Excerpt from upcoming book Clear and Beyond:
The fundamental two-way communication process that all scientology methodology derives its workability from existed before L. Ron Hubbard ever wrote a word on the subject of the mind. All of its components were developed, far beyond the degree of sophistication that scientology ever treated them, while Hubbard was still engaged in black magik rituals in Pasadena. They were perhaps best explained and demonstrated in Rogerian client-centered therapy. It would behoove scientologists to study of it. The best place to start would be On Becoming a Person by Carl R. Rogers (Houghton Mifflin, 1961).
What made Hubbard popular initially with publication of Dianetics was his simplifying and codifying critical principles of client-centered therapy thus potentially opening the process of self-actualization to far more people. Hubbard himself has acknowledged that Dianetics’ fad-like initial appeal rested largely on the promise of taking therapy out of the hands of professionals and putting it into the living rooms of lay people. Much of that particular appeal was lost as dianetics and its progeny scientology became more mass-production oriented, expensive, exclusive, and cult-like. Not surprisingly, those negative developments can be traced to dianetics’ and scientology’s attempts to short-cut vital client-centered therapy principles in the first place.
The more failure in producing a confident, independent-minded, self-determined client, the more Hubbard introduced personality control mechanisms. That is probably the most cardinal of sins imaginable in actual client-centered philosophy. With pressure to deliver on dianetics’ original promises of immediate and permanent results, the training of practitioners became an assembly-line like activity. On the one hand that helped to thoroughly crash train some workable skills, while on the other hand it omitted a more contemplative, intellectual appreciation for the agencies at work that actually create a desired effect and the responsibilities that go with such practice.
For example, for all the effectiveness of the training regimens instituted to teach the skills of counselor communication in scientology, perhaps the most important client-centered counseling ability was not only omitted but the opposite was trained in. That is congruence. Congruence is the term Rogers uses to describe the counselor’s natural ability to fully and comfortably be himself without imposing himself upon the client. Congruence is being oneself as a person and not attempting to conceal it by creation of a façade, even a null one as trained in by scientology. By establishing congruence the client has the security of the sense of knowing exactly where the counselor stands at any given moment. Without congruence he does not. That is critical in establishing the conditions necessary for self-actualization.
In contrast, scientology drills congruence out of a counselor to the point he can become a blank personality or a synthetic one. Scientologists are even shown films depicting how they should ‘act’ (the ‘beingness’ they are expected to assume) as an auditor. That is in keeping with its teaching that the way to achieve something is as simple as be, do, have. That is, figure out the personality traits of someone who has what you want, then act them out as you do as he or she does, and before you know it you will have the fruits you sought. Sincerity and genuineness (read congruence) are not included in the equation. Certainly there have been mavericks within scientology who have had the courage or sense to be themselves as counselors. And their results reflected that. But, every single one of them was eventually caught up with and either expelled from the ranks or converted into a play-acting automaton by scientology’s policing arms. This presages later chapters where we analyze in more depth the manifold ways in which scientology creates conforming, compliant minds.