Presented here for opinions and debate:
Science of Survival, reviewed
The year of 1950 saw a peak of public attention for L. Ron Hubbard
("LRH"). Thanks to exploitative marketing his book "Dianetics" was a
best-seller, his classes and lectures were well-attended, and many
followers awaited further developments from his evolving movement.
In August 1950, a sequel titled "Dianetics, what it means to you"
was announced for publication in late Autumn by the Hubbard Dianetics
But internal conflicts within that Foundation, and escalating
turmoil in his private life, caused a case of "writer's block" and
ultimately a post-Dianetics mental breakdown for LRH. A book,
re-titled "Science of Survival" ("S.O.S."), didn't see its formal
release until many months later in Summer 1951. In that interim,
negative publicity regarding the Foundation and then LRH himself
became news coast-to-coast, and the original large audience for
Dianetics-related publications practically vanished. The initial
print run for S.O.S. was only 1250 volumes, and received zero press
attention or editorial reviews. Even now, despite extensive reviews
of operations of the Church of Scientology, none yet analyze S.O.S.
Science of Survival deserves greater scrutiny now, as documents about
L. Ron Hubbard's misfortunes preceding his founding of the Church of
Scientology are now being sourced from collections and placed on the
Internet. Selections, such as those posted at: http://www.meepthorp.com
provide us a better means of identifying significance of some of the
more obscure passages in LRH's writings and what they were actually referencing.
Science of Survival is anything but a spellbinding page-turner with a
flowing narrative. Unlike conventional works, S.O.S. is formatted around
a chart broken into over-40 classifications described within hundreds of pages.
Separate chapters analyze individual chart sections, beginning with a few
pedestrian comments about its virtue, followed by a description of claimed
observations starting with numerically-designated "high tones" then "low tones."
Readers were also admonished to consult a glossary whenever encountering many
of the newly introduced terms. Passages also notably lapsed into rants done
in a stream-of-consciousness style, disparaging characteristics of "low-toned"
Reportedly dictated in rented rooms, at several hundreds of pages S.O.S. really
could have benefited from more aggressive editing, if only to suggest a sense of
coherence from its author. Despite its title S.O.S. did not rise to the level of
actual "science," as the most fanciful claims by the author in most cases
contained no attributions to peer-reviews nor any other external evidentiary support.
Its redundant format also makes S.O.S. quite depressing to read, but with a
focused effort one can find interpretive values, primarily where LRH's spews
include vengeful comments targeting recent and identifiable adversaries to
himself and to the Dianetics movement. This correlates with insights from a
published 1950 review of "Dianetics" where psychiatrist Robert E. Peck wrote:
"...As for Hubbard himself, he may be explained as a misguided and frustrated
genius whose previous efforts in the realm of scientific fiction have subtly
prepared him for that nice ignorance of reality without which he could not have
developed this epic. Certain bits of internal evidence such as his insistence
on the frequency of abortions, his cruel fathers, his unfaithful mothers,
his blundering doctors, his arrogance toward authority, may indicate the
author's own systematized paranoid delusions..."
Beyond demonstrations of a "malignant narcissism," what is most dangerous
about S.O.S. is how it then extends to advocate mistreatment of anyone
who does not "measure up" on an arbitrarily-numbered "tone scale" applied
by the self-described "mathematician-philosopher" L. Ron Hubbard.
The purpose of Dianetics was said to be to raise a person up the "tone scale"
where the optimum was 4.0 and irrationality existed below 2.0. Examples of this
follow. Truly negative emotions resided in a band from 1.5 to 1.1, and death was 0.0.
The bulk of "Science of Survival" is about how to handle these various
states with Dianetics processing, according to advocacy by LRH.
(For purposes of brevity, processing is only explored when it relates
to selective contexts here). S.O.S. has two main sections, which include
book numbers of I or II. To prevent variations within print runs from
affecting accuracy of these references, book and chapter location rather
than page numbers are given.
Redefinitions within S.O.S.
Dianetics' Early Internal Failures
(1) Dr. Joseph Winters, Medical Director of the Dianetics Foundation,
resigned in October 1950, after he saw clients have breakdowns (including
a suicide) instead of becoming "clear." He elaborated on his concerns
in a critical book "Dianetics, a Doctor's Report" published in May 1951.
In apparent response, LRH wrote "Dianetics works. None who have spent any
time around the Foundation can doubt that," "You can't drive anybody mad
with Dianetic processing" (Introduction, book I) and "...other suicides,
great and not so great, stack like cordwood before the back alleys that
block Dianetics" (chapter 27, book I). Regarding Dr. Winter's areas of
specialty, LRH also wrote "We in Dianetics...are not at all concerned with
psychosis, neurosis or psychosomatic illnesses" (chapter 27, book I).
(2) Demonstration of Dianetic "Clears"
LRH tried and failed when publicly attempting to demonstrate the superior
memory retention capabilities claimed of a "clear" (as defined in the book
"Dianetics"). Onstage at the Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium on August 10, 1950,
"clear" Sonya Bianca couldn't even remember the color of LRH's necktie!
LRH wrote "A general tendency is to regard a Clear as a sideshow piece...
but too much emphasis has been laid upon mental tricks a Clear may be
able to do, his ability to recall accurately, his ability to see again
anything at which he has gazed. In the business of living these things
are not important." (chapter 2, Book I)
(3) Death of David Cary
Dianetic Instructor David Cary was involved in a murder-suicide in
Within S.O.S. a "memorial" was written as a footnote, placing blame solely
on his wife, stating that "friends" in Dianetics had warned him that
she was dangerous, and advising others against husband-and-wife auditing
(chapter 4, book I).
(4) Prosecution of Dianetics Foundation
In early 1951, the State of New Jersey filed suit to have the Dianetics
Foundation shut down on the charge of practicing medicine without a license.
LRH wrote "If it is illegal anywhere to process people, then it must also,
sequitur, be illegal to make people happy. And if laws exist against
making people happy, somebody had better overthrow that government, quick.
For it is a death government, so entheta that it will bring about the
death of the state and those within it." (chapter 1, book I)
Additionally, he wrote "Any law which would force people to remain ill
when they might be well would be an evil law. Furthermore, the laws
of man have never been able to do much to suppress the laws of God"
(chapter 12, book I).
Dianetics Early External Failures
(5) Critical Press Reviews
Criticisms of Dianetics appeared in 1950-1951 within newspapers,
professional journals, mass-market magazines, and at scientific meetings.
A brief chapter in S.O.S. seemed to address critical writers, when it
introduced a claimed liability where persons demonstrating a "lower-tone"
would only receive written information literally, which was restated as
an inability to rationalize or understand ambiguities, and criticizing a
person when "he is very concerned sometimes about the rightness of words
in remarks." (chapter 26, book I). This was sort of a glancing blow.
LRH more directly criticized the aims of science, stating
"Modern science has gone so far to advocate the rise of man from mud and
clay alone, has denied to him even a semblance of a soul, and so has not
only solved none of the problems of the humanities, but has aided and
abetted a godless government which seeks nothing less than the engulfment
and enslavement of all men" (chapter 15, book I). LRH blamed Scientists
collectively, saying their goal for man was an "ant society," and criticized
schools of thought that resulted in unlimited weapons like the "grave spade"
of the atom bomb (chapter 18, book II).
(6) Business Rivals and Hypnotism
The most active competition for Dianetics therapy and training
in 1950 was from existing practitioners of hypnosis.
LRH countered that by claiming that Dianetic "reverie...is not even
a cousin to hypnotism" (chapter 5, book II), that "time track" therapy
of Dianetics worked better with a person who was not hypnotized (chapter 16,
book I), and that "hypnotism never has and never will raise an individual
on the tone scale" (chapter 27, book I).
LRH further wrote "hypnotism has been a parlor game, the tool of the
pervert, the command assertion of the authoritarian, and is more general
than one would immediately suspect, as the auditor will discover after
he has processed a few cases. He should not be surprised at what he finds
in a hypnotic incident, since the facts may differ entirely from what the
hypnotist told the subject had taken place. A motto one could use is
'never believe a hypnotist'" (chapter 17, book II).
Perhaps more relevant is LRH's characterizations of how "the apathy case
to some degree is in a permanent hypnotic trance and will listen to and
believe anything no matter how ridiculous it may be" and "Hypnotism is
used in some base religions and is commonly employed by old schools
of mental healing, which should make plain the level of these cults
on the Tone Scale" (chapter 27, book I).
LRH cautioned that "there is another form of hypnotism...(it) has
been a carefully guarded secret of certain military and intelligence
organizations. It is a vicious war weapon and may be of considerable
more use in conquering a society than the atom bomb. This is no
exaggeration. The extensiveness of the use of this form of hypnotism
in espionage work is so wide today that it is long past the time
when people should have become alarmed about it." (chapter 17, book II).
(This passage appears to be an early exposure of the CIA's
"Operation Bluebird" program, which was launched in April 1950 and
was a precursor to what became the infamous "MKUltra" program).
Personal Issues of L. Ron Hubbard
LRH's credentials for effective psychotherapy seemed to rest solely
on his status as a prolific science-fiction author, as his educational
background seemed to be based on recitations of his mere attendance at
just one class of a branch of physics.
LRH took on the educational process as a whole in S.O.S., stating
"The educational process becomes one of semi-hypnotically receiving
doughy masses of data and regurgitating them upon examination papers."
"No words bitter enough or strong enough could be leveled at authoritarian
educational systems...wastebasketing this enormous and onerous effort
on the part of mentally constipated straw men and would-be Little Caesars
on their lecture platforms would, of course, be an enormous benefit
to the whole society...authoritarian education has more or less the
same effect upon the individual as hypnotism..." (chapter 27, book I
and chapter 1, book II). Finally, in a clearly self-referential passage,
as a college dropout himself LRH summarized: "In a very low-tone society,
institutions of 'learning' are commonly deserted after a year or two by
most persons who, through reason, wish to be of worth to their fellow men"
(chapter 18, book II).
(8) Jack Parson's OTO Society
LRH was a partner in a failed business with Jack Parsons, who was the leader
of the "Agape Lodge" of the "Ordo Templi Orientis" of Pasadena in 1945-1946.
"Free love" was a central mandate of the OTO, and although LRH reportedly
participated freely with young women of the lodge, within S.O.S. he disparaged
that philosophy as one that was unfit for society.
LRH stated that "love" as a word was not fit for accurate communication
as it had conflicting meanings, then added: "A government wishing to
deprave its people to the point where they will accept the most perfidious
and rotten acts abolishes first the concept of God; and in the wake of
that destroys the family with free love..." (chapter 15, book I).
Free love was later considered a threat as "a society which reaches this
level is on its way out of history, as went the Greeks, as went the
Romans, as goes modern Europe and American culture..." (chapter 18, book I).
"To such people the perfidious and twisted practices of subversion have
an enormous appeal. It gives them the 'right' to free love and general
promiscuity and sets them above, by destroying the church and other
institutions of by holding these as nothing, any necessity to conform to
an existing social order" (chapter 27, book I).
As further evidence of LRH's familiarity with OTO's anti-Christian stance
and its emphasis on demonology, S.O.S. is laced with frequent references
such as "demon circuits" (chapter 10, book I), "minions of the devil"
(chapter 24, book I), "devil worship" (chapter 1, book II), "the devil is
succumb" and "servants of evil" and "minions of the devil" (chapter 4, book II),
witchcraft (chapter 13, book II), references to a demon (chapter 15,
book II) and the devil (chapter 18, book II), and also criticizes
Christianity (chapter 18, book II).
In late 1950 LRH's marriage was wracked with dissension, with both
partners reportedly engaging in affairs, ultimately leading to a
separation and divorce filing of April 1951. Within S.O.S. the reader
finds numerous disparaging references to marriage with a partner who
is deemed unfit, such as "any luckless person...is, literally speaking
in danger of his life and sanity" (chapter 13, book I). Regarding
extra-marital affairs, "a love clandestinely conducted and based on
lies which will bring harm to others denotes a cowardice low enough
to bring nausea to any decent man" (chapter 21, book I). Finally,
LRH warns that "one should be apprised that his name on a marriage
certificate coupled with that of an apathy case constitutes a death
warrant more certain than that of a court of law" (chapter 27, book I).
Here the "tone scale" is directly brought into play, as "1.1"
(one-point-one) is stated to be the "most wicked" level of the
"tone scale" and it is applied to the unfaithful wife, including the
harlot and those who engage in free love, early marriage and quick divorce
(chapter 18, book I), whose direction it is said is "towards death"
(chapter 27, book I). Poor memory is also attributed to such women, as at
1.1 "a mother will attempt the abortion of her child" and "the mother who
has many times attempted abortion upon her child is quite anxious that the
child should not remember anything" (chapter 18, book I and chapter 7, II).
Regarding women more generally, LRH elaborates:
"The whole future of the race depends upon its attitude toward children;
and a race which specializes in women for 'menial purposes' or which
believes that the contest of the sexes in the spheres of business, action,
and politics is a worthier endeavor than the creation of tomorrow's
generation, is a race which is dying. We have, in the woman who is an
ambitious rival of the man in his own activities, a woman who is neglecting
the most important mission she may have. A society which looks down upon
this mission, and in which women are taught anything but the management
of a family, the care of men, and the creation of the future generation,
is a society which is on its way out. The historian can peg the point
where a society begins its sharpest decline at the instant where women
begin to take part, on an equal footing with men, in political and
business affairs; since this means that the men are decadent and the
women are no longer women. This is not a sermon on the role or position
of women: it is the statement of a bald and basic fact. When children
become unimportant to a society, that society has forfeited its future"
(chapter 18, book I).
Evalution of 1.1 on the Tone Scale
LRH had a lot to disparage, when he created then described particular
characteristics of a band at "1.1" on his tone scale. In various chapters
he wrote about "1.1s":
"The level of covert hostility" "Even their small talk is utterly
untrustworthy" "Imaginary exteriorizations are most chronic"
"At 1.1 we have lying to avoid real communication"
"The most dangerous and wicked level on the Tone Scale"
"Here is the person who smiles while he inserts a knife blade between your
vertebrae" "This is the level of the pervert, the homosexual, the turncoat"
"A 1.1 is the most dangerously insane person in society and is likely to
cause the most damage" "On this level there is no concept of honor, decency
or ethics; there is only desperate death-bent thought of self and of damage
"Such people should be taken from the society as rapidly as possible
and uniformly institutionalized; for here is the level of the contagion
of immorality and the destruction of ethics; here is the fodder
which secret police organizations use for their filthy operations"
"A society which falls into the 1.1 band of the Tone Scale can be
expected to abuse sex, to be promiscuous, to misuse and maltreat
children, and to act, in short, much the way current cultures are acting"
"Many 1.1s blatantly 'pride themselves' on their honesty, and so
license themselves to make destructive statements 'for the good of'
somebody else which are actually lies"
At greater length, LRH explained:
"At 1.1, truth receives her severest drubbing; for here truth is confused,
upset and twisted, hidden for fear somebody may make retaliation, until one
understands that data from this level of the Tone Scale has only two purposes:
to wreak the most harm upon others and secure the greatest safety for self.
Here we have lies used to hide lies amid the most frantic protestations of
honesty and a noisy advertising campaign about the ethics of the speaker.
Beneath the facade of honor, honesty, ethics and 'one's sacred word,'
one is apt to find a writhing cesspool of vicious and malicious lies
calculated to to the greatest possible harm...Experience demonstrated
that, whatever the advertisement of honesty, the 1.1 is completely
incapable of truth but lies out of some horrible mechanical compulsion...
Bluntly, anyone takes his life and his reputation in his hands when
he believes a 1.1, no matter the evidence...in the 1.1, a deep and
exhaustive inspection of the motivations and goals reveals a snake pit
of lies and insincerities, of pretenses and unrealities. Such persons
can turn on tears and other emotions at will and use the language of
highest honor to serve the most despicable ends." (chapter 22, book I).
"A 1.1 with a superiority engram which demands that he take responsibility
may make an excellent show and be very convincing, but the show he is
making and the conviction he seeks to implant in others are not the things
intended, and a glance below the surface will discover an entirely different
program aimed solely toward malicious destruction." (chapter 24, book I)
From individual concerns at 1.1 LRH expanded to societal concerns at 1.5:
"One has to go well down the Tone Scale in order to find the
next stopping point for politics, and here he locates fascism
as existing between 2.0 and 1.5. Fascism is an absolute control,
for destructive purposes, of an environ, with forthright and
strong-armed means employed in seeking that control." (chapter 19, book I)
A related term was "death talkers" which referenced dictators of
WWII, "It so happens that anyone in the 1.5 band will bring about
disaster regardless of his stated intentions" (chapter 13, book I).
"At 1.5 we have the individual assuming responsibility much more
often and more widely than he can possibly manage in order to bring
about destruction along the dynamics. He will play one dynamic against
another. He may talk as if he is saving something or give very
preservative motives for his actions, but no matter what he does
the end result will be destruction...here is the death talker who is
going to save something from destruction by creating great havoc...
warmongers and dictators are markedly in this band, but one finds
1.5s in all business organizations..." (chapter 24, book I).
"In any relatively low-toned social order the idea of having
the right to do hidden and vicious things for a 'glorious cause'
is so attractive to persons in this area that they automatically
support this political idiocy. As reason is absent in this area
of the Tone Scale, it never occurs to these recruits that the most
zealous amongst them will be the first to go down under firing squads,
since even a totalitarian regime, in attempting to run any kind of
a state, must compel severe conformity to its own 'codes,' no matter
how depraved these 'codes' might be; and the recruit in the land
which was about to be conquered was selected because of nonconformity.
Thus, immediately after a complete totalitarian conquest of a
country we invariably witness an extensive slaughter of individuals"
(chapter 27, book I).
S.O.S. and society
LRH's arbitrary application of his numerical scale to redefine persons,
goes beyond the original 1951 subtitle of S.O.S. which promised
"simplified, faster Dianetics techniques." The Freudian concept of
analysis of behaviour through classification of motives was emulated
with LRH's division of the mind as "analytical" or "reactive," and
a division of all life into "mental" and "physical." The Tone Scale
itself was cornered with "affinity, reality and communication" or A-R-C.
As a self-described "mathematical philosopher" LRH stated that all
math was "A-R-C acting upon MEST" (defined as matter, energy, space and time,
composing the physical universe). LRH postulated that the mission of
life-force "theta" was to conquer "MEST" and that part of exercising
command over an environment included an individual's or group's belief
in its ability to affect a section of life, a nation or a smaller group
(chapter 19, book I).
From there broader denigrations and societal remedies were proposed.
For example, of an estimated 152 million population in 1950, 19 million
persons (about 1/8th) were declared by LRH to be insane in the USA,
and LRH stated that any person who measured below 2.0 on his Tone Scale
had a negative value to society (chapter 1, book I, and chapter 13, book II).
LRH also postulated that instead of the moral concepts of absolute
right and absolute wrong, that there was "infinity-valued logic" which
is on a gradient scale which permits no absolute at either end
(chapter 19, book II). Furthermore, "agreement" constituted what
was actually reality, and that "majority opinion rules" where defining
reality was concerned (which stands as an antithesis to other structures,
such as fundamental "thou shalt not" prohibitions of the "Ten Commandments").
As an explanation, LRH cites a "certain mawkish sentimentality" in our
current society, "encouraged by generations of literary men who were
attempting only the strongest impact and thus the greatest sale for
their works" who resulted in considerations of empathy...by Dianetics
processing this grief is very easily dispensed with" (chapter 27, book I).
Accordingly, LRH stated that low-toned persons should be denied civil rights.
"In any event, any person from 2.0 down on the Tone Scale should not have,
in any thinking society, any civil rights of any kind. Because by abusing
those rights, they bring into being arduous and strenuous laws which are
oppressive to those who need no such restraints. And particularly none
below 2.0, chronically or acutely, should be used as witnesses or jurors
in courts of law, since their position in regard to ethics is such as to
nullify the validity of any testimony they might assay or any verdict they
might offer" (chapter 21, book I).
Consistent with such, LRH wrote regarding psychotics that
"it would be far kinder to kill then immediately and completely" rather
than to submit them for medical treatment (chapter 1, book II).
LRH then wrote that low-toned persons were to either be processed,
"The reasonable man quite ordinarily overlooks the fact that people from
2.0 down have no traffic with reason and cannot be reasoned with as one
would reason with a 3.0. There are only two answers for the handling of
people from 2.0 down on the tone scale, neither one of which has anything
to do with reasoning with them or listening to their justification of
their acts. The first is to raise them on the tone scale by un-enturbulating
some of their theta by any one of the three valid processes. The other is
to dispose of them quietly and without sorrow. Adders are safe bedmates
compared to people on the lower bands of the tone scale" (ch 27, book I).
LRH believed that Dianetics auditing was so important, that within
S.O.S. he advocated murder of those who may deny it:
"When you spot a sudden cessation of auditing, the barring of a person from
auditing or a refusal to audit, you can be certain that the person responsible
for this cessation of auditing or the refusal to permit or encourage it has a
selfish profit to make or is hiding something. A person like this is such a
menace to himself and to others around him that auditing is much too good
for him; he should be shot on sight" (chapter 25, book I)
Rather than allow these sentiments to be read as anomalies, shock tactics
were also endorsed. "In fighting, the best tactic is to strike such a sudden,
unexpected and hard blow that one's enemy is instantly shot down the
Tone Scale to apathy. Japan, receiving an atom bomb, descended instantly
into apathy and surrendered. Hard but long-drawn-out blows or shocks harden
resistance as in the bombing of London or Madrid. Shock and courage level
are intimately connected" (chapter 23, book I). Later on, LRH added "a
Venezuelan director once decided to stop leprosy. He saw that most lepers
in his country were also beggars. By the simple expedient of collecting
and destroying all the beggars in Venezuela an end was put to leprosy in
the country" (chapter 27, book I).
So...is S.O.S. about "Survival" or really about Genocide?
At this point, a reader would feel justified in concluding that he had
been misdirected or tricked at the least, and cheated at the most.
The title of "Science of Survival" implied objective information
aiding survival, and the original subtitle promised faster Dianetics
techniques. Numerous references had gone on to disparage dictators,
including some labeling of some as "death talkers," which were intermixed
with statements such as "Don't be convinced that you have rights of ownership
or life-and-death powers over your fellow man. Leave that to the accomplished
authoritarians, of whom we, unfortunately, have so many" (chapter 4, book I).
Now, arguments were being made commanding readers to plan for mass killings,
without necessary explanation on procedures with which how to accomplish
these society-shattering goals. This sort of confusion arises from an
uncommon "unreliable narrator" literary technique. The result is that
readers become obligated to stop, re-consider, and make up their own minds.
So, which course of action did author L. Ron Hubbard actually advocate?
The mis-mash of LRH's writing results in arguments made both ways.
Was this intentional? Here we would have to speculate.
Support for the view that the admonitions within S.O.S. were written without
intention, would rest on an examination of the author's state of mind at the
time. Certainly the heavy burden of launching and publicizing Dianetics in
1950, handling demands of business matters as well as frequent travel and
lecturing, combined with responsibilities of raising a newborn infant,
would have caused significant fatigue.
Within S.O.S. there are passages advocating use of substances:
"The auditor, if he wishes, may even put his preclear on freewheeling
with a ration of GUK between sessions. He will find that this had the
efficacy of occasionally knocking out whole somatics and making the
future job of processing easier. In any event the GUK seems to promote
the case." (chapter 19, book II)
"If one must do something by way of drugs for these people, better
effects, according to medical observation, can be achieved by the
administration of stimulants such as benzedrine..." (in comparison
to phenobarbitol) (chapter 17, book II).
Stimulants and sedatives were referenced knowingly in S.O.S., and reliance
upon them to help manage personal affairs, would have compounded
that fatigue. Perhaps the revelation of even a top-secret CIA program like
"Operation Bluebird" within S.O.S. is evidence of a sort of poor judgment,
often seen from those who have frequently used a regimen of stimulants.
S.O.S's stated intention of implementation of the Dianetics program, to save
society "before the atom bomb (could destroy it)" also implies an adrenaline-fed
writing perspective. These likely were part of a combination of factors,
that led to an acknowledged "mental breakdown" that LRH suffered in early 1951.
Alternately, the inherent conflicts within S.O.S. could also have been intentional.
S.O.S. acknowledges that if a "pre-clear" were told to go in two directions at once,
he would be confused. How the "pre-clear" behaves towards "action phrases" was an
indicator of his position on the Tone Scale (chapter 28, book I).
What was LRH saying and trying to warn readers about? Was this then a test of his
reader's "theta" (life spirit)? If it is a test of the reader, it is consistent with
LRH's statement that "On the highest levels (of the Tone Scale), the individual can
understand that the thing is not its name..." (chapter 26, book I).
According to Scientology author Jon Atack, this also resembles an aspect of
the practice of occult "magick," where one way to conceal the true meaning of a
teaching is to reverse it. In his essay "Scientology and the Occult" (available online),
Jon Atack cited a 2-faced God named Janus, which to some had an etymological link to
the term "Dianus" (similar to "Dianetics") and in context Jon cited a Roman term of
"maleficium" in that essay for "Black Magic."
LRH participated directly with one leader of occult magick (Jack Parsons of the OTO)
in 1945-1946, and numerous aspects of LRH's actions and writings following that time
parallel those occult teachings, including a later 1952 spoken admission that "magic"
was indeed one of his sources.
Which leads to a possible third interpretation of S.O.S., where its internal conflicts are
alternately a sort of a OTO-style public confession. Within S.O.S. clear clues of a
dishonest style of communications are identified as a characteristic of behaviors found
at "1.1" on his tone scale. If so, can we ask, based on what we now know about LRH,
if he was, relative to teachings within S.O.S, just what he was trying to warn us against?
While the arguments made within "Science of Survival" are presented in
a somewhat random and scattershot fashion, its occasionally crazed
rhetoric does help justify a greater scrutiny of this book's contents.
The bizarre public behavior seen from management of the Church of
Scientology over the past 60 years, and the prospect of finding potential
clues within S.O.S. that might help explain it, provides another reason
for a review.
Looking closer and comparing passages with accounts of controversial
behaviors, past and present, by members and agents of the Church of
Scientology, reveals how obscure writings within S.O.S. appeared to have
been used for development of later church policies. The Church of
Scientology is run with an authoritarian top-down structure, where
"command intention" as relayed from upper management is an internal
priority, in accordance with numerous written policies stated as directives.
So where there are similarities between words and actions, even absent
a consistent game plan from S.O.S., at the least we can see there was
someone taking notes.
(This is not an encouragement for anyone to buy this book. If you must,
older used versions sell for about four dollars through online vendors
like Ebay or Amazon, less than overpriced versions from Scientology itself).
As stated, selective passages within S.O.S. are cited as justification
for advocacy of murder and outright genocide for a greater cultural good.
These concepts resemble a social-philosphy espoused in the early 20th
century from eugenists like Margaret Sanger, Paul Popenoe, and most
notably, Germany's Nazi Party. Although millions of persons have not
yet been killed in a bid to secure LRH's ideal of a higher-toned
society (while Scientology-linked murders and numerous other deaths
have occurred since 1951 for differing reasons) it presents a question:
How could S.O.S. as a work amount to anything more than a sum of its parts?
(1) Who are The Goals of Dianetics for?
Where the background of the Church of Scientology is a focus of observers
on the internet, many are able to recognize many of LRH's traits here.
This is consistent with observations from former Scientologists
that advancing "up the bridge" really means processing LRH's own "case."
What was LRH's 'case' in the late 1940's?
We can consider his stated goals for Dianetics:
"A world without insanity, without criminals, and without war."
Facts that have been released to the public since 1950,
including documents now linked online at http://www.meepthorp.com
show that LRH had failed to achieve those exact goals for himself!
Regarding sanity, on October 15, 1947, L. Ron Hubbard wrote to the
Veteran's Administration requesting psychiatric treatment:
"After trying and failing for two years to regain my equilibrium in
civil life, I am utterly unable to approach anything like my own
competence. My last physician informed me that it might be very
helpful if I were to be examined and perhaps treated psychiatrically
or even by a psycho-analyst. Toward the end of my service I avoided
out of pride any mental examinations, hoping that time would balance
a mind which I had every reason to suppose was seriously affected.
I cannot account for nor rise above long periods of moroseness and
suicidal inclinations, and have newly come to realize that I must first
triumph above this before I can hope to rehabilitate myself at all."
Regarding criminality, the records show that LRH was a two-time loser.
LRH was convicted in August 1948 in a court in San Gabriel for passing
a bad check*, and LRH was also convicted in late 1950 in a court in
Los Angeles for dangerously neglecting his newborn daughter.
LRH also had received contrary rulings in 1946 in a civil court in
Florida for unauthorized embezzlement from a business partnership named
"Allied Enterprises" and in 1947 a divorce judgment in Washington State
ordered him to pay child support for his family (LRH was at the time a
deserter and a "deadbeat dad").
LRH also committed an act of war on his own volition.
As captain of the US Navy submarine chaser PC-815 he ordered the shelling of
the Coronados Islands of Baja Mexico in 1943. For firing on an ally during
wartime, technically a war crime, LRH was found derelict of duty and stripped
of his command by the US Navy.
So whose world would the goal of Dianetics be? As LRH was mentally
consumed by his memories of his many recent personal failures, clearly
the counter-factual and imaginary 'world' sought by the goals of Dianetics
would be based on his own!
(2) Was fatigue a factor?
There's no real reward for working through and finishing S.O.S., as it is
an immersion into a disorganized mind that produced thoughts that were, at the
least, twisted. Seeing S.O.S. as a liturgical treatise requires an approach that
is sort of like looking through a bible searching for hidden language or number
codes. The most apparent patterns found within S.O.S. repeatedly prescribe
considerations of vengeance and control.
So a scholarly approach, including comparing notes with those from other sources,
which abundantly verify LRH's blame-shifting, lying, and resorts to violence,
really does help us to understand what an ordeal it must have been to have to
deal with LRH as a person. Rarely do we get to see so much detail from just
one person who was (and continues to be) responsible for so much misery in others.
S.O.S. is not thorough, and we can observe that much of S.O.S. resembles
a common reaction to stimulants, such as the benzedrine it promotes.
It is more about interpersonal tactics either imagined within LRH's drug-altered
consciousness or inflicted upon others, than a strategic and workable plan.
Characteristically, it extends to uncommonly poor judgement, such as where it
provides those seeking mental treatment descriptions of techniques of torture.
Consider an opening passage which asks Dianetics supporters to accept that
"Cases do exist where reversed (Dianetics) techniques have been criminally used
on persons. Pain-drug-hypnosis can deliver anyone into a straightjacket with
greater neatness and dispatch than anything hitherto known."
This is from the Introduction of book I, as originally written in January 1951.
Just 3 months later, LRH's 2nd wife (Sara Northrup Hubbard) formally accused
LRH of conducting "scientific torture experiments" against her, in her divorce
filing of April 1951, and LRH's 1st wife (Margaret "Polly" Grubb) also wrote of
physical abuses at the time.
Even if Sara knew of the contents of LRH's forthcoming work, LRH's own carelessness
in planning to publish these statements as some sort of public confession, would
have allowed her to exploit them financially by introducing them into a court record
Was this the reason that S.O.S. was held from publication, from its original
announced date of late Autumn 1950 until its release on July 1951 (after the
finalization of that divorce on 'emergency' grounds on June 13, 1951)?
At the least, it is evidence the LRH's muse that was something less than humanistic
in nature. Perhaps this was more of an equivalent to a "fair warning," a sort of
moral justification which is intended to justify an intention for immoral acts,
which is more commonly understood within the practices of the occult Ordo Templar
Orientis "OTO" group (which LRH participated with in 1945-1946).
*Only limited details are known of this crime. LRH apparently burned a resident
of the "Trailer Haven" mobile home park for $500 with a bad check, and the case
was investigated as a forgery matter. Other records indicate victim's relationship
with LRH may have been based on his playing bit parts in theater works.
LRH had previously enrolled in the Geller Theater Workshop in October 1947,
in a bid to receive increases in his disability payments from the US Navy.
(3) Was LRH acting under Occult influences?
LRH's relevations were consistent with teachings of self-analysis, part of
preparations for the practice of magick within the system of the OTO. Initiates
were required to engage in written self-criticisms to gain entry to the group.
The term "occult" itself is drawn from ancient astrology, and its meaning refers
to interplanetary bodies which are sometimes "hidden" from sight, such as when
they are eclipsed by a larger or brighter planet or star. To outsiders, explanations
of the OTO's system benefits from expository commentary, to unlock meaning from its
many dialogues. What reads as deflections, cognitive dissonance and overt bullshit
are alternately revealed to be actions which are primarily reactions.
A common occult technique was to group items into patterns of the number three.
LRH used this to arrange a "triangle" of "ARC" for affinity-reality-communication.
A better perspective is to see how S.O.S. fits within a "trilogy" of works,
undergone by LRH to regain control over his wounded self-image.
Chronologically, before 1951's S.O.S., before 1950's Dianetics (itself a re-work
of his earlier "Excalibur") there were 1947's "Affirmations." These "Affirmations"
are a series of LRH's written statements about "magickal" goals for himself,
which only became known many years later. (After being introduced in a court case,
Los Angeles County #C420153 in 1984, and reported on by George-Wayne Shelor of the
Clearwater Sun on May 16, 1984, they can now be read online at wikipedia.org).
These include quotes such as:
"I have only friendship for Jack Parsons"
This was written after LRH committed fraud within a business partnership,
which left financier Jack Parsons destitute and which caused Jack Parsons
to surrender his position of leadership of the OTO in North America in 1946.
Within S.O.S., a self-referential passage states:
"There is nothing very glamorous about...the breaker of his pledge,
the betrayer of his friend or group." (Chapter 21, Book I)
In response to a report by Alexander Mitchell of the Sunday Times on
October 5, 1969, detailing L Ron Hubbard's activities with the US branch of
the OTO, the Church of Scientology issued a reply. As published on December
28, 1969, it claimed credit for how "Hubbard broke up black magic in America,"
meaning that rather than promote the OTO group, LRH's intention was to betray it.
"Men are your slaves"
"Essential spirits are your slaves"
These statements compare to LRH's lecture within his 1952
"Philadelphia Doctorate Course" where he said "This universe has long
been looking for new ways to make slaves. Well, we've got some new ways
to make slaves here."
A close reading of S.O.S. helps explain some of today's controversies
regarding the treatment of Scientology's followers, as phrases within
its most notorious chapter (titled "Method used by subject to handle others")
seem to back this up:
"Insidious adoption of domination and nullification methods ...
enturbulates the theta of the individuals in the subjects environment..."
"MEST force is simply that - force. Here we have the efforts to hammer
and pound and dominate by physical strength, threats, anger, and promises
"...nullification, wherein the indivdual seeks to minimize individuals,
to be more than they and so to be able to control them. This category
would rather see a man sick than well, because sick men are less
dangerous than well men..."
"Apathy is apparently, and only apparently, more tractable and easier to
manage, since the apathy case to some degree is in a permanent hypnotic
trance, and will listen to and believe anything said no matter how
ridiculous it may be..." (Chapter 27, Book I).
These statements read like an advocacy and practical plan for mistreatment,
and comparisons can be made to health-threatening and punitive routines
demanded from many staff members within the Church of Scientology.
"Testosterone blends easily with your own hormones"
This followed a descriptive passage stating "Sexual feeling has been
depressed by several things amounting to a major impasse. To cure ulcers
of the stomach I was given testerone and stilbesterol. These reduced my
libido to nothing."
Within S.O.S. it is noted that "when engrams are reduced, artificial
hormones can be administered with benefit." (Chapter 5, Book I).
"Mediums of art are your slaves"
While LRH strived for success in various media, including writing, music
and film, yet received no real endorsements from qualified reviewers or
critics, there are some curious quotes in S.O.S. regarding artistic pursuits.
"Men have lived to write music which has pleased the gods and lines which
have made the angels weep..."
"In a low-toned society, which will admit authoritarianism without much
rebuke and bend before the thundering witless manifestos of some critic
or practicioner who knows nothing more of his subject than an enormously
complex vocabulary, one can expect the definition of a 'cultured person'
to be that person who can recite and give the standard opinion about
numerous artistic works and humanitarian 'ologies'. This makes it very
simple to obtain 'culture'. He must only memorize, without thinking about,
the names of the great operas, the great books, the great paintings and
the humanitarian projects of the past."
Here LRH essentially described tactics of a "confidence man" presumably
without considering that readers would see the same tactics in LRH's
writing, such as his claim to discoveries of existing concepts by his method
of redefinition using newly-invented words.
"The elevation of a culture can be measured directly by the numbers of
its people working in the field of aesthetics ... One of the greatest
single moves which could be made to advance and vitalize a culture such
as America would be to free, completely, the artist from all taxes and
similar oppressions..." (Chapter 18, Book II)
The overt commonality of this statement to actions of the Church of
Scientology would be its aversion to paying taxes over the years,
including the launching of a "war" upon the IRS which ultimately resulted
in a tax exemption in 1995.
"You can be merciless when your will is crossed, and you have the right
to be merciless."
Within S.O.S. LRH wrote regarding those who had crossed his will:
"It is true enough that the individual who cannot feel that he is a
threat to the enemies in his environment, at least to some degree,
is insane or becomes insane." (Chapter 9, Book II)
Recalling that the goal of Dianetics starts as "A world without insanity..."
this can be seen as a technique of projection, and a rationale why a
approach involving constant "testing" of others is necessary.
Regarding those who oppose use of Dianetics processing upon others, LRH wrote:
"When you spot a sudden cessation of auditing, the barring of a person from
auditing or a refusal to audit, you can be certain that the person responsible
for this cessation of auditing or the refusal to permit or encourage it has a
selfish profit to make or is hiding something. A person like this is such a
menace to himself and to others around him that auditing is much too good
for him; he should be shot on sight" (Chapter 25, book I)
This is followed by:
"Those who oppose processing either have something to hide or suppose
they gain in some way be continuing authoritarian control of the
preclear in question" (Chapter 13, Book II).
This last quote was reflected in accusations by LRH towards his opponents,
such as some he submitted to Life magazine in December 1968, and by a Scientology-
hired private investigator named Eugene Ingram who was quoted in the Los Angeles
Times of June 29, 1990 as saying "People who claim that I have conducted an
improper investigation against them probably have so many things to hide."
(4) Was the original Dianetics simply an "experiment" gone wrong?
Other unstated occult practices also apparently applied to S.O.S.
A "magickal" tactic is to see projects, possibly one like the Dianetics book
and movement, as experiments. In the practice of "magick," when an experiment
did not succeed, evidence was to be disposed of, so a practicioner
of magic could simply move on. In this view, Dianetics failed within a few
months, as it became insolvent and ultimately went into bankruptcy.
S.O.S. originally included a lengthy foreword, which claimed results of higher
IQ testing after Dianetic processing. Much of the technical content of S.O.S.
itself appeared to be appropriated from Dianetic innovations by Foundation staff,
who were credited with inclusion of their names and contributions.
A comparison with post-1951 volumes reveals significant portions of S.O.S.
were altered or simply deleted, such as mentions of:
CC Street and Elizabeth Byall of New Jersey
(for development of chain scanning and the Theory of Lateral Running)
Al Kitselman of Hawaii
(for Automatic Scan Clearing, and work with Street and Byall).
C. Parker Morgan
(for the Value of Pleasure in Running Cases)
Donald H. Rogers
(for Refinement in the Theory of Valence)
(for Induction of Boil-Off and Theory of its value)
Significantly, we also see an absence of mention of Alexis Valorie Hubbard, who was
LRH's newborn daughter, and was publicly said to be the world's first "Dianetics child."
No credit or acknowledgement of these persons appears in later S.O.S. editions.
Even the "tone scale" itself was altered after 1951, without explanation.
Were these names simply "dismissed" for their part in unsuccessful "magickal"
experiment, or was this simply a sloppy attempt at hiding the evidence of the
failure of the original Dianetics' group?
Taking this analogy further, it points to practices described within George Orwell's
novel "1984" or, even more ominously, the "Zweites Buch" (second book) of 1928
which was a long-suppressed "war plan" from an infamous occultist German dictator
(whose own rockets were named "V" for "vengeance").
(5) Are the tests within Scientology simply a reflection of LRH's will?
The broadest applications of S.O.S. have continued after LRH's death.
Additional aspects of writings within S.O.S. do appear to have been adopted
by LRH's Church of Scientology. LRH's statement that "It is simpler to do
psychometry on 150 million people than to bury a culture for which we
and our fathers have striven these past 175 years" (Chapter 21, book I),
appears to be a basis for the "personality tests" that workers for the
Church of Scientology have used to introduce themselves to the general public
for many years.
Other passages advocate using messages not to communicate but to
"test" other persons (Chapter 14, book I) and also discuss intentional
mishandling of auditing cases through "brute force, invalidationsm,
hypnotism, sadism and devil worship" (Chapter 1, book II).
Adopting LRH's "random" approach, we can examine "instances" of apparent
"testing" of others.
S.O.S. addresses pathological lying descriptively in a passage:
"...persons in the 1.2-down bracket deal in reversals of fact.
One can take it as a rule of thumb, which is too often workable to be
ignored that whatever this persons says he is doing, he is actually
doing something else. Whatever this person says is false is actually true"
(Chapter 27, book I).
Of LRH, Judge Paul G. Breckenridge of Los Angeles County Court later stated:
"The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a pathological liar
when it comes to his history, background and achievements."
So here, does S.O.S. provide an admission of LRH's use of this tactic (as a test?)
Could this extend to another "confessional" statement within S.O.S.?
"The 1.1 may take a 1.1 as a bedfellow and political mate and may make a 1.1
group, but this group has to continue to be faced by a strong and dangerous foe
to remain consolidated. This is the condition of a subversive cell. These people
continue in association with each other only so long as they are in the presence
of and are busy underming a worthy opponent. Because a 1.1 will act in handling
people only as a 1.1, however, the cell, once the pressure is taken off if it,
devours itself" (Chapter 27, book I).
Could this explain the long-standing and fervent campaign of opposition to
psychiatrists and the psychological community by the Church of Scientology
as a subterfuge, under an unstated yet primary intention of perpetuating a
solidarity (to hold the group together)? Did LRH have a secret for success?
If this pattern of "testing" holds, does a close reading of S.O.S. help explain
other controversies, involving the treatment of Scientology's followers?
Perhaps instead of seeking a plan, selected passages can be read more
accurately as "ingredients" of some kind of formula that represents LRH's
intentions or "will." Were these expressions used as origins for later
policies, reading the S.O.S. book would allow observations of the terms
and considerations, thus helping inoculate the reader from "tests" based
on lies, sort of like being able to understand someone else's private joke.
Continues in "Part 2" of thread, at link below
A place to post and debate the Church of Scientology.
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