Scientology in a nutshell


The basic method of Scientology is to find areas of life in which people fail and suffer.

Also, there’s lots of nice metaphysics and preliminary postulates. For example:

  • Life is a game.

The empowering gnostic myth is that we are all-powerful souls that voluntarily came into this problem-filled life-game for fun. You have to have problems in order to have a game and goals. This is an optimistic gnostic myth. Consciousness threw itself into the prison-house of matter because otherwise it cannot enjoy a game. Consciousness threw itself into investment and caring because without these there is no drama.

We are all gods, we voluntarily undergo amnesia when we’re born, and when we die we wake up in the laboratory and we compare dramatic reports:

Joe: “I was Steve Jobs!”

Bill: “I was a homeless guy who killed himself over a nasty crack whore!”

Dramatic reports are the flower arrangements that amnesiac gods cherish and share.

The basic method of Scientology is to locate automaticities, discern their logic, and then invent drills that empower us to overcome them.

  • You do drills that reinforce desired behavior, create abilities, flatten anxieties, and increase somatic equanimity towards unpleasant sensations that drive us into unhelpful behavior. You do exercises that increase the effectiveness of communication.
  • You learn word clearing to improve your reading comprehension. You are trained to not go past a word you don’t understand.
  • You learn clay demoing to improve understanding. Every concept, even the most abstract, must be sculptable in clay. The ability to “clay demo” a concept or proposition is Hubbard’s criterion of intelligibility. If you cannot sculpt a concept or proposition in clay, then you actually don’t know what you’re taking about.

Interesting, fun stuff like that.

One key technique in Scientology is schematism. You take an automaticity, get “behind” it, and then carry it out intentionally. This seems counterintuitive. We might think that in order stop an unhelpful behavior we ought to resist it, or do the opposite. Not so, it turns out. The way to be “at cause” over an automaticity is to carry it out with full vehemence and intentionality. You get behind your automatic compulsions.

By intentionally choosing what’s automatic, you soften it and eventually transform it. This is a favorite technique used in Landmark drills in the few courses where drills are done.