Martin Luther

Commenting on Scientology, Inside and Outside the Church

Terminology

I just finished reading all the posts on Marty’s blog. His blog is probably the most read blog in the Independent Field. It is apparently widely read by the press as well as Scientologists. And I’ve noticed a trend– probably as a result of it’s being so widely read by the press, Marty has begun to prefer more “conventional” terms over Scientology terms in many cases.

I presume the main reason for Marty’s doing this is that it makes the content more understandable for people who are not Scientologists. I can’t disagree with Marty on this point. Also, Marty’s reading list includes works from sociologists and psychologists, whose terms he uses most resemble some of our terms in Scientology.

But I would like to point something out to Scientologists. The terms used in the wog world to substitute for our own are not directly interchangeable with ours. Ron was usually quite precise in his use of words. Where a Scientology word was invented to substitute for a word from the wog world, there was a good reason.

One example used by Marty is the substitution of the word sociopath for suppressive person (SP). While on the surface, it might appear that a sociopath and an SP are the same thing, they are not, for several reasons. First, Ron very precisely defines the characteristics of an SP. The definition of sociopath can vary widely, depending on which sociologist you talk to and what period of time you talk to them. This is because sociology itself is not a science. Second, sociologists do not know the precise origins of sociopaths. We know the exact reasons why an SP becomes one. Ron has written and spoken about this in a great many places. Third, sociologists do not know what to do to resolve the condition of being a sociopath. On the other hand, we have the technology to handle SPs. Fourth, sociologists are most likely unaware that what they are calling sociopaths comprise between 2-1/2 to 20 percent of any given population, a fact established early on by Ron. Particularly when you consider the looseness of the definition as accepted by sociologists. (The current definition used by the Church of Scientology of the term “SP”, particularly as applied to many in the Independent Field, is false and perverted.)

Perhaps a better example of a non-identical word substitution is that of soul or spirit for thetan. The concept of a “soul” comes down to us through almost every culture on this planet. Every society understands the concept and has a word for it in their preferred language. The problem is that the concept is generally fuzzy at best. Which is precisely why we use the word thetan in Scientology. It is defined in a very precise way, with an exact set of characteristics, history and even future. There really is nothing vague when it comes to this term. Everything about the term has been extensively researched by Ron and verified by the experiences of countless Scientologists down through the decades.

These are just two examples of popular word substitutions. Please understand, I’m not condemning the use of “wog” terms in dealing with the public in general. They cannot hope to understand the full definitions of all the technical terms we use in preference of wog terms, without a full study of Scientology. My only point is that we should not become too comfortable with such substitutions when talking to each other. We should, like LRH, be precise about what we mean. And more importantly, we should ensure we don’t perform too close an identification between our terms and those more prevalent in the wog world. They are similar, not identical.

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