In 1950 L. Ron Hubbard burst onto the scene tackling the attainment of the ends of Eastern spiritualism with the practicality mindset of Western materialism. He developed two related subjects toward that end, Dianetics, and its outgrowth, Scientology. Within two to three years he had described in pratical English terms having seen the universal truths as outlined in the Vedas and in the Tao Te Ching. He also described modern exercises that he discovered and developed to bring others to that experience. He spent the rest of his life attempting to undercut the route so that virtually anyone from any station in life or of whatever educational background could traverse it. In that effort to reach and effect all, matters eventually became complicated. An insidious parallel to helping and saving all peoples of earth evolved throughout Scientology writings. That is, the stress became not so much to make Scientology accessible to everybody as much as to make Scientology mandatory for everyone. This approach led to a type of dual personality for the subject. On the one hand it intended to release an individual from the restraints of life and to restore freedom of choice. On the other hand, it usurped freedom of choice and imposed restraints in the attempt to get every person there.
Control and restraint themes developed throughout Scientology writings. It was justified by the repeated idea that Dianetics and Scientology contain the answers to every problem and every question that every person ever faced; with the repeated emphatic idea that no one else has anything of use to contribute to those answers. The theme was evident in a substantial body of proselytization and ethics policy that justified any means necessary to leading the clueless to the only show in town. These policies dedicatedly applied wound up appealing to a broad spectrum of people as intended. That included people who wanted to communicate better, to find their sanity, to improve memory, to sell more, to be more successful, to have more meaningful relationships, to make more money, to dominate and control others, to reach higher states of spiritual awareness, to be more powerful, to get off drugs, to learn how to study, and even to reach immortality. In promoting to all those looking for these answers and more, and representing to those publics that those wants were all that Scientology was interested in helping them with, all the while intending and organizing to direct such people toward ultimately making Scientology the answer to everything weaved a strain of fraud into the woof and warp of its organizations.
Fraud requires as its central element the making of a misrepresentation that the communicator knows is false. In the case of Scientology, the recurrent, systemic knowing lie has nothing to do with the lack of efficacy of Scientology itself. When a Scientologist tells somebody that Scientology contains the answer to his problem, as well as every answer to every problem that person will ever face, that Scientologist believes that representation implicitly. The knowing misrepresentation that virtually every Scientologist is guilty of making over and over again is that whatever particular problem a seeker wants solved is the only problem the Scientology organization is interested in solving. In fact, Scientology scripture very methodically details how to use the solving of a particular problem as the bait to be switched toward creating a new bigger problem for the bait biter to pursue. Scientologists will vehemently protest my use of words such as “misrepresentation” and “fraud.” But, the fact of the matter is that many of the significant problems that have nagged or lessened the reach of Scientology organizations stemmed from this inculcated lie.
This is not to say that Scientology does not contain the tools to solve every problem every person faces. A trained Scientologist is well equipped to solve a wide variety of human problems. In fact, selflessly and ethically practiced Scientology does wonders in putting a person into a position where he or she is well equipped to resolve any problem he or she may encounter. However, in carrying out Scientology policy that requires everlasting steadfast loyalty and fealty to the organization, the organization is hard-wired to ensure a person never believes he or she is so equipped. It is quite a trick. In order to enforce that fealty and loyalty – and its concomitant, escalating contributions -there must always be something more wrong with the person being handled. And so, all too often a fellow works his way up the Scientology gradients of enlightenment for decades, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in the pursuit of the promised state of ‘cause over life.’ In virtually every case the fellow winds up being convinced to spend several tens or hundreds of thousands more to find out and solve why he never made the vaunted state of ‘cause over life.’
Again, this is not to say that the methods of Scientology cannot produce such a state. It is to say that the effectiveness of Scientology is never realized because of the original, well-embedded lie that Scientology organizations are not interested in anything other than providing help with whatever is troubling the person who reaches for help. Intead, the organzations are constructed on the principle that once a person checks in, he or she never checks out. Individuals connected to Scientology organizations are programmed to find another problem to solve for the seeker. If they cannot find one, they manufacture it. Let’s examine more closely how it works in practice.
Let us say that a fellow wants to overcome problems with communication. Scientology offers and delivers a course on communication that thousands have extolled the virtues of. However, Scientology Inc. staff are bound by policy that prohibits the leaving of good enough alone. It penalizes staff who fail to immediately ‘re-sign’ anyone who successfully completes a course. While the course might be a complete success in the eyes of the person who took it, it is an utter failure as far the organization is concerned if that same person does not immediately open his wallet and lay down more money for more expensive courses or pricey personalized counseling. Again, that is not to say that the expensive courses and counseling are not worthy. It is to say that Scientology organizations are prohibited by their scripture from ever leaving good enough alone. They operate on policy that uses Scientology’s knowledge of the mind to manipulate all those who complete course or counseling services to re-sign for more expensive future services.
Scientologists are blind to the bait and switch nature of their own day to day operations for a couple reasons. First, they justify the hustle by the efficacious results that Scientology services can and do deliver. Second, that justification is reinforced and complicated by a steady indoctrination into the idea that mankind is doomed, non-Scientologists are worse than aimless, and the only answers to everything – including immortality – are covered only in Scientology.
It might be that Scientology’s greatest sin stems from its greatest original virtue. It might be that the policy discussed herein was initially developed out of an abiding, strong urge to salvage humankind. However, like every movement throughout humankind’s history that has begun perpetrating harm once it is convinced it is the only one capable of ‘saving the world’, organized Scientology seems to have perfected the art of ‘controlling’ in the name of ‘freeing.’
This state of affairs led to my posing the question, ‘is organized religion an oxymoron?’
Being someone who finds tremendous value in the Buddha’s philosophy of the Great Middle Path, and L. Ron Hubbard’s use of infinity logic (there are no absolutes but instead an infinity of gradients at either side of 0 on any scale), I am interested in hearing peoples’ views as to the answer to the question posed.
As a couple at least have challenged me to show any evidence whatsoever that Scientology Policy encourages bait and switch trickery, I picked up the 1140 page policy volume Scientology on sales and within a couple minutes found the two exerpts below. The first is from Policy Letter entitled HANDLING THE PUBLIC INDIVIDUAL:
Example: Miss N has heard of processing. She wants some. She never did DECIDE to want some. She just wants some. Now to ask her to decide ANYTHING about it blunts that purpose. It is a thin purpose. It quivers. Don’t ask her does she want a book or want training or want a pin or want anything else. Say only, ‘Ah. You want processing. That’s a good thing to want. Be here Monday and bring ________ funds.’ That’s all. If she says timidly, “I only have _____ funds,” say, “Good. Bring them; you can owe the rest. Be here on Monday. In short MAKE Miss N RIGHT for WANTING, thus intensifying the want. Make her RIGHT when she talks about money. Then, being right she CAN come in Monday. Simple. Chances are, even if she works, she’ll still come in. When she comes in she says, ‘I’m Miss N. I’m here for my processing.’ Reception MUST say, “Ah. You’re Miss N. Good. There’s the Accounts widow. Sign up there.’ The Accounts says, ‘Here’s the slip. Sign here. Take the slip to Room _____.’ Reception says, ‘This way Miss N.’ Estimations says, “let me have your Accounts receipt. Good. That’s fine. Have you been processed before? No? Well, you soon will be. This way please. Your auditor is waiting.” The auditor says, “Over here, please,’ adjusts the pc’s chairs, etc., and sits down and says, “Start of session.” At its end he says, ‘Be in this room at _______’ for Miss N’s next. And so on. When she gets her grade certificate she’s told, ‘That means you’re a Grade I preclear. Get the book ____________down in Reception. It will tell you all about Grade II.’ Miss N throughout is NEVER anything but 8-Ced. The general promotion told her what to want by saying she could HAVE it. She expresses the want. The org people say, “That’s a good thing to want. You can have it. And gives it to her. That’s all. Just as you’d never ask a pc which command he wanted, you never as the public individual to decide. You can teach them anything, particularly the truth. But never ask them to decide. By processing up the grades, this person will soon begin to see and be there and understand and decide. And she’ll surely decide she’s a Scientologist, as it’s true all the way!’
Now, combine that with HCOPL 28 DECEMBER 1978 USE OF BIG LEAGUE SALES:
The caper is to assume the individual has already chosen to buy a specific item and then to get him to make some minor choice about it which involves him and makes him assume he has decided to purchase it. It is a technique to bypass a large decision. EXAMPLE: Person hasn’t decided to have processing, salesman ignores that and asks him if he wants his auditing afternoons or evenings. The guy says evenings and forgets to notice he hasn’t decided to be processed in the first place.