Brain-Washing (book)

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

Brain-Washing (subtitle: A Synthesis of the Russian Textbook on Psychopolitics), sometimes referred to as "The Brainwashing Manual", is a book published by the Church of Scientology in 1955. It purports to be a condensation of the work of Lavrentiy Beria, the Soviet secret police chief. Its true authorship remains unclear, the three common hypotheses being: Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard, Kenneth Goff (alias Oliver Kenneth Goff), or both swiping a common US agency report.[1]

It is also sometimes referred to as "The Communist Manual of Psycho-Political Warfare" or the "Communist Manual of Instructions of Psychopolitical Warfare".[2]

L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology[edit]

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., 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." [3]

Hubbard's former editor, John Sanborn, confirmed Hubbard Jr.'s testimony.[1]

Hubbard tried to present the Federal Bureau of Investigation with a copy, but the Bureau expressed skepticism about the document's authenticity.[4] The book has Beria using obvious Hubbardisms such as "thinkingness" or "pain-drug-hypnosis", and making an unlikely mention of Dianetics side by side with Christian Science and Catholicism as major world wide "healing groups".

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.

The Anderson Report

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." [5]

Kenneth Goff and the American far right[edit]

Morris Kominsky in his The Hoaxers: Plain Liars, Fancy Liars and Damned Liars (1970) attributes the authorship to a Rev. Kenneth Goff (alias Oliver Kenneth Goff) of Englewood, Colorado, an assistant of Gerald L. K. Smith. The entirety of chapter twelve is devoted to analysis of the text and the author's correspondence with others to determine the authenticity of the text or points within it, and other publications which make reference to it. Kominsky's copy of the book had an introduction by Goff, but he does not give the publication date, though one of the publications referencing Goff's introduction is dated 1956. Goff claimed the book came to him from the Communist Party.

Kominsky owned another copy published by the "Ultra-Rightist women of the Burbank, California area who call themselves the American Public Relations Forum, Inc." That copy included an introduction by Charles Stickley and with additional items by Usher L. Burdick, claiming a publication date of 1955. Goff asserted Stickley plagiarized him, and that he had seen yet another publication which had done so. Nonetheless, the Goff version is replete with Hubbardisms, from 'Thinkingness' to 'Mental Image Picture' to 'PDH' for 'Pain Drug Hypnosis', plus all known Goff versions feature multiple references to 'Dianetics'.


  1. ^ a b Introvigne 2005.
  2. ^ Brainwashing Manual - Timeline.. Specifically see Ability magazine 1963, volume 148, page 9, and a Letter to the Editor from a Van Nuys, CA newspaper, by Jackson Adams, entitled Psycho-Analysis and Mental Health Propaganda Feb 23 1958
  3. ^ L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman? by Bent Corydon and L. Ron Hubbard, Jr.
  4. ^ Bare-Faced Messiah by Russell Miller.
  5. ^ Report of the Board of Enquiry into Scientology, by Kevin Victor Anderson, Q.C., Published 1965 by the State of Victoria, Australia.


  • "The Brainwashing manual: Timeline". Retrieved 2009-10-17.  (includes scanned images of many primary documents relating to the book, such as an FBI report on it, and some of Mr Hubbard's correspondence regarding it)

External links[edit]