International Viewpoints (IVy), Issue 35 - January 1998
IVy on the Wall
By Kenneth G. Urquhart, USA
To Myself, Out Loud
WHY DO I WRITE about LRH? Partly for a selfish reason. I believe that in the future a great deal of attention
will be paid to LRH and his workings. People will notice that outside the C of S there were a great many who trashed
him, ridiculed his memory, blamed him mercilessly for every mistake and failing of Scientology. What he started,
whether he started it appropriately, he did not continue appropriately and in the resulting confusion some, whose
feathers and masses were ruffled, and many whose were not, are name-calling -- often hysterically and out of control.
I sympathise with the dignity of those who know better, but are disgusted and remain silent.
Do I imagine something, or is there indeed a need for a balance in how we view the bundle of phenomena we know of as "LRH"?
There is no feeling that I owe it to him. I do owe him a great deal, having become a much, much better person than I was before I experienced any part of Scientology. There is no great feeling of loyalty to a person who I could say suckered me along with everybody else, once he had created the organisational monster. I owe nothing and am owed nothing. There is no ledger.
I can't say I have any special knowledge or insight: I worked for him, observed him, spoke to him, listened to him, experienced him, occasionally counselled him, helped him as I could, every day for six years except for his one year away from the ship. Out of that personal contact I have my feeling for who he was -- there are others with as much or similar familiarity with him, others who have had plenty of time to speak out, and (as far as I know) have not.
My selfish reason is that I don't like the idea of historians (who are bound to come across my name in connection with LRH) looking back and asking Why did people let the mob tear his memory to pieces? Or worse- -Why didn't Urquhart ever speak out? I wouldn't want to be accused of failing in ordinary, common, human decency. The man was a friend to me, perhaps not so much in his later years but certainly up to 1972 (I met him in 1964) and to some extent up to 1982 when I left the SO.
It is not right that the only strong positions taken about him publicly outside the Scn establishment are those yelled by the truly ignorant, the intellectually and morally disadvantaged, the Earth- bound too long to be able to make any sense out of what was good about Ron's work, and able only to position themselves to be the effect of the mistakes. To take much notice of them and their screams is an affront to dignity and integrity. Their body-frothings can be contemptible and disgusting. Yet that fare is on the menu every day at several places on the internet.
Who is so negative?
There are three broad classes of people who are sourly negative, whether quietly or not:
Those who have observed something of Scientology and the C of S at third-hand, from the safety of suburbia or academia without ever exposing themselves to either Scn or the organisation.
Those who had some contact, little or much, with the Scn approach, a contact that made them unhappy; while seeking resolution of an inner condition they felt a possible solution had been denied them. Perhaps they felt a solution was owed them by somebody.
Those who immersed themselves deeply in Scn and in the organisation. Of these, some are rabidly anti; some are respectful of some aspects of LRH and negative about others and on the whole unforgiving of his mistakes.
The bliss of ignorance
In the 'burbs, people have read articles, watched TV shows, and heard neighbourhood or family gossip, and are
happy with their knowledge on the subject. In academia they have read materials and spoken to ex-Scners (which
is known as 'research'). Both their opinions are worth very little as they are all completely unable to encompass
any reality beyond their own. What is unfamiliar is unreal. But they sure can judge it. The man who studies the
flea knowing it is the only important creature in existence is very contemptuous of the man interested in all animal
life. I have been interviewed by supposedly scholastic people; their eagerness to know exactly what they know is
boundless. They are as full of categories and labels that protect them from reality as the suburbs are full of
little boxes to live in that put so certainly in their place all the hitherto untameable geophysical splendours
of the Universe.
There is an element of tragedy in the old, grand Greek style in LRH's choosing planet Earth as the stage for his performance. Earth is the comforting burrow of the body-bound where the bourgeoisie of the 'burbs (inner city and outer) bind themselves to unshakeable self-satisfied self-congratulation on becoming and staying comfortable while denying any need for self-examination.
No wonder that the 'burbs level of existence makes nothing of him. There, they are as capable of containing force such as his as are their houses capable of containing the hurricane. The purposes are diametrically opposed: he is not the loser, but he had to share a stage with them -- to their continued protest, loud and intense.
I stated in my last essay that he was not bound by Now I am Supposed To's. That is only partly true. He despised
a great many cultural supposed-to's; he could not always steer clear of his own. Out of these he created, or contributed
to the creation of, an organisation which quickly became a monster. The monster misled people, such as John Atak,
who wrote A Piece of Blue Sky. Some, like John, were promised some blue sky, a promise they should have
known better than to be dazzled by; they were disappointed and bitterly blame the monster, and Hubbard, and the
whole approach of Scn. They seek over and over to 'expose' the falsehoods and to explain how they were led to believe
they were buying a visit with a comfortable flea when they were put face to face with their own elephant. Such
were suckered by an outfit driven by relentless pressure to produce "statistics"--the most important
statistics being Sales. Without Sales there was nothing. Sales were measured primarily as Gross Income. Staff on
the front line were pounded on to pull in the cash. There was little attention paid to how they pulled it in--what
were they selling to whom, what were they promising to deliver? The system empowered them to sell and disciplined
them for not selling. It penalised them only for selling to Suppressive Persons and their connections.
This pressure did not originate with Hubbard, altogether, by my observation. He was concerned that the statistics increase, certainly. He never pushed for Income over all else. A number of executives around him found they could please him greatly with reports of large amounts of money brought in. To him this meant future delivery. But to please LRH could for many people become a focus, and to find any demonstrably workable way to gain his favour an obsession for some. When they found that he would not refuse transfers of large amounts of cash into his hands, they poured it in. You have to exist in or near the inner circle around a charismatic and despotic leader to experience this phenomenon, to understand the grip of that driving desire, the endless need for the word of acceptance, the nod of approval, the smile of recognition, the feeling of being included. These are all natural desires, of course, and healthy when anchored in integrity. But, in those days, in the early seventies, the floodgates were opened, the money flowed in. We all had to Hurrah every latest Highest Ever Gross Income.
I for one wondered, but did not ask Who is selling what, how, to whom? John Atak, I am sorry.
Amongst those whose money was sucked in were people with genuinely difficult personal situations they really
wanted help with. I do not doubt that there was technology that could have helped them and that there were people
in and around the organisation who could have used the technology effectively to help them. I can conceive also
that some were in conditions that were closed to any Scn approach. In the crazed fixation on statistics and on
Gross Income, it's doubtful that one in a state of severe restimulation would have managed to do much else than
get more restimulated.
The game begins
But even prior to the fixation on statistics and income which got seriously out of control in the early and
mid-seventies -- and ever worse after that -- LRH in 1965 set up himself and the organisation to be a target, by
seriously targeting others. It had been a long time coming. He had never kept a friend for long. Many loyal to
him in the early days had dropped away or been driven out. He focused on "squirrels" from time to time.
In early 1965, during and after his stay in Africa, he placed the organisation squarely on a war footing. The enemy
was clearly identified; the Suppressive Person and his connections, everyone who was anti-Scn, and, by implication,
anybody who was not pro-Scn or pro the organisation, and pro-LRH.
There he sowed the seeds of conflict unambiguously and irrevocably, and he nurtured them in the years that followed. The Games Condition that monitored all future Scn games began in earnest.
All that were drawn into Scn's sphere were drawn into the game. People already in Scn and prone to their own dramatic games conditions might find themselves clashing with LRH or with the organisation. In adopting his position as the being the one SPs most love to hate and to target, and at the same time the only one who can save the planet from those SPs (hence their "hatred" for him and Scn), he created a situation in which those with games conditions of their own of a similar nature to his were attracted to positions in his organisations from which they could now dramatise with his assumed approval. From those positions they created their own insider, parallel games conditions with those they could consider "off source" and therefore due for "reality adjustment" or outright punishment, or the ultimate banishment of excommunication (they were fond of terms that positioned them with legitimate institutions) and denial of advance courses forever.
Thus were stellar pioneering figures ejected from the game or so alienated that they dedicated themselves to their own games conditions of proving wrong the C of S, or Scn, or LRH, or executives, or selected people. I believe that some of them keep their game going to this day.
Into this maelstrom of random force were tempted many who innocently thought they would help and get help, but who never expected to get so confused; I believe that some of them are still dealing with that confusion and are still very upset about it.
Some spirit remains...
In the C of S and in the Sea Org, however, was a leavening of very sane, very accomplished, very competent,
extremely disciplined, and devoted people who desperately hung on to their original inspiration for Scn and for
mankind. They had recognised in LRH's motion something that brought them hope of contributing to an achievement
that would benefit all, something quite the opposite of pretence and betrayal. Given half a chance, they would
have accomplished a much happier outcome for LRH and for the world than the Scn establishment could ever conceive
of. Some of these people became broken-spirited; some are still at work, taking their lessons to heart, still in
The direct consequence of Hubbard's lifework has been a fragmentation. The C of S lost many members. The C of S itself maintains certainly the apparency of unity; we can't know what will be the stresses that will cause it to crumble, fade, or come to its senses. Many of those who left it have been busily exploring other ways of doing things to help others, a few with tremendous success in terms of gains obtained, with more or less of a nod of acknowledgement to Hubbard. Very few people outside the C of S feel they can safely claim any connection with him, and hide their history from the public, so bad they feel his reputation to be in the world -- a world so far from conceiving workable solutions that it is hell-bent on planetary suicide. There is a world that knows that nothing could work; some of its individuals experienced a possible solution in Scn and swear that it doesn't work.
WHAT didn't work?
The three classes of people I mentioned who tend to be negative about LRH are mostly critical of the technology
of Scientology. They say it didn't work or did them harm. Some are proud to say that they now know far better than
LRH ever did. My attitude to these is that I can't be sure of what they are talking about. I can easily conceive
that whoever audited or trained them in the C of S took something away from the pure technology or added to it,
to make it unworkable. Who can tell what was going on with the recipient that required a different address than
the one given.
The question "What did not work?" is as relevant today is it always was when Hubbard himself asked it. "It doesn't work" communicates nothing about the technology and a great deal about the complainer. The complaint has no time, place, form, event, or identity -- or responsibility. Who did what to whom, in what circumstances? Was what was done Scientology or was it something else? Did the registrar sell the recipient a piece of blue sky only to have the C/S or auditor address him or her as a being higher-toned than such as would be so much at effect? The complaints clearly tell us that something was going on that was unsatisfactory; they don't in themselves help to clarify what it was. That there were misdeeds is not questioned.
Some do not say that the technology was misdelivered but that it did them harm anyway, and couldn't have done otherwise, correct or not. I have only one problem with these people. I can conceive easily that in the years in which LRH put together what he put together there were aspects of spiritual reality that were not clear to him or to anybody else then that have become clear since. I could understand that they should have been clear to him and he failed in not getting them, if that be the case. I have no problem with people finding ways of producing gain greater than they received in the C of S or delivered there as auditors. It's wonderful. The important thing to me is that people should make as much gain as they can. I don't care who is righter or wronger. I like knowledge to grow. My problem with these people is that instead of stating their position and then getting on with what they do they go on and on moaning about how bad it all was over there then. I just can't buy that as a reasonably sane and adult point of view. The repetitiveness betrays the absence of judgement. The complaint tells us little of LRH or Scientology, and much about the moaners.
I can accept that LRH did try a shotgun approach, a one-size-fits-all deal, which turned out to be incorrect for many. I can accept that LRH made a great many moves that have turned out to be mistakes. But how childish do we have to be about his goofs? He was unreal in much of his over-optimism (he acknowledged it more than once) and offered solutions he could not in fact guarantee delivery of; the organisation he started with the purpose of delivering the promised solutions took the opportunity to deliver other things. If we are unable to accept the inevitability of what has happened we do not rejoice in the inevitable lessons, we have to squeal like thwarted spoiled brats, we strut like victorious street-bullies, and we risk another layer of cult, the layer that is going to make the C of S good and wrong.
That LRH made mistakes is a given. Why would anyone expect him to have been perfect? So what that he gave out that he could do little wrong? It makes no sense to me: to moan and groan that he was flawed is acceptable for a while, considering the claims he made (and his vanity) but to keep up the chorus of carping complaint produces nothing -- and to produce a great deal of nothing is its exact purpose.
It takes two...
Another unreality in the "no gain from auditing or got worse because of it" situation is that there
must have been a gap between the deliverers of the auditing and the now-unhappy ex-pc. This gap they all failed
to bridge, deliverers and receivers. To some degree it has to be Hubbard's fault that the auditor and C/S could
not bridge it. It is not his fault that the pc could not make the required effort. You can say that it was not
the pc's job to make that effort, but it is not true that a pc gets much out of auditing that he does not contribute
to. If he tried to contribute and got nowhere, it could have been because the auditor and C/S refused to accept
his effort. The organisation was very structured, and technical staff certainly could get solidified into viewpoints.
LRH's faults here are by proxy. He could not find a way to have all C/Ses and auditors act as he would act. Even
if parts of his technology now can be shown to be incorrect, he himself when working to apply it to an individual
case, or to cases in general, was entirely genuine in his desire to bring gain to others. I saw this with my own
eyes, and felt it myself in session under his C/Sing.
Keeping it simple
As I see it, the basic situation is that he had some very unusual insights upon which he built a structure of
philosophy and technique, and built an organisation to take care of large-scale sales and delivery. The intention
was clear: to help people improve their own lives and to improve conditions in the world as a result of individuals'
heightened awareness, responsibility, and ability.
The intention went out into the world, up against individual and collective resistance. It penetrated some levels of denial. Confusion flew off. It is still flying off; as it flies off, great spiritual freedom opens up and more and greater gains are possible. This is not to say that LRH is the source of all gains. He is the source of what he is the source of. Others can be source of gain, too. The confusion hit LRH hard, and he could not deal with the confusion within himself that it restimulated. Condemning him for that is the blathering of a fool writhing in his own shit.
The process continues.
The auditor has had to retrain.
Within LRH, within Scientology -- and yes, even within the C of S -- there is a core of integrity and sanity. I am certain that the core still exists in its purity. To mistake confusion about the confusion flying off is merely a mistake and is itself part of the confusion. The core is unaffected. It is as pure, as strong, and as determined as ever. Its motion is dispersed or quiescent, not fragmented or stopped.
"There will be more auditing"
I expect LRH to take some responsibility for the situation, to learn his lessons and to pull it all together
with dignity and respect for others.
Whether he will, and, if he will, when he will, are up to him; I think he will give himself no choice but to do it.
When he does, doubtless his work will not be perfect; more confusions will fly off -- people will moan and groan, accuse him of being fake, swear it does not work, take the information or a piece -- and run off with it to make it work better.
And the core will still be as pure, as strong, and as determined as ever. It perceives no combat and recognises no defeat. It simply is, infinitely.
The core exists independently of L. Ron Hubbard. Others share in its being. Some of us are large, some small, some are quiet, some are commanding, some are peaceful, some are active, some are competitive, some are gentle. We could align with each other but seem to prefer to remain stoutly in independent independence. When we do align, and when LRH realigns with us, there will be no stopping...I promise.
© K Urquhart 1997