Underlying causes of failures in Scientology

Underlying causes of failures in Scientology

Page last updated: Dec 5, 2017 @ 11:39 am


1950’s Dianetics and Scientology was not perfect, but it was promising. Most people when they first encounter Scientology make contact with 1950’s methodology and get hooked. Dianetic (Book One) auditing, the famous Communication Course, TR’s and Objectives, Creative Processing – all that is 1950’s technology and it delivers results in the form of improved abilities, relief from traumatic experiences of the past, and even realization of oneself as a spirit separate from the body. These results can be quite impressive and seem much more superior from much of anything else that people usually encounter on the subject of mind and spirit. The sense of excitement and gratitude from those initial gains in Scientology can be quite overwhelming, and people tend to wrongfully assume that these wins that they experience in the beginning are representative of Scientology overall. Little do they realize that they just set themselves up for a whole lot of disappointment and confusion so deep that some never manage to come out it. For some, it could simply be too much to confront, and depending on the depth of someone’s involvement, it can literally take years to recover from the inevitable losses in Scientology and come to terms with the fact that despite its initially promising results, Scientology overall has been an abysmal failure.

Not only it failed to deliver the promised “upgrade” to mankind and ushering in a New Civilization of enlightened beings, it resulted into a host of new problems that managed to drag a lot of people into some completely opposite direction and still continues to do so in present day.

Why? What happened? What are the underlying reasons that Scientology went from its initial success to an eventual disaster – the cycle that in one way or another keeps being repeated by every newcomer into the movement?

The answers that have been roaming around Scientology community are many. Some people claim that it is all “hypnosis” and an illusion and none of it was valid to begin with, and so one would be better off to just forget it all and leave… somewhere… to live a normal life… whatever that may be. The problem with such an assertion is that it really doesn’t align with a lot of people who are confident in the positive results they did have with Dianetics and Scientology. Plus, saying that is was all an “illusion” really does not serve well to offer any alternative solutions in the area of the mind and spirit, and quite ironically some folks in this “band” can be seen caught up repeating that “it’s all hypnosis… it’s all illusion” for years seemingly unable to drop the subject and move on elsewhere on their own.

Some people think it’s because of David Miscavige – the top leader of the Church that took over the organization since the passing of L. Ron Hubbard in 1980’s. And there is some validity to that. David Miscavige has over the years introduced a lot of changes into the practice of Scientology overhauling its training line up twice, changing the organizational structure, and even re-authoring Scientology’s publications under the guise of “corrections” to make them more “on source.” All of these changes definitely introduced more confusion which makes it much harder to trace the underlying source of Scientology problems. The preceding project – www.trueLRH.com – comparing original Scientology publications to the “corrected” ones that have been sold by the Church under David Miscavige clearly established the fact that the changes that Miscavige introduced into the books were in fact for the worse, and the same logic would most likely extend to his changes in the training lineup and the organizational structure alike. All of this is discussed in great details elsewhere on the Internet. We will not get into all that here since with enough analysis it can be seen quite clearly that “the era of David Miscavige” is not in fact the underlying reason for the failures in Scientology – more like a set of symptoms rather than causes.

Sea Org Symbol
Sea Org Symbol

Then we have folks that try to draw the line between the tech and admin and claim that it is some of Hubbard’s organizational policies and his highly authoritarian management construct is to blame – mainly for setting the fertile ground for the “era of Miscavige” to develop on top of it. And that’s a valid thought. Ron Hubbard’s eventual organizational construct “reeks of authoritarianism” as he himself would say. He went to the extent of establishing a quasi-military, Navy-like fraternity order – the Sea Organization – to be the managing body of Scientology organizations. The Sea Org is organized around a rigid chain of command with ranks, orders, juniors and seniors, and even its own punishment system – the infamous Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF) – symbolically comparable to something like the gulags under the Soviet regime. In fact, even though Hubbard was highly critical of communism and Scientology members were specifically checked if they were communists to prevent infiltration, the Sea Organization itself is nearly one for one identical to a communistic system. Even its symbol is similar to that of the Soviet Union.

USSR Symbol
USSR Symbol

A whole new page could be dedicated to establishing positive comparisons between communism and the Sea Organization, but this is ultimately not our goal here. Some quick parallels for anyone specifically interested in this area are some of the following: top-down central planning; suppression of individual in favor of the group (the collective); emphasis on uniforms and uniformity; adherence to one big leader full with pictures and bronze busts; suppression of criticism of the ruling authority and its management; utilization of an intelligence group to identify and eliminate any threat to authority’s existence as well as the use of labor camps for punishment and reeducation; suppression of criticism and disagreement with the central philosophy along with suppression of efforts to explore alternatives; and a shared goal to spread the doctrine globally for the “salvation” of mankind.

1964 Soviet poster
1964 Soviet poster: “How you worked is how you earned.”

In the Soviet Union there was also an equalized and relatively small pay while demanding maximum level of production, and since workers were not incentivized with monetary reward, there was a lot of emphasis on ethics and the virtue of serving others to motivate individuals into production for the “common good” (while ALL of property and essentially all the means of production were owned by the State which then redistributed resources at its own discretion under central planning). “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” is a very well known motto of a communistic economic system (link).

To facilitate central planning and management, the government under Soviet Union also had a separate department – Central Statistical Administration – for gathering and analyzing statistics, though it is unclear, without further study, if there are any specific parallels between Soviet’s use of statistics and Hubbard’s methods of “management by statistics” implemented in Scientology.

As a totalitarian cult, communism also utilizes the practice of declaring persons hostile to the communistic regime and philosophy as enemies of the people which Hubbard adopted into his totalitarian construct as a practice of declaring persons or groups hostile to Scientology as “suppressive persons” or groups which are basically framed in Scientology as enemies of humanity at large.

Please, see this 1960 world strategic map (screenshot) to understand just how widespread communism had become around the world by that time. It would be next to impossible for Hubbard not to cross paths and become well versed in the methodologies of communistic regimes especially at the time when Scientology was expanding internationally and Hubbard was actively looking for effective “administrative methodologies” to manage Scientology itself.


It should be mentioned here, that there is nothing wrong with serving others or having a sound philosophy of ethics or using some statistics in managing an organization – what is wrong is when such otherwise positive elements get integrated into some oppressive and totalitarian system designed to force men into servitude of some centralized authority.


Ultimately, the details of Scientology organization and what went on there can be quite intriguing and take a lot of time to sort through and understand. One of the best works on this subject is a book by Nancy Many: “My Billion Year Contract” as well as an educational video by Christ Shelton: “Scientology’s Organizational Madness”. There are many more good resources that exist on this subject, and it is not the purpose of this website to get into all the complexity and confusion surrounding this aspect of Scientology. All we are going to look at here are the underlying principles of Scientology PRACTICE itself that made it possible for an authoritarian system to be constructed on top of it.

First, there are some major flaws in Scientology’s basic theories and its axioms. Then, starting with 1959, Hubbard invalidated what was actually workable in Scientology and ushered in a new wave of theories and methods through 1960’s that work to the detriment of individual’s ability to reason and make him or her more susceptible to being programmed and controlled by authorities within Scientology. Some of these include:

  • Cancelling (or rather invalidating) Creative Processing,
  • Introducing theory and practice aimed at invalidating THOUGHT (especially when it comes to criticism), and
  • Changing the definition of Responsibility and its application in Scientology practice (basically to introvert on one’s own actions only).

The pages that follow aim to cover all of this in great detail.

Page initially published on: October 15th, 2014

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