Martin Luther

Commenting on Scientology, Inside and Outside the Church

What Is Scientology?

I’d like to take a good look and make a few distinctions about the things that make up Scientology. People should know these as separate components, and treat them as such.

The Technology

Foremost of the things that make up Scientology is the Technology. When I say that, I mean all the Technology– ethics, tech and admin. All of it is meant for application and is workable.

Almost all of the auditing technology was originated and researched by Ron. In some cases, it was originated by others or researched by others, though most of this occurred in the first decade of Scientology. All of it bears the imprimatur* of Ron. This was the guarantee that it was workable, and would be insisted upon by any Scientologist. Ron was the first auditor, and ultimately had decades of auditing, C/Sing and process development to aid in coming up with techniques which were workable.

In coming up with the auditing technology, Ron went well beyond simply auditing and C/Sing to discover the data. He did active research to map the whole track. Some of his research (e.g. OT III) was downright dangerous. But all of it was done in the name of making it possible for the broadest range of people to go from wog to OT and actually make gains every step of the way.

The ethics technology was originated by Ron. Some of it is based on older ideas. Some of it (like ethics conditions) are his creation entirely, based on observation and research on the subject. But again, all of it bears his imprimatur.

Admin tech is mostly Ron’s origination. Some parts of it are refinements of existing practice (such as managing by statistics; this was heavily refined and raised to an exacting practice by Ron). Some of it is obvious, based on Ron’s experience managing a global network of organizations. In researching this material, Ron had access to an enormous amount of raw data from people on the scene in Orgs. Of necessity, the administrative technology applied to the running of Orgs. But while some specifics might change if it were applied to something other than Orgs, the basic principles applied to all group activities. And naturally, all of it bears Ron’s imprimatur.

One thing became clear early on, and continued to be axiomatic from the time Ron first declared it so: The Technology was guaranteed to be workable only so long as it was executed without alteration. One might alter a process or vary a command and still have a workability, but there was no guarantee of that. Whereas exact application of the Technology had been shown in all cases to work. This included the Administrative Technology.

The Theory

The Theory upon which the Technology is based was primarily developed and researched by Ron, starting with the idea that life was first and foremost attempting to survive, the first principle derived in 1938. The Theory includes a great deal of material which makes up the bulk of Ron’s lectures. Items such as the ARC triangle, the KRC triangle, the Communications Formula, the Laws of Listing and Nulling, the various Axioms, the Factors, the Pre-Logics (Qs) and many more make up this broad body of knowledge. Some of this material grew out of the application of the Technology and some of it preceded and was used to develop the Technology.

One might apply the Technology without ever knowing the Theory. This might make someone a passable auditor, ethics officer or administrator. But the Theory is truly necessary to allow one to “think” with the Technology and apply it expertly.

Ron’s Observations

Ron was an active, perceptive and accurate observer. He made a great many observations about life and people in his 75 years. Many of these observations come out in his lectures and written works. This material wasn’t “discovered” or “developed” by Ron. It would be obvious to any observer of his calibre. But it should be noted that Ron had a unique perspective from which to observe. His life spanned many decades of spectacular change in society. It included first-hand familiarity with a great many professions, peoples and societies. And it encompassed his acquaintence with people from all walks of life, from the highest to the lowest. Ron was, first and foremost, even before he was a writer, an explorer.

It should also be understood that Ron was exceptionally widely read. He knew a considerable amount about a very wide variety of subjects, including history. Along with his mapping of the whole track and his research into the politics of this sector of the galaxy, his knowledge of Earth history was considerable.

Ron always maintained that people were free to disagree with him as regards his opinions about things. And some imagine that many of the things he said were opinions, when in fact they were observations. Of course, one is free to disagree with Ron’s observations as well. But it is better to reserve judgment in such cases, until such time as one can observe to the same extent and at the same level as Ron could.

Some of Ron’s “observations” were not observations so much as inescapable “conclusions” drawn from his observations. As such, they perhaps verge on opinion. But a conclusion drawn from accurate observation and born out in subsequent observation is far from a mere opinion. This type of conclusion is the basis for the scientific method. In developing Scientology, one of Ron’s first steps was to select the scientific method as a guiding principle in determining workability and truth.

Ron’s Opinions

When Ron said (echoing older philosophies), “What is true for you is true; what is untrue for you is not true”, he meant it most particularly as applied to his opinions about things. Of course, you could apply it to any aspect of Scientology. But the application of this principle to something like, say, the theory of correction lists would be a dangerous practice.

One of the reasons Ron made this statement was that the workability of Scientology Technology didn’t depend on your belief in anything in particular. So long as the Technology was applied exactly and properly, the result was invariant, regardless of what anyone believes. This is one of the greatest strengths of Scientology. You could be a Muslim, a Christian, a street vendor or the richest capitalist, and Scientology would still work.

To be sure, most of what Ron said was based either on his research or his observation. But there were times when he expressed bald opinions. You can agree or disagree. It makes no difference. But you’re advised to learn the difference between Ron’s opinions and Ron’s observations or Ron’s conclusions. Disagree with impunity with his opinions. Disagree with his conclusions and observations at your own risk. Disagree with the Tech at your peril.

The Religion

Scientology has a religious component to it. There are several reasons for this.

  • It deals, ultimately, with the spirit, something common to all religions
  • It affords the Church protection against the taxation (and thus control) of governments
  • It affords the practitioner complete freedom (in most countries) to practice it without hindrance
  • It prevents the medical profession and psychs from controlling and perverting it, something on which they spent a lot of effort and money over time
  • It keeps the government from dictating various internal details of Organizations. Particularly in the United States, the courts avoid scrutiny of religious practice as part of our constitution and common law

It can be readily observed that governments barely tolerate religion, and if given the chance will wipe it out. Religion divides the loyalties of a citizenry, and has been known to lead to the destruction of governments.

Because of Scientology’s being a religion, it is allowed to engage in other activities normally reserved for religion, such as weddings, funerals, baptisms and christenings. This may seem incidental, but they lend some bona fides to the Church of Scientology as a religion.

The Group

Lastly, Scientology is a group (Third Dynamic) activity. In Ron’s Journal 67, he asserted that, by actual test, an OT could not be effective alone. OT activity, to be effective, required a group. More broadly, action as a group is required to fulfill the aims of Scientology in any meaningful way.

But groups, to be effective, require organization of their various parts and members. They require various lines and terminals. They require various activities to occur in the interest of perpetuating the group and making it effective. The Administrative Technology of Scientology dictates all these aspects and the theory underlying them.

Contrary to popular opinion, the moral strictures of Scientology do not arise as a result of it being a religion. They arise as a result of Scientology being a third dynamic activity. Any group must have rules by which its members conduct themselves. These rules protect the group and the members, and make it possible for different spheres of influence within the group to merge seamlessly when they meet. The theory underlying these notions is the theory of games, detailed by Ron in his lectures.

Some reject the notion of rules of conduct, proclaiming such to be anathema to the exercise of one’s free will and self-determinism. It can usually be demonstrated that such people have significant unhandled overts and withholds on prior or current codes of conduct. The truth is that if one acts alone and lives in isolation, such codes are not necessary. But as soon as one invites others to participate in a game, rules become necessary. They are an essential part of any game, and are important in any third dynamic activity.

The dynamics do not exist in isolation. There is interplay among them and each influences the rest, just like the points on the ARC Triangle.


An understanding of the various components of Scientology is worthwhile, so one can treat each in the appropriate way. If you’ve ever had trouble separating out the various aspects of Scientology, hopefully the above helps in de-tangling them.

*imprimatur = sanction or approval.


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3 thoughts on “What Is Scientology?

  1. Love this post! Great description of Scientology overall.

  2. Thanks. This was for all the people in the Field who try to lump different parts together. Hopefully this helps separate things out for them.

  3. Paul, you hit the nail on the head a couple dozen times there. Thanks for creating this safe and rational space for Scientologists to find thought provoking discussion of Ron’s technology.

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