Scientology Beliefs and Practices - Scriptures and Practices - Terminology


On November 12, 1952, Hubbard explained in the lecture "Precision Knowledge: Necessity to know terminology and law” the need to have precise terminology that cannot be confused with other words or definitions. He gave emphasis on avoidance of words that have many definitions and compared the language of Scientology with the language of Math and other precise doctrines.

Scientology and Dianetics place a heavy emphasis on understanding word definitions. Hubbard wrote a book titled How to Use a Dictionary, in which he defined the methods of correcting "misunderstoods" (a Scientology term referring to a "misunderstood word or symbol"). It is believed in Scientology that complete understanding of a subject matter requires first complete understanding of the words of that subject matter. Hubbard also assembled the Technical Dictionary (ISBN 0-686-30803-4, ISBN 0-88404-037-2), a lexicon of hundreds of words, terms, and definitions that are used by Scientologists. Hubbard modified definitions for many existing English words, such as "clear" and "static." "Clear" was borrowed from early computer science during his 1948 research. He likened the human mind to a perfect computer that needed to be "cleared" of erroneous data enforced upon it from engrams or painful memories. Soon after the word "clear" as a noun meant a person who had attained such a state. He also coined many terms that are variants on standard English words, such as "enturbulate" and "havingness."

Critics of Scientology have accused Hubbard of "loading the language" and using Scientology jargon to keep Scientologists from interacting with information sources outside of Scientology (see cult for additional information).

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