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.

Life on the Amazon
by Phil Spickler
4 July 99

Dear Interested Parties and Others,
      The question in my case is "How many half-wits does it take to make a
whole?"  Having qualified the source of what follows, let us now proceed into
Dianetics and Scientology for Old Folks.  Perhaps to soften the blow, we
could call such folks "the extremely mature," or "the fully developed among
us," "senior citizens," "golden-oldie timers," etc. etc. etc.

       However, I think you know what I mean, and this is not to take
anything away from the idea that you're only as old as you feel (in this
case,  I must be about 175! :-)  Just kidding . . .)
But at least according to the Buddha, most lives, after giving and receiving
a full measure of pain and pleasure, generally, or perhaps universally, and
specifically in physical form, do seem to age and eventually through illness
and possibly other factors reach an end, come to a conclusion, or to be
blunt, die.

      The human body, which is demonstrably a composite held together by
whatever holds it together, eventually disassembles, and all the things that
make it up separate out and return to whatever they were doing before they
got together to make up that particular body.  Speaking of the Buddha (please
forgive me, Max), if the legend about Siddhartha has any truth in it, he was
kept shielded from the sight of things such as old age, illness and death,
and it wasn't until (accidentally or on purpose) he got a look at these
things, which apparently came as such a shock and/or surprise that rather
than face these future spectors, he headed off on his quest to discover the
way out, or perhaps the way in, with the promise of relief from the full
experience of Life.

       The Church of Scientology, through the years that I spent connected
to one degree or another, possessed some fairly strange attitudes in the form
of tech and policy concerning things like illness, old age, and death.
Illness, or getting sick, definitely became a pretty giant no-no, and for
those of you that have read Samuel Butler's masterpiece entitled _Erewhon_,
which by the way is Nowhere spelled backwards (almost): in this most
interesting book, illness was deemed to be a crime, and if you got sick you
were a criminal, whereas all the things that we would call "criminal" got
treated as medical problems (isn't that an interesting twist!).

      Anyhow, anyone in Scientology that was foolish enough to show up
looking or acting physically ill would at once be labelled "Potential Trouble
Source," meaning "connected to someone or something Suppressive."  Well, for
those reading this who have been in the Church, you won't have any trouble
remembering how serious and expensive this sort of thing could turn out to
be, and all the craziness and paranoia that was part and parcel of that whole
package.  Some of the fairly new people in the subject would go around
whispering to one another, "How can he be sick?  He's an OT 5!"  Or folks who
were newly introduced to SP/PTS tech, if they got sick might start finding
that most of the people they knew were Suppressive Persons -- it was not and
still is not a popular idea within the Church to find that Ron or any of the
leading names in the subject, past or present, should turn up as your right
item on a Search and Discovery looking for SPs on your case.

       So, many of us did not have the pleasure of getting sick and allowing
the body and its enormous resources to work its way through, which is too
bad, because it gave sickness a very bad name, and put one more important
area of life in a condition of not-isness, even though before getting
brainwashed practically everyone knows that health and ill-health arise
together, and that you really can't have one without the other.  Coming up
with some absolute formula like "Sick = PTS" is one of those mind-numbing
non-relative absolutes that will at least ensure that people become mentally
sick, as well as failing to enjoy being physically sick.

       I'm pleased to report that I was part of Dianetics and Scientology
before the invention of "Ethics" and "PTS/SP technology," and during those
early days, it was OK to get sick -- it was even all right to die, and whilst
Dianetics and Scientology could both be used to aid in the recovery from
illnesses and often to improve the general health of folks, nobody got
screwed off lines and treated as a Potential Trouble Source and denied the
friendly and helpful connection with others just because they happened to get
the flu or break a leg or discovered that they had an incurable terminal
illness. I always thought it was too bad that when Ron broke his arm
motorcycling in the days when Flag was located in the Mediterranean, they
didn't overboard him a few times for failing to turn himself in as PTS. (
That last sounds a little bitter on my part, so I'll just keep moving along

      By the way, I got a few ideas for other books that might be written
concerning the application of Dianetics and Scientology to older folks: two
of them came from one of our sons, and are as follows: _Dianetics, the Modern
Science of Geriatric Health_, and _Dianetics, the Greying of a Science_.  And
then I've thought of writing one called _Scientology: Science of Senility_;
perhaps others might wish to enter the book-title arena with further

      It's probably true that some illness and some accidents and other
things of that ilk could be related to the motivator of one's connections to
particular people and groups.  I have, in the days when I was doing a great
deal of auditing, seen some pretty miraculous things occur in connection with
that tech.  I've also seen all kinds of recoveries and healings and miracles
take place without any reference to or use of PTS/SP tech.  One of the
hottest items in that department was looking at hidden influences that have
heavy-duty undisclosed overts and continuous missed withholds.

     What I'm saying, I think, adds up to this idea: if one were going to
tailor Dianetics and Scientology to the aging and aged, I think it would be a
good idea to take a friendlier view of body-mind aging and of all the
possibilities for illness, disease and general breakdowns that may occur; and
help folks, particularly who have been in and around Scientology, to grant
themselves and their equipment the OK to experience the cycle of action that
inevitably results in what we've come to call the opposite of life, which is
death.  It would be a good idea to get someone in good enough condition to
make their peace with this aspect of Life (with a capital L): that's the Life
that has both life and death in it; and to get over some of the things that
connection with Scientology may have installed, not to speak of former
therapies and earlier practices that regard the flesh as evil and corrupt,
and that sickness is a sin and death an evil, and all that other hogwash, and
just get back to seeing the whole affair as a series of transitions, each and
every one of which is a miracle.  And one should not be ashamed of being sick
and dying anymore than one would be ashamed of being healthy and living, and
just between us idjits, if I were going to be ashamed of one or the other, I
think I'd come down on my own and behalf of others on the side of being
ashamed of living.  (I don't mean I'm suggesting to really do that, but I
hope you get my drift.)

       Now in this episode of Phil's Fantasy, I still haven't gotten very
far along the line of application of Dianetics and Scientology to the aged
and aging, but I still have to cover a few more things, like aging itself and
death.  Today was somewhat of a look at illness, but for anybody that's
interested in this series, I shall continue to mosey in that general

      And so, until we meet again, all the best -- Phil

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