Scientology's Secrets: The TRs
The TRs (Training Routines) are part of the most basic Scientology
training, and are repeated to increasingly stringent standards at
higher levels. They are billed as a way to improve communication
skills, but their real purpose is to plant the seeds for thought
- A critique of the TRs, by Perry Scott, describes each of
the TRs, what it's supposed to do for the student, and what it really does.
It makes extensive hyperlink references to Sutphen's essay below.
- The Battle For Your Mind, by Dick
Sutphen, describes the cognitive manipulations practiced in certain
charismatic Christian sects; his analysis also seems to fit
Scientology's indoctrination methods quite well. It's interesting
but a bit over the top; read this
critique by Martin Poulter for a well-reasoned, skeptical
assessment of Sutphen's claims.
- Illustration of TR 4
Success Through Communications course is an entry-level Scientology
course covering TR 0-4, and is many people's first introduction to cult
practices. It appears at the bottom of the big chart of The Bridge on
display in every Scientology org. Here you can read an analysis of one of
the illustrations of TR 4. The Hubbard Qualified Scientologist course is a
follow-on course that covers the upper-level TRs.
- The Professional TR Course is part of
beginning auditor training. Unlike the Success Through Communications
course, which is watered down for beginners, this is a serious,
full-blown Scientology course. The ``course pack'' is a collection of
dense typewritten bulletins rather than a bunch of cartoons and junior
high school-level text. It covers the theory and policy of TRs, and
students are supposed to show a higher level of proficiency than in
the beginning level courses. As they progress in their training,
students will have to maintain good TRs while simultaneously operating
an e-meter. Here we give a summary of the various policy letters and
bulletins that make up the course pack.
Chapter 4 (on TR0) and Chapter 5
(on TR1-9) of Margery Wakefield's book The Road to Xenu
describe her experience undergoing the TRs at the Los Angeles Celebrity
Chapter 7 of Cyril Vosper's book The
Mind Benders includes a summary of the TRs as part of a more general
look at Scientology training.
- Satan's Power by William Sims
Bainbridge (University of California Press, 1978) profiles a Scientology
splinter group called The Process Church. In this excerpt, culled by Ron
Newman, Bainbridge describes the hallucinations and feelings of
dissociation he experienced while doing the lower level TRs.
Chapter 1 of Bob Penny's book Social Control
in Scientology contains a brief analysis of how participating in
the TRs serves to mold the victim's perceptions so as to bring them further
into ``the group'' (Scientology).
Chapter 17 of Paulette Cooper's book The
Scandal of Scientology also gives a summary of the TRs, and a
quote from the Anderson report on how these techniques are hypnotic in
nature and potentially dangerous to mental health.
- HCO PL 16 April 1965 RA, ``All
Divisions Handling the Public Individual,'' shows that it is Hubbard's
intent that raw meat who enter Scientology be controlled from
the outset. They must not be allowed to act on their own
determination. ``The moral is very plain. Never ask anyone in the
public or field to Decide or Choose.'' In this HCO PL excerpt he
justifies his policy as necessary to prevent the pre-clear from
becoming overwhelmed or confused.
- Scientology markets special courses to
owners of professional practices such as dentists, veterinarians, and
physical therapists. The courses are supposed to improve the morale and
effectiveness of office staff, but actually they are Scientology training,
beginning with the TRs. As detailed here, some people have been fired for
refusing to submit to what they felt was ``a brainwashing process''.
- Two students at Narconon, a Scientology front
group that promotes a quack therapy for substance abuse based on ideas
by L. Ron Hubbard (see Narconon
Exposed), practicing TR 0 as part of their treatment program.
The use of the TRs in Narconon is discussed here.
The Washington Post on cults and mind control. Inspired by the 1997
Heaven's Gate suicide, but quite relevant to Scientology as well.
- Stare Down Sally, a web page to let you
try practicing your TR 0.
Illustration of TR0 Bullbait from the Hubbard
Qualified Scientologist Course book, reviewed elsewhere on this web
site. The pre-clear must not react in any way to the antics of the coach.
Illustration copyright © 1988 by the L. Ron Hubbard Library. Reproduced
under the "fair use" provision of the US copyright code.
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