The Codes of Scientology | L Ron Hubbard | Certainty: The Official Periodical of Scientology in the British Isles | Volume 6 No 8 | 1959 | Download as .pdf (A new tab will open – click on the grey ‘download through your browser’ button)
In my last post, I started to examine this text. It was distributed by the Church of Scientology to British Scientologists who were training to be auditors in 1959.
It contains a number of ‘moral codes’ for Scientologists – commandments if you will. The interesting thing about the instructions given in these ‘Codes’ is how they are apparently designed to be:
- Interpreted by auditors as injunctions to abuse their clients
- Interpreted by Scientologists in general as permission from on high to behave as if their ends justified any means.
We take “The Codes of Scientology” up again on page 5 (the one on the right).
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Like the previous ‘Codes,’ this one lists a number of superficially unobjectionable instructions (19 in all). However, when you think about the implications of some of them, the whole sense of the thing turns around, and the text becomes distinctly disturbing.
1 Do not evaluate for the preclear
2 Do not invalidate or correct the preclear’s date
“The preclear” is, of course, the Scientologist who is undertaking auditing.
Almost all of the auditing process consists of repeating questions from a checksheet and ‘observing’ whether or not they ‘read’ on the e-meter. The movements of the e-meter are so random and uncertain, that the operator (who is constantly adjusting it) can unknowingly read more-or-less anything he wants into those movements -like looking for images in clouds.
As long as the auditor obeys these rules, and concentrates on the meter, he or she is not engaging with their client at all. They are doing Scientology.
The two rules above specifically forbid the auditor from offering advice or any comment at all on anything that their client might conclude (however crazy it might seem, on the face of it).
As long as the client continues in Scientology, pays for it, and does not discuss their conception of Scientology with others (which is forbidden in any case) they can believe what they like.
The result is that:
- There are almost as many versions of Scientology as there are Scientologists
- Everyone thinks that their version is ‘correct’ because they cannot discuss the matter with others
Scientology can be all things to all men (and women, too) which has to be good for membership.
It gets worse.
Scientology and Depersonalisation
8 Do not sympathise with the preclear
It’s the auditor’s job to follow their checksheets like a machine following a program, no matter how it affects their clients. This must often be an emotionally gruelling experience for both parties. However, as we have seen in rules one and two, auditing is a detached, cool and unsympathetic business.
9 Never permit the preclear to end the session on his own independent decision.
This results in some disturbing situations. Auditing is done in a private room, often with the auditor sitting between you and the door. If the Auditor is determined to enforce this rule, ‘preclears’ can find themselves physically confined until they comply.
Scientology maintains that it teaches its members how to become more capable and self-determined – yet here it is, in black and white – a basic rule of the practice of Scientology specifically instructs the people who are supposed to be ministering to Scientologists to force their clients to continue to practice Scientology when they don’t want to.
Other injunctions are more subtly manipulative
12 Always reduce every communication lag encountered by continued use of the same question or process.
In Scientology, a “communication lag” is the time taken for an auditing question to receive a response. By reducing this whenever possible, you don’t give the client time to think. Their responses are therefore very unlikely to be rational. Here, the auditor is being told to just keep repeating a question until his client learns to respond to future questions without thinking.
Dissociation and Auditing
I’ve mentioned above that the auditing process consists of repeating questions from a checksheet and ‘observing’ whether or not they ‘read’ on the e-meter. Those questions are already incredibly repetitive. As noted above, you are also expected to respond to them without having had time to think.
I’ve previously discussed the Ganzfeld effect on this blog. It’s a form of sensory deprivation that is achieved by presenting an unchanging environment. This can be seen in an extreme form in Scientology’s ‘training routines’ e.g. TR0, in which two people stare fixedly into each other’s faces for prolonged periods of time. A scientific paper has shown that this practice brings about a dissociative state within less than 15 minutes and can produce vivid hallucinations if continued for longer. It’s typically the first Scientology practice that beginners encounter.
It should be noted that Scientologists practice their TRs throughout their careers. With this kind of constant practice, it becomes possible to slip into a dissociated state (in which you feel detached from your body and become more suggestible) almost at will. What Scientologists call ‘exteriorization’ (which they believe to be the experience of their ‘spirit’ temporarily leaving the body) is practically synonymous with dissociation.
All of this comes into play when Scientologists engage in auditing. They are confined to a small room with one other person and required to concentrate on the very repetitive questions that person is putting to them. The auditor has practised ‘advanced’ TRs, which have taught him or her to maintain an unnatural poker face, and be totally unresponsive and unsympathetic. The ‘preclears’ are not permitted sufficient time to consider their responses.
On top of all this, the auditing room presents an unchanging environment and the demand to concentrate on the auditor makes it even more so. The repetitive questions create the impression of an environment unchanging over time.
Two people are staring at each other just like TR0, and the experience of TRs must have an influence upon the psychological response of Scientologists to this situation. The likely result is that many automatically fall into a dissociated, suggestible state when they undertake auditing.
In this dissociated, suggestible state Scientologists who are being audited are required, again and again and again, to access memories of ‘previous lives’ – suppressed memories which are supposedly the source of their negative attitudes and neuroses.
It’s hardly surprising that Scientologists in this situation eventually come up with something, leave the session in a state of temporary confused euphoria – and are often persuaded to sign up (and pay) for another, slightly more expensive, Scientology ‘course’ before their euphoria dissipates. They may also to motivated to take further ‘courses’ in order to recapture it.
Scientology, Psychiatry and Religious Tolerance
15 Never mix the processes of Scientology with those of various other practices.
“Other practices” include psychiatry and religion. Scientology if up-front about its hatred of psychiatry. Hubbard initially submitted his book “Dianetics” to the American Psychological Association, apparently expecting it to be accepted as a revolutionary advance in the state of the art. They did not respond. What’s more, the later reviews of his books by psychologists and psychologists were uniformly hostile.
Hubbard responded by scapegoating psychiatry in particular. In this mind, psychiatrists were trying to defend their turf, supposedly made obsolete by dianetics. Later, Hubbard invented an elaborate conspiracy against Scientology, which included psychiatrists, and used them as scapegoats for Scientology’s failings. Ultimately, it is revealed in secret teachings that they are aliens who are responsible for all human evil up to and including the Nazi Holocaust.
However, Scientology is more guarded about its attitude to other religions.It typically assures new recruits that the practice of Scientology is compatible with all religious beliefs – that you can study Scientology and continue being (for example) a Christian, a Muslim or a Hindu without any problems.
This line is also taken in its official publications (seem image) although the Scientologist(complete with bizarre clerical collar) is clearly presented as the culmination of Mankind’s religious quest.
As you ‘advance’ through secret teachings, however, it rapidly becomes apparent that the Church of Scientology expects the exclusive commitment of its members. “Other Practices” soon include religious services, and Scientologists are put under increasing pressure to put such distractions aside and spend more time at the org.
L Ron Hubbard’s attitude to Christianity is made clear in the ‘advanced’ OT levels of Scientology – that the story of Christ and Christianity itself is actually a false memory implanted in a previous life by invading aliens who used it to control us.
Hubbard Sometimes Just Fails to Make Sense
We are reading L Ron Hubbard at his most coherent here. Some of his other texts make a lot less sense. Sometimes this is because his arguments are so weak that he resorts to obscurity to convince the gullible that they are actually deep and meaningful.
At other times it’s careless writing – Hubbard learned to write for pulp fiction magazines which paid by the word. Sometimes he dashes off material which is so badly thought through that it just doesn’t make sense. For example, the last rule in “The Auditor’s Code” is:
19 Do not explain, justify, or make excuses for any auditor mistakes whether real or imagined.
Why should you be concerned to justify or excuse an imaginary mistake? Why should you imagine having made mistakes in the first place?
This seems to be a rather careless mistake for sometime writing a professional code of conduct for therapists to make.
Join me in my next post for the third (and final) part of this series, beginning with the “Creed of the Church of Scientology.”