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 .

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Pulling Back The Curtain Part 2- Deception By Distraction

Image result for age of propaganda bookImage result for propaganda disabling  critical thinking

 Image result for propaganda disabling  critical thinkingImage result for deception by distraction

To continue the theme from Pulling Back The Curtain part 1 Repetition and Variation in Scientology I want to add more information centered on the book Age Of Propaganda. The highlighted quotes are from this book.

The first thing I want to emphasize is the idea that social psychology has a lot of experiments and checking and testing of ideas by different people, even over generations. Many ideas from one time are falsified by later experiments and the experts of one day sometimes are the fools of a decade later. Freud went from an expert to largely, but not entirely, discredited over time as an example.

The social psychologist's knowledge of persuasion has not developed from idle, armchair speculation. Each little fact about persuasion is often the result of extensive study and research, often performed by many researchers over many years. Such research is a vital antidote to the propaganda of our times. ( page 195 )

I read another book that seemed it might be my speed, Social Psychology For Dummies, and in that book the author in great detail explained a long series of experiments on the US Southern honor culture. There were many experiments  ( which warrant a book in their own right ) and they showed how psychology is much more scientific than philosophy. He went to college for philosophy and found it is mainly a dead subject to memorize, while due to scientific methodology psychology is alive, changing and in many ways more accurate than philosophy.

If you want to know the difference between psychology and philosophy you can Google Southern Honor culture, or Cognitive Dissonance Theory, or any of several other theories and find mountains of information on experiments, and ideas evolving and changing. While philosophy functions quite differently. Philosophy sounds good , psychology has uncertainty as ideas are falsified.

But psychology is ultimately if pursued scientifically more true, in my opinion.

If I ever fail to describe the relevant experiments when referring to the book Age Of Propaganda, I apologize and want you to know the information is in the bibliography.

Now, that in mind , I want to point out another point on how Ron Hubbard covertly persuaded his slaves. Something he had to overcome. But he did.

When confronted with a persuasive communication, especially one that runs counter to important beliefs, we tend, whenever feasible, to invent counterarguments on the spot. This tendency serves us very well: It prevents our opinions from being unduly influenced. This resistance can serve to defeat the propagandist's purpose, especially when the arguments for the cause are weak and specious and therefore easily refuted. ( page 185 )

Counterarguing is the internal and often automatic process of creating and considering claims AGAINST information being taken in or considered. It happens most often when critical and careful analysis of information without bias occurs or the information is contrary to our own beliefs , identity or behavior. Disabling counterarguing is a primary requirement for a propagandist.

A mild distraction...can disrupt counterarguing and increase the effectiveness of a persuasive message.  ( page 185 )

Leon Festinger ( famed father of cognitive dissonance theory ) and Nathan Maccoby did a series of experiments on persuasion, counterarguing and distraction.

They had college fraternity members watch a film and hear arguments against fraternities. They found distracting the audience reduced the audiences ability to counterargue the message. A message they had a natural inclination to disagree with.

The trick for advertisers is to provide just enough of a distraction to disrupt counterarguing but not so much that it eliminates the reception of the message. ( page 187 )

This information is crucial in my opinion for understanding how Ron Hubbard developed his methods of persuasion. In Scientology "study technology" indoctrination at the most basic level distraction is quite plentiful. Hubbard gives three entirely false "barriers" to memorize, and be on constant lookout for. And they have a list of over a dozen "phenomena" to spot, and use as guides in thought and behavior.

That is a lot to keep track of. Intentionally too much to have distracting you while using your undivided attention to "study".

In Insidious Enslavement: Study Technology ( a post at this blog ) I described in detail how the "phenomena" functions to create and hide a form of persuasion consisting of covert hypnosis AND cognitive restructuring aka thought reform or mind control in the simplest terms.

That post took elements of hypnosis and basic psychology, particularly cognitive dissonance theory and took on study technology and tried to redefine what Hubbard actually achieved.

In an experiment social psychologists Richard Petty, Gary Wells, and Timothy Brock distracted students who received messages. They had one simple message in a video and another complex thought out message in another.

They concluded distraction INCREASED the effectiveness of the simple, weak message ( by disrupting counterarguing ) but DECREASED the influence of the complex message ( because it stopped the ability to think through the arguments for the message ).

This relates to the earlier information I posted:

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.

For Hubbard this actually helped him. He kept very simple ideas in some of his most successful and popular works. Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health( DMSMH ) was a best seller and had very simple ideas repeated over and over . Primarily lies about the structure of the mind and the effectiveness of Dianetics. In the form of loaded language with terms that contain false ideas he pushed thinking in a reality which he entirely defined.

Through repetition of these terms hundreds of times and introducing new concepts at an overwhelmingly rapid pace Hubbard had individual simple ideas ( like engrams, chains, reactive mind, reducing incidents, charge, time track, tone levels, abberation ) that were received with immense distraction. The result was a boom for Hubbard to exploit. After Dianetics was thoroughly exposed as a fraud of pseudoscience it collapsed, nearly entirely.

At some of Hubbard's lectures in the early fifties only thirty to eighty people even showed up. He struggled mightily.In part due to his national negative press but also likely because he switched tactics. In Science of Survival he had incredibly long and excruciatingly complex intertwining  ideas. The chart of human evaluation and many chapters describing that in encyclopedic detail are absurdly difficult to try to understand. They are too complex to consider effectively while distracted.

 The successful methods in the propaganda techniques used in Dianetics relied on small simpler ideas being repeated over and over.  And having enough distraction to reduce counterarguing.

Several ideas that were historic flops in Scientology had lots of information and sold terribly. Science of Survival never sold well, even when required for many courses such as PTS/SP and heavily promoted as fundamental to understanding people.

Additionally History of Man flopped terribly and had attempted to create vivid images of hundreds of incidents in the far past that ALL people are described as experiencing. It seems simple in that each separate incident is understandable ( if not easily believable ) .

But there is a catch, Hubbard may not have quite realized. In examining History of Man a Scientologist sees himself or herself existing for billions of years, going through incidents and changing AND everyone ELSE having the same kind of existence simultaneously.

That involves extraordinarily complex ideas about space opera, being a God then a mighty spirit, then something else, then far down the line a human. And others being worked into this system too, with hundreds of kinds of incidents to compare and consider !

So, when Hubbard hit people with far too complex ideas they are too confused and overwhelmed to even be effectively indoctrinated.

His successful efforts have used simpler ideas. The book DMSMH versus Science of Survival, the smaller courses like Basic Study Manual and Division Six courses and introductory courses versus very long courses right off the bat.

A very detailed analysis of the types of courses and books offered and their popularity would be useful for seeing if this impression I have is borne out consistently.

I think Hubbard relied on what he called altitude, Gustave Le Bon termed prestige, aka authority. By reaching the crucial level of an infallible Godlike messiah in his victim's mind he could THEN request unquestioning acceptance.

That is an issue I have extensively covered in many posts on persuasion and hypnotism. Like Burning Down Hell, Basic Introduction to Hypnosis in Scientology and Humbling Simplicity.

I am covering the idea from the perspective of integrating social psychology concepts and propaganda analysis now in addition to earlier ideas from hypnotism and other ideas on the subject of influence. Because there is an advantage in looking at this through different valid subjects.

You can through different subjects find different language on similar topics. Language guides thought, and even emotion and behavior. By looking at Scientology with the language from different subjects it opens the potential to see aspects of it that otherwise would be unlikely, or impossible.

Some people are going to think " Dude, Mockingbird you have decided Hubbard lied and plagiarized everything in Scientology and it is one hundred percent a fraud. End of story !" and they are correct to a degree. But if I find a method or term from any source that helps myself or others  to understand the Scientology trap, to untangle from it or recover then to me then the effort is worthwhile.

I have found an idea labeled for example in the terms from hypnosis get rejected out of hand by a particular ex Scientologist ( several times with different exes ) , but the exact same idea presented in terms from critical thinking ( as a logical fallacy ) or rhetoric be not only accepted but celebrated as significantly helping the ex to recover. I don't deserve a ton of credit, since I primarily just pass along ideas from others and the ex could have found it without me.  I just choose to present the ideas, you choose to invest the time to examine them. And I hope to make your efforts worth the time.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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