ASSIGNMENT >> 14. Read “Methods of Word Clearing,” section “Basic Word Clearing.”


Nine different methods for clearing the meanings of words have been developed in Scientology.

They cover various ways to locate the misunderstood words underlying a person’s difficulties. These range from finding misunderstood words in the text one is studying, to clearing the key words relating to one’s job, to even tracing down the words that were misunderstood in subjects studied years earlier!

Three of these Word Clearing methods that are very applicable in everyday life are given here.

Basic Word Clearing

Basic Word Clearing is the method of finding a misunderstood word by looking earlier in the text for a misunderstood word than where one is having trouble. This is the most basic method of Word Clearing used in Scientology.

A student must know how to keep himself tearing along successfully in his studies. He should be able to handle anything that slows or interferes with his progress. He applies the Study Technology to assist himself.

A student who uses Study Technology will look up each word he comes to that he doesn’t understand and will never leave a word behind him that he doesn’t know the meaning of.

If he runs into trouble, the student himself, his study partner or his instructor (in Scientology called a Supervisor) uses Basic Word Clearing to handle anything that slowed or interfered with his progress.

Waiting to become groggy or to “dope off” (feel tired, sleepy or foggy as though doped or drugged) as the only detection of misunderstood words before handling is waiting too long. If you have ever seen a student falling asleep over his book, then you have seen dope-off. Long before that point, someone should have made the student look for a misunderstood word. The time to look for the misunderstood word is as soon as the student slows down or isn’t quite as “bright” as he was fifteen minutes before. It is not a misunderstood phrase or idea or concept but a misunderstood WORD. This always occurs before the subject itself is not understood.

Basic Word Clearing is done as follows:

1. The student is not flying along and is not so “bright” as he was or he may exhibit just plain lack of enthusiasm or be taking too long on the course or be yawning or disinterested or doodling or daydreaming, etc.

2. The student must then look earlier in the text for a misunderstood word. There is one always; there are no exceptions. It may be that the misunderstood word is two pages or more back, but it is always earlier in the text than where the student is now.

3. The word is found. The student recognizes it in looking back for it. Or, if the student can’t find it, one can take words from the text that could be the misunderstood word and ask, “What does _____ mean?” to see if the student gives the correct definition.

4. The student looks up the word found in a dictionary and clears it per the steps of clearing a misunderstood word described above. He uses it verbally several times in sentences of his own composition until he has obviously demonstrated he understands the word by the composition of his sentences.

5. The student now reads the text that contained the misunderstood word. If he is not now “bright,” eager to get on with it, feeling happier, etc., then there is another misunderstood word earlier in the text. This is found by repeating steps 2–5.

6. When the student is bright and feeling happier, he comes forward, studying the text from where the misunderstood word was to the area of the subject he did not understand (where step 1 began).

The student will now be enthusiastic about his study of the subject, and that is the end result of Basic Word Clearing. (The result won’t be achieved if a misunderstood word was missed or if there is an earlier misunderstood word in the text. If so, repeat steps 2–5.) If the student is now enthusiastic, have him continue studying.

Good Word Clearing is a system of backtracking. You have to look earlier than the point where the student became dull or confused and you’ll find that there’s a word that he doesn’t understand somewhere before the trouble started. If he doesn’t brighten up when the word is found and cleared, there will be a misunderstood word even before that one.

This will be very clear to you if you understand that if it is not resolving, the thing the student is apparently having trouble with is not the thing the student is having trouble with. Otherwise, it would resolve, wouldn’t it? If he knew what he didn’t understand, he could resolve it himself. So to talk to him about what he thinks he doesn’t understand just gets nowhere. The trouble is earlier.

Zeroing In on the Word

The formula is to find out where the student wasn’t having any trouble and find out where the student is now having trouble and the misunderstood word will be in between. It will be at the tag end—the last part—of where he wasn’t having trouble.

Basic Word Clearing is tremendously effective when done as described here.

Scientology is a practical religion dealing with the study of knowledge, which through application of its technology can bring about desirable changes in the conditions of life. It was developed over a third of a century by L. Ron Hubbard. The term Scientology is taken from the Latin word scio (knowing, in the fullest meaning of the word) and the Greek word logos (study of). Scientology is further defined as the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, universes and other life.

moving or acting with great speed.

feel tired, sleepy or foggy as though doped or drugged.

a method or procedure for achieving something.