The power of “The Question”


By Kent Bengtsson

One thing I believe that sets good auditing apart from many other practices is the non-evaluation by the auditor. An auditor asks questions and listens to the answers in order to assist the PC in sorting out things for himself.

When you ask someone a question you will make him think about it, evaluate relevant data and formulate a response or conclusion. In other words, the question is a very powerful weapon in forcing people to think and evaluate.

Also, when asking a question, you do not take a position necessarily. A question does not have to be accusatory at all. A question does not carry with it any burden of proof. If you make a statement or claim, your opponent can turn around and demand “prove it”.  If you have any life experience, you will know that it can be next to impossible to prove even the simplest thing. And proving something to someone who does not want to know – is impossible.

My main interest in later years has been the subject of how to be more free in today’s society. This involves going to Court sometimes to stand up for ones beliefs, or talking to bureaucrats who are trying to force you into compliance or to pay them money for imagined obligations where no underlying agreement exists.

I find that in these situations the right questions can convert an assertive self-righteous official to a stuttering fool, or at least someone who might go home and have something to think about.

You are more likely to plant a seed in someone’s mind with a question than with a statement. A statement can just be rejected, but a question demands an answer. Even if the person refuses to answer the question, it will be an incomplete action until answered, and will to some degree hang the person up until he answers it at least to himself.

Here are some questions I like to use on officials who claim authority over me:

What created me, the Government or Nature?

What created the Government, Man or Nature?

What is most senior, the Creator or the Created?

Am I a man?

Was I born free or born as a slave?

If I am not a slave, how can anyone or anything be my master?
Are we not all born with equal rights and freedoms?

If so, how can any other man claim authority over me?

Can anyone authorize anyone else to do something that he does not have the right to do himself? Etc

As a scientologist talking to someone firmly in the COS mind-set of today, try things like this:

What is the most senior datum “If it is not true for you, it is not true” or “the disconnection rule”?

Where does LRH say that fundraising is how one approaches lack of funds?

How is the “Ideal Org Strategy” not a violation of “Be, Do & Have”?
Have you noticed yourself an expansion or a contraction of Scientology in your local area?

If correctly applied tech (as per KSW) is what makes Scientology expand, and tech has never been more correct and standard than now, why is there not full academies in the orgs and lots of auditors being made?

If you were to apply the “Obnosis Drill” and “Look don’t Listen” could you tell me any area of Scientology that is actually expanding and booming – that you have first hand experience of?

If what LRH says about “Cause and Effect” is true, do you think the Church can Declare long time scientologists SPs, break up families, friendships, professional relationships, spy on its own members and treating people as “fair game” without becoming the effect of these activities? Etc.

You could probably think of better questions than these, yourself. This was written with much less thought than the first set of questions above. Give this some thought and you should be able to come up with better ones. The simpler the better.

My aim is not to destroy the COS. It is doing an excellent job there without any assistance from us defectors.  I just want people to apply logic and observe what actually takes place. By asking the right questions we can assist others in reaching more rational conclusions – based on own observations.

44 thoughts on “The power of “The Question”

  1. Kent, thank you for a scintillating contribution to the dismantling of The Sword of DMocles!

    In effect, I feel very supportive of your views, and convinced that this post can be used, as you suggested, in a more conciliatory gesture. Of course, the opposite, is the other option, ie; — “Fighting fire with fire”, or my favorite, — Fight fire with a BOMB! (take NO prisoners!)

    • There are two levels to this when dealing with $cientology (corporate) Scientology) and $cientologists.
      The first is to diplomatically and gently ask a question where one refers to some part of Scientology doctrine. This ignores the built-in, long established (going back to the 1950s), secretive nature of Scientology doctrine, and assumes that the sensible and benign-sounding parts of Scientology doctrine are representative of the overall doctrine.
      It ignores the long-established deceptive layering of *advertised to the public/then for-members only/then for selected members only/then for a small “elite” only* pattern of $cientology. It ignores that $cientology, since the 1960s, has been operated as a “tight conspiracy” (See ‘Responsibility of Leaders’) and that “PR is overt” and “Intelligence is covert.” (PR series 7). It ignores that not only are “wogs” to be PRed and manipulated, but that $cientologists also are to be PRed and manipulated.
      And this is built into Scientology. For example, the PR Series begins by stating that one should not use lies in PR, then, a little later, explains that there could be “PR of PR,” and “nicey, nicey PR,” then, a little further along, provides examples of how to, successfully, use lies in PR. There’s a certain amount of “wink, wink” in $cientology that a $cientologist is supposed to “get,” if he’s really an initiate. And becoming an initiate in $cientology is a corrupting process.
      So the teachings of $cientology are problematic. However, one can ignore all that, and perhaps justifiably so, when reaching out to someone who is IN $cientology. One can ignore the tangled web of deceptive layering and compartmentalization, built into $cientology. I’ve done it when encountering someone who’s IN. The purpose, after all, was/is to get them OUT of $cientology, not to – in one huge dose – inform them of everything regarding the subject.
      However, I knew, while attempting to reach the $cientologist this way, that I wasn’t being completely honest – that the nice sounding pieces of $cientology, that I was presenting to the person in my question to him or her, were not representative of the subject.

      • 1) Do these paragraphs above, represent your complete understanding of the subject, Boggle? 2) Do you reject the possibility that others, may indeed find the tools therein, actually useful? 3) Do you concede, that others, (in/out) have the democratic right to evaluate / decide for themselves? 4) In your view, must “the baby”, be thrown out with the bath water?

        (Four ‘additional’ Questions, in mitigation of the topic posted.)

      • Racing,
        I like parts of Scientology; I am an auditor; but Scientology is not an honest subject.
        When encountering someone who is IN Scientology Inc., the priority is to get him or her OUT of Scientology Inc., thus, when asking him or her a question, that references some good piece or pieces of the subject, one does not let on that one is aware that there are serious problems with the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard. It’s too sensitive, and Scientologists are trained to be super sensitive to any such idea, so one doesn’t mention it, otherwise one will be – incorrectly – pigeonholed as an “anti-Scientologist” who “hates” EVERYTHING about L. Ron Hubbard’s teachings.

      • Hey Boggle, interesting name BTW. Perhaps people forget all too easily that LRH was the ultimate games master. He knew how most games worked. In this games sense he could appeal to people and evoke tremendous emmotions. I believe his intent was good. That he has been misduplicated is very evident, that he made mistakes that he could be forgiven for (sea org ) is likewise very real.

        But what does boggle me Boggles is that you want to use scientology to free others from it. You may as well use a lazer beam to separate frozen bread. It may work, but wheres the game in that?

        So I leave you with a question, when did scientology stop being fun for you and become something else?

    • ““Fighting fire with fire”, or my favorite, — Fight fire with a BOMB! (take NO prisoners!) ”

      I once subscribed to this very Sea Org approach to handling people. I was fond of saying “take the bull by the horns” and considered myself so very OT in “making things go right”, conquest of the MEST Universe, getting my way…… I think you catch my drift.

      After sometime I actually looked at the bull (instead of confronting it) and noticed a small ring pierced through its nose.

      How easily I lead those “bulls” now.

      • Yes, indeed Old Timer. You do make a case for the those imbued with patience. My own experiences, however, have required a somewhat more “immediate” solution, since I was often called upon to bolster those who had been ground into submission., through their own cowardice / non-confront.

        Remember the “6-day war?” Or Hiroshima? Or the “9-foot high fence?”

        Sometimes, (particularly in life and death situations, with which I am well acquainted) you have to make the “BIG” decisions, to ACT, decisively!

      • You know, Racintheblood39, I’m more inclinded to agree with you. The person intrinsically knows the answer but won’t ‘succumb’ to it; he knows it’s a trap. I’m not saying this is the case each and every time.
        I’m more inclined to want to speed things up. Didn’t we all, each and every one of us, pose these questions for ourselves, but looked the other way. We stuck around for another ten or twenty years because the answer was just too outrageous?
        I always thought it was because I had missing data somewhere along the line that I would came across in my ever continuing studies and all would be resolved. I would have understand. Phew!
        I want more of a jolt-type reaction when I suggest to person in front of me that he is being ripped off in the most insidious, horrendous manner.
        I know someone who’s thinking of borrowing a R1million or more to get on to OT 7! He’s already up to his eyeballs in debt. It is crippling his life. But he thinks it’s because he needs OT 7.
        I at least want to give him have a jolt, bring him into present time, so that he looks askance at it minimally. I want to revive his own questions and have them come back upfront from the recesses of his mind where he’s buried them. Minimally, he must feel uncomfortable enough to delay impulsive actions. Then, somehow, when he’s just about over this, he receives another jolt of truth that gets him looking at other areas; and slowly, not too slowly, the bigger pictures dawns on him.

      • Isn’t it called TR 3? :). The message doesn’t impinge the first time, you have to give it to him at least three times; in some instances, six times.
        There is a reference in OEC Vol 6 about six times.

      • canspeakatlast, intensely sad, though it is, of course there are ‘tools’, to handle even this poor, deluded individual.

        When ‘reaching’ doesn’t work, including dozens of failed attempts with TR-3, I suggest going back to rummage in the scn ‘toolbox’ 🙂

        Stashed under old broken springs, and an unholy pile of bolts, nuts, and insulation tape, and used tubes of contact adhesive, or dried up ‘super-glue’, you may see that old rusty, but ‘trusty’, under-utilized gadget, the ‘withdrawal strategy’.

        As a matter of fact, I just recently saw Tony De Phillips, make some adroit use of that ol’ trusty ‘wrench’, on a fellow blogster, who was dishing out heavy inval & eval. which boomeranged on the ‘disher’, as far as I was concerned!

        Tony may, (since I’m not here to speak for him, or steal his ‘thunder’) respond to this tactic directly, as it really is ‘his’ call to do so. 🙂

        ARC, — Calvin.

  2. Well Ken, IMO you have just stated and explained one of the whys for the downfall of Scientology. You stress the thinking process. Carry that to the hilt and you will NOT be able to create a free being in contact with his feelings. You do not mention the feelings at all, but there are two sides to everything in this universe, (you know the good old Yin and Yan) THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS. The more you apply the thinking processes, the more you make the client able to think straight, but, I am sorry my friend, the less contact he will have to his feelings. In the sentence: “I Can’t control Myself” is “I” the masculine part of the person and “Myself” the feminine part, and it has nothing to do wit sex. The sentence shows a dramatization of the two poles that have polarized to the extreme. Optimum is of course they there is balance between the ‘think’ and the ‘feeling’ – the masculine and the feminine. The THINK processes add to the polarization and you will get a very clever robot-like person who will play out only his masculine sides and will judge the feelings as unwanted, unhealthy, unreal and a lot of other un-‘s. THIS in the end will put his feelings into such a squeeze that they will come out on the body and make him sick. Why do you ‘think’ that so many top-audited people got sick and died? Well, I think you got my point. My way of auditing does not address the masculine side alone, but both sides and creates balance. You will SEE the being grow in front of you. Does this make it worth while being an auditor – YOU BET !! I have audited 40.000 hours in the chair, and I have NOT had enough yet… !!!

    • There is something wrong with thinking if it results in suppression of feelings. Feelings are mental objects that need to be observed as are the physical objects when thinking takes place.

      Thinking is “associations that take place” when observations are made. Thinking is controlled by restricting or manipulating observations.

      It is much easier to control the observations of mental objects than of physical objects. Feelings are mental objects and can be restricted and manipulated much more easily.

      So, thinking need not be blamed for suppression of feelings. It is suppression of observations that leads to the suppression of feelings.

      • Exactly vinaire… I just do not agree to manipulate feelings, then you will be back in the Church trap. Thoughts are to be communicated, feelings to be vibrated.

  3. Oh, forgot to say that if you want to know more about this, It’s called BALANCING I can send you a link to a small book about it one of my friends and I wrote and I issued some years ago. THIS is Standard Tech as pr. the Class VIII definition: “Applying those processes which will give the person in front of you a win/gain”. There are further info on other subjects, “PTS-ness” is one of them on my home page PINGOVINO.
    EverFun… !

    • You first post was interesting and refreshing, but I doubt if L. Ron Hubbard would have regarded what you do as Standard Tech.
      The Class VIII course, if one were to examine a complete transcript of all the lectures, or listen to them, has more than its share of craziness, plus ample double-talk about the definition of “Standard Tech.”
      In reality, Standard Tech was whatever L. Ron Hubbard thought it was on that particular day. Ask any of the people who were thrown overboard from the ship, into the sewage-ridden dock water, for violating “Standard Tech.”
      What you’re doing is what, in Scientology, is called “squirrelling,” and ya know something?, that’s OK.
      I like it. What you describe regarding Yin and Yang is very true.
      Scientology could use some good “altering” or adjusting. It’s not necessary to pretend it’s “Standard Tech.”

      • I love it that we talk about Yin and Yang – and acknowledge that it exists. Or about meditation; or about homosexuals that we like as well as anyone else and that we like (and respect) women. I love it that we can argue, say what we feel without worrying about whether or not it’s an overt; or whether or not it’s verbal tech; even calling each other names from time to time.
        I love being able to do this.
        One thing we all agree on – we have the freedom to do it. We have great R with one another with regards this. 🙂

      • Yes, listening to/reading the transcripts of lectures was what finally did it for me and scn. I used to listen to a lecture each morning and actually found it quite relaxing, almost hypnotic. But increasingly as I made my way through the PDCs I felt – relaxing or not, hypnotic or not – I couldn’t take any more of this shit. Play around with planets? Fly into the sun? Well OK! I can accept the concept of creative processing, but personally I don’t think LRH ever meant us to listen to all his ramblings as he evolved the subject matter. I though training to be a class 4 auditor was great – including the lectures and all the TRs and metering drills. The Basics and Congresses were overkill and created more confusion than I needed.

        Way to go, dipshit dave!

      • Sean, I get you about the PDCs. I got ONE piece of good data that I could use and it made magic in my life. ONE piece. I had to wade through 76 lecutures in order to get it. 76 lectures! Of waffle, mainly. Off the subject a lot of the time. Hubbard used to talk about crazy people being non-sequitur…..
        One could say it was worth it. Was it, to get that one piece of data? I thought so at the time (lucky for me, then) and it probably was. However, couldn’t he have mentioned it in lecture # 1? Save me the trouble? I often felt extremely irritated when listening to this set of lectures and many of the others – I just wanted to get through them and get it over and done with.

      • As a matter of fact Dear Boggle I do not care if Ron would have called my actions Std. Tech or squirreling but I do know that he cared a lot about my results, he cared so much that he awarded me Kha Khan status.

      • Hi Pingovino,
        Lots of people were given “Kha Khan status” by L. Ron Hubbard.
        For some, it acted as an “aberrative pleasure moment,” as it was a “validation” from the ultimate “ally” (LRH) in the struggle for planetary and spiritual “survival.”
        In reality, if LRH changed his mind about the person and the person fell into disfavor with Hubbard, the same person was instant dog meat.
        If LRH were alive today you’d be regarded as a “squirrel” and subject to the same handlings as were the “squirrels” of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, “Kha Khan” or not.
        That said, the ideas in your first post were fascinating. Like to hear more.

      • LRH kept on changing his technology based on trial and error. That was not squirreling because such changes were done by LRH. Such actions of trial and error were considered squirreling when done by somebody other than LRH. This was because others were not the source of Scientology.

        But the idea of “source” is a poor way of validating any change in technology. The correct way of validating a change in technology is observing its effectiveness. Another way of validation is recognizing the underlying axioms (principles) and observing that a consistency is being maintained.

    • Hi Per,
      You were one of the first SO members I met, and my supervisor in FOLO EU 1975.
      I personally do not see a conflict between logic and emotions. I have always used “If it is not true for you it is not true” as my stable datum in studying the subject, and I learned a lot about both what to do and what not to do in my time on staff and in the SO. Joburg Org was a shining example of both back when I was there.

      I never agreed with the cold-hear ted attitude that so much permeated life on staff and in the SO, and thought that if we cared more about each other we would be much bigger and more people would have stayed on staff and lines.

      But what I understand of stories from those that have been on staff or in the SO recently that uncaring attitude has turned into a full blown dramatization.

      Having the grades freed up my own emotions and ability to feel and express them.

      But as I mentioned in the article, my main interest is not in Scn, currently. I have got other things I need to study more.

      Thanks for caring and for carrying on auditing people.


    • “Balancing” is easily archived by allowing observation of both physical and mental objects to take place without restrictions and manipulations. This is called mindfulness.

      Conditioning of the mind does install filters which restrict and manipulate observation. This conditioning may be discovered by observing inconsistencies and then tracking their source.

  4. Here is a great question to ask any scientologist:

    “Go have a look youtube “squirrelbusters”, a group of OT8s, people who have reached the top of the Bridge to Total Freedom, is that what you are aspiring to attain?”

    • Old Timer. I’ve watched that one, many times earlier. Also “The Car Wash”, featuring Marty Rathbun, washing down ‘the Goon squad’, (aka Squirrelbusters) 🙂

      What leaves one simply and utterly incredulous, is how such a totally thorough job of DeMon’s brand of ‘mind-control’, can seemingly reduce these presumably, once ‘able persons’, to mere cretins, devoid of any vestiges of shame or embarrassment, that would have humiliated ‘lesser mortals’, beyond belief!!

  5. Here’s another question. What would you apply when in oposition?:
    If it is not true to you it is not true.
    If it is not written it is not true.

  6. Excellent article, and all good questions.

    By asking someone a question, you’re empowering them to think of an answer. Also, as Socrates knew long ago, if we all have the truth within us (a thetan natively knows) then asking questions tends to validate their knowledge.

  7. Great article, Kent. Thanks.

    I know of a number of people trying to get family/friends to look and get out, and your point of asking pertinent questions such as those you suggested will certainly be helpful in these circumstances.

    Getting one to look at the situation for oneself (i.e. obnosis) will hopefully result in the needed “jolt” of reality and if that person is a true Social Personality, the answers and thus the solution should be simple.

  8. Kent, especially nice to see the various positive reflections of your post coming thru….. 🙂

    It just occurred to me, subsequent to the notification of the sad passing of Ueli Gosteli,
    and then going on to having a quick skim thru’ the blog for updates, what a true ‘treasure chest’ of GEMS, we keep amongst us. Those ‘Gems’, most often the result of some of the most profound, positive experiences, had whilst exploring life IN scientology, are often forgotten, or buried, beneath the attention hogging ‘negatives’, that have come to epitomize the subject.

    This is a great shame, indeed, and really just plays into the hands of those, whose only purpose, is clearly; — to throw ‘the baby’, OUT with the ‘soiled’ bath water!!

    QUESTION: What kind of ‘parents’ or ‘care-givers’, would turn on ‘the baby’, who once gave them so much genuine pleasure and understanding, through teaching them previously unrecognized principles and wisdom in life.

    The answers, reveal much about the ‘answerer’, wouldn’t you agree? 🙂

  9. Racing, I fully agree. I consider my biggest win in this life my first session when I went past lives. I walked out of there much taller, with a knowledge that no one could take away from me “I am an immortal spirit. I cannot die!”

    I cannot imagine any grade chart step beating that. For years I wondered “Am I Clear or not?”.
    Now I think “I am who and what I am, and only I can define that properly. Why do I need the evaluation of a Case Supervisor and a diploma or a bracelet to tell me what I am?” (I am not saying this to belittle the gains that are to be had in clearing or the OT levels. I have seen very positive changes in people doing these levels, and I have also seen OTs with phobias and other aberrations.)

    It is one thing BELIEVING something is a certain way – but a completely different thing KNOWING it is so.

    I also learned in all my trials and tribulations on staff and in the SO, that “It does not matter who ordered what or what it says in a policy or bulletin, if I in my heart cannot find a reason to do something and a love for doing it, and still goes ahead and does it – it will end in a bad way, sooner or later.”

    I think we can only really see and duplicate the datums that lies within or close to our own reality and tone level. With a culture of aggression within management, one is faced with the choice of “Do I become an arsehole/bitch so as to stay in the winning valence around here, or do I become a victim and just keep my head low, hoping I won’t be stepped on too hard?”
    Neither is a desirable state of being and both are pretty lowtoned, certainly below the 2.0 watershed of Survival vs. Succumb.
    When someone in this state of mind reads a policy or HCOB, he or she will duplicate the parts of the text that resonates with the tonelevel he or she is in mostly. KSW has something for everyone.

    An old Qual Sec I once had said these words that kind of stuck “LRH has written and said so many things, that you can always find a quote that makes you right, whatever you want to prove.”

    • Wow, Kent. I find your reply truly jarring! Why? Because I could have written it myself! A total mirror of my own thoughts and sentiments!

      Nice finding one has a ‘twin’, who just duplicates, (gets it ) hey? 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s