If folks want to know why there was so much noise in the independent field about my scary, heretical views all the sudden recently, it would behoove you to do as Ron advises in auditing technology and look a little bit earlier.
‘Elephant in the room: An English metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth that is either being ignored or going unaddressed. The idiomatic expression also applies to an obvious problem or risk no one wants to discuss.’- Wikipedia
The book What Is Wrong With Scientology? Healing Through Understanding marched a veritable herd of elephants into the independent Scientology house. I am going to identify one of those elephants today.
That is Chapter Thirteen Reversal. A copy of the entire chapter is appended below for easy reference, refreshing of recollections, or for the convenience of those who have not read the book. In that chapter I spelled out where and how a critical reversal is entered into the Scientology line up that enables it to be converted from a technology to free the mind and spirit to one that incarcerates beings into a cult mindset.
In the near year since the publication of the book, not a single independent Scientologist practitioner has originated a single word to me about the rather far-reaching implications of what is covered in this chapter. Some have disconnected from me, some have assigned me lower ethics conditions – including ‘Treason’ for having stated facts that allegedly conflict with L. Ron Hubbard opinions. To me, such actions speak to the truth of what is contained in the chapter below. The reversal is apparently effective inside and outside the corporate church. I am more convinced than ever that the way out is not through compliance, conformity, zealotry, and self-induced blindness. Such self-imposed ignorance will relegate ‘Independent Scientology’ to the role it has played for thirty years, a mere parasite appended to the church of Scientology. It will continue to walk lock step (with a shallow, self-serving protested distinction between it and the corporation) toward the demise of the subject when the corporate disaffecteds it sustains itself on run dry. No integration, so no appeal to new students. No evolution, so continued inevitable conflicts over who is ‘more standard’ in a subject that lends itself to infinite arguments on that score. No transcendence, and so no ultimate moving on up a little higher. Dianetics and Scientology would never have been developed at all had L. Ron Hubbard been such a conformist.
Miscavige’s elevation of L. Ron Hubbard to God-like status, and himself to demigod status, has provided Miscavige with carte-blanche to reverse the entire vector of Scientology’s aims and activities.
He began by perpetrating a fraud upon the highest-level Scientologists, Clears and OTs, with his promise of upper OT Levels allegedly in his possession. While the seed was planted at the January 1986 funeral event, it has been a cleverly-played mind game on Scientologists ever since. Miscavige has devoted most of his attention to keeping these highest-level Scientologists on the farm for a reason. He knows that they are the opinion leaders among the general membership. With the opinion leaders doing his bidding, he is able to keep the majority of his followers in the dark. At this he has done a masterful job. But to ascribe any great virtue or power to him for having done so would be a mistake. Without L. Ron Hubbard, David Miscavige would be little more than a clever, overly-aggressive con man. To pretend that Miscavige perfected his consolidation of power without the help of Hubbard’s own decisions and policy would be naïve and untrue. In fact, to so pretend would require quite an invalidation of Hubbard’s abilities, and the power of the technology he discovered.
Without the backing of Hubbard-authored Scientology policy, David Miscavige could never have created the Black Dianetics monopoly Hubbard had warned against many years before. How could such a contradiction be possible? That is a complicated story. For purposes of our discussion here, I will provide a brief summation of what will be more fully treated in a later volume.
In short, human beings are full of contradictions, and L. Ron Hubbard was not immune from that imperfection. For better or for worse, during the ’60s, when Hubbard and Scientology were continually facing attacks intended to bring about their demise, Hubbard issued quite a bit of policy in response which changed the character of the movement. This “wartime” left an indelible imprint on Scientology. It was a dark ages of sorts for the movement. It was a time when the group, as a matter of survival, needed to circle the wagons and know who was with it and who was against it. This was the era when security checks became routine. This was the period when ‘disconnection’ from suppressive persons was dictated and enforced by the organizations. This was when policy called for the overt and covert destruction of alleged forces of evil. This was the period when Hubbard created a monster to achieve that end – an ogre that would later play an important role in his own demise. That was the Guardian’s Office – a legal and public relations organization with its own intelligence network.
The Guardian’s Office’s intelligence system was once described by a government official in the know as rivaling that of Israel’s state intelligence service (the storied Mossad). Hubbard wrote volumes of material for the Guardian’s Office on how to smash and obliterate the “enemy.” David Miscavige seized on this material during the early ’80s, when the collective crimes of a decade and a half of unfettered Guardian’s Office operations had come back to haunt Hubbard. Miscavige would rise, live and die by that wartime policy.
Miscavige became sort of a reactive mind of the Scientology machine. Just as the reactive mind drives all of the past into the present to haunt and torture the individual, Miscavige drove all of Hubbard’s “war” era policy to the present, to haunt and torture Scientologists – and Scientology’s detractors – from the ’80s forward.
The way in which Miscavige corralled Clears and OTs, however, begins with a seemingly benign policy. That is a Hubbard policy letter of 1967, entitled An Open Letter to All Clears. It is the first thing a newly-arrived Clear is required to read.
Hubbard represented consistently and repeatedly, from 1950 to the mid-’60s, that the quest for Clear is the pursuit of personal freedom and personal confidence, to the point of self-trust and being worthy of trust by one’s peers. In the face of that continual statement of purpose and goal, the Open Letter begins hedging on those representations. It begins indoctrinating the Clear into the idea that whatever sacrifices the individual might have made to achieve the state of Clear, the ledger of responsibility is not balanced. The Clear has obligations to Hubbard and Scientology, and is expected to comply with group directives in order to pay off the debt, particularly if one should wish to rise to greater heights than Clear. The Clear is told, in Open Letter:
An ethical code already exists for OTs so at the state of Clear one should not assume that one has a license to do just whatever one will…
…So, the policies of Scientology which have enabled you to reach the state of Clear still apply to all Clears. In fact, they apply more because you have the reality of their value and the necessity of seeing that they are followed…
…As a result, bigger responsibilities will be given and expected of you so you must be prepared to responsibly educate yourself where necessary so that you can do whatever is assigned to you in a proper manner, in keeping with the main goals and aims of Scientology.…
…It is a crime to invalidate the state of Clear – see to it that you don’t do this in your conduct as a Clear, particularly as regards yourself.…
…You have now become more than ever a part of a team. Obsessive individualism and a failure to organize were responsible for our getting into the state we got into.…
…As soon as you have gone the rest of the way this will become abundantly plain.…
…I expect and need your help to carry out the broad mission of decontaminating this area of the universe.…
And so, the promise of a Golden Age of reason among free-thinking, un-policed Clears was replaced with the news that the organizations would be enforcing your duty to follow an “ethical code” and the “policies of Scientology.” It announces that you will comply with “whatever is assigned to you” by the organization. Should any Clear bristle at this news, it is quickly pointed out that he is simply dramatizing the “obsessive individualism” that was “responsible for our getting into the state we got into.” For my part, the most empowering cognition I came to in my own travels along the Bridge was that I no longer had to agree with anyone. I no longer felt compelled to go along with group-think. This was the key to breaking the controlling, conforming conditioning that society tends to coerce us into accepting, including all the group thought patterns that justify greed, cheating, conflict and war. Upon indoctrination to An Open Letter to All Clears, I had to begin rationalizing, and thus invalidating, that new-found ability to chart my own course in life.
Thus, with Open Letter, and the volumes of policy it mandates now must be followed even more vigilantly, the vector became reversed. The door was opened to the evolution of an obsessive group devotion that graduated into the Big Brother corporation which went on to ruin the lives of thousands, and to lose whatever magic Dianetics and Scientology were capable of producing in the first place. It was bolstered by encyclopedic volumes of Scientology organizational policy. Most of that policy is very heady and workable material. It cannot be denied, however, that it is liberally spiked with a number of policies grooving in the idea that the group, the Scientology organization, is all important, and that its hierarchical structure must be respected and complied to, irrespective of who runs it.
Here is where the perversion we covered in Chapter 8, Ethics, receives its most potent authority. The over-weighted third dynamic (group) would forever after skew the contemplation of the ‘greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics’ formula.
To gainsay this reality would be an exercise in denialism. For example, any Scientologist reading this book is automatically guilty of a variety of Scientology crimes and high crimes, by the mere act of reading. Per long-standing and currently-extant Hubbard Scientology policy, anyone who has read this far ought to be declared a suppressive person (a sociopath that both Hubbard and mental health authorities agree should be quarantined from society, without civil or constitutional rights). This is how Scientology organizational policy protects and perpetuates the vicious cult Miscavige has created.
Exacerbating matters is the fact that the first thing a Scientology Inc. Clear will encounter upon reaching that state is unrelenting pressure to get onto the Operating Thetan, or OT, levels. If a Clear wants to get on with life, exercise his new-found abilities and awareness so as to “practice to increase general reality” (as it was earlier noted that Hubbard had recommended) and resists compliance, Scientology Inc. resorts to scare tactics. An Open Letter to All Clears is the first weapon in the organization’s arsenal on that score. That is then compounded with the ultimate weapon, Hubbard’s pronouncement that a Clear is at grave risk as a being if he or she does not get through the OT Levels as soon as possible. Ironically, that warning perhaps serves as the greatest invalidation of the state of Clear, which the Open Letter policy announces shall be considered a crime in itself.
As shall be made clear in the next chapter on the OT Levels, I am a huge proponent of the idea that the OT Levels are indeed capable of taking people to spiritual heights they never imagined possible. However, to ignore the shift of focus and the reversal-of-motivation tactic employed – even by Hubbard himself – would be to check my logic and personal integrity at the door. Just why Hubbard deviated from a 15-year devotion to creating a path that would only work where the practitioner’s motivations were solely the pursuit of truth toward the empowerment of each individual addressed, into scare tactics aimed at having each individual surrender his or her self-determinism to the will of the group, is a complex matter. Warranted or not, much of what Hubbard and Scientology were facing in terms of opposition by vested interests by the mid-’60s wove its way into Hubbard’s outlook, his thinking, and his overriding, strong intention that Scientology survive and be made available to humanity.
At bottom, it was Hubbard’s reaction to what I consider ill-motivated, unethical, and vicious efforts by certain vested interests to keep him from achieving what he aimed for. Whether the response was an over-reaction or was necessary at that time is a question requiring a more in-depth history. For our purposes here – outlining what is wrong with Scientology – it is only necessary to highlight the contradictions that are obvious. Recognition of those contradictions makes patent the simple fact that to take every word Hubbard wrote literally, and treat it as commandment, puts one on a slippery, untenable slope. To do so would be just as irrational as criticizing and rejecting all of Hubbard’s work and discoveries just because it is recognized he was not infallible. Exercising either extreme would be to employ the type of associative-reactive thought patterns his discoveries help people to overcome.
The problem with Hubbard’s reaction to the attacks, and the ultimate product of that reaction, is that it puts an individual or group right back into that which they had sought to transcend through Scientology in the first place. Technically, it is a violation of one of his own fundamental maxims, “that which you resist, you become.” It is perhaps best explained in Hubbard’s own words, in the very lecture series, the 1958 Clearing Congress, where he finally settled on the parameters and qualities of Clear:
We get this sort of a situation where everybody’s idea of everybody else becomes himself. Well, let’s look at that. Here’s Mr. A. Mr. A is certain that everybody around him is very evil and that they are “gonna get him” one way or the other. Now, Mr. A. has no choice – if he is also saddled with super-agreements, obsessive agreement, making equality a necessity – but to be this way himself.
Now, we ask this question: Does this evil character actually exist? And that’s one of the first things we have to ask in clearing. Does this evil character exist?
It seems like we have a synthetic personality in existence which isn’t really anybody, but is simply everybody’s idea of how bad the other fellow is. This is pretty complicated, see. See, he’s got the idea that this other fellow is so bad that he cannot help but criticize him violently. But because he is equal to this fellow over here, then, of course, he himself has to assume these characteristics of superlative evil. You see that? We get generals, admirals, politicians, all sorts of people, who have an idea that the enemy is so bad, or that the fellow man is so bad, or something else is so bad, they can’t possibly live with it, and have therefore got to cut it to pieces. It’s a very tricky thing. This has a vast bearing on clearing.
They’ve got to cut this evil being to pieces. Yes, but at the same time, they have an equality complex. By communicating with him, they therefore go into agreement with his evil characteristics, and the only thing they have left is an evil, synthetic personality which they themselves have to wear to be like everybody else and to be normal. This is one of the simplest and easiest tricks that is played in a culture.
So, what are you trying to do when you’re clearing people? You’ve got to find the fellow himself and you also, as you go up the line – not an attribute of Clear, but an attribute of OT – have to give him a certainty on the other fellow.
Therein Hubbard echoed the ancient book of wisdom he once noted that much of Scientology had grown out of, Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu:
There is no greater misfortune than underestimating your enemy. Underestimating your enemy means thinking that he is evil. Thus you destroy your three treasures (simplicity, patience, compassion) and become an enemy yourself.
In the same 1958 lecture, Hubbard continued by warning against the temptation to create policing agencies:
…Well, all you’d have to do is have a police force and a society would start caving in. Why? The police force constitutes a constant reminder that men are evil, which is a constant reminder that we must agree with these evil men. Do you see how this would work? Neat little trick.
Now, that doesn’t say that we are so starry-eyed as to believe that at this time we could dispense with all police. Or could we?
Now, you have to make up your mind which way you’re going to go with a society, if you’re thinking about a new society of one kind or another. And if you say, “Well, this society would be totally unregulated,” then we would be proposing an anarchy. And all the anarchists tell us that the only way a society would work as a total freedom without government would be if everyone in it were perfect.
Well, I don’t know whether we propose – when we talk about a cleared society – whether we propose or not to have an anarchy. That’s beside the point. That’s up to the people who get cleared. But I don’t think you’d wind up with an anarchy. I think you’d wind up with a much finer level of agreement and cooperation, because I think you’d then be able to realize the rest of the dynamics.
Again, Hubbard was in perfect alignment with the Tao:
Throw away morality and justice, and people will do the right thing… The more prohibitions you have, the less virtuous the people will be… I let go of the law, and people become honest.
However, with the advent of tomes of policy, creating layers of hierarchical restriction upon the group and aggressive policing of its individuals’ morals, the promise of the sanity and happiness of a cleared group and society was replaced. The new doctrinal paradigm held, in essence, that the only way to achieve a ‘cleared society’ was through a tightly-controlled, disciplined group whose survival trumped all other possible considerations. While volumes were written on how to run a Scientology organization in keeping with the goals of Clearing and the promise of OT, no matter how one dressed it up, Scientology policy created and required a force that one would have to be in utter denial to characterize as anything other than the police enforcing prohibitions, so as to protect good people from other people presumably dedicated to evil.
I am quite aware that these views will be condemned by many Scientologists, corporate and independent alike. But I believe that if one dispassionately examines the facts of how Clears and OTs have come to be treated, how they have docilely accepted such treatment, and how they have come to behave within Scientology Inc., to ignore or deny Hubbard’s empowerment of such treatment and behavior is tantamount to condemning Scientologists to repeating a history they are systemically required to remain ignorant of and yet perpetuate.
I am not contending that Hubbard was wrong to react to opposition in the way he did. Nor am I contending that he should not have memorialized his reaction under the heading of ‘policy.’ I do contend that to take Hubbard’s policy literally, out of the time and the context in which it was born, is to become an extremist. With extremism comes the loss of the potential benefits that would otherwise accrue from application of the discoveries Hubbard made. In my opinion, nowhere is literalism and extremism more destructive than at the highest reaches of the Bridge, the OT levels.