From International Viewpoints (IVy) Issue 6 - May 1992
The Origin of the Term Squirrel
by Antony A Phillips, Denmark
All those who have been in contact with the church, or in close
contact with those who have been in the church, have heard of the
By many of us it is regarded as a bit of a joke. We, who left the
church and can produce much better auditing results than in the
church, partly because our preclears are not subject to the
suppression and money present time problems of the average church pc,
are called squirrels by the "church slaves", who have to audit
preclears ever deeper in debt, and subject to severe action if they
ever communicate any negative thoughts or misgivings.
Some of us remember the squirrel button which the church issued (see
illustration, we have made it larger to show his expression - don't
you think he enjoys being a squirrel?). We had a good laugh at that.
The desperate attempt of a misguided few to maintain their monopoly
of an income source by any means.
How did it start?
But what was the origin of the term squirrel? Imagine yourself back
in the early 50's. Scientology and its techniques were new. All sorts
of people became interested. The deeply intelligent. The observant.
And those with a very uncertain grip on reality.
It is the latter class that was the real worry, I imagine, for Ron.
They came in, saw people enthusiastic about the results they
achieved, had very little idea about what had caused these
people to be enthusiastic, but did not realise their abysmal
ignorance. And some of them, I am sure, saw mainly a good chance to
make some easy money (and some, when they found their breed of
auditing did not produce lastingly the big money, turned to writing
derogatory books on scientology and its Founder)
Without being aware of their lack of understanding of the basics,
they started using basic scientology words, such as auditor,
preclear, etc. They could not see the sense in doing it the way Ron
said. They went out and did things their way, probably calling it
Scientology, anyway using Scientology words, as if they were
reputable experts in Scientology. Results were poor, and with certain
people who were "on the brink", very bad. Not suprising if their
actions tended to bring the subject into ill repute.
I can imagine Ron's horror when he heard of such misuse. (I am one of
the old fashioned kind, who remember Ron as a very caring man,
especially in his younger days). What should he do to handle this?
For better or worse he came up with the idea of labelling people who
misused scientology, squirrels.
Misuse of the word
When the church became extremely service faccy, what better method
could it find to make itself right and others wrong than to use this
terrible word Ron had brought into use: squirrel? Many were included
in the category: say a command wrong, divert from robotic auditing
routine, ask a casual question you the auditor, had thought of,
rather than the c/s, worst of all, use your common sense and
knowledge of auditing basics; you risked being labelled a squirrel.
It is probably wise to drop the use of the word squirrel now, other
than in fun, as it tends to produce more misunderstanding than
However let us not forget that there are auditing basics.
Inventing an auditing command is no crime, but remember that there
are fundamental rules for how a command should be formulated, which
any person trained on the class VI course has learned. Things like
always auditing a pc at cause. (The command "Imagine your being
effect and totally confused" may produce effects, but is not likely
to produce a healthier, happier and more self determined preclear).
We have inherited much good from the church, so lets use it. But we
can conclude that the habit of labelling things squirrel is a bit of
the pollution we have inherited. So lets clean that bit of the
As a footnote, I would add that in about 1958, I reported the auditing
of my mother to the Ethics Committee of that time. They recommended to
Ron that the field auditors certificates be revoked. Ron replied that
he agreed, but could not do a thing, because the auditors certificates
had been revoked earlier in the States (this happened in England).
Though my mother had wins from her earlier auditing, the net result
was unfortunate. And because she had had insulin shock the H.A.S.I
(the official organisation of the time - we did no call it a church)
would not audit her.