Ron Hubbard constructed the version of cult indoctrination methods he used from a variety of sources. I know he has been reported as taking it wholecloth from a pair of Scientologists who were teachers. That's one anecdote and it doesn't do several things.
It doesn't prove its own truthfulness. It might be entirely false. It also, even if true, doesn't demonstrate what form study technology was in before Hubbard got it or if he altered it and if he did alter it to what extent and why. It also doesn't explain what it actually does. Just calling it study tech doesn't provide a detailed critical analysis of what it actually is and how it affects minds.
That's worth examining if you want to understand Scientology, and not just Hubbard's claims and names for his creations. He may have lied or been wrong, difficult as that may be to accept.
In this series I intend to revisit Scientology Study Technology and several quotes from Hubbard that may together put it in perspective.
I also may reference other sources or authors if their ideas are relevant. I wrote about this two years ago in Insidious Enslavement: Study Technology and a number of other blog posts.
That's still important and I will quote it but recommend anyone who hasn't read that to read it as it covers a lot of ground.
Hubbard said a lot about study in many different places in Dianetics and Scientology.
Here's a series of quotes where Hubbard shows the physical and mental reactions he labels as corresponding to the barriers to study. I think looking at what he has a student DO and exactly what the phenomena he uses as triggers for responses is key. Just because Hubbard claimed the barriers existed doesn't mean they actually did.
He got students to follow a pattern of behavior with an explanation for the behavior. The behavior should be examined in detail and the explanation Hubbard gave looked at separately.
Hubbard's instructions used real experiences as prompts, so the question is what are those experiences ?
Here's a series of quotes from Hubbard that outline some basic concepts in study technology:
(NOTE; I put all Ron Hubbard quotes in this blog post in red for ease of understanding)
The First Barrier – Lack of Mass
A student who encounters this barrier will tend to feel squashed, bent, sort of spinny, sort of dead, bored and exasperated. He can wind up with his face feeling squashed, with headaches, and with his stomach feeling funny. He can feel dizzy from time to time and very often his eyes can hurt.
The Second Barrier – Too Steep a Gradient
There is a different set of physiological reactions which occur as a result of this barrier. When one hits too steep a gradient, a sort of confusion or reelingness is experienced.
The Third Barrier – the Misunderstood Word
Going past a word or symbol for which one does not have a proper definition gives one a distinctly blank or washed-out feeling. The person will get a "not there" feeling and will begin to feel a nervous hysteria. These are manifestations distinct from either of the other two barriers.
Have you ever come to the bottom of a page only to realize you didn’t remember what you had just read? That is the phenomenon of a misunderstood word, and one will always be found just before the material became blank in your mind.
HCO Bulletin of 25 June 1971 (revised 25 November 1974),
"Barriers to Study" Ron Hubbard
In the Scientology Handbook a simple version of Hubbard's study tech is presented with his method 3 word clearing presented as Basic Word Clearing. It's a foundation of how a Scientologist approaches indoctrination and the materials he studies.
Basic Word Clearing
Basic Word Clearing is the method of finding a misunderstood word by looking earlier in the text for a misunderstood word than where one is having trouble. This is the most basic method of Word Clearing used in Scientology.
A student must know how to keep himself
tearing along successfully in his studies. He should be able to handle anything that slows or interferes with his progress. He applies the Study Technology to assist himself.
A student who uses Study Technology will look up each word he comes to that he doesn’t understand and will never leave a word behind him that he doesn’t know the meaning of.
If he runs into trouble, the student himself, his study partner or his instructor (in Scientology called a Supervisor) uses Basic Word Clearing to handle anything that slowed or interfered with his progress.
Waiting to become groggy or to “dope off” (feel tired, sleepy or foggy as though doped or drugged) as the only detection of misunderstood words before handling is waiting too long. If you have ever seen a student falling asleep over his book, then you have seen
dope-off. Long before that point, someone should have made the student look for a misunderstood word. The time to look for the misunderstood word is as soon as the student slows down or isn’t quite as “bright” as he was fifteen minutes before. It is not a misunderstood phrase or idea or concept but a misunderstood WORD. This always occurs before the subject itself is not understood.
Basic Word Clearing is done as follows:
1. The student is not flying along and is not so “bright” as he was or he may exhibit just plain lack of enthusiasm or be taking too long on the course or be yawning or disinterested or doodling or daydreaming, etc.
2. The student must then look earlier in the text for a misunderstood word. There is one always; there are no exceptions. It may be that the misunderstood word is two pages or more back, but it is always earlier in the text than where the student is now.
3. The word is found. The student recognizes it in looking back for it. Or, if the student can’t find it, one can take words from the text that could be the misunderstood word and ask, “What does _____ mean?” to see if the student gives the correct definition.
4. The student looks up the word found in a dictionary and clears it per the steps of clearing a misunderstood word described above. He uses it verbally several times in sentences of his own composition until he has obviously demonstrated he understands the word by the composition of his sentences.
5. The student now reads the text that contained the misunderstood word. If he is not now “bright,” eager to get on with it, feeling happier, etc., then there is another misunderstood word earlier in the text. This is found by repeating steps 2–5.
6. When the student is bright and feeling happier, he comes forward, studying the text from where the misunderstood word was to the area of the subject he did not understand (where step 1 began).
The student will now be enthusiastic about his study of the subject, and that is the end result of Basic Word Clearing. (The result won’t be achieved if a misunderstood word was missed or if there is an earlier misunderstood word in the text. If so, repeat steps 2–5.) If the student is now enthusiastic, have him continue studying.
Good Word Clearing is a system of backtracking. You have to look earlier than the point where the student became dull or confused and you’ll find that there’s a word that he doesn’t understand somewhere before the trouble started. If he doesn’t brighten up when the word is found and cleared, there will be a misunderstood word even before that one.
This will be very clear to you if you understand that if it is not resolving, the thing the student is apparently having trouble with is not the thing the student is having trouble with. Otherwise, it would resolve, wouldn’t it? If he knew what he didn’t understand, he could resolve it himself. So to talk to him about what he thinks he doesn’t understand just gets nowhere. The trouble is earlier.
Zeroing In on the Word
formula is to find out where the student wasn’t having any trouble and find out where the student is now having trouble and the misunderstood word will be in between. It will be at the tag end—the last part—of where he wasn’t having trouble.
Basic Word Clearing is tremendously effective when done as described here. From the Scientology Handbook based on the works of Ron Hubbard
This is a key aspect of study technology. It shows the exact steps Hubbard required and the exact circumstances in which a Scientologist is required to take the steps.
Hubbard wrote: Waiting to become groggy or to “dope off” (feel tired, sleepy or foggy as though doped or drugged) as the only detection of misunderstood words before handling is waiting too long. If you have ever seen a student falling asleep over his book, then you have seen
dope-off. End quote.
He described a student feeling tired or groggy as being due to misunderstood words. Okay.
But he also said something else:
These quotes are from the Philadelphia Doctorate Course tapes, a series of lectures delivered by Hubbard in the early fifties.
Originally Posted by PDC-31 pg 16
BASIC AGREEMENT AND PROVE IT!
BASIC AGREEMENT AND PROVE IT!