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.

What turns it on will turn it off
by Phil Spickler
2 Feb 1999

In the name of the great mystery and the 10,000 things, permit me to
send cheerful salutations to all my fellow travelers as we course
along the middle way.

To begin: what turns it on will turn it off -- this is almost
universally true when one is speaking of something like a light
switch. Automobiles and the timing mechanisms for H-bombs aren't near
as dependable. The way out is through -- I wonder if that's something
out of the Pali Canon, or is limited to notions of Book I - style
engram running.  I suppose what turns me on will also and inevitably
turn me off, at least I hope so, 'cause I hate the idea of running my
batteries completely down to dead, since my spiritual AAA card got
lost awhile back.  But enough of the entertainment side of this
message.  I should like to get down to brass tacks almost
immediately, without a lot of dawdling around.

Prisons and Prison Planet: the Possibility of an Analogy

If you've ever spent much time in prison, or if you've ever visited
prison out of either curiosity or missionary zeal, or better yet if
you've just gone to the library and gotten a few books out about
prisons and prisoners, one thing sticks out or protrudes in such a
way as to be unavoidable.  This is to say that almost everyone, every
prisoner you may ever talk to in a prison, feels that (a) they
shouldn't be there; (b) they were wrongfully convicted, (c) of
something that they are innocent of.  This is the no-fooling,
gosh-awful amazing truth, whether they're on Death Row or just
cleaning up roadside debris as a result of being convicted of driving
under the influence: the answer you will get from a percentage
approaching 100 is "Innocent -- didn't do it -- shouldn't be here."
Modern justice or justice systems have endeavored in the recent
decades to go to very great lengths to ensure that folks are
convicted and imprisoned only after great care is taken to ensure
that innocent folks aren't being falsely imprisoned or executed.
Since we have a system, in the United States at least, that is called
the adversarial system of justice, no matter what a person may have
done, they are absolutely encouraged not to admit doing it and to
plead "Not guilty" or "Innocent."  It has been said that this is a
pretty wacky system of justice, and that what we should be doing is
encouraging everyone, from small children right up to the worst
felon, to come clean, tell the truth, take responsibility for the
deed  and the punishment that goes with it, which gives the
individual a chance to balance the scales of justice and clean up
their karma and get prepped up for another shot at the dharma.

But anyway, let's pick up the hope of creating the aforementioned
analogy.  Those reading this have probably already figured out what's
coming next, and should be dictating hate messages and poison-pen
letters to me as fast as possible, because I'm about to take a
terribly unpleasant swipe at the notion that this is a prison planet
and that we, the people of Earth, are really just a bunch of pretty
nice sweet kindly little thetans who, through the awful deeds of
intergalactic universe-wide SPs have been stuck here and had our
senses and abilities so confused that we don't have a chance of
making a prison break, or even conducting a good prison riot.  So the
prison-planet theorists have decided that the condition we're in is
that of victim, and that we've unfairly been given this giant
motivator, and that we are innocent of any and all crimes that would
cause us to deserve such an 'orrible sentence.

Well, that is one way of looking at things, and it certainly keeps
some of our brethren (jailhouse lawyers, if you will) working night
and day to solve the difficulties of the prison and make it possible
for some, if not everyone, to go free, whether they deserve to or
not.  I think a much healthier and more soul-satisfying approach to
this whole notion of prison-planethood and why any or all of us may
be imprisoned here can be found by taking a good look at Flow 2, or
the overt track, which is the same message I might give if I dressed
up in my ministerial costume and went to San Quentin at the
invitation of the Association of Prisoners for Higher Understanding
and Enlightenment and gave them a lecture that on the proper gradient
would help them to look at enough cause and effect, the notion of the
overt/motivator sequence, the idea of karma if you will, so that some
of the enlightenment and relief that can be easily and regularly
produced in human beings by acquainting them with what used to be
called Grade 2 tech would become theirs.  And instead of spending
their months or years totally confusing their universes by attempting
to evade responsibility and refusing to confront the acts or actions
which finally got them in that predicament, they could instead arrive
in the present moment that they find themselves in and actually
commence the steps toward a greater freedom by simply being able to
have the current moment and living it as it is.

I would suggest to the folks who espouse the prison-planet
explanation for Earth and its people that they've got the cart in
front of the horse by attempting to quickly or suddenly shorten their
sentence on this earthly prison, and would better spend their time
looking for and correctly owning the deeds or misdeeds that would
serve  (from the standpoint of responsibility) to enlighten them as
to why they/we are here.  As I said, this is a very unpleasant
analogy and suggests that if the prison-planet premise (watch that
alliteration!) is true, then the reasons for us being here,
individually and collectively, are in accordance with the notion of
"Let the punishment fit the crime" (see Gilbert and Sullivan).

Now it's often true (or observable, I should say) that when something
pretty awful happens to someone, they might at a later date say, "Gee
whiz!  I wonder what I did to deserve that?"  That's often said
facetiously, but it does start to approximate what they need to find
out if they're ever going to be able to let go of the facsimiles of
the big motivator.  If you've ever worked much as an auditor, you
know that you can bring a big grin, a laugh, and very good indicators
to almost anyone's face by just getting them to tell you about overts
and withholds.  Folks quickly reach the point where they in fact kind
of get proud of some of the awful things they've done, provided that
you don't sit in judgment of them.

Well, so it would seem then, some of the folks here on Earth have
concluded that Earth is a pretty fancy but horrible prison, and like
prisoners in regular prisons there is a feeling that the sentence is
incorrect, that the crime or crimes of which they were accused and
convicted and sentenced for are not true, and that in essence they
are innocent and wrongly and falsely imprisoned and should be
released at once if possible.  At one point in time, Mr. Hubbard,
feeling more like one of the gang, said something to the effect of
"Who do you think we are?  Intergalactic criminals, pirates,
saboteurs, con men, pimps, traitors, etc etc. etc. -- you get the
idea."  I think I was there for that talk, and I didn't see a bad
indicator in the house.  There was nothing like putting folks like us
at cause to get good indicators.  If the guy can't find any crime
he's committed to balance his punishment, I have found in some cases
that you can get the person to invent or imagine what they might have
had to have done and now be withholding to have encountered such a
horrible fate.

Now I'm not opposed to games that come under the heading of "Let's
pretend," and I think that "Let's pretend that this is a prison
planet" can and could be an awful lot of fun and one which the
game-makers and players, etc., could definitely get a lot of mileage
out of, and it quickly and easily helps one to see who are the
enemies or opponents and whether it's a takeoff on E.E. Doc Smith's
"Lensman" series or whatever, it's good sport.  It might be
considered bad form to talk about the invention as though it's not a
game, and/or to turn it into, as Ron did, God help his immortal soul,
when he issued those awful words in "Keeping Scientology Working,"
namely, "Scientology is a deadly serious business."  Oy veh is mir!
(Yiddish for "Oh woe is me"): and so went the last chance for the
game being fun.  Now it was just aberrated, and not fun, but deadly
serious -- tsk, tsk, tsk.

Well, anyway, I'm hoping to hear from any or all who have an opinion,
good or bad, some thoughts, true or false, regarding the analogy set
forth in this poor paper, as well as anything else I may have said
about such notions. I think it should still be possible to play the
game called "Prison Planet" and have a lot of fun doing it, although
I think it gets a lot less expensive and a lot more lighthearted and
a lot more fun for those that play -- in fact it could become a very
popular board or video game called "Prison Planet (TM)" -- but in any
event, here's to the game and my fervent hope is that the information
contained in this isn't so truthful that it acts as a game-ender.  I
shall go so far as to say that anything and everything I've said
tonight was just for fun, I was only kidding, and as anyone will tell
you, I'm a notorious liar.

Love, Phil