Tag Archives: Simon Bolivar

Scientology’s Power Doctrine

From Chapter 12, Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior:

The seventh lesson was explained and memorialized by L. Ron Hubbard in a thirteen-page policy letter entitled “The Responsibilities of Leaders.” It begins with a several-page essay summarizing the rise and fall of nineteenth-century South American liberator Simon Bolivar. Hubbard speaks of Bolivar in glowing terms: brave, dashing, and cunning.  He recounts how one of Bolivar’s many mistresses, Manuela Saenz, stood above all the rest. Hubbard then analyzes Bolivar’s failure to empower Saenz to use any means she deemed necessary to keep his enemies at bay, and how Saenz failed to demand or utilize such power. That, per Hubbard, was the reason that Bolivar and Saenz wound up dying in a ditch, penniless.

Among other things, Hubbard criticizes Saenz for the following faults:

…she never collected or forged or stole any document to bring down enemies…

…she never used a penny to buy a quick knife or even a solid piece of evidence…

…she was not ruthless enough to make up for his lack of ruthlessness…

…she never handed over any daughter of a family clamoring against her to Negro troops and then said, “Which over-verbal family is next?”

And so Bolivar and Saenz became victims of the petty jealousies and shortcomings of the mere mortals who surrounded the romantic couple. The policy letter concludes with three pages of Hubbard’s seven points about power to be learned from Bolivar’s life. They are offered as points one can only fully grasp if one has already learned well the six lessons of a veteran Sea Organization member, described earlier.  Those seven points about power deserve some attention here, for three reasons.

One is that Hubbard and his wife wound up living the Bolivar story Ron recounted as we shall see. Two, while adherence to the policy contributed to great strides for Scientology expansion, in Hubbard’s waning years the policy’s lessons had a backfire effect. Third, this one single writing would become the bible of his successors.  It would take precedence over all other of the thousands of pages of policy letters Hubbard had issued.

Here are Hubbard’s seven points concerning power:

One: …if you lead, you must either let them (those you lead) get on with it or lead them on with it actively.

Two: When the game or show is over, there must be a new game or a new show.  And if there isn’t, somebody else is jolly well going to start one, and if you won’t let anyone do it, the game will become getting you.

Three: If you have power, use it or delegate it or you sure won’t have it long.

Four: When you have people, use them or they will soon become most unhappy and you won’t have them anymore.

All very rational and sage so far.  But the final three points are a bit more complicated.

Five: When you move off a point of power, pay all your obligations on the nail, empower all your friends completely and move off with your pockets full of artillery, potential blackmail on every erstwhile rival, unlimited funds in your private account and the addresses of experienced assassins and go live in Bulgravia and bribe the police…Abandoning power utterly is dangerous indeed.

Then we graduate up to intrigue and believing that the ends must necessarily justify the means in dealing with any attempt to lessen a power.

Six: When you’re close to power get some delegated to you, enough to do your job and protect yourself and your interests, for you can be shot, fellow, shot, as the position near power is delicious but dangerous, dangerous always, open to the taunts of any enemy of the power who dare not boot the power but can boot you.  So to live at all in the shadow or employ of a power, you must yourself gather and USE enough power to hold your own – without just nattering (carpingly criticize) to the power to “kill Pete,” in straightforward or more suppressive veiled ways to him, as these wreck the power that supports yours.  He doesn’t have to know all the bad news, and if he’s a power really, he won’t ask all the time, “What are all those dead bodies doing at the door?”  And if you are clever, you never let it be thought HE killed them – that weakens you and also hurts the power source.  “Well, boss, about those dead bodies, nobody will suppose you did it.  She over there, those pink legs sticking out, didn’t like me.”  “Well,” he’ll say if he really is a power, “why are you bothering me with it if it’s done and you did it. Where’s my blue ink?”  Or “Skipper, three shore patrolmen will be along soon with your cook, Dober, and they’ll want to tell you he beat up Simson?”  “Who’s Simson?”  “He’s a clerk in the enemy office downtown.”  “Good. When they’ve done it, take Dober down to the dispensary for any treatment he needs.  Oh yes.  Raise his pay.”  Or “Sir, could I have the power to sign divisional orders?”  “Sure.”

And when one can develop that attitude and park one’s conscience when it comes to dealing with the “enemy” of the power one serves and from whom one derives his own power, the final point can be performed without a second thought.

Seven: And lastly and most important, for we all aren’t on the stage with our names in lights, always push power in the direction of anyone on whose power you depend.  It may be more money for the power or more ease or a snarling defense of the power to a critic or even the dull thud of one of his enemies in the dark or the glorious blaze of the whole enemy camp as a birthday surprise.

During my two years handling Hubbard’s communications to and from his messengers at the international Scientology headquarters, Hubbard withdrew further and further from the church.  I would soon learn the reason why, and play a central role in attempting to combat that reason.  As competing factions within the by-then sprawling international Scientology network vied for power in the larger-than-life vacuum left by Ron, he who adhered most exclusively and closely to the seven points of power from The Responsibilities of Leaders would emerge with all the power.