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Why some $cientologists do not read anything: Study Tech

Discussion in 'Scientology Technology' started by OperatingSP, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. Student of Trinity

    Student of Trinity Silver Meritorious Patron

    In one way Study Tech isn't all bad, but in another way it's misleading to say that. The parts that are harmless or even beneficial are basic common sense. Hubbard's only original contributions ARE the over-emphasis, over-simplification, and exaggeration. And some of the seemingly beneficial parts have hidden limitations, that you may never even notice if all your studying uses Study Tech. They're like training wheels on a bike, that make it easier to stay up at first, but prevent you from learning to balance. I think Study Tech can put a sort of glass ceiling on your mind, so that you just never reach higher levels of thought, and never even know what you're missing. You might think you're 'knowing how to know' when in fact you're just being dumb. This is an example of the Dunning-Kruger effect: incompetent people often have the illusion that they are highly competent, to the point of being more confident than truly competent people, because the incompetent people don't know what they're missing.

    The only way I really see Study Tech helping is in getting some people to read more, who wouldn't otherwise read at all, by telling them that it'll be easy for them to become geniuses. They just have to follow Hubbard's formula. It's like one of those exercise machines that promises you a fantastic body from only ten minutes a day. People who fall for the promises may order one and use it for a little while. A few may even keep on occasionally doing a ten-minute stint now and then for years on end. So they do get a bit more exercise than they otherwise would have. They never actually get fit, because getting fit just isn't really that easy. And if the stupid ten-minute machine lets them kid themselves into doing nothing more than ten minutes a month, when they might otherwise have gotten serious about exercise at some point, then the machine's net effect is really a big negative, even if using it is still a bit better than just being a couch potato.
  2. OK. so now we know who hasn't been doing their exercises. :eyeroll:

    The Anabaptist Jacques
  3. Danger Mouse

    Danger Mouse Patron with Honors

    My comment is about Study Tech, not about why some Scientologists do not read anything.

    Study Tech is part of the "undercut." Hubbard was dealing with a lot of partly-educated stoners joining the cult back in the Sixties and Seventies, when the Berners showed up one day and handed Study Tech over to the Only One Source, who then took credit for it.

    For some people (and i was one of them) misunderstood words are a big problem. I always loved to read but I would always infer definitions from context, i. e. guess. That's not a problem if you guess right every time or if you are not studying something with what I call "compound definitions."

    What do I call a "compound definition"? Say you're studying math and guess at the definition of word "A" and you guess wrong, but don't know it. Then the definition of word "B" uses the word "A" as part of its definition. OK, you can recover from that if you're looking at the definition of word "B" and realize that you don't understand word "A."

    But say you go on and get to word "C" which uses word "B" in its definition. Now you're done, because the word you didn't know, word "A," isn't even apparent. Now your odds of recovering from your mistake are between slim and none. That's what held me back in math & science. And there are about 10 words you need to understand about grammar to even understand a dictionary. If you don't get them in fifth grade, there's trouble ahead. That's what happened to me.

    I never really understood basic grammar until I took the KTL course. But don't take that as a Success Story. There are many ways to understand grammar that are far, far cheaper.

    I think that a lot of kids that have trouble with Algebra would have an easier time of it if, just once, somebody would explain to them what that funny-looking word is. "Al" of course is the Arabic equivalent of "the." I told my daughter that "gebr" refers to setting a broken bone. Just as you line up the two halves of a broken bone before you set it, in algebra you try to get the two halves of the equation to line up and be straight by finding the right "x." I told her that the = sign is the set bone and the unequal sign is a broken bone that hasn't been set properly. She's getting straight As.

    The name itself is from the title of a book written around 825 by Mohammed ibn Musa al-Khowarizmi whose short title was "ilm al-jabr wa'l muqabalah" and so got the nickname "al-jabr." I think it is important to share this bit of information to a kid. "Gee, now I don't feel stupid every time I look at the word Algebra on the cover of the book I have to study every day!"

    So Study Tech happened to be of great value to me, personally. My dad never graduated from high school. I was the first person on either side of my family to even attend college, and if I had only received a little Study Tech when I was about 10 years old or so, I would certainly have graduated from college and might even be teaching in one today.

    I once explained Study Tech to a friend whose dad was a university professor. He looked at me like "Thank you, Captain Obvious." None of this was news to him.

    Most people, especially if their parents are well-educated, know when a dictionary is necessary and when it is not. You need a little thing called "judgement" which of course is seldom allowed into a Scientology courseroom.
  4. Boson Wog Stark

    Boson Wog Stark Patron Meritorious

    For me, this thread is one of the most interesting things about Study Tech that I've ever read, because I'd never considered this possibility, that someone would be turned off from reading completely by the burden of looking of MU's. However, it is in line with my own theories about learning/reading.

    Learning is actually quite individual. MU's may have worked for you, but the enforced reading was probably a more important element.

    In Hubbard's forced reading, the incentive is to gain enlightenment and to fit in with the group. On Oprah there was a guy who told his story about how his illiterate mother paid him -- when he was a failing 4th grader -- $1 for each book he read, and then made him write a report on the book to get his $1. He went from the bottom of his class to the top in a year or so, and went on to become a neurosurgeon.

    Either or both things could have been the key for you -- Study Tech and/or forced reading via the cult. But, that doesn't mean they work for everybody. For forced reading though, the incentive has to be right for that person. Hubbard gave the right incentive -- belonging to the group, climbing up the bridge -- for maybe 70% of clams to benefit from it by becoming better readers, just as MUs has to be the right method for an individual.

    In the 19th century, foreign languages were taught in school using the reading/translation (using a dictionary) method, with formal instruction in grammar. In the 20th century, foreign language teaching in schools shifted to the audio-lingual method, where the student did a lot of listening, repeating (Skinner/behaviorist) and grammar and vocabulary were acquired in a way that was thought to be more natural -- the way we acquire our first language. This may not be the right method for a person who is more reading oriented.

    Even within reading though, there are people who learn better through context, whether it's a first language or second language. I know this to be true for myself with foreign languages. I remember and learn the meaning of a word better if I learn it from context, rather than looking it up in a dictionary, which for some reason, I tend to forget instantly. Of course I still use a dictionary from time to time, to verify that I'm interpreting the meaning of a word correctly, but it's rare.

    Let's say in children learning Study Tech, the enforcement may turn some of them off, but it's quite possible that in some -- what Lance mentioned is the case -- just the MU thing sets up an aversion response, that reading is a chore rather than rewarding or fun. Adults get false certainty from it, if they believe because they understand the dictionary meaning of words in a certain Scientology text, that that text is true or that they have superior knowledge. I've yet to see a clam apply their superior ability to perform an impressive analysis of physics or Shakespeare. A lot of clams seem to be involved in selling things. Hubbard encouraged clams to be successful in selling things, especially selling Scientology. I meant more money for him.

    The reason I think Study Tech can produce people like Astra and Zoe Woodcraft who go on to being superior readers and college students, is the "forced" part, not so much the MU/Study Tech part. They were forced to read a lot, being in the Cadet Org or whatever. Sure, a lot of it was Hubbard crap. Doesn't matter. They became good readers, and they had good genes to begin with too. If they had gone to regular public school, they may have done even better though.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  5. Danger Mouse

    Danger Mouse Patron with Honors

    I should add another word of caution about the Key To Life course. Hubbard did not believe in adjectives and adverbs as separate categories. He lumped the two together and called them both modifiers. One modifies nouns and the other modifies verbs. Unfortunately, dictionary definitions often start with adj. or adv. so his simplification is also a complication.
  6. Claire Swazey

    Claire Swazey Spokeshole, fence sitter

    You know how Hubbard talked about "too long a runway"? I think that he was guilty of that and that DM is even more so.
  7. Techless

    Techless Patron Meritorious

    Really cool thread - agree with some more than other...

    I can really relate to fellow member Arnie L here, who mentioned in another thread about the good old days and how he was in the position he was in, because of his technical expertise (he then cleared this up to refer to technology in general and NOT the thing in Scn...for another confused reader). I myself was sorta in the same boat - but much, much lower in the food chain overall. I usually did any type of electrical/electronic repairs, tape decks, heating/ac and such, then also fixed staff stereo's cause there were such an amazing amount of technically void people on staff. (real-world tech)

    This always made me wonder VERY MUCH...and I'm sure ties directly to some earlier comments. I thus never chose to not read, I keep reading so much that I think it was MU's (misunderstood words) that several (eh...many) ethics BS things actually were only about. But these got elevated because...well because that's how they F with you! (Big point here)
    I started to bring some of the things I was reading and present 'words' to the various 'word' genius's at hand, (course supervisors and ethics) and they could not clear the words to save their little star-rated butts! So I never stopped my attempts at getting someone to demo or show me how the 'word-clearing' thing works. (I had it figured out quite well on my end though) It definitely does not and more so can't work across the boards. But I would say in very basic terms, that is has value.

    But mostly it appears: it is designed so that one can understand Scn better, and not necessarily much else, especially technology. What a scary thing and well said prior.
    This, combined with L-Beano's having tied 'electronics' into the whole 'mystery' thing (something I'd always felt strongly about, still do) then him never being able to explain basic electrical or electronics concepts made me realize he was borrowing -to try and make it seem like he understood electronics. Not.
    (E-meters are and have always been just 'very sensitive resistance meters'...which we can thank Mr. Ohm, Mr. Faraday and such for. Now what they are are used for here is another story.)

    And the more that I pushed the matter of word clearing - especially with weird Scn words, the easier it was for me to smell the BS. And also get me declared, when I could totally, easily prove outpoints in the 'tech'. My last attempt, years ago, was with "Mest being". (I know now this word is really an oxymoron) and yet couldn't, and never have gotten anyone on staff to ever clear this up for me! I do not feel it necessary to make any reference on this word as it's a 'thing' which doesn't exist anyway and I do not wish to continue any confusions on it. The word started out in the book, History of Man, which was one that always had me 'mystified' from the get go. If anybody has to have ref, pm and I'll send, but not really sure if that violates something which is not ok - around here or otherwise. Let me know!

    It's hard enough, to talk about it some stuff here, then the whole 'special words' thing/definitions really makes it harder or impossible.

    But to Arnie: God bless ya -and I'd love to hear your take on the technical prowess of those you ran across in your days - for humors sake only.

    But to end: thanks all for the insights here on this topic - it's always been an important thing for my crazed quest for knowledge.
  8. phenomanon

    phenomanon Canyon

    The first Study Tech course that I did was called " Learning How To Study" (LHTS). IIRC, it was done after the Comm Course and after Hubbard Qualified Scn'ist ( HQS).
    LHTS was not a long course at all. A few pages.
    Around that time, Gary Nelson was working on the first Scn Dictionary , which was about 1/4 of an inch thick. Both were adequate for the purpose of the time. About 1960-1965. I really think that I did the first LHTS course in about 1956, but I'm not certain of that. I do know for certain that it was taught in the "Mission" network as early as 1966.

  9. DagwoodGum

    DagwoodGum Squirreling Dervish

    I think the major flaw of "study tech" is that it says the a thetan cannot confront a misunderstood symbol.
    How ridiculous, words are merely symbols created to facilitate communication, not hinder it by slipping some symbols in that will spin the being into aneten because the group agreement is "we cannot understand anything past the point of a misunderstood word".
    Well, there's an infinite amount of symbols that can be created, and created faster than you can master them, so the problem is the study tech has produced Scientologists that cannot confront an unknown symbol.
    I've known people who would undergo complete mental collapse if I used a word they did not understand and would expect me to backtrack to that word with them so that they could go through the mind numbing process of clearing the word.
    I say put em in a chair and make them cycle through the lower TR's with a page full of big words that they've never heard of.
    At issue here is their lack of confront, make them confront MU'd symbology until they're flat on it, they'll study much better.
    I've always been able to glide easily past unknown words that I just mentally tag as unnecessary to the gist of what's being said. I still believe in building a vocabulary, I just don't believe that it's an automatic impedance to my reading or understanding. I learned how to do this in elementary school and it's served me well.
    Freedom from Scientology for me means never feeling that I have to do one single cotton picking thing Hubbard told me I had to do!
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  10. Soul of Ginnungagab

    Soul of Ginnungagab Patron with Honors

    As far as I can see that should make no difference since it is still applied as two categories. I mean the sentence "One modifies nouns and the other modifies verbs." obviously mentions two categories.

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  11. Lulu Belle

    Lulu Belle Moonbat

    Zoe and Astra were both in the Sea org. There were a lot of people in the SO who probably read more than the average person because TVs weren't allowed and you were almost never allowed to go off the base for any kind of fun/entertainment. Reading was all that most of us had.
  12. Enthetan

    Enthetan Master of Disaster

    When I was in Flag Bureaux, we had the Clearwater library the next block over. I used to wolf down my meals, so I had time to go there and read in peace before going on post. It helped preserve my sanity.