Martin Luther

Commenting on Scientology, Inside and Outside the Church

Contradictions and Compromises

A lot of effort has gone into using early LRH material from the 50s to invalidate later material and developments.

Early LRH statement (paraphrased): organized religion is a big control operation. And yet here we are with organized religion. Do you think the irony escaped LRH?

Part of the problem here is that Scientology didn’t arrive as a nice, wrapped package with a pink bow around it. It was developed from the ground up, and today we are able to see all the pains and difficulties it went through along the way. Scientology arose through at least two eras, and the shape of those eras is important.

The first era was that of discovery and research. This era encompassed from the late 1930s through most of the 1950s. During this time period, basic principles were discovered and techniques were developed to translate those basic principles into something which could bring Man up from his present state to Operating Thetan (OT). This era yielded all the axioms, logics, prelogics and the Factors. It also yielded the roots of virtually every process in use on the Bridge today.

Another thing to emerge from the first era was the fact of Scientology as a religion. This wasn’t necessarily Ron’s idea, and he was careful to say that he was the founder of the subject of Scientology, not the religion of Scientology. The establishment of Scientology as a religion was a reasonable development. For one thing, Scientology had discovered and proven the existence of the human soul, and had mapped out many, if not most of its characteristics. This marked Scientology as not just a mental pursuit, but a spiritual one.

But beyond this, Scientology as a religion had some significant practical benefits. It meant (in the U.S. at least) that certain taxes and certain types of taxation didn’t apply to the activity. This was of benefit, since it’s axiomatic that the ability to tax something is the ability to control it (at least in the eyes of governments). And the less government oversight and control of Scientology, the less it could be twisted, perverted and shaped by the government. It also protected Scientology organizations from certain governmental dictates and certain types of scrutiny. It may be argued that, these days, it would be better if the government had that kind of ability with regard to the Church, considering what Miscavige and his ilk have done with it. But that couldn’t have been reasonably anticipated at the time. The practice of pastoral counseling, something inherent in the practice of any religion, also prevented the field of psychology, Scientology’s most direct “competitor”, from dictating how the practice of Scientology was conducted.

So while LRH may have made the point in the early 50s that organized religion was a “big control operation”, the fact remains that it had significant benefits for Scientology, and Ron never loudly objected to this development.

The second era was that of consolidation and administration. This era encompassed most of the rest of Ron’s life, from roughly the late 50s to 1986. This period was marked by the creation of the Grade Chart (Bridge) and the establishment of real Organizations and a technology to run them.

In the period between the first and second eras, various things became clear. (I’m speculating here, since I can’t read LRH’s mind, but I think I’m probably pretty close.) One of them was that, in order to significantly expand and spread its influence, Scientology needed stable organizations. Scientology already had the idea of “franchise” (what we could call “missions”). But that wasn’t the same as City Offices and a worldwide administration. Missions were owned by individuals, and free to do pretty much as they pleased. But they needed stable places where they could get personnel trained to deliver and where particularly difficult cases could be sent to have their cases “cracked”. Plus it probably became clear that certain types of auditing should not be in hands which couldn’t be directly dictated to. I’m speaking here of OT levels. Those levels should be the province of organizations controlled by the Mother Church. (While money wasn’t the only consideration here, reserving OT levels for Organizations had the added benefit of ensuring a significant additional revenue stream for Orgs.)

Another pressing need was a stable “Bridge”. Up until this time, techniques had come and gone, technologies had burned bright and faded. For a long time, Ron had searched for the one, brief procedure which would, by itself, transport someone from wog to OT. But the more research was done, the more it became clear that the journey from wog to OT was not a one-shot affair, and that there were a number of factors which needed addressing on a gradient in order to get the average human from start to finish. Ron had pleaded in the Dianetics book for someone(s) to get busy and “build a better bridge”. In the period at the end of the 50s and the beginning of the 60s, it became clear that that task must fall to LRH himself. And that the need for it was more desperate than ever.

One problem presented itself with regard to the Bridge. The 1950s were marked by experimentation and discovery. Ron encouraged auditors to alter techniques and experiment with them to see how improvements could be made. If something bad happened as a result, Ron was rather laid back about the repercussions. In his mind, you simply picked the PC back up, dusted him off, and tried the next technique. But with a pre-dictated Bridge full of “approved” processes done in an exact sequence, all with exact end phenomena (EPs), the idea of experimenting didn’t fit. The idea was to work out an exact set of processes and levels, run the processes exactly to EP, and graduate the PC out the other side with an exact result. Experimentation simply wouldn’t do in such a scenario.

So far, I’ve made it clear that, yes, there were contradictions inherent in the establishment of Scientology as a religion, the creation of Organizations and the standardization of a single Grade Chart. I can’t deny these contradictions, and neither could LRH. Ron also said that Man could not be trusted with Justice. And yet Scientology has a fully developed system of Justice (developed by LRH). Such are the compromises that must be made on a planet like Earth, in a universe like the MEST universe. Is there a better way? Perhaps, and perhaps not. But certainly LRH was unable to see it, and it’s unlikely that anyone else could come up with a better plan, either. Certainly no one ever has.

So yes, there are contradictions. You can use them to add context and improve your understanding of the development of Scientology. Or you can use them to invalidate later parts of Scientology and advocate for altering or throwing out parts of Scientology. And by their use of these contradictions, you may be able to discern who is trying to help Scientology and who is trying to harm the subject.

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