International Viewpoints (IVy), Issue 33 - August 1997
on the Wall
By Kenneth G. Urquhart, USA
<This article is also listed as "Reminiscences of Ron -- 7" in IVy's full list of contents, which is available on diskette (DOS) and kept updated on our Internet Home page: http://home.sn.no/home/trone/IVy.html>
Eleven years after the death of his sick body, L.Ron Hubbard still casts long shadows over the lives of many
of us who were touched by his near or extended reach. It seems to me that the most vocal of us have been those
who came away with a grievance. Then there are those who are tired of hearing about the fuss about the grievances
and prefer not to hear anything at all. And there were many who came away feeling either better off in some way,
or not better off but willing to accept what happened; they are getting on with their lives.
The real warts?
We have a relative vacuum of information from those who knew LRH personally over long periods of time, and who
have been in a position to know the LRH who was the person behind the public personage responsible for creating
the institutions of Scientology (the "Church," the "Sea Org," for example). He was The Commodore,
The Founder, and Source, and still is to many, but nonetheless remained an individual with, like Cromwell, warts
The vociferous ones, in expressing their feelings, make a lot of noise. It is time to balance them with other and more considered views, views based on direct personal observation of the man rather than on direct personal observation of members of the staffs and how they behaved or didn't behave. This is not to say no-one has grounds for complaint against LRH. Many people were hurt by mistakes that he made in the technology and in how the organizations were set up and managed. He made some terrible mistakes, to be sure, and many were definitely damaged as a result. What the mistakes specifically were and what are the specific responsibilities we should certainly examine and will at a later time.
My own objection to the way charges are leveled at LRH stem mainly from his being addressed in them by his accusers as though he had been a standard, live-only-once, competitive, self-seeking, materialistic, power-hungry, obsessed human being, and a fake, a posturer, a manipulator of people, a slave-driver, a tyrant and dictator soaked in greed and burning with contempt for gullible humanity. Or something like that.
Well, you can make a case for just about anything in that list, and not be far from some of the truth -- some of it.
Speaking loud in accusation
Anyone who gets confused by the ferocity and the insistence of the criticism of LRH the person should recognise
that the confusion is natural and that when the accuser focuses persistently and with force on the wickedness of
his target, the accuser is telling you much more about himself than he is about his target. The accuser is telling
you that he has a personal investment in having you focus on the badness that the accuser points the finger at.
Yes, I repeat, LRH did make mistakes and a lot of people did get hurt. The focusing on the mistakes, the denial
or ignoring of what was positive, position the accuser on the tone scale at a level which tells you, the observer
and seeker after Truth, there must be more to the reality than the accuser is capable of calling to attention.
This is not a condemnation of any accuser; it is a statement of what I take to be fact because I find the tone
scale inescapably accurate. I do not deny, excuse, justify, lessen or alter, any of LRH's goofs or any part of
his case which made him susceptible to making his mistakes. I also was seriously damaged when I left the Sea Org
in 1982 -- from an Earth-bound, Homo sapiens viewpoint -- and I was luckier than most. If I wanted to blame anyone
I could only blame myself. Who made me a member of that group? Who made me stay? Nobody but me. I could wish much
of what happened hadn't and much that didn't happen did. But I cannot change a thing about my past and now that
it is mine to possess I wouldn't change any of it for universes. I honour my experience.
I suspect that one of the hardest things for a complainer to experience is that LRH was much, MUCH larger than life, to use the English expression. By this I mean that what we learn to accept as the normal, everyday, routine day-to-day experience of living was always far too small to contain, limit, or define him. Now of course the physical universe imposes constraints we have all agreed to, and I don't know for sure that he could overcome any of these constraints. I do know that he was not bound by any cultural or societal "Now I am supposed to ______," or "Now I am supposed not to __________." He was like a mural painter who painted not on a manageable wall; he created on the face of life itself. He said to me one day, "People see me only in terms of this one lifetime." Who knows what lifetimes he wanted people to see and acknowledge, if it was the past he was looking to; I understood that he was talking about his core purposes in life which encompassed more in time and in intention than what he was manifesting in the present lifetime. He felt people tended to view him as a being who couldn't have existed before and wouldn't again, one who brought no special background or experience into this lifetime, and who couldn't be continuing work from earlier lives into the present and into future lives. Well, perhaps some can perceive this just enough to make them howl with an agony due to their own errors as immortal beings but which they can only ascribe as human beings to what they are sure he did wrong.
"He would like to see you now"
You who have glimpsed his beingness in his writings or lectures or films but never saw him or talked to him,
or perhaps caught sight of him on a distant deck or dock, or on a lecture platform, wonder: What was he really
like as a person? It would be very understandable for you to have gained the impression that he was an intensely
caring person. Yet he went wrong somewhere, and there are all these screamings about him. (Were screamings ever
inspired by some little suburban being who did little and died self- satisfied?) Is there a reality beyond the
Come with me a moment, up this flight of stairs. We are going to the upper deck of a ship.... we are approaching a person you see through the open double doors of the room he is in. You feel at once that this is someone very important. There is something very different about the space you're walking through -- there is a feeling of a very precisely individual specialness about the space -- the floor, the walls, the ceiling, and the space in between. It's not just that they are clean and shiny, as though kept that way for a special person. They have a certain pride in being part of the life of a certain being who has put his stamp of ownership on them. The man you see in the room is standing up, ready to greet you. You take in at a glance that the body is about average height and has air of power and authority. The body is massive but not massy. The head is large, the forehead strikingly expansive, as are all the features of the face. The eyes convey a certainty which a relaxed readiness to smile underlines. You wonder just how much those eyes are capable of making out.....The shoulders are broad and decisive, the arms, in short sleeves are substantial, well-proportioned, and ready for action as they hang to his sides. The waistline looks rather too expanded and comfortable; the body is lightly but solidly borne on its legs and feet. The head hair is a golden carroty colour and is combed back from the rampart-like forehead and temples. This is not a man to fool with.
We enter the room, and just a little way inside the door, you enter something else. You know you have entered his space, a space which emanates only from wherever he is, and over which he has complete command. Yet, as you enter this space, and move closer to its owner's body you know that you are being made very welcome. I murmur a brief introduction since you both know in advance who the other is. Without the slightest inhibition or enforcement you are suddenly not just in his space, you are included in his glow. His hand reaches out to you energetically and enfolds yours in a warm and firm fist. The large, wide, mobile mouth breaks out immediately into a broad, engaging, friendly, open grin revealing regular white healthy teeth a little stained from smoking. His eyes twinkle, the space around the head seems to be glowing goldenly at you, the deep, commanding but gentle and friendly voice asks "How are you?", waits for your answer, acknowledges it, and directs you to a chair with some remark that you can both chuckle about, making you feel very much at home and somehow, suddenly, more valuable than you had ever dreamt you could be. The certainty comes to you that this being is absolutely more than human.
And yet, here you are, very much the focus of his attention and interest, of his willingness for you both to get on real well. At the same time you know that you are being felt out, observed, examined, and summed up broadly, deeply, accurately, objectively, and purposefully -- not that you are being judged as this way or that, you are becoming real to him, your beingness is assessed so it can be granted you. Naturally you begin to feel the comfort of being acknowledged, and you find that you have to be alert not to slip into a state of hypnosis. But even if you do, provided you are not antagonistic his beautiful manners will ride smoothly over any shyness on your part and soon you will relax interestedly, basking in his glow. You may find yourself having a very lively conversation. Well, LRH being LRH, the lively conversation will most likely turn into a lively monologue on his part, and it will be fascinating. He shines, he laughs, he is animated, he can be brilliant, and you will love it. You will forget time. You will forget care, worry, and misery. As he shares himself with you, you feel very happy. You will never forget this. You come away uplifted and inspired, genuinely so. Did he get you to agree to something? Very likely. Did you agree against your will? No, you liked it. Did he ask your opinion, and listen to it? Yes, he did. Did he seem to respect what you said? Yes. Was he at the end just as much in command of himself and what he was doing, as before? Yes. Was he always in such a good mood?
No! I have seen him strike a man in anger. I have seen him so enraged with a man (never with a woman) that the
expression of his rage, face-to-face, had the flesh of the other man flattened out whitely against his cheekbones
as though the man were barefaced against the force of a hurricane. LRH moved up and down the scale largely and
I am willing to bet that you have not come across in this lifetime a being of such size and energy, such strength, and such eagerness for enjoying others, such power to grant you your beingness, such quickness of perception and of thought, such depth of active understanding along with readiness to laugh -- and so on, and on.
Well, you tell me, you work in a Macdonald's, you see nothing but such people every day all day and are sick and tired of them already. Oh, well, okay! Good for you.
You don't need to be told that he could get upset, impatient, intolerant, bitchy, cross, contemptuous, cruel in word, in intention, and in action, harsh, capricious, angry, bitter, impetuous. He had his good days, his so-so days, his bad days, and his terrible days. There was a dark side as well as that glow. He could get sick. He prided himself on certain abilities, such as medical, legal, musical, PR, without basis always obvious to me, and I think with mixed results. He had a very hard time with what he felt was criticism from a terminal not of comparable magnitude. When once he was very angry to find that the topmost deck of the ship was being cleaned daily with fresh water (which was a waste of fresh water) he absolutely hated it when I told him he had ordered it himself six months before when he got so angry that it was being washed with sea water (which was affecting electrical circuits). Who had ordered that it be washed with sea water? He had, of course. There were times when it seemed to me that he desperately needed something to be angry about so he could express anger.
When he took care to communicate something very clearly and urgently and it was not accepted or was altered, misunderstood, or made unimportant, he would be angry. If this persisted he might be beside himself with fury.
He could interfere outrageously with an activity on the ship, he'd get everybody in it completely upset and befuddled. Then he'd have to ride in on his big white horse at great self-sacrifice to rescue them heroically from the confusions they would never have thought of creating if left to themselves to do their jobs. On the other hand, he could straighten out an area of real confusion quicker than you'd believe possible using his tremendous intelligence, his ability to analyze a problem, his imagination, his strength, his natural authority.
What'll we do next time?
We all need to understand something of how this being's creations, the technology of Scientology and the protective
organization he set up to promote and deliver it went so awry. How could something that set out to be and might
(so easily, it seems) have become so positive turn into such a mess? I can't say I understand everything about
it myself. It is worth exploring. We need to know what to watch out for when he comes back.
Consider, as a parallel, some aspects of a river. The river we're looking at is quite wide, deep, and flowing rapidly between well-defined banks -- let's say in a gorge. We can tell from the smooth surface of the water that its depth is sufficient to allow it to flow smoothly over any large rocks that might be on the river's bed.
A little lower down the river, there are some waves and other ripples on the water that tell us that there are rocks in the river, not large enough to break up the flow, but enough to disturb its smoothness. Further on there are rocks that reach above the surface of the water. Here the flow though still not halted is definitely enturbulated.
Of course not all rivers are deep, wide, and running fast through gorges with or without rocks to rough them up. Ours does. Experience the volume of water, its speed, its depth, and its density. Share the purposefulness with which it is moving from where it is towards the sea. Feel the flowingness, the energy, the focus. Can that river be other than what it is? Can the magnificence of that flow change itself into a trickle of treacle, a marsh of muddy molasses? No!
No more can a powerful being change self and flow once embarked on a purpose and committed to it. The river (so far as I know) doesn't create the rocks that enturbulate it; a powerful being does create his or her own impediments. The powerful being's "rocks" are the mental and spiritual masses he or she creates out of pain and untruth uninspected, out of fixed ideas left in place unattended. When the masses and fixed ideas are not challenged they are as rocks deep down on the riverbed. When they are pulled up to present time by the being's putting himself at effect of Life with his own reactivity, they are as rocks above the surface of the river enturbulating the flow of the water; the being's flows, the being's flow of existing, are enturbulated.
When a person's flow is not large, strong, and fast moving, the masses and fixed ideas do not cause the person dramatic enturbulation. A powerful person has very little choice but to flow powerfully; a powerful person has powerful masses and fixed ideas. A powerful person experiences powerful enturbulation. Everybody involved in a powerful person's flow can expect to be involved also in the powerful enturbulation as well as the powerful glow. Another aspect of powerfulness now comes to attention.
Mutual masses and messes
Everybody has some masses and some fixed ideas. They are buried deep, or at the surface (that is, manifesting
in present time), or somewhere in between. A person becomes involved with a powerful being's flow; the powerful
enturbulation inherent in the powerful flow will activate masses and fixed ideas in the less powerful one, sooner
or later. The enturbulation of the lesser person will activate masses and fixed ideas in the powerful being; the
resulting enturbulation will activate more of the lesser person's masses, and so on. Now, usually in the interaction
between them there will be at least some glow, so that masses and fixed ideas will tend to sink below the surface.
But on balance, you can be certain that plenty of additional mass and fixed idea force will persist uninspected
and unattended to.
Add one other lesser person to the group, and you have now the two lesser people interactivating their masses and fixed ideas, each of them individually interacting witih the leader, and the leader now interactivating with the group of two and with the cross flows between the two lesser members. Multiply this a couple of hundred times, and then by several thousand. Consider it a while. Put yourself in the leader's position. Only in an ideal world will the strength of the flow of the greater being overcome all the impediments to his flow that he experiences both outside of and inside his own group to such an extent that his or her flow plus the flows of the subordinate members overcome all their impediments too. We should and we can hope for and work towards such an ideal; if someone makes the attempt and fails should we blame him for his failure, or be mighty glad that he put his foot on this road to show us that it exists and is there to be walked along?
Not so simple, after all, hey?
Perhaps this parallel gives some additional perspective and dimension to our view of LRH. And of the "Sea
Org" and of the "Church of Scientology." It doesn't explain everything, but does it not also give
some context to the complaining charges made against him and a little clarity to the positions of the complainers?
There is more to explore in this subject which I will have to leave to a later time. I'm about out of space, and out of editorial patience about deadlines, and it is my bedtime (which is not subject to editorial flow).
I take my leave for the moment with a favourite quote, which is relevant to our discussion:
"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible." (T.E.Lawrence, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom)
Goodnight: I go to my dreams.
Copyright © 1997 K.G Urquhart