You may have read my hubby’s latest post, Overts and Withholds. It was a topic of conversation recently in our house and I have some points I’d like to make on the subject.
One point I made to Paul (and that he included in his post) is that the mere fact you have overts doesn’t not make you a bad person. If you’re a human being living on this planet, you’ve got overts. All us Earthlings do. Overts are just another part of your case, like secondaries, service facsimiles, you name it. You shouldn’t look down on someone or think less of them because they have overts. To borrow from Christianity, “love the sinner, hate the sin.” And if someone suggests you might want to consider doing an O/W write-up, don’t take it as an attack. You get case gain from a good O/W handling. You’ll feel a whole lot better and that’s the point.
Part of this came up because of a post Paul had written last year about a particular prominent Scientologist who tended to include a good bit of natter in his blog. That old post of Paul’s recently led to him getting slammed in a private email by another prominent Scientologist blogger, hence the topic coming up.
First of all, let’s take a look at natter and what it means. According to the Collins English Dictionary, the British definition of natter when used as a verb is to talk idly and at length; chatter or gossip. In Scientology, natter more specifically refers to critical or derogatory talk about something or someone. Here’s what LRH had to say about what’s typically behind natter:
“Natter and 1.1 remarks mean a whithhold.” (HCOB 15 Oct 74)
“Sometimes pcs who have big overts become highly critical of the auditor and get in a lot of snide comments about the auditor. Such natter always indicates a real overt.” (Tech Dictionary definition, from HCOB 7Sept 64 II)
So what’s not nattering? Well, merely pointing out the facts of someone’s wrong-doing (and we all know COB has a rather extensive list of wrong-doing) is not necessarily natter. When you point out the time, place, form, and event as it were, you’re merely recounting factual incidents.
But when you start making derogatory comments about his physical stature (or lack thereof), that has nothing to do with the out-ethics behavior. Nor is referring to him as Pope or Mini-Pope relevant. It’s purely for insult purposes. The same could be said for some of the insults hurled at CofS — using a dollar sign in place of the “S”, for instance. Now, don’t get me wrong. If you read my blog, or my husband’s, you quickly realize we’re no apologists for either COB or CofS. But one can criticize, point out the crimes, etc. without devolving into natter. Sadly, natter seems to be a growing cancer in the Independent Field.
I left staff back in the late 80s and because of the out-tech and out-ethics at my org at the time, was not given my “leaving staff sec check”. Thankfully some years later, when a new team was leading the org, and when it was finally discovered on their end that my forced departure was based on a lie, I was called back in for those sec checks. Perhaps that’s why I can talk about the outpoints and crimes without resorting to natter. When my husband Paul posited the idea of a “Leaving Scientology Rundown”, the level of natter we saw in the Field was part of the reason.
Natter isn’t doing anyone any good, except that it’s letting others know you probably have some O/Ws in need of handling. Get them cleaned up. You’ll feel a whole lot better. And you can still inform the world of COBs crimes, and of the serious crimes committed by CofS under his leadership. Nobody is saying you can’t, nor is anyone saying you don’t have the right to natter. You have the right to say whatever you please. All we’re saying is, do yourself a big favor and clean up your O/Ws. You’ll be glad you did.