Daily Archives: January 29, 2013

How To Study Scientology

The circumstances I was afforded in my training in Scientology technology were auspicious.

I summarized them in an earlier post,   Training Outside the Walls.                     .

There is more context to the story that I believe sheds light on the thoughts behind recent posts here that have apparently created consternation, strife, chaos, and even declared enemies.

First, before engaging in my Scientology training, I had had the opportunity to work directly for L. Ron Hubbard during the last six years of his life.  I witnessed the ultimate result of unvarying adherence to much of the policy and technology he had issued.  It was not pretty.  Really a tragedy on the order of the example LRH used in the Policy Letter The Responsibilities of Leaders, the story of Simon Bolivar. Incidentally,  it looks as though I’ll be able to share that in the detail and context it deserves sometime late this Spring.

By the time I arrived on the ship for tech training – after fifteen years of Sea Org service –  I had not had much technical training.   I had blown the Sea Org and in my mind had forsaken Scientology forever more.  The only reason I returned was the promise of doing tech training.  Obviously I had zero faith in anybody in the hierarchy of Scientology since I had overtly committed the most treasonable act imaginable in that culture against its supreme leader by blowing.  I had nothing to lose.  I blew once and if the deal was reneged on I would blow again (that is ultimately what happened in 2004 in some respects).   But, I was particularly focused to fully understand and apply what it was that I had already sacrificed the best years of my adult life to protecting and defending.

As noted in the previous post cited above, I had free rein to study with no intervening arbitraries, opinion leaders, ruthless supervisors, Class VIII and XII priests’ attempts to make it otherwise be damned.   It was between LRH’s written and recorded words and me.  If it added up and worked so be it, if it didn’t so be it.

Early on in my training I read again a bulletin from LRH that helped draw me into Scientology in the first place.  It was called How To Study A Science.   It was later retitled How To Study Scientology and can found by that title in the technical bulletin volumes.   Some stable datums had struck me when I first read it and I wanted to reorient myself to them for my own intensive training:

The first thing that a student has to find out for himself, and then recognize, is that he is dealing with precision tools here in the courses.  It isn’t up to someone else to force this piece of information on him.  The whole subject of Scientology as far as the student is concerned is as good or bad in direct ratio to his knowledge of it.  It is up to a student to find out how precise these tools are.  He should, before he starts to discuss, criticize or attempt to improve the data presented to him, find out for himself whether or not the mechanics of Scientology are as stated, and whether or not it does what has been proposed for it.  He should make up his own mind about each thing that is taught in the school – the procedure, techniques, mechanics and theory.  He should ask himself these questions: Does this piece of data exist?  Is it true?  Does it work?  And will it produce the best possible result in the shortest time?  There are two ways to answer these questions to his own satisfaction: Find them in a preclear or find them in himself.  These are fundamentals, and every auditor should undertake to discover them himself, thus raising Scientology above an authoritarian category…

…A man by the name of Galen at one time dominated the field of medicine.  Another man by the name of Harvey upset Galen’s cozy position with a new theory of blood circulation.  Galen had been agreeing with the people of his day concerning the ‘tides’ of the blood. They knew nothing of heart action. They accepted everything they had been taught and did little observing of their own.  Harvey worked at the Royal Medical Academy and found by animal vivisection the actual function of the heart.

He had the good sense to keep his findings absolutely quiet for a while.  Leonardo da Vinci had somehow discovered or postulated the same thing, but he was a ‘crazy artist’ and no one would believe an artist.  Harvey was a member of the audience of a play by Shakespeare in which the playwright made the same observation, but again the feeling that artists never contribute anything to society blocked anyone but Harvey from considering the statement as anything more than fiction.

Finally, Harvey made his announcement.  Immediately dead cats, rotten fruit and pieces of wine jugs were hurled his direction.  He raised quite a commotion in medical and social circles until finally, in desperation, one doctor made the historical statement that ‘I would rather err with Galen than be right with Harvey!’…

…Any quarrel you may have with theory is something that only you can resolve.  Is the theory correct or isn’t it correct?  Only you can answer that; it cannot be answered for you…

…You are asked to examine the subject of Scientology on a critical basis – a very critical basis.

It was with that spirit that I studied and practiced everything from TR’s, to Metering, to every aspect of delivery of Scientology technology.    I noted contradictions while I studied.    But, that did not deter me.  I took LRH at his word – from the Axioms, to the Student Hat Course to the bulletin above to the repeated injunction that what matters are those fundamentals that create results.   Though clearly through the history of Scientology sacred cows were being constructed of an overwhelming and contradictory nature, when it came to tech study I stuck with retaining in my own mind and in practice what works to result.

I did not study under threat of eternal damnation, being given nightmares if I strayed from what priests – no matter how decorated or anointed they might be – told me was ‘standard tech’, or any other duress.   I learned to play the Scientology piano.  I cannot imagine – nor could have LRH during the heart of his Scientology discovery track – learning to play any other way.

I noticed something along the way.  The most vehement, zealous, pedantic,  holier-than-thou Keeping Scientology Working preachers (inside and outside the church) had the least natural, effortless ability to play the piano themselves.   The more strained and haughty, the less ability to competently attain results.  The more accusative, and dramatic at the righteous indignation play, the less able to deliver results.  The more ‘unreasonable’ and high-and-mighty about points One through Ten of Keeping Scientology Working the less able to move someone up the Grade Chart.

As a result I firmly believe that people ought to be trained by having their reason appealed to and their wisdom shining.  That is simple to do, given you are working with someone of a reasonably high intelligence quotient and an above average world-centric motivation.   I believe that  the necessity to appeal to fear, to frighten them into compliance with rules and regulations only arises if they don’t come in with the above two qualities.  If they don’t come into it with those qualities they are usually found to not be there on their own full self-determinism.   By that reason alone they don’t qualify to audit, case supervise and train others in the first place.

I wouldn’t let those trained under threat or fear audit the earthworms in my back yard.  Those trained by appeal to fear that they would wind up a charred ember floating in space with every man,  woman and child on the planet if they failed to understand and failed to walk around with a fixed, dedicated glare.  Those trained by fear of continuing education outside of Scientology even after demonstrating complete understanding and ability with the subject of Scientology.  Those trained only after they have demonstrated an unalterable conviction that what they were studying was the ‘only’ thing that had any worth (and therefore violated hundreds of references by the author of what it is they are studying – such as the wonderful LAW that the only way to truly understand the worth of anything is by comparison to data of comparable magnitude), and the firm, religious belief that they must rid themselves of even the possibility of entering a thought to the process that was not already written and provided to them from a single source.  Those that agree to organize their life so that their minds cannot be potentially polluted by the entrance of a datum contrary to what they have been given to study.  Those methods do not result in understanding (by Scientology definition or any other) and they certainly do not result in ability to apply competently.  They result in slaves attempting to remember so as to avoid punishment.

It is no different than Pavlovian training.   It is purely stimulus-response.

Or as L. Ron Hubbard noted in How To Study A Science:

Authoritarianism is little more than a form of hypnotism.  Learning is forced under some sort of threat of punishment.

Those who have learned – and enforce Scientology – by such means are not in the business of freeing people mentally and spiritually.  They have their own issues.

Or as L. Ron Hubbard noted in How To Study A Science:

Data is your data only so long as you have evaluated it.  It is your data by authority or it is your data.  If it is your data by authority, somebody forced it upon you, and at best it is little more than a light aberration.

I can already hear the outraged chorus, “this is heresy !  It is squirrel!   It is an attack upon L. Ron Hubbard because surely you are referring to the Policy Letter Keeping Scientology Working.”

I got news for you.  If you were industrious you could find dozens  of references by L. Ron Hubbard to support my view.  I have studied them myself.

“Then cite them!”, I am sure I will hear (and have), by the not-quite-bright who don’t dig L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology and never did, but who are the first to scream ‘bloody murder’ to anyone expressing views such that I have expressed here.   My response is, why?   So we can play the ‘divine who is really with Ron game’?   It is a game that has no end.  Because fact of the matter is, if you look you’ll find my references and you’ll find some supporting your view that Pavlovian training must be followed with unvarying adherence.  But, just as importantly, what does  quoting Ron have to do with obtaining a result on a preclear?

It is as if Scientology has degenerated into precisely what LRH criticized psychoanalysis  of becoming (again from How To Study a Science):

…All these years in which psychoanalysis has taught its tenets to each generation of doctors, the authoritarian method was used, as can be verified by reading a few of the books on the subject.  Within them is found, interminably, ‘Freud said…’  The truly important thing is not that ‘Freud said’ a thing, but ‘Is the data valuable?  If it is valuable, how valuable is it?’  You might say that a datum is as valuable as it has been evaluated…

Whoever wants to play the stone, paper and scissors game with L. Ron Hubbard references in the comments section, by my guest.  I can’t play myself.  I have to get back to auditing and training folks  – appealing to their reason with the result of their wisdom shining.