From International Viewpoints (IVy) Issue 1 - May 1991

Book News - A Piece of Blue Sky by Jon Atack.
Published by Lyle Stuart.
Reviewed by Leonard Dunn, England

The title of this work stems from a remark made by LRH some 30 years
ago: 'Let's sell these people a piece of blue sky'. This was
interpreted by the author as meaning that the whole thing was a
confidence trick. There is, however another meaning since blue sky can
indicate happiness and freedom and this is what Scientology has
brought me.

The intention of this book is honestly stated in its subtitle:
"Scientology, Dianetics and L. Ron Hubbard exposed". An expose is
invariably a seeking out of all that is detrimental and totally
ignoring anything that is contrary to this. It is an attempt to
destroy. This can be self-defeating. When I was in Spiritualism we
found that whenever there was an expose and denunciation by the Press
the result was always a new influx of enquirers, many of whom remained
with the Movement.

Jon's research

The research for this work took nearly seven years and more than 150
people were contacted. Many of the documents consulted have never been
made public before. I would have preferred it if there had been
reports from those of us who have made long and lasting gains from the
materials and the auditing.

In point of face I am really surprised that Jon has written the
unbalanced work that this is since he had contact with Buddhism before
encountering Scientology. He is a very imaginative abstract painter
and his version of the Tao Teh Ching, which he sent me, was the best
version I have read, better than that of a scholarly Chineses writer.
His version is very much expressed in the basic ideas of Scientology.

Jon's attitude to LRH

As I read this book I thought of a passage in "In Tune with the
Infinite" in which Trine relates that in talking to a man this man,
speaking of another, said that he saw no good in him. Trine replied
'Then, my friend, you are no seer. There is good in everyone although
it may be deeply buried'. The way that Jon has written this book gives
the impression that he sees no good in LRH or anything connected with

His attitude is readily understood by reading his experiences in the
Movement which he entered in 1974 at the age of 19 when the C of S was
already in decline, out ethics and out tech and it became much worse

Out Tech

In regard to TR 0 he speaks of two people staring at each other. This
is indeed really out-tech. I recall when doing the TR's when returning
for a Course that TR 4 was not being done properly at all. Another
time the Superviser, a friend of mine, flunked me for something saying
that she had been taught differently on her recent visit to Flag. I
showed her the bulletin and she had to agree that what I had done was
in accordance with it.

Later in the book he shows great appreciation for the book by Robert
Kaufman, "Inside Scientology". This is natural enough since both he
and Robert had similar experiences. I had read this book and the best
thing about it as far as I was concerned was the hilarious letter from
one Scientologist to another written in Scientology jargon. The
account of his auditing caused me no surprise that he hadn't made any
gains, since he was out tech from Level 0 and doing just about
everything wrong that it was possible to do. His Level 0 was done by a
friend who was not fully trained in it and bore little resemblance to
what should have been done.

Co-audit on Grades

If I may digress for a moment I should like to deal with the fact that
the Orgs often advocated that the least expensive way to do the lower
levels was to take the training course and to co-audit with a fellow
student. I recognise now that it is really a criminal act not to have
these levels done by a fully trained and highly competent auditor. One
needs to pick up all the nuances of a PC's communication, something
which probably couldn't be done by reading the trainee auditor's
admin. It is these that give an indication of things that need to be
handled as terminals. Geoffrey Filbert in "Excalibur Revisited"
maintains that the C of S have never run these levels as they should
be run and he includes far more, and more workable, processes than are
to be found on "The Bridge".

I am currently running a Natural Clear on them and realize just what
he means. She is making exceptionally good progress. Beyond the PC's
known problems lie those that are not realised by the person and these
processes really find them and deal with them.

Jon on org staff

To return to Jon, he made the mistake of joining the Staff at Saint
Hill. What he experienced there was enough to turn anyone off! Here I
am not relying just on what he says since a very dear and close friend
was at the Danish Org and saw the brain washing of Staff in progress.
She simply refused to act in this way and was beyond the so called
"Ethics" because she was their only translator and was too valuable to
be touched by any threats.

His processing

Jon and I have been in communication with each other for a long time
as he was first editor and the Literary Editor of "Reconnection", the
British journal for Independent Scientology. When he sent me the book
he enclosed a personal letter which sometimes belies the attitudes
that he expresses in the book. He says that he feels that a review in
the American "Free Spirit" exaggerates his denigration of the tech. I
agree! Jon has simply related what he received in as honest a way as
possible. He was pronounced a Natural Clear after not becoming one and
making no gains in Dianetics. He also relates that all one had to do
to be pronounced "Clear" at this time was to be able to reword the
definitions of it in the Tech Dictionary and to have a personal
"realisation". This was at the time when the C of S was trying to
claim as many Clears as it could and the Clearing Course was seldom
used. It is true that many of us were actually Clear from earlier
processing. With me it became obvious when the running of Clearing
materials produced no big reads.

That he got little or nothing from the Upper Levels is in no way
surprising since this is very unlikely if lower levels haven't been
fully run and just about impossible if one is not really Clear. The
real proof of one being Clear before Clearing Course is to be found in
the way that a person handles life. It was this which led me to feel
that the lady I am currently auditing was this. Her friends commented
on the way in which she had overcome quite heavy problems and was so
very capable. An E-meter check revealed that my assumption was

That LRH made exaggerated claims in regard to the results that
auditing would produce has long been evident to me but that does not
mean that nobody made any gains from it. Many gains cannot readily be
put into words. What resulted in my case was a great increase in my
spiritual awareness.

Historical or biased?

In Jon's letter to me he also says that what he has written is simply
"historical". Undoubtedly that is true but what historian can write
totally objectively and dispassionately. Jon tries but his thoughts
show up even if only in small ways. His experiences make this
inevitable. This is particularly the case when describing the books
and tapes of LRH. I am sure that Jon considers that he is being quite
impartial but there is so often the little word or so that show his
true feelings.

Hubbard's cosmology

I noted this especially where he refers to "Hubbard's cosmology". In
the early days LRH stated quite plainly that there was nothing new in
Scientology except the processes. Although he doesn't mention it some
of these were not new either. Things that Jon dismisses as Science
Fiction are often, in fact, found to be things that are well known in
occult circles and are part of what is known as the Ancient Wisdom.
LRH once remarked that the only thing wrong with some SF (Science
Fiction) writers was that they didn't remember exactly what had
happened in past. There was a saying originating, probably, from the
ancient Hindus but may be much older, that "That which is, has been
and will be again". In the Bible in the book of Ecclesiastes it is
stated "there is nothing new under the sun" and that applies to
Scientology no less than anything else. It has all been around before
and even Clears and OT III's were made in the past and are around on
earth today.

There can be less than true historicity when Jon gives a partial
quotation which can give a different meaning than that when seen
completed. It is in the chapter dealing with the association of LRH
with "Black" Magic that Jon quotes, in part, the dictum of Alesteir
Crowley, whom LRH describes as a friend in the PDC Lectures, "Do what
you will shall be the whole of the Law". This is, of course intended
to be detrimental as so many people regard this as permission to be
totally self-centred and unprincipled. This attitude has always
intrigued me. What sort of a being is it who, in following this maxim,
would himself behave in the way attributed to it? Accepting it as
being nothing but detrimental would be an example of self
incrimination would it not? Think about it!

LRH and Crowley

The full quotation is, of course, "and the whole of the Law is Love
under the Will". The capitals are those of the text in" The Book of
the Law" by Crowley. I leave it to you to decide why the abbreviated
version is used. Black Magic, properly defined is the use of Magic
with the full intention of harming others. The term "Black" is often
used by those who wish to denigrate the subject through fear,
ignorance or prejudice. This often comes from adherents of the
"accepted" religions who consider that their concepts of the deity are
the only valid ones. Magic and Witchcraft are often concerned with
different deities and "The Devil" complete with horns and tail is, in
fact, an acceptable deity from much earlier times and known on earth
as far back as the Stone Age. Anything that is a power of good can,
when misused, become a power for evil. Just think of the C of S in its
present state so fully described with full documentation by Jon Atack.

In passing let me mention that I have not been involved in either
Magic or Witchcraft in this present lifetime as the ritualism no
longer appeals to me but I most certainly have been in past lives and
I strongly suspect that most other people have been too!

Denigration of LRH

Even though historical, the protrayal of only the -bad- things that
LRH and the Scientology Orgs have done must, of necessity be
denigrating. There is a quotation of uncertain origin from the late
1800 to early 1900's, attributed to several people but disclaimed by

There is so much good in the worst of us
and so much bad in the best of us
That it hardly becomes any one of us
To talk bad about the rest of us.

How true! If we look back at our own records, even though clean now -
and some present lifetime records haven't been all that clean if
others knew about them - what we have done on the whole track shows up
so many non-survival activites that we have little cause to be all
that proud of ourselves.

On the other hand there is another quotation - not given in my
Dictionary of Quotations but which may come from Bertrand Russell, the
English philosopher, the: "All it needs for evil to flourish is for
men of goodwill to sit back and do nothing!". This is the line that I
feel that Jon has taken in this book in regard to LRH and the C of S -
he didn't know the Scientology Orgs before the C of S but even they
were not all that they might have been.

"Excalibur Revisited"

Geoffrey Filbert writes something very interesting about the decline
of LRH which I quote: "The story behind them (Power Processes) is a
bit of a tragedy because L. Ron Hubbard developed these privately and
he ran them on himself, and left them unflat. He's got them backwards,
and has been kind of crazy ever since 1965. Prior to that particular
period of time, he seemed essentially rational. Since that period of
time he has been essentially irrational".

"Excalibur Revisited" is a book that is well worth reading and using
if you can get a copy. It was never printed but appears in a photostat
of a typescript and these are not easily attainable as one source of
producing them has dried up but if you can find someone whose copy is
available, the having it photocopied will be very worthwhile. It is a
balancer to Jon's work, critical, but mainly of what LRH failed to do
in spiritual matters, but using his material in this book where valid
and workable.

Jon and free scientology

Jon makes some reference to the Independents without in any way
evaluating their work but dealing mainly with their conflicts with the
C of S. In his letter he told me that he has had no auditing since
1984 and this I feel is a great pity since I feel truely sorry that he
has not experience the gains that I have. In case anyone who hasn't
experienced such gains believes that those who claim to have done so
are suffering from self delusion let me say that the greatest
validation is when non-Scientologists see the difference that has been
made to the individual and comment on it. When I went Clear in 1954 my
brother-in-law remarked "Old Len has become almost human"! This was a
fair comment on the level of change at that time but much more has
occurred since then.

I mentioned that in the way Jon's book was written I got the
impression that LRH was something akin to the Devil and that he and
all his works should be renounced. This, however, is not borne out in
his letter to me where he said that he felt the work of Sarge Gerbode;
"Metapsychology" could be of value to Dianetics and Scientology. I
feel this is true although it is still very much in the formative
stage but reports in Free Spirit of the new way of handling
GPM's seems very good indeed judging by results but I haven't as yet
seen the precise method used. As I have said, I find Filbert's work on
the lower levels to be highly productive.

I have to admit that I found 400 pages of almost unrelieved
revelations of the non survival aspects of LRH and the C of S having
quite a detrimental effect upon me for a while - I've fully recovered
now! Since I will not review a book until I have read all of it I
persevered right to the end but was glad when I had finished it. The
length and material are considered necessary since this is the most
researched and extensive work on this rather unpalatable subject to

I feel that Jon has concentrated on the non-survival aspect so fully
in order that potential new comers to Scientology should be fully
aware of the true activities of the C of S. He does not want others to
be entrapped by their increasingly brain washing and money making
techniques. If he prevents anyone from doing this then the book will
have been worthwhile. On the other hand if it prevents anyone from
coming into the Independent Movement and making gains like my own then
that is something very different.

In conclusion may I give a couple of quotations. A.J. Balfour "It has
always been desirable to tell the truth, but seldom if ever
necessary". Frederick Langbridge: "Two men looked out through the same
bars: One saw the mud, and the one the stars." I feel that one should
be able to see and confront both but it also seems to me that Jon,
after a brief vision of the stars saw only the mud.

I trust that Jon will be able, metaphorically, to raise his eyes and
find his stars in whatever form they may be to represent truth and
enlightenment for him.