B O A R D P O L I C Y L E T T E R
30 May 1974
C O N F I D E N T I A L
PR SERIES 24
HANDLING HOSTILE CONTACTS/DEAD AGENTING 1
It is a not too infrequent part of the job of a PRO to encounter hostile
contacts. To handle such, one has to be fast and effective at dead agenting.
Every successful PRO knows how to dead agent and wins.
As the tech on dead agenting and handling hostile contacts is scattered in
various P/Ls and write-ups, it is issued collectively now as policy for use.
Learn these techniques well. Use them with success!
Passages taken directly from L. Ron Hubbard’s writings or from transcripts of
his verbal briefings are in italics [indented]. Other passages are from D/G
PRO WW write-ups reproduced by courtesy of the Guardian’s Office.
These materials relate directly to
PR Series 23 The Press Book
PR Series 22 Press Conferences,
It is my specific intention that by the use of professional PR tactics
any opposition be not only dulled but permanently eradicated. This
takes data and planning before positive action can occur. (LRH)
Never let entheta pass unhandled. Prevention is better than cure. Handle
fast, handle with live communication, handle with documentation, use PR
technology including tone scale evaluation. Liaise with your senior and the
other divisions/bureaux. Maintain ethics presence and see the matter through
to a completion including the discrediting of the attacker.
Experience has shown that defence is only effective when one sorties or
The errors we have made have been:
1. Defending only.
2. Defending on Scientology ground.
3. Being reasonable and assigning mild motives to the enemy.
4. Failing to attack early and hard.
5. Undervaluing the broad social value of Scientology.
6. Individuating from other similar organizations.
7. Not learning enemy tactics and using and bettering them.
8. Failing to heavily contest for public opinion and public media.
9. Failing to identify the enemy early and hit him hard. (LRH)
The technique of proving utterances false is called “DEAD AGENTING”.
It’s in the first book of Chinese espionage. When the enemy agent gives
false data, those who believed him but now find it false kill him – or
at least cease to believe him.
So the PR slang for it is “Dead Agenting.”
This consists of disproving utterly the false statement with documents
or demonstration or display.
One has to have a kit (a collection of documents) or the ability to
demonstrate or something to display.
STATEMENT: “I’ve been told you are in trouble with Income Tax people.”
REBUTTAL: “Here’s a document of fully paid taxes and a letter of
commendation from the tax authorities.” Displays same.
Result? Whoever told him that is now dead with him as an accurate
The _best_ way to dead agent is when the person makes some disprovable
statement, find WHO to fix his mind on it and then produce the rebuttal.
STATEMENT: “I hear you aren’t married to the man you’re living with.”
REBUTTAL: “_WHO_ told you that?”
STATER: “I forget.”
REBUTTER: “Well, you remember and I’ll show you some proof.”
STATER: “Well, it was a man…”
STATER: “Joe Schmo.”
REBUTTER: “Okay. Here’s my marriage certificate. Who’s the Joe Schmo
Now it’s Joe Schmo who’s the mystery. How come he lies? What’s in it
When one hasn’t got the document but can get it one can say “You tell me
the name of whoever said that and next time I see you I’ll show you
something _very_ interesting about it.”
And be sure to get the document and see him again.
Dead agenting has a billion variations. “It won’t fly.” Fly it.
“Place is empty.” Show him it’s full.
The subject matter of Dead Agenting is PROOF in whatever form.
You only challenge statements you _can_ prove are false and in any
conversation let the rest slide.
EVERY FRIEND, EVERY OPINION LEADER, EVERY STAFF MEMBER YOU HAVE SHOULD
BE SUPPLIED WITH A DEAD AGENT PACK CONTAINING PROOFS AGAINST COMMON
RUMORS (AND BROCHURES AND COACHING TO FILL THE VACUUM). (LRH)
In defending against hostile PR, once more it is in the R that counts.
Sun Tzu in his book about warfare gives several types of agent. One of
these is the “dead agent” because he tells lies to the enemy and when
they find out they will kill him.
Hostile (or counter-PR) is usually the usual fabric of lies.
If one finds out the lies being told and documents just one as being
false, he has made counter-PR recoil. His hearer will never believe him
again. He’s ‘dead’.
In the war between psychiatric hostile PR and the truth of Scientology,
the “dead agent” caper has a field day. Psychiatric PR has been lying
for 20 years. Documented, the fact of these lies are lies is _killing
You understand, it’s not one PR’s word against another’s. It’s one PR’s
documents against the other PR’s lies! That is correct defensive PR.
The quality of the documentation is a major factor. The PRO should have the
right to chit and demand better quality documentation if it’s not up to
standard. One should be very inventive and very creative in the presentation
of his pack. As the false reports on us are generally repeated over and over
and over again in different ways one can have in stock, so to speak, false
report correction packs and booklets. One of these could be the _Background
and Ceremonies of the Church_, a WW publication. There are various bona fide
publications for different countries. There is _Scientology 20th Century
Religion_, there is the publication _Viewpoint_ from the US and we now have
Omar Garrison’s _Hidden Story of Scientology_. Then there are things like
the quote from the Encyclopedia Britannica Year Book, etc.
This is correct procedure:
1. Spot who is attacking us.
2. Start investigating them promptly for FELONIES or worse using our
own professionals, not outside agencies.
3. Double curve our reply by saying we welcome an investigation of
4. Start feeding lurid, blood sex crime actual evidence on the
attackers to the press. (LRH)
Also press releases should always contain some factor of endurance.
This gives the public the idea that we endure. Examples:
“For many years now we have stated…”
“We have stood up to such attacks many times and are still surviving and
“Since 1950 we have…”
“Eighteen years ago…”
ALWAYS ATTACK in a press release. Never Defend or Deny. (LRH)
Reporters are a kiss of death unless one really is an expert PR man
himself. Reporters have to be handled and well. If truly friendly,
they have to be wooed. If not they have to be handled. The routine is
(1) Whisper of a bad story (2) Get a lawyer (3) Threaten suit (4)
Totally discredit using the technique of the Dead Agent caper which MUST
be understood in full. It consists of photostats of good stories and
authentic documents that state the truth and thus wreck any lies and the
liar. “Dead agent” means when they find out the guy lied (proven by
documents) he’s dead. The kit of the PRO MUST contain a full set of
such documents, adequate to cancel out any lies told.
And it must be fast. It must come to an immediate confrontation. (LRH)
The actual handling is very swift. You can make the offending person the
butt of your wit, handle seriously, take him over the hills and far away
conversationally, but it has to be swift and smooth with one person in
As soon as you get some entheta about us, you immediately jump on the
person and ask who else has he been saying that to, getting all the
names. Ask for the person’s credentials, where he comes from, who sent
him – give him a hard time of it. (LRH)
We endeavor to hit from as many directions as possible. For example, a
reporter was conducting a one-man crusade against Scientology in his
newspaper. PR handled by having formal complaints made on the conduct of the
reporter to his newspaper, the Press Council and the police with full
documentation as to the lies he told and actions which he had taken,
including threats and attempted blackmail by him. A full submission was
presented giving six or seven pounds weight of PR data from the Church of
Scientology on itself, its social reforms, its view on psychiatry, etc. This
data was indexed and bound so that it looked something of value. The pack
was left with a high official and other officials were informed that full
submissions had been left there and if they needed information he would be
able to supply it. The Press Council ended up investigating the reporter and
the stomach has gone out of his crusade.
False reports are corrected by true facts. You do whatever you have to do to
get the true facts communicated and published. Documentation is the biggest
aid in doing this. Communicating corrections obtained from other media helps
build ethics presence and makes for a careful press and media.
When an entheta story with false reports has been published it must be
handled fast by telephone call, by personal visit, and always by letter
confirming. The PR needs documentation which refutes and he needs it
available to show or to give to the media. It is an obliteration tactic.
For example, a newspaper publishes its third entheta article. Legal plays a
hard line and PR plays the part of the peacemaker until a retraction and
legal settlement is made. Documentation is then sent to all press, the Press
Council and journalists and individual reporters. The documentation has a
plea for reform and clean up of ethical standards. The result: the reporter
in question will no longer be on staff.
Every correction you obtain comes as something you can use. It is “beans”;
there is an exchange now because you can use that in your prevention.
A common error in the actual tech of false report correction is contained in
repeating the original entheta in our published correction of it. By that we
give the enemy two cracks. This is very easily avoided by simply doing an
item fact correction sheet and making it clear that it is not for
publication, accompanying it with the thing which is for publication or
promising the thing for publication to follow.
Time is always of the essence. The longer an entheta piece is permitted to
persist the more difficult the correction becomes, the more damage is done by
it and the more likely it is to be quoted by another.
Research and experience has shown that there are various factors which
contribute to successfully obtaining equal space in the media. The major
1. Speed of handling.
2. Duplication of the nature of the media or person(s) one is approaching.
3. Personal, live communication.
4. Full documentation and correction of facts in previous article.
5. Correct tone level evaluation and handling of media terminals.
6. Previous theta articles on Scientology.
Yes, one says, but how about the violent opposition? How about that
Well, he’s a problem. But he _is_ an opinion leader.
One has to decide how much of an opinion leader he is.
If you don’t handle a would-be opinion leader who is anti but who is NOT
an opinion leader, people get cross.
The decision here stems from
a. Is he talking about actual abuses? or
b. Is he just lying?
In either case one has certain courses of action. If the abuses are
actual, work to remedy them. If he is just lying, lay out the truth.
If he really isn’t an opinion leader, ignore him.
But one can only interfere with him or remove him if many, many are
getting cross because you don’t. But that’s a risky business.
As a rule, only that dissident person should be removed who is speaking
in your name and on your lines and using your power to do you down. And
then he can only be removed off your lines as you are under no
obligation to finance or empower your own opposition. That’s suicide.
He is not an opinion leader but a traitor for he owes his power to you.
Usually anti-opinion leaders are made by neglect.
PR-wise one has to catch them early and handle. (LRH)
One propagandizes the enemy population or one’s own or neutrals.
In popular interpretation it is a parade of lies or half-truths or
PR and advertising technology and mass news media are employed as well
as word-of-mouth and posters.
The trouble with it is that it can often be disproven, discrediting the
utterers of it.
It may serve the moment but after a war it leaves a very bad taste.
If one is engaging on a campaign of this nature, its success depends on
sticking to the truth and being able to document it.
The entire black propaganda campaign conducted for 21 years against
Scientology began to fold up in its 18th year because never at any time
did its instigators (a) have any factual adverse data or (b) tell the
The Scientology movement continued if only by heroic means and much
But at last nobody of any note believed the propaganda.
The attackers pulled in on themselves a counterattack based on
penetrating horrible documented truth.
It required intelligence-like tactics to discover who it was exactly.
The “dead agent caper” was used to disprove the lies. This consisted of
counter-documenting any area where the lies were circulated. The lie
“they were ___” is countered by a document showing “they were _not_”.
This causes the source of the lie and any other statements from that
source to be discarded. (LRH)
The technique is:
A hidden source injects lies and derogatory data into public view.
Since it _is_ a hidden source, it requires an intelligence approach to
successfully end it.
In the meanwhile the “dead agent caper” is the best tool to counter it.
A good policy when faced with a Black Propaganda campaign is to defend
as best you can (dead agent and legal restraints) while you find out
(intelligence) WHO is doing it. Then, confrontation can occur. Finding
and suing false whos can make things much more involved. (LRH)
When one is not fighting a battle against Black Propaganda, public
relations is easy.
One hires a reporter who gets to work thinking up ideas and turning out
releases. That’s why reporters are often thought of as Public Relations
people which they are not.
In the face of a Black Propaganda Campaign, such releases are twisted,
refused and that is the end of it.
There is far more to the art than this.
These are some of the rules that apply:
1. Fill the vacuum of omitted data with factual data.
2. Prove all false utterances heard are lies.
3. Discredit every rumor encountered.
4. Handle the interest level with any utterance.
5. Carefully study out the scene until the exact source is located.
6. Use the knowledge of source to impede or destroy the source of Black
Propaganda by non-criminal means.
7. Continue to fill the vacuum of no data with good data using any
Each one of these points could well take a book. But understanding them
and using one’s initiative one can fill in a lot of the tech himself.
The variations of each one are endless. (LRH)
If there will be a long-term threat, you are to immediately evaluate and
originate a black PR campaign to destroy the person’s repute and to
discredit them so thoroughly that they will be ostracized. (LRH)
In other words, handle the hell out of it. (LRH)
PR isn’t “being nice.” It is a dynamic subject. (LRH)
Alethiea C. Taylor
Acting LRH Pers Sec
LRH Pers Comm
as ordered by
L. RON HUBBARD
Copyright (c) 1974
by L. Ron Hubbard
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
- Retrieved from https://johanw.home.xs4all.nl/CoS/hostile-contacts.txt ↩