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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

This one is from International Viewpoints (IVy) Issue 56- March 2002.
See Home Page at

IVy on the Wall

by Ken Urquhart, USA

Playing at Thunderbolts

Chapter Nine in a Consideration of Jon Atack's 'A Piece of Blue Sky'.

IN PART FOUR OF HIS BOOK Jon Atack pours considerable scorn upon one
of LRH's major developments: Ethics. LRH made Jon's job not too
difficult. Jon presents the subject and practice of Scientology Ethics
as further evidence of LRH's insanity and irrelevance. Jon seems
to judge from the viewpoint of one who resents anything that disturbs
the comfortable routine of existence. I make no special claim for
my viewpoint except to say I seek to include as broadly as possible
and to understand as deeply as possible. Nonetheless, in some ways
Jon is right - and, as usual, his reasons I cannot agree with
while his general conclusion I can share.

I have some things to say about LRH's Ethics, firstly to do with its
theory and secondly to do with its practice in the form of the Ethics
Conditions. With regard to the theoretical underpinnings of Hubbard's
concept of Ethics, let's begin by quoting his HCO Policy Letter of
18 June, 1968, 'Ethics'.

(1)'The Purpose of Ethics is:
And having accomplished that the purpose becomes:
Thus progress can be made by all.'

(2)'One has an intention to expand the org.
An `expert' says it is difficult as `The building society .....'.
The impulse is to then handle the problem presented by the `expert',
whereas the correct ETHICS action is to remove his Counter
or Other Intentionedness'. (Capitals in these quotes are as in
the original, as in OEC Vol. 0 page 153..)

My comments on these statements are:

1.They reveal a strange mixture of practical
common-sense and totalitarian dogma. Yes, to make progress one has
to do something about counter-intentions and other-intentionedness;
Hubbard chooses the specific word 'remove', rather than some
gentler and more inclusive idea such as to transform. The action has
to be surgical and decisive so as to obliterate the enemy. Notice
also that only one point of view is valid: that of the wielder
of the Ethics power. Any contrary viewpoint is counter-intentioned,
any different viewpoint other-intentioned.

2.If an 'expert' gives one nonsense the
expert is a fool. If one is alert, percipient, and responsible one
dismisses the 'expert' and his opinion and looks for competent
advice. This is practical, and common-sense; only a fool needs
or system to slow him down.

3.I do not think that a fool being foolish is
out-ethics. He is merely foolish. What can one expect from a fool?
Does a fool respond to pressure? That would depend firstly on the
depths of his foolishness and his ability and willingness to change.
Secondly, it would depend on one's leverage on his attention, time,
and effort, and lastly, on the time available to work with him. In
a militaristic environment one can impose physical or emotional pain
repeatedly to implant new patterns of thought and behavior.
In a prison such imposition in itself does not produce willing
In a school or family (some of which can be prison-like) it's much
the same. These examples of force are not ethical since they aim
to produce robots, not capable people; some, including Hubbard, used
his Ethics system to produce robots (and then furiously accused
them of robotism). A robot is another kind of fool.

4.To improve the behavior of a fool who is not
a criminal requires much patient education. To force a fool to become
sensible is a fool's errand. In interrupting the fool's
the enforcer is unethical. One must begin by accepting the
If one needs help, one chooses help that is capable. In a situation
of immediate, real, and high emergency, one does what one can, however
one can do it, and soothes the bruises later. LRH created a false
emergency with his talk of the imminence of war, or of the
taking over the world tomorrow, or of the ever-lurking SP.

5.One chooses whether to make a problem out of
another's foolishness. Once one does, there is no reason to complain
about the problem to anyone else. Of course, one has one's own
that one has to work out and learn to transform; one learns these
lessons at the expense of others, as they learn at ours.

6.In the case of a fool or a lunatic who aggressively
or carelessly violates boundaries of acceptable behavior one must
of course impose restraints.

7.It seems to me that LRH confused morality and
ethics on the one hand with expediency in both senses of the word-
that which is most appropriate to the purpose at hand, or that
which serves oneself the best.

8.LRH seemed to postulate (a) the universality
of an ethics system to which all are or should be subject; (b) that
his system is the universal system; (c) that all persons are equally
capable of understanding, following, and using a universal system;
(d) that those who don't or can't embrace his system are the
most in need of it. If indeed he postulated thus, he believed and
postulated himself to be the 8(th.) Dynamic ('Supreme Being',
he called it). Who is to say he would be wrong in so believing?

9.Well, I do not believe that Supreme Beingness
would manifest Itself in the totalitarian and militaristic manner
that LRH adopted and demanded of others. Now, LRH often did act quite
differently. He could be extremely friendly and supportive, although
it is also true that the older he got and the more mired into being
Commodore and Source the harder he became.

Hubbard's War

LRH seemed also to postulate that all of existence is a struggle
Good and Evil, that all engage themselves in this struggle whether
they know it or not, that those who are Good agree with him while
those who disagree with him are Evil, and that the struggle is
critical. In this he projected on to the world his own misconceptions,
misperceptions, fixed ideas, and pictures. And in doing so, he
the ordinariness of living to a state of false heroism to which it
had no claim and was extremely unsuited to. Out of this grew
organizational and spiritual complexities many of which were very
painful for people to live through.

Human behavior is much like the weather; we get expected, or ordinary
weather, and we have unusual or extraordinary weather. We refer to
our weather as Good or Bad but it is nonetheless simply weather being
weather. It has no intention towards us, it being the result of
random combinations of random physical forces within certain ranges.
Likewise, human behavior is, usually, ordinary. Sometimes it is
or extreme and extraordinary; when behavior suits us we call it Good.
If it doesn't, we call it Evil (and sometimes we call it:
Yet in itself, behavior is just behavior being behavior. Much of
it is the result of random combinations of random human or spiritual
forces within certain ranges over which we choose to consider we have
no control.

Humans have intentions, though, and make individual choices
within accepted or perceived limits. Humans also have emotions
and separately, as well as in the mass; when swept away in the mass
humans can behave like the tornado. The dynamics of behavior then
are much more complex than the dynamics of climate. Are the dynamics
of behavior amenable to a simplistic and militaristic system of

How we respond to the vagaries of weather behavior depends
on the viewpoint out of which we experience it. In my warm and dry
house, with food to eat and a cozy bed to lie in, I regard the
outside as an adjunct to my comfort. The storm increases my
of the Good in which I now exist. But if I'm a newborn lamb on the
exposed hill, the same storm is a deadly danger, and is potentially
Bad. The howl of the prowling, hungry wolf is to me (as a lamb)
Evil (while my existence as a potential meal is to the wolf a real
Good). We often regard the vagaries of human behavior in the same
light: it all depends on the viewpoint from which we experience them.


In human circumstances we have times of great pressure in
between periods of relative calm. This holds true for individuals,
groups, nations, races, and for Mankind. In times of pressure we
or completely lose command of our belongings, our time and space and
energy, of our attention, or our motions, of our purposes and desires,
and of our viewpoints and relationships. With this loss of command
usually goes a range of emotions, and we call these the negative
The negative emotions may spur us to get active, or they may key-in
earlier negativity to make us less effective.

Hubbard said that in times of pressure we can always regain
control of something, and that once we have regained that control
we are in a position to regain control of something else, and to keep
going up a scale of control of our affairs. This gives us a tool to
deal with negative situations and negative emotions. Further, in times
of relative calm we can increase our control of our affairs.

His Ethics Conditions are the action arm of his positive
Ethics system (as distinct from the negative arm of punishment and
restraint). They provide steps by which one can regain or increase
control. Control of the circumstances of one's life and surroundings
(whether 'one' be an individual, or a number acting together,
or all Mankind) we consider desirable. It's how we get things done,
how we bring into being our visions.

For Hubbard, the Conditions showed us how to respond to
the actions or inactions of the Enemy (both the Enemy within us
and possibly the Enemy within the group, and the Enemy we faced
on Planet Earth and within the Physical Universe). And they showed
how to prosecute the War against Evil, how to gain the power to
all possible opposition - for its own good, of course. I am not
saying that this had always been Hubbard's sole or primary goal. It
was a mode that he approached gradually as he aged and developed.
It was always incipient; had he applied (and had we had the
and courage to make him apply) his own technology to himself, who
knows what conditions we would all have brought about?


Let's assume here that in our lives we are working on improving
conditions for others and self, out of motives that put others first.
Motives that put self first from time to time in order to better serve
others I consider ethical; motives to put self first selfishly I
to be an invitation to Fate to do her worst against us, and (when
extreme) to be the basis of insanity.

Hubbard's Ethics Conditions postulate that we are fully
responsible for our present state of affairs (again, whether 'we'
is one, some, many, or all). No matter who did what to whom at what
time, each of us is responsible for where he/she is at or is not at,
in the present. We are responsible for all our actions and choices;
today's actions and choices create tomorrow. Actions and choices
of others can crash into our todays and tomorrows. Our choices and
actions crash into others' todays and tomorrows. Sometimes the crashes
are good and fun, often they waste time and energy, and `frustrate'
us (put us into negative emotion). However, the facts of others'
and of the quality and character of their choices and actions are
things that we can choose to be responsible for, or not. If we do
choose to take responsibility for them, we act accordingly; if we
don't so choose, we suffer the consequences.

In order to exert causative control, we have to be honest
with self and others, and we have to have clearly defined orders of
importance. We need to be very tolerant of randomity and to be able
to NOT control a great deal. We must be sharp in our differentiation
between the real and the pretense, the reality and the dream or
the substantial and the fleeting, the permanent and the unfounded,
the infinite and the irrelevant, the happy tumult and the sad
the joying in the totality and the screaming of the alienated. Above
all, we must choose our viewpoints; our viewpoints dictate the
importances of what we perceive; our importances dictate our purposes
and intentions; our purposes and intentions create sub-viewpoints;
our senior viewpoints empower the sub-viewpoints (for example,
to make them effective.

Do I experience as a body? Do I experience as a spiritual
being with a body? Do I experience from a sub-viewpoint only? Do I
experience as a spiritual being with a body and with a connection
to the whole dynamic of spirituality within this universe? Do I
as all this but with a depth and range of view that embraces the
from a place without it? Or from a `place' beyond all matter and
a `place' of Truth than which nothing can be Truer? And from this
viewpoint that I choose, do I choose to embrace all I can possibly
permeate, or just some of it?

Muddy Paths

The basic concept of the Ethics Conditions require these
clarities and choices. Hubbard's expression and interpretation of
the concept muddied these clarities and choices badly. But before
continuing with my criticism, I will state my opinion that Hubbard's
grasp of the basic concept (beneath the muddying) is one of his
undoubtedly major contributions to spiritual awareness and
to freedom from untruth.

He muddied the practical application of his development
of Ethics and his concept of control in four major ways:

1.He tied Ethics unambiguously to a scenario
of war, conflict, fight, opposition, to total defeat or total victory,
to the Triumph of Good or the Triumph of Evil. In doing so he elevated
the ordinariness of human behavior, the everyday irresponsibility
and goofiness and spontaneity of Life lived by not well-educated
quite unnecessarily, into elemental and galactic drama. His Ethics
Conditions are full of the noise of war: Enemy, Treason, Confusion,
striking a blow.

2.He forced his Ethics system on us, his followers,
in such a way that it often focused our attention on things of
lesser importance (but with all the urgency of warfare) while
our attention on created internal problems of no actual importance.
For example, we assigned each other Conditions based on statistics.
The statistics counted material things. Yes, the material things did
in theory express desired improvements in conditions, all for a
supposedly spiritual goal - the clearing of planet Earth. In practice,
though, we all scrambled to 'make it go right' on our statistics
by madly focusing on the materialities we had to count in order to
show a statistic that would not lead to lower Conditions. The
became the importance, replacing the spirituality.

Yet the materiality is fleeting, inconstant, subject
to change, fluctuation, disappearance, and manipulation. It's the
spiritual that's important, lasting, worthwhile, satisfying, and what
we all wanted to contribute to. Our noses were constantly rubbed on
the materiality, and we had to look inside ourselves to find out what
was so wrong with us that we could not scavenge enough of the
materiality which Hubbard permitted to ascend all else.

For sufficiently violating any other Hubbard rule,
for creating extra work for another that annoyed him or her, or for
any reason upsetting someone with power to take it out on another,
we had to do the lower conditions, search within ourselves for reasons
for our unworthinesses, and humiliate ourselves by performing

3.As a result of 2., we forced ourselves to become
material as opposed to spiritual. We programmed ourselves to become
robots scrabbling for things to count on our stats, or scrambling
to avoid offending a senior's whatever. And we pretended to each other
that this was the Real Game, that we were the Elite. It takes a Real
Fool to swallow his own repeating self-congratulations.

4.Hubbard, and we his followers, institutionalized
his Ethics system. We made it rigid and unflowing. The faster we
as beings at using it for good result, the more its rigidity slowed
us down. The more it slowed us down the more we felt we were

Aware and responsible beings can change their viewpoints
quickly. They can recognize their errors and correct them immediately.
They can shift from effect to cause in a flash.

In many instances of alleged out-ethics in the days
of 'heavy ethics', the mistake of one did lead to difficulties
for another. In reality, the person making the mistake and those
troubled by it could make their adjustments quickly, and get on with
things. In practice, however, all had to slow down while the
body had to go through the acting-out of the Conditions' steps, then
write them up, then get them approved.

The spiritual practice of self-discipline thus became
a drudgery tied to the speed of the body and the speed of the
The ethical being, in following the formal ethics procedures of the
group, put himself in 'Treason' to himself.

As Hubbard's organization grew, the use of Ethics became
often an institutional substitute for being present, addressing,
communicating. Thus we could label a spiritual being who was
or upset, or learning, or just plain different, as an 'enemy'.
He wasn't an enemy; he could, if addressed with honesty and respect,
change his ways, learn something, and be better and happier. But no,
he had to assume the false mantle of enemy, and do his formulas and
his penances, and work his way laboriously back into the machine.
We could assign each other lower conditions as an administrative
that we were being effective and competent.

We sacrificed our spiritual magnificence, we butchered our
spiritual self-respect, we shredded our spiritual dreams, we shattered
our spiritual connections.

My Question

I posed the question, a while back, 'Are the dynamics
of behavior amenable to a simplistic and militaristic system of

I suppose that any ethics activity must depend firstly on
the demands and the opportunities of the moment, secondly on the
quality and character, and the wisdom of the leadership at the moment,
and thirdly on the extent of the leadership's capacity to exteriorize.

To clarify, if necessary: the demands of the moment may
be extremely and vitally urgent, or merely routine. The opportunities
of the moment may open up possibilities for great good or ill. The
leadership may be strong, weak, skilled, clumsy, clever, slow, loving
or hateful (and so on). What the leadership encompasses in its
may range from the immediate situation only, to the situation in its
past, present, and future, to the whole universe of which the
is a part, or to whatever includes that whole universe, or to the
entirety of existence.

The more limited the time and space and the greater the
urgency, the more immediate has to be the consideration of individual
and group ethics. The broader the scope, the more freedom that the
individual members enjoy to satisfy their own sense of personal
and the less reason leadership has to interfere with that sense (and
the greater the danger of so interfering).

These guidelines can apply to the individual alone (the
individual's highest intelligence being the leader) and to any group
of any size. Hubbard's system clearly infers them; its practice
neglected them.

As regards Hubbard's leadership, my opinion is that he provided
a core of deep and certain sanity (as deep as has been provided by
any other), and he allowed the great power of his sanity to fuel his
human weaknesses and vanities.

One of Hubbard's products was an extremely introverted third dynamic.
His group developed a core of sanity (perhaps as great as has any
group on Earth), and it allowed the power of that sanity to fuel its
human weaknesses and vanities.


There are observations worth making:

When the circumstances were right, Hubbard's Ethics
system could work very effectively.

Hubbard created his Ethics system at least partly out
of his own inverted 8(th.)  dynamic.

Hubbard is a being big enough to operate out of the
8(th.) dynamic, inverted or not, and to so operate on a planetary

Hubbard has the potential to act hugely out of a true
8(th.) dynamic.

I, for one, expect him to.

copyright: 2000 Kenneth G. Urquhart

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Learning across a Distance implies Learning by Being an Effect.
Learning by Being an Effect implies Learning without Certainty.
Therefore, Learning with Certainty implies Learning, but 
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