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SUPPRESSION OF THOUGHT INEVITABLY LEADS TO INABILITY TO OBSERVE (CONSTRUCT PERCEPTION) AND REASON WITHIN AN AREA WHERE THE THOUGHT WAS SUPPRESSED
With the technology described on this page Hubbard effectively instituted targeted suppression of thought about other people, especially when it comes to himself and other Scientology authorities.
Influenced by Hubbard’s false ideas about critical thoughts, Scientologists actually suppress the development of thought in each other and so inevitably inhibit each others’ ability to perceive, to reason, and to develop real understanding especially when it comes to Scientology itself. Actual perception and understanding is substituted with conditioned thought patterns in alignment with Scientology doctrines formulated by Hubbard, especially those starting with 1959 forward.
The subject of Overt-Motivator Sequence and Withholds covers a false or misleading notion that individual’s “bad thoughts” or criticism is caused by one’s own bad deeds (referred to as “overts”) toward the target of criticism – this can be self, another person, some group, an object, a place or anything else that one may have bad thoughts about or criticize, especially(!) when it comes to Scientology or anyone involved in it including its management and Hubbard himself.
Indoctrinated into this false belief, Scientology practitioners then seek to monitor and “handle” each others’ “bad thoughts” through coercive Scientology “confessionals” where an e-meter is used as a lie detector to drill into an individual’s past in search of any deeds that may be construed as bad deeds (overt acts) which in itself is subject to arbitrary evaluations through general norms in society as well as Scientology’s own criteria.
To criticism are then added sudden departures (referred to as “blow-offs”), being upset or complaining about someone else’s actions (referred to as “motivating”), struggling with some psychosomatic condition (sickness, suffering) or even a bad situation – are all considered to be caused by one’s own bad deeds especially when they are then withheld (stay undisclosed). [Note. In other areas of Scientology theory Hubbard also provides other reasons for some of these manifestations as being a result of misunderstood words or being connected to a suppressive person for example. These are not covered on this page.]
This is probably by far the most destructive aspect of Scientology that robs its practitioners of the ability to OBSERVE and EVALUATE (especially when it comes to anything related to Scientology including the actions of its authorities) since suppressing someone’s “bad thoughts” inevitably leads to suppression of PERCEPTION of the realities to which those thoughts were applied as well as a deliberate destruction of ANALYTICAL ABILITIES in the target area of address which most often happens to be Scientology itself.
Subject’s thinking processes are literally “rewired” to introvert on some wrongs within oneself when an individual happens to think or observe some wrongs with respect to Scientology.
All of this however does not mean that Scientology practitioners lose an ability to express criticism all together. It just falls outside of one’s own volition (or self-determinism) and becomes a subject of “conditioned response” within the group dynamic as influenced by its authorities on one side – as in declaring people good or bad – and Hubbard’s evaluation criteria such as those for social and anti-social (suppressive) personalities on another. Perhaps some Scientologists get to a level where they do not evaluate at all but simply execute what is required of them as long as it is packaged within an acceptable framework of “for the good of humanity” or for the good of one’s own spiritual progress. This could probably hold more true for members of the Sea Organization who are under continuous control by the group and its authorities but can also hold true for public Scientologists who readily surrender their life savings into various donation schemes, their children into the Sea Org, and more of their money and time into various Scientology services including the confessionals themselves.
In some form, since the time these new processes were introduced in late 1959, Scientology practice inevitably becomes a struggle between one’s mind trying to restore its proper function as an intelligence apparatus designed to record perceptions and make evaluations in order to guide an organism toward optimum survival – a central tenet in Dianetics (even though if not stated so directly) – and Scientology’s own highly destructive forms of processing that seek to suppress and control the mind’s function to the detriment of the individual. This in turn keeps Scientology practitioners in a perpetual condition and a sense that there is something wrong with their minds which can draw them deeper into Scientology nightmare that advertises itself as a solution to the very condition that it perpetually creates through the theory and methodology described in detail on this page.
The subject of Overt-Motivator Sequence and Overts and Witholds is covered in numerous places all throughout Scientology materials especially starting with late 1959 through the early 1960’s and is a part of Scientology’s “ethics technology” still in use in present time.
It is presented to the public on the following website covering the basic concepts of overt acts, withholds, justifications, sudden departures (blow-offs), and overt-motivator sequence:
Most of that data comes directly from a number of HCO Bulletins.
– Moral Codes: adaptation from a lecture “04 October 1961 SHSBC-066 Moral Codes: What is a Withhold?”
– Justification: HCOB 21 JANUARY 1960 JUSTIFICATION (PDF)
– Blow-Offs: HCOB 31 DECEMBER AD 9 BLOW-OFFS (PDF)
– The Overt-Motivator Sequence: HCOB 20 MAY 1968 OVERT-MOTIVATOR SEQUENCE
There is also a more recent video from the Church meant for the public demonstrating the theory of overts and withholds:
One of the best summaries of how this “theory” is applied in Scientology auditing practice is from the following lecture:
[20 FEBRUARY 1962] Saint Hill Special Briefing Course: What is a Withhold?
What is a withhold? A withhold is something that a person believes that if – if it is revealed, it will endanger their self-preservation. In other words, a withhold is something that endangers the self-preservation of the pc. Now, that is a very important definition. It’s taken me a very long time to get that definition.
. . .
Now, if a pc isn’t giving me withholds, I’m afraid that I would become persuasive. A withhold is something that, if revealed, would be prejudicial to his survival.
[20 FEBRUARY 1962] Saint Hill Special Briefing Course: What is a Withhold? (selection) [Download]
It is not hard to see how this logic and processing methodology would serve to inhibit an individual’s ability to freely OBSERVE, EVALUATE, and reach CONCLUSIONS as well as to openly COMMUNICATE on those conclusions and evaluations especially with regard to other people and their actions, as well as those of one’s own. An individual is then forced to accept an auditor’s (now in role of a handler) labels and formulations per Hubbard’s instructions – i.e. evaluating PC’s communication as motivating, justifying, explaining, or criticizing to supposedly cover up one’s “overts” as opposed to making one’s own evaluations and conclusions based on recorded observations (which was an accepted formulation in 1950’s Dianetics). This is a form of psychological conditioning to suppress individual’s analytical abilities and produce a compliant subject as well as a form of interrogation to gather up potentially self-incriminating information.
[20 FEBRUARY 1962] Saint Hill Special Briefing Course: What is a Withhold? (selection)
Here is Ron Hubbard giving an example of how to run Sec Checking on himself as an item (target of address in auditing):
[30 DECEMBER 1961] Clean Hands Congress: Auditing Perfection and Classes of Auditors [Download]
Or “Have you ever done anything to Ron? Very good. Have you ever done anything to Ron? Oh, oh, there? What’s that? What’s that? Have you ever done anything to Ron, and so on? Oh, you thought an unkind thought about Ron. Oh, da-da-da, da-da-da, an unkind thought, a critical thought, and so forth. All right. That’s very good. And you thought about this other person that said . . . There. That other person said that they had once heard—well, that’s fine, you have thought this unkind thought. Very good. What have you done to him?” [question asked with great emphasis]
“Oh, well, you needn’t ask me like that. That is pretty mean. That’s pretty mean. I just thought this unkind thought and so forth. And anybody’s entitled to their opinion. It’s a democracy after all, so forth. It’s not some kind of a fascism the way you people think it is, so forth.”
You say, “All right. All right. But what did you do to him? All right. If you’re thinking unkind thoughts about him, you must have done something to him. Now what did you done?”
It’s the only reason the question exists in the Form 3 Joburg. “Have you ever thought any critical thought about____ ?” must always be followed, “Good. You have? Fine! Well, what have you done?” Because he who thinketh critical thoughteth abouteth hath done, brother, hath done.
. . .
You’ll find out every time if they had critical thoughts, they’ve done something. It’s interesting, isn’t it?
. . .
But if there’s anything wrong with you or if there’s anything that you feel upset about, it goes back down just to one thing. Oncet uponet a timet, you had a “withhold it.” And you never spilled it. And it is still withheld. And you is still having a hard time with it.
Here is the Joburg Form that Hubbard mentioned. Sit back and enjoy the ride to “Total Freedom” in Scientology:
Note: this form was revised in 1975 after Security Checking was cancelled in 1968 and later reintroduced as “Confessional” in the 70’s – the revised form follows the original in the PDF below.
And this is just a general Security Check. There are many specialized security checks – for an auditor, for a student, a regular staff member, a Sea Org member, perhaps for an Executive. Basically, anything that some authority in the organization wants to check for, they can compile a Security Check with questions in the like manner. Here is one for CHILDREN from the same era:
Here are some selections from the State of Man Congress which was all about “Responsibility” in relationship to Overts and Withholds
And here is a complete lecture from the Success Congress which is one of the best summaries of the subject all in one place, complete with definitions and plenty of examples:
[4 JANUARY 1959] Success Congress: Overt-Motivator Sequence [Download]
Let’s summarize some of Hubbard’s key assertions under this subject:
- If you criticize someone, it is because you have committed overt acts against them (you have done something bad to them) or because they nearly found out about your past overt acts which you don’t want them to know about (missed withhold phenomena… supposedly).
- If someone did something bad to you and you are complaining about it (motivator), it is because of your own overt acts of similar nature (you did something similar to that person or someone else).
- If you are thinking about leaving or have left an area (marriage, job, a town, or especially Scientology), it is because you have committed overt acts against that area.
- If you are trying to explain why you did something, it is taken as justification of having committed an overt act.
- If you are suffering somehow then you are really doing it to yourself because of your overt acts.
- If you feel sympathy for someone, it is because you have committed overt acts against them or someone who they remind you of.
So apparently, it is complaining, criticizing, explaining, or suffering that establishes the level of someone’s fault or “guilt” in having done something wrong.
Looking at this it’s not hard to guess what some of the “benefits” of this practice could be:
- Inability to independently evaluate other people or Scientology itself due to misconception about criticism.
- Inability to fully confront and take (true) responsibility for the actions of others and so becoming easily overwhelmed by them.
- Inability to independently evaluate one’s own actions due a negative slant on justification and “explanations.”
- Inability to simply recognize the suffering of others or properly acknowledge that of one’s own.
- Inability to properly acknowledge and duplicate unfavorable evaluations since criticism is viewed as a sign that there is something wrong with the person criticizing as opposed to something that is being criticized. For this reason, Scientology is closed to any real improvement and criticism toward it continues to accumulate since it does not get properly acknowledged and addressed.
To add insult to injury, Hubbard asserts that overts and withholds are a symptom of already existing irresponsibility [HCOB 18 FEB 1960: HOW TO RUN O-W AND RESPONSIBILITY], yet looking at the actions of another for which one should be taking responsibility for is considered “being a victim” and one is asked to look at one’s own actions only. This practice then produces further IRRESPONSIBILITY which increases the chance of more actual overts and withholds down the road.
VIOLATION OF THE AUDITOR’S CODE
Furthermore, The Overt-Motivator Sequence auditing is a clear violation of the first two most important points of THE AUDITOR’S CODE (PDF):
If a PC expresses criticism toward somebody, criticism being disapproval based on perceived faults, an auditor is instructed to ignore PC’s data and go digging for a supposed “hidden cause” of his or her criticism in the form of something bad that a PC must have done. Maybe, if someone just walked in the door and have never heard of this “rationale,” that person may not feel invalidated and evaluated for that much when asked “What have you done to __?” after expressing a complain about somebody, but any Scientologist learns about this principle sooner or later and operates in the Church with a continuous invalidation hanging over one’s “bad thoughts” and a sense of introversion on the supposed wrongs within oneself.
VIOLATION OF SCIENTOLOGY’S OWN KEY AXIOMS RELATED TO AUDITING
It also violates some key Scientology axioms as it forces the PC to look at one’s own actions alone and discourages or even prevents the PC from looking more thoroughly at someone else and their actions as well as any target of one’s criticism.
30. THE GENERAL RULE OF AUDITING IS THAT ANYTHING WHICH IS UNWANTED AND YET PERSISTS MUST BE THOROUGHLY VIEWED, AT WHICH TIME IT WILL VANISH.
32. ANYTHING WHICH IS NOT DIRECTLY OBSERVED TENDS TO PERSIST.
It is no wonder then that conflicts in Scientology never actually resolve – they just continue to accumulate.
Most importantly, Scientology Confessionals or Security Checks is a form of FORCED (OR COMPULSORY) COMMUNICATION; after all, with is a WITHHOLD if not a subject’s unwillingness to communicate about something – an unwillingness that must be broken according to Hubbard’s directions. This could be far more damaging than inhibited communication. If you are not allowed to communicate something, at least you can still dwell in your spiritual space within. With a Security Check, the subject’s mind is essentially pried open, coercively, just as Ron Hubbard instructs which, in essence, is a practice of breaking the subject’s will and is destructive of psychological integrity of an individual. And with Scientology it is a double fault since communication is both forced in one area such as with information concerning one’s personal life and inhibited in another such as with respect to expressing criticism toward anything related to Scientology itself.
Let’s see what Hubbard himself says elsewhere on this subject.
VIOLATION OF HUBBARD’S CODE OF HONOR
(1955) The Creation of Human Ability: Code of Honor
. . .
6. Never compromise with your own reality.
. . .
8. Do not give or receive communication unless YOU YOURSELF desire it.
. . .
11. Never regret yesterday. Life is in your today, and you make your tomorrow.
Hubbard’s Code of Honor is actually quite impractical in view of operating out in the real world, but this is cited here just to show how he wrote a Code and then developed a practice that was going to force parishioners to break it.
SCIENTOLOGY GROUP BECOMES AN “ABERRATIVE VALENCE”
Then we have a concept of an Aberrative Valence as discussed here:
(15 January 1958) Professional Auditor’s Bulletin No. 128
All of the past psychotherapies are aimed at getting a person to outflow, and what do we find here? We find that intelligence increases and neurotic personality traits get better when we run withhold communication from valences. It is a fantastic reversal. We found this to be the case: that people from whom one felt that one could not withhold anything were the most aberrative valences on the case. We thus have a new definition for aberrative valences, namely the “cannot withhold from” valence, who is the most aberrative valence on the case. As you run it the preclear will say, “Well,” unreality, unreality, “I don’t seem to be able to withhold anything from Aunt Grace at all.” Ask a criminal what he could withhold from jail and he will find that he cannot withhold anything from jail. He will see facsimiles and other electronic phenomena sweeping towards some spot he considers jail since he is unable to withhold anything from jail.
We are looking at the basic anatomy of the track and the basic process by which one would run a track. You could be sitting in the middle of the trap and just dream it up for a while and say, “How did I get in here? I don’t know.” The only way anybody could keep you in a trap would be to give you the idea that you had to surrender to the trap and the way to undo this would simply be to think of something you could withhold from the trap—or track.
It is indeed strange that following this bulletin Hubbard integrated interrogation techniques into the practice of Scientology so a group member would not be allowed to withhold anything from the group effectively making it an “aberrative valance” according to Hubbard’s own terms. And this would apply to ANY Scientology group in or out of the Church.
In fact, every auditing session which is at the core of Scientology practice starts with checking the person for withholds under “rudiments.” If someone has withholds against the auditor or the group at large, this is called OUT-RUDIMENT (out-rud) and the person is considered non-sessionable – i.e. unable to continue with the practice of Scientology until those withholds are cleared.
Under 1960’s processing techniques auditor’s skill is assessed in terms of his or her ability to “pull withholds” since leaving withholds “unpulled” was now considered nothing short of “dangerous” and is covered under the concept of a “missed withhold.”
[30 DECEMBER 1961] Clean Hands Congress: Auditing Perfection and Classes of Auditors
Your first skill is your Security Checking skill. Your second skill is your assessing skill.
. . .
The demand of the technology is that the auditor be absolutely right, he be correct in what he does. Now, he has to do some adjustment of what he does, but it breaks down to these two precise skills. One, the ability to pull withholds and to handle an E-Meter and run this type of processing check on the preclear. That is a skill and it is a precise skill, and that one cannot be done wrong. You leave a withhold unpulled on the pc and you have hell for breakfast thereafter.
All you’ve got to do is miss a withhold. So that Security Checking has to be perfect.
. . .
The reason fellows get upset, the reason people blow, the reason people have ARC breaks, the reason they have bad sessions, the reason for this and this—isn’t really that the auditor’s intention was bad. It was only that the person had withholds and nobody got them. They asked for them and didn’t bother to collect them.
[20 FEBRUARY 1962] Saint Hill Special Briefing Course: What is a Withhold? (selection) [Download]
It seems that Hubbard is indicating here that the “missed withhold” phenomena is brought about in fact due to restimulation of past incidents when the person was punished such as having been tortured, imprisoned, and/or executed at some point in a past life or perhaps due to experience of lighter incidents this lifetime. In this case, having done something that could be considered wrong and judged by others serves as KEY-IN of earlier incidents of punishment. This is something that would make sense and is perfectly in line with the initial premises of Dianetics – then why not use Dianetics to address and discharge those incidents so that someone doesn’t keep getting restimulated on them in the first place? Why force the pre-clear to communicate something which he (or she) believes he should not? Why not address the reasons and the underlying charge that makes the person feel overwhelmed on the subject to begin with so that he or she recovers one’s self-determinism and then can decide rationally about communicating or not communicating something? Instead, Hubbard placed emphasis on having no withholds – how convenient!
There are places where Hubbard actually states that the aim is to rehabilitate someone’s ABILITY to withhold, but how can this ability be practiced in Scientology is quite unclear. If you think of something and say: “Well… yeah… I don’t want to talk to you about this right now.” Bam! This is a potential “missed withhold” if it isn’t “pulled” which is a huge “no no” in Scientology and the said reason for all that can go wrong with one’s auditing session and one’s relationship with the organization. Depending on that person’s position in the organization, the person can literally be restrained in a room until he or she “confesses” – this is especially true when it comes to members of the Sea Organization.
WRONG INDICATORS AND A PSYCHOTIC BREAK
As anything Scientology, it continues to get even worse. In the early 1970’s Hubbard figured out something very important about the mind and issued the infamous INTROSPECTION RUNDOWN [PDF: it is important to look at the initial version of this reference which contained a much simpler and shorter procedure than a later revision – both versions are included in the PDF].
The Introspection RD is one of the key references in understanding what is wrong with Scientology itself. Unfortunately, it has gained a very bad rep due to some heavy negligence that resulted from its application. These are covered at length elsewhere on the Internet. What we are going to focus on here is some of the useful key points in the reference.
The Introspection Rundown illuminated the cause of a Psychotic Break as something that
. . . CAUSED the person to look inward worriedly and wrestle with the mystery of some incorrectly designated error. The result is continual inward looking or self auditing without relief or end.
The reference provides lengthy instructions, but the key point is:
In the case of a pc in a psychotic break, the C/S would have to locate the last severe wrong indication, indicate the fact to the pc and get it corrected (as with a wrong item) as the first action.
Def. EXTROVERSION: “ . . . Means nothing more than being able to look outward . . . .” “ An extroverted personality is one who is capable of looking around the environment . . . .” “ A person who is capable of looking at the world around him and seeing it quite real and quite bright is of course in a state of extroversion.” (Problems of Work.)
The end phenomena of the Introspection RD is the person extroverted, no longer looking inward worriedly in a continuous self-audit without end.
[C/S stands for Case Supervisor]
Ironically, the Introspection Rundown was released around the time that Security Checking was reintroduced (after being cancelled in 1968) under new names of Confessional or Integrity Processing, and what does Security Checking and processing under the general logic of Overt-Motivator Sequence do? – evaluate for the PC virtually guaranteeing wrong indicators and make the PC introvert “worriedly” looking for his or her own “overt acts” on the track which are said to be the cause of virtually any problem a person may experience in the present. It is indeed not uncommon for people to head toward a psychotic break from this sort of “spiritual exercise” which could then be misleadingly interpreted as dramatizations stemming from a “missed withhold” and so force the person to go through MORE Security Checking as a “solution.”
Also, a Psychotic Break is a complex condition. It doesn’t have to be someone running around like a raving lunatic. A person could be sitting quietly doing nothing and yet be suffering immensely from a deteriorating condition of one’s mind. Though there is a lot of different information covering this condition on the Internet, a Psychotic Break could be best understood as one’s loss of control over one’s mind and a compromised sense of reality. There could be various degrees of this condition and someone could go on coping with it literally for years if it does not completely prevent that person from continuing to engage in regular daily activities. A person who recognizes there is something off with their mind could still maintain enough self-discipline to maintain a normal line of behavior.
Quite coincidentally and maybe not so coincidentally, a person having lost some control of their mind will naturally yearn for a more organized activity and yearn to be “directed.” This is the next step up in dynamics from the state of Entropy into a state of Robotism and unfortunately could be the very state where many Scientologists will find themselves due to the gross errors in its theory and practice as discussed on this page.
CHANGING THE DEFINITION OF RESPONSIBILITY AND ITS APPLICATION IN AUDITING
Under 1950’s Scientology, the concept of responsibility was quite clear to basically mean assuming ownership for any and all manifestations of a perceived realities (to include actions, thoughts, and emotions of other people):
(November 1951) Advanced Procedure and Axioms: Responsibility
Responsibility is the ability and willingness to assume the status of full source and cause for all efforts and counter-efforts on all dynamics.
. . .
It means responsibility for all acts, all emotions on every dynamic and in every sphere as one’s own.
[comment: It seems that Hubbard forgot to include responsibility for “thoughts” in the book, but he discusses Thoughts and Counter-Thoughts in lectures related to this book.]
. . .
Complete negation of responsibility is complete admission of being under the complete control of the environment.
[19 NOVEMBER 1951] Thought, Emotion, and Effort: Cause and Effect
These counter-efforts exist and are effective on you to the exact degree that you don’t take responsibility for them.
(December 1952) Scientology 8-8008: Responsibility
The responsibility level of the preclear depends upon his willingness or unwillingness to handle energy. That preclear who is protesting against energy in any direction is abandoning responsibility in greater or lesser degree.
[03 DECEMBER 1952] PDC: The Track of the Thetan/GE-Space/Time
Now, a fellow is — we’ll cover responsibility very heavily, but when a fellow won’t take responsibility for an energy, he becomes an effect of it.
[11 DECEMBER 1952] The Philadelphia Doctorate Course: Chart of Attitudes: Rising Scale Processing
Now, what then is your level that is an attainable level for freedom? It would have to be a level which is so high that every man could reason and be responsible in his own right for his own acts and also for the acts of others.
Basically, if we had to summarize it, we could say that the early Scientology had to do with assuming a position of creator with respect to whatever reality that someone was looking at or dealing with. The Fundamentals of Thought outlined some application of this principle in its discussion of “The Cycle of Action” and how it applied in processing (or auditing):
In a very strange move in 1960, the concept of responsibility became not about taking ownership over all actions, thoughts, and emotions and not about willingness to handle energy in ANY DIRECTION, use force or make decisions about something, but simply about ADMITTING to what an individual HAS DONE or about what he or she did not communicate (withhold) about having done something.
The whole attention collapsed on one’s own actions only and only in real terms, without the freedom to consider the possible actions one COULD do – since that fell under the general category of Creative Processing which was now effectively prohibited.
Looking at the actions of others was now considered NOT taking responsibility and framed with various unfavorable labels such as motivating, justifying, being critical or “nattery,” fault-finding, being a victim, being effect, or whatever else. It should also be noted that accusing someone of NOT TAKING RESPONSIBILITY is a form of evaluation for them which would be a break of the Auditor’s Code.
Notice, how in “The Key to All Cases” reference, Hubbard claims to having made a “discovery” about responsibility even though a much better understanding of responsibility already existed for almost a decade.
HCOB 21 JANUARY 1960 RESPONSIBILITY
Responsibility is often misdefined by the pc. The definition for auditing of responsibility is “Admit causing,” “able to withhold.” Usable commands would be “What about a (terminal) could you admit causing?” “What could you withhold from a (terminal)?” “What could you admit causing?”
Responsibility as a word can still be used as itself in an auditing command.
HCOB 28 JANUARY 1960 THE KEY TO ALL CASES – RESPONSIBILITY
Next, but not next in importance was the discovery of the anatomy of RESPONSIBILITY. Although Responsibility has been known as a case factor since 1951 (just as the overt-motivator sequence has been) it has not been until now that I have been able to get it to run well on cases.
. . .
The discovery of the direct anatomy of RESPONSIBILITY is as follows:
Able to admit causation.
Able to withhold from.
HCOB 4 FEBRUARY 1960 THEORY OF RESPONSIBILITY PROCESSING
Basically, then, when one is processing a pc, one is seeking to rehabilitate a willingness to do. In order to accomplish this one must rehabilitate the ability to withhold on the pc’s own determinism (not by punishment) further bad actions. Only then will the pc be willing to recover from anything wrong with the pc—since anything wrong with the pc is self-imposed in order to prevent wrongdoing at some past time.
All types of responsibility processes have this as their goal: to rehabilitate the willingness to do and the ability to withhold on one’s own determinism.
. . .
Of all the responsibility processes, the oldest one I developed is still the best one by test and that is:
“What have you done to a (terminal)?”
“What have you withheld from a (terminal)?”
Let’s look at a few earlier examples of how this new principle was to be applied to bring someone up to a state of “responsibility” according to its new definition:
“Your husband hates you? What did you do to him?” [State of Man Congress]
“But to free the pc out of that session, it’s only necessary to find out what he did to and withheld from the auditor. As far as auditing is concerned, it doesn’t matter a bit what was done to the preclear.” [State of Man Congress]
“Well, my mother beat me every day.” – “What have you done to your mother?” [SHSBC: What is a Withhold?]
In every one of these instances it begs to ask – BUT WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER SIDE? What about PC’s observations, thoughts/postulates/considerations about the husband, the auditor, the mother and their actions… etc? What about taking responsibility for “all efforts and counter-efforts?” Well, Ron said it: “…it doesn’t matter a bit what was done to the preclear” placing the act of looking at the actions of others in his “being a victim” or “being effect” framework, yet it is WHEN the actions of other people are not confronted and addressed, one can become MORE at effect with respect to them. This was made very clear in 1950’s D&S materials. In addition, it could also be found that by taking greater responsibility for the actions of others, individual’s responsibility for one’s own actions also comes up.
In effect, using 1950’s definitions, what someone would have to do is take responsibility for (RE)CREATING THE EXPERIENCE or the perception of someone else’s actions, thoughts or emotions that one may be bothered by. And taking responsibility for the creation of an experience (if only in the form of a memory recording) would obviously result in a heightened ability to perceive and handle similar experiences as they unfolded in present time.
How is someone supposed to DUPLICATE the actions of others when they are not even supposed to CONFRONT them in the first place? (Duplication here means a willing re-creation of an experience in one’s mind which is the basic principle behind re-experiencing painful incidents under Dianetics. Once you can willingly re-create a given experience, it can no longer effect you.)
There is this later discovery from Hubbard which cuts into this subject:
HCO PL 18 SEPTEMBER 1967 STUDY – COMPLEXITY AND CONFRONTING
In some researches I have been doing recently on the field of study, I have found what appears to be the basic law on complexity.
THE DEGREE OF COMPLEXITY IS PROPORTIONAL TO THE DEGREE OF NON-CONFRONT.
THE DEGREE OF SIMPLICITY IS PROPORTIONAL TO THE DEGREE OF CONFRONT
THE BASIS OF ABERRATION IS A NON-CONFRONT.
Hubbard seemed to have attempted to correct this problem in later years with the following bulletin: HCOB 05 AUGUST 1986: CHANGE OF COMMANDS – OVERT-MOTIVATOR SEQUENCE (PDF), but as the saying goes “it was too little, too late.” The same could be said about another bulletin that many Scientologists probably do not even know exists – HCOB 02 JANUARY 1971: ILLEGAL AUDITING (PDF).
LOSS OF CAUSE WITH RESPECT TO HARM
Since overt acts are seen as virtually the sole reason for one’s decline, Scientologists naturally become unwilling to be cause over anything that could be construed as an “overt act.” Having abandoned a state of cause with respect to overt acts, Scientologists can then be open to dramatizing them on a reactive basis using a slew of aggressive policies from Hubbard (especially within the area of PTS/SP) to justify their behavior. Since self-preservation is a deterrent powerful enough to keep people away from engaging in actual, physical destruction of other people that would be illegal and punishable by law, the overt acts that Scientologists dramatize are usually in the form of personal insults, betrayal of trust, and blocking of communication which are a form of the destruction of the reality of a target individual – the practice otherwise known as “character assassination.”
And thinking about Hubbard’s claim logically, if bad actions of others toward you are caused by your past overts then wouldn’t your bad actions toward others be caused by their past overts? This of course is absurd since it discharges conscious choice on the part of either party, yet it is not uncommon for Scientologists as a group to blame the recipients of their own destructive actions for having caused them in the first place. In this wise, the Overt-Motivator Sequence rationale seems to actually produce the very phenomena that it describes where the indoctrinated commit overts and then rationalize that they would not have committed them if the recipient did not have some past overts to “pull it in” in the first place. This is especially “effective” in a group setting where one member of the group commits harmful actions and another group member suggests to the recipient of those actions as having pulled them in. This is a downward spiral of the social dynamic within Scientology.
Another aspect to this is that an individual won’t be able to duplicate or take responsibility for (assume power over) the actions of others (or any form of expression) he or she is unwilling to create – this could lead to a sense of being overwhelmed by the experiences of those actions. This then directly ties into the PTS/SP technology where someone would believe themselves to be a victim of someone else’s actions due to being unwilling to take responsibility for the reality of those actions one on side and due to conditioned perception of nature of the person or group committing them (as being “suppressive”) on the other.
So in the end, the Overt-Motivator Sequence theory and practice actually ends up inhibiting responsibility for one’s own (especially those considered “overts”) actions and those of others – the exact opposite from where Scientology should be taking people.
Responsibility for overt acts is restored by liberating individual’s considerations of committing (creating) them. This can be done with questions directed at specific targets, areas, or toward the actions themselves.
How could you harm/destroy/attack self, family, group… etc. (general areas of the dynamics) or specific targets such as Ron Hubbard, the Church, your bridge progress… etc.
Who or What would you like to harm/destroy/attack?
Who or What could you harm/destroy/attack?
Who or What have you harmed/destroyed/attacked?
The basic assessment for Creative Processing started with questions: What can you not (or are unwilling) to destroy? What can you not (or are unwilling) to create? and are good questions to pinpoint specific areas of address.
EARLIER VIEW: DRAMATIZATION OF COUNTER-EFFORT
The words “overt” and “motivator” actually originated in the 1950’s Scientology but had a rather different theory and practice attached to them having to do with a receipt of a COUNTER-EFFORT and the improper use of that counter-effort which was NOT in fact justified and was subject to REGRET. Notice how here Hubbard says that BOTH – the overt act (an instance of inappropriate use) AND the motivator (the receipt of the used counter-effort) need to be accounted for and addressed in auditing on an alternate basis. It is also not ANY use, not any harmful or destructive action but the one that was “misemployed.”
That’s why true confessional should be based on REGRET not on whether someone has done something that could be considered harmful or destructive as Regret was also an instance when one decided he no longer wanted to be responsible for the misemployed counter-effort which could then effect him as a (keyed-in) counter-effort.
[25 JUNE 1952] Technique 88: Overt Acts, Motivators and DEDs (selection) [Download]
[8 MARCH 1952] Milestone One: Effort and Counter-Effort: Overt Acts (selection) [Download]
So this view is very much in line with the original principles in Dianetics – one receives counter-effort, counter-thought, and counter-emotion and then urges to use or dramatize these under similar circumstances. If a person becomes unwilling to use them, then he or she would ordinarily get the psychosomatic from the time of the receipt of those things in some earlier charged incident (i.e. an engram). This is clearly demonstrated in one of the Church’s newest films about Dianetics:
Here are additional explanations about this phenomena from Book One:
1) Understand and abandon the use of Overt-Motivator Sequence in Scientology theory and practice along with suppressive concepts such as “being a victim” that discourage the act of confronting and expanding responsibility over other people and their actions. The terms “overt” and “motivator” should be clarified in their meaning or replaced with less evaluative terms.
2) Restore the use of Creative Mock-Ups in handling facsimiles at will and without the need of an auditor.
3) Reorganize Scientology processing to mimic TR’s and Objectives where CREATE and CONFRONT are equally balanced, that is, one takes responsibility for BOTH the actions created by self and actions created by others (confronting and duplicating causative actions of other beings) while recognizing others as equally cause (as opposed to trying to attribute all cause to self). This is how it is done with real people doing TR’s – each is cause – then why should a different logic be used in auditing? If another person did something, then you need to acknowledge another person as cause and grant them responsibility for their actions.
4) Any address to overts and withholds must end with increased responsibility (ownership) over all the factors involved including the target terminal(s), which is the ultimate goal of processing, not merely “admitting” to something. A PC should not work toward “ability to admit” but toward increasing one’s sphere of responsibility across the dynamics.
Also see page: Action and Perception.
SUPPRESSION OF THOUGHT – CRITICISM AND JUSTIFICATION
As was already noted under KEY POINT at the beginning of this page, the most damaging aspect of this new theoretical framework is actually the suppression of thought which begins with subversive definition and evaluation of JUSTIFICATION and CRITICISM as symptoms of having committed overt acts.
Okay, let’s isolate a few sentences from this reference:
In this light most criticism is justification of having done an overt.
So there are rightnesses and wrongnesses in conduct and society and life at large, but random, carping 1.1 criticism when not borne out in fact is only an effort to reduce the size of the target of the overt so that one can live (he hopes) with the overt.
When you hear scathing and brutal criticism of someone which sounds just a bit strained, know that you have your eye on overts against that criticised person and next chance you get pull the overts and remove just that much evil from the world.
And remember, by and by, that if you make your pc write these overts and withholds down and sign them and send them off to me he’ll be less reluctant to hold on to the shreds of them…
Alright, so here Hubbard appears to say that one’s CRITICISM is caused by something that one did as opposed to something that one observed and evaluated through one’s education and accumulated experience. Yes, he took an effort to “clarify” that it applies to criticism that is “random,” carping,” “scathing and brutal,” and “not borne out in fact,” but it doesn’t really matter. Those are all arbitrary qualifiers that are subject to arbitrary interpretation. Plus, in a State of Man Congress, Ron “clarifies” that
…criticism always tells you where the overt is… It all comes out of an overt. There is practically no such thing as honest criticism.
And we’ve already seen an example of how it is supposed to be used in this new form of “auditing:”
If you’re thinking unkind thoughts about him, you must have done something to him. Now what did you done?
[Clean Hands Congress]
Per standard dictionary definition, JUSTIFICATION means:
1. The action of showing something to be right or reasonable.
1.1 Good reason for something that exists or has been done.
It obviously comes from the word JUST which itself means “right” or “fair,” “appropriate to the circumstances.” From this word we get important words like JUSTICE, JUDGMENT, ADJUDICATION.
CRITICISM is a word that means:
1 The expression of disapproval of someone or something on the basis of perceived faults or mistakes.
2 The analysis and judgement of the merits and faults of a literally or artistic work.
– again a very important mental faculty directly related to the abilities to REASON and to PERCEIVE.
From above definitions, we can draw a clear connection:
Justification = Reason = THOUGHT
Criticism = Judgment = THOUGHT or REASONING connected to PERCEPTION.
Justification and Criticism are both PRODUCTS OF REASONING which are obviously connected one’s ability to reason as well as one’s ability to perceive.
Justification is NOT the same as Criticism; Criticism is NOT the same as Justification; and both Criticism and Justification are products of REASONING which itself can be based on many different factors especially things like education, cultural or religious indoctrination, parental influence, individual’s own conclusions in analyzing to understand something using one’s own research and observations…
Scientology itself could be viewed as a SYSTEM OF REASONING that includes many different assertions that often come into conflict between each other (such as between the theories and methodologies of the 1950’s and 1960’s).
The notion that someone’s EXPLANATIONS and JUSTIFICATIONS surrounding various actions as well as CRITICISM of someone or something are all simply indicators of “overt” acts – “overt” being a concept or designation that is itself dependent on REASONING or ADJUDICATION of some act as being “wrong” – this notion is yet another form of (suggested and enforced) reasoning in Scientology that is used to effectively invalidate the (undesirable or disagreeable) product of individual’s reasoning and inhibit individual’s ability to reason in a self-determined fashion. So in the end, no matter how it is rationalized, Hubbard’s “logic” in this area serves to accomplish suppression of independent thought and disagreement.
For those outside of Scientology control who’s critical thoughts cannot be uprooted using Scientology methodologies directly, Hubbard wrote an Article – CRITICS OF SCIENTOLOGY – that serves as a propaganda preemptively discrediting anyone with any critical views toward Scientology:
How is it that Dianetics which was said to be the SCIENCE OF THOUGHT transformed into something that frames the process of reasoning itself into something negative – simply an indicator of there being something wrong with the person? Justification, Criticism, Explanation, and even Thinking itself (“Thinkingness”) have all taken on negative connotations with the 1960’s Scientology.
Here are a few quotes to demonstrate the importance THOUGHT was given in pre-1960’s Scientology.
Dianetics itself was said to be a science of THOUGHT.
Theta, which Hubbard claimed was the basis of life, was said to be equivalent to THOUGHT, and under Scientology even the physical universe itself was seen as a product of (agreed upon) CONSIDERATIONS. This can be clearly seen from a slew of quotes at the bottom of page FREEDOM, ABILITY, AND RESPONSIBILITY as well as the few quotes below:
[30 DECEMBER 1957] Ability Congress: Cause and Effect
Where it does not lead to freer thinkingness and enlightenment in the individual, I consider I have failed.
(June 1951) Science of Survival
In Dianetics we are dealing then with theta and MEST. Theta is THOUGHT, life force, elan vital, the spirit, the soul, or any other of the numerous definitions it has had for some thousands of years.
. . .
AXIOM 1—THE SOURCE OF LIFE IS A STATIC OF PECULIAR AND PARTICULAR PROPERTIES.
. . .
AXIOM 22—THETA AND THOUGHT ARE SIMILAR ORDERS OF STATIC.
So what is happening here with our new “groundbreaking technology?” The THOUGHT is bypassed and invalidated and the auditor (more like a handler or an authoritarian interrogator at this point) now digs for the actions directly. Unable to think freely under Hubbard’s paralyzing, thought-stopping mandates of no creative thought and no criticism, a Scientology practitioner, having lost a grip on his or her thought process, is no longer in good control of one’s actions since one must be free to observe and evaluate in order to be able to decide what to do to in the first place.
It is also worth noting that free emotion is also inhibited in Scientology with concepts such as no HE&R (human emotion and reaction) and is manipulated with concepts like up-tone and down-tone. If you start getting upset and frustrated with something, it will be labeled as HE&R and down-tone or “enturbulation.” Obviously that logic usually applies down the chain of command – senior to junior or a staff member to a parishioner. If a superior does it to a junior (i.e. pumps up emotion) – it’s all-right and being a “good executive” in Scientology’s view.
To label some action as an “overt” is a form of evaluation.
An act that took place is a fact, but whether it is good or bad, right or wrong, is a form of EVALUATION that can change depending on viewpoint(s) and consideration of factors involved.
The most common definition of an overt act in Scientology is in fact a form of logic to use in evaluating whether some act is an overt or not:
An overt act is not just injuring someone or something; an overt act is an act of omission or commission which does the least good for the least number of dynamics or the most harm to the greatest number of dynamics.
Commonly among Scientologists an overt act is simplified to mean a “harmful” act, yet what is and isn’t harmful is again a form of evaluation, and the concept of “harmful” can be stretched to mean almost any form of action that someone disapproves of for one reason or another.
In the phrase: good quality chair
– “chair” would be a fact or a form of existence that is symbolized with the word “chair.”
– “good quality” would be a form of evaluation.
In the same sense, a word “act” would symbolize a form of occurrence that took place in existence while an “overt” is a form of evaluation. So an “overt act” in actual fact is an act that has been evaluated as wrong for one reason or another.
Of course, it is never stated in Scientology that “overt” as a designation is a form of evaluation. Instead, an “overt act” has been framed and treated in Scientology as something factual as if it was on the same level as an engram – a concept designating an actual existence in the form of a memory recording that can be contacted and processed using specific methods.
One simply looks for a traumatic incident to find an engram, but with respect to an “overt act,” one has to look for occurrences of actions that one CONSIDERS to be bad for one reason or another, and that consideration can change dramatically depending on evaluation criteria. Hence, a more correct definition of an “overt act” could be:
AN ACT THAT IS CONSIDERED WRONG BY SELF OR OTHERS WITHIN A GIVEN RELATIONSHIP.
Since “overt” as a designation is an evaluation, treating and auditing any act as an “overt” by an auditor (as is done in Scientology) results in an immediate break of the Auditor’s Code (PDF), specifically, EVALUATING FOR THE PRECLEAR and most commonly INVALIDATING PRECLEAR’S DATA if the preclear does not agree with the EVALUATION of some act as being an “overt.” The technical term in Scientology used to invalidate preclear’s own reasoning with respect to a given action is “justification” (explaining how an overt is not an overt).
In other words, persons undergoing standard Scientology processing are forced into accepting existing evaluations in Scientology with respect to different actions – these may come from Hubbard’s writings or some emerging moral code within a group or even from auditor’s personal convictions who will use the concept of “justification” to invalidate preclear’s own evaluations and indicate that an action in question is an “overt.”
Those who have been audited in Scientology using Hubbard’s “O/W tech” have actually been indoctrinated into FIXED EVALUATIONS of certain actions as being “overt” – evaluations which were presented as facts not subject to discussion or self-determined evaluation of the preclear since disagreement itself would be invalidated and evaluated as a “justification.”
Indoctrinated Scientologists then get stuck with FIXED EVALUATIONS of certain acts as being “overt” – evaluations they then try to force on each other within a group and the rest of society at large. Actions considered “overts” include all the “offenses” listed within Scientology Ethics Codes (to include “suppressive acts”) as well as various actions listed on different Security Check Lists (which can be compiled at will by authorities within Scientology) and can even include such things as communicating with a Scientology critic or reviewing information critical of Scientology or even exploring alternative methods and philosophies.
In addition, there are also negative labels and evaluations directed at an individual him or herself for having engaged or continuing to engage in actions that are considered “overts” within Scientology culture. So it is not just an issue of (fixed) evaluations of actions, there is also an issue of (negative) evaluations of persons engaged in the actions. When all is said and done, with all the changes introduced throughout 1960’s, Scientology effectively became what could be understood as a system of enforced reasoning and evaluations for the purpose of manipulating the consciousness of groups and individuals.
SUPPRESSION OF DEPARTURES
Then, if someone intuitively realizes there is something wrong with all this contradictory logic in Scientology, they are likely to want to head for the exit, and that’s when they will be presented with yet another reference, on BLOW-OFFS, where Hubbard claims that:
HCOB 31 DECEMBER AD 9 BLOW-OFFS (PDF)
People leave because of their own overts and withholds. That is the factual fact and the hardbound rule. A man with a clean heart can’t be hurt. The man or woman who must must must become a victim and depart is departing because of his or her own overts and withholds. It doesn’t matter whether the person is departing from a town or a job or a session. The cause is the same.
. . .
A recent Secretarial Executive Director to all Central Organizations states that before a person may draw his last pay cheque from an Organization he is leaving of his own volition he must write down all his overts and withholds against the Organization and its related personnel and have these checked out by the HCO Secretary on an E-Meter.
To do less than this is cruelty itself. The person is blowing himself off with his own overts and withholds. If these are not removed then anything the Organization or its people does to him goes in like a javelin and leaves him with a dark area in his life and a rotten taste in his mouth. Further he goes around spouting lies about the Organization and its related personnel and every lie he utters makes him just that much sicker. By permitting a blow-off without clearing it we are degrading people, for I assure you, and with some sorrow, people have not often recovered from overts against Scientology, its Organizations and related persons. They don’t recover because they know in their hearts even while they lie that they are wronging people who have done and are doing enormous amounts of good in the world and who definitely do not deserve libel and slander. Literally, it kills them and if you don’t believe it I can show you the long death list.
You can’t complain, you can’t criticize, and you can’t leave without someone in the organization trying to force you into “confessing your sins” or labeling you as some kind of a “criminal” hiding misdeeds.
And so if you can’t complain, if you can’t criticize, and if you can’t leave – obviously given that you get hooked on Hubbard’s new tech – all you’re left to do is to follow and to virtually agree with anything that comes down to you from Hubbard and his emerging authoritarian command. This is a detailed explanation of the TECHNICAL CHANGE that allowed for the creation of an ultra authoritarian group construct in Scientology.
However, making compliant followers instead of powerful and independent individuals came at a cost, an unintended “side-effect” you might say: if an individual was now in a condition to be better effected by Hubbard and his authoritarian structure, that individual was now also subject to greater effect by persons and forces outside of Scientology as well – the “external influences” as it is called in Scientology.
This is where we come to our next section covering another piece of “technology” that followed – The PTS/SP Technology.