Brain-Washing (book)

Brain-Washing: A Synthesis of the Russian Textbook on Psychopolitics is a Red Scare, Black propaganda book, published by the Church of Scientology in 1955 about brainwashing. L. Ron Hubbard authored the text and alleged it was the secret manual written by Lavrentiy Beria, the Soviet secret police chief, in 1936.[1] In this text, many of the practices Scientology opposes (psychiatry teaching, brain surgery, electroshock, income tax) are described as Communist-led conspiracies, and its technical content is limited to suggesting more of these practices on behalf of the Soviet Union. The text also describes the Church of Scientology as the greatest threat to Communism.

Cover of Brain-Washing, as published by the Church of Scientology in 1955.

Hubbard's text is a relative copy of the 1953, best-selling, non-fiction book Brain-washing in Red China by famed journalist Edward Hunter.[2] This text is also listed in They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes..., where the true author is identified as "the notorious founder of Scientology."[1] Hubbard sent the material to the FBI, and one unidentified, FBI agent gave this review: "[He] appears mental."[3] When the FBI ignored him, Hubbard wrote again stating that Soviet agents had, on three occasions, attempted to hire him to work against the United States, and were upset about his refusal,[4] and that one agent specifically attacked him using electroshock as a weapon.[5]

Authorship: L. Ron Hubbard and ScientologyEdit

L. Ron Hubbard in 1950

It says that it is a transcript of a speech on the use of psychiatry as a means of social control, given by Lavrenty Beria in the Soviet Union in 1950. However L. Ron Hubbard Jr., estranged son of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, stated:

"Dad wrote every word of it. Barbara, Bryan, and my wife typed the manuscript off his dictation."[6]

Hubbard's former editor, John Sanborn, confirmed Hubbard Jr.'s testimony.

The Hubbard Association of Scientologists International published the booklet in an emergency basis in 1955. Hubbard tried to present the Federal Bureau of Investigation with a copy, but the Bureau expressed skepticism about the document's authenticity.[7] CIA operative Edward Hunter called the book a hoax, while the evaluator at the Operations Coordinating Board of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s National Security Council thought the writer of the booklet seemed to have a superior expertise on the subject.[8]

In 1963, the Australian Board of Inquiry regarded the book as written by Hubbard, something that neither Hubbard nor the Church of Scientology's HASI Hubbard Association of Scientologists International refuted at the time.[9]

According to Massimo Introvigne, critics of Scientology attribute the Brainwashing manual to Hubbard because of the claim that it was later used to practice actual brainwashing in the church. Hubbard, who was strongly opposed to psychiatry, denounced brainwashing in some of his writing.[10]


Content and the Church of ScientologyEdit

Scientology building in Los Angeles, California; according to the book Brain-Washing, the Church of Scientology is the greatest threat to the Soviet Union.

Far from being a technical guide, the Brain-Washing book is a generalist text, that abstractly discusses power, violence, coercion, and means of social control. Beria allegedly describes the following as Communist subversive activities directed from Moscow: the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society,[11] psychology professors,[12] child labor laws,[13] psychiatric wards,[14] psychedelic drugs (of note: LSD, peyote, mescaline),[15] brain surgery,[16] electric shock therapy,[17] and the 1909 Income Tax Law of the United States.[18] Incidentally, these are many issues that the Church of Scientology opposes.

An example of this generalized style can be found in chapter 6, where a relatively uninformed technique of control is described as...

"As an example of this, we find an individual refusing to obey and being struck. His refusal to obey is now less vociferous. He is struck again, and his resistance is lessened once more. He is hammered and pounded again and again, until, at length, his only thought is direct and implicit obedience to that person from whom the force has emanated."[19]

According to the journalist Tony Ortega, the primary thesis of the work was "how to use psychiatry and psychology to carry out a communist takeover of the West," with critics and active communists calling it a "crude and laughable forgery," and Edward Hunter, author of Brainwashing In China, "described it as a fictional and inferior version of his own [book]."[2]

In addition, the Church of Scientology is listed as the greatest enemy to Communism: "[The communist] operative should also spare no expense in smashing out of existence, by whatever means, any actual healing group, such as... Church of Scientology."[20] The Church of Scientology is mentioned 5 times, but the Catholic Church is only mentioned 2 times. The Eastern Orthodox Church, which was the dominant religious belief in the Soviet Union at the time, is not mentioned at all.

Authorship revealedEdit

The book has the Communist Beria allegedly using obvious phrases that were clearly invented by L. Ron Hubbard, such as "thinkingness," "pain-drug-hypnosis,", or "psycho-political technology" (i.e. "religious technology"), and making an unlikely mention of Dianetics side by side with Christian Science and Catholicism as major worldwide "healing groups". Modern versions of the book do not include these Hubbardisms.[21][22] Nick Redfern, a researcher studying Freedom of Information Act requests and FBI files, has written "the document [the brain-washing manual] is filled with what is clearly evidence of Hubbard's own writing style."[23]

In this 1955 text, the alleged author states that income tax is "a Marxist principle smoothly slid into Capitalistic framework in 1909 in the United States,"[18] and in 1956, only a year later, L. Ron Hubbard wrote a rather similar statement under his own name, saying that mankind was so desperate that he "will buy almost any ideology whether it is communism or druidism. He will buy the garbage of Marx and even write it unsuspectingly into the United States Constitution under the heading of 'Income Tax.'"[24]

The final results of the Anderson Report in 1965 declared:

"The Board is not concerned to find that the scientology techniques are brainwashing techniques as practised, so it is understood, in some communist-controlled countries. Scientology techniques are, nevertheless, a kind of brainwashing... The astonishing feature of Scientology is that its techniques and propagation resemble very closely those set out in a book entitled Brain-washing, advertised and sold by the HASI."[25]

Kenneth Goff and the 1950s, Anti-Communist RightEdit

Kenneth Goff, Anti-Fluoridation and Anti-Communist Preacher, alleged author of Brain-Washing according to author Morris Minsky. Source: FBI Files.

Some (influenced by Morris Minsky)[26] suggest that the author is anti-fluoridation, anti-semitic, Christian Identity minister Kenneth Goff, who similarly suggested that UFOs were a communist conspiracy in 1951.[23] Several paper versions of the book list Goff as the author,[27] while a number of publishers avoid the difficulty of authorship by listing the author as "anonymous."[28] The connection between Goff and Hubbard is uncertain, although Nick Redfern indicates that Goff was monitored by the FBI because he was becoming friends with Hubbard.[23]

While L. Ron Hubbard had distributed a copy to the FBI, Goff went even further: he distributed copies to congressmen and politicians, alleging that the Alaska Mental Health Enabling Act was a Communist conspiracy, nicknaming the legislation the "Siberia Bill," [1][28] although Goff also used the phrase "mental Siberia."

Goff alleged that the purpose of the Alaska bill was to create "a prison camp under the guise of mental health for everyone who raises their voice against Communism and the hidden government operating in our nation."[29] Selections of the book were read into the Congressional Record, under the title of "Murder of Human Minds," in which Goff decried the book, but also stated that its methods allowed "unlimited sexual opportunities... over the bodies and minds of helpless patients," and that anyone could purchase a copy for $1 directly from Goff himself.[30]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Paul F. Boller (1989). They Never Said It : A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, and Misleading Attributions. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 5. brain washing hubbard 1936.
  2. ^ a b Tony Ortega (February 20, 2018). "How L. Ron Hubbard tried to hoax the FBI, and 'brainwashed' politicians of the far right".
  3. ^ Janet Reitman (2011). Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 50. brain washing hubbard fbi.
  4. ^ Jon Atack (1990). A Piece of Blue Sky: Scientology, Dianetics, and L. Ron Hubbard Exposed. Carol Publishing Group. p. 140. ISBN 9780818404993.
  5. ^ California (State). California. Court of Appeal (2nd Appellate District). Records and Briefs. p. 33.
  6. ^ L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman? by Bent Corydon and L. Ron Hubbard, Jr.
  7. ^ Bare-Faced Messiah by Russell Miller.
  8. ^ Introvigne, Massimo (2017). "Did L. Ron Hubbard Believe in Brainwashing? The Strange Story of the "Brain-Washing Manual" of 1955". Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions. 20 (4): 62–79. doi:10.1525/nr.2017.20.4.62.
  9. ^ Kevin Victor Anderson, Q.C. (1965). "Report of the Board of Enquiry into Scientology". The State of Victoria, Australia. ...the English version of the manual bears a startling resemblance to Hubbard's own literary style. Whether he is the author, as was suggested by a witness hostile to scientology, is probably immaterial. What is of some significance is that his organization assiduously sold and distributed this manual. The Board heard evidence to the effect that Hubbard or his American organization, desiring to draw the attention of the 'authorities' to the contents of the manual and to expose the craftiness of the Russian psychopoliticians, posted from America to the Melbourne HASI an envelope containing a copy of the manual, and a similar envelope but with no copy of the manual in it. When the two envelopes arrived at their destination, the Melbourne HASI then complained to the 'authorities' that the contents of one envelope were missing, the suggestion being that the manual had been removed en route by communists, and the other envelope containing the manual was produced to the 'authorities,' so that they could see the nature of the material involved, and in this way the manual was brought to the notice of the 'authorities.' It was a fanciful story, but it was consistent with Hubbard's policies of deceit and may very well be true. Certainly, a great part of the manual is almost a blue print for the propagation of scientology. One remarkable exhibit tendered to the Board was a series of extracts from the Brain-washing Manual, with, however, the substitution of a number of words with a scientology connotation for certain words with a communist connotation. With these substitutions effected, the extracts were in the main startlingly applicable to scientology as operating in Victoria. This exhibit, with the substitutions made, is Appendix 16.
  10. ^ Introvigne, Massimo (2017). "Did L. Ron Hubbard Believe in Brainwashing? The Strange Story of the "Brain-Washing Manual" of 1955". Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions. 20 (4): 62–79. doi:10.1525/nr.2017.20.4.62.
  11. ^ L. Ron Hubbard. "9". Brain-Washing. Vienna has been carefully maintained as the home of Psychopolitics, since it was the home of Psychoanalysis.
  12. ^ L. Ron Hubbard. "An Address by Beria". Brain-Washing. You must work until every teacher of psychology unknowingly or knowingly teaches only Communist doctrine under the guise of "psychology". You must labour until every doctor and psychiatrist is either a psychopolitician or an unwitting assistant to our aims.
  13. ^ L. Ron Hubbard. "5". Brain-Washing. Under the saccharine guise of assistance to them, rigorous child labour laws are the best means to deny the child any right in the society. By refusing to let him earn, by forcing him into unwanted dependence upon a grudging parent, by making certain in other channels that the parent is never in other than economic stress, the child can be driven in his teens into revolt. Delinquency will ensue.
  14. ^ L. Ron Hubbard. "5". Brain-Washing. If a psychiatric ward could be established in every hospital in every city in a nation, it is certain that, at one time or another, every prominent citizen of that nation could come under the ministrations of psychopolitical operatives or their dupes.
  15. ^ L. Ron Hubbard. "5". Brain-Washing. When an hostile group dedicated to mental health is discovered, the psychopolitician should have recourse to the mechanisms of peyote, mescaline, and later drugs which cause temporary insanity. He should send persons, preferably those well under his control, into the mental health group, and invite the group, whether Christian Science or Church of Scientology or other practice, to demonstrate its abilities upon this new person.
  16. ^ L. Ron Hubbard. "7". Brain-Washing. Brain surgery, as developed in Russia, should also be practiced by the psychopolitical operative in training, to give him full confidence in (1) the crudeness with which it can be done...
  17. ^ L. Ron Hubbard. "7". Brain-Washing. Gradually, the public should be educated into electric shock, first by believing that it is very therapeutic, then by believing that it is quieting, then by being informed that electric shock usually injures the spine and teeth, and finally, that it very often kills or at least breaks the spine and removes, violently, the teeth of the patient. It is very doubtful if anyone from the lay levels of the public could tolerate the observation of a single electric shock treatment.
  18. ^ a b L. Ron Hubbard. "3". Brain-Washing. The masses masses last come to believe that only excessive taxation of the rich can relieve them of the "burdensome leisure class" and can thus be brought to accept such a thing as income tax, a Marxist principle smoothly slid into Capitalistic framework in 1909 in the United States.
  19. ^ L. Ron Hubbard. "6". Brain-Washing.
  20. ^ L. Ron Hubbard. "9". Brain-Washing.
  21. ^
  23. ^ a b c Nick Redfern (2013). For Nobody's Eyes Only: Missing Government Files and Hidden Archives That Document the Truth Behind the Most Enduring Conspiracy Theories. Red Wheel/Weiser. ISBN 9781601635037.
  24. ^ Hubbard, Professional Auditor's Bulletin no. 81, 24 April 1956
  25. ^ Report of the Board of Enquiry into Scientology, by Kevin Victor Anderson, Q.C., Published 1965 by the State of Victoria, Australia.
  26. ^ Kominsky, Morris (1970). The Hoaxers: Plain Liars, Fancy Liars and Damned Liars. Boston: Branden Press. ISBN 0-8283-1288-5. OCLC 129413.
  27. ^ Kok, J. H., ed. (1973). "Methodology and Science". 6. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  28. ^ a b Anonymous (2011). "Editorial Note (by Kenneth Goff)". Brain-Washing: A Synthesis of the Russian Textbook on Psychopolitics. Read Books. ISBN 978-1-4474-8976-4. OCLC 1152249861.
  29. ^ Johnson, Jenell M. (2015). American Lobotomy: A Rhetorical History. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. p. 99. ISBN 978-0-472-12058-1. OCLC 907375816.
  30. ^ United States Congress. Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the U.S. Congress. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 1959, A569.


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