Martin Luther

Commenting on Scientology, Inside and Outside the Church

Proper Handling of Email

Let me state from the beginning that this post is not aimed at any one person. It’s aimed at everyone who sends or receives email.

Email has actually been available in one form or another since about the mid-1960s. This was long before the World Wide Web as we know it today was developed. In that time, a great many formal and informal rules have been developed to dictate how email is created, handled, routed, encoded, etc. There have been a great many heated arguments about various aspects of email for many years. The Church of Scientology even has/had its own internal version of email called “Mercury” or “Merc” back in the early days of INCOMM.

I don’t want to get into all the ins and outs of all that. I want to emphasize some points which appear to be lost on Scientologists who should know better.

An email message is a piece of communication. It’s a message. It can be a question, a comment, an origination or a command. It can contain a combination of the above. But above all, it’s a message.

Have you ever taken a TRs course? Ever done TRs? Do you know the difference between TR-1, TR-2, TR-3 and TR-4? Did it ever occur to you that those drills, designed to train someone to handle the different parts of a communication cycle, also apply to email? Believe it or not, since an email message is a piece of communication, the same rules which apply to live human communication, in person, also apply to email.

Let that sink in.

This means that when you get an email message, you should probably read the whole thing and understand it. You should probably know what parts of it are commands, questions, originations or comments, after reading it. And you should probably respond to the individual parts of an email as appropriate to that type of communication. Makes sense, right? Certain parts should simply be acknowledged. Certain parts should be handled. Etc. It seems that at the very least, an email ought to replied to, if its contents warrant that. And not next year. Now. If you only occasionally log in to read your email, fine. But once there, be prepared to answer your email, if any part of it requires some sort of answer.

LRH spent endless hours talking about communication in lectures and writing about it in books and HCOBs. In the end, he even developed the “Training Routines” to teach auditors (and Scientologists) the components of the cycle of communication and how to handle each one of them. The least you can do is apply that basic Scientology technology to email as its own type of 21st century communication. Right?

And one more thing. Consider email as communication happening on a “long distance communication line”. There are additional rules about what you put on a long distance communication and how you handle it. These would also apply to email as well.

It’s really not that hard, folks.

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