Hello , I am an ex Scientologist , this blog is primarily about that but I may address other topics as the mood hits me to . I was in Scientology for 25 years and spent about 10,000 hours using the indoctrination and thought reform method "study tech " . I also spent time on staff and met hundreds of Scientologists and did hundreds of the cult practices . Many were the "ethics cycles and OW writeups " that really are an attempt to suppress or remove a person's identity and replace it with a mental pseudo clone of Ron Hubbard . To make a fanatical slave for the cult .

I looked outside the cult for answers in about January 2014 and left the cult in about March of 2014 . While in about 99% of members have no idea of the truth .

We are told we are in a mental therapy or spiritual enhancement or religion or science for helping people unlock potential . Or any of several other fronts that all pretend kind and humanitarian goals .

The truth is Scientology is a terrorist mind control cult and this blog is my attempt to understand and expose that . And try to state as clearly as possible the tools that I have found helpful in dealing with this .

Friday, September 18, 2015

Pulling Back The Curtain Part 1- Repetition And Variation In Scientology

Image result for age of propaganda bookImage result for repetition

 Image result for pulling back the curtainImage result for pulling back the curtain
Image result for pulling back the curtain on l ron hubbardImage result for pulling back the curtain on l ron hubbard

In attempting to influence people the idea that one must repeat a message as often as possible, with a degree of variation, has long been held to be the surest way to be effective . But Why ?

Whether through hypnosis or rhetoric or another school of persuasion this concept appears again  and again over hundreds of years , possibly thousands . It has been explored in social psychology with experiments as well. I have previously written about it being a method Ron Hubbard used in several earlier extensive posts on persuasion at this blog. Notably Insidious Enslavement: Study Technology, PISSED It's Not Your Fault !!!, Burning Down Hell and Basic Introduction To Hypnosis In Scientology.

Here I will examine ideas on this from social psychology and propaganda analysis. I will cite several quotes from the book Age Of  Propaganda by social psychologists ( both professors of psychology ) Anthony Pratkanis and Elliot Aronson .

If repetitive advertising is so irritating, why do advertisers continue to do it ? ( page 179 )

In surveys people consistently say repeated ads are annoying , but they have been found to be effective . This has a seeming contradiction that can be understood with close examination . For Ex Scientologists it is important because repetition was used upon them quite heavily in Scientology auditing and indoctrination and the cult environment . They should know how it affects people .

Robert Zajonc of the University of Michigan has demonstrated in a laboratory setting that, all other things being equal, the more a person is exposed to an item , the more attractive it is. In three separate studies, Zajonc presented nonsense words, Chinese ideographs, and photographs of students taken from a college yearbook. The items were repeated from zero to twenty-five times. The results showed the attraction to the item increased with the number of exposures. Much subsequent research has supported Zajonc's basic finding: More exposure results in increased liking.  ( page 181 )

This concept was stated by many others in many ways before Hubbard started Dianetics and Scientology. In fact several people Hubbard is well known as studying stated this . Here is a very relevant example :

The power of repetition was well understood by Joseph Goebbels, the head of the Nazi propaganda ministry. His propaganda crusades were based on a simple observation: What the masses term truth is that information which is most familiar. As Goebbels put it:

The rank and file are usually much more primitive than we imagine. Propaganda must therefore always be essentially simple and repetitious. In the long run only he will achieve basic results in influencing public opinion who is able to reduce problems to the simplest terms and who has the courage to keep forever repeating them in this simplified form despite the objections of intellectuals. ( page 182 )

Now , our disgust with the Nazis aside the point of this is to examine the concepts of repetition and influence and Hubbard's intent in using repetition in his cult doctrine and methodology.

According to Goebbels, the repetition of simple messages, images, and slogans creates our knowledge of the world, defining what is truth and specifying how we should live our lives .

A  set of  recent experiments illustrates Goebbels point-repetition of a piece of information increases its perceived  validity. In these experiments, participants were exposed to statements such as 'Leonardo Da Vinci had two wives at the same time"and "Tibet, with 1.2 million square kilometers, occupies one-eight China's total area." Some of the statements were repeated on multiple occasions. The results: The participants in these studies judged the repeated statements to be more "true" than those not repeated. ( page 183 )

The sited experiments are covered in Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 27,
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory, 5 , Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin , 20 , Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behaviour, 16 and American Journal of Psychology , 95.
For more exact information consult the bibliography of Age of Propaganda .

I may have found the source of feeling nostalgic for frequently repeated ideas from the past, even ones that at the time were found annoying. In describing a series of experiments with frequent exposure of symbols some interesting results were found .

Immediately after the repetitive presentation, subjects did not rate these ideographs as any more attractive than less familiar ones, presumably because the frequent exposures were boring and tedious. However after a week's delay, the repeatedly presented Chinese ideographs gained in attractiveness. Apparently the annoying effects of repetition wore off faster than the familiarity-induced attraction. ( page 183 )

So, in other words immediate frequent repetition can be so annoying or boring  enough that there is no increase in attraction BUT after the initial annoyance or boredom subsides , the attraction is INCREASED. And in Scientology the same ideas and slogans and images are drilled and repeated over and over day after day week after week for years ! Often on one course then you come back to the same idea again on a later course !

So you can have intense repetition with accompanying immediate boredom BUT increased attraction to an idea . Then lose the boredom and ONLY keep the attraction . Then be exposed to the idea again on another course and retain the attraction , again get bored and attracted MORE and again lose the boredom . So the boredom fades while the attraction builds and builds ! And the belief that the information is true builds and builds !

Even so, advertisers know that repeated exposure can lead to what is known as "wear-out"-when an ad loses its effectiveness because consumers find repeated exposures to be tedious and annoying. ( page 183 )

Advertisers attempt to eliminate wear-out by using a technique known as "repetition-with-variation." In this technique, the same information or theme is repeated many times, but the presentation format is varied. ( page 183)

I should point out that two researchers have examined whether we seriously consider information or don't when exposed to it. Richard Petty and John Cacioppa have done extensive examination of this issue.

We often respond to propaganda with little thought and in a meaningless fashion. (  page 34 )

People can be persuaded both when they are in a mindless state and when they are thoughtful, but exactly how they are influenced in either of these two states differs considerably. Richard Petty and John Cacioppa argue that there are two routes to persuasion-peripheral and central. In the peripheral route, a message recipient devotes little attention and effort to processing a communication.

In the central route, a message recipient engages in a careful and thoughtful consideration of the true merits of the information presented. ( page 35 )

In other references you might find the term critical thinking, which is similar to the central route. In hypnotism one reduces independent and critical thinking by a variety of means. Critical thinking has many components as a subject but starts with questioning ideas, doubting, comparing and considering counter arguments and flaws in information presented to you, or even thought of by yourself.

In the central route critical thinking is in full force. In the peripheral it is greatly reduced, or almost absent.

There is a very important reason Ron Hubbard wanted, even needed, critical thinking aka the central route abandoned.

David Shumann has studied ads with repetition and variation extensively. He found ads without variation suffer from the wear out effect consistently. By adding variation to ads that use the peripheral route those ads avoid wear out. BUT ads that encourage the central rote aka critical thinking regarding the ads experience wear out whether variation occurs or not. In the central route repetition actually is annoying AND provides extra opportunities to judge and analyze the message !

That made inhibiting  critical and independent thinking crucial to Hubbard's methods. He needed the central route abandoned and only the peripheral route custom made for his indoctrination. I cannot possibly emphasize that enough.

Hubbard followed Goebbels example and sought to reduce complex problems to simple solutions-his solutions, and through repetition with variation to instill a reality with himself as the highest possible authority, an infallible authority. And through encouraging only the peripheral route to substitute his ideas for counter arguments and critical thinking regarding his doctrine. Unfortunately with thousands of Scientologists his methods were quite effective.

I hope this post has done several things: Brought light to the idea that there are many tools to dissect Scientology and reveal its true nature. Hypnotism, psychology and other subjects can pull back the curtain on Hubbard's complex con and free minds from the fraud.

Additionally, I hope that it shows concepts from hypnosis and psychology can compliment each other, and are not in conflict. I also hope it encourages people to look at studies and their results to uncover how our minds really work . Psychology is not a perfect science, hypnotism is not a thoroughly established scientifically validated practice.

BUT each is very useful for examining Scientology and psychology is much, much more a science than Scientology ever was or will be.

I hope this informs, and encourages much more exploration. Not to repeat myself too much.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.