Scientology's tiger: How L. Ron Hubbard created a language trap - 2017-09-22
Jon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. For more than three years he's been helping us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet.
It bothers me when I hear someone say that they "blew" from Scientology. The word does not mean "left" – which is what they actually did – it means that they had to flee, because they were overwhelmed with guilt stemming from their transgressions (or "overts"). But the sneering, deprecatory label is accepted, as if leaving Scientology were not eminently sensible (I've not regretted it for a single moment!).
Language can make a fine trap: people begin to believe the words and act in accordance with their emotional resonance. Hubbard knew exactly how to enmesh people in a web of language, as Scientology's two 500-page dictionaries show. He brought about "conceptual understanding" by redefining hundreds of words (one of the cardinal sins of manipulators, as he pointed out in Propaganda by Redefinition of Words). The implanted concepts are often unhealthy, and it is important to think your way out of them, if you really want to be "self-determined."