Martin Luther

Commenting on Scientology, Inside and Outside the Church

Justice

As a staff member at my first Org, my best friend was the Treasury Secretary, whom we’ll call “Carl”. Carl was a gentle soul with a sunny outlook and an ironic sense of humor. His theta perceptics were out the roof, far better than anyone else I knew at the time. There was a reason for that– Carl was legally blind. He was the kind of guy who had to get about six inches from anything on paper to read it.

Not that it matters, but just to illustrate his sense of humor, here’s a story of a real event that happened.

Our Org was dirt poor. We got anywhere between $5 and $20 a week from working there. The FP (Financial Planning) was so anemic that the execs on the FP Committee wouldn’t even okay toilet paper for the restrooms. Each week, after the FP Committee was done with their work, they issued a write-up of the results of the Org’s financial planning. This was the FPED (Financial Planning Executive Directive). It would sometimes be cut into mimeo stencils (when we could afford it) and mimeo’d for staff.

I was working in Treasury one day, Carl sitting at one desk poring over figures, and me at another, working on the audits. At some point, a public person came into Treasury looking for toilet paper for the restroom. If the Org had any it would have been here in Treasury. But of course, we didn’t have any. So this public person asked why we didn’t have any toilet paper. Carl responded that the FP Committee hadn’t approved its purchase. The public person, obviously perturbed, asked what he was supposed to use to wipe his butt with. Carl’s response?

“Use the FPED.”

And with that, I burst out laughing for the next five minutes. My laughter was contagious, because Carl then did the same.

That was classic Carl.

Carl wasn’t happy in Treasury. He wanted to be an auditor. When he signed on for staff, he was promised a position in the TTC (Tech Training Corps– full time auditor training). I don’t know who promised him that, because Carl couldn’t even read auditing worksheets unless he bent over them with a magnifying glass. But somehow he’d gotten stuck in Treasury and selected to be the Treasury Secretary. Fortunately for us, even though Carl couldn’t see well, he was fastidious enough to keep the Treasury records in good order.

Carl had been Treas Sec for a number of years, and over time became more and more vocal about not wanting to be on the post. Treasury was the wrong place for him. He wanted to be Estates Manager, where he could be outside more, and where he could maintain and repair the MEST of the Org. He was good at that sort of thing. Of course the Org’s answer to Carl was for him to recruit a replacement. And of course, we all know how difficult that can be. Especially for a guy who’s darn near blind and stuck in an office 8-12 hours a day.

But Carl’s job at the moment was to collect from freeloaders and pay bills (at the direction of the FP Committee). He was good at paying the bills, but not so good at collecting from freeloaders. (Not particularly to defend Carl, but anyone who’s ever had that job knows it’s very hard to collect from freeloaders.)

At some point, the powers that be in the Org had enough of Carl’s complaining. The Ethics Officer finally called for a Comm Ev (Committee of Evidence) to look into Carl not doing his job as Treas Sec.

As you can imagine, we didn’t have a lot of staff. So when it came time to populate the Comm Ev, I was one of the ones called upon to serve on it. The list of charges against Carl (the “Bill of Particulars”) were, as they always are, numerous and severe.

Going into it, I realized several things. I’d been on the receiving end of a hair-raising Comm Ev myself, over a year before. I’d been accused of everything bad you can imagine in Scientology, virtually none of it actually true. In the end, I was found guilty by the Committee of most of the charges. Fortunately, the IJC (International Justice Chief), whose job it was to review these things, disagreed. He “vacated” the Findings and Recommendations, stating that there was insufficient evidence for any of the charges. But the whole thing left me with one purpose: to ensure that any such justice actions I was ever involved with didn’t degenerate into witch hunts.

At the same time, I realized that the Org was counting on me to do my job as a member of the Committee. I had to put aside my friendship for Carl and do my job, for the good of the Org.

Another point was that, ultimately, Carl wanted off the post of Treasury Secretary, something it was hard not to know in an Org as small as ours. If we as a Committee of Evidence ordered that he be removed from his post, Carl in effect won. The Committee could have been obstinate and kept him on his post, just to keep him from getting his way. But if the Committee kept him on post, it should only be because that was best for the org, not to serve as a group make-wrong against him.

In any case, the Committee did its job and submitted its recommendations to IJC for approval. They were accepted. Carl was removed from post and assigned a lower condition to work out of.

Eventually, I ended up as Treasury Secretary, Carl ended up happily being the Estates Manager, and life went on as usual. The experience didn’t affect our friendship. Carl knew what I was up against, and was fair minded enough to understand all the factors involved.

Ron has said that justice couldn’t be trusted in the hands of Man, and yet he had no choice but to set up a means for justice within Scientology. It would then be up to us not to act like run-of-the-mill humanoids, but to actually use that system properly and fairly.

Naturally, the current Church has perverted its justice mechanism to be a tool for whatever petty vengeance and imagined disloyalty is popular at any given time.

And even before the rise of Miscavige, justice was often misused, as I detailed above with the Comm Ev on me. My example of Carl is written to show that group justice can be properly and fairly administered.

Justice is a tool. By itself, it has no effect on anything, except perhaps to take up space on a bookshelf as a set of policies and procedures. It must be used to take on a positive or negative character. That’s where humans come in. We make justice good or bad by the way we use it.

If you’ve been a victim of improper group justice at the hands of the current Church, realize first that the problem was not that justice existed and was used. The problem is that it was used improperly by a group of people for whom justice is a tool to get even or remove those who disagree with the way things are. If necessary, get some RPEC (Repair of Past Ethics Conditions).

Justice exists as a means to help us get a show on the road. No more and no less.

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