International Viewpoints (IVy), Issue 35 - January 1998
Group Mind Incidents
By The Pilot, Earth
THIS IS HIGHLY SPECULATIVE. I have been thinking about this for a while in an attempt to understand the org's cultish mob behaviour. It is especially prominent in the Sea Org. One ex-SO member described it to me as "when they wave, you wave". This was not as strong in the early days, there was a lot of room for individuals and much less "group think".
Maybe I'm stretching too far with this one and it could simply be explained on the basis of mass agreement, but the effect is so strong that I think that there is a distinct possibility that some kind of a "group mind" effect can come into play, a bit like the "collective unconscious" that appears in some early psychoanalytic theories.
If there is such a thing, what might it encompass? My first thoughts are of mob behaviour, mutual exchange of BTs, and "sympathetic" vibrations of emotions in a feedback effect.
In a group mind, the thetans are not merged but they are temporarily packaged by the mutual attraction exceeding the normal repulsion.
The main bar to telepathy might be fear of absorption or overwhelm by a group mind.
It seems to me that there were early whole track practices which tried to regain native state by intentionally merging into a group mind which would be god. It was a misguided attempt to rejoin native state. You joined these things wilfully (not forced by implants) and then found yourself overwhelmed and couldn't disconnect. So you built walls.
There is lots of sci-fi about telepathic societies with this group mind stuff kicking people around in various ways. Often they purge or attack individuals who wouldn't blend into the group mind. Maybe these are hints of real buried recall.
Fear of talking to groups could be fear of this group mind stuff. You stand there at the focal point of all those intentions and postulates and you might get overwhelmed and taken over by the group. But you don't usually invoke one of these things unless you begin to push hate and fear buttons.
The heavy emotional reactions may have group mind incidents as basics.
I can seem to spot an old incident of a crowd chanting "all is one", wanting to become it, wanting to invoke god, a frightening religious ritual.
The cheering "hip hip hurray" can sweep you up and pull you into resonance if you go into agreement.
It's the sympathetic doingness, cheering together, yelling "zieg heil" or whatever, that does it, not
just listening to a speaker.
Occasionally in a church when you have the people chanting a litany together or singing, you will get a bit of a group mind effect. But in this case it's usually mild and uplifting. Sit in on an Easter Sunday service sometime and see what you can perceive.
It's strongest when everybody sings together as a unit. Not so strong in professional productions where there are many different parts. That gives you awareness of being an individual participating in a group.
Playing in an orchestra or as part of a team with individual roles may to some degree proof you up against this group mind syndrome because you are drilling holding your own position as part of a group effort. You learn to sing your own line or move in your own direction as a contributing part of the group effect rather than submerging into the mob.
This makes "Chinese school" (the class reciting things together) and group sing-alongs slightly scary. The org is pushing this effect sometimes with large "musters" and group participation at events.
But I've never felt this effect in real group processing. Although everyone does the same commands, the commands encourage individual cognitions and differentiation of individuals. But you can get a group mind effect in these shallow bits of group processing that they use at the beginning of events if you have everyone do exactly the same thing without any commands that create individual variations.
If you tell everyone to look at the right corner of the room, you get a uniform group action. However, if you tell everyone to look around the room and find something that they like, you get individual actions which undo the group mind effect. So you're safe as long as you don't run uniform group actions exclusively.
If you tell the group to stamp their feet on the floor, everyone does it their own way, some faster, some slower, some lighter and some with more force, etc. The effect always seems chaotic and cheers people up. But if you were to have everyone stamp their right foot, and then stamp it again, all together in unison, you would start building up this group mind effect and loss of identity and volition.
Applauding is not really dangerous in this regard. People clap faster and slower and can whistle or cheer or stamp their feet individually. Group waves at sporting events where the rows of spectators stand up and down in sequence are just fine, giving the individual the fun of group participation without having everybody do the same thing at the same time. Again, this aids individual differentiation because you have to time your moment for standing and not stand up at the same time as the row behind you does.
There was no problem with this in the old style of applauding completions at the org as long as they didn't insist that everybody always applaud or look happy. But when they started with the "hip hip hurray's" towards Ron's picture, they began stirring up this group mind effect because everybody is cheering in unison. It's very bad and quite hypnotic.
This hypnotic group mind effect is created by group activity in unison. It is broken by group activity with
individual differentiation where the individual has to consciously do something different than the rest of the
crowd. Unfortunately it is not broken by applause or having everyone stamp their feet because those can be done
either way (they don't force you into the effect, but they don't force you out of it either).
Let's say that you're still in good standing at the org, and you get announced or otherwise have the opportunity to control one of these group dramatizations. And let's say that you don't want ethics on your back, but you do want to make a little push towards undoing group hypnosis instead of contributing to it.
The thing to do is to stop the crazies from giving their usual "hip hip hurray" by saying "lets do something really nice for Ron" and then introducing anything which causes individual differentiation from the group effect. Simply dividing the audience into 4 groups and having them hold different notes (forming a chord) while singing "thank you Ron" would force each person to hold separate from the composite. Another good one would be to have everyone "imagine something really nice and flow it towards Ron", but don't you dare tell them what to mock up because it's having them each imagine their own different thing that makes them all unique.
These kind of things will get you the "together yet different" effect which breaks group think.
Four part harmony is ideal since the majority is almost never in unison, and yet they are all working together and in agreement.
Affinity and agreement
One of the basic lies is that you have to be like everyone else so as to like and be liked by everyone else.
The tight coupling of affinity and agreement within the ARC triangle does exist but it is a basic aberration rather
than an underlying natural law.
One of the beauties of working in an orchestra is that it shows you that people can be quite different while participating in a satisfying group effect. Violins, drums, and trumpets are all radically different from each other and yet they can play together very nicely.
Once you've swallowed the group think lie of having to be the same as everyone else, you then get fed the next horrible lie which is that the only way to be different is to go into opposition. The lie is that you can only retain your individuality by fighting, and this leads to building up GPMs.
You're alone and isolated in a human condition because you're fighting off these group minds that exist at the next layer up (everybody creating reality together, etc.). But those group minds are an aberration. At the very top, there are many individual lines, the same, yet different, which are not in opposition to each other but instead delight in the flux of shifting harmonies.
If the fragmentation theories have some basis in fact (see Super Scio chapter 6A "Divide and Conquer", and Ron's HCL lectures, and some of Allen Hacker's materials), we may sometimes fragment in ways that leave "holes" which we want to fill, a bit like an incomplete electron shell. Instead of putting ourselves back together, we join with others, both in packaging implants and in these group minds in an effort to fill the vacuums.
If so, excessive running of NOTs without balancing it by regaining fragments of yourself (with "point to the being you divided from" as discussed in Super Scio) might leave behind excessive vacuums which would encourage group mind formation at the higher levels of the org. I'm just guessing here, but it might explain a lot.
And there is the possibility that Ron's identity submerged totally under the continual impact of standing at the focus of group think.
Don't bet your money on this theory, it's laid on very shaky ground. But please do try to break those group drilling patterns, because something sure does happen with them and the end product seems to be along the lines of Nazi Germany.
Best, The Pilot
Note [still The Pilot writing]: I label posts [to Internet] like this one "Super Scio Tech" so that people who are not interested can skip them easily. Sometimes these only go to ACT (freezone), but some (like this one) also go to ARS because they might be of interest to CofS lurkers.