Clearing Archive Roboposter
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Thu Dec 17 00:06:02 EST 2015
Ken Urquhart writes a regular column in the magazine International
Viewpoints called 'IVy on the Wall', and we bring here some of his
articles devoted to looking at Jon Atak's book 'A Piece of Blue Sky'.
These articles can also be found at
This one is from International Viewpoints (IVy) Issue 50- January 2001
See Home Page at http://home8.inet.tele.dk/ivy/
IVy on the Wall
By Ken Urquhart, USA
Beyond Those Black, Black Clouds:
Chapter Three in a consideration of 'A Piece of Blue Sky' by Jon Atack
IN CHAPTER TWO I accused our friends, Jon Atack and Russell Miller,
of constructing, out of selected facts and entrenched opinions, a
prejudiced condemnation of L.Ron Hubbard and his work. I strongly
suggested that although they had reason to complain there was more
truth on the subject than they had encompassed. I must now support
Note: Before I present any arguments I must acknowledge that in the
last chapter I also made little of the basis on which I perceived
Jon and Russell adopting their complaining mode. My belittling was
ungenerous and I apologize for that; I am aware that it raises at
least one question. I will address that question in a later chapter.
Now to the substance of this chapter:
Let there be no doubt that I acknowledge that L.Ron Hubbard had faults
and weaknesses, even vices. He had vanity, and could be proud. He
became greedy for money later in his life. He could be vicious with
his perceived enemies, capricious with his supporters, fickle with
his friends. He had no scruples in manipulating people to suit
his own purposes when he wanted to.
He saw no wrong in presenting himself socially and professionally
as other than he was. He developed policies and codes profoundly
of others' rights yet adhered to them only as it suited him. He seemed
to assume (rightly or wrongly) that all others' cases were as his.
Without question, he misbehaved. For some, he misbehaved
amongst them many who do not follow the party line of Messrs
Atack and Miller. Within the tightly-controlled 'Church of
the party line is that he must be adored as being without sin.
In between these viewpoints range many who experienced him
or his organizations or processes and view him with very mixed and
often strong feelings.
Did LRH make a difference despite his misbehaviour? Does his
invalidate anything and everything he did? I believe that he made
more than one difference - and that in one aspect, the difference
he made is epochal.
Did he achieve on his own, as he and the C of S would have us accept?
Most likely, not altogether: there are people who claim to have made
this discovery or that development that became parts of the
canon. He himself acknowledged contributions, or some, in the earlier
years - but in 1965 flatly denied the value of any other's
to the subject.
Those who claim to be source of this or that are free to document
their cases and to convince us. I say that I believe that LRH made
a difference whether as a synthesizer or as a thief smart enough and
big enough to get away with it (not that I approve of stealing and
bullying but if the person stolen from doesn't make a fuss the theft
tends to become accepted). In my view, LRH made differences on
He taught us better ways to think than we had precisely known before.
He taught us to be more honest in reporting, describing, and
information. He refused to let us get away with palming off opinions
as facts, with selecting and fudging our facts to make the truth
as something else to suit our own purposes. He created a discipline
described in his 'Data Series' Policy Letters with which to
maintain our own integrity and to measure the integrity and
of another's perceptions and relay of information. He analyzed the
activity of analyzing observation, information-gathering, and
For this he developed a discipline of practical application that
can learn. He created a workable and teachable tool available to all
at all levels of education. The only qualification is that one be
at least somewhat intellectually and emotionally adult.
The general use of this tool throughout a society would transform
it utterly. Intellectual honesty respects others' capacity to sift
the true and the false. The pap pumped at us day and night disrespects
us all as stupid fools.
And yes, LRH failed shamelessly to analyze his own utterances and
writings very often.
He clarified at least some of the fundamentals of the group dynamic.
Here, as in his other cited contributions, there is a mixture of
falsehood, and aberration surrounding a core of sanity. He saw the
group dynamic in terms of flow. I consider this correct and basic,
and that it opens doors to simplification and power.
Things and/or people flow through the parts of an organization; as
they flow the organization changes them and the changes add value;
the various flows of the parts come together to culminate in the final
desired product for which the customer exchanges value. This exchange
gives the organization energy it uses to maintain and operate the
flows and their channels. The desired final product is determined
by the Purpose and Goal of the organization; all flows within the
organization forward or support Purpose and Goal and contribute to
the final product - or are transformed or eliminated. The quantities
of final product consumed by customers bring about desired changes
in life as required by the group's Purpose and Goal.
Management of the group consists largely of making sure that the
channels are clear, that the people or things on the flows are
along the channels in correct sequence and form at the desired quality
and rate, that raw materials are correctly put in at one end and
products delivered at the other, and that energy is exchanged in
so that the group can move into the future, that slowed flows and
overloaded flows are adjusted, and that customer satisfaction is as
high as it possibly can be. This is simple, and sane.
Regrettably, LRH forced on to this simplicity a militaristic hierarchy
of authority, whose verticalities contradicted the desires of the
flows to flow, whose solidities blocked the flows' channels. Further,
he deliberately set up his organizations to have what he called
tensions - in which one division would put pressure on another
to produce more and better. These two design decisions had the unhappy
and foreseeable result of making the actual Purpose of the
no longer to bring desirable changes to Life, but to itself alone.
His organizations introverted severely.
To make matters worse, his system of ethics which, while workable
in many ways, could be used - and was and is - to create further
internal misery (not to mention external). But around the basic
and sanity of his concept of the group dynamic he built up management
and administrative tools of tremendous workability which are well
worth learning and using. Their full value I think only time will
tell. There are many and this is not the place to list them; I make
no strong specific claims here other than that he distilled the group
dynamic to a sanity and simplicity that any group can use to grow
If a group does not find it workable, it can at least certainly
use it as a starting-point for exploration. I firmly believe
that a group of intelligent and energetic individuals can multiply
their combined effectiveness by many times with the help of Hubbard's
group dynamic tools.
He has not said the last word on the subject but he has changed the
concept of the group dynamic forever.
Bridge (the real one)
The greatest difference LRH made to life on Planet Earth and in the
Physical Universe is, in my opinion, a very great one indeed. In said
I consider it epochal. It stands with the greatest contributions by
any great spiritual or humanitarian figure with whom we have been
The most highly revered spiritual leaders of the past have all pointed
to something that is better than what we live in and with. They have
all suggested that if we improve our behaviour towards self and
we can become happier. They all differentiate between the material
and the spiritual. But none of them - by immediately obvious
have given all people the tools by which they can support self
and others in the difficult and complex task of transforming from
material-orientation to spirituality-orientation. A
is the pre-requisite to the happiness they promise.
Yet the demands and the temptations of the material can crowd out
any leaning towards or time for spirituality. The person who wakes
up every morning to face anew the challenge of providing for a family
for the day with no resources beyond the body and own wit has no time
for the spiritual. The person who has the time to explore the
has not been well served, as we can tell through our knowledge of
history. There has been a tremendous, crying need for a ladder, a
connection, a bridge wide and open enough for the many to help
embrace their own spirituality and to tap their own spiritual
in order to fight for and gain freedom from material suppression or
from the temptations of materiality. I maintain that LRH unlocked
the door to such an opening. And that although others before him and
with him contributed, it was he that had the status, the vision, and
the strength to grasp the key, to turn it, and to push open the door
to let in the light. That door will never be closed again in the
The key that LRH grasped and gave to every being on this planet or
on any other, in this universe or in any other, is the discipline
whereby one being may be as a practitioner with another, the
giving the entirety of his or her attention to the client. For the
duration of the session at least, the practitioner puts the needs
and wants of the client above everything else in existence (acting
appropriately in any material emergency that impinges on the session,
such as a fire).
Er, What was that again?
Yes, '...puts the needs and wants of the client above everything
else' does need some exploration.
The practitioner begins the session, having done everything necessary
to keep the appointment. He usually has, but does not have to have,
a session agenda arrived at through careful study of the client's
expressed and understood needs. Often a very experienced support
well versed in the technology the practitioner is using provides this
agenda. Once the session is begun, the practitioner's focus is on
guiding the client through the steps of the session agenda. The aim
is not necessarily to complete the agenda in one sitting but to bring
the client along it as far as possible, ending session only if the
agenda is actually completed or when the client en route to its
reaches a state of happiness where further introspective work is
while the state obtains. In such a case, the session agenda would
be resumed later.
Once he has started the session for which he does have an agenda,
the practitioner usually has three choices: if he can, he proceeds
with the agenda; if he finds the agenda is not appropriate for the
client's state as the client settles in for the session, he may end
the session in order to change the agenda. In some instances,
if the practitioner is the one providing the agenda for his sessions,
the practitioner may change the agenda to suit the client's state
without ending the session-in other words, he handles the situation
on the run.
In either case that the practitioner commits to going on with the
session (that is, whether per given agenda or per ad hoc agenda),
he commits to certain standards of behaviour. Now, simply in starting
the session at all, he commits (by Hubbard's clear intention) to what
is sometimes in itself a heroic act: any attention the practitioner
has on his personal affairs, distant or immediate, no matter how
and pressing they may be, he pulls off those affairs and keeps it
off them for the duration of the session. He forbids them to violate
the space of the session, to impinge in any way on the client, or
to reduce by one iota the depth of his commitment to delivering and
completing the session for the benefit of the client.
Now, once he has begun the session, and has chosen to continue it,
he commits much farther again.
Providing stability and objectivity
Although clearing is not always by any means about the negative, it
often is, especially in the early stages. Here, the practitioner
the client through the client's own personal minefields of
misunderstandings, misperceptions, self-deceptions, and outright
the problems the client created for reasons best known to herself.
The guiding of the client towards her truth about these things allows
the client to let go of the negatives corresponding to the
truths that she finds. As the client experiences the process of
her truth, a process that can embrace any and every human
she may reveal to the practitioner details of life which, in the
course of life, would severely trigger the practitioner's own
When we are triggered, our attention withdraws from the present and
it introverts; we feel negative emotions and adopt negative attitudes.
Our ability to be with the present and to deal with it positively
reduces greatly if not altogether.
Should the practitioner in session become triggered and suddenly
from the present and adopt a negative attitude whilst the client is
in the middle of the process of establishing her truth, two very
consequences can occur. Firstly, the client is distracted from her
work, her attention is forced on to the practitioner who now suddenly
becomes to her a new pressing present problem, and she can be severely
disoriented by the jolt. She perhaps was re-experiencing
a bad time when another was extremely negative to her; she
can only approach the event because she trusts the practitioner not
only to be stably present but also to remain objective and at least
neutrally supportive. The second adverse consequence is that the jolt
convinces her that she must not trust this practitioner again, and
perhaps even that she can trust no practitioner at all ever again.
One could say that the action of the practitioner in allowing himself
to react negatively to what the client is disburdening herself of
(because she trusts him explicitly), is an action of cowardice
The discipline that Hubbard calls for is that the practitioner do
whatever he has to do to keep the client working on what the client
is working on (having in the first place got the client working on
something that the client needs and will benefit from). If it happens
that what the client expresses while working on her material should
make the practitioner want to gag, faint, cry, scream, run away,
blush, itch, twitch, squirm, frown, get furious, attack, justify,
explain, excuse - do anything other than simply be present -
the practitioner exercises whatever self-control he needs to in order
that the client shall not perceive any of these reactions in the
practitioner,but smoothly continue her work undisturbed.
Well, we are human...
Two obvious observations on this last point:
(a)we practitioners do not succeed 100% of the
time in this commitment. No matter how hard we have worked, if we
still have a weakness, something will find it out. But
(b)most of us know perfectly well when it happens,
we immediately address any and all damage that results from it, and
we act to make sure that the same mistake does not recur. We
again put the client first.
To the client, our integrity to our commitment means a guarantee that
on the one hand she will be heard and handled almost always without
opinion, judgment, evaluation, invalidation, or other arbitrary
by a practitioner who does not drag into the session his own problems
And on the other hand, our integrity guarantees that when we do make
our mistakes we will be honest enough to know it and responsible
to put it right to the extent necessary to retain the client's fullest
Now, there are plenty of good people who walk the earth who wouldn't
dream of hiding a mistake or of not putting right something they had
put wrong. More than probably, Jon Atack and Russell Miller are
them. But I think the practitioner goes further than most. He is in
a situation in which his competence and all his incompetence alike,
his very beingness from the best in him to the worst in him, is
open to the individual sitting opposite him. He risks that the
and the worst will be visible.
He takes that risk without really thinking about it. He still knows
that the best in him will work with the best in anybody else, and
that his best will always win over his worst whenever the benefit
to the client is at stake. It is in one way - to the practitioner -
such a small thing, mattering so little, hardly worth any attention.
The client comes to accept it as completely ordinary.
Yet, in another way, small and insignificant as it is, it is -
to Life - the way of saintliness.
This is the key that Hubbard grasped - whether he found it on
his own or not, whether in finding it and developing it he manifested
his best or his worst: The integrity of the practice of saintliness
for the sake of another, a practice that can be taught and learnt
by any and every human being that wants to learn it.
Having said that, I bring this chapter to a close, but must warn
that I am by no means done with the difference that Hubbard brought
copyright: 2001 Kenneth G. Urquhart.
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