Martin Luther

Commenting on Scientology, Inside and Outside the Church

The Basics

I recently read through a blog post elsewhere complaining about the so-called “Basics”. In fact, once people had a chance to read the original post, there were a lot of commenters complaining about the Basics.

(Let’s be clear. I’m not an apologist for the Church of Scientology or its management. Just the opposite. “The Basics” was a program to extract more money from the public for a product they didn’t need. It may also have been a way to recapture the copyrights of the LRH works after having lost them. I have no illusions about the nefarious motives of the Church in issuing these materials.)

First, there were complaints about the name: “The Basics”. The problem apparently was that “The Basics” included things like the Philadelphia Doctorate Course (PDC) and Creation of Human Ability (COHA), which are actually quite advanced material. That is, “The Basics” included material which was not in any way “basic” in the sense of “elementary”. However, this material is basic in the sense that it is part of the basis of what later became the Bridge. But it’s still kind of a silly complaint, since “The Basics” was a marketing name for all this stuff. The material could better have been called the “Pre-Bridge” materials, since that’s exactly what they are. But again, “The Basics” was just a marketing name, not something I’d put enough attention on to complain about.

Second, there were complaints that the Basics were too steep a gradient. I happen to disagree with this assessment. The Basics comprised a study of the books and lectures from 1950 through to about the early 1960s. From 1950 to 1952/54, the track of research went rapidly from engrams to the state of OT, its capabilities and the techniques by which one would create OTs. The lectures and books reflected that track, including the Philadelphia Doctorate Course. There were people there at the time, auditors and enthusiasts, who had been through prior lecture series, and some who hadn’t been. These materials weren’t necessarily out gradient for those attending, so I fail to see how they’re necessarily out-gradient now, particularly when you consider that the Basics includes all the materials leading up to the PDC. That said, I would not put this stuff in front of newbies. There are real Scientology “basics” they need to learn first, like the ARC triangle and the Tone Scale.

Third, the Basics checksheets lack the necessary mass. Well, I’ve never seen the checksheets, so I don’t know. But mass could be added in the form of clay demos, doll drills, etc. And if your checksheet doesn’t include proper mass for the course you’re studying, it’s your job to wear your student hat, identify the “lack of mass” study phenomenon, and come up with a fix yourself. (Though admittedly, the authors of the checksheet would also need a cram on “lack of mass” as well.)

Fourth is the implication that raw public (or those with inadequate set-up at least) are being put on these courses. I can’t speak to this, as I don’t know. However I wouldn’t personally recommend a raw public be put on these courses. Those who attended these lectures in the 1950s and read these books when they were first published were generally dedicated to auditing and thoroughly studying the subject, something that can’t be said for raw public. I would suggest a prerequisite of, say, the HQS, before putting someone on the full “Basics” study track.

Fifth was actually a missing complaint, the fact that The Basics were a prerequisite for almost anything and everything on the Bridge. No one seemed to complain about this, but it’s a very legitimate complaint. LRH never required the prior study of these materials for anything that I know of. And since their study lengthens the runway on almost everything else by quite a bit, I’d have to say that requiring The Basics as has been done is a Bad ThingTM.

Sixth is the complaint that the “library program” (to put The Basics into every library in the world) is a huge mistake. I’d have to agree completely here. As has been noted, this material contains advanced topics, which the casual library patron has no business reading about or listening to. Of course, by now it should be clear that the Church’s motivation with regard to this program was simply another money grab.

Seventh, someone implied that forcing people to study “The Basics” was like dumping random Scientology data on the wrong public. Their precise quote was from PAB 38: “you cannot avalanche data onto the heads of partially trained, pooly comprehending people, or people who have no real conversance with auditing at all”. I would refer this person to Data Series 48. The quote: “The Data Series PLs must be studied in sequence.” The Basics is precisely an in-sequence study of all the data. All this assumes that the person has some familiarity with auditing and true Scientology “basics”. Not raw public and not pure PCs. The original attendees of these lectures were not raw public or pure PCs either. They were auditors and true enthusiasts. Remember that the PDC, for example, was called the Philadelphia DOCTORATE Course.

While some of the complaints are valid, I’d guess the real reasons behind a lot of these complaints were

  • people didn’t want to do the courses in the first place and have protest BPC
  • people didn’t actually understand what they studied on the courses

Let’s keep in mind that most of these materials have been available one way or another since the day they were issued, and LRH never forbade their study. So if you’re of a mind to study them and are willing to faithfully wear your student hat and delve deep into the mysteries of OTs, aliens, universes and the like, have a blast. (If you’re currently studying on the left side of the Bridge, please continue that first.)


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2 thoughts on “The Basics

  1. I read practically every LRH book there was, prior to doing any major Bridge actions. In my view, they acted upon me as education – nothing more.

    There’s a tremendous amount of data in the books that a person can use in their daily life, but in order to do that, they’d almost need to be used as textbooks in a course geared towards application. Indeed, many books (or chapters of books) are required reading on Academy courses, as much of the data is fundamental to understanding the human mind, spirit, etc.

    I agree that the launch of the ‘Basics’ was mostly a cynical marketing effort, primarily designed to inflate the coffers of the church through massive (and mandatory) book sales to its members. The fact that pushing the membership through the study of LRH’s books did NOT create a renaissance of purpose and application by the group, is proof enough that it was nothing more than another scheme to extract mass quantities of dollars from the members.

    All one has to do is examine the end result of this gargantuan push. Are there more active auditors now than there were before the release of ‘The Basics’? Has the worldwide WDAH stat risen, as a result? Have the numbers of new people signing up for new services increased? Are there more existing Scientologists rehabbed on their basic purpose to help others by becoming professional auditors? Are the academies busier than before?

    I say that the answer to all of these questions, is No.

    None of these things occurred, because studying the basic books doesn’t easily lead one to a place where they can effectively help another person. Not that a very, very bright person couldn’t manage to do it, but studying texts is very different than TRAINING.

    The point you brought up about renewing the expired copyrights is also very important to understanding the church’s motivation for releasing that series. There’s much data about that online, so I won’t belabor the details here. Suffice it to say that they had to do something to reassert their financial control over the intellectual property of LRH.

    • RB:

      Agreed. The Basics didn’t produce a renaissance. Part of that is that the Church has been sabotaging the Bridge at every turn at the same time as pushing the Basics. It was a boondoggle of colossal proportions.


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