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Hidden Abuse in Scientology


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In Scientology organizations many forms of abuse and exploitation exist and have existed for decades.

Chris Shelton described the subject of case supervising in his Sensibly Speaking Podcast # 183 Scientology and "Case Supervising." Chris and his guest Sunny Pereira explore the role of the case supervisor and the auditor in Scientology.

Sunny Pereira has been described as attaining the training level of a class VI case supervisor, which in Scientology Ron Hubbard described as "the Dukes of the auditor elite." To get this one has to complete the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course which took a year to two years often, studying and auditing for upwards of eighty hours a week non-stop for many people. Some try to do it at only twenty to forty hours a week and take many years to finish. Most people who try to do it part time have not finished in my opinion.

That status is extremely rare in Scientology and currently the training is not even available for ANYONE under David Miscavige. Far less than one percent of Scientologists have completed the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course. It involves studying thousands and thousands of references and listening to many hundreds of lectures and delivering auditing for hundreds and hundreds of hours.

So Sunny can offer a lot of insight into both the theory of case supervising and the reality.

Something vital to understand about Scientology is that it went through a significant series of revolutionary changes in the mid to late sixties, which continued through the seventies and eighties to some degree.

Before the mid sixties Dianetics and Scientology techniques were a mish mash of hundreds of methods. There were literally hundreds of techniques taken directly from old books on hypnosis and altered in a method used by Scientology founder Ron Hubbard for decades. He changed them JUST ENOUGH to hide their origins and to try to make them conform to the pseudoscience framework in Dianetics and later the occult and science fiction repackaged as pseudoscience framework of Scientology. I call the process "filing off the serial numbers" but, to be honest I didn't come up with even that idea. I saw it in a book on making characters that encouraged people to change descriptions of the powers and abilities of characters that they like without actually changing the abilities at all. That way you can make "original" characters who have the abilities of characters that already exist.

As I said, Hubbard plagiarized the techniques from hypnosis and took hundreds of techniques that were in old books and just changed them enough to fool people who are not well educated in the field of hypnosis, which unfortunately is almost everyone.

We do not take hypnosis classes normally in the course of our education.

Hubbard also took plenty of ideas from psychology, psychiatry and psychoanalysis. He hid this and tried to pretend to completely reject these subjects.

So, from nineteen fifty to the mid sixties a variety of techniques were used in Scientology and Dianetics and sometimes people enjoyed them and sometimes they didn't. Sometimes Hubbard made money and sometimes he didn't. I have seen numerous stories of Dianetics and Scientology organizations making a lot of money then going bust and this occurred over and over for the entire decade of the fifties.

The way Scientology organizations were run and training and auditing were set up was very different prior to the mid sixties.

In a series of sweeping reforms that affected training, auditing, case supervising and ethics and other areas Hubbard dramatically changed Scientology. It was as if Hubbard got a series of ideas on what to do to control people and he was interested in implementing them all at once.

Several books on coercive control were released that are relevant around this time. Like 1984 before them they are meant as warnings and to educate people but can be used as how-to guides by the unscrupulous, particularly if they already have extensive knowledge and experience with subjects such as rhetoric and hypnosis, which Hubbard definitely did by that point. The book Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism by Robert Jay Lifton was published in 1961. Coercive Persuasion by Edgar Schein was also published in 1961. The book Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide and Brainwashing by Joost A.M. Meerloo was published in 1959. The book Battle for the Mind by William Sargant was published in 1957.

Several cult experts and ex Scientologists have commented that Hubbard likely plagiarized ideas on how to form and run his own cult as a totalitarian organization from each of these books and others from widely varying sources such as the occult and early books on crowd psychology. An extreme number of similarities between Scientology and Nazi ideas has been noted.

It is certainly plausible and worth serious consideration and examination by Scientology watchers, particularly if they want to understand what Scientology truly is, its ultimate origins, its intended effects and its actual results - meaning what it actually does to people.

The fact that Hubbard in the mid sixties has the problem of people in Scientology doing whatever they liked and running some auditing for a while or not as it pleased them and staying or leaving Scientology as they liked was probably driving Hubbard crazy.

The techniques in Scientology only produced any results in a limited number of people and in the people they did do something to only those results happened some of the time and with certain techniques and sometimes a technique that produced a result would not even work on that person any more.

Hubbard understood he had started with hypnosis and it has all these liabilities. It could make some people feel euphoria or be convinced that they had changed but quite often this would wear off within three days. And it didn't work on everyone. Some people apparently are quite difficult or impossible to hypnotize. Some people can be hypnotized with one technique but not another. Some need a certain pattern or method to get into a hypnotic trance and nothing else works.

Here are Hubbard's own words from a tape entitled Structure/Function from 1952:

Structure/Function: 11 December 1952 page 1

"All processes are based upon the original observation

that an individual could have implanted in him by hypnosis

and removed at will any obsession or aberration,

compulsion, desire, inhibition which you could think of – by hypnosis.“

Hypnosis, then, was the wild variable;

sometimes it worked,

sometimes it didn’t work.

It worked on some people; it didn’t work on other people.

Any time you have a variable that is as wild as this, study it.

Well, I had a high certainty already –

I had survival. Got that in 1938 or before that. And uh…" end quote

Next two quotes from the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course lectures. One from tape number 402 and another from tape 447.


Of course, we go on a tradition "if you learn anything about man that will help him,
you help him with it." ...

"If you learn anything about man that you can manipulate him

You're going to manipulate men,

you've got to change their definitions

and change their goals

and enslave them and do this and do that.


Now, brainwashing simply is the trick of mixing up certainties.

All you have to do if you want to know and develop the entire field

of brainwashing as developed by Pavlov,

is simply to make somebody ..... into a confused or hypnotic state in which he can believe anything.

So, Scientology is ultimately an attempt to enslave people covertly using repackaged hypnosis. But Hubbard knew it only works on some people some of the time.

This is a vital point: Hubbard knew for decades that Scientology techniques only persuaded a fraction of people they are used on and with these people it also doesn't work consistently and often the effects of euphoric trances or elated emotions wear off in a few of days or hours.

But when Hubbard developed his system in the mid sixties he created a pressure point: auditors get blamed for anything other than the desired results and sent to correction. They are given the IMPOSSIBLE job of making Scientology - which persuades people it is doing something worthwhile only a fraction of the time no matter what the auditor does - work as Hubbard claimed every time. Remember, hypnosis, which is what ALL processes are based on, has this tremendous variable. It is simply ineffective on some people no matter what you do ! And some people are affected by some techniques but not others. And the auditor has no understanding that this is what is going on.

So if you are an auditor you get blamed over and over for Scientology failing. And blamed over and over.

The case supervisor has to blame the auditor, despite the truth being that Scientology really doesn't work as advertised and often doesn't persuade the preclear (person being audited if not yet at the clear status in Scientology) the auditing is doing anything useful or beneficial.

Auditors in Scientology are in my opinion in a position that has a parallel. Children that are idealized by parents can be treated as infallible and perfect. They are treated as perfect beings and this is a form of neglect as the real person the child actually is doesn't get accepted and the child has the terrible dilemma of either asserting their true imperfect nature and getting disapproval and having all affection withheld or the child denies their own flaws and feelings and plays the role of the superhuman being that is available and they end up in denial about their own feelings and desires and become dissociated from from their own feelings.

The auditor has to deny their inability to make Scientology technology work, when the technology itself is flawed, frankly fraudulent and actually harmful.

The auditor faces abuse and exploitation. This is usually hidden from Scientology watchers. I have realized in looking at books focused on the abusive relationships in cults coupled with the excellent descriptions given by Sunny Pereira that Scientology functions like an abusive family with some family members getting treated as scapegoats or being put on a pedestal and being set up for disaster and failure. In Scientology this takes the form of specific posts in Scientology orgs.

The books that really illuminate this basis for understanding cults include Terror, Love and Brainwashing by Alexandra Stein, Traumatic Narcissism by Daniel Shaw and Take Back Your Life by Janja Lalich.

In Scientology often the executive director at a local org gets tremendous harassment from Sea Org members who are higher in the organization. One simple example is the programs chief for the East U.S. was directly over the executive director at the Buffalo New York org. The programs chief of course was calling the executive director daily and screaming at her ruthlessly.

After several months of constant screaming tirades the executive director had a breakdown or heart attack and was completely stressed out. I didn't understand that this is routine in Scientology.

Lots of people get beaten down and worn out by constant or near constant high pressure abuse. And make no mistake this way of running people is harmful by design. Hubbard wanted people to be run ruthlessly and this encouraged people to be sadistic and cruel, callous and without compassion.

Many higher profile examples of abuse exist and get the attention in looking at Scientology. Things like overboarding, the chain locker, forced abortions, fair game, the hole, ecclesiastical beatings, group confessions, being labeled a lesbo and screamed at in a garbage can, running around a pole in the sun until your teeth fall out of your head, musical chairs, and other things are obviously attention grabbing.

But the less obvious and constantly continuing abuses in Scientology are worth exposing and exploring. When you see abuse and deception and exploitation as the essence of Scientology and the foundation of it then the alleged gains or value of Scientology are exposed as utter nonsense. You can see that a family being controlled by an abuser who encourages his family members to be cruel to each other and creates a poisonous environment of sadistic abuse is not a good parent or person. You can see that a relationship controlled by an abusive man is a not a good situation for anyone to be in.

I think that when all the little things that are cruel and lacking compassion in Scientology on a day to day and routine basis are explored and exposed it reveals the true nature of Scientology as Hubbard's attempt to enslave people covertly with cruelty.

If you take it apart it has no slightest bit of positive value as a model for relationships or groups. And that is a point many Scientologists and ex Scientologists never arrive at.

See, one of the biggest secrets that everything in Dianetics and Scientology hinges on is the simple fact that Hubbard knew it was a fraud. He knew there was no reactive mind, no tone scale, no Scientology auditing without hypnosis using the guided imagination of the individual cult member, no OT powers, no engrams and no truth to hundreds of other concepts in Scientology.

Robert Jay Lifton has described the mind of the guru (his term for a cult leader) as being able to be split or fractured between knowing his (or her) lies and fantasies are false and another portion of their mind is dissociated from this and wholeheartedly believes in the deception he forwards.

The explanation for this is found in the behavior of the guru that contradicts the claims. Hubbard repeatedly claimed that Scientology produced superhuman beings that could read minds, see through walls and across countries via remote viewing, move objects via telekinesis, heal people, raise the dead, and even see the future. If he could do these things he would never have had to use conventional espionage which he spent probably millions of dollars on.

He faced great risk of legal prosecution to use normal methods to spy on people and to do the fair game operations that Scientology is defined by. If he had the abilities he claimed then he would NEVER have set up Scientology as a conventional espionage and terror organization. Further, he would never have been fooled by Scientology executives who he claimed were plotting against him or incompetently fouling up Scientology. A being that could read minds, see the future and watch events remotely would never be misled by normal people or need to monitor them with the huge surveillance system Scientology has.

The point of this is not that Hubbard lacked superpowers. We can easily see that. The point is Hubbard in part of his mind KNEW he had no powers. He in his surveillance of Scientology cult members behaved like someone who knows he lacks powers, and in his espionage of governments and his design of Scientology set it up to hide his fraud and his activities, like a man who knew it was fake all along.

Hubbard had several times in which outsiders volunteered to use their own personnel and time to verify that Scientology improved memory and reaction time and Hubbard flatly refused them. He also refused to have his own abilities tested and gave excuses.

Hubbard made it clear that he used lies and misdirection to hide his failures, and the subjects he plagiarized from to create Dianetics and Scientology, and his genuine intentions and actions in Scientology.

So, Hubbard understood that Scientology was a fraud, that it didn't really wake people up or use genuine past life memories to increase awareness but instead used hypnosis to create euphoric trances and dissociative states. Hubbard understood hypnosis can be used to fool people and that it only works some of the time on some people and has further limitations such as wearing off in days or hours and that what works in one person may not persuade another or even the same person over time.

So it shows a cruel and inhumane side to Hubbard. He knew the case supervisor demanding consistent results from auditors was unrealistic. No matter how much training or skill an auditor has the auditing they use won't produce desired results all, or possibly even most, of the time. He knew auditing was based on hypnosis and that it never worked on everyone.

He knew about all the other limits of auditing too. For example there is a story that Mary Sue Hubbard, his wife, said he was just fooling people because she never went exterior. In the story Hubbard took hundreds of techniques from Scientology auditing and had them run on Mary Sue for weeks until she gave up on the issue. This demonstrates that Hubbard knew these techniques simply were unreliable.

With the information that Sunny Pereira provided regarding the immense pressure that auditors are under to be perfect a hidden layer of abuse and cruelty built into Scientology by design is revealed. Hubbard builds up auditors as miracle workers to get credit for himself for building a technology to provide miracles but he switches on the auditors at a moment's notice. The key is Hubbard wanted all credit for any positive or enjoyable experiences created with Scientology but goes from patting the auditor on the back for Scientology getting positive feedback to stabbing the auditor in the back the moment that things do not go well in auditing. And Hubbard knew auditing never really worked as he claimed it did, so he was always willing to scapegoat auditors.

He knew Scientology never worked as advertised regarding auditing, regarding study technology indoctrination, regarding Scientology administrative technology, regarding Scientology ethics technology and regarding the rest of Scientology.

He set it up so at every turn the auditor or student or course supervisor or staff member or Sea Org member who doesn't get desired results is blamed for any bad results or lack of good results. That was there to establish Hubbard's authoritarian and even totalitarian system. Hubbard in my opinion wanted admiration and control of people, perhaps even far more than money. Remember, he left his fortune to smash his name into history.

Hubbard was willing to gain the trust and devotion, even love and reverence, of auditors to turn on them and hammer them with blame and he did similar things with staff members and Sea Org members as they get told they are saving the universe and are the elite of earth and carrying out a sacred mission. He gets them to give everything to him and in return they are set in a caste system that is intended to betray them.

Hubbard in his pathological sickness was willing to utterly ruin people who gave everything to him willingly and to destroy their sanity and lives just to perpetuate the lie that he was a messiah and to forward his name itself into the future. He acted as if having people he would never meet merely knowing his name and thinking certain thoughts about him was somehow going to benefit him as a dead man.

I don't know what happens after we die but do not see how this could benefit a dead man. If there is no afterlife then presumably Hubbard's existence has ended. If there is a heaven or hell or other place or reincarnation then I presume that would occupy the attention of the deceased. So Hubbard's hubris makes little sense.

I think the best explanation is that Hubbard was bound to control people as his method of having relationships. The theory of Alexandra Stein displayed in her book Terror, Love and Brainwashing explains this in fine detail.

Hubbard certainly fulfills this. And Scientology has lots of high profile examples of abuse but the less obvious and far more prevalent abuse in Scientology is in a million little things. The details of who gets blamed for which problems and failures and how is the story of these hidden and overlooked abuses.

This is why Scientology is abusive. It was always meant to be.