In this 1957 essay, Hubbard defines education as "the process of placing data in the recalls of another" and lays out some learning processes. The whole PAB is important for the current topic, so I'll post it. (Note also Hubbard's mention of Jack Parsons.)
L. Ron Hubbard wrote:
P.A.B. No. 110
PROFESSIONAL AUDITOR’S BULLETIN
The Oldest Continuous Publication in Dianetics and Scientology
From L. RON HUBBARD
Via Hubbard Communications Office
35/37 Fitzroy Street, London W.1
15 April 1957
Education—point of agreement.
The learning processes are all of them extremely interesting to the auditor because they bring to his attention at once that the common denominator of communication and aberration is at once “telling somebody something.” You say to somebody “hello”-you mean in essence “I am here, you are there and I recognize it.” It’s the relay of an idea. Well, now, learning itself has been, for I don’t know how long, very compartmented, it’s been very carefully grooved, so that learning as we speak of it then prior to 1956 meant what they meant in school—and that was “the inflow of ideas.”
Now when you speak to somebody out in the public about learning he thinks you’re talking about inflow of ideas, from some source or another either from a book or a teacher. That is a very narrow look, and when I talked to you about this before I
was using learning in that definition—an inflow of ideas.
It is not true that learning rate or the rate one will permit ideas to inflow is the common denominator of aberration or anything else, but it looks like it. The truth of the matter is, if you only considered inflow it would be like considering the motivator without the overt act. Now you know as an auditor how important it is to look at the overt act rather than the motivator. Don’t look at these inflows all the time. If you continue to look at these inflows and nothing but these inflows you will make as many mistakes as have been made in the past umpteen thousands of years in the field of education; and let’s not make these mistakes all over again.
Education could have been defined this way: “Education is the process of placing data in the recalls of another.” Do you see that? That’s what education thought it was doing. It thought it was placing ideas in the recalls of another and making a recall possible by somebody else of data related to him. Now that’s not very complicated, and that is the trouble with it: it is not complicated enough for educators. Now we deal with simplicities and this is the first time we really find fault on the line of simplicity—it’s an idiot’s definition—and that’s the process that is being carried on at this moment at Yale, Princeton, Harvard and Columbia; down here at George Washington, at Oxford, Cambridge and the Sorbonne—any place across the world at which they consider themselves tops in education—they are placing ideas in the recall of others.
A few schools departed from this from time to time, almost by accident, and usually under duress from their student bodies. Heidelberg is an example of this. Heidelberg never considered the relay of ideas important; it considered having been to Heidelberg important, and that was quite different.
As long as we maintain this idea of “inflow only” we are in trouble. Education does not happen. If education means inflowing ideas then you are also talking about hypnotism. You see, there’s no differentiation there; we are talking about beating somebody up and laying in an engram. This too would be education, wouldn’t it? So we have education and aberration very, very closely associated.
In fact, education WAS aberration. Life was busy teaching somebody a lesson and the lesson it succeeded in teaching him was not to do any more living. And that little lesson, then, was always at the base of education and it was done so that education itself could be considered aberration. In other words educational systems did the lazy thing, they did the easy thing: they simply paralleled the game of the MEST universe in teaching somebody not to live, and living paralleled it. Why, they then thought they were doing a good job. But let’s look at education as it was done. You taught somebody something by saying “Pigs have snouts.” They’re not supposed to say “Yes,” the classroom is supposed to be quiet. Later on you put an examination in front of them and it says: “What do have?” and they’re supposed to immediately answer and write: “ have snouts.” You’re supposed to be able to associate this completely.
So it’s just a test of recall.
Now as you know, therapeutically, recalls—and by the way, if you don’t know this try it some time: just sit and ask somebody to recall something about some person and do nothing but that and notice that you get a decline of case. That’s an interesting thing. You had to use the whole of the ARC formula, something really real, some time you were in communication with, and the reverse side of it too—in other words, the entirety of the straight-wire formula, inflow and outflow—to get away with it. But if you just asked somebody to remember something about George, remember something else about George, remember something else about George—if you asked him what he was doing, he’s picking up every moment he ever saw George motionless. This erases, you see, all the rest points of George and leaves nothing but the confusions and the halfway feeling that George is there, so we sort of move George as a disembodied entity into present time and confirm the valence. Now this is quite a trick, but you just knock these rest points out and George becomes a confusion. Therefore, nothing but recall used therapeutically and educationally would wind somebody up in rather a confused state. He would be sort of half hypnotized, just nothing but recalls. So if you give people data like “Pigs have snouts” and then ask them “What has a snout?” or “What has a ?” you have given them a stable datum and now you’re taking it away from them.
You might look up some time a university record as to suicide and nervous breakdown; such a record is honestly kept, I know. I did this once and I had a lot of trouble. I wanted to know how many students had committed suicide in that university and they wouldn’t own up to it, but I found out there had been quite a few and there’d been a great many nervous breakdowns, all at examination time. They spend the whole semester giving somebody some stable data and then at examination time they take that all away suddenly. In other words, simply implanting the recall and then pulling it back out again has been defined as education; but it is nothing but a black operation—nothing but. To do this to little kids is to do away with their initiative; therefore a time for revolution in the field of education is definitely at hand.
Education would have to be defined much more broadly. But remember in the old logics about action definitions. Well, you’d have to give it an action definition; it would have to be a real definition that gave its use and a purpose for it, to be of any kind of a game itself. The reason why teachers go into a no-game condition is because teaching itself is not really a game. It is putting a bunch of other people in a no-game condition, and of course that’s only part of a game. To teach a subject it would be necessary for the person being taught to be able to receive a non-significant, disrelated idea from another person. You see, that would be a necessity in order to teach somebody something.
The next condition that we would have to meet would be making certain that person could maintain his power of choice over the data given to him. So we would give him some data which were incorrect, and giving him these incorrect data we would find out if he could remember them and if he could reject them. The idea of being able to reject a datum and still remember it, to know that it’s untrue and non-factual and still be able to recall it, is of course bettered by a further action: being able to wipe it out completely or not even recall it; and that is a skill.
The next thing would be to feed him a datum, have him give objective examples and active examples of this datum so that it’s not then just a string of words, and then ascertain whether or not he could still reject it or accept it and then ask him to rephrase it, and eventually he will form something which will to him be an agreeable stable datum, and having done this we would then have accomplished power of choice over a datum. To get him to remember or repeat a non-significant datum would be the longest haul at first, and you may find people who have a terribly long haul on the subject of incorrect data. You give him an incorrect datum and he can’t reject it, but when you have made that possible you can then give him a datum, have him give objective examples of the datum, have him rephrase it, give objective examples of his datum, accept it, reject it, handle it, throw it around, and the next thing you know he has something which will buff the entirety of confusion surrounding that subject. You have created there something which is armor plate as far as he is concerned. He KNOWS a datum. Now he doesn’t KNOW it as recall; that’s the trick, you see. This is entirely different.
Now it’s hard to describe how he knows it, because there’s nothing there to describe except the datum itself, so to write long chapters on this new type of knowingness would be an impossibility—it’s something that is experienced, it easily goes on beyond the field of description.
All right, let’s take a look then at education and find out why you would do this that way—rather than to just place something in somebody’s recalls, to have him really know it as a datum. Why would you do this? Would there be any sense in this at all? Well, yes, there certainly would be. The individual would be able to USE that datum. He would be able to evaluate its importance, he would be able to handle it and handle with it many other things. In other words you have given him something for his utilization.
Now I want to tell you a little difference in the field of education itself. The stress of “teaching” in a modern school today is this: “How to occupy the child’s time.” That’s right—that’s what they teach in modern training schools. Great stress is put on this; you have a child just so long, he has to be taken out of his home for that length of time, you have to keep him occupied in school and that’s just about it, and you wonder why a child of twelve or thirteen doesn’t really know how to spell, his penmanship is poor, his reading is worse, and so on—that’s because a different thing has come into view. Now this is not the tradition of the little red schoolhouse of song and storybook through the generations. There was another tradition in this country, and I don’t know where the tradition I have just described came from, but this other tradition was the American tradition and it went like this: You had to get ‘em and put some shoes on ‘em in a hurry and teach ‘em readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic as fast as you could because they weren’t going to be in school very long, and the teacher who was put through normal school, so called, a hundred years ago was taught that. You have got to be fast, you never know when papa’s going to take him out and put him behind the plough. Give him some education before it happens to him. You probably will get them in the winter months when there’s not much work to do, but in the summer you’re never going to get them. Hence the summer vacation.
Of course, the child loves this idea; he doesn’t have too much sympathy with education in the most part, as it is performed; but if school really educated him I’m afraid you’d have an entirely different attitude on the part of the child. Now I have been very fortunate to know in my life quite a few real geniuses—fellows that really wrote their name fairly large in the world of literature and science—and I consider myself very fortunate to have known them because they are so rare. Why are they so rare? I found something peculiar about these fellows—they were for the most part taught in peculiar schools! They were taught in some YMCA school or they were taught by some Englishman who ran a little college for difficult children in the street; they were all taught—it seems—in some kind of off-breed school. Now this is peculiar, because the school existed to a large measure to take care of people who were slopovers from the usual educational system—there wasn’t very much education involved. The fellow would come in and he’d be interested in something and therefore they had the master give him his head. One chap by the way, who gave us solid fuel, rockets and assist take-offs for airplanes too heavily loaded on aircraft carriers, and all the rest of this rocketry panorama, and who formed Aerojet in California and so on. The late Jack Parsons, by the way, was not a chemist the way we think of chemists. He was not taught in the field of chemistry beyond this fact: There was a little professor who opened up a school. Nobody could do anything with Jack so they sent him over to this school and the professor found out he was interested in chemical experiments and turned him loose in the laboratory and gave him a lot of encouragement. He eventually became quite a man. It is interesting that this completely sloppy type of education is apparently quite workable.
Here are some LEARNING PROCESSES. Try them out and see the difference between KNOWING a datum and knowing it as a recall.
1. Learning Process No. 1:
(Flatten each part thoroughly before going to next.)
(a) Give pc 3 numbers. Have him repeat. See if he remembered. Repeat this process.
(b) Give him incorrect datum. Have him repeat it. Discover if he could remember it. Discover if he could reject it. Repeat this process.
(c) Give him vital datum (concerning rudiments of auditing in the case of a Scientologist, for example). See if he can repeat it. See if he can rephrase it.
Have him give objective examples. See if he can reject it. Repeat this process.
2. Learning Process No. 2:
(a) Discover things Auditor and pc can agree on in vicinity.
(b) Feed pc vital data (Scientology and rudiments, for example). Get him to give objective examples, rephrase and reject and accept.
3. Learning Process No. 3:
Have pc discover unimportant data in environment.
4. Assigning Identity:
This is a Walkabout, inside and outside.
Commands: “Look around here and find something you could have,” “For what is it used?” (or “What is it called?”), “Could you invent another use (name) for it?”
5. Objective Forgettingness:
This is a Not-Know Process. It is another Walkabout.
Commands: “Look around here and find something it would be all right to forget (or not-know).”
If these five processes are flattened early in the week, note the changes, repeat, and effect further changes.
L. RON HUBBARD
Hubbard, L. R. (1957, 15 April). Education. Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology (1976 ed. Vol. III, pp. 28-31). Los Angeles: Publications Org.
More re: Training Indoctrination