The following first appeared in the private email list IVy-subscribers,
which was available to all those who subscribed to the
printed magazine, International Viewpoints.

Confessions of the cookie monster
by Phil Spickler
12 Aug 99

Dear Those Who Receive,
       Having just returned from Nowhere, and listened in to the latest
comings and goings on the famed and fabled IVy-list, I couldn't help but
notice that there was quite a to-do going on, which seemed to have something
to do with terms like "Free Zone," "independent," "Scientologist," and
possibly a few others, and to things real or imagined that these terms might
or might not adequately represent as either a label or possibly even a symbol.

      I can't really say how much mass, motion or mobility is contained in
the various discussions (actually arguments or disagreements) that have been
going on in my absence, but suffice it to say, it seems to be a spirited
exchange, a game if you will, on a small scale, with somewhat well-defined
opponents and fighting, plus a small audience of onlookers, some who
occasionally dip into this game at the level of pieces or minor players, and
the whole thing seems to be rambling on towards a finale in which the final
conclusion will be, not to agree about disagreeing, but to disagree about
agreeing to disagree.

      The nature of the action helps verify my earlier conclusions
concerning the desirability of games with opponents and fighting as being one
of the prime attractions of the Internet for some folks, who, when the
opportunity strikes, are off and running in preference to a pan-determined
forum with the intention of increasing understanding.

        I've temporarily gone off life-support in order to make this
communication, so please bear with me; it's unlikely that I'll be repeating
it in the near future.

      In the "confessions" portion of this paper, I must admit that I bear
quite a bit of responsibility for what is currently going on, and I'm willing
to bear this responsibility as blame or, moving up the Tone Scale to my
rightful position, and with modesty admitting that I am responsible for all
efforts and all counter-efforts on all dynamics, in all domains and in all
universes.  Yes, willing and knowing cause, which is very close to the
success story that that famous warrior and heavy-duty OT Lawrence Wollersheim
once gave to a group of us ogling bystanders at Flag next to the Success Desk
at the point of his first completion of NOTs.

       There's a lot more to that story, but not right now, except to say
that after watching the courageous giant that Larry became in his battles
with the Evil Empire (Church of Scientology), I'd have to say he came pretty
close to getting all the gains that he subscribed to that fateful day, and
perhaps then some.  But anyway, on to my confessions as the Great I-Am.

      In the front of the wonderful IVy magazine, created by the estimable
Ant Phillips, there's a few sentences that pretty well establish the purpose
of IVy and its subject, which, if you can read and understand the King's or
Queen's English somewhat, makes it pretty clear that it has a lot to do with
Scientology, past and present, and its future possibilities.  And one might
conclude that for those people that are willing to cough up the extremely
underpriced pittance to receive this wonderful quarterly journal, that you
would then be entitled to membership in the IVy-list and a chance for further
communication regarding the stated aims of IVy the magazine.

      We're getting closer to my confession.

       Every so often, Ant as the IVy guardian (take it easy -- that's just
a word that means someone who looks after the state of something) would take
it upon himself to find out who-all was communicating on the IVy list that
had never met the minimum requirement of purchasing a subscription to the
magazine.  Whilst somewhat new to this list, it came to our attention some
months back that folks like Joe Harrington and Birgitta, and Allen Hacker,
and even possibly the great Alan Walter, were about to be removed as
communicators to the list for want of willingness to purchase a subscription.
At that time I thought the list might suffer from the absence of these noble
beings, without realizing that if they were truly interested in the stated
aims of this lofty forum they could easily afford its entrance fee.

      And so, in a fit of magnanimity, we graciously subscribed on their
behalf, in order to keep them around.  I did not do this on Alan Walter's
behalf, since I thought if he wished to be around he would be.

       Anyhow, as the months rolled by, it was pretty easy for me to
conclude that I had erred in my rush to do "the right thing," since these
folks (a) did not wish to subscribe to the magazine and its aims, and (b) at
different times have been a presence on the list that further confuses what
the whole thing is all about.  There are so many other forums on the Internet
for what they do wish to communicate, that their freedom of speech will in no
way be impaired if their presence on the IVy list is ended.

     I think, at the risk of evaluating and possibly giving some wrong
indications, it would be safe to say that the incredible Joe Harrington and
his noble consort Birgitta have been heavily involved over the years
(especially Joe) in the great cold, sometimes hot, war with the Church,
perhaps leaving them so soured, up to and even including words that might
exist in connection with that movement, that they are no longer able or
willing to separate the wheat from the chaff, that they have thrown out the
baby and kept the bath water, and are not likely to enjoy people who use
words like "Scientology," "Scientologist," "Free Zone," "independent," etc.
etc. etc. without feeling somewhat obliged to give the carcass at least one
more good kick to see if it's still moving.

       Allen Hacker, on the other hand, who never spent enough time in the
Church or in its creation or on its various bridges to qualify as a
significant critic, has instead determined, in the most general sense, that
having offended him (or one of his valences) at some time in the past, that
the Church and everything about it is in a never-to-be-rescinded Condition of
Treason (one generality re another generality), has gone on in his own
fashion and by his own statement to build a better bridge, and frequently
uses the IVy list as an advertisement for this when not attacking or deriding
those who were on the IVy list by their own volition, rather than at the
direction of Phil the Great I-Am.

      Moving on to Alan Walter for a moment: Alan, in the creation of
Knowledgism, certainly is very unlikely to have very much expressed affinity
for folks who like Scientology, the philosophy, and the enormous wealth of
practices and procedures that may be extracted from the millions of words,
and has little time or affection to spare to those who enjoy some of the
timelessly workable aspects of such philosophy, and has a tendency to
invalidate, evaluate for, and dismiss with a shrug of his mighty shoulders
and a look of contempt for those he would describe in a less-than-friendly
fashion as still being stuck in certain tiny boxes that prevent them from
seeing the majesties and great understandings that far transcend the pitiful
if somewhat admirable efforts of L. Ron and Co.  In spite of all this, and as
if in tribute to his former lifetime as a Scientologist, he does occasionally
grace the list with some of his giant understandings, when he's not being the
beast who will devour some of us fools (take note, Robert).

     I contend that peace will not reign until the intentions of these folks
are directed to their proper forum, and that those among us who can still
differentiate between that ill-advised organization called the Church of
Scientology and all the things that come under the heading of Scientology, a
philosophy, we will fail to achieve the purpose of two-way communication,
which, believe it or not, has something to do with increasing understanding.
When communication is engaged in as a game, with opponents and fighting, and
a winner and a loser, even the least among us can see that the intention is
not to increase understanding.

      Embarrassingly, I apologize to all who have been affected adversely by
my ill-conceived intentions to help, and having accepted your forgiveness in
advance, let us spring forward as if there were no track and no charge and
enjoy the moment.

    With highest regards to all, as ever, I Am/Am Not -- Phil

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