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|“||If a person has done a bunk, you can simply order him to come back and bring the body to life. The commands are addressed to the person and should be given in a tone of authority. It would be as simple as commanding, "Come back and bring this body to life!" Or ordering the person, "Come back here and pick up your body! At once! Pick it up! I order you! Right now!"||”|
|— L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology and inventor of the 'Assist', |
Assists are claimed to address the spirit, the person themselves, in bringing about a speedier recovery from illness and injury. For this reason it is made very clear that Assists do not "heal the body", it is the spirit that helps heal the body and that is what assists are actually addressing and there are many records where parishioners of the Church have attested to their effectiveness either receiving or administering them.
There are many different types of Assists that anyone can easily and swiftly learn to do at home for aiding recovery of all manner of illnesses, accidents and injuries and even domestic upsets, of any and all age groups including babies and even pets. There are also assists to, Scientologists believe, help make someone sober or recover from the loss of a loved one.
No drugs or medication is used. They are not intended to replace competent professional medical treatment, which is why they are correctly called ASSISTS and not "medicine" or "healing". They are thought to assist the ill or injured person themselves to recover more swiftly in the way they were designed and prescribed, as well as in conjunction with competent professional medical treatment where necessary. Assists can and often are administered without any medical treatment necessary, but does not replace it when it is necessary.
Thousands of examples of miraculous results of Assists are claimed.
The Church and its founder have been accused of unauthorized "healing" or "practicing medicine" (i.e. addressing the body) with Assists, when internal publications within the Church on Assist procedure state this is not the case.
In the past, the Church of Scientology has received negative attention from law enforcement and regulatory agencies for practicing medicine without proper licensing. Thus, even though assists are intended to treat pain, injuries, and even death, modern Church of Scientology publications are careful to note that they are not intended to replace medicine, since it often goes against current scientific understanding of the subject and may result in direct conflict with the relevant authorities.
As the Scientology Handbook (1994 edition) states, "Medical examination and diagnosis should be sought where needed, and where treatment is routinely successful, medical treatment should be obtained. An assist is not a substitute for medical treatment and does not attempt to cure injuries requiring medical aid, but is complementary (adds) to it."
Types of assists
The "Bring Back to Life" Assist
This action is supposed to resuscitate a person who has recently died, or "done a bunk," by speaking to or shouting commands at their corpse within a few minutes of his or her death. Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard described the process in his 1972 lecture "Illness Breakthrough":
I was just a couple of minutes late. State cops were in my way, but a Negro had been drowned and I was just... They were in my road to a point where I couldn’t get to the guy and tell him to pick up the body again, where he would have, don’t you see. And they were busy resuscitating him and that was the end of that. It was too late. He really had done a bunk. He finished.
They’re still around. And back they come again.
We’ve actually brought little kids back to life and that sort of thing—just tell them “pick up the body,” you know. Now, you just tell them with Tone 40, just say it around the vicinity.
Description of the Bring Back to Life Assist also appears in official orders entitled HCO BULLETIN OF 8 APRIL 1988:
If a person has done a bunk, you can simply order him to come back and bring the body to life. The commands are addressed to the person and should be given in a tone of authority.
Once you have brought the person back to life, that is the end of this assist action.
It would be as simple as commanding, “Come back and bring this body to life!” Or ordering the person, “Come back here and pick up your body! At once! Pick it up! I order you! Right now!”
You just keep commanding him with Tone 40. He is still around and can be gotten to come back again.
There is another means of bringing a person back to life. You can coax the person back. In one case, an auditor pleaded along the lines that the person should remember her husband, should think of her children, and so on, all with no response. He couldn’t get her to pick up the body at all. Finally, the auditor said, “Think of your poor auditor!” at which point she came back and brought the body to life.
Scientologists are taught that all physical illnesses are caused by lack of communication with the ill body part. In the touch assist, a Scientologist repeatedly touches a person near the injury and while calling attention to the touch. This process is claimed to reestablish communication and promote healing.
According to the Scientology Handbook (pg.207), "There is a basic principle in Scientology which consists of putting an injured body member exactly on and in the place it was injured. Doing this can have a therapeutic effect and is called a Contact Assist." The Handbook then goes on to give an example:
"Let’s say a child stubbed his shin on the lawn mower and now doesn’t want to come nearer than one hundred feet from that lawn mower. You would make him do a Contact Assist with his shin and body at that point (one hundred feet from the same lawn mower), having him go through the motions of the accident. Gradually, gradient by gradient, you narrow the distance that he is willing to approach it and eventually he will go up and do a Contact Assist on the lawn mower."
The Nerve Assist is based on Scientology's teaching that standing waves of energy can form in nerves and cause pain. The assist involves stroking a person along the spine, around the torso, and down the limbs. This process is claimed to dissipate the standing wave. There is, however, no evidence at all to suggest that standing waves are present in the spinal cord or that pain is stored in the nerves. Other information given by the Church of Scientology about the anatomical effects of nerve assists are patently false (e.g.: There are not 12 major nerves in the spinal cord).
Unconscious person assist
This assist is intended for "a person who is unconscious, even someone who has been in a long-continued coma". The person doing the assist takes the unconscious person's hand and places it on various objects, commanding them to feel it as they go along. The idea is to reach not only the person's subconscious mind, but the person's Thetan. The Handbook states: "Don’t fall for the belief that “unconscious” people are unable to think or be aware in any way. A thetan is seldom unconscious regardless of what the body is doing or not doing". It also notes: "If you are handling a person in a coma, you may not get him back to consciousness in a single assist session."
Locational processing assist
In this assist, one simply points to various objects and asks the subject to acknowledge them. The purpose is "directing a person’s attention off the painful area of his body or his difficulties and out onto the environment." 
The Locational Processing Assist is touted as an antidote to alcohol intoxication. The Handbook claims "It can make a drunk person sober in a very few minutes".
- L. Ron Hubbard's Assists Processing Handbook lists over 130 different Scientology Assists, giving "detailed instructions for assists to handle toothaches, a fight with a spouse, nosebleeds, newborn babies, people with fevers, even a person in coma".
- The Scientology book Assists for Illnesses and Injuries deals with the most common and basic Assists, such as the ones described here.
- The basic Assists are also covered in The Scientology Handbook.
- "HCO BULLETIN OF 8 APRIL 1988 - THE "BRING BACK TO LIFE" ASSIST".[permanent dead link]
- "Factors of Assists - Assists for Illnesses and Injuries, How can Scientology help me". Church of Scientology International. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
- "L. Ron Hubbard, EXPANDED DIANETICS LECTURE No.4, 7 April 1972 - ILLNESS BREAKTHROUGH". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.
- Hubbard, L. Ron (1994). Assists for Illness and Injuries. Bridge Publications. ISBN 9780884049135.
- Janssen, Wallace (1993). "The Gadgeteers". In Stephen Barrett, MD; William Jarvis. The Health Robbers. A Close Look at Quackery in America. Prometheus Books, Buffalo NY. pp. 321–335. ISBN 0-87975-855-4.
- "Helping an Individual Heal Himself". Scientology Handbook. Church of Scientology International. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
- Scientology Handbook. "Every single physical illness stems from a failure of the being to communicate with the thing or area that is ill."
- "Contact Assist - Assists for Illnesses and Injuries, How can Scientology help me". Church of Scientology International. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
- "Contact Assist - Assists for Illnesses and Injuries, How can Scientology help me". Scientologyhandbook.org. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
- "Unconscious Person Assist - Assists for Illnesses and Injuries, How can Scientology help me". Church of Scientology International. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
- "Locational Processing Assist - Assists for Illnesses and Injuries, How can Scientology help me". Church of Scientology International. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
- "How to Make a Person Sober - Assists for Illnesses and Injuries, How can Scientology help me". Church of Scientology International. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
- "RehabilitateNZ / Assists To Handle Toothaches, A Fight With A Spouse, Nosebleeds, Newborn Babies". RehabilitateNZ. Archived from the original on 2010-05-24. Retrieved 2009-10-24.