Martin Luther

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Teaching Advice

I just ran across an article in the Tech Volumes from 1951. It appears right after Dianetic Auditors Bulletin Volume 2 No. 1 July 1951 Education and the Auditor and right before Dianetic Auditors Bulletin Volume 2 No. 2 August 1951 An Essay on Management. It’s on page 131 of volume 1 my 1976 red volumes. This issue is so good, that I’ve taken the time to transcribe it here, in full. My commentary follows.

Teaching

If one wishes a subject to be taught with maximal effectiveness, he should

1, Present it in its most interesting form.

(a) Demonstrate its general use in life.
(b) Demonstrate it specific use to the student in life.

2. Present it in its simplest form (but not necessarily its most elementary).

(a) Gauge its terms to the understanding of the student.
(b) Use terms of greater complexity only as understanding progresses.

3. Teach it with minimal altitude (prestige).

(a) Do not assume importance merely because of a knowledge of the subject.
(b) Do not diminish the stature of the student or his own prestige because he does not know the subject.
(c) Stress that importance resides only in individual skill in using the subject and, as to the instructor, assume prestige only by the ability to use it and by no artificial caste system.

4. Present each step of the subject in its most fundamental form with minimal material derived therefrom by the instructor.

(a) Insist only upon definite knowledge of axioms and theories.
(b) Coax into action the student’s mind to derive and establish all data which can be derived or established from the axioms or theories.
(c) Apply the derivations as action insofar as the class facilities permit, coordinating data with reality.

5. Stress the values of data.

(a) Inculcate the individual necessity to evaluate axioms and theories in relative importance to each other and to question the validity of every axiom or theory.
(b) Stress the necessity of individual evaluation of every datum in its relationship to other data.

6. Form patterns of computation in the individual with regard only to their usefulness.

7. Teach where data can be found or how it can be derived, not the recording of data.

8. Be prepared, as an instructor, to learn from the students.

9. Treat subjects as variables of expanding use which may be altered at individual will. Teach the stability of knowledge as resident only in the student’s ability to apply knowledge or alter what he knows for new application.

10. Stress the right of the individual to select only what he desires to know, to use any knowledge as he wishes, that he himself owns what he has learned.


This is advice from the Master himself, someone who has taught all kinds of subjects in all kinds of environments across this planet. Listen to his lectures, and you will hear these principles in action. I can echo the above, as I’ve been called upon to teach a variety of subjects over the years, and the above advice is as solid as it gets. I’ve also, like everyone else, been a student of many subjects down through the decades. My favorite subject in school, mathematics, when taught under these dictums, was a joy to learn. Conversely, my least favorite subject in school, history, was never taught with the above in mind, and was agony to sit through.

Several points stick out and appear repeatedly throughout the above.

  1. Don’t assume altitude simply because you know more about the subject than the student does. This is a chronic failing of university professors. It is also, apparently, the source of professors’ need for teaching assistants. They simply can’t be bothered with the confusions of actual students.
  2. Teach from basic principles in such a way that the student can derive subsidiary data. The result of failure to do this is a student who can perhaps follow memorized instructions, but can’t think with the data. He also cannot adapt what he knows to suit new or changing conditions. He’s a robot or automaton on the subject, and never the master of it.
  3. Stress that the student owns what he knows. In our case, the data, once conveyed, doesn’t belong to LRH. It belongs to the student. It is his to use freely in life. LRH may be the Source of the data, but it belongs to the student.

If you ever wonder about my approach to this blog, or other places where you see my contributions, know that the above is what I try to do. I am in the process of teaching, particularly here. And the above is how I go about it.

Quality Control

I thought I had written a post about this, but after rummaging through my older posts, it appears I haven’t. So here goes.

One of the big problems in the Field is that those of us interested in “standard” Scientology have to rely on the recommendations of others. This is in sharp contrast to how it was done at one point within the Church of Scientology. In the olden days, “franchises” (now called “missions”) were relatively plentiful, and not regulated because– let’s face it– you just couldn’t regulate field activities. But at some point, Ron saw the need for “Central Organizations” (called today just “Organizations”) as a central point of quality and “brand identification” for the public. Central Orgs were where missions sent their tough cases, and where mission auditors went to get trained.

Now of course, the Church is a disaster area. What you get may or may not be Standard Tech. Good luck.

For we who have disavowed ourselves of the Church, there are few “Central Orgs” operating independently of the Church. And yet the need for quality control is still there, perhaps even more so. There are a great many practitioners in the field who believe they have a better idea than LRH, and are auditing, but not using the Tech that LRH developed for this purpose. Hence, finding a “standard” auditor in our Field is, to some degree, a game of chance. This is a situation I, and others like me, would like to see resolved.

Here’s the way it currently works. Let’s say you’re a PC who wants to engage the services of a “standard” auditor. Right now, you contact a friend or two in the Field. They ask around and get their best recommendation for someone relatively close to you. You hope the person your friend talked to knows what they’re talking about. This is a pretty iffy way to go about this. You look up this auditor and meet with him. You see Church certificates on the wall for the various levels he has completed. But those certificates were issued by the Church, and in addition to the Church having canceled them, you don’t know which iteration of the Tech they come from. So basically, they’re useless. What you’d like to see is that someone else vouched for this person’s Tech, someone relatively recent and at least as well trained. Preferably someone you trust. But nothing like this is currently set up.

Let me suggest an alternative which might work for now. Let’s say your auditor, Alex, has a certificate or letter on his wall, signed by Brian, saying that Brian has checked out Alex’s tech for your level, and has verified that it is good. That is, Brian vouches for Alex. When I say “vouches for”, I mean, “Has seen example(s) of his Tech application for Level X and believes it demonstrates full mastery and application of Standard Tech”.

Let’s say that, if you start tracking this down, you find that Brian has similar certifications on his wall saying that Charlie vouches for his tech. And if you go to Charlie’s house, you find that Charlie is vouched for by David, who’s vouched for by Ed, who’s vouched for by Frank, etc. etc.

This is a “chain of trust”. The entity that vouches for someone could be an actual Academy somewhere which trained them, or just another auditor or C/S. But in any case, it would be more than just a casual, “Oh, he’s a friend of mine who never talks bad about LRH, so he’s okay”. It has to be someone who’s actually witnessed the person’s tech and seen for himself that the tech is “standard”.

This “chain of trust” is a relatively primitive method of ensuring quality, but could work for a far-flung Field with few actual installations to do formal certifications. It has one major weakness: certifications like this can’t last forever. What if the guy’s tech slides away from being “standard” over time? Without periodic review, you’d still see the same certificates on the wall, but after a time, they might not mean much. (Back in the days of real Orgs, a bad auditor auditing in the HGC would be caught eventually by the C/S and corrected.) It’s for certain that some auditors will have back-off on having to be re-certified, not because they’re getting things wrong, but because it’s not all that easy to put together a disc showing a video of the meter, the worksheets, and the PC for a variety of actions.

Here’s where a website for this purpose would come in. This might well be called “Chain of Trust Version 2.0”. In this case, each auditor’s name (or “handle” or whatever) would be listed. Those vouching for him would have their names connected to his, along with their attestations that his tech was good at Level X, and the date. You could follow the “chain of trust” all the way down in one place. You could see where he had re-certified, possibly with different people at different times. If there was an unresolved problem, a C/S or other certifier could have remarks about it, which would stay on the site until the auditor had been corrected. Then the correction could be attested to along with the date. This would be a sort of “qual registry” for Field auditors.

One other potential problem remains. It has been suggested that some, fearing Church reprisals, will want to operate under the radar. That is, no name given. In this case, it could be that the person is assigned a code name for the purpose of appearing on the site. The site owner could be queried about this person’s identity. The site owner would then get credentials of the requesting party, and pass them on to the “mystery” person and that person could investigate the requester further before revealing his/her identity. This could theoretically be done with a minimum of fuss to the site owner.

In any case, this is the best system I can think of for at least attempting some sort of quality control on the Tech in the Field. Currently Milestone Two has supposedly set up an internal system which performs this function, or at least something close to it. I’m not privy to this system, how it operates or who’s involved. So I can’t vouch for their system, even though I would generally vouch for Milestone Two as a standard-seeking organization.

So there you have it. If you have a better idea, post it for discussion. If you can think of refinements or improvements, same answer.

With Respect To Ron

Manners

Maybe it’s just me. I grew up in the South of the U.S.A. In the South, manners are particularly important. We’re schooled in them from an early age. If you consider manners long enough, they mostly come down to respect. In the South you show the same respect to anyone, regardless of who they are, until they do something to lose that respect. This is deeply ingrained in the South and goes back hundreds of years.

That’s not to say that Southerners don’t pre-judge people. I do. I see a picture of someone and I form an instant opinion of that person. But I keep that opinion in reserve. I’m fully aware I could be wrong. So when I finally meet that person, I treat them with the same respect with which I’d treat anyone else. Until convinced to do otherwise by the words or conduct of that person.

There are people who deserve special consideration in the manners department: your elders, women, people in authority and people of great accomplishment. Even children deserve a certain respect as beings with small bodies who are struggling with the burden of figuring out a lot of confusing stuff in a short time period.

By the way, race, religion, sexual preference and ethnicity don’t figure in to respect, regardless of what you may have been told about the South. Yes, there are pockets of prejudice, particularly among older Southerners. But in the main, good manners rule.

You may occasionally find friction between people from the South and those from the North. A great deal of that comes down to manners. Manners are not as acutely important to Northerners. Southerners consequently often consider them generally ill-mannered. Particularly when they move down here and then complain, “That’s not the way we do it up North”. Well, you’re in the South now. Learn to do it our way and don’t complain. It’s rude. You’re a guest here. Learn how to act like a good one. (This could be considered part of the Non-Existence formula as conceived of in the South.)

Good and bad manners are contagious. That’s why I generally avoid people who appear to be ill-mannered. I don’t want their contagion in my space.

Again, manners generally come down to respect. A sane person does not treat a complete stranger like a dog. You reserve that for later, when they’ve proven they don’t deserve your respect, by their words and actions.

L. Ron Hubbard

L. Ron Hubbard (or “Ron” as he preferred to be called) assembled a body of wisdom the likes of which appear nowhere else in this universe. Some of it was culled from earlier work, but much if not most of it was developed or discovered out of Ron’s experience and scientific research.

Ron accomplished what he did in a very short span of time. And he did it, not to get rich or become famous. He was already famous, and he could have made a lot more money as just a writer. Instead, he acted as an explorer, exploring areas which had mostly been abused or attacked down through history.

But none of that really matters. Believe what you like. If you’ve ever gotten case gain from Scientology tech, it’s because of Ron. It’s your gain, and you made it yourself. But without this Tech, you wouldn’t have made that gain.

LRH certainly belonged to the so-called “elders” for most of us. And he certainly belonged to the group of those who could be considered “people of great accomplishment”.

Accordingly, he deserves our respect.

But that’s not what I see throughout much of cyberspace when it comes to Ron. His name is dragged through the dirt as much or more than any villanous historical figure I know of. Any time I see a blogger refer to Ron as “Hubbard” or ElRon, I know exactly what I’m in for. I need read no further. There’s a load of muck destined for Ron’s head. It’s virtually axiomatic.

Of course, I/we can complain about the disrespect heaped on Ron all we want. It’s originated by people who have their own axes to grind. It’s originated by people who fundamentally don’t understand what Scientology is, people who have undisclosed harmful acts and are withholding them, and people who are wholly evil (“suppressive persons”).

Personally, regardless of what I think Ron did or didn’t do, he founded Scientology and originated the Tech. For that alone, he deserves my undying respect. I think he deserves yours too.

The Scientology History Project

There’s a quote from the lecture Org Board And Livingness: “If we
don’t express the function on the org board, it will be worn unknowingly by
everyone.” One of the things left off every org board we know of
is the position of historian. And given that it was always left off the org
boards, we’ve all been wearing the hat. Perhaps it’s time we put that hat
on our collective org board and let someone else wear it.

That was our thought a few months ago, when we decided to inaugurate the
Scientology History Project.

With this project, there were a couple of things we wanted to accomplish.
First, there are a lot of gaps in most people’s knowledge of the history of
Scientology. For example, how many people remember “Tech Correction
Roundup” from 1978? If you came into Scientology some time after that, you
may never have heard of it. And how much do you know about how the
technology progressed from 1950 to 1960? If you never did the Basics, you
might not have a clue.

So one point of the History Project is to fill in gaps like that. To have a
repository of all the little details like that which have gone into the
make-up of the subject of Scientology.

The second point to the Scientology History project is to, as far as is
possible, run out the group engrams of Scientology. There are quite a
number of those. We need to fill in the lost details of those incidents,
and provide a place where people can go and get the truth, so far as we can
discover it.

And so we decided to take on these tasks. Naturally, we realized we
couldn’t do it alone. We knew we’d need the help of the overall Scientology
community. Meantime we could put up a website to hold the information we find,
and get a start on filling in the blanks and fleshing out the whole
picture.

And we’ve done that. Our website repository isn’t flashy and it doesn’t
have a lot of content at the moment. But we’ll be adding to it day by day,
and with your help, getting at the little details and finding time, place,
form and event on a lot of points.

You’ll never know most of the people directly involved in this project.
That’s by design. First, it keeps us from being unduly influenced by the
various sub-groups and personalities in the Field. Second, we’re not in
this for the fortune and fame, if there ever is any. We’re here doing this
job because it needs doing, and we happen to be interested in it. Third, it
keeps us elusive when it comes to the long arms of the Church of
Scientology. And sooner or later, they’ll probably get around to targeting
us. That’s what happens when the bad guys realize you’re standing on the
corner telling the truth.

We are not associated with the Church of Scientology in any way. Nor are we
associated with any group in the Field, though some of us may be members of
Field groups. Although we are Field Scientologists, we operate
independently of both the Field and the Church. You wanted an unbiased
history of Scientology? That’s how you get it. At least that’s how you try
to be unbiased.

Will there by bias at the History Project? We hope not, and we’ll be trying
our best to ensure we start and remain that way. If you suspect otherwise,
you’re welcome to let us know.

By the way, it’s worth noting that we are not the “History of L. Ron
Hubbard” project, nor the “History of the Church of Scientology” project.
We are the “History of Scientology” project. Keep that distinction in mind.

Our main site is http://scnhistory.org, where we have our bylaws,
glossary, and other similar material. The history itself is at
http://scnhistory.org/history/. We don’t charge for access and we don’t
restrict your use of our content. If you want to quote us in your blog or
elsewhere, feel free. You can also link directly to our articles, if that’s
your preference. And we have a pretty nifty glossary on the main site, free
for your use.

Come visit us, leave a comment if you like, and if you have details about
an event, let us know. Above all, please use us as a resource.

Cheers,

Paul M. Foster
for the Scientology History Project

Politics Versus Policy

There are two ways a group can operate. One way a group can operate is by having and following firm policy. A group run that way places no value on who you know, how much people like you or not, your race, color or anything else except the invariant policy the group runs on. Your value to the group would consist of how well you perform in getting production out within the rules and policy of the group. Rewards and penalties exist solely on the basis of the interplay of production and adherence to policy. Competence is valued above affection or admiration.

The other kind of group relies on politics. In this kind of group, there may be rules or policy, but such things are subordinate to who you know, who your 2D is, how much people like you, etc. Getting things done in such an organization is more a matter of following orders than policy, since policy and rules can often conflict with the politics of the group. Your ability to advance, and the rewards and penalties of the group may well depend on who you know and how well you’re liked. In such an organization, you may find that the ends justify the means.

You’ve probably seen lots of organizations which run on politics, and very few which run on policy. You may know of organizations which are a mix of the two. But really, once you deviate from the first type, you’re automatically dealing with the second type. A peculiarity of the first type is that, sometimes, you can be wildly successful in the first type, while ignoring policy, since competence is of such value there. Fail to produce in the first type of group, and nothing, including policy will protect you. Conversely, in the latter type of group, you can crash and burn even in the face of great production, if you get “crossways” with the wrong people or person. Or do fantastically well, even with bad production stats, just because of who you’re married to, etc.

When I first came on staff in the mid-70s, it was promoted to me that an Org was the former type of organization. The Staff Statuses further reinforced this idea. Ron made it clear that if you followed policy, you just couldn’t go wrong. Apparently, you were encouraged to exercise your big mouth when you saw policy being violated. I’m sure Ron intended it to be that way. And I was ecstatically happy with that. But as it turned out, I found Orgs were not run solely on policy. I found that politics were a significant part of how an Org was run.

Now you should understand (if it’s not clear already), I’m a smart aleck with a big mouth. My parents continually cautioned me about this when I was a kid. I got in more than my share of trouble as a kid simply by being smart alecky or having a big mouth. As I got older, I learned a little more about what adults call “good judgment” (shutting up or suppressing your own communication). I never gained perfection on this score, but I did learn to shut up at times. I learned the hard way that being there and communicating could be a crime.

My experience on staff locked that lesson in.

Believing what LRH wrote about Orgs, policy and the like, I exercised very little “control” over my big mouth. My seniors finally decided to Comm Ev me. You should have seen the Bill of Particulars. To just read the charges, you’d think I was Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Hannibal Lecter all rolled into one. In the end, it was all for naught. The Int Justice Chief dismissed the whole thing for lack of evidence and staledate. Of course that was after they tried to shut me up with a Non-Enturbulation Order. Ultimately, I was swept up in the worldwide “List 1 R/Sers” engram. (For those who weren’t there, thousands of staff were routed out of Orgs as List 1 R/Sers during this time period. Turns out there were faulty definitions of the “rock slam” e-meter read in widespread use, and that R/Ses found on Clears didn’t mean the same thing they did on people who weren’t Clear; and it turns out an awful lot of the people who got routed out were actually unsuspected last life and this life Clears.) Thereafter, I spent a year off staff wondering if I was an SP. That was fun, believe me. Since then, I’ve been back on staff three times (total four times, always with promises that “things are different/better now”), been declared, had to do steps A to E, been accused of being a PDH-ing government agent, and a variety of other fun stuff.

I used to think that the Sea Org would be fundamentally different from being regular staff. Surely, policy would reign supreme in the Sea Org, as it hadn’t in Orgs I’d been in. At least that was my fantasy. At one point, I was working in a Sea Org organization while on a “project prepare” (getting debts paid and such so you can come into the Sea Org). I berthed, messed (ate) and libertied (spent time off) with Sea Org. While there, I had senior Sea Org members clearly lying to me for no apparent reason, rejecting perfectly reasonably ethics conditions formulas, and trying to break up my marriage. This was in the late 70s, early 80s. So much for the Sea Org being a different game than Org staff.

Some years later, while doing a confidential pilot rundown as a public, I dealt with the question of whether I should be a staff member or not. In doing a Doubt formula on the subject, I decided that staff was entirely the wrong game for me, despite my natural tendency to want to be in the trenches with other staff and Sea Org members.

So I had the pre-Miscavige Church of Scientology throw the book at me more than once. It’s been many years since then, and I’ve had a lot of time to work out how I feel about the whole thing. I don’t particularly hold the Church or its staffs or administrators in contempt from all this. That’s because I understand two things. First, the people who have given me the most trouble in this connection were normally not OT. Any OTs who participated in these injustices generally apologized to me for their participation, one way or another. Second, those most responsible for these injustices were untrained, generally in both Tech and Admin.

Since all this transpired, David Miscavige and his ilk have turned the Church of Scientology on its head. So much so that I’m not even sure that policy registers as a blip on anyone’s radar screen any more. It’s all politics now. How much have you contributed to IAS? How much have to contributed to Super Power? Ideal Orgs? Wanna get out of ethics trouble? Just give us money! We don’t really make a lot of auditors any more. We make people who’ve been through their Basics courses instead. Oh by the way, disagree with or have critical thoughts about our Fearless Leader, and you will find yourself swabbing the decks in far Timbuktu. And forget about ever going OT. Ad nauseum.

As you can see, things were a lot better back when I first got into Scientology and on staff. And still, there was some non-zero amount of politics driving things along. Now things are at least an order of magnitude worse. Things were bad enough when I first got in, that had I been aware of the facts, I never would have signed a staff contract. Ever.

I’m sure that people are still supposed to do the Staff Status courses when they first come on staff. And I suspect they still imply that the Church of Scientology runs on LRH policy. But just as obviously, it should be clear to any but a mental cripple that, in fact, the Church of Scientology runs almost entirely on politics.

Maybe it’s just me. Having had the pre-Miscavige Church level both barrels at me and pull the trigger multiple times, and realizing that I’m still here, I long ago ceased to fear what the Church could supposedly do to me. And I realize that an organization based on politics, not policy, is that last place I’d want to be. Obviously, I don’t survive well in places like that. Hence, I can’t imagine why I would ever sign up to help a Miscavige era Church, or stay there a second longer than I absolutely had to.

So my question is, if you were in that situation where you were a staff or Sea Org member who signed on and did your Staff Statuses (or Products in the case of a Sea Org member), why in God’s name would you hang around once you realized what was really going on? I’m continually reading these angsty stories about people who were staff/SO, spent years at it during the Miscavige era, and eventually left. I get that people have trepidation about the possibility of losing their future Bridges and/or connections with their family and friends, not to mention being afraid of being unable to make a living in the real world after so much time as staff/Sea Org. My question is, why would it ever get to that point? Upon realizing the obvious fact that it’s all politics, why would you sign up in the first place? And once you did sign up and find that policy was obviously a minor footnote, why would you hang around a minute longer?

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