Milk before meat

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Milk before meat (Mormon usage) or Gradient (Scientology usage) are two of many terms used in cults and other authoritarian settings to describe the process of concealing doctrine from outsiders and new inductees.[1] Since many such groups base themselves on principles that outsiders often find outlandish, such groups often choose to spoon-feed doctrine to inductees rather than letting them study it independently, in hopes that the extreme points of doctrine will be much more acceptable to the new believer after a period of conditioning brainwashing (and in Scientology's case some good ol' money spendin' so the investment is not just emotional). As a controversial example, new converts to Scientology are told it is compatible with all other religious beliefs, but at higher levels are told other religions are the result of implants, most famously the R6 implant, and are expected to follow Scientology to the exclusion of other faiths.

In a similar fashion, anti-Masonic conspiracy theorists are notorious for claiming that only the "higher, 33rd degree Masons" know the true, evil practices of the fraternity. However, in Freemasonry, no degree is higher than the third degree; all other degrees are supplementary. The numbers are only a substitute for the ornate titles of the degrees (e.g. Master of the Royal Secret).

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  1. L. Ron Hubbard famously referred to such outsiders and newbies as "raw meat".
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