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.

Is it dangerous over there??
by Phil Spickler
30 Jul 00

To all those who would list (defined in this case as those who like to play
on Internet lists):

       Well, thanks to Max the Magnificent, AKA Dr. Sandor, many memories
appeared of my own mother as a top-notch Chaos Merchant (an expression coined
by L. Ron Hubbard to mean someone who tries to make things dangerous over
there, so you will remain under their control, being fearful to be, do, or
have things that may harm you) -- that's the way my poor old Ma would have
been viewed by latter-day Scientologists, and I certainly and frequently saw
her that way as a child.  But part of her problem was that she had 5 kids in
the 1920's and '30's, and made a postulate that none of them were going to
die on her watch.

       Well, in those wonderful old days there were a lot of things that
could kill kids, and adults too, since this was before antibiotics had been
discovered as a useful cure for little killers like pneumonia, blood
poisoning, scarlet fever, not to speak of the ravages of things like syphilis
and tuberculosis, just to cover a few of the grimmer possibilities that with
alarming regularity could and did devastate families and individuals.

       But my Ma decided to buck the trend in those days and keep us all
alive, which meant that she spent quite a great deal of time warning us about
things we mustn't be, do, or have; which on the surface looks like an evil
intention, but based on her postulate that none of us should die on her watch
made a lot of sense, not that any of us would buy it or understand it.

        Some of the kids were affected by it and became too cautious in their
lives, but others of us used it as a springboard to show Mother who was
really right and who was really wrong.  Talk about a fountainhead of Service

       When it came to Dianetics and Scientology, even though I was getting
to be a big boy, Mom's postulate was still in effect, and I guess I showed
her, because I went on to become Mr. Dianetics and Mr. Scientology with a
vengeance -- happily, I'm pleased to say, not just to oppose her, but in the
main because I thought the world of the possibilities inherent in these

       Some folks, even in this presently enlightened moment, are pretty
touchy if someone suggests that they should withhold themselves from the
gaining of some sort of ability, real or imagined, because it might be
hazardous to their health.  Well, you can see, given the proportions of the
AIDS epidemic and the large numbers of people who continue to smoke
cigarettes, just how easy it is to convince a person not to do something they
want to do by telling them it may be dangerous to their health, spiritual,
mental, or physical.

        We've even been warned against further warfare on Planet Earth, and
all kinds of myriads of health warnings of one sort or another, which some
folks do take seriously, but in the main, given that we are willing to drive
cars on the LA freeways during rush hour, most folks live the greater portion
of their lives as though they were deathless immortals who possess mortal
machines that they use to play in the game of Life, but are really quite
careless of these devices (human bodies) because, true or false, they seem to
feel they can always get another someplace or sometime, and so to hell with
the risk if the game seems worth it.

        Telling people in the United States of America that 60,000 people a
year die somewhat agonizing deaths driving automobiles, and that close to
300,000 a year are permanently maimed to one degree or another driving
automobiles has had almost zero effect on the lust that folks have for
pushing two tons of metal on crowded roads at high speeds, some even under
the influence of booze or drugs, just to add a little extra randomity to the
thrill of it all.

       And so here we have OTs at play, and the games *are* rough, and they
quite often result in the death of many, even millions.  But heck, us
philosophers can just pass this off by saying, "That's life -- easy come,
easy go."

       Now if you have some ability that you've attained, accidentally or on
purpose, that would be considered exceptional, like walking on water, or
causing your friends to die at a distance, or floating around the room, it is
hoped that you will have enough confidence and strength in this ability that
you and it don't have to live in a vacuum of validative acknowledgment in
order for it to persist.  And if the minute you depart from Clearwater,
Florida (FLAG) or Dallas, the home of Knowledgism, or the ashram at
Pondicherry in India, and you quickly find that your new-found abilities and
things called "gains" start leaving you once you run into the rest of Life,
in which you can't afford to pay everybody $1000 an hour to let you find out
how wonderful you really are while surrounded by other grinning servants who
look upon you as though you were the second coming of Christ -- well, shucks,
that's not very OT, it it?

        To illustrate a point: many years ago, when I was working with a
fairly famous football player (that's United States' name for a game that is
not soccer), I noticed that this chap had what for most people would be
called exceptional OT abilities.  He would, on a certain signal, receive the
football from a chap bent over it called the center.  As soon as that
happened, there were 11 other giant, strong, fast, even kind of mean, guys
that would make a concerted effort to get to our boy with the ball and smash
him to the ground, try to rip the ball away from him, and within certain
limits, do as much bodily harm as possible.

       While this was going on (lots of randomity), he had to be able to spot
where various receivers might be, if he were going to throw a pass, and
having calculated all possible routes and times to destination, with one or
two of the enemy thundering down on him with murder in their hearts, launch
the ball successfully downfield and then physically receive the impact from
one or two guys who were close enough to legally try to murder him.

       None of these enemies were friendly, kind, and smiley -- they were not
acknowledging or encouraging in any way, shape, or form; and yet on  many
occasions, under this heavy suppressive effort, my friend the football
player, sometimes just after getting his front teeth knocked out, would
continue to perform, play after play.

        Now I don't know about you, my listeners, but I think that's pretty
OT, namely, living like a deathless immortal with a mortal body, and putting
your abilities to the test in the cauldron of Life, notjust in the super-safe
confines of the Flag Land Base.  If you've been so sensitized and deluded by
the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard concerning these matters that you think that
anyone who isn't very careful to never say or do  anything in your presence
except tell you how wonderful you are, and that those that do are suppressive
Chaos Merchants, well, my fondest hope is that this diatribe of mine will
relieve you of some of these fixations and point out to you that in life as
in games, assuming that you are alive and playing, you can't have everybody
on your team, because if you do, it's no game.

        And if you don't want any games, well, you should get off Earth then
at the next stop and see if you can find any place in the posited universe or
universes where there are no games of any sort and float around, confident
that no one will ever screw you up horribly by suggesting, inferring, or
stating any abilities you have, real or imagined, aren't that impressive or
are dangerous to your health.

        I in fact knew a fellow one time who was working on what he deemed an
ability, which was, when he broke wind (a polite way of saying in
Anglo-Saxon, farting) that his gaseous explosion should smell like a rose.
And it seemed as though he could occasionally achieve that result, even
though it was not that much fun being around him when he tested it; and
sometimes when he didn't get the smell of roses but might get something more
like decomposing roses, if anybody laughed or grinned, for the next while his
farts were of the kind that you wouldn't want to be in an elevator when it

      I don't know the end of this tale, but here's one of the more eccentric
things one might work on as an OT ability.

      Finally and in closing, allow me to point out that for many centuries,
and in different systems of philosophy or metaphysics, there have been
warnings about different things that one might get into that could be fatal
or at least harmful, spiritually, mentally, physically, or all of the above.
There may even have been some truth to these warnings that weren't just to
prevent the unwary from gaining truth and knowledge, but were just sort of
like traffic signs warning you that the road ahead ends in a cliff with a
steep drop-off.

      I'm confident also that there have been a fair number of such warnings
that have been there just as roadblocks to people, either as tests of courage
or stupidity, to see who would have what it takes to penetrate the mystery
leading to the great truth.

       The only  experience I can reliably refer to in this area where I've
had some personal experience, as well as seeing its effect on others, has to
do with the idea that too much truth, too quickly (varies with each person)
could or would kill you.  Many who have run into this warning have imagined
that it's a warning concerning physical death; but I beg to differ with that
opinion, and instead would have you believe that the death that's talked
about is really the death of the self that you would swear on a stack of
Bibles a mile high is really you.

      Yes, it's the ego-death, the self that we live for and defend to the
death whenever it is called into question, and assert whenever possible
"That's the real me!  the sovereign I!  the one who always was and always
will be!"

     Well folks, as unpalatable as this will seem to you, that "I" can die,
dissolve into nothingness, and literally cease to exist.  There are very,
very, very, very few living folks who really, if you sit down and ask them
quite sincerely "Do you desire that result?" would say "Yes."  In fact, what
they desire is just the opposite, and have been efforting for years, in one
way or another, to try to fortify that ego construction into an immortal "I,"
even though their best defences aren't sufficient, nor do they have enough
money to keep this ego from unwillingly experiencing the slings and arrows of
outrageous fortune.

      Unfortunately, there are a number of spiritual trips that unexpectedly
bring people to this point; or if they're lucky, they get through their
exercises without having this take place.

       In my next short story I shall describe the fate of some of us who
have had this experience, how to avoid it, unless you really want it, and why
the warning that this stuff could kill you is not just an effort to keep you
from experiencing ultimate or total truth.

       And so, kind friends, adieu until we meet again,
     As ever and never,