Commenting on this blog

While I welcome your feedback, I will be moderating comments. I’m pretty much chained to my computer, so I don’t foresee long comm lags between my being notified of a comment and responding accordingly. I don’t mind if you disagree with me, but I won’t allow derogatory comments on either side of an argument. I try to avoid using snarky or snide terms in my posts, and won’t allow them in comments. We’re better than that, people.

War-gaming the future

My husband and I have had several conversations about Scientology’s future free of CofS. How will things play out? We’ve war-gamed various scenarios, and one that sends chills down my spine revolves around the ability to audit PCs without interference from the government.

Right now we have CofS’s deep pockets keeping that wolf at bay. Auditing is covered as pastoral counseling, but CofS calls those in the Field apostates, defrocked ministers, etc. Do we still have that protection? Consider this…

Let’s say a Field auditor decides to take on a PC that’s actively taking psych drugs. Or in the middle of a raging PTS Type A sit. Or something else that causes the auditing to go sideways (out Auditor’s Code issues, squirrel tech, etc.). Everything goes seriously and rapidly downhill and this imagined Field auditor has a Lisa McPherson-type case on his hands, with the same disastrous result. The victim’s family knows the PC had been getting auditing and they hire a lawyer. When they naturally try to go after CofS and its deep pockets, CofS says, “We had nothing to do with it. What that apostate did couldn’t have been Scientology pastoral counseling because he’s been kicked out of the Church.” They may even make up some proof our poor auditor was known to foul up and that’s why he was kicked out, his certs revoked.

Meanwhile the media is having a field day with this tragedy, splashing it across the front pages of papers. The news quickly reaches another group that would love nothing more than to shut Scientology down — the psychiatry/psychology field. From their viewpoint, we’ve been horning in on their territory for decades, stealing patients (read: money) from them all this time. They haven’t been able to bring down Scientology as a whole, but here’s their chance to make some inroads.

So their lawyers draft state-level legislation that basically calls any auditing outside of the official Church “practicing medicine without a license.” The tragic death of the PC serves to rile up the citizenry and they go along with the legislation. After all, even the Church says what that auditor did was bad, and not real Scientology.

Okay, you’re thinking, “well, that happened in another state; it won’t affect me.” But then psychs in your state see how successful that was and they do the same thing there, and it spreads all over the US, and beyond. CofS may even assist in this campaign as the Field has become a giant thorn in their side as well.

You may think this scenario is impossible, but with no Qual in the Field ensuring Standard Tech, there could easily be horrible results from bad auditing. And while the Field may be reveling in all the bad press CofS has been getting, it can also serve to tar all Scientology in the minds of wogs who don’t know any better. We start getting cases of PCs going Type 3, or worse, dying in the Field and all Hell is liable to break loose.

It’s in all our best interests to come up with some way to have at least a Qual function in the field. I offered the beginnings of an idea in my post “Assuring Standard Tech” , but it’s something we all need to confront and consider.

Where’s the Div 6 activity?

One of my long-standing pet peeves in Scientology has been the imbalance between promoting to existing public versus raw public. FSMs, even way back when I was on staff, preferred to work with cognited Scientologists over running the Dissemination Drill on raw public. Sure, I understand it’s a whole lot easier to confront someone who already knows Scientology is the way out. Approaching a raw public could leave you dealing with all kinds of headaches (entheta, Third Party, etc.).

CofS has taken cannibalism of public to a whole new level. The stories of outrageous regging are all over the place. But I fear there’s a similar problem in the Field.

While there may be some in the Field who are actively promoting Scientology to raw public, I haven’t seen any major activity in this area. I’ve heard some say that it’s planned, but mostly the focus I’ve seen and heard is on fellow people in the Field, servicing those who are already out, and trying to get more to “wake up” and leave CofS. That’s all good, but we still have a planet to clear, folks.

With CofS crumbling before our eyes, the Field should be positioning itself to take on the job of clearing the planet. Of course, this goes back to that dreaded “Organization” concept because, ideally, there’d be marketing and promotion to reach all those wogs. To do it properly and on the necessary scale, we’d need the money to finance things like TV commercials and web ads (not email marketing, please — I hate spam!). These could point to a central internet presence that provides people with a destination to learn more, as well as a way for them to locate a “provider” in their area. You know, they type in their location and it would show who in that area offers what. It would just be field practices in the beginning (please, auditing and training), but eventually, we’d need some type of Org structure. (Okay, pick your jaw back up. No, you don’t need to cower in the corner. As I mentioned in my “Who’s afraid of Admin?” post, it’s not Organizations or Admin that’s the boogeyman.)

My point is we need to think big, not just worry about our own cases. I totally understand “racing Dynamic One” — I’m not getting any younger myself and I have a whole lot of Bridge to still do. But I also recognize this is a big planet with a whole lot of people. The more people we clear, the better life would be here on Earth. If appealing to your Third and Fourth Dynamics isn’t working, think about your Second. Don’t you want your kids and grandkids to have a safer, saner world to live in?

Assuring Standard Tech

In my last post, I got on my Admin soap box, but lest you think I just hobby-horse that subject because of my training, let me reveal my ‘ulterior’ motive.

I’ve had to come to accept that my Church will probably not be saved from total destruction. That concerns me on a number of levels. I know the Field has managed to ‘save’ much of the Tech, but what about things like tech films, the B.C.-only material on the Briefing Course, and all the upper levels? Will I be able to access these things in the Field? Will the Tech I receive be Standard?

What does that all have to do with Admin? Hand in hand with the aversion to Admin I’ve seen among some in the Field is an aversion to any kind of centralized Organization. I understand the fears — that any new Organization could some day turn into the monster we’re witnessing today in CofS — but there’s a reason LRH put in the level of organization he did.

Sure, in the early years things were pretty ‘wild and woolly’, but LRH soon figured out it wasn’t all that operational. Among other things, having a central Organization allowed for setting and enforcing standards. Think of it like McDonald’s. You know if you go into a MickyD’s in New York, LA, or even London, that Big Mac will taste the same. The same ingredients and cooking method will be used. Standardization is a good thing. It’s good for the employees who don’t have to reinvent the wheel. It’s good for the consumer who can satisfy his hunger without worrying about it tasting weird.

A central Organization provides a central repository for all the Tech. It can be kept safe and made available when needed.

A central Organization makes good business sense, too. One entity can handle promotion and marketing (something I’ll touch on in a future post), making it more cost effective.

But it’s the certainty of standardness, or lack thereof in the current scene, that I worry about most. My husband mentioned this in his recent post Whither Standard Tech?. I’m not auditor trained. I may not know whether an auditor is using the correct list. I won’t know if the auditor is properly reading the meter. Sure, if I “red tag” I’ll have a clue there’s something wrong, but I’d rather not, thank you. Perhaps some outness just means something that should take one intensive, ends up taking three. I won’t know there’s a problem. And to the degree I worry about things like this, is the degree I won’t be fully ‘in session’. It could give me a Present Time Problem (PTP) right from the get-go.

Before COB turned our tech delivery into “a dog’s breakfast”, you knew when you got auditing in an Org that the auditor was trained, interned, and answered to a CS, Tech Sec, etc. After you finished your session, you went to an examiner — another opportunity to catch any problem. You knew if he/she did something wrong in a session, it would be caught and corrected with cramming. But we don’t necessarily have that in the field.

Many field auditors are ‘one man shows’. Sure, they’re hopefully using a CS to program the case, but that’s usually done over a long distance comm line. No separate examiner. No Tech Sec or Qual Sec.

Even if the field auditor is using a separate CS, is that CS actually reviewing folders? Does the auditor ever submit videos of their sessions?

While the ideal solution is building a new Organization that enforces Standard Tech, Standard Admin, and hatting, I know that will be hard for some to accept. With that in mind, I offer another solution I hope the Field will consider. I think it addresses the fears of those against any kind of organization.

Some central entity (call it what you will) would ‘certify’ auditors through a specific VOLUNTARY process. Let me stress that again — this would be voluntary. Auditors who don’t do this could still audit in the field all they wanted. But those that do choose to could then market that fact. For illustration purposes, let’s call this certification status “Gold Seal”. The actual process to achieve this status should be designed by highly trained auditors, but off the top of my head I think they should:

1) Have to answer a test based on the training level they claim to have achieved.

2) Have to submit some folders for examination.

3) Have to submit some session videos where their metering and TRs could be checked.

Assuming they pass this certification process, they could then promote they’re “Gold Seal” auditors. That would be a great PR tool for the auditor. His/her PCs would feel more comfortable going into session.

The certification would need to be a paid service, but it shouldn’t be exorbitant. It should simply cover the costs of doing the review process. It should also only be good for a certain amount of time — perhaps a year. That way PCs will know the auditor’s tech will have been reviewed and certified relatively recently. Keeping it voluntary should appease those who are against any kind of organization. And those of us worried about the standardness of the Tech would be more assured. It’s a win-win.

Who’s afraid of Admin?

Okay, now I’m really going to step into it! If you were to meet me, you’d never think I was the type to stir a hornets’ nest, but when I feel strongly about something, I tend to speak up. Ask my poor hubby…

I’ve noticed a viewpoint that appears to be held by some of the major voices in the Field that bothers me greatly — a blaming of Admin (Green-on-White) for a multitude of sins. Can you say “wrong target”? Most, if not all, the complaints I’ve read and heard regarding Admin can be traced back to a misapplication (or non-application) of Admin. Just as Red-on-White Tech would create poor results if not applied correctly, Green-on-White “tech” must also be standardly and correctly applied.

Sadly, there’s been widespread misapplication of Admin for many years. It’s usually the result of unhattedness. On the small scale, this plays out with someone slapped onto a post, given a pitiful excuse of a mini-hat (if that), and then yelled at for not producing stats. But the unhattedness goes all the way to the top of Orgs, of Management Orgs, and of CofS itself.

My husband has made the point on his blog that there’s also a problem with ‘corporate culture’. I’m sure there are people who are Admin trained, but after years of being mishandled, yelled at, and beaten down (in some cases, literally), haven’t been able to hold their position in space, going into agreement with the exact wrong way to do things.

Admin is something I know a thing or two about. When I was a Class V Org staff member, I was sent to LA to do the Organization Executive Course (OEC) and Flag Executive Briefing Course (FEBC). For those who don’t know those courses, the OEC covers the main Green volumes (Divisions 0-7) while the FEBC covers the Management Series volumes as well as some excellent LRH tapes (the FEBC and Est O tapes). The analogy used is that an OEC grad is to Admin as a Class VI auditor is to Tech, while an FEBC compares to a Class VIII auditor. So as an interned FEBC, Exec Status III, I know about Admin and how it’s supposed to work. Sadly, you’d be hard pressed to find it fully and correctly applied in CofS today.

Let’s start with why Admin is so important. Don’t listen to me; look at what LRH says:

HCO PL 29 May 1961 Quality and Admin in Central Orgs (Keeping Scientology Working Series 3):

“Administration is no unimportant function. On the contrary, I had to work in Scientology a long time before I found out that in the absence of good administration, technical quality is impossible.”

HCO PL 4 June 1971 Standard Admin:

“To approach the subject of STANDARD ADMINISTRATION realistically, one first must recognize that a right way to do things can exist.”

“There is a TECH of ADMIN. This would be the right ways to do administration actions or organize something.”

“There are correct ways to do things in ADMIN. For each correct procedure there can be an infinity of incorrect actions.”

“The subject of admin only appears difficult because those involved in it SELDOM LEARN THE CORRECT PROCEDURES. Instead they do other odd things that, taken as a whole, give a thoroughly confused scene.”

“‘On-policy’ (knowing and applying our procedures) has been the common denominator of each boom. ‘Off-policy’ (not knowing, not applying our procedures) has been the common denominator of every org or continental area collapse.”

HCO PL 10 July 1986 Keeping Admin Working:

“It may not be generally understood, however, that the principles given in that policy letter [Keeping Scientology Working, Ed.] do not apply only to what is commonly referred to as ‘tech’ — the first dynamic technology given in HCO Bulletins. You see, when ‘tech’ goes out, the pc suffers. When ‘admin’ goes out, the org declines.

Therefore, to keep Scientology working, all of Scientology, one must insist on standard tech and admin. The principles of unvarying adherence to precise technology, constant alertness to tech alter-is and insistence that every Scientologist abide by these rules apply just as severely to the third dynamic technology of standard administration — POLICY.”

I could go on, but I think you get his point. There’s been way too much misapplication of Admin and I’ve been on the receiving end of some. My org was a hot bed of unhattedness and the unusual solutions, stat pushes, low staff pay, etc. that go along with it. The “it’s 10:00 on a Wednesday night and nobody goes home until we get the Gross Book Sales up!” insanity. I know what it feels like to be subjected to incorrect (or missing altogether) justice actions. I do understand the pain and frustration this misapplication of Admin causes, but I also know what it’s like when it’s done as LRH lays out.

Before we ‘fired’ back into our orgs, FEBCs were treated to a tour of a true “Ideal Org”. It was an amazingly theta experience. The first thing that hit me was the complete and total lack of tension in the air. People were busy getting their products; they were focused, but happy and smiling as they went about their work. It was so unlike any Org I’d been in, from my home Org, to my Continental Liaison Office (CLO), to even Flag Command Bureau where we did our training. If only Int had insisted on getting all Management staff (from Int to Cont levels), through the FEBC program when LRH first developed it (at the time and ongoing to PT), perhaps COB could never have gotten the foothold to do all the damage he did.

Standard Admin has to start at the very top. I can’t speak for today, but when I was on staff, this was part of the problem. As a Class V Org ED, I answered to a Programs Chief at the continental level and that person was either (1) not admin trained at all, (2) beaten down over the years in the SO, or (3) trying to sabotage the Org. I won’t go into the particulars, but trust me, this person didn’t appreciate what an FEBC is trained to do.

My point is that Admin is not the boogeyman. It’s not this terrible tool to hit and hurt the suffering staff. It is misapplication or non-application of Admin that has done so much damage. Let me leave you with one more LRH passage:

HCO PL 10 July 1986 Admin Degrades:

“How does standard ‘green-on-white’ policy get lost? Just as with the ‘red-on-white’ tech of auditing or training, it can potentially be obscured or made to seem unimportant by the actions of an ill-intentioned individual.

“Someone considers that the best way to get a new staff member quickly onto post is to shorten his hat checksheet or label key hat materials as ‘old.’ The new staff member fails, dragging a whole unit or department down with him in a maelstrom of dev-t.

“In a hurry to get something accomplished, someone skimps on the usual, on-policy procedures and routings and soon his improvised (squirreled) ‘handling,’ tolerated by others, becomes ‘the way it’s always done around here.’ And crash goes that area.

“Seeking to get his own stats up at any cost (and ignoring the effects of his actions on the org as a whole), an ‘expert’ manages to obscure standard, on-policy lines and routings and implements his own ‘successful actions,’ then torpedoes any attempt to get policy in. The result — the org falls far short of what it could be producing if it were operating by the book.”

Understanding the Third Dynamic

As someone who’s under the radar, my knowledge of the Independent Field (as I go forward with this blog, I’ll use the term Field, for simplicity’s sake) is limited to mainly what I read online, but I’ve seen some things that cause me some concern. This is the first entry, regarding our Third Dynamic.

The Dynamics are often visualized as concentric circles, each encompassing the prior, but if you were to put the Third Dynamic ‘circle’ under a microscope, so to speak, you’d see it’s made up of many intersecting circles, like multiple ripples in a pond.

From The Fundamentals of Thought, Chapter Four, The Eight Dynamics:
“THE THIRD DYNAMIC — is the urge toward existence in groups of individuals. Any group, or part of an entire class, could be considered to be a part of the Third Dynamic. The school, the society, the town, the nation are each part of the Third Dynamic and each one is a Third Dynamic. This can be called the Group Dynamic.”

So as LRH clearly states, the Third Dynamic consists of a lot of different groups, but I’ve heard some in the Field refer to their Third Dynamic solely as that group that consists of those who have left CofS (my term for what some call “Corporate Scientology”). Their Third Dynamic is so much larger than that. Since I live in the U.S., I’ll base my example on American life, but you should easily be able to translate it to other countries. Say you live on Mockingbird Lane and a drug dealer moves in a couple of doors down. His presence brings even more criminal activity to the neighborhood — thefts go up as people steal to purchase the drugs, prostitution picks up for similar reasons, violence rises, etc. Certainly in this example, it’s easy to see you have a Third Dynamic of your neighborhood. All the residents on the street are affected by this activity.

Then there’s your town. The town leaders pass ordinances that affect your life, taxes that hit your wallet, etc. Then there’s your county, your state, and even your country. Each is a group with mutual interests and concerns and you are a part of each, ergo they are part of your Third Dynamic.

It doesn’t stop there. Your fellow co-workers are all part of your Third Dynamic, the group of you who all work for the same employer. Are you part of a union? That’s another group, another part of your Third Dynamic. Even the industry you work in may be another group, lobbying for laws to be passed that are favorable or fighting those that are not.

Now let’s bring this to the Field specifically. Yes, all those that have left CofS are part of your Third Dynamic, but so are all Scientologists. Just because a Scientologist hasn’t left, doesn’t mean he/she isn’t part of your Third Dynamic. Sure, some are true enemies, but just because someone is an active public or staff member doesn’t mean they aren’t part of your group.

Perhaps they are relatively new to Scientology and aren’t aware this isn’t the way things are supposed to be done. Perhaps they’ve been scared away from searching for the truth. Or perhaps they’re like me, not doing services, but under the radar because they don’t want to lose family, friends, or customers. It doesn’t matter. All Scientologists have decided that Scientology is the way out. We all have mutual interests — being ethical, going free, etc. If you haven’t recently read about Conditions and Exchange by Dynamic, I highly recommend the process. LRH paved the way for us all.

From HCO PL 19 March 1968 Service:
“We will win if we are Scientology, not a lot of isolated groups.”

Introduction

I’ve been a Scientologist since the mid ’80s. I firmly believe in the applied religious philosophy of Scientology as founded by L. Ron Hubbard. I say “as founded” because what’s being practiced today in official Churches has deviated greatly from what LRH laid out.

I’ve been ‘off lines’ for many years which makes ‘flying under the radar’ pretty easy. It also protected me from much of the damage that’s been done in my Church for the last decade or so, but I’ve seen much over those years that greatly concerned me. I’m highly admin trained (FEBC) and have seen serious outnesses, but always held out hope Management could be corrected. That changed when I read Debbie Cook’s email (living in the shadow of Flag, it was published in our local paper). I didn’t know Debbie personally, but I certainly knew of her, as did many Scientologists. Her tale was the proverbial last straw for me.

My husband has been more vocal than I. He started his blog Martin Luther earlier this year and it offers excellent posts. I highly recommend it. I finally chose to do my own as there are things I want to say as well. Sadly, we both need to remain under the radar for now. To come out publicly could cost us financially, something we can’t afford right now. I look forward to the day when we can come out from the shadows.

While some of my posts will cover issues of the past — both things I’ve witnessed, and things others have discussed — my main focus is on the future. As we witness the slow destruction of the Church of Scientology International, I want to do what I can to help ensure LRH’s Scientology is available to all from this point forward.

Update: 11/07/12

Out of the Closet

For quite some time now, my husband and I have remained under the radar. Our business is our only source of income, and we had several customers that are/were Scientologists. We were concerned that coming out with our independence would cause those customers to leave us. With the economy the way it’s been these past few years, we thought we couldn’t afford to lose anyone. But at some point, you’ve got to evaluate the cost of keeping such a thing secret. I’ve basically been running a suppress on myself, withholding how I felt about what’s been happening with the Church. This blog provided some outlet, but there was still that suppress.

After some discussion, my husband and I have decided the costs to our spiritual well being outweigh the benefits to our wallet. Sure, this decision may cost us some business, but it’s also possible that removing that suppression will actually do more good, rehab some ability, etc. So with that, allow me to fully introduce myself.

My name is Nancy Foster. I was on staff at Tampa Org back in the mid ’80s. I had rapidly risen to PES when I got talked into going to LA for the FEBC program. Our ED was already out there (she went out there shortly after I joined staff) and needed a twin. I’d only been on staff for a year at the time. Unfortunately, our ED should have never been sent there. After she completed the full training program and requesting RTC approved posting, it was determined she wasn’t qualified to be an exec at all, much less the ED. That meant that, instead of me being the D/ED (Org Officer), I was to fire back to the Org as ED, and alone. This completely violates LRH’s dictates on the FEBC program.

My Org was terribly off policy. The more policy I studied while I was in LA, the more I realized just how bad the scene was back home. After completing my training and waiting to fire, I studied the Org’s stats and Data Files. I realized the Org had a serious ethics sit (there was no HCO at all!) and a particular Who that needed removal. But things got even worse when word came down that I was to return as the ED. I had to go to CLO before I could officially take my post, and that’s when I learned just how much trouble I was going to have. It started with meeting the Snr HAS and requesting an ethics mission to help me clean things up. She told me, “I know you’re going into a hornet’s nest. There’s nothing I can do.” So I was really going it alone.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, I met with my Programs Chief and she showed me a CSW the T/ED Tampa had submitted, requesting he stay on as ED and I be his D/ED. Now let me explain something rather important here. This T/ED had been a lowly Book Store Officer before the Org’s original ED was sent to LA. While that’s not that bad, he was also a failed student (couldn’t finish Student Hat) and part-time staff. So let’s see, you’ve got a fully trained and interned FEBC who’ll be on a full-time schedule versus a failed-student, part-time staff member. And while I was only Clear, I had a higher case level to boot. Now for the kicker: Programs Chief agreed with the T/ED! Unfortunately for her, I had been Acting Status posted as ED by RTC. She didn’t hide her disappointment that she couldn’t approve the CSW.

I’ll spare you the gruesome details, but suffice it to say the Programs Chief worked with the former T/ED and other staff members behind my back to ensure I’d be removed from post. They succeeded at the earliest possible point. No B of I. No Comm Ev. I tried to stay on, but after awhile, I realized this wasn’t the game I signed up for and routed out. The Org wasn’t done with me though, hitting my husband (Paul) and me both with ridiculous ethics orders. I was told to leave the premises and to not contact any staff member or public.

I wrote it all up and, since Flag was in our virtual backyard, went to the MAA there, but nothing was ever done. Several years later, one of the terminals involved in all this called me, apologizing and explaining she was the source of the information that led to the ethics orders. The T/ED was no longer there and the Org invited me back to finally complete my leaving routing form.

Having done the whole FEBC program (OEC, FEBC with internship, Exec Status I, II, and III, plus Exec Series 40 auditing), I had a rather large freeloader debt. That ended up protecting me from the ravages to the tech that happened in the ensuing years. But we watched via the magazines and many promotion pieces that stuffed our mail box. We saw the debacle that is the Super Power project. Despite us both having freeloader debts, we were regged for Basics packages. (Anyone want one? We have an extra set.) Paul and I had many conversations about what was happening. If you follow his blog Martin Luther, you know his story, but for me, the last straw was reading Debbie Cook’s original email. So here we are on the raggedy edge… I’ll do what I can to save Scientology, as researched and mapped out by LRH. Join me?