Banner - Exposing the con |

Hubbard the Stage Hypnotist Series

Hubbard, the Master Stage Hypnotist! Index

The Anderson Report
on Hypnotism
in Scientology

Use of the "Confusion Technique" in scientology

Hypnosis in scientology - The Gradation Chart Revealed - LINK

Hypnosis Is
What Works in scientology by
Don Carlo

Hubbard Denounced by Inventor of the E-Meter

Hypnosis Demonstration and Collective on Hubbard's Use of Covert Hypnosis - Exposed

Dianetics in the 1952 Journal of Hypnosis and "Instantaneous Hypnosis" by Harry Arons

scientology's Source of the "E-Meter Stress Test" and More From 1943 - George Estabrooks

A Comparison of Hypnosis and Auditing from Ex-Member who Became a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist

Hubbard's own statements about Hypnosis from his books and Scientology official publications.

The Rape of the Mind by Joost Meerloo 1957 - LINK

books scared them - canada library association poster thumbnail

charles manson thumbnail link to

Charles Manson had a scientology e-meter at Spahn ranch"

Visual Fraud Tour

Scientology's Private Army of Private Investigators

Major News Articles of Interest to Ex-Members

Son of Scientology - An interview with Ron Dewolfe

Time Magazine

LA Times 6 Part Series

Pulitzer Prize Winnning 14 Part series in the St. Petersburg Times

Washington Post

New York Times

Wall Street Journal

A site by now ex-member Charlotte Kates

Warrior's Archive
Page by a co-worker I knew when I was 'in' scientology

The Very Strange Death of L Ron Hubbard the King of CONs

Through the Door:
Ex-member Interviews

Movies that are helpfuf for understanding Scientology:
The Truman Show 1998
The Sleuth 1972

Understanding OSA and the Guardians Office:
Cape Fear 1962
The Spanish Prisoner

More for Scientologists


Peter Forde: Hypnotic Coercion Uncovered Via Coue

This is an OLD article from 1988 that I never published. The material in it was dropped out when a proofreader got very sarcastic: "So now hypnotism is reduced to a mathematical formula is it?"

A year later that reader came around entirely to my point of view, but used another model to describe hypnotism in terms of pacing, leading, trance-induction, trance-deepening and ratification. His model is valid but is not used here, and would not uncover what I've uncovered here. - -


Every staff member is briefed on the subject of letter-writing early on, where a senior staff member called "HCO Area Secretary" shows them two policy letters about why they write letters. These policy letters are confidential with very limited availability. In one of them Hubbard writes to the effect that "people are slightly hypnotic, and repeatedly asking them in eventually fetches them in." Were the new staff member to query this he would be given an end-justifies-the-means argument about people's minds being booby-trapped against improvement activity, therefore we have to take them over for their own good. The new staff member has to join in with writing letters or face disciplinary action for his non-compliance.

Hypnosis is heavily used within Scientology and Dianetics, but is not known by Scientologists to be so widespread. In this essay I will attempt to explain the basics of hypnosis that Hubbard concealed, and to show where I've seen it acting.

From the Encyclopaedia Britannica Macropaedia; Hypnotism "The hypnotised individual appears to heed only the communications of the hypnotist. He seems to respond in an uncritical automatic fashion, ignoring all aspects of the environment other than those made relevant by the hypnotist... Generally psychoanalysts tended to view hypnosis as a somewhat masked intimate personal relationship... In general hypnosis cannot be induced against a person's will. Occasionally experiments have been reported in which the individuals were asked to resist, but nevertheless were hypnotised. In all such examples the hypnotist solicited the subject's cooperation in an experiment; only then did he ask for resistance.

Hypnosis as a word was first coined by James Braid in 1843. It derives from the Greek 'hypnos' meaning sleep. He soon repented of the word because it was misleading, but it had caught on in the public imagination and could not be changed. In fact while a subject can appear sleepy to an observer, he is actually experiencing a heightening of awareness in some direction, accompanied by emotion. The sleepiness or vacant appearance, if manifesting, is because attention is off the present time environment. Braid respectabilised Mesmerism by calling it hypnotism and publishing a medical book on the subject. It would have caught on widely but chemical anaesthetics werre invented about then, and hypnotism was eclipsed by their subsequent publicity.

The person who best mastered the subject of hypnosis, and who also published prolific observations on the subject, was Emile Coue. Others have condensed his observations into 3 Laws and 4 Observations:

Law 1. The law of concentrated attention. This states that what people put their minds upon, they tend to adopt.

Law 2. The law of reversed effort. This states that an effort of will to overcome an idea, only reinforces that idea. e.g. A person decides not to think about a donkey's tail and then can do no other!

Law 3. The law of affect (affect = emotion) This states that a person is suggestible in the direction of his emotion. N.B. Contrary to Hubbard's teachings, this means ANY emotion, enthusiasm as well as apathy.

Observation 1. When the will and the imagination are in antagonism, it is always the imagination which wins. WITHOUT EXCEPTION.

Observation 2. In the conflict between the will and the imagination, the force of the imagination is in direct ratio to the square of the will.

Observation 3. When the will and the imagination are in agreement, one does not add to the other, but one is multiplied by the other.

Observation 4. The imagination can be directed.

The reader can check the above with the Scientology definitions for hypnosis, and will find general agreement. The only specific false information given out by Hubbard that conflict are in the processes called "CCH" and in the book "Science of Survival". In CCH or Communication, Control and Havingness processing, orienting the subject to his present-time environment is supposed to dehypnotize him, but in fact by mustering attention and getting him used to being controlled it has the opposite effect; getting him controllable and tranced (Law 1 of concentrated attention). In the book "Science of Survival", chapter on hypnotic level, it is asserted that higher toned people are not hypnotisable. In fact cheerful or apathetic, all can be hypnotised (Law 3, of affect). Persistent letter-writing to those who've bought something from Scientology, which can be halted only by threat of or actual legal action.

In the registration interview, persistence in not letting the client leave until hes sold. (Law 1 concentrating attention) Moving attention about the client's ruins and goals in life and linking improvement to Scientology services (4th observation.. directed imagination). Engaging the clients imagination re ruins, goals, Scientology and throwing it into conflict with the client's will of sales resistance and his rational thought (Law 2, Reversed effort, Observation 1, imagination wins in any conflict with the will).

If the client backs out forcefully, he may be told "Come back when you've changed your mind" (Law 2 of reversed effort, Observation 2, imagination wins in any conflict with the will).

An apparently accidental guard against future backouts, but nevetheless effective, comes at the end of the registration interview. The client is asked "Have you truly made this decision on your own independent cognizance?" The client at this point in time is fired-up, and has been worn down on independent thinking, and so tends to say "Yes". Of course the client has had his "independent cognizance" carefully manipulated during the preceeding period, so "Yes" is a logically untrue answer. But to reverse this affirmation later would invalidate the client's sense of integrity as he recalled his affirmative "Yes" answer, so he is thus somewhat inhibited from considering hypnosis in the interview.

With most clients there is some element of fear involved in any contemplation of confrontations in trying to leave the interview. That this fear is exploited is alas very much the case. Hubbard formally forbids "Crush selling" where penalties are threatened if the client doesn't buy, but I've known a registrar do just that, and at the time I left he was still working as registrar. More recently a man was detained overnight in the Registrar office, and they wouldn't let him go until he signed blank pieces of paper in application of a bank overdraft (then filled them in and raided his bank account). Fear is a good way of trapping and intensifying attention, and thus of enhancing suggestibility, but because its so antagonstc to rational thought it is combatted and thus less dangerous than Affinity, Reality and simple Communication as the conveyor belts for suggestions.

In training, the Communication Course and CCH processing have as their directly-stated purpose the facilitating of control over others and of being controlled. They are a means of attacking a person's acquired defence mechanisms against hypnotic control - (e.g. avoiding eye contact). The student / client accepts the training because it imparts confidence in controlling others and because it manifestly brings him into "present time" (which is the Scientology environment and pleasant thoughts about changes for the better). These training routines muster attention and enable attention to be more easily mustered in future (Law 1 concentrated attention). They develop affinity between the persons involved and the organisation. (Law 1 concentrated attention, Law 3 Affect) The client's only effective barrier to future manipulation from here on is rational thought combined with keeping his mouth shut.

All training centres around Ron Hubbard's written and tape-recorded words, and he is on record as being a capable hypnotist. Dissent is stifled by limited communication and the possibility of disciplinary action. Thus Law 1 is engaged to the limit, and 4th Observation (directed imagination) applies. Present and future students of Hubbard's should take careful note of how he tries to inhibit wider study of psychology, and of hypnotism in particular.

Essays are required to be written, relating the material being studied to the person's own life experiences. Having had one's memories so carefully and systematically linked to materials being studied, the student will have trouble later on in thinking outside the Scientology framework (2nd Law or reversed effort implied). This is a classic tactic used by North Korean Communists in their brainwashing.

At the end of the training action comes a mandatory requirement to write a success story. The trainee is constrained to write things favourable to Scientology, and in doing so he implicitly accepts the training, with all its contained criticism of other ways of thinking, as valid. This is a favoured trick used by cults and no-free-speech groups to undermine independent, considered opinion of the client.

In Dianetics, hypnotic states and a high level of suggestibility are very evident, but the practitioner is usually careful to add no suggestions. One suggestion is made routinely however: that the client is a 'preclear'. Practitioners are routinely directed to sell their clients and prospective clients on the idea of "clearing the reactive mind out". This is a direct manipulation of the clients goals from whatever they were, towards the mythical state of "clear". Whatever "Clear" means, and the definition goalposts move according to your state of involvement in Scientology, it has never been acheived by anybody, ever, and is simply a ploy to foster dependency upon Scientology. Manipulation of a client's goals in this manner is a breach of the Duty of Care, and is actionable under Torts.

- In counselling as with training, the client is brought to end-off on a high. It is in this excitable state that he is sent, first for "Attest" where the mandatory success story is written, thus accepting the counselling before giving whats happened leisurely scrutiny. Then still excited, the client goes to the Registrar to be sold more services. The client is at this point in time excited and introverted, thus hypnosis is easily used to sell him more services.

General notes. Applying intention to control another is definitely hypnotically oriented. It will indeed mesmerise another to wear a smart uniform, be mysterious, somewhat incomprehensible and bossy. Having as purpose to make the hypnotised individual similarly 'intentional' is just prosyletising to make more of the same. People are not truly free when they become Scientologists as the mind-enslavement is trapping them about as thoroughly as the distress and problems they have left behind, if perhaps more comfortably. Hubbard had a name for what I call mind-enslavement, he called it "Channelling", picturing it as a bridge that people must cross, could fall off, mustn't stop on, and needed shepherding to keep them moving on it. And oh, the glorious sky-high causes he built around the words "Bridge" and "Clear". These notions contains both the imagination-directing elements (4th Observation), and the traps for peoples feet.

It is possible to undo the effects of the Registrar interviews, channelling actions, success story confusions and all other hypnotic actions in Scientology simply by learning Coue's laws and observations, getting a good grasp on how they can apply, then scanning for the moments of decision, and what happened just before, to see where such influences were brought to bear on you. Therapies run that were of benefit remain of benefit.

To get a correct perspective on the usefulness or otherwise of the Scientology training and materials, it is important to get to know the strengths and weaknesses of the man who wrote them. A good way to spot his deceits is to watch out for harshly critical natter from him, then tag whats spotted as a possible pointer to hypocrisy. Thus when he rails about psychiatrists being only good for banks accounts, thats a clue! If he rails against psychoanalysts who gain status according to the length of time they can hold on to a client, thats a clue! If he speaks angrily against those who practice hypnotism, thats a clue! And if he rails stridently against those who practice slavery, that a major clue also. If he rails on against those who practice christianity exclusively, thats a clue too.. (in fact Hubbard was allied to the Ordo Templi Orientis, a Satanic group run by Aleister Crowley.)

This essay has concentrated on some hypnotic aspects of Scientology channelling. Its is not exhaustive of techniques used, nor is the Coue model either up-to-date or the only applicable hypnosis model. I hope it helps though.. it certainly got me out!

Peter Forde 14th April 1988, revised 17th February 1995.

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them.
Hamlet (III.i.64-68)

My Exit page for Scientologists and ex-members

Home | F.A.Q.'s | Legal | News | Support |