Thought Control1. Require members to internalize the group’s doctrine as truth
a. Adopting the group's ‘map of reality’ as reality
b. Instill black and white thinking
c. Decide between good vs. evil
d. Organize people into us vs. them (insiders vs. outsiders)
Here through multiple methods Scientology succeeds. In indoctrination the study technology functions as a form of self-hypnosis that creates an intense focus of attention. In this state from repeated direction to never doubt the doctrine of Scientology from Ron Hubbard the cult members develop habitual behavior. They learn to sharply focus on taking in Hubbard's information without deviation and to be able to instantly define all terms in their studies. The distinction between their beliefs, conventional definitions of terms from dictionaries and the new ideas and definitions Hubbard buries them in by the hundreds is lost. It's simply far too much information to keep separated while memorizing it. So the cult members learn to cast aside critical and independent thinking. This is covertly remaking study into a very stressful and anxious activity. The cult members must have instant perfect recall of definitions for anything in their materials for surprise spot checks, examinations or check outs so they become incredibly anxious and uncertain. This too heightens suggestibility and creates the habit of never questioning the doctrine or Hubbard's authority. When this faith becomes absolute then all capacity for judgment is severely impaired or shut off. Additionally in this state a kind of childlike state occurs. In this state magical thinking occurs and all contradictions or paradox actually help to strengthen the confusion and dependence of the cult members.
They have cognitive dissonance result which has a moment of distinct hesitation and this is a mental blankness. In Scientology study technology they are deceived by the statement that this blankness is from lack of comprehension. What's not comprehended is not a term as Hubbard claims, but instead the contradictions in Scientology doctrine itself. Or how Scientology has untrue concepts and false statements. A cult member may know through direct observations or past life experience that some Scientology doctrine is simply incorrect. Rather than being allowed to simply disagree the cult members are repeatedly told ALL disagreements with the doctrine are due to THEIR lack of understanding terms. Over time they either conform to this position of inferiority to Hubbard's authority or leave the cult or are cast out. By using the false concepts of misunderstood words and skipped gradients and lack of mass Hubbard covertly reshapes study into blind hypnotic submission.
Words to be learned do exist, but Hubbard attaches hundreds of lies to that to come up with his misunderstood word doctrine. By carefully comparing his description of phenomena that accompany misunderstood words and lack of mass and skipped gradients it becomes clear that the phenomena of hypnosis and cognitive dissonance are repackaged to convince cult members that they are actually learning while in fact they are being cognitively restructured covertly. That means what they think, feel and do is being changed in a hypnotic method without their consent or knowledge.
But Hubbard tricks them into seeing anxiety, confusion, blankness, reelingness, slipping into and out of trance states, getting bored all as signs they have his fictional barriers to study he sets them up. When they experience many of these they feel dull or not quite there or blankness, these can be from cognitive dissonance or the not there feeling can be dissociation. Then the cult member takes their attention off as an example a part of the doctrine that had contradictions either with other doctrine or past beliefs or observable reality. This creates cognitive dissonance which has anxiety and confusion and is uncomfortable. By taking their attention off this and in effect suspending their own critical and independent thinking they escape the cognitive dissonance and focus on a word to learn the definitions of and make sentences with.
By entirely refocusing their attention they escape the dissonance and discomfort, at least temporarily, this results in a feeling of relief which Hubbard redefines as "brightening up". It feels better to not think about something confusing and upsetting, but the cult members are taught this is an improvement when actually it is avoiding the very confusion Hubbard's own ideas and methods created. And it's done by increasing the submission to him while avoiding that he contradicts both himself and reality.
He creates confusion then "solves" the confusion by having it falsely redefined, then avoided to seem to be resolved. The pattern when successful creates a state that is best described as mental slavery. It's a prison of the mind created with the very thoughts of the cult member.
Through extensive reshaping of reality in auditing, ethics and study technology the cult's reality often entirely replaces that of the cult member.
Scientology has a rapid progression into black and white thinking. Even introductory doctrine like the Dianetics book contains the very pure good fictional tone scale levels above two and pure evil tone scale levels from two down in particular the tone level of 1.1 is labeled covert hostility and treated as absolute evil.
In Science Of Survival and further Scientology doctrine the cult is further defined as good and all enemies as evil and literally deserving of being disposed of quietly and without sorrow. In Keeping Scientology Working, the most repeated and central core doctrine Scientologists are taught they are a higher and more aware order of being than all others. This is expanded upon until they are taught that most humans are degrade beings and incompetent and wandering through life in a state of hypnotic delusion. So of course only Scientologists can make valid decisions in their view as they are the only ones who even are awake and see the world as it truly is.
Scientologists call themselves the most ethical group on the planet. Staff are elevated above public and Sea Org members are the highest of all in prestige. Though in truth Sea Org members are the most exploited and completely enslaved.
Their is extensive stratification in the cult with virtual automatic competition between each other. This is by design.
The internalization of doctrine is something I have written extensively on in the following post:
Insidious Enslavement: Study Technology
Specific doctrine that requires the black and white thinking and treating others as disposable enemies is something I covered here:
Why Lying And Murder Are Justified In Scientology part 1 and 2
2.Change person’s name and identity
Usually Scientologists don't change their names, but they do substitute their titles as staff members and Sea Org members. They get titles and are told to use them and to call seniors of either gender sir. This is to dehumanize them and establish the legitimacy of the titles and the ideas of what they represent. The titles represent Hubbard's technology and administrative methods.
3. Use of loaded language and clichés which constrict knowledge, stop critical thoughts and reduce complexities into platitudinous buzz words
Here Scientology stands high. It has thousands and thousands of terms that Hubbard used to shape and control the thoughts of his victims. He used the method of using reversals to obfuscate his true intentions and control people through contradictions. He uses many phrases to reframe reality and limit thought to only agree with his ideas and to serve to reinforce his authority.
I thoroughly examine the use of loaded language in the following posts:
Propaganda By Reversal Of Meaning In Scientology
The Secret Of Scientology Part 1 Control Via Contradiction
4. Encourage only ‘good and proper’ thoughts
Scientology requires only proper thoughts from members by a variety of methods. First off it is worth repeating that Scientologists usually believe the E-meter can find any thoughts they have in the hands of a skilled practitioner despite any and all efforts to hide them. So they police their own thoughts. As a step up from the totalitarian methods in 1984 thought crime is a real fear for Scientologists.
Additionally, through repetition the idea that only happy and positive thoughts about the cult are acceptable is made a core value of Scientologists. In many key doctrine which are the foundation of Scientology this is reinforced from a variety of angles. In the ethics technology the condition formulas condemn doubt and treats it as a lower condition. Staff are taught to not have human emotions and reactions and Scientologists in training routines are drilled to be able to experience anything without reactions.
In their doctrine is the two rules for happy living which includes being willing to experience anything. Perhaps a better rule for a slave who has no personal boundaries or recognition as a person deserving any consideration or rights.
5. Hypnotic techniques are used to alter mental states, undermine critical thinking and even to age regress the member
Once again Scientology towers over other cults. Many cults use two to six hypnotic techniques but Scientology has been described as using literally perhaps two thousand hypnotic methods. I have written possibly more than anyone else on this. In addition to the posts listed above I also covered that in many others, here are a few:
Basic Introduction To Hypnosis in Scientology
Pissed It's Not Your Fault !!!
Burning Down Hell - How Commands Are Hidden, Varied And Repeated To Control You As Hypnotic Implants
Why Hubbard Never Claimed OT Feats And The Rock Bottom Basis Of Scientology
6. Memories are manipulated and false memories are created
As I pointed out in earlier points and posts Scientology excels at creating false memories and reframing the past.
7. Teaching thought-stopping techniques which shut down reality testing by stopping negative thoughts and allowing only positive thoughts, including:
a. Denial, rationalization, justification, wishful thinking
e. Speaking in tongues
f. Singing or humming
In the above listed post Pissed It's Not Your Fault I described fourteen logical fallacies which Hubbard used extensively. He packaged them as mottos and phrases in his doctrine and through repetition and variation actually implanted them in his victims. They come to think in fallacies. They enter dissociative states and deny the negative aspects of Scientology. It's an actual avoidance of trauma as a survival mechanism.
Daniel Shaw extensively describes how Hubbard has cult members deny the abuse and trauma they experience in his book Traumatic Narcissism. It perfectly describes how Hubbard as a malignant narcissist uses trauma to control others.
I elaborated on this in detail in:
Scientology's Parallel In Nature - Malignant Narcissism
8. Rejection of rational analysis, critical thinking, constructive criticism
With many methods and doctrine Hubbard ensured that rational analysis never occurs. The standard of judging Scientology involves accepting Hubbard's authority as verifying Scientology and Scientology in turn as verifying Hubbard's authority. A circular argument of an expert being proven by a subject which is proven by the same expert validating it. He disparages critical thinking as being hypercritical which he equates to being covertly hostile. He entirely condemns constructive criticism in KSW. And an entire body of supporting policy that declares Scientology always works and merely doubting it can get a member labeled suppressive and cast out.
In the policy letter Indicators Of Orgs Hubbard makes it perfectly clear that any deviance from enthusiastic support of Scientology should result in a Suppressive Person declare or several.
9. Forbid critical questions about leader, doctrine, or policy allowed
Of course these are entirely forbidden and discouraged.
10. Labeling alternative belief systems as illegitimate, evil, or not useful
Scientology at first seems to accept other faiths. But as one progresses through the cult it becomes clear that Scientology isn't really compatible with any other belief system. In the upper levels of the cult indoctrination tapes and policies clearly disparage other faiths and calls them implants and false. This information is on the OT levels.
Note: Cult expert Rick Ross recently made the following comment on the origin of the bite model: