Why It’s Not Wrong to Look

If you have been a dedicated Scientologist, you may be thinking as you read this, that the decision to be made in such a situation is obvious, that even if you love your spouse very much, that to break the rules by reading someone’s negative data about Scientology is to risk your eternity and shouldn’t be done under any circumstances, even if that means you lose your spouse.

Here’s why I came to disagree with that idea and why I did decide to look at what Sindy had been researching:

First, in terms of “breaking the rules” by reading “bad stuff” on the Internet: The Church of Scientology is supposed to be run based on the writings of L Ron Hubbard, right? There is a policy in the current OEC Volume 0 on page 538, called HCO PL 13 January 1979 Orders, Illegal and Cross. Here is a quote from that policy:

YOU CAN ONLY BE GIVEN A COURT OR COMM EVED FOR THINGS THAT VIOLATE POLICY.”

And of course the famous line from HCO PL 9 Feb 79R II How to Defeat Verbal Tech Checklist:

1. If it isn’t written, it isn’t true.”

I couldn’t think of any written policy that forbade reading information from outside sources about the church.

Another policy that I thought of at that moment of needed decision was HCO PL 7 March 1965RA Offenses and Penalties, (the policy which lays out the specific offenses in the church) which states:

These are the penalties we have always more or less used, and these are the offenses which have been usually considered offenses in Scientology.

Formerly they were never written down or routinely enforced, there was no recourse, and these lacks made staff members uncertain of their fate. They knew something happened but not why. They knew certain things were frowned on but not how much or how little. The penalties were suddenly administered without warning as to what they would be or for what offense.

This then is a code of discipline which we have almost always more or less used, made plain for everyone to see, with limits against over-punishment and recourse for those who are wronged.

Accordingly, this code of offenses and their penalties becomes firm and expressed policy.

Lack of specified offenses, penalties and recourse bring everyone to uncertainty and risk at the whim of those in command.”

If you read this whole policy and HCO PL 23 Dec 65RB Suppressive Acts – Suppression of Scientology and Scientologists, you will NOT find ANY errors, misdemeanors, crimes or High Crimes that say, “reading bad data about Scientology” or “reading people’s criticisms of Scientology” or “reading people’s criticisms of the church or its management” or even “reading false information about the church or Scientology”. It is not an offense to do so per policy. I double-checked these references just to see if I had a defense in case I would later “get in trouble” for reading the Internet about the church.

So why does current church management treat it like it is an offense? Why do you have to go to ethics for doing such things?

And come to think of it, aside from what LRH says, why wouldn’t it be okay to read “bad stuff”? Sure, when one believes in something, that doesn’t mean one should constantly bombard oneself with people’s negative opinions about it. And if one is winning in one’s auditing, one is not going to hinder those gains by reading a bunch of data that will mess that up. But, in my circumstance in question, this was a critical situation that called for more information and the good judgment of it.

Do I not have the ability to judge data for myself? Why would I need an authority to tell me whether something is true or something is not true? What if I did read something that was false and was only being written to enturbulate and cause someone to doubt Scientology? Does that mean that that person’s words would automatically act as an implant on me and make me robotically do something without my own ethical judgment? No, I was perfectly capable of observing what someone was saying, looking at evidence and making sensible judgments. To think otherwise would be to disparage myself, regardless of whether church authorities said it was okay or not, regardless if it supposedly risked my eternity.

Besides that, being dishonest with myself would be a greater risk to my eternity than someone’s arbitrary rules would ever be.

I decided that if I was going to lose my wife, I was not going to lose her over something that I knew nothing about or over any  knowledge that I refused to get. I was going to look and find out what was being said that made Sindy decide to withdraw her support of the Church of Scientology.

In retrospect, I realized when all this was over, that our marriage was never in much danger at all. We are both sensible enough to see the truth. After taking in all the evidence and sorting through all the emotions, the decision was obvious. And if I would have seen flaws in the evidence that clearly proved Sindy’s decision to be faulty and not “the greatest good”, I would have been able to show this to her, and she would have been able to see it.

The only thing that had a chance of destroying our marriage would have been the unwillingness on the part of either of us to look at the truth.

Next…Determining the Validity of Internet Data

14 thoughts on “Why It’s Not Wrong to Look

  1. GSM says:

    “Do I not have the ability to judge data for myself? Why would I need an authority to tell me whether something is true or something is not true? What if I did read something that was false and was only being written to enturbulate and cause someone to doubt Scientology? Does that mean that that person’s words would automatically act as an implant on me and make me robotically do something without my own ethical judgment? No, I was perfectly capable of observing what someone was saying, looking at evidence and making sensible judgments.”
    This is very true for me and was true 38 years ago when I read much of “The Scandal of Scientology” by Paulette Cooper (sent to me by my concerned mother). I was only on the Comm Course and even then I could see the falsity of Ms Cooper’s understanding of TRs! I dismissed it as drivel and happily went on my way… winning! Reading “criticisms” of the Church could act as false data I suppose, but only to those who are not capable of honest evaluation.

  2. The Oracle says:

    Anyone who has finished a TR’s course should not have to apologize for looking.

  3. Your humble servant says:

    I would just like to mention at this point that this is a terrifically written account. I will not comment on all of the sections but will say here that no one ever told me that I could not look at anything I wanted on the internet, although I was kind of repeatedly “in and out” of Scientology at various times over 40+ years and had ample opportunity to be told that. Then again, I was never on staff or in the Sea Org. Several people have said or implied on Marty Rathbun’s blog that it was an “ethics offense” to be reading negative stories on the internet, but it didn’t happen to be my personal experience to be told that it was.

    However, I did have the idea that it was best not to indulge in reading negative articles on the internet, as I imagined that these were badly motivated, intended to be upsetting, or just crazy. As to David Miscavige, I knew little about him and imagined he had been selected as the new leader of Scientology through some rational and agreed upon process by higher executives. However, how he became the “leader” was never explained to us Church members. I was not happy with a number of things I found to be going on within the Church, the lack of transparency about what had become of dedicated members who were formerly there but no longer present being one of them.

    However, I remained very dedicated to the present church and its organizations until I began to wonder what had happened to Mike Rinder, who seemed to have disappeared, and it was in 2010 I decided to look on the internet to see if I could find out anything. To my surprise, I learned a great deal more than I expected and soon decided to quit supporting the present, official Church of Scientology. Like Sindy, I had no doubts that what I read about David Miscavige was true. I also concluded that the present, official church organization had become a criminal enterprise.

  4. As a young man, my decision to search for truth required that I develop a definition for or at least some quality to judge truth against. Thus truth became for me unbreakable, flawless and without cracks. I decided that, as you also say, that I could look without fear for if my probing revealed any slightest flaw, crack, or inconsistency.

    So you see, my search for truth became a path and a way of living rather than a destination.

  5. skips says:

    Ron says:
    1. “When in doubt, communicate.”
    2. “Observation is not a passive thing. It is an active thing and involves the closest possible study of what one is observing. One should train himself or herself to react in the following manner: if one is in mystery about something one does not puzzle over it, he or she knows at once that if he is puzzled or in mystery or can’t work it out, he or she does not have enough data and the thing to do is get more data. The full thought is, puzzle or mystery or can’t figure it out–get more data. –CBO 190 = Admin Dictionary @ “Observation”
    3. “One can be aware of those things which he is willing in some way to confront. One, if he is willing—even to some slight degree—willing to confront something, he can become aware of it; but if he cannot confront it and will not confront it and has an idea that he must not confront it, it after a while disappears entirely from view and he is no longer able to be aware of it. And in that is contained IQ, ability, talent and all other such factors. I’m sorry if it reduces to a simplicity of this character.” (Washington Congress on Anti-Radiation & Confront lectures)
    4. Direct observation is infinitely superior to thought which seeks to know before looking. Thought could be said to be the manifestation of evolving a low-level certainty of observation from a number of past observations. The combination of past observations to derive a future observation could be said to be the process of thinking itself. (II:181 = PAB 8 “Viewpoint Processing” late August 1953)
    5. “If he is being shot at from some mysterious and hidden quarter of body or mind he wants to stand up and take a good, hard look. If he is being wracked by unknown shivers, he wants to know (a) can he shiver harder, (b) do other people shiver, and (c) can he turn it of and off…. But trained or not or processed or not, the Scientologist is an adventurer.” (The Adventure Of Scn, from Ability Minor 6, mid-July 1955. III:155-6)
    6. Inspection of something without fear will certainly bring you to any existing truths about that thing….

    And the odd part of it is that once you know the truth of something it can’t bite….

    …he inspected the problem, the problem disappeared. But it didn’t disappear in him; it disappeared in the physical universe….

    What’s going on here? Well, evidently what’s going on here is we can only injure ourselves. And when we have eradicated self-injury, other things apparently recognize it….

    People go through life and their confusion is a sea of uninspected data, uninspected facts. The only thing that you can do for anybody in the final analysis is get him to inspect his own life and his own environment….

    There’s tremendous, almost unlimited methods of self-deception, almost unlimited methods of delusion….

    In the final analysis all you can get anybody to do is inspect himself, his environment, life, and find out what’s true for him. And those things that are true for him, they’ll be pretty true.

    (From “Freewinds” magazine, Issue 58, received in mail 6/6/2005. Article = “Look, Don’t Think,” page 6. Excerpted from the London Congress on Dissemination & Help lectures, lecture of 23 June 1960 “Differences Between Scientology and Other Philosophies.”)
    7. “There’s tremendous, almost unlimited methods of self-deception, almost unlimited methods of delusion. Man is probably richest in the numbers of ways he can make suckers out of his fellow man with lies. …

    “In the final analysis all you can get anybody to do is inspect himself, his environment, life, and find out what’s true for him. And those things that are true for him, they’ll be pretty true. And you’ll find out that if he does it all the way, then we all agree on what’s true.

    “But the second we all agree on what’s true and that these things are truths, then we can get very lazy and we never have to think of it again, and Ron can all write it down in a book, and the next generation that comes along only has to memorize this so they will know what the truth is. Well, that I don’t think any of us want to have happen.

    “That’s Scientology as I see it from my own particular viewpoint.”

    7/4/2005 e-mail from Bridge Publications:
    — L. Ron Hubbard: London Congress on Dissemination & Help. Excerpted from the lecture Differences Between Scientology & Other Philosophies delivered on 23 June 1960.
    8. “What is true for you is what you have observed yourself. And when you lose that, you have lost everything.” VI:23
    9. By training and processing we have a superior ability to confront and communicate.
    10. “One of the great truths of Scientology is that increased awareness is the only factor which offers any road out. That is an awfully simple truth, but you’ll find out that people don’t know that. They think that less awareness is the road out—and that is the road down into the basement…. I think of an auditor as a person with enough guts to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. This quality is a rare and this quality is courageous in the extreme. It is my opinion and knowledge that auditors are amongst the upper tenth of the upper twentieth of intelligent human beings. Their will to do, their motives, their ability to grasp and to use are superior to that of any other profession.” (“The Auditor—The Monthly Journal of Scientology,” No. 36, 1968. “What It Means To Be A Scientologist.” Tech Vol VIII, p. 152, 153)
    11. “I think of an auditor as a person with enough guts to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. This quality is a rare and this quality is courageous in the extreme. It is my opinion and knowledge that auditors are amongst the upper tenth of the upper twentieth of intelligent human beings. Their will to do, their motives, their ability to grasp and to use are superior to that of any other profession…. I consider auditors my friends I consider them that even when they squirrel. I believe they have a right to express themselves and their own opinions. I would not for a moment hamper their right to think. I think of auditors and Scientologists as the free people.” (HCOB 10 April 1956, PAB 79, “The Open Channel,” What do I think of Auditors?” Tech Vol. III, p. 348)
    12. 8/18/2008 http://www.scientology.org/world/worldeng/corp/creed.htm The Creed of the Church of Scientology

    We of the Church believe:
    • That all men have inalienable rights to their own religious practices and their performance;

    • That all men have inalienable rights to think freely, to talk freely, to write freely their own opinions and to counter or utter or write upon the opinions of others;

    • And that no agency less than God has the power to suspend or set aside these rights, overtly or covertly.

    So how then could such capable, powerful beings be enturbulated, get overwhelmed, cave in, become sick, die of pneumonia, or lose all their certainty simply by looking at the same things that Aunt Mabel, cousin George, various friends, coworkers and strangers on the bus manage to survive, or barely even register? Perhaps because there’s some truth to it that we’re not supposed to know, that nobody else really cares about?

    And how come we, who since 1950 have been superior to two-valued logic, don’t notice the out point when we’re told that the enemy is all bad (or 99.99%, and nothing good of importance), and that our side is all good (or 99.99%, and nothing bad of importance). We labor to build a world with broken straws and good intent, but anyone who disagrees with us is a suppressive or a paid pawn who needs to be silenced. Where’s any publication itemizing the 12 negative and positive characteristics of any declared SP or enemy, anywhere? This is two-valued logic, or one-valued logic!

    We’re taught that it’s the merchant of chaos who wants to convince us that it’s “too dangerous to look over there.” Yet we say this about the press, the media, the Internet, critical friends, family and co-workers (stop reading the newspapers, don’t watch TV or listen to the radio, disconnect from people who don’t agree with you)… and fail even to notice the incongruity, the hypocrisy!

    When it comes to a non-Scientologist’s opinion or knowledge of Scientology, our own “Don’t think, look” seems to be replaced by “Don’t think, AND don’t look… just believe, and don’t listen to anyone else.”

    Then with blinders on and ear plugs in, we say that if the critics or any entheta had any truth to them, we’d have known about it!

    Could it be we’re willingly participating in our own deception by “ignoring the man behind the curtain,” or that the Emperor is not so finely attired as we’ve been told?

  6. Joel says:

    Skips!! That was awesome!

  7. Dave, you might want to read your own blog more than once every other month! hahaha!

  8. davefagen says:

    I will try to monitor it more often. I did say in the second section at the top that it might be a while between times where I could do so. But I hope to do be able to do it more often than I have been.

  9. No worries mate! Just joking ya anyway…

  10. Dave your blog looks nice and your OP is well thought out and well put together. My compliments.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, Joel. Though Scientology is so far over the horizon in my rear view mirror that I no longer eveb consider myself an ex-, I was a good student and auditor back in the day, and would save my favorite refs for all situations over the years… so LRH himself seems to have spoken pretty directly about all this.

  12. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this blog. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s difficult to get that “perfect balance” between usability and appearance. I must say you’ve done a very good job with this. Additionally, the blog loads extremely fast for me on Internet explorer. Outstanding Blog!

  13. davefagen says:

    Glad you like it.

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