare, and help others. And it isn’t just scientology where this is happening. Though it remains about the most invasive form of exploitative persuasion as yet devised.

      • Oh there a lot more than a few who are appreciative of your work, Jon!
        And a lot more to come, good sir.

  • Sid

    I wonder if it would be workable to get a ‘still in’ to somehow view one small contradiction in all of it’s ramifications and whether that would open the door to them seeing through others on their own.

    • ze moo

      Once an avalanche starts, it is hard to stop.

      • This is true, Ze.

        • Eivol Ekdal

          “Good after nuts, how nice to squeeze you”

      • Jon Atack

        If only they had recruited him – Hubbard would have made it the Three Ronnies.

  • Mighty Korgo of Teegeeack

    Thanks, once again, Jon, for bringing to the surface something I had never really noticed before. Your essay was a fascinating read and something to think about.

  • ze moo

    Count Alfred Korzybski’s ‘infinity valued logic’ was an attempt to apply mathematics to questions of logic and politics and morals. It resulted in ‘Esperanto’ a ‘universal’ language that was supposed to unite all of mankind. How many high schools and universities actually teach it? Not exactly a ringing endorsement, is it? While the shades of grey {no, not 50} argument is very useful some times, it is not of ‘universal’ application. It is very handy in business, a stock price may be a bargain or not depending on its price and dividends. Trying to apply the term ‘universal’ to any philosophical construct is seldom easy or cogent.

    Thank you Jon, $cientology is indeed the 1950’s version of ‘confuse a cat’. After reading Dianetics in a book store long ago {only the into and chap 1 and 2} I put it back on the shelf with a ‘WTF’ and never read anything by Lroon again. At least not until the web started publishing all the clam secrets. That caused another, longer, ‘WTF’ moment.

  • Hubbard built his whole profitable pop psychology/religion gig based on mainly one fact – there was nothing better for a regular Joe and Jane working for a living and trying to stay sane. The book is a lot cheaper than
    a psychology major and one can try it with their friend. Perfect marketing. You see the appeal?

    The only real way to prevent people falling for Dianetics (and scientology) in future is for someone to write
    better, more realistic, helpful book on how mind works, including some form of counseling that two people can do.

    I hope it makes sense. Processing it myself.

  • MaxSpaceman

    On the outskirts of Space Station 33, there are reception links to SETI hardware. Just in- from his recently opened office in the space city, Arselycus, Ron reiterates that he believes in the goodness of man. That he will refute, in writing, this latest Atack, “… the key to Scientology is paralysis through contradiction.”

  • And I’m Cute, Too

    I wonder if the outcome of those trophies is kind of a premonition. What if, at the very end, everything that Hubbard and Miscavige have built — that the members have impoverished themselves for — will be sold for pennies on the dollar? And publicly, so that the whole world will see exactly what Hubbard’s con was worth?

    If that happens, I only hope that Li’l Four-Foot-Thirteen will experience at least some of the anguish of his victims.

    • Some of it will be preserved in locations known as landfill sites.

      • joan nieman

        And old warehouses.

    • TheMirrorThetan

      “Lil Four Foot Thirteen” ha ha, good one 🙂

  • Guest

    Great premise for a short story, sort of Orwellian.

  • 0tessa

    Scientology: a real mindblower.

    • joan nieman

      And a real cash-blower as well.

  • Richard Grant

    These contributions by Jon Atack are great, but I’m almost afraid to read them — especially after his discussion of Hubbard and games a few months ago. Jon’s acute insight into the mind of L Ron Hubbard often leaves me feeling a bit deranged for a while afterward. I can’t watch Hubbard videos for this same reason. There’s just something about this guy that deeply disturbs me.

    • Still_On_Your_Side

      Perhaps it is because you recognize his cruelty. He literally was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I know that disturbs me as well.

    • Stacy

      I find watching clips of his lectures disturbing, too. It’s like Hubbard is cognitive dissonance personified. I can’t make up my mind if he’s totally crazy or just the consummate con-man. And that leaves me feeling very disturbed.

      • xenuYESxenu

        he was certainly a deeply troubled man haunted by his devils and criminal obsessions

      • Todd Tomorrow

        He just seems truly nuts when he mumbles. Oh and extremely manipulative.

    • joan nieman

      Thank you once again Jon. You always open another door for us and let us peek in.

      • Jon Atack

        Thanks! Next up are the implants – how the system works, cog by cog. I need a bit more time to finish it though.

        • mzuridini

          I was surprised you talked about contradiction today because I was recently thinking something similar myself. I was thinking how some things in Scientology just didn’t work, even though I was never able to admit that to myself when I was in. Like the idea that acknoledgement will end a conversation, when all it does is encourage someone to keep talking to you!

          Thank you John for your deeply thoughtful essays. I always enjoy them

        • joan nieman

          Oh! That will be a good one. So looking forward to it.

        • Stacy

          I’m looking forward to this eagerly.

    • Try laughing when you watch them. When you know for sure he was pure calculating evil, it’s pretty funny, knowing how he went completely insane and was a babbling idiot at the end, “attacked” by the “body thetans” he invented that didn’t exist.

    • Jon Atack

      Sorry. Probably cognitive dissonance, which, when it resolves is a blessing. I was fascinated by Jesse Prince’s statement about the difficulty of even looking at anything that contradicted his belief in Hubbard. I hope the derangement passes… The games piece (which you’ll remember was suggested by a reader) is the essential Hubbard confession – he made games so didn’t have to abide by the rules; Miscavige is the only Player – he knows the rules and keeps them very much to himself; the rest are mere pieces. As Nibs used to say, ‘Scientology works not as L Ron Hubbard says it works but as he intends it to work.’

  • John Peeler a.k.a. BTs2Free

    El Wrong made the statement that, “Scientology is the game where everyone wins.” I’d say that’s the most glaring contradiction of them all.

    • Good one. It worked pretty great in the 70’s and even 80’s for the Cult.
      Not so much these days. Most glaring contradiction of them all indeed.

    • He was the only one allowed to play. Everyone else were just pawns.

    • Jon Atack

      It depends what he thought we’d win. I think it was probably something deeply unpleasant. Though, if you do escape it is a learning that cannot be had elsewhere. Once you realize that perhaps humility might be a good idea, you’re on the road out.

  • Still_On_Your_Side

    Jon, thank you for another very interesting discussion. Several recent studies on domestic violence posit that battered wives stay in marriages to “silence” the cognitive dissonance they experience between their illusion of a loving husband and the reality of the batterer. Without a doubt, it is a powerful weapon which Hubbard may have had much experience with even before Dianetics. I imagine when the first studies came out on the subject, it rang a bell for him, and it must have fascinated him. To have “played” the people who trusted him, for decades, he had to have had great disdain for them. It boggles the mind.

    • Jon Atack


  • Ivan Mapother

    In the background of one of the E-Bay photos is an OT card file cabinet. Does anyone know what this piece of clamware is for?

  • Observer

    “Hubbard called hypnotism ‘an excellent research tool in Dianetics’ (Research & Discovery, first edition, volume 1, p.332; see also D:MSMH, p.385). ”


  • Tony Ortega

    The folks over at ESMB are a bit slow on the uptake this morning. The buyer of those trophies showed up and started a couple of threads (under the name “Steelerera87” and asked people to vote on how much the trophies are worth. Responders don’t seem to have a clue that the guy is trying to whip up interest in the trophies that he’s trying to flip.

    • Sherbet

      I see I was wrong about the cos buying back the trophies. Mea culpa. The flipper is taking a risk, but I guess he is pretty confident the trophies will bring in even more money than he paid for them. ESMB must not be the ideal marketplace, though.

      • Frodis73

        I seriously thought it was the church too. I really don’t think this guy is going to make what he’s hoping to make. They have no value, except to us as lulz, but at that price I don’t think anybody will buy it. If I win the lotto I will grab ’em, except I don’t play the lotto. 😀

        • Sherbet

          It’s amazing, though, Frodis, what people will buy on ebay. An image of Jesus on a grilled cheese sandwich, etc.

          • joan nieman

            Hmmm I wonder if we could sell them a bridge?

            • Sherbet

              Laughing out loud, Joan! Good one!

            • Jon Atack

              As long as you can go up it.

          • Todd Tomorrow

            A Madonna pap smear made it on as a joke. Guess it was taken from a movie. But that grilled cheese jesus was a hoot.

            • Sherbet

              But the money was real. Amazing.

          • I was fond of a listing I stumbled upon years ago – a seller offered (for a modest fee) to ignore you. After he had paid up, he promised that he would have absolutely nothing to do with you.

            I wonder, now, if anyone ever took him up on it, just for a laugh.

            • Sherbet

              Now that’s a bargain, Once_Born.

        • Robert Eckert

          You should plan on winning the lotto by finding the winning ticket dropped on the sidewalk. It’s about the same chance as buying a ticket.

          • Frodis73

            Exactly! I’ve read that I have a better chance of being bit by a shark and struck by lightening. I live in landlocked (except for L Erie) Ohio…not many sharks in my area…I could flush that dollar and get the same results.

      • Eclipse-girl

        I honestly thought they were purchased by a whale.
        I did not think the seller would go round an flip one trophy.
        It is my humble belief that this buyer / seller has not only over priced the door stop, but may need a way to generate the cash that was spent on acquiring all the the trophies.

        • Sherbet

          Good luck to flipper! I hope he knew what he was doing. Unless he’s a scientologist, in which case I hope he gets stuck with those boat anchors forever.

    • joan nieman

      Well, good luck to him. I don’t even think they would make nice door stops myself.

    • Douglas D. Douglas

      The new owner is counting on getting maximum publicity in the hope that his listing will pull in far more money. I am surprised, frankly, that these items went for such low amounts– but then again, I have to remember that there really isn’t that much interest in Scientology out there. If it doesn’t involve a celebrity or something lurid, it’s pretty much off the public radar.

      • flyonthewall

        I was surprised they went for as much as they did. If it was a celebrity’s trophy I could understand some interest but this guy is really just a footnote in the CoS world. Maybe I’m missing something…wouldn’t be the first time

        • There’s a certain amount of bragging rights and sticking to CoS, but otherwise my tacky decorative needs could be filled by an Elvis bust for much less.

          • If anybody really want one for protest, street theater or general j&d, I’ll make them one out of paper mache!

        • Are you saying Richie Acunto isn’t a celebrity? Didn’t you see his Survival Insurance commercials on TV? Hmph!

        • The first lesson taught by eBay is that things are only worth what other people are willing to pay for them.

          I’m happy for the bloke who made money from the contents of a storage facility, but doubt that any purchaser is going to to be able re-sell his trophy at a profit – especially now it has emerged that the CofS is not interested.

          This is probably why the person who is re-selling his is trying to publicise the listing on websites frequented by Scientology-watchers – they are the only people who may be interested.

          I’m betting he makes a loss.

      • Stacy

        Low amounts!? I thought they went for insanely high amounts for basically pieces of heavy trash that mean nothing to anyone outside of CoS

  • Racnad

    Perhaps the contradictions in Scientology can be explained by the character O’Brian in Orwell’s 1984. When designing a bridge, it may be useful to have 2+2=4. But when the party says 2+2=5, then it must be faithfully believed. This is what Orwell called “Doublethink” the skill of believing two contradictory beliefs simultaneously. This Scientologists believe that “what id true for you is true for you” but that the same time, if what is true for you is different from what is true for LRH, you have misunderstood words, and of looking up your MUs doesn’t change your mind, you are probably suppressive.

    • Jon Atack

      So right. I reread the Appendix to 1984 every few years, to be reminded that Hubbard was totally right about propaganda by redefinition of words – and contributed more redefinitions that anyone in history (two 500 page ‘dictionaries’). Scn is ‘Ron-determinism’ as criticised in the appendix on infinity valued logic in Science of Survival (the best of Hubbard’s books, because it was committed to paper by a good writer – Richard de Mille – who would later expose Castenada).

  • TheQueenofBulgravia

    Amazing! I was going to post this today and now it’s right on topic!
    ….We recommend this book and related Youtube vids. His research is the abuser. Understanding how LRH and DM used/use common Domestic Violence manipulative techniques (ie: CONfusion/CONtradiction) on all $ci adherents is a freeing experience.


    Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men Paperback – 2003

    by Lundy Bancroft (Author)

    Lundy Bancroft pt1 on Domestic Violence in Popular Culture video

  • Sid

    I don’t know about investing in Scientology trophies in a bear market. All the other Scientology materials on eBay and Amazon have declined in value to nearly nothing over the past few years.

    • TheQueenofBulgravia

      The trophies are unique and have a direct connection to DM, so the priceless value to Exs/Antis is the J&D to the UN-Admiral. We are shocked that he didn’t buy them all to make them disappear–foot-bullet of omission.

  • John Peeler a.k.a. BTs2Free

    Dianetics: “Clears do not get colds.”

    • Except when they do.

      • John Peeler a.k.a. BTs2Free

        Nice one Dodo. My assumption is that after his claims in Dianetics failed miserably, he had to come up with an explanation for why Clears were still getting sick, wearing glasses, making mistakes, being human, etc… This is where the SP comes into play. Blame it all on the suppressive person in your present life or past life who is making you sick. And merry go round and round.

        • Graham

          “Clears were still getting sick, wearing glasses, making mistakes, being human”
          And still doing so even after climbing up to OT VIII. Nancy Cartwright wears glasses and Kirsty Alley has to use wog-tech** when she tries to control her weight.

          ** Wog-Tech: The Tech That Works!!

          • John Peeler a.k.a. BTs2Free

            Whenever I had to do a PTS interview on a Clear or OT, in the back of my head I was always wondering how an SP could even have that effect on somebody who didn’t have a reactive mind, or an OT who was supposed to be at cause over matter, energy, space and time. One of the best things I ever heard another Sea Org member say, and it was said by Becky Miscavige in response to something I don’t remember the specifics of, “If OT’s are going to behave like this, then I never want to become an OT.” That was probably the biggest “Enemy Line” that ever needed to be “Rolled Back” but I didn’t report it because I totally agreed with her! I remember thinking, “No doubt Becky!” I think a lot of us were seeing the same things and the contradictions all over the place.

            • “If OT’s are going to behave like this, then I never want to become an OT.

              Interesting. I knew Assistant Reg who said exactly the same thing. Hmm… Trend?

            • Eclipse-girl

              Who was Becky MIscavige?

              Mom Miscaivge was Loretta, i believe.
              Sisters Miscavige are Denise and Lori.

              Wife of Davey Miscavige is Shelly.

              I do not know who was Ron Jr’s first wife.
              I thought is second wife – mom of Jenna – was nicknamed Bitty for Elizabeth.

            • John Peeler a.k.a. BTs2Free

              Becky is David Miscavige’s step mom. She’s married to his Dad, Ron Sr.

            • Eclipse-girl

              This was after the accusations against Ron, Sr and Davey forcing his father into the SO and his parents to divorce.

              Thank you for the answer.

        • Clear Certainty Rundown. And if not – OT XV.

      • Jon Atack

        They are mocking it up, so that they don’t scare the rest of us into believing that they have supernatural powers…

  • Sherbet

    An excellent analysis by Jon Atack. Poor lrh; it must have been difficult for him to remember which lie he said at any given moment, hence the contradictions, even when the truth was right there in plain view. He was a walking punchline: Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?

    • Observer

      In Hub’s case it would be, “who are you going to believe, my lying cakehole or your lying eyes?”

      • Sherbet

        Yes, I stand corrected, Observer. He had lies coming out of every other orifice, too.

        • Observer


          • Sherbet

            I’m sorry for the ewwwww factor! But he did pull his stories out of…thin air, didn’t he? 😀

    • Jon Atack

      I don’t think he knew what day it was, most of the time (he often enough had to ask at the start of a lecture). This may have something to do with the vast quantities of barbiturates, amphetamines, booze, and opiods that he consumed.

      • Sherbet

        Just the sort of person I’d want to hitch my wagon to and follow over a nonexistent bridge to the tune of thousands of bucks. Yup, there’s our messiah, folks.

  • What a great article. I commented in one or two of my videos on the inherently contradictory nature of Hubbard’s works, thinking with some of the examples John lays out here. I find the timing of this article amazing, as I just last night penned a new article on my own blog about what I believe is the most fundamental contradiction in all of Scientology: the very definition of the word Scientology itself and all that it implies.

    Hubbard said that Scientology is “knowing how to know” and then proceeded to create a subject in which no one can know anything but instead must believe everything he tells them under threat of eternal punishment and damnation. Using anything like reason, scientific method or logic within the bubble world of Scientology is not only discouraged, but is forcefully stopped. Here are my thoughts on this, which again I think merely supplement what John has written about here today:

    • John Peeler a.k.a. BTs2Free

      Knowing how to believe everything that Ron says.

      • richelieu jr

        Ironically enough, only old-school psychiatry ever came up with a sure-fire method to be able to believe everything Ron said- Lobotomy.

        Scientology is lobotomy by other means.

    • I believe Hubbard was motivated by helping himself mentally, spiritually and monetarily and helping others, if it serves the purposes above. That’s it.

      • I think you’re right.

        • It took me 15 years to put it in one sentence.
          With the help of people like you, Chris.

      • Jon Atack

        He was obsessed with his own problems. It is interesting to note that in DMSMH the list of ailments matches his own – including short (but not long) sightedness, asthma and bursitis (in his shoulder). He used only deep trance hypnosis in the lead up to DMSMH, and really thought he’d cured himself. He kept trying. The Clearing Course videos make it clear that he was suffering from his annual winter bronchitis and believed he’d cured it. He believed the same with OT III. But the truth was that he was a narcissistic sociopath, with no concern for anyone else’s welfare. He destroyed so many people, along the way. I have no reason to believe – after 40 years of involvement – that Hubbard had the slightest concern for anyone else. Just look at the way he abandoned Mary Sue, even though she’d saved him from prison with her 200 page confession. He abandoned his own children – every one of them – and waged war on those of us foolish enough to expose him. You have to understand hypnosis to get anywhere with his intentions. My paper Never Believe a Hypnotist was the turning point for me. If you read the Preclear Originations in the Book of E-Meter Drills there is no denying that most are typical statements of entry into trance…

        As to his ‘good side’ – he was a trickster from the first. His claims to ‘research’ were utterly false. The 281 cases he boasts of in DMSMH never appeared – not one of them – all of those purported ‘clears’ – and those who had temporarily overcome their condition through deep trance hypnosis soon relapsed (PTSness typically takes three days, as the trance fades – same for faith healers, usually). So, his early supporters all fell away, including John Campbell, Art Ceppos (who withdrew DMSMH when he realized it was fraudulent) and Dr Joe Winter. It was and is a scam. Through ‘reverie’ people achieve euphoric states and become auditing junkies. There are cheaper and simpler ways to get high!

        • Panopea Abrupta

          Thank you, Jon.
          My read on him is totally in sync with yours.
          How or why anyone ever gives him any credit for as much as an iota of concern for others is beyond me.

          And thank you for the Bateson mention.
          “Steps to An Ecology of Mind” was a major revelation for me.
          Now, that is a philosopher.

          • romanesco

            It’s hugely difficult for the rest of us to understand people who lack compassion entirely, but such people obviously exist. Hopefully as research continues awareness will be raised and we will become better at identifying these types and less likely to give them the benefit of the doubt. Somewhat relevant here:


        • Remy

          Recently I was wondering if LRH might just be an off-the-chart narcissist, rather than a sociopath. The reason for this is that he spent so much time talking about himself, and inflating his achievements. He may have really believed he was the “most interesting man in the world.” Narcissists like that hurt people all the time, and lack empathy. They can spend a great deal of effort focusing on revenge.

          • Stacy

            He’s got many of the psychopathy characteristics, such as lack of empathy, superficial charm, but he’s also got symptoms of psychosis, such as hallucinations. And what the heck is up with the snakes thing from his Affirmations?!

            I have never seen such a clear-cut case of someone literally lacking empathy and compassion. My sister, who’s also a psychopath, does as better job faking empathy than LRH does.

            I’ve been reading Mission Spork, a humorous (thankfully) reading of Mission Earth. One interesting point: Nathan, the Spork author, seems pretty blown away by the fact that Hubbard can’t write a character with empathy and compassion, even when writing the character of the supposed good guy, Jettero Heller. LRH just can’t do it. He can’t even project empathy into a fictional character.

            No wonder Hubbard put sympathy and compassion at the bottom of his tone scale; he’s incapable of feeling these emotions. He literally can’t recognize them, and therefore sees no worth in them. At least my sister realizes something is missing in herself.

            • Jon Atack

              Good points! I have a dreadful time trying to read his fiction, because the characters are two dimensional (‘Leverage’ said Terl…)

          • Jon Atack

            I share the view that the diagnostic criteria in DSM are severely flawed, because they are subjective. So the differentiation between a narcissist and a narcissistic sociopath has limited use. I even tend to believe that such ailments as addiction, OCD and depression are actually the same, but filled out with hundreds of different hues. As we understand brain chemistry better, we will be able to isolate those conditions which have a purely neurological base (which seems to be true of schizophrenia, or dementia praecox as it used to be known – because it switches on at a particular age). But sociopathy is a field where there is significant disagreement. As one expert put it, if you take all of the criteria, you are simply describing the average ten year old.

            Hubbard had no concern for others – no empathy – he was incredibly grandiose, so megalomanic (he tried to establish his own country, by buying a chunk of Malawi, at one point, and his attempt to rise in Rhodesian society – dressed as his pedophile hero Cecil Rhodes – had a similar intent); he suffered from paranoia too – expressed as persecution mania (Steve Cannane’s upcoming book shows how this led to the various government enquiries), and severe clinical depression (the letters to the Wichita mailing list are utterly pathetic – he was a real whiner). I spoke at length to Sarge Gerbode back in the 80s (before he sold David Mayo to DM) – he was a research psychiatrist when he was recruited, and he opined that Hubbard was ‘nuts’, as I recollect.

            I also think that labels can be misleading. People often ask me if a group is a ‘cult’ and I usually respond ‘Is it dangerous?’ We know enough about Hubbard to say that he was destructive and we know the details. So, in short, he was a narcissist and a narcissistic sociopath. The weird thing is that even in his auditing sessions he told the lies about his heroism and such (as both Otto Roos and David Mayo can attest). He cannot possibly have believed this nonsense – and I traced the exaggerations from his earliest bios (back in the 30s) and you can see them grow. So in Look magazine in 1950 he was honest about his quiet war – ulcers, a fall down a ladder and ‘something wrong’ with his feet (he didn’t mention the venereal disease), but My Philosophy this has grown to injured optic nerves and a back injury. He was a pathological liar and he probably wanted to believe…

        • Tony Dunsworth

          I’ve always wondered if the reason he warned everyone about OTIII and going insane wasn’t that he started losing his own mind as he was dreaming up OTIII

          • richelieu jr


            Lost, baby, lost…

          • Jon Atack

            He was long gone by then, but I think he had just become impotent. As I’ve said elsewhere in these comments, he was utterly nuts when Virginia Downsborough rescued him from Las Palmas. Though, she was still selling OT III when I interviewed her. Go figure.

        • This is hard to argue with. I guess, I was hoping there was some goodness in him.

          • Jon Atack

            There was, but he kept it well hidden. He told a ‘wog’ having admitted that it was a scam that his loved to ‘reel in the clever ones’. When you get just how many of his close associates became ‘cowed or ill’ or killed themselves, it becomes a tad sinister.

            • Roger that. Thanks for your replies, Jon. Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

      • Remy

        I always had the impression that he wanted to subjugate people, and got duper’s delight out of the process. After all, he had roots in the left-hand path, and likely thought enslaving people made him stronger.

        • richelieu jr

          ‘Duper’s Delight”, his first record was really something though, wasn’t it?

        • Jon Atack


    • Jon Atack

      A good article, Chris, and thanks! I’ve extracted the following from your article: ‘Once something like that is cracked, it’s only natural to start looking for new truths and new ideas to grasp onto which will give some kind of life support. It was clear to me that I was going to have to re-evaluate everything I’d been taught. I was going to have to look at all of my personal beliefs and see if they were based on what I truly knew to be the case from my own experience and knowledge, or were they just based on what I was told to believe. The one thing I did not want to do was swap one cult for another, one totalitarian thought control system for another. I made a very conscious decision that I wasn’t interested in beliving anything anymore. I wanted to be able to examine evidence and facts and in short, live in the real world and not some cult leader’s fantasy world.’

      There is a terrible void once the false optimism of world-saving dissipates, and it is all too easy to join another wacky group – I was horrified seeing the flood of exmembers who joined Ramtha, Dr Peebles and even Santaria (don’t get me wrong, if Santaria is your religion, it is far better than Scn, but not really the best destination for ex-Scnists!). I too rejected Scn wholesale, with the intention of reincluding any sensible ideas. Thirty-one years later, I’ve never once felt the urge to pick up the cans, and it is evident that Hub simply grabbed popular ideas, packed them in with hundreds of hypnotic procedures and enslaved well-meaning people, so that he could be wealthy and powerful. He once confided that his delight was in ‘reeling in the clever ones’. Like Hitler, he traded on certainty. He even said that ‘knowledge is certainty’ where the wise have always said that the more you know, the less certain you are (check Socrates and Lao on this point…).

      • Thanks John! I have seen exactly what you’re talking about here with people jumping off from one belief system into another and I knew that, like a person who is on the rebound from a broken romantic relationship, it is very easy to make bad judgements when caught up in such tumultuous emotional and mental loss. That’s why I considered it sheer luck that i happened upon critical thinking, logic and reason at that exact moment – the very opposite of a “belief system”.

        I have not and don’t think I ever will have the urge to pick up the cans again either. There are very few ideas in Scientology I still believe to be true, and those things that I do agree with tend to the be ideas that Hubbard drew from other sources or outright plagiarized from others’ work rather than his own wacky ideas. “Knowledge is certainty” indeed – another of the most fundamental lies in Scientology which frankly just messes up his followers’ ability to think.

        Love your articles John. Keep them coming 🙂

        • Jon Atack

          Thanks! You too!

        • Alanzo

          Hey Chris –

          “”Knowledge is certainty” indeed – another of the most fundamental lies
          in Scientology which frankly just messes up his followers’ ability to

          Have you ever seen this Talk@Google by a neuroscientist where he explores the idea that certainty is a feeling generated by the neurological system?

          Blew me mind, it did.


          • HappyGirl

            Thanks for posting this video. It was interesting, and also this is the second time I have seen science reference an “engram.”

        • There is a wonderful example of someone ” jumping off from one belief system into another” in the blog entry that you refer to – a commentator who praises what you say – then recommends the ‘scientific’ work of a dowser.


          • I know, right? The irony of much of what that commenter said was not lost on me.

            • I was impressed by the way that he conflated ‘belief’ (which is subject to change) with ‘faith’ (which is not) and missed the whole point.

            • Exactly. He definitely missed the entire point. I’ll probably post some kind of response to his comment, if only to make it clear that he did not get it.

      • richelieu jr

        This is exactly what I have been trying to get at as well, when I was saying that the problem with the Indies, and even Marty Rathbun’s new spiritual quest is that they have become Scilon ‘Dry-Drunks’, replacing Ron’s KoolAid with either Buddha, or Jesus, or Anti-Miscavigism…

        But, like non-practicing Alcoholics, they still continue to behave like deep-drinking Scilons: Arrogant, preachy, judegmental… a swell as practice many of the same behaviours, tin-can fondling, spying and slander, as well as clutching at dictums as universal (and often numbered) truths.

      • Cosmo Pidgeon

        I often refer to Buzz Lightyear and how he dealt with his realization of his lack of superpowers in Toy Story. Things are so much more amazing and you can be so much more helpful to those you wanted to help when you realize where you really are and not a false superhero but can be a real and powerful voice for humanity and truth….It’s OK and magical in it’s own way to be alive and human. Life is so much more amazing not infected with Hubbard’s paranoia and megalomania. I owe a lot of people an apology that they at this point they will not accept. Still infected and I did it. Time and truth prevail. Thank you Tony and all of you Bunkerites….Wow I hope I don’t sound a fool after 7 beers…..but , Love you guys, keep up the good work. You guys have changed my life with the truth.

  • rom661

    “Former church member Karen de la Carriere tells us she doesn’t think that will happen. “The more this drags on at eBay, the more embarrassing it is for the church, but they will not buy it back. They just won’t. It is not what money allocation is permitted to buy,” she says.”

    I was always under the impression that DM solely determined what money allocation is permitted to buy. Not saying he would, but its kind of hard to imagine him not doing it if he wanted to….

    • Eclipse-girl

      I do not believe Davey would spend his money on those trophies.

      I believe the Davey would order some who was in, and making amends to purchase them

      • Juicer77

        Why send a big being to do a minion’s job? 😉

      • rom661

        I understand and am sure you’re right but to me that is still him buying them, just using a cutout.

        • Eclipse-girl

          Davey is not spending his money. That makes a difference to me.

    • In the UK, legislation is currently being considered (as part of anti-terrorism provisions) to make it illegal for insurance companies to pay money for ransoms.

      Perhaps Miscavige is thinking in the same way. He knows that, if the CofS ‘redeems’ these trophies, they will only open the floodgates and other, similar, items will be offered for sale in order to cash in.

      On the other hand, this reasoning seems too subtle for COB, and Karen is probably right.

  • Juicer77

    Lil’ Mismanage is having a fit at the thought of someone else raking in a few $$ reselling his junk trophies. Not because they are meaningful, but he wants that cash himself! I say, sell on. Like any other grim collectible (i.e.. James Dean’s death car) for which there will always be buyers.

  • Science Doc

    The evidence is that Davy doesn’t care about these trophies. It’s all Acunto’s fault. Stories about trophies mean fewer stories about things Davy cares about.

  • Semper Phi

    In the Tech Dictionary, all the definitions are references from LRH writings or lectures and include the date of said source. Which comes in handy when one is word clearing and needs to choose which contradictory definition to apply to the bulletin or lecture you are working on. Written in 1960? Just apply the 1958 definition, which is opposite to the 1974 definition, so don’t use that one for the 1960 reference. And if you get confused, well then you still have a misunderstood word somewhere. And if you still don’t understand (or if you disagree), you just have to keep looking for MU’s. What a hamster wheel.

    • I thought the Tech Dictionary was no longer in print and lost in perpetual revision.

      • Semper Phi

        Hey, this is Scientology we’re talking about–some students use their battered copies of the old one. Also, every course room had a big “specialized definitions” dictionary and what they called the “pilot” dictionary. I was last in a course room 3 years ago, so it is possible that the pilot has now actually been released as an official book as part of the GAT2 materials. However, all of them still use dated LRH quotes as definitions.

    • For Hubbard, then, ‘new research’ was just another way of having ‘a new revelation’ whenever required for practical reasons.

    • Alanzo

      Excellent description of the Hamster Wheel, Semper Phi.

      This is how you keep it rolling.

      This, and also the law that it is always a misunderstood word, or a lack of training, that makes you see contradictions in Hubbard’s writings.


  • I don’t know that Hubbard deliberately used contradiction as means of controlling people. It seems more likely that he was simply too lazy a writer to maintain any sort of consistency. Nevertheless, in the social environment inside Scientology (where you are not allowed to point his obvious mistakes out) constant contradiction functions to gradually ‘filter out’ the people who are prepared to call BS.

    If this is so, critical recruits will be removed from the membership quite early in Scientology ‘training’. The CofS will ‘select’ people who are prepared to rationalise away the contradictions in everything they are told from the pool of recruits.

    Quite soon, the harsh ‘discipline’ and threats of ‘disconnection’ and persecution provide a powerful incentive to ‘go with the flow’ and suppress inevitable doubts, and you have a committed Scientologist.

    Perhaps OT3 is also functional precisely because it is so inherently ridiculous – it is the final test before admission to the ‘inner circle’. If you accept a belief in Xenu unquestioningly, you are also likely to take orders and accept CofS propaganda in the same way.

    Scientology functions like a marine filter feeder. Instead of trawling miles of seawater to filter out a small amount of plankton, they trawl through the general population to filter out the tiny minority of potential ‘true believers’.

    The good news is that, now recruitment has collapsed, this tactic no longer works. The CofS are no longer bringing in money from those recruits who took a few ‘courses’, then left (the majority). They are now apparently trying to compensate for this by putting ever-increasing pressure on ever-fewer ‘true believers’ (especially the well-off ones).

    The point where they simply do have enough people to run the organisation at all cannot be far away.

    • John Peeler a.k.a. BTs2Free

      Do you think it’s possible that the creation of Scientology was a response to “justify” the failure that Dianetics was?

      • stillgrace2

        Maybe. It’s more likely the main reasons for creating scientology was simply a new way to make money and control people.

        • TheQueenofBulgravia

          LRH and DM used/use common Domestic Violence manipulative techniques .. .contradiction, confusion etc., on a multi-person scale, but still one victim at a time
          “Why Does He Do That?”

        • Jon Atack

          He’d seen how far he could push people with his extensive practise of hypnosis. That he could push away certain ailments for a day or so allowed him (as with any of the many other hypnotists who have found this) to control people, and he loved that more than anything. The buzz of the flim flam artist…

      • April

        Not only to “justify” but to carry on the con. Dianetics had ceased to make money for him before he created the Scientology/OT materials.

        • John Peeler a.k.a. BTs2Free

          Get on the Bridge Midge.

          Just carry on con…

      • That’s exactly what it was, imho.

      • I think we have to remember that Hubbard accepted outside funding to develop Dianetics and signed over the copyrights to the “Dianetics Foundation” to keep the ball rolling.

        Very soon, he found that:
        1) Other members (and the man who bankrolled the operation) objected when he plundered the organisation’s bank accounts
        2) He was not longer in sole charge – others were attempting to develop his ‘new science of the mind’ as part of a co-operative effort.

        Hubbard did not play well with others. He took what he wanted, and could not tolerate being told he was wrong. He could not even tolerate being told he was right – if another ‘researcher’ suggested even a minor ‘development’, that person represented a threat to Hubbard’s absolute power.

        When the Dianetics Foundations collapsed, Hubbard took their mailing list with him. Since he had lost the copyrights to Dianetics, he invented Scientology. Significantly, he learned from his mistake – from the get-go he was the only ‘researcher’ into Scientology and the only authority. He became ‘Source’.

        The oppressive nature of Scientology owes a lot to the fact that Hubbard designed it as an absolute dictatorship with himself at the head, so that he would not lose control of this creation as he did Dianetics.

        I don’t think he felt the need to justify the failure of the Dianetic Foundations, nor saw Dianetics itself to be a failure. After all, when he eventually recovered the copyrights to Dianetics, he immediately integrated it into Scientology where it remains, to this day “Book One”.

        • Jon Atack

          The sequence isn’t quite right here. Purcell paid for Hub to return from Cuba (where he was holding poor little Alexis hostage until Sara withdrew her torture allegations) and set him up. The rights were sold at the end of this process – to save Hubbard from prosecution. It was always a co-operative effort – two of the first foundations were run by psychologists. As you say, Hub repeatedly trounced his own supporters, as they realized his intentions. Then the next batch offered their ideas and support – so many people – Evans Farber (TR 2), Nibs (TRs 6-9), McMaster, Roos, Mayo…

          And, as I’ve said above, he cancelled Book One because it was and is hypnotic. This is from Never Believe a Hypnotist, which is on line. Here are a couple of paragraphs, quoted from the Old Man:

          ‘a pre-clear after he closes his eyes will begin to flutter his eyelids. This a symptom of
          the very lightest level of hypnotic trance’;[i]
          ‘A simple test is to watch the person’s eyeballs. You will find as he lies there that the
          eyeballs under the closed eyelids will hunt back and forth. You can see the bump of them on the eyelids, and they will be wandering … the hunting indicates a hypnotic state’;[ii]
          ‘The eye moving underneath the eyelid is the indication of when a person is
          lightly or deeply tranced. That is the second stage of which the fluttering
          eyelid is the first’;[iii]
          ‘The preclear’s eyes will roll a little bit under the lids and when he returns,
          particularly, the eyelashes will flutter, which tells you immediately that he
          has become more suggestible than he ordinarily would be.’ (ibid); ‘Sometimes
          you will notice a tremble on the eyelids. This means the preclear has deepened his sense of sleep and has left some of his attention units somewhere. This is a very early stage of hypnosis. Be careful of such a patient.’[iv]

          The current use of the Hubbard Dianetics Auditor Course and the Hubbard Dianetics Seminar is in total contradiction to these admonitions. By returning to the 1950 method, Scientology has returned to direct trance induction. Both of these courses give: ‘When the preclear’s eyes close and you notice his eyelids flicker, finish counting…’ [v]

          [i] (SOS II, p.227)

          [ii] R&D 1, p.336

          [iii] R&D 3, p.94

          [iv] R&D 4, p.38

          [v] (p.54 and p.42 respectively, step two).

          • I yield to your greater knowledge of the historical events.

            However, I think the point stands that (in one form or another) a book called “Dianetics” is still the basic, beginning text for Scientologists – which shows that Hubbard did not acknowledge it to be a failure. If he had have done, it would be in character for him to exclude it from Scientology, or even deny that he wrote it.

            As for hypnotism… perhaps we can discuss this another day, after I have read, “never believe a hypnotist”.

            In the meantime, I would like to offer my own theory about some of the strange things that people experience during TRs in return

      • Jon Atack

        Everything was a reaction (remember ‘reactions’?) to the failure of the earlier set of promises. Hub foolishly sold the rights to Dianetics to Don Purcell – who managed to rescue it and evade the practising medicine without a license suit. He had set out to protect Hub, who immediately attacked him, and had to find a new subject (largely courtesy of Magick in Theory and Practice by Aliester Crowly, for any students of the Tech out there). Every six months a new procedure – as Alphia Hart said, in his wonderful Aberree, Hub should have dated each ‘This is It!’

    • Jon Atack

      I think he was aware of it, but I agree, I don’t think he did very much ‘deliberately’. He was an opportunist and he improvised, because I don’t think he could actually remember very much (a serious multiple drug/booze habit can have this effect, I’m told). There was a great deal of filtering going on – no psych patients, LSD users excluded (which is worthy of discussion – Hubbard openly admitted his own use of LSD to Mayo and others), no gays, journalists or socialists. Any dissenter would be sent to Qual or Ethics.

      OT III is fascinating. It certainly shook my belief – and I complained within days of doing it only to be told that ‘A lot of people find that’ because, of course, we needed OT IV. And, yes, if you accepted the cognitive dissonance of Xenu and the Body Thetans, you were well on the way to LaLaLand. I spoke to 14 staff at Hayward’s Heath Mental Hospital – where St Hill’s failed OT III’s end up – I was surprised that 14 turned up – given the shifts they work – but they were really worried. This is a concealed aspect of Scn – the regular crack ups on this stupid level.

      And, yes, hopefully, with DM’s termination project (he is the Terminator), there are no second gen Sea Org members, so they are cannibalising the kids of paying public, which will go badly wrong very quickly. Upset the Patrons? Come on DM! Hopefully, we will be able to help the victims when they escape, rather than them being shunted from the Dependents to the Independents.

      • Graham

        “I spoke to 14 staff at Hayward’s Heath Mental Hospital – where St Hill’s failed OT III’s end up”. That’s quite an insight you’ve given us there Jon. Thanks for that.

      • I’m glad we agree that Hubbard was not so much a ‘master manipulator’ as someone whose absolutely tireless pursuit of money and power led him (with the aid of a lot of luck) to create an organisation with great manipulative power.

        Regarding the mental hospital – I am concerned about what may happen to those people who will emerge from Scientology buildings and compounds thoroughly institutionalised to find (irony of ironies) to find psychologists and psychiatrists among the few people offering help.

        I wonder what those “failed OT3s” were diagnosed as suffering from – and whether what they had been ‘taught’ about ‘Psychs’ hampered their treatment – it must be bad enough to cope with that kind of breakdown without believing that the people who are trying to treat you are really sadistic enemies of mankind.

        • Jon Atack

          The phobia induction prohibits contact with ‘psychs’, but, in my sadly considerable experience, they can’t help exmembers, because they do not understand and treat it as ‘religious mania’ or some such. I used to take referrals from psychiatrists, and was able to help a little. As it is, we are the only people who can prepare them for counselling (if they need it) and I would not recommend any form that rakes over the past – rather the cognitive behavioural type, but given by therapists with a thorough understanding of hypnosis. In the mean time, the path away is best facilitated by compassion. And let me again recommend Ronnie Janoff-Bulman’s Shattered Assumptions for anyone who wants to help an exmember – because it shows the normal path of recovery from PTSD – and probably Janja Lalich’s Captive Hearts, Captive Minds. We really need a recovery center, like the old Wellspring, but that takes money…

          I told the hospital staff not to use any drugs – though sadly straitjackets are necessary if the OT III becomes violent (the one they’d just housed had smeared his own excrement all over the room for three days running). I also explained that it tends to be an acute psychosis, so after a few days or weeks of friendly treatment, normality will return. Unfortunately, the psychosis is easily triggered again. Hubbard continued to suffer from random body thetan attacks ever after – Virginia Downsborough, who rescued him from his ‘research’ on Las Palmas told me that he was terrified when she arrived. He had stopped eating and was living on a shelf load of medical drugs (probably centring on his principal research drug demerol, an opiate which he mixed with booze, speed and barbiturates, for the greater good of humanity). Paranoia is evident throughout his teachings, alongside the most amazing grandiosity. No surprise that Dev-OTs exhibit the same tendencies, sadly.

          • The condition of the OT3’s which you describe reminds me of the opening chapters of Nancy Many’s book “My Billion Year Contract” where she describes her state of mind during the psychotic break that caused her to leave the CofS.

            It sounds to me as if the extreme, unremitting, stress of her situation created a fugue state – a self-protective flight from reality, complete with delusions drawn from Hubbard’s ‘space opera’. Ironically, it seems to have a good thing for her (in the long run) because to took her out of the organisation.

            I know a psychiatric nurse in an acute unit in the UK – a place where people in crisis are diagnosed and stabilised. Modern medication is often very beneficial for seriously disturbed people in this situation – it prevents them hurting themselves, and speeds their recovery.

            It must be a serious problem for psychiatrists when they prescribe beneficial medication to disturbed Scientologists. If they do not understand how their patients have been indoctrinated their reaction is likely to lead to a wrong diagnosis of paranoia – they will be diagnosing Hubbard, not the person before them.

            I expect you have read, “Bounded Choice” by Janja Lalich – if not, I would strongly recommend it. Although it does not discuss Scientology, everything she says about “charismatic cults” is directly relevant.

            I agree (and have argued elsewhere) that cognitive behaviour therapy is likely a good approach for people who have left Scientology, and are having difficulty overcoming ingrained patterns of thought (raking over the past” would definitely be counter-productive). Also non-judgemental, unconditional support is probably the best way to dispel the Scientology mindset – this is why the CofS goes to so much trouble to isolate their members from the wider world.

            I suppose the problem is that, while there are commonalities in the psychiatric problems suffered by Scientologists, every person is different, and their unique personality and pre-existing conditions make a one-size-fits-all treatment impossible and undesirable..

            The best solution is probably a support centre with specialised psychiatric help at hand. The problem with this, of course, would be the hostility of the CofS and the problem of raising money for such a facility.

            Finally, I was wondering about the fate of people who may have spent years in a CofS compound obsessively perusing a pointless task (e.g. filing case folders) with minimal human contact. How will they cope with the collapse of the organisation, and being ‘cast out’ into a wider world of which they have no knowledge or experience?

  • Alanzo

    Excellent article by Jon Atack as always.

    I think that Cognitive Dissonance Theory is fundamental to understanding the subject of Scientology and what L Ron Hubbard was doing to people with it.

    In my opinion, there are two aspects of this theory which do not get enough discussion on the Post-Scientology Internet.

    Instead of thetan, mind, and body, Cognitive Dissonance theory teaches that a “self” is made up of THOUGHTS, EMOTIONS and BEHAVIORS.

    The first idea that does not get enough discussion, IMHO, is the idea that the dissonance created by two opposing ideas in your “universe” are intolerable to a human being. The conflicts which cause dissonance can also be an opposing BEHAVIOR with an opposing THOUGHT, or a conflicting BEHAVIOR with an OPINION.

    A person does not walk around with these oppositions (or dissonances) in his mind. CD theory says that a human being will always seek to reduce the importance or relevance or truth of one of the opposing parts in order to achieve a feeling of consonance again.

    This is what you see happening with Scientologists on the Internet when you present them with facts which contradict their long-held, and heavily-invested beliefs. They will do ANYTHING THEY CAN to reduce the importance or relevance or veracity of the opposing fact.

    Per CD Theory, the 3 cognitive dissonance reduction strategies are:

    (1) Reduce the importance of one or the other conflicting beliefs,
    (2) Add more non-conflicting beliefs so they outweigh the conflicting beliefs,
    (3) Change the conflicting beliefs so that they are no longer inconsistent and conflicting.

    It is a knee-jerk response that we ALL perform when confronted with facts which oppose or question our presently invested worldview – including Bunkerites!

    It is this process which a Scientologist eventually tires of, and will stop performing, which will then cause them to wake up from Scientology.

    A Scientologist, when presented enough times with indesputable facts, will eventually seek to stop redcucing the dissonance by using the above strategies on those indisputable facts, and will eventually seek consonance by accepting those facts, and seeking to live with the truth about Scientology and L Ron Hubbard.

    That’s why it’s important to keep putting the facts there, no matter what the response of the Scientologist (or the Bunkerite) is.

    If the Scientologist you are talking to does not seem to get it during your conversation with him, a few Scientologists, or Bunkerites, who are watching will.

    Eventually, they will progress in their process of “decompression” and move on down the road leading out of Scientology, or bitter Bunkerism.

    (I kid the Bunkerites)

    It is always the reduction of dissonance that the indisputable facts are causing when you see a Scientoliogist keep denying the undeniable, and defending the indefensible. They are trying to reduce the intolerable dissonance they feel, and to achieve consonance in their own universe again.

    The second thing about Cognitive Dissonance Theory that I think does not get enough discussion is how this theory was worked into the CCHs, and the Objective processes by L Ron Hubbard.

    If you read Festinger’s original papers on the subjects (which I can not find on the Internet any more, and which I believe Hubbard had available to him) you will see THOUGHT, EMOTION and BEHAVIOR capitalized. And then when you read Hubbard’s writings on CCHs and the Objectives, you will see him capitalize THOUGHT, EMOTION, and EFFORT.

    In his cleverness, Hubbard changed “BEHAVIOR” to “EFFORT”.

    Hubbard took cognitive dissonance theory, a theory which explains how a person keeps brainwashing himself, and used it as a tool to brainwash others.

    For more on Cognitive Dissonance theory, there are three lectures from this online course in Social Psychology from Berkeley which deal with it.

    Free online lectures from a Social Psychology class given at Berkley.

    The 3 in-depth lectures on Cognitive Dissonance Theory from that course are lectures 7, 8 and 9.

    Splurge on it, y’all.


    • John Peeler a.k.a. BTs2Free

      maybe it’s good then that a Scientologist can’t just “Agree to disagree.” Simple WOG tech.

      • Alanzo

        I never thought of that!

        That would suck if they could. It would take all the fun out of Internet debates with them.


    • I would only add that Cognitive Dissonance Theory is a means of understanding (and predicting) natural human behaviour which emerges in particular social environments.

      Hubbard created the highly controlling, intellectually repressive environment within Scientology because he wanted power. In this situation, his recruits naturally tended to repress their doubts because they would lose social approval, and feared punishment.

      We can understand this process by applying theoretical concepts like cognitive dissonance – but I feel that it is highly unlikely that:

      1) Hubbard was clever enough to understand, let alone exploit Festinger’s work
      2) You can ‘reverse engineer’ psychological concepts like this to control people

      To theorise that Hubbard was some kind of ‘master manipulator’ goes against all the evidence that he was too intellectually lazy to learn any subject in depth (he dropped out of the first year of the only higher education course that he took).

      Hubbard did not create Scientology to be a controlling organisation because he had extensively studied social psychology and was applying what he had learned – he created it because he was a controlling person.

      Mechanisms of control emerged naturally from that situation (as they do from all similar situations) but Hubbard only exploited them – he did not intentionally create them, nor was he capable of doing so.

      • Michael Leonard Tilse

        I think that Hubbard very consistently and thoroughly studied hypnotism so as to manipulate people. He studied it as a tool, directed to his desire to be in control of others. He didn’t need an academic study to do this.

        I think some aspects of hypnotism can be also understood as cognitive dissonance. Much of the “confusion technique” of hypnotism seems similar to deliberately inducing a cognitive dissonance so as to exploit the effort of the person(s) to resolve the dissonance in a directed way.

        I think that like most science, the study of human behavior such as Festinger’s work on cognitive dissonance sought to understand basic human factors in a clearly defined rigorous way.

        I think that most manipulative groups, religion, politics and conmen study human behavior so as to understand basic human factors that allow them to manipulate and control people. There is a long history of this. It is sloppy, ill-defined and hit or miss. That does not prevent them from discovering how people can be manipulated and using their observations and occasionally being quite effective.

        You can bet that any psychological concept that a sociopathic predator can understand, they will try to reverse engineer it to use it against people. Sometimes they succeed. Much of advertising seems to be based on reverse-engineering psychological concepts.

        • While advertising agencys undoubtedly do employ psycholologists and sociologists, I’m not so sure about your average Guru.

          Hubbard evidently felt that he didn’t need any book-learning because his ‘ideas’ were, to him, obviously superior. He had no real understanding of mainstream ideas – and certainly not science.

          Just because we can understand what goes on inside organisations like Scientology by using psychological concepts does not mean that those concepts can be used for ‘mind control’. If they could be surely those advertisers (who employ some highly qualified and clever people) would rule the world.

          In actual fact, while advertising and promotion can manipulate people to an astonishing extent, it falls far short of ‘mind control’. People are not stupid. Most realise that are being manipulated pretty quickly and react against it. High-profile campaigns designed by the best, most highly-paid advertising agencies will fail if they have a poor product.

          I think that a ‘cult mindset’ is an emergent phenomenon. It is created by a very special social situation in which a small group of people cut themselves off from wider society and follow a charismatic ‘leader’.

          We can understand how this happens, with reference to psychological concepts but it is highly unlikely that we could make it happen by exploiting this understanding. If we could, the world would be well-stocked with psychologists surrounded by adoring acolytes – and it isn’t. The gurus are predominantly ignorant people, like Hubbard, who make it up as they go along.

    • Jon Atack

      This is essential, thank-you. And please all concerned read Festinger’s excellent (and eminently readable) When Prophecy Fails. And the Robbers Cave experiment (the original paper is somewhere on the net – by Sherif).

    • mzuridini

      I think cognitive dissonance is quite normal. Conflict is just about always present in the mind on some level, isn’t it? But in the case of Scientology, I think it’s the reduction of dissonance that makes them believers…

      When Buddhist monks meditate they experience something called gamma-synchrony. Intense gamma waves, or something, and I would assume that that is very harmonious state of mind. Perhaps this deepens their belief in Buddhism as well. I would suggest something similar in case of auditing. It’s a momentary reduction in cognitive dissonance, and scientologists see it as something very meaningful.

  • Just Dee

    I don’t understand the point in buying tacky scientology trophies that belonged to someone else. I wouldn’t even pay $1 for it. It’s like buying a first place bowling trophy. WTF? Maybe I could see an ex spending a few $ and then running it over with the truck- but seriously, why does anyone want this dust collector?

    • Douglas D. Douglas

      It’s a totem. There is also something irresistible in possessing something that should belong to an “enemy.”

      • Artoo45

        That’s how I feel about the emeter I bought. It’s useless, but it’s a totem, a piece of weird history.

        • Science Doc

          It’s small and light and it does something. You could pull it out at a party and pass it around. I’d buy an e meter for $100. If I was given an IAS tropy it would immediately compete with stuff on the shelf in the garage that I need.

          • beauty for ashes

            hey science doc, i joked with i betty about emeters using the same galvanic current as facialists use, but i always kind of wondered if emeters could be repurposed?

      • Graham

        Indeed, isn’t this one meaning of the word ‘trophy’? A souvenir of an achievement, especially a part of an animal taken when hunting. Or: (In ancient Greece or Rome) the weapons of a defeated army set up as a memorial of victory.

        [Definitions courtesy of the Oxford English dictionary. That’s the real Oxford, not the fantasy Oxford of Flubtard’s Oxford Capacity Analysis con-trick pseudo-test]

    • TheQueenofBulgravia

      The J&D was to have photos/videos posted taken with SPs to torment DM,,,because he personally awarded these to the Acuntos.

      • 3feetback-of-COS

        Mmmmm… Talk about “priceless”.

    • NOLAGirl

      I agree with you that I wouldn’t pay much money for it, but I hope an SP gets it for the same reason I’m happy Gen. George Patton took a copy of Mein Kampf out of Germany against the President’s wishes.

      We want to have these ‘artifacts’ in the future to truly show the level of insanity that reigned. 🙂

    • 1subgenius

      If you could get them cheap I could see it.
      I’m actually beginning a collection of trophies I didn’t win, trying to find bizarre ones at flea markets.
      So far I have one for spearfishing and one for best car in some show.
      It’s like the Wizard of Oz: you don’t need to be a champion. You just need a trophy.

      • TheQueenofBulgravia

        ….or a Kick-ass Tiara!

        • 1subgenius

          Yes. The possibilities are endless.

  • Volunteer SP

    The “church” can just buy the trophies back, change the nameplates, polish them up a bit, and award them to the next suckers that upgrade their IAS Statuses to those levels.

    Even if they had to spend $25,000 or $50,000 to get them back it would slow down the stream of entheta emanating from the fringes of the internet. 😉

    And that’s a small price to pay when you consider that they’ll get back millions in exchange from recycling those trophies.

    • Todd Tomorrow

      That’s what I thought. They can just use a crummy old sharpy like they do on their extra large achievement certs.

    • Science Doc

      But the evidence is that they didn’t do it when they could do it on the cheap. We’ve done the experiment and they don’t care about the trophies. If there is any value in this for the church it is humiliating Acunto and holding him up to the live whales as an example of what happens when you reduce your flow to the IAS. There may be some additional value in distracting critics and journalists.

  • Jack99
    • Alanzo

      ALL RIGHT!!!!!

      Frickkin YA-HOOOOOO!!!


    • Sherbet

      For real? Hot dog!

      • Tony Ortega

        Yeah, didn’t we tell you that a long time ago?

        • Sherbet

          I was absent from class that day.

          • Alanzo

            Me too.

            I had a note from my psychiatrist, though.


            • Sherbet

              Our body thetans should have told us.

            • NOLAGirl

              Sec Checks for both of you. 🙂

            • Sherbet

              But I had a note from Alanzo’s psychiatrist!

            • NOLAGirl

              I have a teenager Sherb, that’s not going to work with me. Hehehehe!!! 🙂

          • Tony Ortega

            I might have kept it kind of quiet because I was one of the people interviewed for it. Gibney asked great questions. Who knows if I make the final cut.

            • Sherbet

              Yes, let’s go with the scenario that you “kept it kind of quiet.” OF COURSE, you’ll make the final cut. You’re photogenic and knowledgeable with a soupcon of glib.

            • Robert Eckert

              And a large dash of J&D

            • Sherbet

              Very large.

            • Graham

              Tony- have you been interviewed for the forthcoming Louis Theroux programme?

            • Tony Ortega

              Just by the producer and director, but not for the film itself.

            • Graham

              Good. I’m sure you steered them in the right direction and made them fully aware of the pit-falls!

            • Eclipse-girl

              getting accurate information is one key to a great documentary.
              I am glad both Louis Theroux and HBO interviewed you

            • Tony Ortega

              Louis Theroux did not interview me. I had a couple of meetings with the film’s producer and director. I like them both a lot and hope they make a good film.

            • Eclipse-girl

              Ok, thanks for the clarification.

    • Panopea Abrupta

      Possibly at Sundance in January.
      Pretty please, and may it win prizes and great critical praise!
      It’s a great book.
      Let’s hope it’s a great doc too.

    • Qbird

      This is some damn fine good news.

    • NOLAGirl

      Don’t bow to their bully tactics Sheila Nevins and crew. You’ve got a great book to base this doc on and I am looking forward to it.

    • lucille austero

      It is a happy Monday!!

    • Science Doc

      This documentary will be the equivalent of about 100 Mega Trophies worth of hurt. It should be a damn fine film too. Guess I’ll keep my HBO next year.

    • OSA trolls are starting early there.

      • Robert Eckert

        The “all religions are alike” line sometimes does come from genuine “angry atheists” who can’t be bothered to learn enough about any of them to see distinctions.

        • Remy

          They even have a church at Harvard.

          • TheQueenofBulgravia

            “Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was named after the College’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown, who upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution. A statue of John Harvard stands today in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard, and is perhaps the University’s best known landmark.”

            A majority of early medical, care and education facilities had “religious” (Christian) roots. Today, this is continued by sincere Humanitarians of the Christian persuasion. ie:

            “The Salvation Army is an integral part of the Christian Church, although distinctive in government and practice. The Army’s doctrine follows the mainstream of Christian belief and its articles of faith emphasise God’s saving purposes. Its objects are ‘the advancement of the Christian religion… of education, the relief of poverty, and other charitable objects beneficial to society or the community of mankind as a whole.’*

            The movement, founded in 1865 by William Booth, has spread from London, England, to many parts of the world.: ”

        • Douglas D. Douglas

          Yep. Problem is, they think that saying “They’re all alike” will lead the general public to condemn them all. Instead, it leads the general public to accept bad hats posing as religions.

          • richelieu jr

            Exactly, 3D! I just got in a quite a snit over this witha friend of mine on another list (on a totally different subject). He considers himself quite aware of alternative religions and Scientology, but couldn’t accept just this point.

            I wish I knew better way to explain this counter-intuitive problem…

      • Some of them have a long and detailed posting history, rather than disposable ids, so I doubt they’re OSA.

      • Remy

        I think a lot of them are atheists who look for Scientology discussions to proselytize. This used to happen here, back in the day.

      • Douglas D. Douglas

        Totally out of control over there. Wild West. There is just no reason to even dip one’s toe…

    • A bird in the chimney

      You beat me to the share (I must have pulled that in somehow ;D). Glad to see it here, and great to see the doc actually happening!

    • Remy

      Looks great!

    • richelieu jr

      Wise Beard Man would be Wise to get his own damn film finished pronto. Gibney doesn’t let any grass grow under his feet.

      Shit,t his probably torpedoes me with my project, and I’m pitching it at two channels this week.

  • Sherbet

    Maybe you’ll find the image of lrh’s face on a big, flappy chunk of lard. But how could you tell?

    • Frodis73


  • Sherbet

    There is no end to lrh’s cheesiness.

  • richelieu jr

    Jon, I’ll be damned if you don’t just keep knocking it out of the park.

    Thanks,a s ever, for all of this. No oe is doing the kind of in-dpeth analysis and research on this tha toyua re. I don’t imagine anyone else will be able to touch your work until the nasty cult has seethingly brethed its last and dissolves in a puddle of bile and spleen, with a puff of nosious smoke stinking of rotten horse-shit with a soupçon of brimstone… ‘Eau de Cyst’ it is called, I think, or ‘Cornpone on the COB’, of I recall correctly.

    • Bob

      Totally agree!

  • Jon Atack

    I agree – Hub was too far out of it to construct anything. He just grabbed the next idea and saw who would salute it. After years of this – changing course every six months and cancelling earlier material (Book One auditing was cancelled in 1951 because it was hypnotic, after all, if there are doubters out there, start worrying, now!) – in the mid-60s he resurrected everything. I do welcome other people adding there discussion, including Buddhism. I am very much against the notion of perfect gurus – even myself – so please feel free to consider at will! However, Jonny Jacobsen shared this fine article with me (and explained that he hadn’t read it – we are all mindless surfers, these days):

  • Jon Atack

    For anyone who feels inclined to follow the path of Hubbard, please bear in mind that he was a physical wreck plagued by all manner of ‘psychosomatic’ illnesses and chronically ill. His teeth rotted in his head, such was his paranoia of dentists. He suffered an immense lump on his head, such was his fear of doctors (rather like Stalin and Hitler, come to think of it). The pleasure he derived from abusing people is about the only pleasure he had.

    It fascinates me that having told us that anyone ‘exposed’ to OT III would die within days, he then set about promoting the story as a movie – Revolt in the Stars – presumably with the same intention as Aum Shinrikyo’s determination to exterminate the population of Japan (so that their karma would be fulfilled – poa in Buddhist terms). It is hard to accept that he was the very opposite of his claims – but he had passed through the looking glass as a teenager, when he failed to live up to his grandfather’s ridiculous expectations.

    • Jon, as you probably know (maybe you mentioned this in your book, I don’t recall), he received disability checks throughout his adult life, from the infirmities he claimed starting with military service. This while getting millions from the cult. Nikki Merwin (Mary Sue’s best friend whom I dated) told me: “Well, he deserved them!” She didn’t get the irony, I guess.

      • Graham

        Flubtard was in receipt of disability benefits? At the same time as he was raking in millions from a system based on the claim that he’d miraculously been able to cure all his disabilities. Wow!

  • Looks like the cult have bought another journalist in Denmark….

    “At the moment, around 4,000 to 5,000 foreign Scientologists are in Copenhagen taking part in courses and receiving guidance, while another 2,000 or so work permanently in Copenhagen, according to the belief organisation”

    …. comments can be left there

    • Observer

      “Belief organization” … I like that!

      • richelieu jr

        Oh, it’s organized alright!

        First, insert head up ass.

        Second, realize it’s not even your own ass, but L Ron’s, and you now how his shit for your brains.

        Third, give all your money in hopes of crossing the Bridge to Fecal Freedom

        Fourth, if you have it left in you BLOW, BLOW, BLOW!!!!

        Fifth, (a) Either cling desperately to the OT (Obvious Turd) levels, or
        (b) Pray shamefully to whatever god you abandoned that every thinking person you know (AKA your victims and those you betrayed or abandoned) has more moral fibre than you and can forgive you, or that someone somehow snuck some fibre into Ron’s fat, cigarette and booze diet so that he might have one last bowel movement and set you free.

    • Sherbet

      “CW” eventually balanced the article out somewhat.

    • Bob

      Yes, but the article also mentions lots of negatives.

    • The article summary is “Expert contends that membership numbers are dwindling”.

  • romanesco

    Cognitive dissonance? I find Orwell’s “doublethink” more apt.

  • Robert Eckert
  • A bird in the chimney

    Hello fellow bunkeroos! I hope those of you who celebrate are making ready for a pleasant Thanksgiving; those of you who don’t, I hope you have great Thursdays. I’m still gladly in mostly lurkerdom, but I visit here nearly daily, read the updates and comments, and I’m always talking with my once-in friend about all the breakthroughs and places of growing light surrounding $ci.

    It’s been a pleasure reading the new essays and insights from Jon. Thank you, Jon, for your continued bravery and wisdom. I also followed those eBay auctions to their end, and was glad to see just the middleman who offered them got a good profit! Someone should. 😉

    I now see our Bunker leader has tweeted about it, but I saw this article earlier and popped in here wanting to pass it along.

    • Graham

      “When the network aired the 1998 documentary Dead Blue: Surviving Depression, throngs of protesters converged in front of HBO’s midtown Manhattan headquarters”

      It’ll be interesting to see how many pro-Scientology protesters they would be able to muster this time round- if any.

      • lucille austero

        My guess is 47 times zero.

        • Missionary Kid

          That isn’t $cientolomath. In real math, 47 times zero is zero. In $cientolomath, 47 times zero is straight up and vertical.

    • Missionary Kid

      Check out Tony’s second post today. Christmas comes early.

      • A bird in the chimney

        Ooh, I love opening shiny things. Thanks for the tip!

  • “…but is this flipper banking on the church eventually forking over money to take them off the market?”

    I was also surprised that David didn’t scream and dung his pants and slap someone, ordering them to buy these and send the seller legal threats and file complaints with eBay demanding their removal.

    I guess the little dwarf has other problems to occupy his insane brain these past 5, 6 years and merely whimpered when informed these idiot things were being sold by wogs.

    And the slaps just keep coming.

    Birthday Bash Beleaguered Bunglers Booted

    Yesterday’s amusing video of the incompetent morAns at the birthday party was toadally excellent. Toadally. Got to hand it to the second Dumbfuckistanian, he tried to play it cool and thought that not reacting would not raise suspicions — and holding an obvious camera — LOL!

    Can’t the shitting dwarf purchase quality Dumbfuckistaian henchmen any more?

    • Missionary Kid

      I’ve added, “shitting dwarf” to my Disqus banned list of DM nicknames.

  • Sid

    I remember hearing about that Safespace movie project. I didn’t realize Fred Harris was involved. Fred had his hand in a lot of things though. Once he wanted me to go out and buy a bunch of boats so that he could set up his own mini-Sea Org that would travel up and down inland waterways setting up missions.

    • Fred was NOT involved with Safespace far as I know. Safespace was circa 1973. Writers of the Future and the beginning of Authors Services was in the 80s. Thanks for the story – Fred was batshit crazy.

      • Sid

        He was. The boat thing was back in the ’70s, might have been ’73. I actually found a few boats for him but he was never able to get it together to buy them.

        • Got it. Man, the loony stories just go on and on. Imagine it we had the resource of this forum back then.

          • Sid

            I sometimes wish someone would have slapped me back then. A forum like this would have done it if I could have read it before I was sucked in. I’m sure it’s helped others to stay clear of it by having the truth out there.

    • Qbird

      A Scn. Armada – bwahaha!

  • i-Betty

    Interesting *strokes beard*. So it appears not to have been bought out at the last minute by a scientologist. I was so sure that would happen! The mystery deepens and I’m loving it 😀

    Jon, what a cracking read which I started reading in my bedroom, continued reading while brushing my teeth, and completed downstairs with a cup of tea. I love Jon Days. Has there been the usual rumpus in the comments following one of Jon’s articles?

    • Robert Eckert

      OSA (what’s left of them) seems to be busy elsewhere.

  • Tony Ortega


    • Qbird

      Oh! Jeez lou-ease! Fly to Denmark for one moment, then LA,
      then fly back to the Bunker and… here we go.
      Scoop ’em up people! Another tasty treat.

  • Bob

    Jon, to expound on your point. Hubbard said “Communication is the universal solvent”. That was drummed into us clams with jackhammers. Then In the ethics book it is categorically states that we must disconnect from a declared suppressive person and that is our only course of action. He also said, “that which one is unwilling to communicate to, he will become the effect of”.
    That’s about as contradictory as it gets and it’s one of the massive red flags that makes Scientology psychotic and cultish to outsiders.
    Great article, and much appreciated by this recovering Scientoloholic. I look forward to your posts. You are doing a great public service to a lot of people.

  • Anonymous

    “Belief usually trumps evidence, as conversations with Scientologists have frequently proved.”

    This is one of the things that I learned best from my experience in Scientology. Not because Scientology taught this concept…but because it was so prevalent within the culture of the organization that once one begins to exit, then finally release oneself from the mental shackles…it becomes abundantly clear.

    Belief usually trumps evidence…is true in all walks of life and in most organizations…even those dedicated to liberal thinking. Staying alert to the signs that strongly held beliefs (regardless of contrary evidence) are in play within ones own thinking as well as in the thinking of others…is a good way to minimize the negative outcomes that can occur from such locked-in ideas.

    Strongly held “beliefs” (not just religious beliefs) when combined with the desire for personal advantage or specific outcomes by the parties in a given circumstance, is a recipe for some of the worst human discord.

  • ElleGee

    The more I read from Jon Atack the more I realize its a true miracle that anyone gets out of CO$ with any real sense of self. No wonder the decompression can be lengthy and complicated. LRH’s propaganda is like quicksand to the mind; struggle against it and go in deeper.

    • TheMirrorThetan

      Not only come out with a sense of self, but start a whole new life, finding jobs. getting houses, finding new friends and support and starting families and thriving all from scratch with not even a pot to piss in, in lots of cases. How many of us could walk away from the only life we have ever known, taking nothing, but the damage COS leaves you, especially the ones forced to join as kids and do all that.

  • Missionary Kid

    I’m declaring this to be MAGIC MONDAY. Two posts from Tony. First, one with great analysis by Jon Atack, then fantastic news on the second post.

  • Missionary Kid

    I wish you the best. At least $cientology hasn’t removed all of his humanity.

    • Xique

      It really hasn’t, he’s a good man.

  • I enjoy Jon Atack’s posts here but this latest one seems rather weak on a couple of points. I, too, noticed the many apparent contradictions in LRH’s writings and lectures. For me, this gave me more freedom, not more confusion, to use what I thought was correct. For example, in his lectures about Study Tech he said that it doesn’t really screw you up to go past a misunderstood word so long as you know you don’t know that word and this is something I made liberal use of over the years. Jon gives the impression that LRH’s declarations about opposites is primarily his creation, yet anyone can look around and find examples of this in life or our own experience. Should I take this job or that job? Should I marry this person or that person? You don’t need 50 lectures on GPMs to realize that the mechanism of opposing ideas, intentions or forces exists whether LRH every said anything about it or now. Finally, I have recently become aware of a lot of work done by people in the late 1800s, early 1900s that became known as the New Thought movement. If you read the works of some of these guys, for example, Charles F. Haanel, there are concepts all over these writings that appear later in Scn. These guys also influenced Napoleon Hill, the Secret and others. Today, nobody seems to know a thing about them. At least I didn’t until recently.

    • Douglas D. Douglas

      “For me, this gave me more freedom, not more confusion, to use what I thought was correct.”

      To me, it is implied that this is one of the faults, if not to say dangers, of the contradictions. Those who will make their own choices are not the ideal subjects for Corporate Scientology.

      • DDD, it was my experience, looking at it in retrospect, that about half the people I knew were literalists to the written word and the other half were “whatever works” types like myself. It took all sorts to make a movement as crazy and as fascinating as Scn remains even today with all its problems. Witness this very blog.

  • Draco

    I love Jon Atack’s posts. Never skip one. Keep them coming, Jon – they brighten my day every time!

  • L. C. Spencer


    Edit: full title of article is “HBO Hired 160 Lawyers for a Lawrence Wright Scientology Movie”

  • DeElizabethan

    Thank Jon, excellent article. Regarding “list such contradictions here — life is too short” You said it!
    It’s really crazy when discussing any of his tech and someone says or shows this and then you have that… It could be never ending. Thank you for pointing out the most flagrant ones. I’m just so happy to be out of the whole situation and appreciate those who speak out in an intelligent way, such as you do.

  • DeElizabethan

    The Flip Flop. Lttle Davey could find a way, if he wants, to buy them to prevent more entheta,
    Or, it is just too late, Bubba! Yes!

  • beauty for ashes

    wow, sounds like unconditional love to me! just wanted to give you some support and tools, if you have not heard them already. i was very touched by your story, the world needs more people like you!
    link to steve hassan”s page;
    podcast with steve hassan by dr. drew:

    • Xique

      Thank you , we been married a long, long time. I care for him as much as I can’t stand this whole predicament. I will follow the link, I need all the help in the world.

  • Peter Robinson

    The Loony Rotten Huckster follows the same game played out in the bible and quran, which are also chock full of contradictions, yet believers are somehow able to ignore these. This is inevitable when so much is made up and not based on any credible evidence. Then along come the theologians to twist and turn and desperately try to find justifications for the nonsense. In a similar vein, scifiology desperately clings to the idea that the writings of Hubbard are inerrant.

  • flyonthewall


  • Mockingbird

    I concur with Jon Atack and have been learning a great deal from him about how the double bind and contradiction work to confuse and control in Scientology.

    I have attempted to elaborate and list many of the contradictions in Scientology and Dianetics doctrine .

    Obviously there are thousands and the work is barely just begun .

    I have a post I wrote specifically on this at ESMB entitled the Secret of Scientology Part 1

    I also cover this to a degree as part of the confusion method of hypnosis/mind control in the articles the Black Heart of Dianetics and Scientology; the Black Heart of L Ron Hubbard

    Insidious Enslavement Study Technology

    And Pissed It’s Not Your Fault !!!!!!

    Jon Atack – to me stands head and shoulders among many cult experts ( regarding Scientology ) as he has such a deep understanding of the methods used – probably second to none – AND crucially can express them in a very succinct and easily understandable manner for Scientologists and exes .

    This is especially impressive when one factors in the absolute revulsion implanted on the subjects of psychology and the mind ( outside Hubbard’s own ideas ) in virtually ALL Scientologists making his work a truly herculean feat .

    I am very grateful to both Jon and Tony Ortega for making this vital info available here and hope they both get both financial and other rewards for their efforts to in my opinion help free people and make recovery even possible .

    I cannot recommend all the Scientology Mythbusting articles highly enough AND the Scientology is an implant and Never Believe a Hypnotist by Jon Atack as well .

    They are to me a great foundation from which to START examining the reality of Scientology.

  • Mockingbird

    Great list and could be a template for talking to Scientologists !

    I love many and will consider adding quotes on them to my own stuff .

    • FOTF2012

      In reading recent posts, another contradiction struck me.

      On the one hand, Hubbard claimed there was no Christ.

      But I seem to recall in another taped lecture he talked about how there was a Christ — a “keyed-out OT” — who showed up from time to time in different parts of the universe.

      I think my memory on this is correct — crap, I listened to and read those materials so many times they got burnt into my brain to some extent. Part of the indoctrination I believe. When I was “in” the saying “number of times over the materials” equated to mastery of the materials. Now it strikes me that “number of times over the materials” also equates to a sort of drill that indoctrinated you.

      Anyway, I don’t recall the source of there was some Christ guy who showed up at different times on different planets.

      Maybe someone recalls.

      • Mockingbird

        I agree and did a post called the Secret of Scientolgy Part 1 at ESMB that has the Christ implants and many others quoted for your enjoyment .

        Please read it and let me know your opinion – I even quoted your comments after reading them here .

  • I think we have to question the validity of all such states, but that doesn’t mean that they cannot be helpful.

    They can be helpful, but not helpful enough to be worth pursuing. I favour the ancient Greek idea that a fulfilling life was found in “the exercise of vital powers” (both intellectual and physical).

    Practices like meditation, to my mind, encourage the idea that truth can be found by revelation, without personal effort. It actually takes endless hard work to even approach of… just about anything.

    This is why I wrote:

    Life changing insights may be found in strange places. However, I tend to think that Humans are social animals, who find themselves in their interactions with others not by navel-gazing. If you try to ‘find yourself’ in isolation (as in the practice in Scientology TRs and Auditing) you may, one day, look within and find that there is nobody there.

    The ability to develop a ‘theory of mind’ is wired into the brains of most humans. This enables us to have empathy and compassion – which are our most valuable ‘vital powers’. We really do need to exercise them more.

  • Mockingbird

    I loved this article and wrote up some contradictions myself at two posts on my blog : and please enjoy and comment