Martin Luther

Commenting on Scientology, Inside and Outside the Church

Overts and Withholds

Steve Hall recently posted a good essay about O/Ws: Lessening The Overt. Steve touches on something I’d like to shed more light on.

As I’ve said before, there is a lot of natter and HE&R in the Field, which indicates overts and withholds. Now, I’m not here to accuse anyone of anything or evaluate for anyone. I’m merely pointing out a technical fact.

But here’s something to consider. Let’s say you sit down to do an O/W write-up (as Steve suggests). You start looking around and writing down overts. You find that your overts are things like, “I didn’t tell the registrar about my tax refund”, or “I spent $1000 on replacing my roof instead of giving it to IAS”, or “I got angry with org personnel who suggested I raid my kids’ college fund for money to go to the Ideal Org program”. Do you see a pattern here?

Without doing an overt/withhold write-up, you could be walking around with these O/Ws for a long time and suffering as a result. But notice what kind of O/Ws these are. According to the Church, they might be genuine overts, but are they really? As a Church member, maybe you subscribe to whatever moral code Miscavige has forced on the Church these days. But the real question is whether that moral code is a valid moral code.

The best yardstick for determining whether something is an overt or not is The Greatest Good For The Greatest Number Of Dynamics. When doing your O/W write-up, you might consider that when looking at possible overts to write up. You might just discover that many, if not most of what you’ve been considering overts, actually weren’t overts at all.

Another point my wife brought up is this (here): Just because you have overts and/or withholds doesn’t make you a bad person. If you live in this universe and you have overts and withholds, congratulations. You’re not alone. We all have them. It’s just a fact. Though the Church may point boney, judgmental fingers at you, realize that’s not part of the Tech. An auditor in session pulling your O/Ws doesn’t care about what you did. His only concern in auditing is to get all the details, so that nothing is left to burden you later. Overt/withhold auditing (and write-ups) are only valuable to the extent they unburden you. Beyond that, no one (including you) should care.

Of course, none of this is license to go around doing bad things, willy nilly. I’m merely pointing out that having O/Ws is not necessarily a black mark on your character, and that many of your O/Ws may not, in fact, be real harmful acts.


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3 thoughts on “Overts and Withholds

  1. Pingback: Overts don’t mean you’re a bad person | From Ashes Born

  2. Paul, One of the primary problems with the CoS is that they (under DM’s heavy-handed instruction) are running Scientology in reverse. One large component of that is reverse ethics, which includes forcing people to admit to “O/Ws” which are not O/Ws at all. For example, the IAS program, Ideal Org program, etc., are all completely and 100% off Policy. There is NO Policy that supports straight donations for anything except training and processing and in fact, long-standing policy is that training and processing income supports ALL CoS operations, ALL marketing, ALL building funds, ALL emergency funds, ALL 4th dynamic programs, everything. The reference on that is

    It all boils down to this: DM’s main trick was to get people to commit overts by making them wrong for committing “overts” (which were not in fact overts at all).

    It’s like running a bunch of people off a cliff by shouting at them (from the safe side) “Look out for this dangerous cliff over here!” And then they all promptly run in the opposite direction and go straight off the cliff.

    Supporting an off-purpose regime that was not forwarding the goals of Scientology is a real overt, and that’s where the trouble really starts. As LRH explained in HCOB PTSness and Disconnection, “When one has committed overts, his confront and responsibility drop” and the person starts down the dwindling spiral which leads into being a robot (and heavily PTS).

    On Level II and also on the Hubbard Senior Sec Checker Course there was a recorded lecture — I don’t have the materials to hand so can’t cite the reference — but it was probably an SHSBC lecture. Maybe it was the lecture called, “What is a Withhold” that’s just a guess. Here LRH explains the nature of the pc’s own moral code which is the valid thing to sec check against. The violations that really matter are violations against his the pc’s own moral codes. These are the ones that are aberrative.

    If someone for example subscribed to a moral code about keeping one’s money safe and out of the hands of crooks, then giving it to the IAS would be an overt. Keeping one’s money away from the IAS and using it to get yourself or others up the Bridge would be a good thing to do.

    You are correct too that one way to sort all this out would be to actually sit down and sort out right from wrong using the equation of the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics.

    Thanks for writing this article.

    • And thanks for mentioning these donation programs are all off-policy. It’s an important point in gauging the “rightness” or “wrongness” of overts/withholds related to them.

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