In another thread about clay demos and Hubbard's "dementia," I discovered the "smoking pencil" that demonstrated the connection between Hubbard's clay demo tech and Korzybski's labeling tech in Science and Sanity
. I also mentioned that the first clay demo I did in Scientology was on the HQS (Hubbard Qualified Scientologist) course. The requirement to do a clay demo of a pencil still appears as a checksheet item on the current HQS Course in Indie Scientology.
HQS Checksheet wrote:
STUDY TECH BASICS
16. HCOB 11 Oct. 67 CLAY TABLE TRAINING ____ ____ ____
17. HCOB 10 Dec 70RA I CLAY TABLE WORK IN
Rev. 25.7.87 TRAINING ____ ____ ____
18. CLAY DEMO: Do a clay demo of a pencil as described in
the bulletin. Show this to the Course Supervisor. ____ ____ ____
Independent Checksheets Foundation. (2011, 17 February). THE INDEPENDENT HUBBARD QUALIFIED SCIENTOLOGIST (HQS) COURSE. Scientology-cult.com. Retrieved on 25 July 2011 from http://www.megaupload.com/?d=PWWACZCG
The bulletin that describes the pencil is HCOB 11 October 1967 Clay Table Training. I'll post it here.
HUBBARD COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE
Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, Sussex
HCO BULLETIN OF 11 OCTOBER 1967
CLAY TABLE TRAINING
1. To make the materials being studied real to the student by making him DEMONSTRATE them in clay.
2. To give a proper balance of mass and significance.
3. To teach the student to apply.
The student is given a word or auditing action or situation to demonstrate. He then does this in clay, labeling each part. The clay SHOWS the thing. It is not just a blob of clay with a label on it. Use small strips of paper for labels. The whole demonstration then has a label of what it is.
On the checkout, the student removes the overall label. The student must be silent. The examiner must not ask any questions.
The examiner just looks and figures out what it is. He then tells the student who then shows the examiner the label. If the examiner did not see what it was, it is a flunk.
Clay table must not be reduced to significance by the student explaining or answering questions. Nor is it reduced to significance by long-winded labels of individual parts. The clay shows it, not the label.
The clay demonstrates it. The student must learn the difference between mass and significance.
For example, the student has to demonstrate a pencil. He makes a thin roll of clay which is surrounded by another layer of clay—the thin roll sticking slightly out of one end. On the other end goes a small cylinder of clay. The roll is labeled "lead." The outer layer is labeled "wood." The small cylinder is labeled "rubber." Then a label is made for the whole thing: "pencil." On checkout the student removes "pencil" before the examiner can see it. If the examiner can look at it and say "It's a pencil," the student passes.
It might also be noted that checkouts on bulletins must also ask for demonstrations. Use paper clips, rubber bands, etc. The examiner should ask questions that require an ability to apply. Give the student a situation and have him tell you how he would handle it.
Questions about what is rule "a" do not detect the glib student. Long-winded explanations on clay table put it back into significance, prevent the student from learning to apply, and prevent the student from getting the proper balance of mass, and do not blow confusion.
All checkouts must keep in mind that the purpose is application, not just getting a checksheet complete.
If clay table training is not brightening that student up, then the above is NOT being done. Someone is in such a rush that real learning is being put aside for the sake of speed.
This student has to audit with his materials. Don't let him fall flat by lousy checkouts and lousy demonstrations. A well done clay demo, which actually does demonstrate, will produce a marvelous change in that student. And he will retain the data.
L. RON HUBBARD
Hubbard, L. (1967, 11 October). Clay Table Training. Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology, (1991 ed., Vol. VIII, pp. 125-6). Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, Inc.
Here again is Korzybski's pencil example:
In Science and Sanity, Alfred Korzybski wrote:
ON THE STRUCTURAL DIFFERENTIAL
If we take something, anything, let us say the object already referred to, called 'pencil', and enquire what it represents, according to science 1933, we find that the 'scientific object' represents an 'event', a mad dance of 'electrons', which is different every instant, which never repeats itself, which is known to consist of extremely complex dynamic processes of very fine structure, acted upon by, and reacting upon, the rest of the universe, inextricably connected with everything else and dependent on everything else. If we enquire how many characteristics (m.o) we should ascribe to such an event, the only possible answer is that we should ascribe to an event infinite numbers of characteristics, as it represents a process which never stops in one form or another; neither, to the best of our knowledge, does it repeat itself.
In our diagram, Fig. 1, we indicate this by a parabola (A), which is supposed to extend indefinitely, which extension we indicate by a broken off line (B). We symbolize the characteristics by small circles (C), the number of which is obviously indefinitely great.
Underneath, we symbolize the 'object' by the circle (O), which has a finite size. The characteristics of the object we also denote by similar little circles (C′). The number of characteristics which an object has is large but finite, and is denoted by the finite number of the small circles (C′).
Then we attach a label to the object, its name, let us say 'pencil1', which we indicate in our diagram by the label (L). We ascribe, also, characteristics to the labels, and we indicate these characteristics by the little circles (C″).
The number of characteristics which we ascribe by definition to the label is still smaller than the number of characteristics the object has. To the label 'Pencil 1 ' we would ascribe, perhaps, its length, thickness, shape, colour, hardness,. But we would mostly disregard the accidental characteristics, such as a scratch on its surface, or the kind of glue by which the two wooden parts of the objective 'pencil' are held together,. If we want an objective 'pencil' and come to a shop to purchase one, we say so and specify verbally only these characteristics which are of particular immediate interest to us.
It is clear that the object is often of interest to us for some special characteristics of immediate usefulness or value. If we enquire as to the neurological processes involved in registering the object, we find that the nervous system has abstracted, from the infinite numbers of sub-microscopic characteristics of the event, a large but finite number of macroscopic characteristics. In purchasing a 'pencil' we usually are not interested in its smell or taste. But if we were interested in these abstractions, we would have to find the smell and the taste of our object by experiment.
But this is not all. The object represents in this language a gross macroscopic abstraction, for our nervous system is not adapted for abstracting directly the infinite numbers of characteristics which the endlessly complex dynamic fine structure of the event represents. We must consider the object as a 'first abstraction' (with a finite number of characteristics) from the infinite numbers of characteristics an event has. The above considerations are in perfect accord not only with the functioning of the nervous system but also with its structure. Our nervous system registers objects with its lower centres first, and each of these lower specific abstractions we call an object. If we were to define an object, we should have to say that an object represents a first abstraction with a finite number of m.o characteristics from the infinite numbers of m.o characteristics an event has.
Obviously, if our inspection of the object is through the lower nervous centres, the number of characteristics which the object has is larger (taste, smell., of our pencil1) than the number of characteristics which we need to ascribe to the label. The label, the importance of which lies in its meanings to us, represents a still higher abstraction from the event, and usually labels, also, a semantic reaction. (pp. 387-389)
Korzybski, A. (1933). Science and Sanity. Brooklyn, NY, Institute of General Semantics.
With Scientology, as with General Semantics in an oddly similar way, "the word is not the thing." Hubbard's clay demo procedure supposedly causes the student to balance the mass of the thing with its corresponding significance or meaning. The thing (pencil) is reduced to its grossest recognizable characteristics, each part (rubber, lead, wood) being represented by a separate blob or piece of clay, and each clay part given a unique label stuck to the clay part. Then an overall label is added to the demo, which is basically the overall statement being represented per checksheet requirement. The overall label for the lead, wood, eraser, etc., is "pencil."
Where a progression toward complexity is given a positive value in Science and Sanity
, this is not so with Scientology. Hubbard always tended to encourage Scientologists to reduce things to their simplicity.
In some researches I have been doing recently in the field of study, I have found what appears to be the basic law on complexity.
THE DEGREE OF COMPLEXITY IS PROPORTIONAL TO THE DEGREE OF NONCONFRONT.
THE DEGREE OF SIMPLICITY IS PROPORTIONAL TO THE DEGREE OF CONFRONT and
THE BASIS OF ABERRATION IS A NONCONFRONT.
Processing is a series of methods arranged on an increasingly deep scale of bringing the preclear to confront the no-confront sources of his aberrations and leading thus to a simple, powerful, effective being.
Hubbard, L. (1967, 18 September). HCOPL Complexity and Confronting. Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology, (1991 ed., Vol VIII, pp. 113-5). Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, Inc.
As the above suggests, Scientology processing seeks to "rehabilitate" the being from complexity to simplicity. Ultimately, the complexity of beings is "resolved" at the advanced levels by removing body thetans, the entities responsible for adding all manner of extraneous and unwanted complexity to their hosts. Operating Thetans are supposedly beings who have been returned to their native simplicity.
The cartoonish simplicity of "Operating Thetans" is reflected both in the training materials and in the regressive design features of DM's "Ideal" facilities such as Applied Scholastics International in Spanish Lake.
Solutions 14 wrote:
In searching for an image of a clay demo, I came upon this astute remark and drawing from another forum.
Many Scientology courses (especially the Key to Life Course) include clay table work. The student is asked to illustrate ideas by modeling them in clay, a ridiculously simplistic approach to understanding abstract concepts. The real purpose of this exercise is to foster a kind of age regression, making the student more suggestible and hence more easily indoctrinated into the cult's worldview.
Retrieved on 27 July 2011 from http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1521464&postcount=56