Handling Reporters

The Church of Scientology provides training drills to control interviews, including methods of evasive answering, changing the subject, and bullying the interviewer if necessary in order to present the Scientology message.

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B O A R D   T E C H N I C A L   B U L L E T I N

OF 10 DECEMBER 1969
REISSUED AS BTB 21 JUNE 1975

CANCELS
HCO Bulletin of 10 DECEMBER 1969
SAME TITLE

PRO COURSE
Not for distribution

CONFIDENTIAL

REPORTER TRS

  1. Answering non loaded questions

    Purpose:

    To train a PRO to answer such questions with confidence and simplicity, as are often asked by reporters. EG., What is Scientology ®? What's Clear [glossary], OT [glossary]? How does an E-Meter work?

    Method:

    The PRO and 'reporter' sit across a table facing each other. The 'reporter' asks the questions and the PRO must answer, without a long communication lag and in a way which readily communicates to the reporter. The drill is coached as in the TRs.

    The drill is passed when the PRO is confident he can answer the basic questions asked about Scientology.

  2. No Answer

    Purpose:

    To train a PRO to give a 'no answer' to questions he has no wish to answer directly.

    Method:

    To begin with the reporter reading the questions asked LRH by 'The Sun' reporter Victor Chapple—and the PRO reads LRH's answers. This is just to accustom him to the idea of 'no answer'.

    Then using different questions, the PRO gives 'no answers'. The trick is to appear to answer the question by giving generalized statements in simple terms so that the reporter doesn't realize his question hasn't been answered.

    The PRO should be completely causative  [glossary] over the communication and end it with certainty, so that the reporter gets this and goes on to the next question.

  3. Non-sequitur events

    Purpose:

    To enable a PRO to practice getting his "message" across and tag it on to any current event. Also a preparation for the day when our PROs will be asked to comment on current events.

    Method:

    One person has a newspaper in front of him and reads out a headline (and perhaps a line or two of the story if necessary for the PRO's understanding of it). Ask the PRO what comment he would like to make on it. The PRO should comment briefly and lead from this into his message.

    The drill is passed when the PRO can tack a message on to virtually any event, smoothly and with reality.

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  4. Handling a suppressive T.V. Interviewer

    Purpose:

    To train a PRO to get his message across in spite of the 'interviewer', in the few short minutes usually available on television. This is so that … million people have no doubts after the programme what the Scientologist stands for and what he is against.

    Method:

    The PRO and interviewer face each other and the interviewer asks questions. The PRO attaches his message in varying forms to as many answers as possible. If the interviewer is SP he must be introverted [glossary] as in the hat [glossary] write up, and then the PRO has his "say". The interview has been successful when the PRO has got his message across to his satisfaction.

  5. Handling an SP

    1. By overwhelm

      Purpose:

      To train a PRO to be able to establish Ethics [glossary] presence over an SP reporter if the occasion arises, by such things as shouting, banging, pointing, swearing. To do this completely causatively until the poor reporter is 'caved in [glossary]'.

      Method:

      The reporter and PRO sit across a table facing each other and the reporter asks SP questions. The PRO overwhelms without judgement in answer to the SP question until he does it with reality, causativeness and the overwhelm really reaches the reporter. TR 1 is a part of this drill — there is no point saying the words if they don't reach the other guy.

    2. By being knowingly covertly hostile

      Purpose:

      To train the PRO to handle an SP reporter by word alone without the use of force as in (a). He uses the word as a rapier and plunges it at the reporter, so that the reporter introverts and drops the question.

      Method:

      The PRO and reporter sit across a table and the reporter asks SP type questions.

      The PRO observes what would be a button in relation to the question asked and throws this back with good TR 1 so that it reaches home. If the reporter is introverted the PRO is successful. If the reporter persists with the same question the PRO should not re-press the same button — it obviously didn't work. He should drop it and use another one. If the PRO cannot think of a snide reply the reporter should just say "flunk, you haven't handled me. Start — " or some such remark — but should not tell the PRO what to say. When the confusion has come off the PRO will be able to handle and have a big win.

      The drill is completed when the PRO is willing to create a cave in with an accurate snide remark, question or statement.

    3. By stalling for time

      Purpose:

      To train a PRO to maintain his confront and composure when given some SP sensational news by a reporter, of which he has no prior knowledge.

      Method:

      The reporter asks the PRO for his comments on an entheta [glossary] situation involving a Scientologist.

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      The PRO maintains his ethics presence and duplicates the reporter's nasty angle to his satisfaction. He then stalls for time and gets the reporter to wait a few minutes or hours or so (whatever is necessary) while he checks his facts.

      The drill is passed when the PRO is confident that he could not be taken off guard by a reporter by being presented by an unknown situation.

    4. By handling the reporter in front of you (verbal Karate)

      Purpose:

      To train a PRO to handle the reporter in front of him, with judgement in present time.

      Method:

      The PRO and the reporter sit across a table facing each other. The PRO is asked a miscellany of questions [sic] If it is a genuine question, he can answer it, if possible tacking his message on to the reply. If the question puts him the least bit at effect [glossary], he takes this flow [glossary] and turns it towards the reporter with an even greater velocity. He does this either by a snide remark, question or comment, or by physical overwhelm, whichever seems the right action to establish ethics presence.

      He should never allow himself to be put at effect, and should not tolerate it even for an instant, but immediately attack back.

      The drill is passed when the PRO no longer uses a machine or method to handle the reporter — but he is totally there, confident and handling.

Comment If your student experiences difficulty on these Trs one of two things are out: a) Scientology TRs 0–IV are not flat [glossary] or b) he slipped through a previous Reporter TR without a weakness or button [glossary] on him being found and flattened.

History These drills have been evolved by PRO WW to train anyone on a gradient scale to handle any situation a reporter could pose. They are based on the HCOP/L 3.2.69 Public Image which states "Don't defend Scn, attack bad conditions and bad hats!"

By Sheila Gaiman
PRAWW

From the hat write up of
David Gaiman
PR Chief WW

Reissued as BTB by
Flag Mission 1234 I/C
CPO Andrea Lewis

for the
BOARDS OF DIRECTORS OF THE
CHURCHES OF SCIENTOLOGY

BDCS:AL:DG:SG:al
Copyright (c) 1969, 1975
by L. Ron Hubbard
aLL RIGHTS RESERVED