Martin Luther

Commenting on Scientology, Inside and Outside the Church

Advices

Starting from relatively early in the 80s at least, Ron issued “advices” to various groups within the Church. All such advices were treated as confidential.

These apparently became more and more frequent as the Church was targeted more and more frequently by lawsuits. The common ploy was to assert that Ron ran Scientology, and thus could be seen as culpable for any supposed crime or misdeed of the Church. So in order to avoid any hint of command authority over anyone in the Church, the mechanism of the advice was invented. (I’m guessing here. If anyone knows definitively, let me know.)

Some advices served a legitimate organizational purpose, such as those which made up the founding principles for the WISE organization. Some were simply running commentary, such as advices on television and fragrances.

But in almost all cases, the advices themselves were kept confidential. Whether they were marked that way when LRH issued them, I don’t know. Whether they actually needed to be confidential is another matter entirely. No advice I’ve ever seen or heard of ever actually needed to be confidential, as far as I can tell.

But here was the real problem with advices. It’s one that should have been obvious. Ron spent a fair amount of ink making it clear that no one had a “hidden data line” to Source. That if it wasn’t written, it wasn’t true. That if someone couldn’t produce a policy or bulletin that said it, you weren’t obligated to follow it.

And yet, confidential advices were exactly that: a hidden data line, echoed nowhere in policies or bulletins.

In lawsuits, the Church could have easily made the case that, while Ron wrote policy and technical materials for the Church, he was not involved in the direct administration of the Church, and hadn’t been for a decade or more. He could have, therefore, continued to write policy and tech bulletins without resorting to “advices”. But someone convinced him and the Church otherwise. (Again, I’m guessing.)

So let this be a cautionary tale for future generations, should such conditions ever arise again. “Advices” are a bad idea, based on a false and easily disproved assertion. And confidentiality with regard to policy and orders is something to be avoided like the plague. (Confidentiality might be valid on things like mission orders, if you believe that revealing them could endanger the mission. But once the mission is over, the need for confidentiality is past.)

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One thought on “Advices

  1. 1984 on said:

    “Confidential Advices” would be hard to verify who actually wrote it, and why.
    Another possibility for limitations on confidential advices could have been a “sunset clause” like a local ED (cancelled after one year).

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