Scientology’s Fixation on Self


The key concept in Scientology is that of a “bank” or “reactive mind.” Let’s take a closer look at it. I shall be using definitions from the Technical Dictionary of Scientology.

BANK: (definition #2) A colloquial name for the reactive mind. This is what the procedures of Scn are devoted to disposing of, for it is only a burden to an individual and he is much better off without it.

REACTIVE MIND: (definition #1) a portion of a person’s mind which works on a totally stimulus-response basis, which is not under his volitional control, and which exerts force and the power of command over his awareness, purposes, thoughts, body and actions. Stored in the reactive mind are engrams, and here we find the single source of aberrations and psychosomatic ills.

So, the problem boils down to rigid association among thoughts that channels action only in certain pre-selected manner. There is no flexibility or little room to maneuver. This inflexibility is the Reactive Mind. The solution is to remove this inflexibility.


Hubbard ascertained this “inflexibility” to exist at the perceptual level. This became Dianetics. Hubbard reasoned that too much perception coming in at a rapid rate, as in an accident or in a forceful event, would jam up the reasoning faculty of the mind. One would then end up with a jumble of perception waiting to be processed.

Hubbard called this jumble of perception an “engram.” This proved out to be correct. However, after clearing of a few engrams on a case, no more engrams could be found, but case problems still existed. Dianetics hit a brick wall. Per Hubbard’s theory there were supposed to be more engrams, and so it was assumed that the problem was with inaccessibility of these engrams. There was something wrong with the theory, “Stored in the reactive mind are engrams, and here we find the single source of aberrations and psychosomatic ills.” Actually, there were no more engrams. So it was not the engram that was the single source of aberration.

It was the principle of inflexibility that was the source of aberrations and psychosomatic ills.

An engram was only one type of inflexibility. There were other types of inflexibility.

Data gets processed in the mind in the form of following layers (see Perception & Knowledge).

  1. Perception
  2. Experience
  3. Information
  4. Hypothesis
  5. Theory
  6. Principles
  7. Axioms
  8. Self

Inflexibility may generate inconsistencies on each of these layers as follows (see Knowledge & Inconsistency).

  1. Inconsistency in Perception: Engram 
  2. Inconsistency in Experience: Unwanted feeling or emotion 
  3. Inconsistency in Information: Indoctrination
  4. Inconsistency in Hypothesis: Belief
  5. Inconsistency in Theory: Doctrine
  6. Inconsistency in Principles: Fixed ideas
  7. Inconsistency in Axioms: Fixed viewpoints
  8. Inconsistency in Self: Fixed identity 

Thus, engram was one of many type of inconsistencies generated by the general principle of inflexibility. But Hubbard assumed engram to underlie all other type of inconsistencies.  Hubbard brought e-meter to his aid and created hundreds of processes to overcome that assumed lack of accessibility to engrams.

Hubbard made self, or individuality, the foundation of his theory of Scientology. (see Scientology Axiom # 1). His goal became the strengthening of self by searching for and eliminating engrams.

This goal of Hubbard also gave birth to the OT levels. This was same as the age-old search for siddhis that Buddha examined and discarded.

The analysis of inconsistencies above shows that engrams are only at the surface of inconsistencies, which go a lot deeper.  At the deepest level we find the inconsistency of a fixation on self, just as Buddha had preached 2600 years ago. Thus the theory of Scientology seems to look at inconsistencies in the reverse order.

The single source of aberrations and psychosomatic ills is not the engram but a fixation on self. Scientology promotes this fixation on self through its OT Levels.

Until one realizes that looking at self as “something fixed” is the basic inconsistency there is no spiritual freedom.

The above is the culmination of the search, for me, of what is wrong with Scientology. Now I can focus on those aspects of Scientology that are beneficial.

The beneficial aspects of Scientology shall be preserved in KHTK.


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  • Donald William  On February 3, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    Very close to the experiential conclusions I have reached based on the actual nature of perceived reality. Thanks for sharing.


  • vinaire  On February 6, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    In Scientology, the fixation on self is symbolized by the term THETAN.



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