Over on ESMB, Mick Wenlock said something about ARC being bogus. I don't know that much about it, but I do know that it means Affinity-Reality-Communication, and it was something invented by LRH. I'm not sure if it was supposed to lead to happiness or not though (More ARC means more happiness?) Or if it just defines a process.
I guess Scientologists use it to mean a good feeling you have about a person, especially if they say or do somethig that you strongly agree with.
I asked what was bogus about the idea of ARC, and I got this excellent reply from Gadfly. I'm going to quote the whole thing, because it's all good.
http://forum.exscn.net/showpost.php?p=5 ... stcount=57
I typed up a little essay about "ARC" awhile ago. I post it whenever somebody asks about it.
The formula in Scientology is this:
ARC = Understanding
A = Affinity
R = Realty
C = Communication
Affinity = Willingness or desire to be in he same space as something else, often called "degree of liking"
Reality = agreement; what you "consider to be real", as opposed to what might ACTUALLY be there
Communication = any form of sending something from an originator (source point) to some receiver (receipt point)
The first BIG misunderstanding that many people make, is falsely ASSUMING that this "understanding" is some BIG understanding. Actually there are as many "understandings" as there are people to be able to understand, and this even changes moment by moment as one gains more data to base any "understanding" upon. For example, someone could have an "understanding" that "the grass on my lawn grows better with good watering and fertilizer". It is just an "understanding". There are umpteen quad-zillions of them, just like viewpoints and opinions.
I can easily see that "bringing up one side of the triangle also can bring up another side". Many examples are possible. If you can get the person who is biased about blacks to experience more blacks who are fine people, by bringing him into contact with more blacks, this is a case of "closing the distance", which acts to "increase willingness to be in the same space as", and probably will result in the person's willingness to be in the same space as blacks. Thus "affinity" or friendliness, or likingness can increase. Also, as this happens, he may change his or her ideas about blacks, and shift agreements about "what is or isn't true about blacks". Thus, the person's reality changes.
Do I need to give more examples? This sort of thing goes on 24 hours a day. People communicate, they adjust their willingness to be near or far from certain situations (and also IDEAs and notions), and agreements shift. It is a dynamic, ever-changing process.
In the above example I picked a case where the affinity was worked on as a way to bring up the other two.
But, you can concentrate on any of the three as a way to bring up the other two. For instance, you could have a person read books that are negative about psychiatry. By getting a person to concentrate on a specific (limited view) of a subject, you can then get the person to develop an attitude or "agreement" about the "psychs being bad". Once the agreements are set in place, creating a specific "reality", then the communication increases with others along these same lines (enabling a "group agreement"), and affinity (likingness) goes up for the idea that "psychs are bad", and with the other people who have the same attitude.
To me, there is no doubt that this is all very easy to observe going on all of the time. It is simply a mechanism, and I don't see that anyone can be free of it unless you finally jettison ALL agreements that attach you to ANY notion, situation, person, group, up and down all of the Dynamics, by using a system such as strict Buddhism (consciously examine, become aware of, and let go of all attachments to all physical AND mental things).
The term "ARC" morphed into an idea or attitude involving "I like you", or "I feel so much love for you", or "I REALLY got what you are saying and I am right there with you". It developed its own "slang usage" quite separate from the actual simple mechanical definition. In a sense it does function like a "law", and to me Hubbard was spot-on in describing the phenomena. But, the "concept" was turned into an idea that is loaded with subconscious or unexamined notions about "high affinity". In other words, too many Scios "think with" the term "ARC" as some necessary "high affinity" or "great wondrous understanding". That involves only a very miniscule realm of what actually falls under ALL examples of the formula.
For example, it can and does work the OTHER way, and often. It is quite mechanical. Let's say a person travels to another country. The primary religion is different. On the first night out, the person gets sick from the food, and is robbed on a back street. This person develops a quick and sudden UNWILLINGNESS to be there, affinity crashes, the person's "reality" develops along negative lines, and the person tells friends (communicates) about the horrible experience.
The ARC Triangle can very much be used as a tool to understanding people, but it requires other fairly extensive bits of data, which Hubbard leaves out entirely. For example, he leaves out almost entirely what a "conceptual world" (inside your head) is made of. How it develops, how it changes, how ideas relate to actual situations and events, both "out there" and inside your mind. He discourages, by default, any person from ever questioning the framework and nature of ones own "beliefs", because, if he did that, then the Church members would start to questions the very ideas and notions that contact with the subject of Scientology "laid into" their minds. So, he convenienly left out THAT aspect of understanding any "thinking mind" (General Semantics does a fairly decent job).
So, there is nothing wrong with the formula. But, the problem REALLY comes with HOW it is so often used by the Church of Scientology.
In the PR Series Hubbard explains how to "change beliefs" and "mold opinions". He always neglects and even disregards any concern for "truth", meaning what is ACTUALLY there out in the world or in your mind. What any person can be MADE or TRICKED into agreeing with very often has little to do with what is ACTUALLY there. Advertising excels at this. Various religions and political movements excel at this. And Hubbard and Scientology, using his various "tech" rise to the top of being able to excel at this. Hubbard encourages members to "tell an acceptable truth". Some assume that to me to find something that actually is true, that the person can agree with, also leaving out the parts the person might not agree with. But, really, what it REALLY means, is that you can tell the eprson anything that he or she will ACCEPT as truth (with no concern whether it is actually true or not). Just get the AGREEMENT with whatever perception you want them to go along with.
The biggest flaw with any of it is the idea that "agreement results in reality", and who gives a shit whether this "agreed upon notion" has any association with ANY "actual situation, person or event". Simply, LYING is allowed, and even promoted. If you can get a person to "AGREE with some idea or notion of the world", even if and when it is very much "not true", it matters little. OSA does that all of the time. The Church framework is set up in a way that AGREEMENT with Hubbard, the Church and management is essential. So, the REALITY aspect is heavily controlled and decided. One comes to think and believe a great many things that are not "actually true", yet the Church member, often with little or no personal examination, accepts them as REAL. The Church member develops a certain very well-defined (and controlled) "understanding about very many things", that again, don't necessarily have much to do with the way things really are. And since so many people have been indoctrinated to "believe" so exactly about so many things, of course, the affinity jumps out the roof, and they all talk the same nonsense back and forth between each other. You can observe the same thing in other religions, political parties, and even MLM organizations like Amway or Super Blue Green Algae.
The really disgusting part is how Hubbard set up methods to USE this idea to attract people and keep them running on the hamster wheel. The Div 6 "ruin-finding" is a good example. The Div 6 staff member, usually after some OCA test, sits the person down, and using 2WC gets the person to admit some flaw, failure or problem. This is then spotted by the Div 6 staff member (it is something REAL to the public person), and driven in HARD exactly per Hubbard's drill. The Div 6er is instructed to ooze out ARC, and "understand the poor guy's problem", while continuing to RAM it into the guy's space. The "understanding" is largely a pretense, and it is "mocked-up" to improve the "ARC". The continued talking about the problem, with the Div 6er more and more "understanding it", brings up affinity and communication. So, once the public feels somewhat safe and has poured out his heart, the Div 6er asked, "what would happen if that got worse"? Using excellent TRs and Tone 40, with the aim being solely to cave-in and introvert the guy to this problem (actually to exaggerate it in his mind). Nice "tech", huh? But then it does "work"! But then so did the Nazi gas chambers.
After the poor slob is wallowing in this excursion in imaginative horribleness, the Div 6er hits him, again with the best of feigned affinity and caring, Tone 40 and TRs, "Scientology CAN HANDLE THAT"! Wham! Then one only needs to reel the sucker in.
So ARC is too often used in "nasty controlling ways" by the C of S. It is a very good tool of manipulation.
Another example that well shows how "truth" is meaningless to these people is what the Church of Scientology did to Paulette Cooper. The GO (with Hubbard's full planning and intention) made it APPEAR that she phoned in a bomb threat to the FBI. Their aim was to create a "reality" where various people came to "agree" that she "called in a bomb threat to the FBI". The manipulative aspect really rears its ugly head when you remember that Paulette NEVER ACTUALLY CALLED IN ANY BOMB THREAT, and that the C of S machinery stole some of her stationary and sent it the bomb threat FOR HER!
This is VERY IMPORTANT because without understanding this you will fail to understand how Hubbard had absolutely no compunctions about "creating any (false) reality" as long as it SERVED HIS PURPOSES. This is the "ends justify the means" mentality taken to a very nasty & insane limit. The Church CREATED the entire scenario, staging the whole affair, and then tried to use "those facts" (which they contrived) as a way to manipulate and manage perceptions about Paulette. ARC was very much involved here. If you can create a certain agreement about something, you then can control the perception of that reality. Sadly, it turns into a tool of control, and I have no doubt that Hubbard was entirely comfortable using it that way. He wrotre many policies and drills to make his "staff" excel at these things.
Staging events, that never would have occurred without their direct involvement, is often what the GO did, and what OSA does. The aim is always to manipulate the perception of events so that some REALITY can be set in place. This involves complete intention to manipulate people. Hubbard justifies it by getting others to agree with the notion that "this bundle of mental circuitry has no free-will, or freedom, and the Scientologist is entirely right in 8-Cing (controlling) this person onto services, no matter HOW we get this sorry bundle of walking circuitry onto that service"!
Of course, it is all justified in the minds of the member Church Scientologists because "we are saving the world", "we have the ONLY tech in universe", and "we are the ONLY real good guys at any time or place in the whole history of all-that-is". You say, well that is crazy". Yes, it IS CRAZY!
So, ARC is just a mechanism. It covers any and all agreements, degrees of likingness and communication. There is nothing "good" or "bad" about it. The BAD comes in with how Scientology uses it to manipulate people.
I remember telling a friend about the ARC Triangle some 30 years ago. She looked at me and said, "so what", most people just LIVE THEIR LIVES and don't get into so much analyzing about what makes up the living. I notice in looking back that she had a very good point.
If you fail to understand how these folks understand ARC, and how they USE IT, you will fail to have any clue about how and why they do what they do.
"Truth" is a concept very foreign to the various ideas of Hubbard as expressed in his policies, books and tapes. He almost always talks about "reality" and "agreement". And, the structure of the subject is such that it brings about the notion that "truth" takes a FAR back seat to "reality" - the only concern is with whatever you can get someone to accept and agree with (all "truth" to the contrary).