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Why Scientologists Are So Close Minded and Certain

Discussion in 'Evaluating and Criticising Scientology' started by mockingbird, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. mockingbird

    mockingbird Silver Meritorious Patron

    Why Scientologists Are So Close Minded and Certain

    I was recently asked about why Scientologists are so oblivious to contradictions in their own values. They hold opinions about themselves and Scientology that are contrary to the facts.
    I think double think is the noticeable trait. The person simultaneously holds contradictory beliefs, emotions or behaviours.

    In theory a person has conscious awareness and subconscious awareness and more. When I know consciously that I hold contradictory elements it can create cognitive dissonance. But to escape unpleasant truths I can deny them. That is consciously be deceptive to myself and others regarding reality. An even further separation of information called dissociation can occur. This in theory is promoted by trauma, which Scientology has no lack of.

    By putting the contradictions out of my awareness I can temporarily and partially reduce the discomfort of cognitive dissonance. But it is not entirely eliminated.

    By habitually responding to doubts, criticism and questions on a topic or particular issue I can make the process habitual and subconscious. I can get to the point where when I feel the discomfort, anxiety, reelingness and confusion begin I respond in less than a second entirely on a subconscious level and use denial, thought stopping cliches and techniques like projection to never consciously consider the potential disconfirming evidence.

    I can have my ego defenses primed to protect me from counterevidence to my own sacred beliefs, emotions and behavior.

    By holding something so sacred it cannot beat criticism, doubts or questions I render it resistant to criticism but also place it outside the realm of critical thinking. That is often a deadly self deception.

    Scientology has two primary routes of indoctrination to consider and several secondary routes. The primary techniques used in Scientology are study tech and auditing. The techniques used in indoctrination rapidly and thoroughly use a pattern. The pattern involved casting aside doubts and awareness of contradictions in doctrine as all observations are denied in the practices and doctrine in Scientology. The fictional barriers to study, deficiencies in the understanding of the student, are always given attribution as the cause of perceived inconsistencies, contradictions or flaws in Scientology doctrine.

    This habituates the student to a pattern. The student is studying Scientology materials in writing or on a tape and notices a contradiction or incorrect idea in the doctrine. The student is confused because the idea that Scientology is infallible and the observation that it is flawed are contradictions. This creates cognitive dissonance with accompanying discomfort, anxiety, reelingness, frustration and so on.

    The student is told by Scientology doctrine and course supervisors and word clearers and virtually all Scientologists that the feelings of discomfort, confusion, blankness and anxiety they experience are proof that they have the fictional misunderstood words and skipped gradients and lack of mass Hubbard alleged.

    The student through thousands and thousands of individual rights incidents comes to accept this framing as true. The student has the pattern of seeing a contradiction in Scientology or the contradictory evidence of an incorrect idea or part in Scientology going against the belief in the perfection of Scientology and has set aside that realization so many times the process mirrors double think. As Orwell described the student sees the evidence, is aware of it and immediately denies the truth, removing it from their own conscious mind. The discomfort subsides. They follow Hubbard's direction which becomes first nature as they think in his thought stopping cliches.

    They ( the thought stopping cliches) direct the behavior, thinking and emotions of the Scientology student. It brings comfort. It casts out awareness of contradictions. The term for this type of receptive state is trance logic. It has a profound tolerance for contradictions, lack of logical consistency and magical thinking. It also has eradicated or greatly reduced critical and independent thinking.

    One could even argue that any holding of something as too sacred to doubt, question of criticize has such thinking as its origin. It certainly is the same destination. It's not a beneficial state in my opinion, no matter how it is arrived at.

    So, the Scientology student from thousands and thousands of times on course has established a pattern below conscious awareness. It reacts in a fraction of a second and has the effect of sabotaging independent and critical thinking regarding Scientology. It gets the student to deny contradictions, difficulties, and incorrect or even nonsensical elements in Scientology doctrine and to embrace them instead as somehow consistent, applicable and correct and sensible no matter what they are.

    It's a stimulus response pattern. See the counterevidence of Scientology infallibility, then before the criticism is even consciously formed the discomfort prompts denial of the partially formed thought, the instinctive awareness of the phenomena Hubbard described as accompanying barriers to study prompts the thought that a barrier exists which has familiarity and seeming direction to alleviate blankness and indecision, effectively setting aside conscious cognitive dissonance.

    This behavior is a cognitive distortion over time. Once well established it becomes an automatic action to protect the student, the ego of the student, like their identity is wrapped up in believing in the infallibility of Scientology, the lack of incorrect or contradictory elements in Scientology and the correctness of the idea that Scientology study technology and the alleged barriers to study with their purported phenomena are all correct.

    As this is repeated thousands and thousands of times over hundreds and thousands of hours on course a student reflexively associates all criticism of Scientology with flaws in the critic.

    Because they have denied that Scientology could be flawed to themselves tens of thousands of times and made rejecting doubts and awareness of flaws in Scientology a collection of deeply held habits it is now automatic.
    tesseract likes this.