Scientology is always worse than you think. Probably one of the best examples of this in action is something in Scientology called the Truth Rundown or TRD. When actress Leah Remini was getting out of line and dared to question what Scientology leader David Miscavige was doing, she was given the Truth Rundown. Leah talks about this in her book, Troublemaker, and gives a good description of what happened to her.
Having both received and delivered the Truth Rundown to others, I thought now would be a good time to actually lay out what the Truth Rundown is and how it’s done.
First off, if you talk to any public Scientologists, they won’t be able to tell you about it because they’ve never heard of the Truth Rundown. It is one of Scientology’s most closely guarded secrets. In the 27 years that I was involved in Scientology, I only know of two people outside of the Sea Org who received it. One of those is Leah Remini. You can find their most confidential, upper level scriptures plastered all over mirror sites around the world, but you won’t find anything about this. None of the written instructions or issues on how to do it have ever been leaked out of the Church, so you can only find people’s descriptions of it such as this video you’re watching.
Scientology is full of mind control techniques and procedures. Almost from the moment you walk in the front door, they are deceiving you and telling you things they think you want to hear versus the actual truth about what they do. But this is at a whole new level. I think the Truth Rundown is the single most insidious and damaging of all of Scientology’s mind control procedures.
PR is a big and very important subject in Scientology. Hubbard wrote a whole series of policy letters about PR and how to do it and they spend a lot of time and a lot of money trying to keep up a good image. You wouldn’t really know that from the incredibly poor press statements that they make about their critics, but the fact is that they spend millions making high-end video productions to promote Scientology and all of its front groups and activities. So they absolutely hate it, HATE IT, when they get bad press or when someone is running around making people think badly about Scientology and especially about David Miscavige.
Negative press or bad news being spread about Scientology of any kind is called “black PR”. It doesn’t matter if the black PR is true or not. If it’s negative or presents Scientology, Hubbard or Miscavige in a bad light, it’s called black PR. Scientologists are indoctrinated to avoid listening to any of this like the plague and will actually stop you from talking if they think you are about to give them any black PR.
However, there are some in the bubble world who see through some of the nonsense that goes on and end up feeling repulsed and disgusted by it, enough that they want to tell someone else about it. When that happens, they usually end up having reports written on them and they end up in front of an Ethics Officer. In the Sea Organization, Scientology’s highest level, core group, the punishments for this can be severe.
The purpose of the Truth Rundown is to handle a person who has been found to be spreading black PR about Scientology or its executives or members. For example, if someone were going around saying that staff of Scientology churches don’t ever get paid, that would obviously create a bad impression of Scientology and people would not so easily be recruited to work there. This would be considered “black PR” even though it does happen to mainly be a true statement. Another example could be spreading that “Miscavige beats his staff”. Again, it’s true, but that doesn’t matter. It creates a bad image of Miscavige and therefore it’s something that no Scientologist is supposed to listen to or even think in the first place.
There is a great big subject in Scientology called security checking or “sec checks” which are Scientology’s version of the Catholic confessional. Sometimes these sec checks can be taken to a sort of Spanish Inquisition level where Scientologists are raked over the coals for hours, days or even weeks on end. Confessionals are not random. A person is asked very specific questions looking for transgressions in different areas of their lives. They may be asked things like “Have you ever stolen from your employer?” or “Have you ever beaten an animal?” or “Have you ever cheated on your spouse?”
They are always done using the Scientology E-meter, which Scientologists are conditioned to think registers their thoughts and can peer into their soul. When they are told that the E-meter is registering some nasty thought, they feel compelled to confess whatever that thought is or tell whatever moral transgression they’ve committed. In Scientology, they call those transgressions “overts” or “overt acts” meaning something the person did that they knew they shouldn’t have done.
The person who is acting as the confessor is called an auditor and he writes all of these overts down on worksheets. They file these in folders and this is how Scientology gets the goods on all of their parishioners. The auditors are carefully trained to never let a Scientologist leave the confession room until they have told all the overts the person thought of and they get all the details.
Scientologists are indoctrinated into believing that confession is good for the soul and that all of it is strictly confidential. It’s not kept confidential and they will use that information against you, if you don’t toe the line and do what Scientology officials tell you to do. There are countless examples all over the internet of Scientology doing this to ex-members and critics, so this is not new news.
The Truth Rundown is a very intense kind of confessional.
People talk about how Scientology auditing can be a form of hypnosis or appeals to false memory by addressing imaginary traumatic incidents from millions of years ago, and all of that is true. But I think the TRD has them all beat. The Truth Rundown is a kind of Maoist reconditioning.
So how is it done? Well, here’s how it’s laid out:
The first thing they do is go through all their files to see what reports they have on the person saying or spreading black PR. Scientology has a whole reporting system where members write reports on each other if they see them doing “bad things” or saying things they aren’t supposed to. They put all these reports into “ethics files” and keep track of people that way so they can spot the bad apples and deal with them.
They cull through these reports and tab every instance where the person reportedly said negative things about Scientology or any part of it. These are listed out.
The person is then put on the E-meter and after all the setup is done and the sec check is started, basically what they do is take up each individual statement of black PR. For example, let’s say the person said “Scientology staff members don’t get paid for their hard work.”
The person is asked “When did you actually observe that to be the case?” and the person looks and tells what they saw or experienced that gave them that idea. If the black PR line is not correct or the person never actually said it, then they work over what the person actually did say until they have it exactly.
In this case with the staff not being paid, he might say “Well, there were lots of weeks when I was on staff where there was no pay at all or we only got like $5 for the whole week” and he’d be asked for a specific instance where he observed that. So he might think about it and come up with one week in April of 1997 when there was no pay.
One important point about Scientology counselling is the idea that earlier instances of something hold later instances in place mentally. They always want to find the earliest possible time they can of whatever it is they are looking for because that earliest or first time is supposed to be the key to releasing or letting go of all the later incidents. Hubbard took this idea from Freudian psychotherapy.
So after getting one specific instance, the next question will be “Was there an earlier time where you observed this to be the case?” They keep doing this until they get the earliest possible incident, the very first time the person can remember of seeing this black PR line manifest.
Now get this. The next question is “Just before that, what overt did you commit?” That’s right. The idea is that you are spreading this black PR or saying these nasty things about Scientology for only one reason: because you did something bad just before you saw what you saw. Stay with me because it only gets worse from here.
You see, Hubbard wrote that the reason why the person is spreading the black PR is because they must have not seen what they think they saw. The fact that they committed an overt, did something bad, just before their observation has caused a mental shift where they are deluding themselves about what they saw and it didn’t realy happen the way they think it did. In effect, Hubbard is accusing anyone who says anything bad about Scientology of either being a liar or worse, having false memory syndrome.
People in Scientology go along with this is because they are in a destructive cult and part of being in a destructive cult is that the cult leaders and the cult itself can never be at fault or be the ones to blame for anything. In Scientology especially, if something goes wrong or is in error, it is always your fault. It’s never L. Ron Hubbard, David Miscavige or Scientology that is at fault. Not ever.
So the person receiving the Truth Rundown has to find an overt that they committed which answers the question. And not just any overt either. Because of the way it is run, each wrongful action they take up has to be a “serious” overt and it has to be something the person did which is directly on the subject matter of the black PR he was spreading.
In other words, if a person was saying “the staff don’t ever get paid” then he better come up with an overt along the lines of stealing the org’s payroll or robbing another staff member of his pay. The auditor is directed to not take up any “non-serious” overts or any overts that don’t have anything to do with the black PR.
Again, once the person finds an overt and tells the auditor all about what he did and when he did it and how he got away with it and all that, the auditor then asks for an earlier similar overt. They keep going earlier until the person experiences some degree of relief and the needle on the E-meter is floating, meaning it’s just drifting back and forth rhythmically and not showing any more reactions on this series of overts.
Most of the time, they want this series of overts to go back a long way, into past lives. An important part of Scientology is believing that people have lived over and over again, life after life after life. Hubbard said that the really bad stuff that makes people screwed up these days is because of things that happened millions or even trillions of years ago. So when doing this kind of confessional, it is expected that a person will find transgressions going back into past lives that are similar to the ones they have committed in this lifetime.
But there is one more thing on top of all this which really seals the deal in terms of the mind control. Once the overts are run down and the E-Meter needle is floating and all that, another question is asked. This one is “Was there an evil purpose or destructive intention that prompted you to commit that overt?”
It’s not enough that you have taken on the idea that you did bad things and that is what is causing you to falsely accuse Scientology, but now you have to find the evil idea or intention within yourself that actualy made you do it.
What kind of things do people come up with in answer to this? They look inside themselves and find things like “to destroy anything I can” or “to make sure everyone fails” or “to utterly ruin anything that helps people”. They convince themselves that it was these kind of evil ideas that they have carried around with them for thousands or even millions of years and that they have been carrying out all of this.
Whatever answer they come up with, this is addressed by going to the earliest time they can come up with until they think that they have erased this evil purpose out of their head and no longer will be committing overts because of it.
And that whole thing is the procedure you follow to handle just one black PR line that was found in the reports they went through. It usually takes a few hours to go through this whole procedure. Then the next line is taken up and it is run through the exact same procedure. Each time, the person has to find different overts and different evil intentions behind each one. It’s never the case that one overt or one evil purpose will answer or take care of different black PR lines.
Once all of the specific black PR lines from the files are taken up, they then ask the person a long series of questions to pull out any other black PR that they might have missed in the reports. Questions such as “Have you ever spread black PR about a Scientology executive?” or “Have you ever damaged the reputation of L. Ron Hubbard?” and many many more. Each answer the person finds is handled the exact same way I described above, getting all the overts and the evil purpose underlying them.
Now here’s the kicker and this is a big one. This procedure is carried on until the person receiving the Truth Rundown voices the end result. It’s a very exact and specific thing. The person has to originate that they were deluded and basically admit that they were making up the black PR as a justification for their own crimes and transgressions. Not only that, the person has to say they want to now make restitution to the people who they were spreading black PR about!
This is why the Truth Rundown is described as brainwashing and a kind of Maoist reconditioning. Because that’s what it is.
Its end result is not just a person confessing that they did some things wrong; it’s convincing himself that he didn’t actually see what he saw and that he has been deluding himself all this time, that he’s only been spreading this “black PR” because of his own evil activity and that the black PR never even happened.
While only a few Scientology public have ever received this, the Truth Rundown is used much more liberally on the Sea Organization members. Everyone who does Scientology’s infamous Rehabilitation Project Force or RPF, for example, gets the Truth Rundown. If you ever wondered how it is that people near the top who work with David Miscavige every day can stand to put up with the abusive conditions they have to endure, this is your answer. They don’t just fool themselves into thinking they deserve the punishment and abuse they receive. They are brainwashed into it with the Truth Rundown.
If that isn’t the ultimate in mind control, I don’t know what is.
Thank you for watching.