part5.txt

Clearing Archive Roboposter roboposter at lightlink.com
Thu Jul 18 18:06:02 EDT 2019


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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
http://freezoneamerica.org/ivy/bluesky/.
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This one is from International Viewpoints (IVy) Issue 52- May 2001
See Home Page at http://home8.inet.tele.dk/ivy/




IVy on the Wall

By Ken Urquhart, USA


Outside 'Inside Scientology'


Chapter Five in a Consideration of 'A Piece of Blue Sky' by Jon Atack


WE HAVE SO FAR considered the externals, the Acknowledgements,
the Preface, and the essay What is Scientology, which introduce
and begin Jon Atack's book, A Piece of Blue Sky. We come now
to Part One of the book which bears the title: 'Inside Scientology,
1974-1983'. It has four chapters headed, respectively: My Beginnings;
Saint Hill; On to OT; The Seeds of Dissent.

These chapters outline Jon's introduction to and involvement with
the subject and his departure from it. They include fair summaries
of Dianetic engram running, of the basic Training Routines (but
here the summary betrays misunderstanding of their purpose),
and of the OT Levels. In these chapters we also get some of
Jon's experiences with and observations of the people and practices.
They are sharply drawn, interesting, and valuable.

In the early days of the organization, or movement as it was more
then, it had an energy and a hope one could personally and freely
respond to. I first came into contact with Scientology through a
family
friend in 1956. Over time the energy and hope became force and
franticness.
One no longer responded freely and personally either as staff or
public;
the force and franticness pulled one in or spat one out. The
Scientology
world had changed completely over the years.


Jon's Scientology world


The picture Jon paints of the Scientology world he became a loyal
member of, starting in 1974, is mostly negative, of course. This is,
after all, an expose. And there is plenty to be negative about. The
picture is entirely credible as well as pitiful. Just about everything
that Jon says about the Scientology world he experienced rings very
true. For example:

1.Jon went to an official Scientology organization
in the North of England to buy training courses so he could get a
job at the Birmingham Mission. The registrar at the org was 'insistent
and belligerent'. And, 'he seemed to take an immediate dislike
to me'. I have come across such org welcomes myself.

2.A Saint Hill staff member who lived in the
same house as Jon had done OT levels and claimed OT powers -
such as being able to pick the winning horse (while living in
poverty). Another ate only bananas because he had 'heard'
that L.Ron Hubbard was researching carbohydrate diets. These are
behaviours characteristic of some Scientologists, as I have observed.

3.Due to a mix-up in court paperwork, Jon received
a summons for non-payment of a court fine, a matter apparently easily
resolved. He needed the Ethics Officer's permission to take time off
his Saint Hill training course to go take care of it. The Ethics
Officer,
an 'intense and overweight' woman, 'wore knee-length boots
with her disheveled Sea Org uniform'. She told him she was removing
him from the course because he was a 'criminal' and explained
that even for a parking ticket, she would bar the offender from
Scientology
courses until it was paid. I remember the person as Jon describes
her. I can hear her voice and its tones. I can accept his account
of her reaction to his request as authentic.

4.'At Saint Hill, the Ethics Officers were
daunting, overworked, and unsmiling. Saint Hill registrars were a
little too sugary and it was obvious they wanted money. The constant
and unavoidable discussions with Sea Org recruiters at SH were
wearing.
Virtually everyone there was too busy trying to save the world to
create any genuine friendships.' All this is true.

5.Jon writes that he had 'serious reservations
about the increasingly high prices and the incompetence of the
organization. I [Jon] simply could not understand how Hubbard's
research into administration had created such a bumbling and
autocratic
bureaucracy. Although staff worked themselves to a frazzle, they
seemed
to achieve very little. Then there were the little Hitlers who used
their positions to harass anyone who did not fit neatly into their
picture of normality.' The monthly price increases were an insanity
that LRH originated all by himself. I don't think LRH had any idea
of how bumbling and autocratic was the bureaucracy which infected
the organizations; had he been on the site to experience it he would
have exploded in fury and shaken everyone up very drastically. Yes,
we did work ourselves to a frazzle and usually achieved very little.
And Yes, 'little Hitler' is a good name for such nuisances,
of whom there were far too many.


LRH viewed as Source of All


Jon was not alone in not understanding how someone whom he accepted
as being exceptional, LRH, could create such a bumbling, autocratic
bureaucracy. It seems to have been a fairly common delusion that
everything
any staff member did was at the express instigation of LRH himself,
and that LRH was aware of all that was being done all the time. The
truth was that he had little awareness of what was being done in his
name, and that staff had great freedom to impress on others that the
source of their bumbling was LRH himself. From my personal experience
of LRH in his dealings with subordinates on the ship, and earlier
at SH, I am certain that had he been on the ground and seen for
himself
what people were doing in his name and claiming that he was
responsible
for he would have been unrestrainedly outraged. He would have torn
into those bumblers like a tornado; they wouldn't have known what
had hit them. Unfortunately, he didn't go there and he didn't do that.

However, the bumbling was not altogether the bumblers' fault. A great
deal of LRH's `research into administration' was valid and valuable.
Some of it was nonsense. Likewise, some of his management style was
valid and admirable, and some of it was nonsense. The nonsense enabled
the bumbling and autocratic bureaucracy; it empowered the little
Hitlers;
it institutionalized the bureaucracy and the Hitlers; it gave them
ammunition for self-protection.

[NB. Lest it appear that I lay all blame on LRH for
the way in which his organizations developed - or deformed, one
might say - I should clarify here my opinion that the evolution
(or deformation) was a cooperative effort. The sanity in
what LRH set out to do in itself triggered people; any nonsense in
his behaviour would have triggered further material. The activity
triggered people in the environment. People working closely trigger
each other. These cross-currents and interactions triggered everybody,
including LRH; he responded with some sanity and some further
nonsense.
And so it went, around and around, up and down, in and out, across,
over, under, amongst, and through. He coined two words for it later:
over-restimulation and cross-restimulation. The presence and influence
of these two factors throughout Scientology - and throughout Planet
Earth, indeed - affect all manifestations of sanity within Scientology
(and over all of Planet Earth) but reduce or alter any underlying
sanity only when we agree that they do. It is a great sadness that
people like Jon Atack see something of the sanity within Scientology
and then come to agree that the insanity within the subject utterly
overrules the sanity.]


Validity vs Nonsense


I can't undertake a review here of the policy he issued as to what
is valid and what is nonsense, and I don't know that I would be
qualified
to do that anyway. But as a bumbling insider who had a position both
central to but paradoxically mostly external to the nonsense I have
opinions about what was the nonsense in LRH's management style and
how the nonsense helped to pervert what was valid.

1.LRH seemed to know and trust no other organizational
structure than that of the military model - with its rigid
verticalities
of authority and consequent horizontal in-fighting over practice and
performance. At the top of the structure is the Commander-in-Chief
whose word is law throughout the structure. The structure owes him
instant and exact compliance, without exception. Any disagreement
with, or opposition to, or non-compliance with, the Commander's word
is treasonous.

LRH's words as commander were many - very many -
but not well prioritized. He had a very bad habit of originating
one high-priority project after another, so that few could come to
completion - the resources allocated to the last urgent handling
would soon be ripped off to man up the latest new one. Over the years,
a new policy would contradict an older one that would remain in force
but perhaps not actively. He created volumes of policy that anyone
could explore; the bureaucrat could always find in those volumes
a line or page or two that supported his/her position and
attacked a rival's; bullying personalities could set themselves
up as mirror-image copies of the commander and few would dare to give
them the lie. The game in a bureaucracy becomes survival within
the structure at others' expense and with minimal expenditure
of energy in only the absolutely unavoidable change. The professionals
working at the public level, those who knew their jobs and why they
were doing them fought a losing battle with their own side.

The higher up, the more intense this confusion and
the in-fighting which 'resolves' it. At the Staff levels,
close to the commander, the professionals had to do their jobs despite
the elbowing for attention and favour, the jealousy, the manipulations
and intrigues, the stabs in the back, the propitiation, of the
dedicated
courtiers. Perhaps this phenomenon took place at all levels, in
parallel.

All the same, the core of professionals, the ones
who had seen in Scientology something of real value to real life,
wanted that real value to reach out into the world. They wanted that
for the world's sake. They worked very, very hard to bring it about.
Had LRH remained true to his earlier intentions, the result of their
work would have been a proud and effective, helpful organization.

2.As he aged, LRH could not tolerate the idea
that anyone else could do a good enough job to actually take over
from him, despite the obvious fact that he could not go on forever.
He overloaded himself in denying others responsible authority to act.
He prevented the most able around him from developing into future
leaders. He kept his management levels in constant frustration and
turmoil. And he ruled them by fear of his wrath. He created
incompetence
around himself - as regards leadership; we all got very competent
as courtiers and bureaucrats.

3.LRH always knew best, even when the size and
scale of the organization removed him from contact with the realities
of life in the organizations delivering to the public. The people
on the front lines never knew what radical changes would hit them
next. They were constantly ordered this way and that as though what
they had been doing beforehand was wrong and their fault. He
created incompetence in his remote offices and centers.

4.LRH encouraged staff, despite all the above,
to feel that they were part of an elite group with an elite purpose.
That the world they dedicated themselves to saving insisted
on being uncooperative and ungrateful reinforced their self-perception
as elites. It could not occur to them that the world had any right
to not want to be saved, or need to be saved, or that they could do
nothing to save it without developing real affinity, agreement,
communication,
and understanding with that world. As elite, they scorned any
such affinity, agreement, communication, or understanding.

5.LRH shamelessly and shamefully pushed what
he thought were panic buttons to hopefully get people to flood
into the orgs to buy lots of services. First it was the Communists,
then atomic war, then World War III. With regard to people's cases,
it was the horrors of not getting to OT III and doing it right

6.His paranoia has often been remarked on, and
sometimes documented. It coloured his view of the world as it related
to himself and to the organization he created. He used the Guardian's
Office to protect against his perceived attackers. He gave
the GO seniority in the organization and its activities
influenced every aspect of the organization's life; all staff and
public Scientologists were subject to the movements and requirements
of the GO. The paranoia and the supremacy of the GO had to be
justified
by the size and extent of dangers within and without the organization.
LRH was at times obsessed with his perceived 'opposition' -
the SPs, PTSes, R/Sers, and, above all, the associated ogres
of government and the psychs. To this extent he reacted with
unnecessary
force to real barriers, and unnecessarily created many enemies for
himself and for Scientology - both within and without.

7.LRH treated his Sea Org followers as slaves
for economic exploitation. He never paid anyone who joined him more
than a pittance (exception: some forceful salespeople). From the 70s
he demanded that his people work for money that could not house and
feed them decently - let alone their families. For some, this
was all part of the exciting game, a proof of an elitism whose rewards
would come later. But it made others bitter and resentful because
it abused them and they knew it.

8.LRH brought great confusion to the organization's
major product delivery and income activity, the delivery of
Scientology
technology. There are arguments today that the technology and its
delivery are severely flawed at best. Some say it is all based on
LRH's own case alone and has nothing to do with anyone else's.
Be this as it may, I argue neither for nor against these points.
Things change; technology good yesterday may not apply today.
No matter what the reason, technology that doesn't help a person
is not the right technology for the person, and that's that.
Nonetheless,
when someone complains that Scientology didn't or doesn't work, we
don't know the truth of the matter until we know what was done, why
it didn't work, and whether it was Scientology or something else.

Nonetheless, the technology was what it was and the organizations
had to deliver it. In the late seventies, the philosophical and
technical
underpinnings of the State of Clear, the Excalibur by which
Scientology
lived or died, started to unravel. Hubbard issued more than one
'clarification',each of which confused the issue further. Now the
whole organization was operating over uncertainty as to its own
integrity; I don't think it has ever regained its integrity. In losing
its integrity, a group
loses its soul.


Whose wants are we focusing on?


It was during the late seventies and early eighties that Jon
Atack entered the quicksands of Scientology as practiced by its
organizations
as they existed then. In this period, all of the above nonsense
factors
were raging in full dramatization.

Into this mess came Jon. What did he want? For
himself, he says: 'What I wanted from Scientology was emotional
equilibrium so I could win my girl-friend back, make a successful
career in the Arts, and concentrate on achieving Enlightenment.'

I don't see anything wrong or difficult or strange about this. I
couldn't
have guaranteed Jon that his ex-girl-friend would agree to be won
back. But I could have happily committed to helping him to achieve
emotional equilibrium, to make a successful career, and to achieve
Enlightenment. So could any practicing Scientologist then who actually
practiced Scientology - or does so today. So could have -
and would have L.Ron Hubbard himself if Jon had asked him personally
and directly.

We would all have said, or say today, 'Sure, Jon, no problem!
That's what we're here for! This is my fee. When do you want to
start?'
And we could be doing something for Jon whether using 'standard'
Scientology or something derived from it or from something else.


The Scientologists Jon involved himself with were
too busy being good Scientologists to pay any attention to his real
needs and wants. They made him cooperate with their needs and wants.
That was their way of pleasing their bosses and the little Hitlers -
and what they perceived LRH to be. Everyone leaned on everyone
else to produce their 'statistics'. Jon was statistics fodder.
His actual needs and wants were not important as long as he could
be made to subjugate them 'for the greatest good of the greatest
number', a nebulous but vital component of Scientology life which
manifests itself in 'up statistics'.


Who is Friend to Whom?


Unfortunately, Jon allowed himself to be swept up
into the nonsense. LRH's self-promotion had dazzled him as it has
so many. He compromised his own integrity enough to achieve
disappointment
and frustration but not enough to suppress his own feelings in the
end. The Scientologists took him up the OT levels unprepared for any
of them, and they took him for a lot of his money. It is no surprise
he wrote his expose. In their own ethics terms, they were in Enemy
to him and they created an enemy out of him. Worse, having invited
him to trust them and then by behaving as enemy to him, they betrayed
his trust: this they themselves call Treason.


What might have been...

Jon had felt that, as a therapy, Scientology might
have a world-changing impact. So did we all! Even though we didn't
regard it as a 'therapy', I don't think Jon or we were
wrong about its potential.

LRH, and we, all together, forced Scientology to
become something other than it really is. Perhaps the Axioms of
Scientology
are the purest summation of what it really is.

We don't know what Scientology's impact would have
been had we let Scientology agree with its own axioms.

That we couldn't let it be what it is, was probably
inevitable. No single human intelligence could envision and design
something as revolutionary as Scientology claimed to be [especially
here on Planet Earth], and made serious attempts to be - without
including fatal flaws in the vision and design.

Broken Tools

That a person on Earth, L.Ron Hubbard, conceived
of the possibility of such a vision and such a design and did so much
to make it a reality in spite of its and his own flaws is in itself
a triumph, and a worthy one. He did his best to make it be real and
he fell foul of his own imperfections. But he tried. He tried!
His trying embraced things he was right to do, and things he should
never have tried to do.

He tried, and he failed. He 'failed' in that
he didn't fully succeed. But in trying he achieved more than the
victims
of the failure will be able to understand - for a while. And in
failing, he caused a lot of damage.

One day, at Saint Hill, in 1965, as he was C/Sing
the first Power Processing sessions and training the Power auditors,
he got up from his desk which was loaded with case folders. He had
had a tough day: some auditors were misbehaving in the chair, some
cases were being difficult. At that time many of the pcs receiving
Power were executives from large Scientology organizations. He was
learning things about the ways in which they regarded themselves and
life. I had gone into his office to tell him it was time for his
dinner.
He seemed tired, almost dispirited. As I helped him on with his
jacket,
he looked at me wryly, and said quietly, with a little grin, 'I
am mending the world with broken tools'.

Poor fellow; he could never publicly acknowledge
that a part of himself was broken. Broken or not, he was never little
or cowardly. His size and his courage lent terrible power to his
weakness.


Has anyone come close to opening a door so wide,
such as the one LRH opened for us in his strength and courage?

What does it take to heal the wounds he caused in
his broken way of opening that door?



copyright: 2001 Kenneth G. Urquhart.

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