Did you ever wonder why scientologists are so comfortable with and accomplished at issuing ‘acceptable truth’ (scientology euphemism for lie)? This may shed some light on the question. For starters, scientologists are taught from the get-go that whatever is true for the individual is true. That datum is presented by L. Ron Hubbard in such wise that usually it is taken as a tremendous validation and empowerment of the reader. It is so universally accepted as such that it is about the last scientology stable datum a recovering scientologist is willing to question. They find it difficult to reckon that such an idea can ultimately serve as a cement ceiling to any growth beyond wherever scientology might take them.
In fact, it is the first step toward a sort of chronic self-hypnotic state that ultimately automatically converts the scientologist’s subjective world into the objective world. To a scientologist there is no objective universe, but for the one he or she deigns to be true.* Over time that subjective reality is thoroughly shaped and molded by the universe view of L. Ron Hubbard. Once fully converted to accepting that wholly subjective, albeit influenced by indoctrination, universe view as objective fact, a hard core scientologist can act rather insanely. No matter how hard you try to convince him about the existence of an objective fact he will increasingly cling to his ‘reality’ (which after all to him is the only true source of objective fact) no matter how fanciful or insane that reality may be. Ironically, that is insanity according to Hubbard’s own definition – unable to sense and perceive that which just about everybody else is able to.
That is one reason why scientology organizations can smugly count on any scientologist in good standing to comfortably commit perjury for scientology and its leaders. Scientologists can and do perform that feat with the greatest aplomb, without the slightest sense of guilt or remorse for doing so. I have watched lawyers become dumbfounded witnessing scientologists so perform so facilely while under oath. Those skills are honed in scientology’s ‘Success Through Communication ‘ course that teaches one to comfortably lie as a supposed social necessity. They are refined in lengthy, arduous witness coaching sessions with scientology legal staff (sessions that are promptly and conveniently forgotten upon command by the scientologist’s cultivated ability to create his own reality). Connected to legal proceedings or not, the scientologist’s subjective universe view reins so supreme that he can even be unaware that he is lying through his teeth while doing so.
This state of unawareness should not be considered an acquittal for the dishonest scientologist. That is because every scientologist at some point makes a conscious decision to enter the mindset of permanent self-deception. It is crossing that line where conscience is consciously overridden in favor of whatever promised fruits await to award faith. The disease that conversion process nurtures was well described more than two-hundred years ago by Thomas Paine in The Age of Reason (describing corrupt priests):
It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime.
At some point every scientologist consciously passes that threshold where he begins to preach with utter conviction – and steel-eyed intensity; a trademark of scientology – that which in his heart of hearts he knows not to be objectively true. But, in keeping with his training and conditioning subjectivity reins and trumps reality. As Paine notes, that becomes possible only after a lot of corrupting and prostituting of one’s own mind. Over time as it becomes a group validated and reinforced habit then every other crime becomes justifiable.
The result examined here perhaps highlights most dramatically the fundamental betrayal of the Rogerian client-centered therapy that scientology mimics as its ‘central religious practice’ called auditing. Carl Rogers was quite clear and evidently sincere when he wrote that the end of intelligently and compassionately applied psychotherapy has been achieved when the client discontinues the practice of lying to himself.
*For the metaphysically inclined, this is not to be mistaken with Kantian theories (as paralleled and validated more recently by advanced theoretical physics) that physical matter reality is to some degree potential until sensed, perceived and conceptualized. The distinction became clear to me while reading of Immanuel Kant. That was an eye opening experience after having listened to L. Ron Hubbard for decades repeatedly denigrate Kant and bemoan how impossible it was to understand Kant. It was also interesting to read that Hubbard’s favorite historian Will Durant observed in The History of Philosophy that philosophers subsequent to Kant who could not understand Kant were lost. Durant made that statement even while leveling scientific criticisms at Kant; criticisms that science has subsequently demonstrated as invalid. Perhaps this footnote supports the argument that Hubbard was more confused than manipulative in heading down some of the paths he did. That idea would not hold very well if one were to demonstrate a pattern of Hubbard intentionally denigrating those whose work could unlock the methods he employed.