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First attested in the writings of L. Ron Hubbard and the Church of Scientology. Apparently coined from observe (or perhaps obvious) and Ancient Greek γνῶσις (gnôsis, knowledge).

In common culture since 1970's and especially within internet culture, 'obnosis' has become a contended word that essentially points to the question of who owns knowledge, beit colleges, Scientology, or the individual themselves. This was especially evident during the UseNet News Religious Wars in the 1990s, where Scientologists post bombed any newsgroup that didn't favor their contended "truth" or "obnosis" in alt.religion.scientology.


obnosis (plural obnoses)

  1. (chiefly Scientology) Observing the obvious
    • 1958, Ability, Hubbard Association of Scientologists, International, page 12:
      Here you will find the Instructor's Code, Obnosis and the Tone Scale and one of the best descriptions of Assist processing ever published.
    • 1970, B. Robert Ross, A Parent's Guide to the Teaching of Reading: A Compilation of Old and New Methods of Teaching and a New View of the Reading Process: [1] Upstat Pub. Co.:
      Obnosis (observing the obvious) must be used at every moment to determine the best next step with any student.
    • 2006 February 23, Janet Reitman, “Inside Scientology: Unlocking the complex code of America's most mysterious religion”, Rolling Stone:
      Hubbard created Scientology's language to be unique to its members. It includes words that are interpretations, or variations, of standard terms: "isness," for example, which Scientology's glossaries say, in essence, means "reality." But there are also words that are wholly made up, such as "obnosis," which means "observation of the obvious."