It is important to first address a very common stereotype that most people hold regarding cults. This stereotype is the notion that only people of a ‘weak mind’ or only ‘troubled individuals’ or whatever would be susceptible to cultic recruiting techniques. The truth is rather more concerning. All human beings on this planet have hopes, wants, desires, dreams, insecurities, aspects about themselves they would like to change, sorrows, etc. etc. If you are human then you have these, and it is the very things that make us human that also make us susceptible to cultic recruitment. Everyone has buttons, and the question is matter of whether or not a cultic recruiter can find and successfully push them.

One of the aspects that make the Scientology cult unique is the way in which it’s recruiting techniques, as well as its methods for recovering those who leave, are codified in numerous policies. The policies are then studied, and the methods within practiced extensively by recruiters. While this section is focused on squarely on Scientology recruitment/recovery policies, a lot of the ideas expressed here also apply to other cults.

Table of Contents:


Scientology uses three main recruiting tools: 1) Personality Test, 2) Stress Test and 3) Personal Contact. There is a substantial amount of overlap in the methodologies applied in all three cases.

The Personality Test

Also called the ‘Oxford Capacity Analysis’ (despite having no connection to Oxford), this consists of 200 questions. The questions were originally YES/NO questions, but in later years extra choices have been added. The questions used have changed over the years, but the following scans of an old test gives a good indication of what the questions are like, uncovering such deep personality traits such as question 100 – “Is your facial expression varied rather than set?”:

The whole charade is to build an air of scientific legitimacy, in order to make the whole thing easier to sell to a potential recruit. Finding a ‘ruin’, which is discussed further below, is the name of the game in order to convince the mark that Scientology is the only way for the person to be helped. From HCOPL 28th October 1960 titled ‘New Testing Promotion Section’:

Evaluation of tests should be helpful, wise and very direct. An evaluator should know all HCOBs about test evaluation. Remarks that “Scientology can improve this or that characteristic” or “Auditing can remedy that” or “Processing can change this” or “Training can stabilize that” should be used repeatedly during the evaluation for the sake of impingement.

A clever evaluator can surmise such things as domestic grief, trouble with possessions, etc., much more easily than a fortune teller.

An important aspect to note is that while a personality test can be done by mail or online, the results may only be given in person. HASIPL 15th November 1958 titled ‘Informing Public Of Test Results’ specifies that “no letter may be written containing actual results of tests”. When exploiting ruins it is important that the mark not have sufficient time to think things through, making them easier to exploit.

Delivering The Bad News

Results are often given in the form of a graph. HCOB 1st November 1987 titled “OCA Graphs” gives the following sample graph, which looks all nice and scientific:

No matter who took the test and no matter how the questions were answered – when given the results the person will always be told there is something wrong. The patter is described in HCOPL 15th February 1961 titled ‘Evaluation Script’, which “must be studied and learned by heart by PE Evaluators”:

“Now, Mr. (Mrs., Miss) let us have a look at your tests.” Open folder.

“Your IQ Score was ……

(a) Less than 100.

“This is very low. Less than average and you obviously have great difficulty

solving problems. Scientology training would raise that considerably.”

(b) 100-110.

“A very ordinary score and you have more difficulty than you need in handling

problems. Scientology training would raise that considerably.”

(c) 110-120.

“An above average score. You can take advantage of opportunity and when you

apply yourself, you progress fast. However, a high intelligence is only useful so

long as you have data to apply the intelligence to. Scientology will not only give

you useful data, but can raise your IQ even higher.”

(d) Above 120.


“Now let’s look at your personality. This is what you’ve told us about yourself. Understand this is not our opinion of you, but is a factual scientific analysis taken from your answers. It is your opinion of you.”

The Evaluation is given with excellent TR 1. Almost Tone 40. The idea is to impinge on the person. The more resistive or argumentative he is, the more the points should be slammed home. Look him straight in the eye and let him know, “That is the way it is.”

“Above this line is satisfactory but even these points can be raised higher. Also knowledge is necessary to make full use of the best points of one’s personality. That can be gained through Scientology.

“These middle points will get you by, so long as there is no crisis or difficulty in your life.

“Now, this section shows that you are very much in need of help.”

Proceed with evaluation on the low points, column by column. Make a decisive statement about each. If the subject agrees-says, “That’s right”, or “That describes me all right”, or similar-leave it immediately. You have impinged. If he argues or protests, don’t insist. You simply are not talking on his reality level. Re-phrase your statement until it is real to him. Stop as soon as you get through. As soon as you get an impingement, look subject in the face and say, with intention, “Scientology can help you with that” or “That can be changed with Scientology”, or some similar positive statement.

NEVER say it half heartedly, or apologetically!

Don’t bother much with the high points. If he queries them tell him it is the low ones that are the cause of his troubles-and that these can be changed. If several are high you can add that because of these it will be easier for him than for most people, to use Scientology to improve with.

When the graph evaluation is complete-which should be done speedily and with certainty-pick up the meter check sheet and say:-

“Well, that tells us how you are and how you have been in the past. Now, let us look at your future.”

“You have had…and you inevitably will again.

“You have been…..and in your domestic life and in your job, you will find, etc, . . . .

“With those low points on your personality graph, you are going to….

(Here, you use what you know of Scientology and assess this.)

“Not a very bright prospect is it? Unless you care to change it.”

At this point the evaluator leans back in his chair, puts down his pencil on the chart, smiles and says:

“Well, Mr. (Mrs., Miss)-That’s what your tests show.”

“Thank you very much.”

The Evaluator does not reach or try to sell any more than this. If the job has been done well, the person should be worried and will probably ask a question as to what he can do about it all. If so, the Evaluator says:

“That is very commendable, wanting to do something about it. A point in your favour.”

“There are many things you can do. There are all sorts of things that people go in for. In the past they tried psychology, psychoanalysis, Dale Carnegie, Confidence Courses, Mental Exercises, read books, but these things had a very limited application and you could get yourself terribly involved in mysteries, expenses and wasted time, before you found any solutions to your difficulties. All across the world today, people are coming to us, to find simpler, more straight forward answers.”

(Here the Evaluator grows confidential)….

“Look, I’m technical staff here. I don’t have anything to do with sales or courses, but if you’d like a confidential tip, there are all sorts of courses and services going on here all the time, but your best bet is to spend £l (or cost of PE) on a Personal Efficiency Course and discover what Scientology can offer you. That will save you from getting involved. Go and see that lady over there and tell her you only want the Personal Efficiency Course, so that you can find out what Scientology is about.”

Then route the person to PE Registrar.

NOTE: Evaluators have been found to be afraid of impinging too hard, in case they caused ARC Breaks or committed overts.

It would be an upset the person-if we did not lead him to a solution.

The only overt that can occur is to fail to get the testee on to the PE Course and thence to Co-audit.


The above HCOPL is present in the 1976 edition of the Green Volumes, but for some reason has been removed from the later editions. This does give a good illustration of how the personality test works. The question and the graph are to give the air of scientific legitimacy, and as the patter shows the goal is to then use that was a platform for caving the mark in. Make them feel really bad, try to magnify their problems, and then when they are really low you offer them Scientology as a way out. It should be obvious at this point why such results are only given in person.

The Stress Test

The Stress Test is virtually identical to the personality test, the only real difference is that instead of a questionnaire the e-meter is used. The following are photographs of ‘cue cards’ that were issued to Scientologists performing stress tests. The text of the cards follows.


”Hello! [handshake] My name is_____ , What’s your name? [tells] ”Nice to meet you!”

[put cans in hands]

“Here is how this Works. I am going to ask you a question, you don’t have to say anything and we’re going to find out what is causing you the most stress in your life. When the needle moves to the right, that shows stress.” [point to the needle so they know to watch the dial]

[Tum the meter on and get the needle on the dial]

”Think of different people and situations in your life.”

”There! [point to the needle falling] That’s stress! What did you just think of?”

[Make a big deal out of the read and say this with impact so that it impinges on them]

[Get in comm. If no real ruin, give them a good and appropriate ack and say] ”Think of something else causing you stress.”

[Get in comm. If still no real ruin, check over the following areas, one at a time, if they haven’t already come up: work, family, relationships, health.]


[If you have still not found a ruin, then look a them with good TRs and high intention and say,] “Let me ask you a question, what is the one thing that is really messing up your life?”

[once you have found the ruin, ask] “How long has this been going on?”, How is this affecting you life?” or “How does this affect you?” to make it real

[once done, give them a very good acknowledgement and take the cans away and show them the Dianetics book] “Let me show you something. Have you ever heard of this book?” [Put the book in their hands and have them read the first two paragraphs of the inside flap of the cover. Let go while the read it. Take the book away when done.]

”What you just told me about, Where… [repeat the ruin back as exactly as possible] …this book will show you exactly why that happens and how to fix it.” [When you say, “…how to fix it,” put the book into their hands and let go.]

[Then immediately without comm lag, start to hardsell the person Make it your own.]




According to the Scientology admin dictionary, a ruin is described thusly:

Ruin, before you can save someone from ruin, you must find out what their own personal ruin is. This is basically – what is ruining them? What is messing them up? It must be a condition that is real to the individual as an unwanted condition, or one that can be made real to him.

In practice a ruin is an insecurity, a psychological button that can be used against a person to make that person think they need Scientology. The methods used in the Stress Test and the Personality Test are based around this idea.

Finding Ruins

The material quoted in this section is taken from a 1998 edition of the book ‘A Scientologist Guide To Dissemination’, which is generally studied by FSMs. The essay titled ‘Finding A Ruin’ illustrates the central ideas used (based on HCOPL 15th December 1979 titled ‘Surveying For Department 17 Services’):

What you’re looking for is the thing that is ruining a person’s life: the thing that if he could get handled, he would want handled; the area of his life that he is effect of instead of cause over; the major complaint he’s got about his life; the one dynamic that is pulling down all the rest of his dynamics. You get the idea?

You want to find out what service, if available, will bring an individual into Scientology: It’s a matter of locating the correct buttons that will elicit agreement and response. If you have the correct name for a Dept 17 course then the public will be in agreement with the fact that that is a ruin and then they will respond by signing up for the service.”

Some examples of how you would apply this survey tech to finding ruins are:

Example 1: (raw public)

BE: If you could be anything, what would you want to be?

DO: If you could do anything, what would you like to do?

HAVE: If you could have anything, what would you like to have?

What would have to happen for you to (be, do, have) that?

Example 2: (raw public)

(If you want to know) What in your life do you really want handled?

(You would ask) What concern do you have in your life which you’d like to remedy?

Example 3: (raw public)

(If you want to know) What is ruining your life?

(You would ask) What in your life really needs change the most?

Example 4: (new public)

What did you come into Scientology to get handled?”

“In example 1, you find out that an individual would like to be a successful businessman and what he’d like to do is travel all around the world and he’d like to have a new car and house. Well, it’s quite obvious that in order for him to have the money to travel and buy the new car and house, he would have to be a success as a businessman so you ask him ‘What would have to happen for you to be a successful businessman?’ He’d tell you something like, ‘Well, gee, I’d have to know how to succeed in the business world’ or ‘I’d have to be able to handle my finances.’ From this data you know that if this person knew that he could go into the local Scientology organization and take ‘How to Succeed in the Business World’ or the ‘Financial Handling’ course, he would be very easily gotten into the org for such a service.”


There is even a listing of common ruins, and guidelines on which courses to target against those ruins:

Exploiting Ruins

The general method is illustrated in the ‘Dissemination Drill’, which is part of the Hubbard Dissemination Course (one of only two courses that can be done for free). It is from HCOPL 23rd October 1965 titled ‘Dissemination Drill’:

The Dissemination Drill has four exact steps that must be done with a person you are disseminating to.

There is no set patter, nor any set words you say to the person.

There are four steps that must be accomplished with the individual, and they are listed in the order that they should be done:

1. Contact the individual: This is plain and simple. It just means making a personal contact with someone, whether you approach them or they approach you.

2. Handle: If the person is wide open to Scientology and reaching, this step can be omitted as there is nothing to handle. Handle is to handle any attacks, antagonism, challenge or hostility that the individual might express towards you and/or Scientology. Definition of “handle”: to control, direct. “Handle” implies directing an acquired skill to the accomplishment of immediate ends. Once the individual has been handled you then-

3. Salvage: Definition of salvage: “to save from ruin.” Before you can save someone from ruin, you must find out what their own personal ruin is. This is basically-What is ruining them? What is messing them up? It must be a condition that is real to the individual as an unwanted condition, or one that can be made real to him.

4. Bring to understanding: Once the person is aware of the ruin, you bring about an understanding that Scientology can handle the condition found in 3. This is done by simply stating Scientology can, or by using data to show how it can. It’s at the right moment on this step that one hands the person a selection slip, or one’s professional card and directs him to the service that will best handle what he needs handled.

These are the steps of the Dissemination Drill. They are designed so that an understanding of them is necessary and that understanding is best achieved by being coached on the drill.

The remainder of the above HCOPL goes on to give details on how to coach the drill. Later on the Hubbard Dissemination Course there is the following checksheet:

Hubbard Dissemination Course

To: Supervisor

From: _____________________Date: ____________

Repeat the preceding practical assignment, but this time get the person to arrive at the local church or mission where you are studying and get him signed up and started on a Dianetics or Scientology service. Do this until you can successfully and without any uncertainty find a person new to Dianetics or Scientology and disseminate to him using the Dissemination Drill and other skills you learned on this course and select the person onto the proper service. By the time you have completed this assignment you must have brought a minimum of three new people into the local church or mission who have signed up for and started a service. (Any new public whom you may have selected onto a Dianetics or Scientology service while doing earlier drills on this course can be credited toward this assignment.) When done, write up what you did and the results.

There are range of such drills Scientology recruiters must do in order to learn how to find and exploit ruins. An example of such a drill this is taken from the booklet ‘Dissemination Drills, Golden Age Of Tech Style’:



PURPOSE: To increase the attendee’s skill in disseminating by drilling in the tech of how to gain accessibility to an individual per LRH lecture of 18 Jan. 51, “GRADIENTS OF ACCESSIBILITY”:

“If you have ever in the past failed to be able to sell somebody Dianetics convincingly, if they have not bought it, you have failed in one little tiny quarter there of gaining accessibility to this individual. You didn’t gain accessibility. Now, this is practically all there is to salesmanship: gain accessibility to the idea that the other person has a need which you can fill. That would be salesmanship.”

POSITION: Attendee and coach seated across from each other. Coach has a copy of this drill.

INSTRUCTIONS: The attendee is coached by another on this drill.

The attendee is to apply the following datums from Lecture 18 Jan. 51, GRADIENTS OF ACCESSIBILITY, in doing this drill.

For this drill, the attendee is a person disseminating and the coach takes the role of the public individual being disseminated to.

The attendee applies the data they read in the excerpt of the LRH lecture in doing the following steps:

a. Start up a conversation with the person on Dianetics or Scientology.

b. The person demonstrates that he is inaccessible, such as by not paying attention to what you are saying and changing the subject, etc., per the following:

“We have to consider then, reconsider perhaps, our definition of accessible. Did you ever try to talk to anybody about a subject that you had to talk to him about, and he didn’t pay any attention to what you were saying, he just kept changing the subject? This man could then be said to be inaccessible on this subject. You have seen people who will sit there with their ears flapping and listen to you when you try to tell them about Dianetics, and they say, ‘Well, I don’t believe like that exists,’ and so on and so on and so on. This is actually an inaccessible case.”

c. Find another subject that you can get any level of agreement on at all in which you are really interested, per the following:

“In a very inaccessible case, talk golf, anything that you can find any level of agreement on at all, in which you are really interested. Don’t sit there bored to death. Did you ever try to get anything off of a case that you were bored with? Try to cover it up, try to cover it up; you’re not going to.”

d. Shift over to that subject you found agreement on and increase ARC with the person per the following:

“Let’s not consider that we are being completely challenged by this individual because of Dianetics. Let’s find out how much agreement there is on some other subject. Don’t tell him so, just shift the subject over to something else, and shift it over here, and talk to him about this and that. One of two things will happen: you’ll find a point of agreement somewhere on the band; your agreement starts into an interchange. It isn’t that the point of agreement there is going to get better particularly, but affinity will pick up, which picks up the agreement. And then communication will pick up, which picks up the agreement and the affinity. Just start working him up – ARC, and then swing it back onto Dianetics.”

e. Once you have picked up the level of agreement, swing the conversation back onto Dianetics or Scientology.

“This Is really throwing a guy a curve, because if you work it on the band back and forth, first thing you know, you pick up his level of agreement and there he is. Then you talk to him about Dianetics. And you’ll find out that at this time his accessibility has picked up as far as you’re concerned, and that’s what you’re working for. His accessibility is higher.”If you’re a salesman then you just do this: you pick up ARC on anything before you get it over to a subject on which you want agreement, you’ll be able to sell. I think you could sell Brooklyn Bridge to the US government if you did it well enough.”

TRAINING STRESS: The coach must improve the attendee’s ability to get in communication and raise ARC on some subject to gain accessibility and then switch the conversation back over to the subject of Dianetics or Scientology.

This drill is continued until the attendee can gain accessibility easily and smoothly by getting in communication, finding a subject on which there is agreement, increase ARC and then swing the conversation back onto Dianetics or Scientology.

PASSING STANDARD: This drill is passed when the attendee can easily and smoothly gain accessibility by applying this data.


Another drill which is worth noting teaches how to handle objections, with the following being objections being used as examples for training:

* “I heard that Scientology services were expensive. I don’t have a lot of money and wouldn’t be able to pay for the services.

* “I don’t know why you are asking me such personal questions.

* “I think you’re just after my money.


Aside from having policies and procedures for recruitment, Scientology also has policies and procedures to re-recruit those who have left Scientology. People can leave due to financial stress, refusal to bow to disconnection threats, disillusionment, etc. None of these reasons are considered by Scientology. HCOPL 25th June 1972 titled ‘Recovering Students And Pcs’ insists the reason for students leaving are:

1. Misunderstood words (or no materials).

2. No help or W/C Method 4 from the Supers (or no Super).

3. Interference from the Supers that stopped them from getting on.

4. Personal out-ethics resulting in a W/H.

5. Simply booted off for reasons best known to God or Registrars (like suddenly saying, “You must now buy Method 1,” etc., thus violating the “deliver what we promise” rule).

The same HCOPL gives the reasons for Pcs leaving thusly:

1. Out-lists.

2. No auditing.

3. Invalidation of case or gains.

4. Told they’d attained it and hadn’t.

As the same HCOPL says “…don’t bother to listen to the natter. The above actions are the reasons”. It is important to understand what is going on here. The Scientology re-recruiter has studied the above reasons and been drilled on them. They will not hear comments about finances or disconnection or whatnot, they will completely ignore such ‘natter’ as they have been trained to do. An illustration of this training can be seen in the ‘LRH ED 339R Implementation Program’, which was sent out to all the Missions in 1996 and which contained the following drill as part of a recovery workshop:




PURPOSE: The purpose of this drill is to teach the Workshop Attendee to accurately rattle off the 9 reasons why students and pcs blow without hesitation or having to think what these 9 reasons are.

POSITION: Workshop Attendee does this drill seated facing a wall.

INSTRUCTIONS: Sit facing the wall with this drill in your lap. Give the 5 reasons a student blows and the 4 reasons a pc blows to a wall in order, over and over, maintaining good TR-O and TR-l.

PASSING STANDARD: This drill is done until you are able to give the 9 reasons why students and PCs blow verbatim without any slightest comm. lag and without reference to the drill. Then receive a checkout from someone else as a final verification that you have achieved the standard.


Another drill from the same series further illustrates how the re-recruiter is trained to ignore any ‘natter’:



PURPOSE: To train the Workshop Attendee on the tech of recovering a blown student or PC so he knows it cold and will apply it in any situation to effectively recover someone.

POSITION: Workshop Attendee and coach seated across from each other.

Coach has a copy of this drill.

INSTRUCTIONS: The student is coached by another on this drill. The coach reads the first numbered item to the student. He then asks the Workshop Attendee “What do you do?”

The Workshop Attendee must respond with the correct answer. If he does not, it is a funk. Coach then rereads that item and asks the question again and continues on to the next item on the list. Coach and Workshop Attendee go through the entire list in this fashion.

TRAINING STRESS: The whole point is to drill in the data to the point where the Workshop Attendee knows it cold. If the Workshop Attendee is trying to “pass a quiz” he is missing the point altogether, as it is a drill, not a quiz or a test. The drill is done to bring about flawless application on the part of the Workshop Attendee.

PASSING STANDARD: The Workshop Attendee passes only when he has gone through the entire drill with a coach and has answered every single question consecutively without any comm lag or error.


Example questions used in the previous drill are:

1. You are speaking with someone and find out they are blown off The Bridge.


Tell them there are specific reasons per LRH why someone doesn’t continue on their route on The Bridge and you want to go over these with them to help them find out the reason they have not continued. Then find out if they are a blown student or pc and, if they are a pc, rattle off the 4 reasons why most pcs blow or, if a student, rattle off the 5 main reasons why a student blows and find the reason why that person did not continue on the Bridge.


11. You are at someone’s house for dinner and someone tells you that “auditing is just not for me anymore.”


Indicate to him that auditing is for everyone, that there are reasons why someone doesn’t continue on with his auditing and you are going to go over these with him and determine why he didn’t continue. Rattle off the 4 reasons most pcs blow and, using 2 way comm, find the reason they did not continue and indicate this. Then schedule him to come into the org to handle it.

The above drills also feature in the booklet ‘Recovering Students And Pcs Drills – For Field Staff Members’, with FSMs often given the task of recovering those who left.

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