Our old friend Terra has come up with another of his thought-provoking essays.
You Can Be Right about Being Wrong or, L. Ron Hubbard and Scales
L. Ron Hubbard was into scales. All types of scales. If a condition existed in life, the man scaled it. From the Emotional Tone Scale to the Know to Sex Scale, he created scales, graphs, and charts to measure the relative importance, rank, and position of everything.
I prefer not using LRH’s own “technology” to describe what’s happening in Scientology today, but couldn’t help myself after reading one such scale from lecture 27 Aug 63, Rightness and Wrongness, transcribed in Scientology, 0-8, The Book of Basics:
The Ways to Be Right Scale
A method of survival
A method of dominating
A method of being right in order to make others wrong
What was right about it is now wrong about it,
but what was wrong about it is now right about it
I was struck how this scale applied to the Church of Scientology, its founder, and all its members.
Years ago, LRH and his excited followers felt “really right” about his “new” and electrifying Dianetic technology, and how it not only saved individuals but was destined to save the whole world. LRH had finally discovered the Holy Grail of mental therapy.
Those lucky enough to grasp his vision, felt “really right!”
Down the Rabbit Hole
The more LRH applied his tech to himself and others, the more he realized it didn’t work as promised in DMSMH. As others used his techniques on themselves, they, too, began to recognize it didn’t work—they weren’t feeling as “clear” as they’d hoped. But by then, all their friends were Scientologists; they had invested lots of time and money, and were locked into the system. All the while, hoping the next level of their Bridge was what would finally crack their case and handle their ruin. Doing Scientology had become a “method of survival.”
Cracking the Whip
After years of unworkable tech and dwindling enrollment, Scientology became a “method of dominating.” As more and more members drifted away, the church instituted harsh ethics as a means of stopping the exodus. Instead of taking responsibility for the crashing stats, LRH and the organization blamed the public individual, claiming they were mired in misunderstood words, overts and withholds, and connected to suppressive persons and the middle class.
As one century melded into the next, more and more people continued to leave Scientology. Those who were left spent more and more time in Ethics. More and more people got declared. More and more people were pushed to the brink of bankruptcy. More and more families were separated and destroyed.
LRH’s solution for those who didn’t approve of his tactics: Attack, attack, attack!
Fewer and fewer pieces of “raw meat” were walking through the front doors of orgs and missions. Those left holding the bag justified being right by making others wrong. Those on the outside weren’t so lucky. Those on the outside were to be pitied…and were wrong.
As LRH’s pathology to be right grew, so too did the “wrongness” of others. He blamed crumbling stats on psychiatry, governments, and failing educational systems. Life inside Scientology had deteriorated to “being right in order to make others wrong.”
From the Horse’s Mouth
In HCOPL 22 July 63, You Can Be Right, LRH wrote, “And the effort to be right is the last conscious striving of an individual on the way out. I-am-right-and-they-are-wrong is the lowest concept that can be formulated by an unaware case.” And, “There is an irrationality about ‘being right’ which not only throws out the validity of the legal test of sanity but also explains why some people do very wrong things and insist they are doing right.”
Declaring people suppressive persons has become Scientology’s ultimate contrivance in making “others wrong.”
To Present Time
Which drops Scientology down to present day and “what was right about it is now wrong about it, but what was wrong about it is now right about it.”
People participated in Scientology as a way to handle what was upsetting their lives. Scientology improved conditions—at least some conditions, some of the time. People did courses and got auditing because LRH’s technology and the organization seemed right.
As Hubbard created more and more Bridge to try to handle those lower levels that didn’t work, he came up with crazier and crazier concepts that made little sense. Time tracks increased from “this lifetime” to quadrillions of years. Those things holding us back expanded from present life engrams to thousands of disembodied entities circling our bodies. When the vaunted state of “clear” didn’t pan out, members were promised that if they simply stuck with the program, they would become cause over all matter, energy, space, and time.
LRH deteriorated from a charismatic leader having the ability to command rooms to living life as a crazy recluse. While preaching of the harmful effects of drugs, he became dependent on a cornucopia of pharmaceuticals. Ethics as a means of “help” had shifted from “light touch” to heavy handed, manipulative, and abusive.
What little was right about Scientology was now wrong.
Those things that were wrong about Scientology are now right. Separating families used to be wrong. Now, the practice is standard operating procedure and considered moral.
Lying used to be an “overt” and a sure way of not going free. Today, falseness, “acceptable truths,” and duplicity are acceptable—with church leader, David Miscavige, leading by example.
Fundraising used to be off-policy. Now, it’s Scientology’s chief method of generating income.
Finishing a course or level of auditing used to mean that students and PCs had earned the “ability gained” and were able to apply what they’d achieved for the rest of eternity. Now? Canceling certs and forcing members to redo courses and auditing actions are Scientology’s number two method of raising funds.
Going into an org used to be fun. Now it’s a chore, if not something to be avoided completely. Events were a chance to learn something new and catch up with friends. Today, they’re slick affairs designed solely for the purpose of extracting more money from fewer and fewer members.
Fancy, expensive buildings used to be considered extravagant and wasteful. Today, all orgs and missions must own one. Positioning churches in high foot traffic areas used to be standard policy. Today, Scientologists are afraid to show their faces, and have located many of these monstrosities far off the beaten path—many of them in industrial parks.
LRH said that the more serious an individual took the game of life, the more solid he became. About Scientology, he famously wrote, “This is a deadly serious activity. And if we miss getting out of the trap now, we may never again have another chance.”
The Ways to Be Right scale isn’t the only scale in Scientology, 0-8, The Book of Basics, on which Scientology has scraped bottom. Across the boards, the decline is uncanny. The organization, along with its staff and public, has plummeted on virtually every one of LRH’s vaunted scales.
Again from You Can Be Right, “…the last defense is a belief in personal rightness regardless of charges and evidence alike, and that the effort to make another wrong results only in degradation.”
Whatever was ever right about the organization is now wrong.
Still not Declared,