For the first several years of L. Ron Hubbard’s research into a path to enlightenment, his focus was on simplicity. In that wise, his quest aligned perfectly with the ancient universal truths he sought to make more easily and uniformly attainable. Those truths, per Hubbard, were particularly well articulated by Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha), and Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching. Hubbard seemed to understand, and could communicate in modern language, the Buddhist and Taoist descriptions of the spiritual, the difficult to conceptualize ideas of ‘emptiness’ or ‘nothingness.’ Hubbard lectured as follows on 1 December 1954:
You can have a quality in complete absence of a quantity. You don’t have to be “a quart of good boy.” And this was what he (the scientist) was assuming, see. The next time you see a pound of lust, send it around and we’ll put it in a museum. These things are not quantitative.
So we had to get out of quantitative thinking, thinking in terms of objects and masses, before we had any real comprehension of existence. And this was very easy to do. Very easy to do. You merely had to define what zero was . And we find that life, basically the awareness of awareness unit in life, is not a thing of quantity – not even vaguely of quantity. It is a thing of quality, of ability.
Where you have ability, you have life. Where you have space, energy, mass…I don’t care what kinds of energy. The energy contained in your engrams. The energy contained in mental pictures. The space contained in your visios or lack of them. Anytime you have any quantity of any kind, you have walked downhill from life. Just like that. And this works out. This works out in processing, works out gorgeously.
Scientology counseling (processing or auditing) does work out quite gorgeously when a thetan (the awareness of awareness unit, or individual spiritual being) is considered in this wise. When this framework is kept in mind, Scientology procedures are rather simple. That is because all of them are used toward the result of removing additives, or complexities, and returning the quality of the awareness of awareness unit to itself. That quality is uniformly found to be good by universally recognized human standards.
Hubbard clearly mapped philosophy and procedures that brought about abilities (qualities) in a being that culminate in the state of Clear. Hubbard defined a Clear as “an unrepressed and self-determined being” who is no longer subject to stimulus-response reactive thought processes.
Unfortunately, the issue becomes muddled as one assays to move higher on the Scientology path, called the Bridge. Above Clear, the reached for states are no longer expressed in terms of freedoms from the additives that hamper a being. Instead, Scientologists shoot for the vaunted state of ‘cause.’ Cause over matter, energy, space, time, and life is the state that is promised. Powers become the target. Rather than the removal of additives the goal becomes the inclusion of an additive, expressed in a term that infers physical properties or force, power.
In formal, organizational Scientology the relentless promotion and cultural propaganda and pressure hammer that theme home. They seize upon some later seemingly contradictory words of Ron mentioned in policy letters and bulletins because of later turns Hubbard himself took. By the mid sixties he began to contradict the maxim regarding quality versus quantity. Beings were increasingly considered to vary in size, or to be recognizable by something other than quality, the new measure being quantity.
For example, in a policy letter issued on 22 March 1967 Hubbard introduced the idea of size with respect to thetans. He wrote, ‘Some thetans are bigger than others. None are truly equal. ‘ He went on to instruct that smaller beings, whom he designated as degraded beings, occur ‘about eighteen to one over Big Beings in the human race (minimum ratio). ‘
Along with that shift of focus onto size came the introduction of different goals for processing. Rather than the original goal of returning a being to the simple, uniformly good, freedom from the additives tainting the being’s quality, the focus went toward achieving powers. Conditions of existence were issued along with formulas one could apply in life to improve one’s condition. Those conditions were determined primarily by the quantity produced as measured by statistics. The most senior of those conditions to which all of them were designed to lead toward was called ‘Power.’ While those condition formulas were, and are, very workable, the schema contributed to a culture of lust toward attainment of power.
The very definition of power in Scientology radically changed as follows:
a) The ability to maintain a position in space. – 1 March 1958
b) The amount of work which can be accomplished in a unit of time, or the amount of force which can be applied in a unit of time. – 6 December 1966
Over time the adjective “powerful’ became regularly associated with ‘thetan’ in Scientology think and speak. Scientologists began to promote and covet the idea of becoming a big, powerful thetan. Scientology promotion became more geared toward such ideas as ‘unleashing the power of the thetan’, and bestowing ‘super power’. Achievements in the Scientology world were ascribed as attributes of ‘powerful thetans’ and ‘big beings.’ Conversely, bad conduct was routinely condemned as that of smaller beings.
Exacerbating matters were more Hubbard policies that excused otherwise destructive behavior of beings based upon the size or power of the individual, particularly when that alleged size or power was abused in the forwarding of the power of Scientology as a movement. Thus, in the policy The Responsibilities of Leaders, Hubbard’s ‘seven points of power’ suggested the ends justify the means when protecting the ‘power’ one relies upon for his own power. Hubbard suggests the physical beating of the critic of the power one relies upon and serves is commendable behavior. He even suggests that a real power would accept those who rely upon his power murdering enemies of the power. And that a true power would encourage his underlings to keep him ignorant of the crimes they commit in increasing his power. In fact another Hubbard ethics policy letter stated that an individual who produced a lot toward expansion of Scientology could ‘get away with murder.’
In the years that Scientology evolved in this fashion, most particularly after the death of Hubbard, its very aims were demonstrably altered in significant ways. Gradually, alleviating the world of ‘insanity’, ‘war’, and ‘criminality’ was replaced by a drive to wreak ‘planetary obliteration’ or exact ‘global vengeance’ against the Scientology-designated evil-doers of earth.
It fairly makes one wonder whether somewhere along the line Scientology lost sight of its own purpose and the quality of life it was created to restore.
Does Scientology address beings as ‘qualities’ that lost sight of their own very nature by introduction of the confusion of ‘quantity’ into the equation?
Or does Scientology address beings as ‘quantities’ that need to have some quantity added to them to become sufficiently big and powerful?