Opinions on Scientology Study Technology

Scientology or Applied Scholastics Study Technology is a concept developed by L. Ron Hubbard for Scientology, but also to sneak scientology methods under another name in society, e.g. in organisations known as Delphian School, Delphian Academy, A to B School, and others. It is based on three concepts:

(text partly taken from the Los Angeles Times, 27.7.1997. If you don't believe me, read it from Scientology itself: The Barriers to study and Word Clearing)

Joe Harrington ( 2001)

Hubbard's "Study Tech" is the ultimate way of implanting Scn orthodoxy and conformity into people, based upon his notion that ANY difficulty grasping some idea or doctrine stems solely from "misunderstood words", not errors in the ideas or doctrines. Made mandatory in compulsory attendance schools it would stifle free thinking. For example, the student is reading the following sentence:

"The lunar surface is made of green cheese". The student seems foggy or doubtful AFTER reading this passage, which Hubbard said was a manifestation of a misunderstood word. The teacher would NOT converse with the student about the credence of the passage he would ONLY have the student FIND the word he "misunderstood". So the student might spend the rest of the classroom period looking up "misunderstoods", and finally come up with some term, such as lunar, which he did not FULLY understood, before concluding, "Wow, the moon really is made of green cheese, I never realized that before!" Should the student express a desire to NOT study more about the geology of the moon, this would be another manifestation of "misunderstood words" be went past, not an indication of false data in the textbook.

Study "tech" is how the unreality of Hubbard's nonsense is implanted into his followers.

If there is a form of "Mind Control" involved in Scientology, "Study tech" is at the heart of it. I find it interesting practically none of the discussion on "Mind Control" has focused on the Study Tech as Hubbard's most destructive product..

"Word Clearing" was created at the height of Hubbard's paranoia about government conspiracies in the early 1970's, a time when his GO agents were starting their infiltrations of their enemies around the world. Hubbard's sinister "study tech" indoctrination must NEVER be allowed to became a mandatory tool in the education of our children.

Another maxim of Hubbard's "study tech" is that ANY disagreement stems from misunderstood words in the subject, nor errors in the materials studied.

In a school using Hubbard's full "study tech", students would be subjected to e-meter checks by the Classroom Word Clearer. Students would be questioned while on the meter to determine if there was any materials that they disagreed with. If the World Clearer detected any meter reads the student would have to start looking for words he misunderstood, and then be rechecked again on the meter by the Word Clearer. Students with any disagreements who refuse to comply with looking up words would be routed to Ethics for "enturbulating" the class. Students who observed other students not using the "study tech" are required to submit Knowledge Reports on their classmates. This is the model that Applied Scholastics uses.

In a classroom using Hubbard's study tech, students are forbidden from asking the teacher for clarification of the materials being studied and no open discussion about the materials by the students is allowed. The ONLY response allowed by the teacher to student queries is: "What does your material state?", or "What word did you not fully understand?" ANY other response by the teacher, or "Course Supervisor" is considered gross "Out-tech".

Tilman Hausherr

My personal criticism is that teachers who do "Study Technology" are not told that a difficulty to understand something might be in the material itself. "Lack of mass" - bullshit. Skipped gradient - common sense. Misunderstood word - no. There are lot of reasons why people don't understand something, and there are a lot of methods to help. Sometimes a picture helps. I usually try to explain difficult concepts by taking a car as example (germans are car fetishists). I would get nowhere with clay, this is silly. Other people may have other methods that are as good. Books generally bring pictures. Looking up words is only relevant if you really don't know what a word means, not if you haven't understood the concept.

I think that word-clearing is a thought-stopping technique, like counting sheep, or saying "hare krishna" 2000x, etc. While using such techniques are excellent to getting to sleep or to help getting obedience, they are counter productive in an environment where individual thinking is important; this applies to all schools in industrialized countries, except maybe in Japan (where indivuality is discouraged - a well-known saying is "a nail that sticks out is hammered back in").

The best example of the success of Study Technology are scientologists themselves. L. Ron Hubbard failed university and got a bogus "Dr." degree. David Miscavige, the current Nr. 1, was not even able to finish high school; his level of literacy is ridiculous. From the alleged 8,000,000 scientologists, not a single one is known for a break-through advancement in science. And scientologists on the usenet and in the real world are unable to participate in communication about scientology itself.

Study Technology is a part of scientology, and is taught in scientology. If it was a "secular" method, why do scientologists have to learn it? Why aren't they allowed to study the way they want?

Jim Bianchi

My experience with the 'study tech' was that, when reading something Hubbard wrote, absolutely no explanation of the text was allowed. Hubbard -- in spite of the much vaunted 'communications tech' -- was NOT the easiest person to understand. I can recall asking for a restatement of some- thing I was studying, only to be told -- rather firmly -- that my 'not get- ting it' was (obviously) caused by my going past a misunderstood word; that this was MY fault in not immediately comprehending the <cough> genius, of Hubbard and not due to the ..ah, opacity, of what he wrote.

This whole m/u word thing, like so much of $cn, has a smidgen of truth to it, but has been intentionally blown WAY out of proportion, to the point that a student who is questioning something (because that is what a student DOES) is told that any concept he fails to grasp is HIS fault and not that of the manner in which the concept is presented.

His 'indicators' of having gone past a word one has not fully grasped the meaning of were a bit out to lunch, too. When I was going to evening classes at the (original) L.A. Celebrity Centre, I was gravely handicapped, which alone took a toll of my avail energy level. In addition, I got there after traveling over 25 miles (on a motorcycle) from my home in Redondo Beach *after* working an 8-hour shift at Data General. I used an electric typer to cobble together a note to my course sup saying that part of my handicap involved my not fully breathing -- the buildup of carbon dioxide in my lungs was responsible for triggering an involuntary yawn, which was actually my body reminding me it was time to breathe again. She bought this 'shore story,' and I happily yawned my way through the course!

Martin Hunt

L. Ron Hubbard's "Study Tech" is consummate bullshit; I was trained to be an expert in this area of the cult (my specialty), and none of the techniques do anything for anyone. It mostly involves reading Hubbard's waffling or listening to a few of his thousands of tapes while "looking up words" as a ritualistic exercise; (if this worked, Scientologists would be literate. As we've all seen from the culties who post here, there's nothing special about their command of the language) playing with little toys, blocks, and bits of string; and making small plasticine models of rote subjects in rote ways.

This doesn't teach anything. I doesn't increase vocabulary. It doesn't improve grammar or spelling. (although, there is a grammar course based on a, horrors, wog grammar that may do some good - mainly because of its woggishness) It doesn't increase reading skill, logical or critical thinking skills, math, or anything else, and, I believe, actively interferes with these processes.

The objections to Hubbard's pseudoscience bullcrap being used in schools has a lot more to do with Hubbard's own miserable lack of education and flunking out of school than it has to do with Scientology. America's schools are bad enough as it is; please don't make them a great deal worse with L. Ron Hubbard's garbage!

Kim Baker

Hubbard also detailed the indicators for course supervisors to watch for - if a student yawned, this was a *definite* indication of a "misunderstood word", and so the student would be stopped, and the "MU" would be looked for. It was *never* considered possible that maybe they were just tired, from not having enough sleep, but a yawn = an "MU". If the student looked bent over, slouched, or had a vacant gaze, then again, either "MU's were looked for, or demos had to be done, on the basis of points 2 and 3.

As you correctly point out, all this is geared towards the assumption that Hubbard's information is not to be questioned - if you didn't understand it, that meant *you* had an "MU", or had too steep a gradient of data absorbtion, and had to cut back, or that you did not have enough "mass" on the concept. That's it. Period. So there is absolutely *no* critical thinking allowed for, at all. The information is merely to be absorbed and understood, but never questioned.

On the Key to Life, well, I think enough people have the idea of what is entailed - starting with defining each and every "small common word", followed by instructions on dictionary usage, and then a a long, Method-9ed tour through the rules of grammar. And of course, the clay table auditing. I could speak volumes about this course, but not for this post.

Again, the whole focus is geared towards understanding what is in front of one, but without question. This is THE flaw in the Study Tech - it teaches one how to unquestioningly accept data. That's all it does.

Now, the interesting aspect for me, personally, was that I found that as I progressed through these courses, I became less interested in reading non-Scientology material. Where I used to read widely before, I found myself only reading Hubbard materials. The Study Tech helped me to understand *Hubbard*, very, very well. And the more I understood Hubbard, the more I incorporated *his* thinking as my own, the less I wanted to incorporate different views. My ability to assess "wog" situations, and integrate and analyse information relating to any subject under the sun, deteriorated *enormously*. The marker I have is that I had always done well in studying, and I took a part-time university course while in Scientology, and achieved a pathetic, and first-time ever low of 52%. I had been using study tech for that course (Business Economics).

In a nutshell, Study Tech increased my ability to understand Hubbard's world-view, but reduced my ability, dramatically, of intepreting and analysing day-to-day information and events. It was frightening for me, because I had never had problems with this before. Even now, some two and a half years later, I am still struggling with "re-wiring" my thought processes back to what they were *before* Scientology study tech, and my personal solution has been to study further, part-time, to *force* this process - so far, I have been achieving over 80%, all the way, so I assume I am back on track, but it is still a constant, conscious effort not to fall into the passive, uncritical absorbtion of information that I acquired from study tech.

Chris Schafmeister

Scientology "study tech" teaches that the "three barriers to learning" are:
  1. The misunderstood word.
  2. Lack of sufficient "mass".
  3. Learning things on too high a "gradient".
Conspicuous by its absence is any mention that every individual must critically evaluate everything they read and judge its correctness based on what they have already learned. Glaring in its absence is any mention of the fact that a good deal of what is in print is wrong or misleading.

Hubbard knew what he was doing, and his "solution" to the problems of learning is ideal for creating individuals with a false confidence that they know how to learn, and an engineered weakness in their capacity for critical thinking about what they are learning.

Even if Scientology "Study Tech" is presented as non-secular, and no mention of Scientology is made in its teaching, it is indoctrination to a flawed way of learning.

We see what "Study Tech" does to Scientologists, its a simple, brainless formula that makes them think they have all the answers while they choke down Hubbard's crap.

Learning is hard work folks, I know, I'm just finishing my Ph.D.

Brainless "Study Tech" is fine for Scientologists, but our children are too valuable to make them more susceptable to ridiculous and bizarre cults.

Steve Keller

in a letter to the Los Angeles Times

If L. Ron Hubbard's "study technology" and its application by Delphi Academy are so wonderful, why does Delphi have to lie about its achievements?

With great interest, I listened to your report of Mon., Aug. 18, about the proposal for a charter school in L.A. by a scientologist, and the application of Hubbard's methods at Delphi. Since I have a daughter who recently began attending that school, I have been investigating its claims and credentials. I wish to share what I have learned with you.

Delphi claims 96% of its students apply for admission to college. Included in a packet of explanatory and promotional material they provided me was a page entitled "Partial List of Colleges and Universities that have Accepted Delphi Graduates." I wrote each of the 35 U.S. schools on that list. Of the 27 that replied, only 3 acknowleged having received applications from Delphi students in recent years; 16 said either they had not received such applications or they could not consider them. For example, U.C. Santa Barbara said it "...does not accept students applying from Delphi Academy...because Delphi is not an accredited institution."

So, I researched secondary school accreditation in California. I had a correspondence with the Director of Undergraduate Admissions for the University of California, who told me U.C. recognizes only one accrediting agency: the Accrediting Commission for Schools. That organization wrote me to say Delphi is not accredited.

I contacted an official in the state department of education who told me the state does not accredit schools.

I wrote American College Testing, which replied, "Few if any Delphi students have taken the ACT test."

I wrote Educational Testing Service; unfortunately, they were unwilling to provide information about Delphi students' history with the SAT's.

It is obvious to anyone familiar with scientology that it is attempting to achieve a measure of legitimacy, as well as recognition of Hubbard's name, his methods, even his unique use of language, by obtaining a charter for a new school and by getting the state to approve the use of his texts by public schools. Whether these are attempts to cross constitutional boudaries between church and state is a matter for the law to decide. Scientology has been able to represent itself as a religion when its needs are thus served and as a secular organization when that suits best. Maybe they can have it both ways.

Whether or not they have success in these endeavors, we need to ask: do Hubbard's methods work? If Delphi is a good example, they obviously do not.

I can document and/or duplicate all of the information I have provided, and more. If you wish to do further research on Delphi, it has a web site: In particular, see "Accrediting Agencies." The State of California I have addressed above; Applied Scholastics International is a Scientology organization; and California Interscholastic Federation exists to promote athletic competition among private schools, according to its web site. 

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