A write up by Dan Koon about Super Power has just appeared on Operation Clambake (see here).
Because I have had so much to say about the subject of its “imminent” release, I am republishing Dan’s write up here in full (though if you want the attachments referenced, go to Clambake, I have not attached them or linked to them here).
If there is one person who knows the story of Super Power — what it contains and what it is supposed to accomplish — it is Dan Koon. His recollections may help distinguish the hype from reality and help make clear just what a boondoggle the entire Super Power pitch is — both in terms of the actual technology it contains (the majority of which is NOT new) and even more so the need for a grandiose marble palace in which to make it available to those who have paid beaucoup bucks for the privilege of receiving a handling designed to rehabilitate staff assigned to the RPF as List One R/Sers.
Update: Dan just made a comment on Facebook clarifying that the prerequisites for Super Power are a Drug Rundown and C/S 53 to F/Ning list. ONLY.
Super Power, or What I Can Recall of It
by Dan Koon
Some people have asked me about Super Power. As part of the LRH Technical Research and Compilations Unit, I was involved in the project to compile Super Power and thought that it might be interesting to relate my experiences with it. Had I written this twenty-some years ago when I compiled the rundowns, I could have quoted them chapter, line and verse. As it stands today, some of the rundowns that are part of Super Power I still recall well, while others, unfortunately, hardly at all. What I am giving here are my personal recollections having been involved with the original piloting and, years later, with the first complete compilation of the rundowns. Anyone is free to make of this what they will and use it or not as they see fit. Many thanks to John Aaron Williams for putting all the references together.
At the beginning of 1978, LRH returned to his home in La Quinta, California near Palm Springs, after having been away for several months following the FBI raid in Los Angeles in July 1977. Soon after returning he wrote about the need for locating Sea Org staff members who had been, intentionally, he put it, gumming up the works and hindering Scientology expansion. The few staff who were truly dedicated to stopping the show were termed List 1 R/Sers. (I have heard from another that this project had been in the works even before the FBI raid, but I did not learn about it until late winter 1978.)
An R/S is a rock slam, the wild and crazy manifestation of the E-meter needle. It indicates, per E-meter theory, that an evil intention has been touched on regarding whatever topic was under discussion at the time the R/S manifested. List 1 is a list of subjects for discussion in auditing that relate to Scientology, its organizations and principles, such as L. Ron Hubbard and Mary Sue Hubbard or organization executives. You can find a copy of List 1 here.
LRH’s solution for locating the staff who he felt needed to be taken off the lines was to sec check each S.O. staff member on the subject of List 1. If the person being sec checked turned on an R/S, that meant he or she had an evil purpose on the subject under discussion. If such were found, the staff member was to be taken off post and sent to the RPF to have the evil purpose handled before being allowed back into the general group. LRH’s expectation was that the few staff who did have R/Ses would be located and moved off for handlings with little disruption to the organization and significant improvement in its operation. That was not what happened in practice.
The key technical person over the project had a crashing misunderstood on the difference between a rock slam and a dirty needle and the confusion resulted in half the staff at LRH’s base in La Quinta being sent to the RPF and an almost equal number RPFed at Flag and the PAC base. It was probably the biggest debacle in the Sea Org’s history up to that time. As word spread about the number of staff disappearing and winding up in the RPF, people going in for their own List 1 sec checks were nervous and under stress and this tended to produce more dirty needles, which, called R/Ses, landed them with their fellow staff in the RPF.
Meanwhile, LRH had immersed himself deeply, very deeply, in shooting the first technical training films. That pretty much consumed his days, every day for the first 2/3rds of the year. In late summer, though, he came up for air and asked for a report on the status of the project. He was shocked and horrified when he learned the number of people who had been RPFed. He stepped in and removed the person responsible and ordered people incorrectly RPFed to be reprieved. The RPFs emptied rapidly and people returned to their jobs.
The original situation, however – unproductive staff members – remained. The List 1 Project was basically an ethics-type approach to the problem and it failed miserably. LRH came up with another handling and called it the Humongous Rundown or, as we know it today, Super Power.
LRH laid out 12 individual rundowns that make up Super Power. The initial concept was to help staff members become more causative and efficient on their posts so as to create faster expansion for Scientology. Blithely ordering someone to find the List 1 R/Sers on staff and remove them had not worked out too well, so LRH dug in more thoroughly this time to get to the bottom of staff inefficiencies. (This, by the way, was the approach he commonly took: when faced with a situation to deal with, try the simplest, fastest way possible and if that doesn’t work, then dig in more energetically.) He began working with a recently formed compilations unit called LRH Technical Compilations (today called LRH Technical Research and Compilations, RTRC) to prepare and pilot the individual components of Super Power. At the time RTRC formed up I was an auditor in the Qual Div of WHQ but joined RTRC the following year, in 1979.
Ethics Repair List
The existing situation in September 1978 was that the entire Sea Org had just been through a terrible mauling emotionally, physically, third dynamically and case-wise from the severe injustices of the year. His first handling, then, came in the form of the Ethics Repair List which you can find here. Thirty-five years after its development anyone simply reading over the questions on the list will likely find that they can easily think of answers to most of them. So, far beyond the initial reason for its development, the Ethics Repair List will do a lot for a person’s button on the lack of justice existing in the world.
Auditors at the La Quinta base began running the list of those recently reprieved from the RPF and the list was modified based on the pilot reports being received. LRH would review and correct as needed each of these revisions and finally authorized the list for use in its final form. Late in the year the ERL was broadly released for a short time but then pulled out of circulation. It has been on the Internet for many years and freely available for download and use.
Personal Revival Rundown
The next rundown LRH worked to develop was the Personal Revival Rundown. The theory of this action was explained in HCOB 27 Oct. 78, COLLECTIVE IDENTITIES, an excerpt of which is quoted here:
“There’s an implant on the track on the subject of “We are all one”, “All is one”. Someone stuck in this actually goes from the generality of “All is one” and then individuates from that! That’s actually the basic definition of individuation (as different from individuality).
“A thetan who is “dead” acts like . . . there’s nobody running the show . . . This is the Socialist, everyone belongs to “The State”, individualism is negated, it’s all “The People”.
“TV, Drugs and Socialism are the factors that are bringing about the current deterioration of society, and with these three you can predict a super break up. You get NCG cases, or subtle NCG cases (these make only minor gain), they are a collective mass. The speed of effect of auditing would go up after an Ethics Repair List and Criminality Rundown because on the Criminality Rundown you’ll get a “demutualization”. If you have a TV and Drug culture and enter in a Welfare State you’ll get this. In Communism a person is severely punished if he shows any individuality.
“There are crime waves after waves which are due to a super association with Death. Then guys have seen so much Death, they consider themselves dead. It isn’t that they’re taught to kill, it’s that by association with Death, they have become “dead” and irresponsible.
“Therefore as a rule, while engaging in any collective social or organizational activity, you have to foster individuality.”
LRH’s general notion was that some (or many) staff were irresponsible on their jobs because they were, as stated above, more or less dead as beings. In fact, the colloquial name for the rundown when it was piloted was the Dead Man Pilot. The general approach, as near as I can remember, was to assess a list of possible conditions such as deadness, unconsciousness, unfeeling, numbness, etc., on the pc and then address whatever read with processes. The processes were recall processes on whatever items read. For example, if “deadness” read on the list, the auditor would run, F1, “Recall deadness.” F2, Recall another’s deadness,” F3, “Recall others’ deadness,” F0, “Recall your own deadness,” or commands to that effect.
The idea was to take the person out of whatever past experiences had been laying on him or her like a lead blanket and enable them to come back to life.
This rundown was piloted to some extent in 1978 but not finalized at that time that I recall. It is also known as the Criminality Rundown in some issues, so far as I recall.
Once the person was freed from whatever “deadness” he was manifesting, the next part of Super Power was directed at helping him look some distance into the future and heighten his ability to predict consequences of his actions. A couple relevant bulletins explain the theory of this rundown:
From HCOB 24 MARCH 1960, GOALS IN THE RUDIMENTS, which you can find here:
If pc is still reluctant and upset about goals or isn’t getting better faster because of the Solutions Process above, run some consequences in this fashion: “What would you be likely to do if you didn’t have a bad foot?” This makes the pc look at it some more, and some Responsibility run on what he has said he might do will clear the thing away.
Then, from HCOB 6 JUNE 1969, PREDICTION AND CONSEQUENCES, which you will find here:
Probably the reason overts of omission and commission are done at all lies in man’s inability or faulty ability to predict and to realize consequences.
Men are rather thoroughly stuck in the present and so involved with its confusions that they rarely foresee anything and are mainly oblivious to any consequences of their own actions or failures to act.
A process relating to this was from Ability Magazine Major 6 [1955, ca. early September], available here:
“What would happen if you were apathetic?
“What would happen if you got angry?”
APPLY TO TONE SCALE AND AWARENESS SCALE.
Because a criminal doesn’t really think about the consequences of his actions (i.e., he doesn’t see that if he breaks into the house to steal some stuff that the police are going to come looking for him and put him in jail), this rundown helps the pc improve his or her ability to predict the consequences of their actions. The basic thrust of the process was to ask the person to recall an action of theirs in the past and then ask that when they decided to take that action, did they think of the consequences. In other words, did they think of whatever happened afterwards as a direct result of what they had decided to do.
This seems to be a different slant on one of the processes on Grade 1 (taken from the Grade 1 Process checklist of November 1987):
(Ref: PAB 137, SOME MORE CCH PROCESSES, Section on Goals
PAB 146, PROCEDURE CCH)
1. WHAT ARE YOU ABSOLUTELY SURE WILL HAPPEN IN THE NEXT TWO MINUTES? (one hour, three days, one week, three months, one year, etc.)
Discuss it to complete pc certainty on each time span before continuing to the next one, i.e., one hour, three days, one week, three months, one year, etc. The auditor must all the time be sure that the preclear is certain that these things are going to happen in the next two minutes (or whatever the time span is) to ensure that the process really bites.
(Run to EP per instructions above.)
2. TELL ME SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO DO IN THE NEXT TWO MINUTES (one hour, etc., increasing span of time.)
_______ (Run to EP per instructions above.)
1. TELL ME SOMETHING YOU ARE SURE WILL BE THERE IN TWO MINUTES, etc.)
_______ (Run to EP per instructions above.)
2. TELL ME SOMETHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE IN TWO
_______ (Run to EP per instructions above.) _______
Bright Think Rundown
One of the aspects that keeps a person pulled out of present time and less aware of what is going on around him is resolved by the next rundown, the Bright Think Rundown. Like the Ethics Repair List, this too was made broadly available for a short time in late 1978 and so the rundown is available on the Internet today. You can read all about it here.
One of the values of Super Power when delivered to a Dianetic Clear is that the Bright Think Rundown accomplishes in part what Power Processing was designed to handle on a case. Dianetic Clears may not receive the Power Processes but may be run on Super Power including the Bright Think Rundown.
This was the last Super Power rundown that was worked on before LRH’s death in 1986. The remaining rundowns were listed out and he wrote one or more dispatches to RTRC or Snr C/S Int about the remaining parts of Super Power, including how it was supposed to be exported to St. Hill Orgs. But no other rundowns were compiled and nothing was ever again submitted to LRH on Super Power.
What happened was that in the late fall 1978, LRH called for a team of auditors from each St. Hill org as well as Flag to be brought to the WHQ base (winter headquarters in La Quinta) for training on Super Power. His first action was to call for demonstrations of their TRs. This ran headlong into a barrier in that their TRs were inadequate to deliver Super Power. At this point Super Power went off the radar and LRH’s focus of attention for most of the next year was TR training. Large TR courses were established at Flag and in PAC and LRH spent a lot of time looking at TRs videos, dictating critiques to students and, because it became like pulling teeth to get students to submit acceptable videos, working out broad, large scale handlings to deal with the situation of a “world out of comm,” as he described it. These offshoots of the TRs evolution became the Key To Life Course and the Life Orientation Course. Numerous other bodies of tech grew out of his work during this period including a codification of False Data Stripping, the Product Debug Checklist and the Purification Rundown among others.
RTRC struggled to even keep up with the flood of dispatches and orders and Super Power became back-burnered. The RTRC Dir, Phoebe Mauerer, bless her, dutifully filed every piece of paper relating to Super Power and stored them in bankers boxes and for the next 8 years kept these boxes right above her desk until the day she died in late 1986. (Phoebe and LRH were close. She was one of the early S.O. members and served well and with distinction for many years. After LRH died in early 1986, she just kind of said, “Screw this, I’m out of here,” and a lifetime of smoking did the rest. Her sense of humor stayed with her until the end, remarking at one point with appropriate irony, “Dan, my Int is really out right now!”)
RTRC did not get around to Super Power again until the fall of 1991, 13 years after LRH began work on it. Phoebe’s careful filing and protection of the papers on Super Power made the job of completing compilation of the remaining rundowns merely difficult instead of hopeless. Some of the remaining rundowns LRH said very little about and it was left to RTRC to search high and low for clues how to assemble them.
At this juncture in his Super Power processing, the person will be pretty cleaned up of certain factors that were dragging his attention back into the past. So, now his ability to learn and think with data can be addressed. The first stage of this is the Study Rundown, which consists of being audited on The Study Green Form, which is available here.
Many people develop blocks against assimilating information and learning because of oppressive schooling or other reasons. The Study Green Form locates these and addresses them.
False Data and Loss Rundown Part 1
False data is something LRH was onto even from the early days of Dianetics. While developing Super Power he theorized that when a person experienced a loss, he or she was likely to adopt false data as a stable datum to help resolve the confusion resulting from the loss. The losses tend to keep the person pinned to the false data adopted at a rough time in the person’s life. Imagine, for instance, being taken off your post and put in the RPF. For many, that would be a loss: loss of post, status within the group, your spouse, friends, etc. People might start to adopt false data after such an experience, such as the RPF leaders telling the person they are no good and deserve to be where they are, etc.
The handling developed was to find areas in the person’s life where he or she might be having difficulties as the result of false data, find a false datum and strip it off using FDSing tech and then locate the loss prior to accepting the false data. Then, once the loss was found, to audit that out using various tools (perhaps Recalls on Clears and OTs or NED on preclears), including, as needed False Purpose Rundown. Note that FPRD was not developed until 1984 and LRH mentioned the correlation between False Data and Loss in 1978. Whether this was LRH’s intention will never be known.
False Data and Loss Rundown Part 2
LRH’s idea here was that once the person had been rid of his false data proneness, his thinking could be freed up and this is done using the HC (Hubbard Consultant) Lists which were developed during LRH’s work on the Data Series. This step is fairly straightforward and you will find the HC Lists here.
Well, I draw a blank when I scour my memory for what this process consists of. I don’t recall that it was anything too remarkable like some of the other rundowns and no one who received it on the pilot said too much about it. That may not be the case but I simply don’t recall anything about this particular rundown or the process it entailed. I can theorize now that it would have to do with helping the pc reestablish his level of causation, now that he or she had been cleaned up to the extent that the previous rundowns would have accomplished that.
Power of Choice Rundown
As is the case with the Cause Rundown, I really do not remember much about the Power of Choice Rundown.
The theory of it, however, likely is not too far off from LRH’s bulletin of 4 February 1960, THEORY OF RESPONSIBILITY PROCESSING, which you can see here and wherein LRH makes the point that a person’s power of choice is more important than his responsibility level. Another relevant writing is HCOB 23 May 71R, rev. 4 Dec. 74, Basic Auditing Series 10R, RECOGNITION OF THE RIGHTNESS OF THE BEING, which you will find here.
The way these would apply to Super Power and making a staff member more effective on his job would be to rehabilitate his power of choice about doing his job. (As a note, should more information about these two rundowns or any of the rest become available it will be made known, either in a revision to this article or in a new one.)
Amid the hoopla surrounding Super Power, the Perception Rundown is smack dab in the center of it. The reason for this is the many different kinds of equipment and special rooms that have been developed for this part of Super Power.
As is well known in Dianetics and Scientology and in other fields as well, a person’s ability to use one or more of her sense channels can be impaired or blocked by traumatic incidents from the person’s past. Ray Charles was said to have lost his sight at a young age when his brother drowned in a washing tub in front of his eyes; shortly thereafter, overwhelmed by guilt, his eyesight began to deteriorate and he went blind for the rest of his life. Whether or not this is a convenient coincidence to support the claim, nearly everyone recognizes that one’s eyesight or hearing or sense of smell is capable of fluctuating in keenness from day to day, even throughout the day.
The Perception Rundown was designed to sharpen or even restore a person’s ability to communicate with the world through any or all of the 57 sense channels described by LRH in HCOB 23 July 78R, LIST OF PERCEPTICS, which you can find here. The rundown consisted of first locating and auditing out charge that may be inhibiting a person’s ability to see, hear, smell, touch, etc. Then, once the charge is handled on a specific sense channel, the person drills using that particular channel which puts him more in control of it and can greatly heighten his awareness of communication along that line.
The first part of the rundown simply consists of clearing and assessing the entire list of perceptics and finding the ones that are charged. The mental aspects of the reading items are audited out using R3RA for cases below Clear and recall processes on four flows for Clears and above.
Once the charge is handled on a particular perceptic, one drills the perceptic to improve the ability to use it. The total amount of direction that LRH gave about how to put those drills together is contained in the previous sentence. It was one line in a despatch saying to drill the pc on the perceptic after the charge had been handled.
RTRC (me, the compiler) undertook a several days long search to find some clue to these drills. The solution was found in materials around the time LRH wrote Science of Survival and the action was to alternate putting one’s attention on the sense channel and taking one’s attention off of it. Simple, when we finally found it.
Say the person had trouble with his hearing. You’d put a ticking clock (or something similar) on the table and have the pc put his attention on the clock (listen to it) and then take his attention off the clock (causatively don’t listen to it). The general idea is to have the pc put his attention on the perceptic channel and take his attention off it and alternate this back and forth to the end phenomena of the process.
From this description of the rundown it seems likely that the perceptions which a person has trouble with (and REALITY on) and which will therefore read are the usual suspects such as sight, sound, touch and smell. Sense channels along which the person has little or no reality will not read, per basic auditing theory.
Nevertheless, the church has spent millions researching, prototyping and producing fancy machines, stations and entire rooms so a person can drill such esoteric perceptics as Awareness of Awareness, Saline Content of Cells, Perception of Conclusions (past and present) and the like. That is not to say that someone could not drill each of his perceptions using this equipment but that is most definitely NOT part of the rundown as laid out by LRH. Of course, if something reads it will be run and then drilled. The likelihood of some of these rooms and machines every being used seems to indicate the incursion of marketing and fundraising considerations into tech.
By this time the person receiving Super Power has been brought out of any case condition what might distract him from doing a good job in his post, he is in present time and his senses have been sharpened up nicely.
Now he/she does the Learning Drills as laid out in PAB 110, 15 April 1957, EDUCATION, which you will find here.
Physical Universe Drills
The final step of Super Power is to drill the person on the actions of his/her job or post. The basic idea here is to drill the person to become more adept at the mechanical actions of his job. This is a matter of isolating the actions and their sequences that the person does in his or her work. You then have the person go through these motions and drill him to become more efficient and faster at doing them. Each aspect of the job is covered until the person, in present time, is capable of assimilating data and learning and with heightened awareness becomes a whiz at his or her job.
For example, say a guy is a cabinet maker. You would drill him on measuring a piece of wood, drill him on setting up his saw and cutting the wood, drill him on sanding and planing the wood, drill him on assembling the cabinet, installing the hardware, staining and finishing it, etc. Pit crews at the Indy 500 drill tire changes and filling gas tanks and it pays off. Same idea here.
That completes Super Power.
Compilation and Piloting
As mentioned earlier, the first few Super Power rundowns were piloted and some were finalized in 1978. After that nothing was done until 1991. Then, the project was picked up again and each rundown and related issues were compiled in pilot form, which was the first time the entirety of Super Power existed. The issues were approved by Ray Mithoff who was Inspector General Tech (or maybe Snr C/S Int) at the time. They did not go to Miscavige as all tech issues did for final approval. These were just pilot issues.
Once compiled, a group of Gold staff were selected to receive the rundown. Several Qual and Snr C/S Int Office auditors were trained on the rundowns and began auditing their pcs. Pilot reports and success stories received from the pcs after each rundown were encouraging. Some particularly remarkable things occurred during the Perception Drills. Pcs commented how sharp their perceptions became from the simple drilling of putting their attention on the sense channel and then taking it off the channel. LRH had commented that some people did not hear well, for example, simply because they did not listen, meaning they had muffled or closed down that channel. Drilling opened the channel back up and put people at cause over their perceptions again. One pc remarked how it was almost scary how sharp and attuned her perceptions had become. (As a note, no fancy equipment was developed for use on the pilot, but simply objects, odors, sights and sounds readily available.)
Each pc who completed the rundowns felt they had experienced many many positive gains. The proof, however, would come in their post performance afterwards. Without exception each pilot pc performed exceptionally well on post for a good long period, a year or more.
However, in the LRH dispatches he laid out how Super Power should be delivered to a staff. One would put each member of an area, such as a division of the org, through Super Power before going on to the next division. (For purposes of the pilot, this was not possible.) The reason, he said, is that the staff working around the Super Power completion would eventually drag the person down again with slowness, inefficiencies, etc. And this is what happened with the pilot pcs. They did well for a long time but eventually ran into trouble in one form or another. A couple, I think, even ended up in the Hole, the infamous lockdown for certain staff at the Int/Gold base.
Primary Public for Super Power
It should be clear that Super Power was intended for staff to make them more effective on their posts. Yes, LRH said that Dianetic Clears could receive it but nowhere in his writings about Super Power does he mention it as a mainline public service.
A couple of the Feshbach brothers came to Gold and received the rundown in the mid-90s in exchange for each donating $1,000,000 to the Super Power Project coffers.
I am writing this up more than 20 years after compiling the rundowns. I have put it together as best I can remember and have had it checked by other ex-staff who received some or all of the rundowns. Naturally the specific tech for each rundown is not given but someone interested in delivering it outside the control of the church will be able to figure out a fair approximation of the process for each part of the overall rundown. Two of the most key parts of Super Power, the Ethics Repair List and Bright Think Rundown exist as LRH approved them in 1978. Other parts such as the Study Green Form, HC Lists and Learning Drills have existed for decades.
Undoubtedly, people at Int have recompiled Super Power and what eventually is released by the church may bear little resemblance to what is laid out above. From all the attention being paid to, and resources being poured into, the Flag delivery building, it certainly appears that Super Power will become a main line service for paying public at Flag. That was never LRH’s intention. In fact, if one reviews the various parts of the rundown it is obvious that LRH pulled extensively from tech or tech theories that already existed and sequenced it in an order that would accomplish the desired product of a competent, efficient staff member. Super Power was and always will be primarily for STAFF. Only secondarily is Super Power for Dianetic Clears. That is not to say that public will not benefit from it. Anyone would. Yet, Super Power does not supplant anything on the Grade Chart. It is not superior in some way to SA Lists, Book One, the Expanded Lower Grades, NED, Power, R6EW, the Clearing Course, OT levels I to VIII and the Ls.
But if you put yourself in LRH’s shoes in late August 1978, with a Sea Org, half of whose members had just spent months falsely assigned to the RPF with the wrong item of List 1 R/Ser, what actions would you take to help clean them up and help them do better when they returned to their posts?
That is Super Power.