Is ‘brainwashing’ too harsh of a label for this?


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Marty: The "Truth" Rundown

The ‘Truth Rundown’ has made the news recently. It seems it was utilized by David Miscavige in an attempt to control the mind and communication of Leah Remini.

Some may recall that the St Petersburg Times (now, Tampa Times) groundbreaking series in June 2009 was entitled “The Truth Rundown.” I believe that David Miscavige was the unwitting author of that title.

After the church of Scientology was informed about the facts that I disclosed to the Times, the Times was assaulted with ‘wheelbarrows’ of material extracted from my preclear and ethics files from the church. One item piqued the curiosity of the reporters. It was an ‘apology’ I had written to David Miscavige in 1994. Someone might be able to find it on the Tampa Times website – it was once posted there, and was published in the original series, but I could not find it.

I explained that it was the ‘end phenomena’ of the Truth Rundown. The Truth Rundown is not over until such a written apology is extracted from the person being subjected to the rundown. And that is by order, and policy, of L. Ron Hubbard. That that is the end phenomena is evident from my ‘apology’ to Miscavige. If you find it, you can see that that is the end phenomena by my words in the very first paragraph. After dozens of hours of being interrogated I report that the interrogator found no ‘black PR’ (negative propaganda) had been harbored or spread by me about Miscavige. Nonetheless, I was required to write the ‘apology’ in order to terminate the seemingly unending interrogations. As you can see in the ‘apology’ itself, I used a little creativity in order to achieve the ‘end phenomena.’


When Hubbard was on the lam from lawsuits and grand juries in the early 80’s, he was flooding the Int Base (Scientology’s 500 acre compound near Hemet, California) with floods of orders to prepare for his return. For a complete account of that era, read Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior.

Part of the orders to the Int Base included ensuring the several hundred personnel there were completely loyal to Hubbard, for security purposes. All manner of security checking broke out in response. That is, forced interrogations on the e-meter (a single component of a lie detector) testing the single-minded trustworthiness of adherents to Hubbard.

In the course of the mass security checking it was discovered that a long-term Sea Org member at the base had made a comment that he felt the technical training films directed by Hubbard were amateur in quality. Of course, any intelligent person who has seen those original films would probably agree that this comment pretty well aligned with the truth. David Miscavige certainly fit that category. After all, he wound up spending on the order of one hundred million dollars to upgrade those films to ‘professional standards’ once Hubbard died.

But, Miscavige – and the rest of the Int Base staff – was more accomplished at keeping his true thoughts in order, and at the Int Base that means suppressed. Miscavige, led the chorus of Int Base executives who were outraged that such black propaganda – that the films were amateur – was being spread about the Int Base. When Hubbard received the reports, he responded with the terminated handling. That would be the exact procedure for what would become packaged, marketed and delivered as ‘The Truth Rundown.’


Here is the truth rundown in my own words:

  1. Security check a subject until you find a thought that is negative – by Miscavige’s definition – that is harbored by the individual toward someone of importance in Scientology.
  2. Ask, ‘just prior to having that thought, did you commit an overt (a harmful act)’?
  3. Then do the full security checking procedure – which includes forced, complete confession.
  4. Then interrogate for an ‘evil purpose’ that prompted the overt in the first place.
  5. When you’ve done this procedure for some time the individual finally comes to some level of realization and is happy for having completed that auditing procedure and that his ‘negative’ thoughts are prompted by deep, inherent evil intentions that have been implanted into him millions of years ago.
  6. Continue this process for as long as it takes for the recipient to originate something kind about the person he is being interrogated about. That is, after being forced to introvert on one’s own shortcomings for up to hundreds of hours, somewhere along the line the person recognizes the objective is to make him feel remorseful for having harbored less than kind thoughts about the person in question.
  7. The subject originates – or more than likely is prompted to – to ‘apologize’ to the person he harbored a less than kind thought about.

In my two decades of experience in administering and being subjected to the Truth Rundown, more often than not I observed it being used not to establish truth at all. Instead, it was used to enforce trusthworthiness and loyalty to the liking of the higher-up the subject had an unkind thought toward. Generally, what occurs is the subject becomes contrite and forgets what he thought of or objected to in the first place and rejoins the group as an enthusiastic member of the Stepford (or Truman Show) culture.

Is ‘brainwashing’ too harsh of a label for this?


Diamond Invictus SP

I'm cross-posting Sindy's definition and comment from there. (bolding added by me)

Sindy Sloan Fagen | October 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Reply

Definition of BRAINWASHING

1. Intensive, forcible indoctrination, usually political or religious, aimed at destroying a person’s basic convictions and attitudes and replacing them with an alternative set of fixed beliefs.

2. The application of a concentrated means of persuasion, such as an advertising campaign or repeated suggestion, in order to develop a specific belief or motivation.

I think it fits the definition. I also think “torture” is an apt description.

I agree 100% with this!


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IAS Freedom Medal winner Wendy Honor on brainwashing

Wendy Honor is an IAS Freedom Medal winner. See

Her comments on Marty's current post:
Scientology – the entire thing, from “Day One” up to and including the “Day You Realise The Entire Thing is a Crock”, is brainwashing. Every single lecture, every single book, every single policy etc, is designed to bring you not to understanding. But to one person’s viewpoint. And if you fail to adhere to that viewpoint you are relentlessly hunted down and stopped.

All of it, excluding nothing, is available through the study and application of the discoveries of other philosophers (ancient and modern) and quantum physicists. Even the so-called “upper levels” are written in other works preceding Hubbard’s so called discoveries. And these works are more easily, readily and cheaply applied and without the cultish carry on involved with Scientology. It is a bit like making Cheerios into a national icon and a top secret recipe and ensuring that before you can eat Cheerios you must undergo extensive checks as to your trustworthiness and suitability.The worst thing is that you truly believed that Cheerios were of any importance. Yawn!!! Are these people on drugs? Don’t they see they have been had.

But the average Scientologist has never studied another philosophy much less – applied it to see if it worked, and the average Scientologist has most definitely never really helped anyone. I know that for sure because I have met thousands and thousands of Scientologists and auditors all over the world. And I know this is the big elephant in the living room to those who are a tiny bit awake – if the definition of a Scientologist is one who uses Scientology to improve conditions in his own life and the lives of others – then how come nobody in the group seems to be able to do that? If the purpose of Scientology is to make Auditors and Clears – where are they all? And if the works of L Ron Hubbard are to be kept standard, how come they can bring out GATI and GATII? What is that all about? And if Hubbard says don’t make buildings important (that quote is burned on our memory), and the entire focus of the international membership is buying buildings, then what is going on? Are you all on drugs?

The trained auditor in Scientology has rarely if ever audited anyone. I know that, you know that, they know that? So what is going on there?

It is only a handful who are capable or motivated to help their friends and family. And they are fully aware of what is going on, but PTS just like the rest of their friends and family inside the organisation, and unable to make a move for the sake of threats and fear alone.

The part that Scientology plays in the liberty of mankind is equal to the part played by Coca Cola or the World Bank. Any benefit or quick fix or win it gives is countered by its destructive and controlling nature.

The great and useful thing that I learned from my 20 years as a member of the Church of Scientology, and something I maybe would not have realised had I not come across the subject, is that it is best to avoid all cults, doctrines and systems of beliefs if you wish to be free from domination and nullification of you as a human being.

Everything in the subject is to be found outside the subject – and in most cases, better explanations, deeper understanding and definitely better results. You have all been had.

So, in a word. YES it is brainwashing Marty.

Xenu's Boyfriend

Silver Meritorious Patron
He was answering this question:

I understand. But I was curious why he felt that way. For me, it is so blatantly obvious. In fact, the whole idea that you can't escape until you "confess" feels closer to the kind of brutal interrogations that take place in parts of the world that we, as a country, often condemn, at least publicly. It feels like life under a dictatorship, including people being "disappeared" (Shelley). I wonder what it would be like for an ex-Scientogist who had been in the Sea Org to compare experiences to someone who remembers living in fear in Chile under Pinochet's regime.


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Marty forces Espiritu to confront

Marty forces Espiritu to confront
Espiritu | October 3, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Reply
Hi Marty,

What you describe is without a doubt brainwashing.

It is a disgusting mis-use of the technology of confessionals.

I have a couple of questions about this “Truth Rundown”:

(1) You mention that it came out in the early ’80s. Can you pin down the year any closer? This is could be an important datum.

(2) You mention that this rundown was developed by LRH, himself. Do you mean that he personally approved the FINAL rendition of it as practiced at the Int base, and if so are you certain of that?

(3) Do you have or does anyone else have any documentation showing that Ron originated this rundown as delivered?

The reason I am interested in 2 and 3 above is that David Miscavige has originated numerous alterations to Scientology Technology. For example, the “3-swing F/N”. I am wondering if it is at all possible that he or others who were “piloting” this had any input into the exact procedure and nature of the rundown as delivered. And there is no mention of this thing in any extant HCOBs so far as I know.

The reason I would like to get a better idea of the date this is that it is also well known that LRH’s health was deteriorating from the early ’80s until his passing in 1986. I believe that, in fairness, this should be factored into whatever judgement is made about his involvement with this.

Meanwhile, this is ugly. It is right out of George Orwell’s 1984, except for the drugs and shock treatments. It is reverse Scientology.
martyrathbun09 | October 3, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Reply

Ron originated it and micro managed its development and compilation.



More truth-telling from Marty. That's always a good sign.

In Hubbard's 1955 secretly authored booklet, 'Brainwashing - the Russian Textbook on Psycho-Politics', Hubbard (posing as a Russian psychiatrist) defined 'Brainwashing/Psycho-Politics' as:

"The art and science of asserting and maintaining dominion over the thoughts and loyalties of individuals, officers, bureaus, and masses... through 'mental healing'."

Hubbard, in confidential writings had instructed Scientologists to "use enemy tactics" on "enemies." What Scientologists didn't realize was that Hubbard was also using "enemy tactics" on them.


Patron Meritorious
Wendy Honnor's re-assessment and walk away from Scientology has been huge and quick, considering how I remember her in Scientology. I remember when she won that award and what a celebrity she was wherever she went. For so many big names to leave in such a short period of time, surely people's brains must be working overtime? This is not a leak, this is a crumbling damn.