You are, undoubtedly, familiar with the fairy tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes” by Hans Christian Anderson.
Plot summary from Wikipedia:
An emperor of a prosperous city who cares more about clothes than military pursuits or entertainment hires two swindlers who promise him the finest suit of clothes from the most beautiful cloth. This cloth, they tell him, is invisible to anyone who was either stupid or unfit for his position. The Emperor cannot see the (non-existent) cloth, but pretends that he can for fear of appearing stupid; his ministers do the same. When the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they dress him in mime. The Emperor then goes on a procession through the capital showing off his new “clothes”. During the course of the procession, a small child cries out, “But he has nothing on!” The crowd realizes the child is telling the truth. The Emperor, however, holds his head high and continues the procession.
The point, of course, is that when people buy into some idée fixe that does not match reality, they inevitably have to choose: Deny reality or deny the fixed idea. What makes the story so odd and funny is that all the adults in the story chose to deny reality.
Scientologists will be familiar with this concept as Hubbard’s “held-down seven”. He compared the aberrated mind to a calculator with a stuck “7” key. No matter what you enter into that calculator, the results will be wrong, because “7” has been arbitrarily and automatically entered into every calculation.
So what does all this have to do with Scientology?
Scientologists have a very, very strong and inflexible idée fixe that alters and colors everything they see, everything they hear, everything they do. It is completely arbitrary, unproven and even uninspected, yet it is the foundation of all they believe in.
It is this:
L. Ron Hubbard created a technology that solves everything and always, always works perfectly.
There is, actually, no proof that this statement is true, but all Scientologists would agree, without hesitation, that this statement is absolute Truth.
Because reality doesn’t conform to this statement, once this idée fixe has been accepted as absolute Truth, more assertions must be made and must become incorporated into a Scientologist’s “reality”.
If Scientology “always, always works perfectly”, what do you do when it doesn’t work? It can’t be that Hubbard was wrong! It can’t be that the technology was ineffective, or wrong! It must be someone else who is wrong. And so you get this:
If Scientology doesn’t work, you haven’t applied it correctly.
Ah! Now everything is OK! This is the ultimate excuse and the most amazing and perfect way to ensure that Scientology “always works perfectly”.
If Scientology failed, well, by definition, it wasn’t Scientology!
If Scientology succeeded, then it was Scientology!
It’s the ultimate excuse for any failures in Scientology. No one can prove that Scientology works, no one can guarantee that Scientology works — but they can redefine any failures as “not Scientology”, and, well, that fixes it.
You will still get a few people who will very carefully apply Scientology exactly as Hubbard said, and it still doesn’t work. What to do? Scientology was applied exactly as Hubbard said, and the good results didn’t occur!
Do we accept that Scientology is flawed? Nope! Here’s what we do:
Scientology won’t work on Evil People!
Perfect! If you don’t get better from Scientology — it’s your fault! You are an Evil Person!
Ah! This is really nice! Now you can’t complain if you don’t see any results! To do so would be to confess that you are an Evil Person! Perfect!
Here is what happens: There are probably several tens of thousands of Scientologists out there, and each one of them didn’t get the promised gains from Scientology. I’m not kidding here, not one single person got the promised gains from Scientology. They will inevitably claim they were “happier” after this action or “more certain” after that action, but it is absolutely true that none of them actually got the promised gains from Scientology.
Let me be very clear, here. Some people are confused about what I’m saying. I’m not saying they get no benefit, I’m saying that no one is getting what is specifically promised as abilities to be gained from each and every one of the Scientology levels. These abilities are explicitly promised by Scientology, but never delivered to anyone.
But Scientologists can’t admit it! They think that every other Scientologist got the promised gains, and only they didn’t. And, because they didn’t get the “guaranteed” gains from Scientology, they believe they must be Evil! So they can’t admit it. Since they can’t talk about it, and they certainly can’t tell anyone that they didn’t get the gains, nobody in Scientology knows that this lack of results is universal.
No one is getting the promised gains from Scientology. They’re all pretending they did and thinking that everyone else really did. And they are all hoping that the next Scientology level will be the one where they get the gains.
They are all wearing Hubbard’s New Clothes! Each one is naked and pretending that their clothes are just as beautiful as the clothes every other Scientologist is pretending to wear.