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Church of Scientology (CoS)

Affiliated Organizations

Religious Technology Center (Note: controls and oversees the uses of all of the trademarks, symbols and sacred texts of Scientology and Dianetics)

Church of Spiritual Technology (Note: owns all the copyrights of the estate of L. Ron Hubbard)


L. Ron Hubbard


David Miscavige

Group Description

Scientology is a body of religious beliefs and practices launched in May 1952 by American author L. Ron Hubbard. Hubbard initially developed a program of ideas called Dianetics, which was distributed through the Dianetics Foundation (

 Behavior Control
  • Green means does not apply to anyone in the group
  • Orange means it partially applies (true for a subsection of members such as Sea Org or RPF)
  • Red means it absolutely applies to all members
  • Regulate an individual’s physical reality
  • Dictate where, how and with whom the member lives and associates or isolates (all members are told to disconnect from SP)
  • Dictate when, how, and with whom the member has sex
  • Control types of clothing and hairstyles
  • Regulate diet -food and drink, hunger and/or fasting
  • Manipulation and deprivation of sleep
  • Financial exploitation, manipulation, or dependence
  • Restrict leisure, entertainment, vacation time
  • Major time spent with group indoctrination and rituals and/or self-indoctrination, including the Internet
  • Permission required for major decisions
  • Thoughts, feelings, and activities (of self and others) reported to superiors (e-meter/audits & reporting on each other by all)
  • Rewards and punishments used to modify behaviors, both positive and negative
  • Discourage individualism, encourage group-think
  • Impose rigid rules and regulations
  • Encourage and engage in corporal punishment
  • Punish disobedience by beating, torture, burning, cutting, rape, or tattooing/branding
  • Threaten harm to family or friends (by cutting off family/friends) (fairgame policy)
  • Force individual to rape or be raped
  • Instill dependency and obedience
Information Control
  • Green means does not apply to anyone in the group
  • Orange means it partially applies (true for a subsection of members such as Sea Org or RPF)
  • Red means it absolutely applies to all members
  • Deception
    • Deliberately withhold information
    • Distort information to make it more acceptable
    • Systematically lie to the cult member
  • Minimize or discourage access to non-cult sources of information, including:
    • Internet, tv, radio, books, articles, newspapers, magazines, other media
    • Critical information
    • Former members
    • Keep members busy so they don’t have time to think and investigate
    • Control through a cell phone with texting, calls, and internet tracking
  • Compartmentalize information into Outsider vs Insider doctrines
    • Ensure that information is not easily accessible
    • Control information at different levels and missions within the group
    • Allow only leadership to decide who needs to know what and when
  • Encourage spying on other members
    • Impose a buddy system to monitor and control member (RPF, “twinning”/course partner)
    • Report deviant thoughts, feelings, and actions to leadership
    • Ensure that individual behavior is monitored by the group
  • Extensive use of cult-generated information and propaganda, including:
    • Newsletters, magazines, journals, audiotapes, videotapes, YouTube, movies, and other media
    • Misquoting statements or using them out of context from non-cult sources
  • Unethical use of confession
    • Information about sins used to disrupt and/or dissolve identity boundaries
    • Withholding forgiveness or absolution (RPF – the act of confessing through auditing “blows the charge” and makes you no longer guilty – but in the RPF, you’re “the lowest of the low” and a “degraded being” until you get everyone in your group to forgive you – in writing.)
    • Manipulation of memory, possibly false memories (remembering past lives via auditing)
Thought Control
  • Green means does not apply to anyone in the group
  • Orange means it partially applies (true for a subsection of members such as Sea Org or RPF)
  • Red means it absolutely applies to all members
  • Require members to internalize the group’s doctrine as truth (this is a bit complicated because they’ll trumpet the quote “it’s only true if it’s true for you.” But until you actually AGREE with the course materials, you will have to keep “word clearing” it (looking up the definition of each word), because the only reason you wouldn’t agree is that you didn’t understand. So, you have to agree, even though they claim you don’t.)
    • Adopting the group’s ‘map of reality’ as reality
    • Instill black and white thinking
    • Decide between good vs. evil
    • Organize people into us vs. them (insiders vs. outsiders)
  • Change a person’s name and identity
  • Use of loaded language and cliches which constrict knowledge, stop critical thoughts and reduce complexities into platitudinous buzzwords (use of acronyms, words are given different meanings,” study tech” and “word clearing”)
  • Encourage only ‘good and proper’ thoughts
  • Hypnotic techniques are used to alter mental states, undermine critical thinking, and even to age regress the member
  • Memories are manipulated and false memories are created (past lives, reframing of the past)
  • Teaching thought-stopping techniques which shut down reality testing by stopping negative thoughts and allowing only positive thoughts, including:
    • Denial, rationalization, justification, wishful thinking
    • Chanting
    • Meditating
    • Praying
    • Speaking in tongues
    • Singing or humming
  • Rejection of rational analysis, critical thinking, constructive criticism
  • Forbid critical questions about leader, doctrine or policy
  • Labeling alternative belief systems as illegitimate, evil or not useful
  • Instill new ‘map of reality’
Emotional Control
  • Green means does not apply to anyone in the group
  • Orange means it partially applies (true for a subsection of members such as Sea Org or RPF)
  • Red means it absolutely applies to all members
  • Manipulate and narrow the range of feelings – some emotions and/or needs are deemed as evil, wrong, or selfish (negative emotions are only allowed during auditing)
  • Teach emotion-stopping techniques to block feelings of hopelessness, anger, or doubt
  • Make the person feel that problems are always their own fault, never the leader’s or the group’s fault (anything bad that happens, they “pulled it in” – even if it’s an ancient sin committed billions of years ago on a distant planet.)
  • Promote feelings of guilt or unworthiness, such as:
    • Identity guilt
    • You are not living up to your potential (thus need to “stay on course” and continue spending money)
    • Your family is deficient
    • Your past is suspect
    • Your affiliations are unwise
    • Your thoughts, feelings, actions are irrelevant or selfish
    • Social guilt
    • Historical guilt
  • Instill fear, such as fear of:
    • Thinking independently
    • The outside world
    • Enemies (psychiatry, pharmaceuticals, critics)
    • Losing one’s salvation
    • Leaving or being
  • Extremes of emotional highs and lows – love bombing and praise one moment, and then declaring you are a horrible sinner
  • Ritualistic confession of sins (auditing, rundown, and reports)
    • sometimes public confession of sins
  • Phobia indoctrination: inculcating irrational fears about leaving the group or questioning the leader’s authority
    • No happiness or fulfillment possible outside the group
    • Terrible consequences if you leave: hell, demon possession, incurable diseases, accidents, suicide, insanity, 10,000 reincarnations, etc
    • Shunning of those who leave; fear of being rejected by friends and family
    • Never a legitimate reason to leave; those who leave are weak, undisciplined, unspiritual, worldly brainwashed by family or counselor, or seduced by money, sex, or rock-and-roll
  • Threats of harm to ex-member and family (threats of cutting off friends/family) (fairgame)
Other Resources

Defectors Say Church of Scientology Hides Abuse

Pressley- Hassan (July 2012) discuss Scientology, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes divorce, Suri and much more


Scientology – Annotated bibliographical survey of Scientology-related literature


Online Books:

Lisa McPherson:

Legal Cases:

Scientologists reportedly turned Isabella and Connor Cruise against mother Nicole Kidman: Tom Cruise’s lawyer responds (September 5, 2012)


Mind Control & the BITE model:

Scientology – The Use of Mind Control in Scientology by Monica Pignotti, LMSW

Robert Vaughn Young

Essays by Robert Vaughn Young, former Director of Public Relations for Scientology in the United States

  • Hello & Goodbye
  • Toward a New Model of “Cult Control”
  • Hubbard’s “Mission Earth” – The Rest of the Story
  • To Dept20/RTC Staff Who Want to Leave
  • Open Letter to Mike Rinder (Feb. 20, 2000)
  • Open Letter #2 to Mike Rinder warning him to stop attacking Robert’s wife because of Robert’s cancer
Inside The Church of Scientology

Tom Cruise s Scientology Marriages: The Secret Wife-Auditioning Process Before Katie Holmes, Revealed(September 1, 2012)

Crash director and former Scientologist Paul Haggis insists church officials DID ‘audition women to marry Tom Cruise’ (September 3, 2012)

8-part series on the Church of Scientology as published by the Boston Herald in March 1998. Written by Joseph Mallia:

  • Judge found Hubbard lied about achievements (March 1, 1998)
  • Powerful Church Targets Fortunes, Souls of Recruits (March 1, 1998)
  • Milton School Shades Ties to Scientology (March 2, 1998)
  • Church Keys Programs to Recruit Blacks (March 2, 1998)
  • Copyright Laws Used to Silence Online Foes (March 4, 1998)
  • Sacred Teachings Not Secret Anymore (March 4, 1998)
  • Battle Sites in the Web War (March 4, 1998)
  • Key Dates in War on the Net (March 5, 1998)
Getting Help
  • Escape helping, advising, counselling families and friends who have loved ones involved in Scientology (by ex-members Bonnie and Richard Woods; see also above under legal cases)
  • Help for you or someone else

Scientology and The BITE Model

Opioid Epidemic–Narconon: Scientology is Not a Treatment

My Appearance on Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, and Other Updates

Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath

Let’s End Scientology’s Tax Exemption Now!

Jon Atack’s Book, “Let’s Sell these People A Piece of Blue Sky: Hubbard, Dianetics and Scientology”