I know there are some withdrawal symptoms accompanying the end of the Sunday Serial. To help, here is another of Terra’s signature essays.
Groups, Collaboration, and the Bank
In Keeping Scientology Working, L. Ron Hubbard wrote, “The common denominator of a group is the reactive mind. Thetans without banks have different responses. They only have their banks in common. They only agree on bank principles. Person to person the bank is identical.”
I don’t think so.
The common denominator of a group is not the reactive mind. Such a notion is not only a gross generality, but accepting that these minds exist and that they’re identical is ludicrous. All the crap cluttering up my foggy mind is not the same junk cluttering up Tom, Dick, and Harry’s.
Thousands and thousands of groups of people working together have created many extraordinary and wonderful things in this world. From cars to spacecraft; from adding machines to computers; from fire starters to microwave ovens, from working in dank caves to sparkling universities and private companies, groups of men and woman have acted together to improve our lives for millennia.
Yet LRH would have us believe that everyone working at NASA has only their banks in common. Forget “purposes;” forget “goals;” forget “ideals;” the only things these scientists and engineers have in common are their reactive minds. Since LRH wrote, “It’s the bank that says we must fail,” it’s a miracle we made it into space, much less, off the ground. If anything, our minds direct us to survive and work for the betterment of our fellow man.
You’d think that after quadrillions years of the bank ordering us—all of mankind—to fail, we’d be in a fairly vegetative state by now. And yet somehow, despite all our setbacks, homo saps continue to invent and create a better world. We still wage war, pollute our environment, and allow kids to go hungry, but we’ve also developed cures for horrible diseases, flown to the moon and back, and carry around computers in our back pockets. We have a lot more in common than our banks.
LRH also said the common denominator of existence was “survive,” and that survival was “considered as the single and sole Purpose.” Regarding the Dynamics, he wrote, “Survive! (sic) is considered to be the lowest common denominator of all energy, efforts and all forms.” Specifically concerning the third dynamic, he continued, “This is the effort to survive through a group, such as community, a state, a nation, a social lodge, friends, companies or, in short, any group. One has a definite interest in the survival of a group.”
On one hand, LRH wants us to believe the only thing a group has in common is the reactive mind and that groups only agree on bank principles. On the other, he says that each member has an innate urge to survive by being a part of a group. These two concepts seem a bit contradictory.
Apparently, LRH could discover and invent technology but when a group bent on survival tried to help, their creations were considered detrimental to mankind. According to LRH, anything a group comes up with is destined to fail and end in disaster. Except of course, with regards to the Sea Org, in which all its members rise above the bank.
“The finest organizations in history have been tough, dedicated organizations.” Really? Even though the common denominator of all its members was the reactive mind? Which orders everyone to fail (except those in the Sea Org)? LRH wanted Scientology to survive as a group only as long as he was its benevolent dictator.
Comm Lines Wide Open
“In all the years I have been engaged in research I have kept my comm lines wide open for research data. I once had the idea that a group could evolve truth. A third of a century has thoroughly disabused me of that idea.” LRH, KSW.
LRH’s comm lines were as open for research data as an exposed sphincter muscle in an Arctic blizzard. Despite what he promoted, his comm lines were never wide open for research, data, or anything else having to do with his technology.
“We will not speculate here on why this was so [how LRH came up with Scientology all by himself] or how I came to rise above the bank.” The last thing any good cult leader wants is for his followers to question his methods. However, this is exactly what rational group members need to do. They need to speculate; they need to ask why; they need to see all the research notes; they need to see these “thousands and thousands of suggestions and writings” which LRH referred to in KSW.
“…altering Scientology only comes about from noncomprehension (sic).” Again, false. More often than not, altering Scientology comes about from trying to make something better that wasn’t working. Modifying the tech comes from PCs failing to achieve the wins and gains they were promised.
LRH couldn’t conceive his tech wasn’t workable. Then again, maybe he did and was trying to pull the wool over our eyes.
LRH’s writing is riddled with contradictions and ambiguities. Groups are not evil entities whose common denominator is the bank. Often the opposite is true. A common denominator of many groups is their purpose to help others—Doctors Without Borders and the Aftermath Foundation to name two.
Humans do best through collaboration. Members bring expertise and insight to groups, helping and supporting each other by overcoming obstacles and building upon the foundations of others.
Not all groups are bad; not all groups “only have their banks in common.” Groups are good; groups are part of life. You just gotta hook up with the right ones.
Still not Declared,