A lesson from law enforcement explaining the Confusion Technique in confidence games

As an English magistrate commented after hearing expert testimony on Coercive Persuasion, "Aren't you in essence really just describing the best con game yet to be designed?"

Coercive persuasion includes hypnosis without knowledge or consent

Hubbard the Stage Hypnotist Series

Hubbard, the Master Stage Hypnotist! Index

The Anderson Report
on Hypnotism
in Scientology

Hypnosis in scientology - The Gradation Chart Revealed - LINK

Ex-Member Peter Forde: Hypnotic Coercion Uncovered

Hypnosis Is
What Works in scientology by
Don Carlo

Hubbard Denounced by Inventor of the E-Meter

Hypnosis Demonstration and Collective on Hubbard's Use of Covert Hypnosis - Exposed

Dianetics in the 1952 Journal of Hypnosis and "Instantaneous Hypnosis" by Harry Arons

scientology's Source of the "E-Meter Stress Test" and more from 1943 George Estabrooks

The Rape of the Mind by Joost Meerloo 1957 - LINK

Books Scared
books scared them - canada library association poster thumbnail

Charles Manson
charles manson thumbnail link to Manson had scientology e-meter at Spahn ranch
used Scientology

Visual Fraud Tour

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Scientology's Scandals!

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Pattern of Lying to Smear ex-members and critics

Terminology FAQ Definitions for Scientology Lingo by ex-member Martin Hunt

About L Ron Hubbard's Death

Warrior's Archive
Page by a co-worker I knew when I was 'in' scientology

The Very Strange Death of L Ron Hubbard the King of CONs

Through the Door:
Ex-member Interviews

Movies that are helpful for understanding Scientology:
The Truman Show 1998
The Sleuth 1972

Understanding OSA and the Guardians Office:
Cape Fear 1962
The Spanish Prisoner

More for Scientologists


Lermanet.com has located the 1948 version of Milton Erickson's description of the
deep trance inducing
HERE with some examples of its use

Coercive persuasion is antithetical to the First Amendment. It contains aspects which could be interpreted as constituting the illegal acts of fraud, false imprisonment, coercion, undue influence, involuntary servitude, intentional infliction of emotional distress, outrageous conduct, and other tortuous acts.

L Ron Hubbard's Use of the "Confusion Technique" to Induce Hypnosis in Scientology

The confusion technique was one of Erickson's most innovative and important contributions to hypnosis. These verbal and nonverbal methods created disorientation, disrupting habitual sets paving the way for enhanced responsiveness.

From: The Letters of Milton Erickson

Now, if it comes to a pass where it's very important whether or not this person acts or inacts as you wish, in interpersonal relations one of the dirtier tricks is to hang the person up on a maybe and create a confusion. And then create the confusion to the degree that your decision actually is implanted hypnotically.

L. Ron Hubbard Lecture, 20 May 1952 "Decision."

"A confused person has their conscious mind busy and occupied, and is very much inclined to draw upon unconscious learnings to make sense of things. A confused person is in a trance of their own making - and therefore goes readily into that trance without resistance. Confusion might be created by ambiguous words, complex or endless sentences, pattern interruption or a myriad other techniques to incite transderivational searches, (TDS.) (A psychological example of TDS is in Ericksonian hypnotherapy, where vague suggestions are used that the patient must process intensely to find their own meanings for, thus ensuring that the practitioner does not intrude his own beliefs into the subject's inner world.)

When employing the confusion technique verbally, steps are taken via verbal wording to overload the subjectís mental abilities. This can be done using a play on words such as "knows, nose, nos." Furthermore, irrelevancies and nonsequiturs can also be employed to achieve the desired results.

Caution - Scientology Uses Hypnosis without your knowledge! This is one example out of many, because most of L Ron Hubbard's works use the confusion technique!

From the "Demonstration of the E-Meter, 1952 Lecture"

(c) scientology

You will notice during this demonstration that L Ron Hubbard confuses this person by using the terms, "left and right" in ambiguous ways. Because the Confusion Technique causes the person to grasp onto suggestions outside of the confusion, Hubbard suggests the term, "center" in which he calls the "boss." From this point and throughout the demonstration, Hubbard uses the center as a point to make suggestions as noted above, such as "have you lived before this life?" In a need to escape the confusion, the person accepts these suggestions. L Ron Hubbard later uses the "center," to introduce the "third eye." This reference is one of many examples in books, tapes and applied coursework that Scientology uses today.

When considering what hypnotic suggestions are delivered to Scientologists through this repetitive technique - living past lives, psychiatry is bad, or having space aliens in the body - whatever implantation occurs - the confusion technique teaches members something else.

In a third T.R., (training routing) called "Dear Alice" one Scientologist keeps repeating lines from Alice in Wonderland while his partner "acknowledges him."

For example, one asks "Do cats eat bats?", or says "Imperial Fiddlesticks" and the other says "thank you" or "groovy." (It is said that in one eastern city, they decided to send an undercover policeman to investigate Scientology. The policeman spent several days repeating lines from Alice in Wonderland and being thanked for it.)
From: the Scandal of Scientology by Paulette Cooper

Here is a Scientology Drill known as "Dear Alice" or Training Routing 1 (TR1):

"NUMBER: T-R 1. Revised 1961 and 1963.

"NAME: Dear Alice.

"PURPOSE: To train the student to deliver a command newly and in a new unit of time to a preclear without flinching or trying to overwhelm or using a via.

"COMMANDS: A phrase (with the 'he saids' omitted) is picked out of the book Alice in Wonderland and read to the coach.

"POSITION: Student and coach are seated facing each other a comfortable distance apart. Student has an E-meter.

"TRAINING STRESS: The command goes from the book to the student and, as his own, to the coach. It must not go from book to coach. It must sound natural, not artificial. Diction and elocution has no part in it. Loudness may have.

"This drill is passed only when the student can put across a command naturally, without strain or artificiality or elocutionary bobs and gestures, and when the student can do it easily and relaxedly.

"HISTORY: Developed by L. Ron Hubbard in London, April 1956, to teach the communication formula to new students. Revised by L. Ron Hubbard, 1961, to increase auditing ability. Revised 1963 by Reg Sharpe with the advices of L. Ron Hubbard."

Reference from The Mind Benders, Cyril Vosper
The book they tried to ban

The Alice in Wonderland confusion technique is found on page 76 in this counterintelligence interrogation manual written in 1963:

Alice in Wonderland

The aim of the Alice in Wonderland or confusion technique is to confound the expectations and conditioned reactions of the interrogatee. He is accustomed to a world that makes some sense, at least to him: a world of continuity and logic, a predictable world. He clings to this world to reinforce his identity and powers of resistance.

The confusion technique is designed not only to obliterate the familiar but to replace it with the weird. Although this method can be employed by a single interrogator, it is better adapted to use by two or three. When the subject enters the room, the first interrogator asks a doubletalk question -- one which seems straightforward but is essentially nonsensical. Whether the interrogatee tries to answer or not, the second interrogator follows up (interrupting any attempted response) with a wholly unrelated and equally illogical query. Sometimes two or more questions are asked simultaneously. Pitch, tone, and volume of the interrogators' voices are unrelated to the import of the questions. No pattern of questions and answers is permitted to develop, nor do the questions themselves relate logically to each other. In this strange atmosphere the subject finds that the pattern of speech and thought which he has learned to consider normal have been replaced by an eerie meaninglessness. The interrogatee may start laughing or refuse to take the situation seriously. But as the process continues, day after day if necessary, the subject begins to try to make sense of the situation, which becomes mentally intolerable. Now he is likely to make significant admissions, or even to pour out his story, just to stop the flow of babble which assails him. This technique may be especially effective with the orderly, obstinate type.

The entire Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation Manual is found HERE

Articles mentioning the confusion technique are found here:

The Dark Art of Interrogation
From the Atlantic Monthly, October 2003

Then there is "Alice in Wonderland."

The aim of the Alice in Wonderland or confusion technique is to confound the expectations and conditioned reactions of the interrogatee ... The confusion technique is designed not only to obliterate the familiar but to replace it with the weird ... Sometimes two or more questions are asked simultaneously. Pitch, tone, and volume of the interrogators' voices are unrelated to the import of the questions. No pattern of questions and answers is permitted to develop, nor do the questions themselves relate logically to each other.

**If this technique is pursued patiently, the manual says, the subject will start to talk "just to stop the flow of babble which assails him."**

and here

Iraq Tactics Have Long History With U.S. Interrogators

The confusion technique is used to induce hypnosis with Scientology members. But even moreso, members are being trained to confuse someone else, to learn to conduct an interrogation.

Examples of interrogation in Scientology are:

"Security checking." In Scientology Ethics "the E-meter is used to determine when a truthful answer is given, in a manner similar to the use of a lie detector."

"Children's Security Check"

And False Purpose Rundowns

What's the payoff? Information given (from members) or gained (intelligence on others) to blackmail.

If you get a feel for what L Ron Hubbard and Scientology creates in our society after reading the Alice in Wonderland technique, you may want to sign this petition or send this link to Amnesty Interntional. --- Denounce Torture: Stop it Now!

If we didnt learn by the largest infiltration of the U.S. government in history by this organization, or recognize the ongoing fair game tactics taught to its members by coercive persuasion shown here, then democracy as we know it will continue to be supported by allies of injustice who perpetrate torture.

"If the IRS does, in fact, give preferential treatment to members of the Church of Scientology--allowing them a special right to claim deductions that are contrary to law and disallowed to everybody else--then the proper course of action is a lawsuit to put a stop to that policy.

Los Angeles Times
January 30, 2002
Couple Lose Bid for Tax Refund Tied to Tuition Courts:
They had claimed that part of their payments to Jewish day schools constituted charitable contributions and cited an IRS break given to Church of Scientology members.

As a small aside here, the book Alice in Wonderland (which of course some of the TRs are based on) and the companion book Alice Through the Looking Glass, were written by a master adept at the Magick. And he was, as they all are, unknown and secret.And Dad used it secretly in the Scientology training to gain a higher degree of control over staff, students and preclears for himself personally... So therefore the bottom line is that while L. Ron Hubbard may be a crossroads, he certainly is not "The Source".

You've got to realize too that Dad put a lot of implants in a lot of people. A whole lot of them. As an example, my mother, me, quite a number of other women, and what have you. These were put in there in order to expand his own Magick tech and power. Not particularly the tech but his personal power. That is, to strip the seal from the soul and to gain through those doorways opened by the Magick tech more power for himself. As the saying goes, power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. That's precisely what happened to him.

From an L Ron Hubbard Jr - 1984 tape transcript

"the same individual that transmitted the various Magick tech to Adolf Hitler as a young man also transmitted them to Dad. And like Dad, Hitler, when he came to power, promptly had his teachers and the occult field in general wiped out"

Quotes from L Ron Hubbard on the Confusion Technique:


Now, if it comes to a pass where it's very important whether or not this person acts or inacts as you wish, in interpersonal relations one of the dirtier tricks is to hang the person up on a maybe and create a confusion. And then create the confusion to the degree that your decision actually is implanted hypnotically.

The way you do this is very simple. When the person advances an argument against your decision, you never confront his argument but confront the premise on which his argument is based. That is the rule. He says, "But my professor always said that water boiled at 212 degrees."

You say, "Your professor of what?"

"My professor of physics."

"What school? How did he know?" Completely off track! You're no longer arguing about whether or not water boils at 212 degrees, but you're arguing about professors. And he will become very annoyed, but he won't know quite what he is annoyed about. You can do this so adroitly and so artfully that you can actually produce a confusion of the depth of hypnosis. The person simply goes down tone scale to a point where they're not sure of their own name.

And at that point you say, "Now, you do agree to go out and draw the water out of the well, don't you?"

"Yes-anything!" And he'll go out and draw the water out of the well.

[End Quote]

L. Ron Hubbard Lecture, 20 May 1952 "Decision."

Also, even earlier, in 1950:


One error, however, must be remarked upon. The examination system employed is not much different from a certain hypnotic technique. One induces a state of confusion in the subject by raising his anxieties of what may happen if he does not pass. One then "teaches" at a mind which is anxious and confused. That mind does not then rationalize, it merely records and makes a pattern. If the pattern is sufficiently strong to be regurgitated verbatim on an examination paper, the student is then given a good grade and passed.

[End Quote]

L. Ron Hubbard lecture 29 August 1950, "Educational Dianetics."

Gerry Armstrong quotes:

Scientologists start inducing a state of confusion in their subjects (marks) by raising their anxieties with the evaluation of the personality test. The Scientologists attempt to render their marks' minds anxious and confused and "teach" them they need Scientology.

Same thing with the cult's "Dissemination Drill." Finding the marks' "ruin" raises their anxieties. With their minds anxious and confused, the marks are then "taught," or "brought to understanding" that Scientology can handle the "ruin."

The manuscript that Erickson sent Weitzenhoffer for review eventually published as "The Confusion Technique in Hypnosis" in the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis (AJCH) with Erickson (1964a) as the sole author. Twelve years earlier, Erickson had included a section on the confusion technique in the chapter "Deep Hypnosis and its induction" in Experimental Hypnosis, edited by Leslie LeCron (Erickson, 1952). The confusion technique was one of Erickson's most innovative and important contributions to hypnosis. These verbal and nonverbal methods created disorientation, disrupting habitual sets paving the way for enhanced responsiveness.

From the Letters of Milton Erickson
Chapter, "Important Names in Hypnosis," page 186

Volney Mathison was the inventor of the e-Meter and also authored the book, "Practical Self-Hypnosis." Note: the forward to this book was written by Leslie LeCron, mentioned above.

In his book "Creative Image Therapy," Mathison quotes about Hubbard:

At this point, nearing the end of this book, the writer reluctantly presents a negative warning. There is extant a pseudo-scientific system of something or other wherein the patient is required to create and duplicate arbitrary systems of mental images that are autocratically selected for him by the operator. Worse still, the patient is forced monotonously to perform interminably-duplicated trivial physical motions, such as touching a certain exact spot on the table, over and over and over, sometimes for hours.

Bluntly, this is a powerful and effective technique for covertly inducing hypnosis. By the duplicated command the subject is caused endlessly to duplicate mental image patterns wherein he is OBEYING the operator, explicitly, time after time after time. The subject is sooner or later reduced to such a zombie-like state that he will thereafter obey the operator's every other covert or indirect command. These covert and indirect commands are presented to the subject in the form of take-it-or-leave-it "suggestions"--to buy every book, take every expensive "course", attend every convention or conference staged by the operator. The victim at long last finds himself penniless, in debt, and much more ill and troubled than ever before.

The seizure of the intense attention of an intended victim by monotonously duplicated little acts is the technique of the rattlesnake as he fascinates a bird. The snake sways back and forth, holding the victim's gaze, causing it to look from side to side, keeping its attention captive by this duplicative technique of fascination. A "fatigue point" eventually is reached. The snake's prey is thereby immobilized, psychically and physically--and devoured.

Don't be tricked by any faker, whether he claims to be holy, "illuminated", or "scientific". There are charlatans who promise--even through the U. S. mails, so stupidly reck less are they--to heal or transform you for large sums of money--some by esoteric "teachings", others by their mere presence or by their invoking some mysterious Power. The Power they claim to invoke is genuine--but it functions only within each of us. It was, is, and probably always will be here, unlimited.

The faker who hypnotizes you out of your money is not himself a sane, whole, and happy man--he is usually operating, puppet-like, on some deep, uncleared set of sub conscious image patterns as brutal as those of some stray killer shark.

The power to create and to re-create is within each of us. It is not to be brought in through the door or the window by the wave of any man's hand, no matter how good or saintly a man he may in some cases actually be.

Creative Image Therapy
by Volney G Mathison
(c) 1954 by Matheson Electropsychometers International
Scanned and OCR'd by
Lermanet.com Exposing the CON

More excerpts about the Confusion Technique from the book,
The Letters of Milton Erickson

"Important Names in Hypnosis"
p 184

Letter to Andre Weitzenhoffer
circa 1963

I wrote this hastily last night. It can properly be filled out. Stored away, I have many old manuscripts, starting with such ideas as "If your left hand were your right hand, then your right hand wouldn't be your right hand. Instead your right hand would be your left hand, and you right-hand, left hand pants pocket would be your right hand pants pocket. But that would put it on your other leg." (I trust, merely trust, that you followed me without difficulty.)

You can start a confusion technique with literally anything; for example, that chair (1) is there (1) and that chair (2) (pointing to another) is there (2). And where is there, and if that chair (1) isn't there (2), and that chair (2) isn't there (1), tilting the head slightly to direct the subject's gaze, but we may talk about yesterday instead of today, but last year has so many yesterdays.

It's really simple. Keep time, particularly present, recent and remote past, in mind as you say obviously factual things, but without leaving your subject time to catch his breath or to interrupt, or to reach any clear understanding. Then when you offer a clear understandable idea, he grabs it and holds on for dear life, even if he has to regress to do it.

In any event, on the yellow sheet is a crude rished paper I wrote last night after I got ready for bed.

Should it be worked up? SHould I do it? I wish you would collaborate because my rapidity if shifting ideas on papers like this tends to ruin them and I feel that I need your clarity of thought.


P.S. Betty can't stand to read this material. She has the reaction of being so irritated that she escapes into a trance - so do others - and some laboriously follow along and fo into a trance. And when people get too irritated, I shift into another technique, which they gladly accept.

P.S. by Betty. Milton is wrong when he says I escape into a trance! Some subjects may react that way, but the technique irritates me so that I refuse to cooperate in any way. I leave the room if possible.

Note from the webmaster: This is the most often used technique of scientology in manipulating discussion... with intent to prevent enlightenment... and is used by Hubbard in his lectures and written works... we are dealing with the IDENTICAL mechanisms of deception when arguing with scientology's clones. In person. . .on chatboards and the net, they are the same mechansims, see "artifice", that caused them to become scientologists to begin with!!!

It is called The "The Confusion Technique"

From F.A.C.T.N.E.T.

In United States v. Lee, 455 U.S.(1982), the California Supreme court found that: "when a person is subjected to C.P. (coercive persuasion) without his knowledge or consent ...[he may] develop serious and sometimes irreversible physical and psychiatric disorders, up to and including schizophrenia, self-mutilation, and suicide."

The Techniques of Coercive Persuasion

There are seven main techniques categories that are layered, interwoven, and overlapped into a coercive persuasion program. The presence of every technique is not always required for the program to be effective.

1.Increase mental confusion and increase the individual's suggestibility to "soften them up". This is done through hypnotic or other suggestibility increasing techniques such as: sleep reduction; drastic nutritional restriction of calories or protein; and excessive repetition of simple activities.

Repetitive audio, visual, tactile, or verbal fixation exercises or stimuli also may be employed. Prolonged starring at an object or partner would be a visual fixation example.

Within this technique mental confusion is employed to break or intrude upon the subject's normal concentration. Concentration is distracted or decreased to inhibit the subject's ability to think through or verify the claims or story they are being given. One way this can be done is by using a constant verbal or sensory barrage of pro system information.

2.Apply strong non-physical punishments. Techniques such as humiliation, loss of privilege, social isolation, abrupt social status changes, anxiety and guilt manipulation, and other techniques for creating intense negative emotional reactions are used.

Rewards paradoxicly play an integral role in this technique. Growing evidence of the behavioral sciences proves a smiling, loving Big Brother has greater power to influence thought and behavior than a visibly threatening one.

In this technique manipulatory leverage is usually maximized by alternating harshness with leniency or lavish rewards. Love, admiration, approval and other supportive rewards are used as weapons. They are deployed in calculated deluges or droughts depending upon whether the subject is on the program's agenda or not.

3.Promote social isolation. Contact with family, friends, or associates who do not share the group approved attitudes or ideology is abridged. Economic and other dependence on the new group is fostered.

By manipulation of rewards, group pressure, and non-physical punishments the program operators establish considerable control over a person's time, social environment, and sources of social support. The subjects are manipulated in such a way to put psychological distance between observable behavior that reflects the values, routines, and life organization that the individual displayed before contact with the group. This is sometimes done by symbolic and actual acts of betrayal, renunciation of self, or attacking past associations, or previously held values.

A person continually exposed to a C.P. program in lectures, events or experiences will gradually himself off from his past. They may begin to stop calling or writing family and old friends. Work, school, or other important previous activities may be dropped or relegated to such a low priority that eventually it is not possible for them to keep up. The group applying C.P. now occupies all their time.

4. Attack one's self concepts and world view. This is the most effective facilitator for coercing change of all C.P. techniques.

Using coerced confessions, detailed personal histories, or other discovery methods, frequent and intense attempts are made to cause the subject to reevaluate in unfavorable ways the most central aspects of his experience of "self," and his prior conduct. These efforts are deliberately designed to destabilize, degrade, or diminish the subject's self concept, world view, emotional control, awareness and interpretation of reality, and defense mechanisms. Such psychological assaults force the individual into reinterpreting their life history and adopting a new version of causality.

Regardless of previous fact, the individual is gradually convinced that his past, his beliefs, or his family, were bad; or at least considerably worse than they were. He is then manipulated into believing, to "survive," he must now commit himself to the group using C.P. and the superior knowledge, talent or mission they espouse.

5. Make intense and frequent attempts to undermine a person's confidence in himself and his judgment to create a sense of powerlessness. Criticism or complaints are handled by showing the subject that he or she is somehow flawed, not the group or the ideology being advanced. The subject is taught the system is always right and they are always wrong. Contrary to what might be professed, they soon learn through experience the system is the only true authority for decisions.

6. Manipulate information and language. Conflicting, upsetting, or non-supporting information is censored or prohibited whenever possible in group communication and indoctrination. Direct deception or the clever mixing of truth and lies in confidence game strategies also may be employed to manipulate information or inhibit discovery of falsehood in stated claims.

Rules exist about permissible topics to discuss with outsiders. Communication is highly controlled. An "in group" language is usually constructed.

To reinforce the belief system, commonly used words often are redefined and new words created. Language is loaded, often dividing the world into "good, aware, wonderful us" and "evil, unaware, ignorant them."

Information is controlled is such a way to offer "no choice choices." All alternatives given to the subject to choose from are void of any valid options that run counter to the goals of the operators of the C.P. program.

This technique also helps to prevent independent thinking, discovery of deception, or rebellion by maintaining a closed system of logic and an uninformed state in the victim. One main theme in Orwell's 1984 was, without the capacity to express or use certain words, people loose access to the thoughts and actions that those words represent. Since words represent thoughts and thoughts motivate actions, if words can be controlled thought and eventually action can be controlled.

7.Use or have present psychological threat of a secular nature. Those failing to adopt the approved attitude, belief, or consequent behavior are directly threatened, or are led to sincerely believe that severe punishment or dire consequences will befall them. Physical or mental illness, drug dependence, economic collapse, social failure, divorce, failure to find a mate are a few examples of these secular threats.

These seven techniques of C.P. combine the most effective, age old psychological and sociological coercive influence and deception techniques with the most powerful advances in behavorial modification, and other technologies. This synthesis is sometimes wrapped in a slick Madison avenue, public relations, or soft sell veneer.

Judges Quotes

California Supreme Court, in United States v. Lee 455 U.S. 252,257,258 (1982):

"When a person is subjected to coercive persuasion [as in Scientology] without his knowledge or consent ...[he may] develop serious and sometimes irreversible physical and psychiatric disorders, up to and including schizophrenia, self-mutilation, and suicide."

Documentary evidence in Church of Spiritual Technology vs U.S., November 22, 1989:

"The purpose of the legal officer is to help LRH handle every legal, government, suit, accounting and tax contact or action... and to bring the greatest possible confusion and loss to its enemies." -- LRH

In 1986, a jury awarded Wollersheim $5 million in compensatory damages and $25 million to punish the church for what jurors called intentional and negligent "infliction of emotional distress."

The late and Honorable Congressman Leo Ryan was murdered in Guyana on Nov. l8, l978. Before the House of Representatives in 1977, Ryan quotes the testimony of John G. Clark, Jr., M.D.from the Harvard Medical School, as it was sent to Ryan by longtime activist, Ida Camburn: "I will state that coercive persuasion and thought reform techniques are effectively practiced on naive, uninformed subjects with disastrous health consequences. I will try to give enough information to indicate my reasons for further inquiries as well as review of applicable legal processes.",/p.

Author: Maureen Drueck

My Exit page for Scientologists and ex-members

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