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 .

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Pulling Back The Curtain Part 3 Self Influence And Vividness

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In the earlier Pulling Back The Curtain posts I discussed counterarguing and attempts in persuasion to overcome this. Counterarguing is one natural, often highly effective defense against influence through propaganda.

Overcoming counterarguing is a primary goal of propagandists. Ron Hubbard was no exception to this; he included efforts to overcome and nullify counterarguing in Dianetics and Scientology extensively. And to keep counterarguing permanently neutralized regarding his character and methods.

I could write several books on all his efforts, but feel at least focusing on a few techniques is worth the time. He even used methods some schools of persuasion entirely overlook. And almost all Scientologists never dream of, unfortunately for them.

There is a very old way to avoid counterarguing, effectively direct attention while delivering a message and even negate future efforts to expose your influence. It is thousands of years old.

It has been said that the goal of mind control is to get a person to think what a group desires, in effect to self persuade, doing the thought reformer's work for him, and continuing to do it and resist efforts to undo it by others.

Self influence is so similar to genuine independent thought that it seems to be a state of free will making personal decisions and reaching unbiased conclusions. That helps to make it extremely resistant to exposure, since ideas we feel quite strongly are our own deeply held and personally held convictions are part of our identity and integrity.

These ideas feel like ourselves so thoroughly that attacking them is equivalent to attacking our egos, triggering psychological defense mechanisms to protect the ideas and to protect the certainty we formed them on our own. That certainty is crucial to our sense of self. After all, if you can't be sure what ideas are yours and what ones are others then how can you know which are to be believed or doubted ? The other possibilities are too gruesome to consider.

Advertisers have done research on how to persuade people through many methods. One that has been seen as particularly effective is to have a person say how a product could benefit someone or to imagine using the product.

As with earlier posts in this series ( Pulling Back The Curtain ) I will quote the book Age Of Propaganda ).

Persuasion research has shown that self-generated persuasion-whether induced by group discussion, by getting someone to role-play an opponent's position, or by asking a person to imagine adopting a course of action-is one of the most effective persuasion tactics ever identified. Indeed, one recent set of studies found that just thinking about how to transmit a persuasive message to others will result in changes in attitude that persist for at least twenty weeks. ( page 168)

The above refers to a study published in 1990 in Psychological Science, 1 page 268 - 271.

The resulting message will come to be a source that you almost always consider credible, trustworthy, respected, and liked-yourself. The act of  generating arguments is an act of commitment to the cause. After all they're your ideas, aren't they ? ( page 168 )

In studies Robert Cialdini found having people imagine how they would enjoy cable television increased sales from 19.5% to 47.4% . A very noticeable difference, merely from a few minutes of thinking about a product.

There is a key component to effective persuasion that self persuasion often uses which is tremendously effective in its own right. It is demonstrated when you read and get caught up in a book, enjoy a movie or retelling a story: vivid imagery.

Hubbard used imagery in his writings to try to evoke awe and positive associations with his methods and his enemies. And a sense of infallible certainty Hubbard was correct.

He also used self generated images in both Dianetics and Scientology auditing to have his victims persuade their own minds that his claims were true with vivid personal images, using their own imaginations to confirm his doctrine and sweep aside counterarguments.

Additionally, with his "study technology" he had his victims focus on demoing his concepts over and over so they imagined his ideas. And they were encouraged to redefine his ideas "in your own words", so they employ their own minds in imagining his terms and phrases as being true. And it's an easy step to agree with ideas you demonstrate and define over and over and then to "remember" the images you created, making it seem just like you "concluded" what you were encouraged, even required, to imagine thousands of times on course.

 You gain a lifetime worth of "evidence" in your mind with a few months worth of time in a Scientology course room. There is little wonder Scientologists often remain convinced to some degree no matter what contrary evidence presents itself. Their core beliefs have been profoundly covertly changed.

I want to focus on one more idea in this post: vivid appeals.

By vivid appeal, we mean a message that is (1) emotionally interesting (it attracts our feelings), (2) concrete and imagery-provoking, and (3) immediate (it discusses matters that are personally close to us). ( page 170 )

Why do vivid appeals work ? Vivid messages affect our cognitive responses in at least four possible ways. First, vivid information attracts attention. It helps the communication stand out in the message-dense environment. Second, vividness can make the information more concrete and personal. We saw earlier the persuasive power of self-generated arguments and images. Third, the effective vivid appeal directs and focuses thought on the issues and arguments that the communicator feels are most important. Finally, a vivid presentation can make the material more memorable. This is especially important if we do not reach an immediate conclusion but base our later judgements on information that comes readily to mind.  ( page 173 )

All other things being equal, most people are more deeply influenced by one clear, vivid, personal example than by an abundance of statistical data. ( page 174)

Many people rely on this. Ronald Reagan told  vivid stories of individuals achieving prosperity on their own in America to show its success. This did not address facts like when he took office one in nine ( about 11%) of American children lived in poverty and when he left one in four ( about 25% ) were in poverty. But rather than facing that Reagan cherry picked anecdotes to paint broad social issues.

Donald Trump unfortunately similarly hand picks stories to support his racist agenda and ideology. Despite numerous sources refuting his broad claims. The FBI has been reported to have repeatedly found 85% of crimes are committed in the US by members of the same race as the victim consistently. So out of twenty crimes against white victims,for example, seventeen on average are committed by white people. Not very conducive to racist ideology.

If he was concerned about protecting white people he would logically target white criminals. There is certainly no shortage of them, many are his friends on Wall Street.

Vivid appeals have historically been outstanding.

 Lincoln had his Gettysburg Address which evoked images of patriotism and noble character, Martin Luther King Jr had famous speeches that inspired imagery of a better America and many others who inspired people similarly used vivid appeals.

Unfortunately Hubbard used vivid imagery to his victims detriment. Between auditing and indoctrination they are flooded with them. It has been said that Freud abandoned abreactive therapy ( the basis of Dianetics ) because it did not benefit patients and created dependence on the therapist. It is a hypnotic technique that uses vivid self-generated images. Exactly what Hubbard wanted.

The auditing with an E-meter that Scientology used was taken from Creative Image Therapy and Volney Mathison warned it could be used with its hypnotic techniques and vivid images to defraud people.

The study technology uses multiple techniques to create trance states to increase suggestibility and vivid imagery to impart Hubbard's claims.

Together all his methods, and many of his writings and taped lectures, rely on self generated images in the mind to vividly produce compelling evidence that his claims must be the truth.  Conveniently he lacks scientific evidence, but like the politician who tells a story he doesn't need to include facts. And he doesn't need to tell the truth,either.

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