Total Certainty – Really?

Reference: What We Are Doing Here

Some people get mixed up in Scientology with its sometimes obsessive attempted attainment toward and assertion of  ‘total certainty.’   It would seem such folk may have jettisoned some basic Scientology axioms and laws in pursuit of later claims and emphases.  Consequently, I find a lot of former and independent Scientologists are mixed up on the Know-to-Mystery scale.  They can’t seem to understand why it is that ‘Not Know’ is the second highest rung on the scale.  This conundrum was addressed in an earlier post, What We Are Doing Here.   Of late, we have been examining the subject of judgmentalism on this blog – most recently its relationship to sociopathy, The Psychopath Test.   In reviewing one of the texts from the recommended reading section of this blog, The Sociopath Next Door, I came across a passage that sheds a little light on this subject of ‘total certainty’ particularly as it relates to judgmentalism.  It gives some idea why it can seem untoward or uncomfortable or even anti-survival to obsess with attainment of  total certainty.

From Chapter Five, why conscience is partially blind:

One of the more striking characteristics of good people is that they are almost never completely sure that they are right.  Good people question themselves constantly, reflexively, and subject their decisions and actions to the exacting scrutiny of an intervening sense of obligation rooted in their attachments to other people.  The self-questioning of conscience seldom admits absolute certainty into the mind, and even when it does, certainty feels treacherous to us, as if it may trick us into punishing someone unjustly, or performing some other unconscionable act.  Even legally, we speak of ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ rather than of complete certainty. 

156 responses to “Total Certainty – Really?

  1. Total certainty would be boring.

    My take is that, as long as you’re in a body and in this universe, you can’t know…..at least, not in the fullest sense.

    For once you know, the game is over.

    So the whole thing becomes about improving conditions and moving on up a little higher. And then, a little higher than that, etc…

  2. Boy, your quote from ch 5 is eloquently said. Love it!

    I have been saying for sometime that a person should always operate on the idea (from the viewpoint) that everything they know may be wrong.

    This is in alignment with and a harmonic or a notch higher than Hubbard’s words:

    In order to learn something, you have to be willing to be wrong.

    Dio

  3. Is it true that, “before the beginning was a cause and the entire purpose of the cause was the creation of effect.”

    And if that’s true then every sociopathic trait has been invented by thetans for one reason or another. And if that’s true then any one of those characteristics be un-invented, as-ised, changed, mocked up or unmocked at will by thee or me or anyone who cares to play that game.

    Can people change? Can they willingly alter their banks, their actions and their considerations? How often can they change? How much? How fast?

    I’m pretty certain about many things. One thing I’m pretty certain about is that most “total certainties” are held in place by a service facsimile.

  4. Yes indeed. Knowledge of the Law of Unintended Consequences serves to govern the conscientious individual. I would also say that this same doubt is linked to intelligence.

    “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.” ― Charles Bukowski

  5. I think absolute certainty (or as close as possible since absolutes are unobtainable) is a good thing only with respect to how to use tools for finding truth. Beyond that, it’s a fixed idea.

  6. gretchen dewire

    Hang out with people looking for the truth. Stay away from those that have found it.

  7. This is very timely for me. I have recently been purging my “total certainty” of SO MANY things that I have somehow achieved total certainty about but of which I have not thoroughly inspected or researched. How many things are we absolutely certain about simply because that is what we have always BELIEVED because of what we have been told by people we trusted as experts?

    For just one of many examples in life, it is amazing to me (and I have been guilty of this myself) just how many people post, re-post, share supposed facts on Facebook about any number of things in life from “Missing Person” alerts to “Did You Know These Science Facts”? to various statistics, alarming “facts” about this Senate Bill or new law, or what gangs are doing, or, or, or…..the list is endless.

    People don’t even check Snopes first before posting (and I am not saying Snopes is the definitive place to get one’s truth but at least it’s a start in the process of finding out the accuracy of something before passing on misinformation). This happens ALL THE TIME.

    We have got to think more critically. It’s far better to drop the “certainty” and replace that with a “I don’t know, let me find out”, if one really doesn’t know everything there is to know on a subject. For 100% of humans here in this game, there is FAR more to learn than is KNOWN with certainty.

    What is so great about “Total Certainty”? “Forever Learning” sounds better to me :)

    • Sindy,

      Interesting post. I wonder if “total certainty” isn’t some sort of intellectual or emotional trap.

      On a personal level, if I am totally certain about something, I sometimes stop trying to learn or understand or work on things or items or subjects or relationships.

      On a professional level, even a technological level (physics, engineering, hydrodynamics, chemistry, microbiology, etc.), an important key to success was never having so much certainty that we thought we had the best. Also not using known facts to automatically dismiss something as impossible or not viable. My industry, the environmental industry is so young that aspects of technology evolve and mature consistently, and we and other people can create disruptive technologies and concepts by doing some (apparently) wacky stuff to create a=n effect in different ways.

    • Sindy, I’m with you about needing more critical thinking, but not everyone agrees. The 2012 platform for the Texas Republican Party states that they are against the teaching of critical thinking skills because these oppose the students’ “fixed ideas” and “undermine parental authority”.

      I had to double-check this one to be sure I wasn’t just passing on somebody’s Facebook rant. Unfortunately, it’s true.

    • Interesting Sindy. I’ve been going through the very same thing since disconnecting from RCS. Many of my Scn friends would consider this to be undesirable or unwanted. Nothing could be further from the truth. I feel like I am discovering Scn (and other things) for the first time.
      I wouldn’t be surprised that individuals leaving the church go through a similiar type transition. Or, maybe its simply realizing that the lack of critical thought is what got us in the soup in the first place.
      I’ve spoke to a number of “in” Scnists and have mentioned “critical thought” and they uniformly took it to mean “natter”. Wow, RCS has given critical thought and inspection a bad name.

  8. The more I know, the more I know I don’t know.

    You can put that one on my grave stone.

  9. Life is full of doubts, but you can improve your confidence by just writing down some things you are absolutley certain about. It can raise your tone level and self-confidence. It is also good to know what you are not certain above. If you know that you don’t know, well you know something!
    I am absolutley certain that I have 5 fingers on each hand. No one will prove me wrong.

    I recommend The Dianetic Auditor Bulletin “Basic Reason – Basic Principles”, Sept. 1951.

    Authoritarian teaching methods will lessen your reason, your certainties, your imagination and phantasy and your level of activity.

  10. A poem! Your message is becoming lighter and lighter. By the way, your last familly photo is a poem too ;-)

  11. Great new picture of you and Mosey, by the way.

  12. LOL, Marty, I am proud to not know a whole lot of shit!!!!!!!!!!

    And the interesting thing for me is that the more I realized I didn’t know, or wasn’t certain, the more I could lean and accomplish and the better I could relate to people and motivate them towards a productive goal.

    • martyrathbun09

      Michael,
      One of the reasons I find you to be one of the most enjoyable people to hang out and talk with is precisely because you seldom attempt to impose beliefs in the phony dress of certainty.

      • The feeling is mutual, Marty.

        • I appreciate that…but, we both know the ability I spoke of ain’t so mutually equal.

          • Marty, you’re my friend. :) There was a terrorist bombing in Boston, Massachusetts today. So far i have not seen the Volunteer Ministers from the Church of Scientology on the scene as they have done in the past elsewhere at other catastrophes. I wonder if they have lost their certainty? :)

  13. Your post, Marty, lead me to think about certainty…. what’s the nature of certainty?

    Certainty is a feeling. In some ways it’s kind of on the same level as jealousy or anger. It’s a reaction to certain stimuli. Yet just like anger, the stimulus doesn’t have to actually exist to create the feeling. A person may imagine their significant other cheating on them or someone they love crying or getting injured. These scenarios are not true yet the feeling one gets when one imagine sit is no less real.

    Certainty feels good. Because certainty feels good, people get addicted to it. Therefore there is often no logical connection between a person’s feeling of certainty and something that is actually true. Just like a person can feel sad or angry about just imagining something terrible happening to someone they care about. This feeling of knowing can probably manifest itself just to rid the person of that discomfort of not knowing.

    Ive seen in me the feeling of certainty appear when there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever, and fail to register when evidence is overwhelming. That’s, because it’s just a feeling. It’s subject to all of our cognitive baggage just like all of our other emotions. Just like “getting angry” is subject to all of our cognitive baggage; many people have gotten angry first and then looked for things to be angry about.

    Certainty is subject to the same disconnect with reality, and subject to the same rationalizations as any other emotion. The thing is, … think about it, 1 billion Christians have no other strong evidence other than this feeling of knowing!

    I was also reading that the intrinsic need for certainty is compunded by what’s called the “Need for Closure” that apparently we all have to very different degrees. People with a high need for closure tend to prefer any answer to no answer, so much so that there is a subconscious tendency to view someone who claims to have an answer more favorably from the start than someone who is undecided or open-minded. This tends to make them biased towards accepting claims from people with dogmatic opinions. Maybe that’s why some people can be part of dogmatic religions without scoring high on dogmatism scales.

    On the other side, people who are drawn towards active critical thought and problem solving have a lower need for closure. They are unlikely to like “set in stone” answers. They tend to dislike dogma and prefer to pursue evidence until and unless they reach a suitable conclusion.

    Its fascinating how widely different people’s positions can be in regards with certainty. On one extreme, you have Descartes. The basic strategy of his method of doubt is to defeat skepticism on its own ground. Begin by doubting the truth of everything—not only the evidence of the senses and the more extravagant cultural presuppositions, but even the fundamental process of reasoning itself. If any particular truth about the world can survive this extreme skeptical challenge, then it must be truly indubitable and therefore a perfectly certain foundation for knowledge. Little

    On the other hand, you have what Wikipedia defines as “mysticism”: “the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, or levels of being, or aspects of reality, beyond normal human perception, including experience of and even communion with a supreme being…. Mysticism can be distinguished from ordinary religious belief by its emphasis on the direct personal experience of unique states of consciousness, particularly those of a transcendentally blissful character….mysticism is the pursuit of communion with, identity with, or conscious awareness of an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, instinct or insight. Mysticism usually centers on practices intended to nurture those experiences.” Here certainty comes 100% from unexplainable inner experience.

    Interestingly, all religions have had a “reason-driven-certainty faction” and a “mystic-driven-certainty faction”. Sufism is Islam’s inner and mystical dimension, Kabbalah is the mystical foundation of Judaism. While the “reaon-and organization minded Christians were busy in Rome around the Curian, Christianty has had its share of mystics, from Meister Eckhardt to Bonaventure, Catherine of Siena and many others.

    What kind of certainty am I searching? Whatever certainty gives me that feeling of having reached closure. That feeling of comfort. For me, I lean to the mystics’ side. I guess everyone has their own way of reaching closure and feeling satisfied..

    Here again… we are such diverse people, and on top of that, each person evolving …

    If I had to boil it down to one certainty, I’m certain that what is worthwhile to pursue feels good, brings a smile within and love in the heart. That’s my agenda for today..

  14. Jean-François Genest

    Wow, this is cool ! Thank you for the cognition and validation !
    This post hit me like the lovely phrase uttered by a good auditor in an auditing session:
    “I would like to indicate that _______.” → F/N :-D
    I have struggled with this certainty concept my whole life. Turns out I am NORMAL, not stupid or “aberated”, and part of the “good-people group”.

    I do this consistently:
    «Good people question themselves constantly, reflexively, and subject their decisions and actions to the exacting scrutiny of an intervening sense of obligation rooted in their attachments to other people.»
    Thank you ! JFG

  15. I think some people confuse “total certainty” with “know best”. “Know best” is a lower toned mockery of a higher toned being’s “total certainty.”.
    “Total certainty” is up there with total freedom, native state, nirvana and heaven. In my opinion total certainty could not exist in the mest universe.
    Know best is defined in the Tech Dictionary as “a derogatory term meaning the person is pretending to know while actually being stupid.”
    Miscavage is a lower toned mockery of LRH.

  16. Marty, I like your new picture on the right.

    Totally agree with your assertion that total certainty is bogus. In my experience, I found out that in any field, the real experts never think they know it all. It is only the fools that think that.

  17. I didn’t coin this phrase but I think it’s brilliant —

    “Becoming comfortable with uncertainty”

    IF I can do that — be comfortable with knowing that I can’t plan for every contingency, that I can’t know FOR SURE that my job is going to exist tomorrow, that I don’t REALLY know for sure that when I die I will find a “good” family and have a good start at a new life, that I am not CERTAIN there is inherent evil … i.e. perhaps there really ARENT SPs per se, but people who are deeply really messed up …

    The list is almost endless.

    So — becoming comfortable with uncertainty is what I try to remember always.

    Doing this helps me and it actually makes me more confident that I can sort through the debris (clouds) that tends to try to obscure the sun.
    :)

    • wh,
      “becoming comfortable with uncertainty”. I like that.

      The post reminds me of a verse I read by Emily Dickinson:
      NOTE: One can substitute “thetan” for “Brain”, of course.

      “The Brain is just the weight of God-
      For – Heft them – Pound for Pound-
      and they will differ – if they do-
      As Syllable from Sound -”

      George M. White

  18. Good post Marty. My certainties of my certainties are all I really have that I can count on. I am certain that DM is someone I want nothing to do with ever again. I hope he rots in hell. I am certain that you have shared some great posts that have made me think about my stable and unstable data of life. For this I am grateful. I have conviction that my life is my creation and that very few people will truly understand the entirety of my existence (nor would I expect that) and that is unimportant to me. It matters only that those I love, love me too. That is most important to me and from there I gather strength to fully live my life, whether in a certain way, or sometimes, not certain at all. What I have certainty on also is that anyone that comes toward me with an evil agenda (typically, how can I get more money out of this guy using his “goodness” to do so), as has happened in the church so many times, better know that I have far less tolerance than before and I am sure of that.

    • “… unstable data of life.” Priceless. All the rest is beautifully said, too.

      I think it’s possible to gain certainties on many things, progressively, becoming more sure of some things as time goes on, and becoming more sure of more things even if the grand view appears more and more simple and as prior certainties resolve into even more simple certainty. There is a point, I believe, at which one can be as certain as walking about very important principles – such as … um … lemme think for a minute … such as being certain, but also certain that one can change one’s mind and see things in a different light (stirred, not shaken). It’s not “an open mind” as much as “perception”.

      Is “Mirari” Italian plural for “look”? Like “Volare” (famous song)?

  19. Marty

    I have recently been reading a book that “Maria” recommended a few posts back It is called “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” by Sogyal Rinpoche.

    I am very much enjoying his point of view about living and dying, (and I am only about a quarter of the way through at this point) He spends quite a bit of time discussing ‘impermanence”. He suggests that until one accepts the fact that everything in this universe is changing, and therefor impermanent, one will tend to fear change. He basically states that if you live in this universe and are unwilling to experience its impermanence you will experience a lot of turmoil in your existence. He suggests that fully embracing the impermanence of everything puts one at peace with the universe.

    He says, (and I would imagine that he had a smile on his face when he did so) that “the only thing that is unchanging in this universe is that everything in it is constantly changing.”

    What I get from this, and from my other understandings, is that “certainty” is a form of fixatedness. Certainty would seem to be an attempt to stop the universe from changing. (and that doesn’t seem very likely.) What appears to happen, from my point of view, is that, if you fail to stop change with your certainty, you tend to go downscale and end up stopping YOURSELF from changing, in order to prove that your certainty is justified. You park yourself in time to some degree.

    Eric

    • martyrathbun09

      Good points Eric.

    • Recently i heard it said that death gives meaning to our lives. Without it no event, conversation or relationship could have any significance because there would be an infinite number of these things so no one instance could be at all special. I’d never looked at it that way before – for things to be meaningful there needs to be finiteness. Death needs to exist, in this universe at least. In the material universe, hell would be an infinity of events, an infinity of knowingness, certainty, maybe even beauty, goodness, truth etc.

  20. I like the differentiation between “certainty” and “know-best.” Certainty is at the top of the Attitudes Scale along with things like, “I am”, “I Know”, “Freedom” and others. So it is a good thing, but only if it is the high awareness top of the attitude scale and is not a lower awareness / lower-toned mockery of the high one, which would be a service facsimile put in place as a stable datum to hold back the unknown and uncertain stuff. “Know-best” is a judgemental certainty used by those who do not have the fruits of observation open to them. This would include low toned and low IQ etc, or also those brainwashed in the cult towards “know-best” as a way to enslave and control their other bretheren in the cult. Since DM can’t be everywhere at once to punish others in order to get complete compliance to his insane orders, he just indoctrinates / brain washes the OL’s and MAA’s and SO members so that they then dramatize the winning valence and “put in ethics” (suppress) the public and staff into complete compliance. By having his minions rat out their family, friends, kids, parents, colleagues and make them good and wrong in doing so, it is how he can keep the flock in check and controlled when he can’t personally be there all the time to do it. It’s a brilliant plan, and even though it is diabolical, you gotta admire the smart cunning that went into it by DM.

  21. “Do you have any doubts or reservations concerning attesting to _________?”

    Before I finally managed to straighten myself out on how to deal with this question within myself, it was almost impossible to attest to anything.

    I did so many wrong lower conditions concerning “attesting without having total certainty”.

    If you don’t understand how absolutes are unattainable, it is impossible to deal with this question sensibly. The above question becomes an invitation to introvert endlessly until you straighten yourself out on what degree of certainty you are going for.

    Anyone else have reality on this?

    • I had no problem attesting to what I attested to. I was blessed with excellent auditors and C/Ses who audited me to the correct end phenomena. A grade’s “end phenomenon” is not the same thing as an “Absolute.” There are states, and those states exist, and you can attest to them if you reached them.

      If you are introverting during an attest cycle, wondering if you made it or not – you didn’t. Pure and simple.

      • martyrathbun09

        Not so pure and simple in my view. Some audit and practice toward release and not toward ability. Even when Scientology is ‘audited’ toward ability, it often does not result it in for being single-dimension practice – solely a mental exercise. I referred to this in my video/post The Tao of Scientology. Will expand on it in an upcoming book.

        • I get what you are saying, but in the specific case of attesting to, say, Grade 0, where the PC is shown the card during the attest cycle, the PC should be able to attest achieving that grade, no? And, if a PC has been audited on Grade 0 – done all the comm processes, 0-0A, etc., and then is sent to attest, and the PC says “no, I can’t attest to that” – well, that would indicate that the C/S and auditor totally missed the case, no?

          • martyrathbun09

            In a very, very small percentage of the cases from my observation should they be able to unequivocally swear to what is on that card. If they could, Scientology would be the number one religion on the planet by now, flat out. I find a low percentage of independent practitioners, let alone corporate, who could honestly attest ‘yes’ to what is spelled out on that card, all four flows.

            • Marty

              Perhaps the discrepancy is between subjectively feeling that one can now do a particular thing, and the realities that come into play when one actually attempts to objectively produce those effects in the universe around them.

              Scientology auditing is very good with the subjective realities, but it takes a whole different set of drills to become proficient objectively.

              This is a good case for the statement that “auditing is only half of the bridge”. I find it is in the training and drilling, and actually working with the tools, (in Scientology or otherwise) that brings one to the point of actually being able to “walk the walk.”

              Eric

            • I find that fascinating. Now, I personally did most of my attestations from 1973 to 1976 (for my grades and DRD) and OT levels in 1986. The first thing I ever attested to in this manner was ARC Straightwire – “Knows he/she will not get worse.” I did not know what was going on, just that I was asked to go to the examiner. I read the card and there was no question – “Of course!”. This was true for me for each attestation cycle I had. Maybe it was the era – perhaps the tech was better back then, and was broken since the mid-’80s.

              Now I know there were/are people who saw grade and OT level as a social status, but to me it is outright stupid to falsely attest something. You are not there to falsely attest, you are there to get the result. I am very sure it helped doing the bridge as I did, which was a combination of co-audits and student auditing, so $$$ was not a factor like it would have been if I was paying by the intensive. But even then – why falsely attest?

              Yet, what you are saying is that most people in Scientology falsely attested. That they sat down in front of that examiner, picked up the cans, were shown the card, and then managed to lie about it and still float the needle. Am I reading this right? Because that is a pretty heavy condemnation of Scientology, not just the church.

              Mark

              • martyrathbun09

                Let me simplify it. Flow 1: Willing for others to communicate to him on any subject. No longer resisting communication from others on unpleasant or unwanted subjects. Show me an Operating Thetan Level VIII, let alone a Grade 0 release, who can swear to that.

                • I’m looking and looking at this Marty, very sincerely. Looking at my last several years doing what I’m doing and living my life. Other than when someone is missing an as-yet undisclosed W/H on me, I honestly do have that ability. And, though I might get a bit testy for a moment, I am perfectly capable of letting go of the W/H.

                  I’m looking at the other three flows of G 0 and find that I would have no problem exhibiting those abilities. While little bits of charge might be present in new, unusual or hostile situations, the ability is there. I also find that as I communicate to more and various people, the ability expands.

                  I would have told you, at the time I completed Grade 0 back in 1973, that I had the “ability.” After finishing NOTs and doing a confirm on the lower grades as part of the original OT IV, I would tell you with even more certainty that I feel I have that ability.

                  I have several friends who have never been involved in Scientology who I would believe, from my observation, also have that ability.

                  Les

                  • You are one of the few I had in mind that in fact did demonstrate that ability. You noted: I would have told you, at the time I completed Grade 0 back in 1973, that I had the “ability.” After finishing NOTs and doing a confirm on the lower grades as part of the original OT IV, I would tell you with even more certainty that I feel I have that ability. That would tend to support Mr. Fagen’s views. It also supports my view – in that you are one of few actual practitioners in the field that demonstrates Grade 0 E/P all four flows – that the original post is worthy of consideration, since you – almost uniquely -remain curious, knowing that you don’t know everything.

                  • Les,

                    You are one of the relatively few people who I can look at and say, that’s the kind of person I would have expected to see after they had gone up the Bridge.

                    Dave

                • Ah, I see. Thanks for clarifying.

                • Les has pretty much summed up how it is and was for me regarding attesting to grade 0 and exhibiting and having the attested abilities. I really do have them.

                  However, the 3rd dynamic policy directs that certain communications are “destructive” or “not permitted” for the purposes of serving, protecting and expanding the group or inimical to the spiritual welfare of preclears and pre-OTs. There is a tension between one’s responsibility on a subject and one’s willingness on a subject.

                  There is a big difference between being willing and able to do something (I am both willing and able to beat the shit out of you — I am bigger and stronger and I have no problem breaking all your bones) and choosing to act on that ability. That includes being the one that is willing to stop the bully from beating the shit out of a little girl because he is both willing and able to to do so.

            • Marty,
              You said “I find a low percentage of independent practitioners, let alone corporate, who could honestly attest ‘yes’ to what is spelled out on that card, all four flows.”
              Question: Wouldn’t more auditing on the subject at hand be indicated as a remedy then until there was no doubt observable by the person being audited in their own universe?
              This is an interesting post. I was just discussing the idea of “certainty” as an “absolute” with a friend this evening. Consensus: generally not a smart thing. But just now I thought of one certainty that can be attained by many as “absolute” …one’s certainty that one exists, i.e. one’s awareness of being aware. Because, if one ever has the slightest doubt about that, it would very simple to just take a look at who is wondering. :-)
              Perhaps there are more things that one can be “absolutely” certain about. I’ll have to take a look at that. Come to think of it, it should be possible to be certain of anything in one’s own universe, so long as one is being “master of one’s own domain”.

              • martyrathbun09

                No. My views are spelled out to some extent in What Is Wrong With Scientology? Auditing is not the problem. Auditing is more than a waste of time if it is not done for purposes of, and in conjunction with, walking the walk of the ability being sought. On awareness of being aware, that is a nifty thing – provided it is not a static thing. People evolve, mentally and spiritually, by this process – the subject of one level becomes the object of the subject of the next higher level.

      • Grasshopper, in my opinion, based on what you are saying, you are someone who had a decent enough grasp on the subject of certainty, so that it did not affect you adversely when you were asked whether you had any doubts concerning attesting.

        As such a person who never had a problem with this, you don’t have a reality on what it is like to be the kind of person who so often introverts, always feeling like no matter what he got out of the course or auditing action he is attesting to, always testing himself to “make sure he is being honest and isn’t falsely attesting.”

        I went through a long phase of this until I got to a point where I realized that absolutes are truly unobtainable, and you have to limit your attestation to a certain finite purpose. This is a personal matter and can only ultimately be determined by oneself.

        It was a long and painful process, and I wish someone would have been able to help me with it much earlier than when I finally figured it out.

        To some, it’s like the old “don’t think of the word hippopotamus”. Just mentioning the idea of “doubts or reservations” makes him create them for himself, especially in an environment such as in the church, where guilt tends to follow one wherever he goes and whatever he does.

        That’s why it’s not so pure and simple for everyone.

        • Dean, I am sorry if I spoke out of turn. From my experience, what I usually saw when people were sent to the examiner for attestation was that there was no doubt by all concerned – the auditor, PC, and C/S. The cycle really ought to be that by the time you are sitting in that chair, it is obvious. And if it is not, then something was missed.

          Now, I see Marty stating that he saw a small percentage be able to do that. He was IG Ethics and would have access to data like that. I find that astounding.

          • Grasshopper,

            Thanks. (My name is Dave actually).

            You did not speak out of turn. I just wanted to give you a reality on something you didn’t seem to have a reality on. Good for you, by the way, that you did not have that problem. I was actually complimenting you.

            I wanted to tell you what it is like for some others, and to show you that there could be more to it than whether or not the person has actually achieved the purpose of whatever he is attesting to. It could also be that the person is so afraid of the committing the overt of falsely attesting and is so confused about it, that that could be a factor independent of whether or not he achieved whatever he is being asked to attest to.

            My point is not quite the same as Marty’s, though what Marty is saying is also a factor.

            Also, though I did not say this and I should have, I was more referring to attesting to courses than auditing actions. People often think that when attesting to the metering course that they are supposed to have “total certainty on metering”. In my opinion, this is virtually impossible without having done enough actual auditing and incorporated your metering skills with an actual session with all of its randomity. A person has to make the correct evaluations of exactly what it is he is going for in such a course before he can sensibly attest to it.

            • martyrathbun09

              Well, I would disagree on that. On training, one ought to have a high degree of certainty with the tools he learned, or he belongs nowhere near the auditor side of the meter. As a reminder, the original post here had zero to do with certainty of one’s abilities or competence in utilizing tools. It had to do with carrying that over into the field of judging one’s fellows. There are some real nutjobs in the field adjudging others as nazis, gestapo and ‘psyches’ with ‘total certainty’ based solely on those adjudged not walking goose-step, lock step with everything ever uttered by Ron Hubbard. I would say that 97.5 percent of the population, or so, would consider that type of behavior, well, sociopathic.

              • Yes, this is a little bit of a tangent that I introduced but I felt this subject of attesting was one way to express the reality on the subject you brought up about total certainty.

                I agree with you that on training, one ought to have a high degree of certainty with the tools he has learned or else he belongs nowhere near the auditor side of the meter. Any pc will to one degree or another perceive his auditor’s uncertainty and will be out of session to that degree. And that’s just one reason.

                High degree is one thing. A vague, arbitrary idea of “absolute certainty” without even knowing what you want certainty on, is something else.

                But actually, the kind of person I described above, who is totally confused about what standards he’s going for, needs to undercut that before he has any hope of acquiring the necessary degree of certainty that an auditor needs. If you don’t even know what you are going for, you can’t achieve a workable degree of certainty on whether or not you have achieved it.

              • One of those who see

                Hi Marty, I need to take some responsibility here for going on this tangent. Thank you for posting our comments here. As you can see this has been/is a pretty charged subject for some of us. Study Tech & Attesting at the Examiner. I actually called my Indie Auditor to ensure he was reading here today. As I need help in this area.

        • Dave, I would agree. I don’t think I ever got comfortable with attesting until I left the church and it no longer mattered. Except maybe a brief period when I was blown out of my gourd when I did NOTs. Doubts and reservations and hesitations are part of life…. even if there are moments when moving ahead at full steam ahead, 100% committed or feeling you are the world.

          I like Marty’s idea of auditing to ability…. taking things slow and easy. I was in a hurry to go OT when I entered scn in 1968. I got the quicky grades which I protested but was bascially told that is all you get… thus began my mental gymnastics in regard to attesting. Then Class8 came out with Standard Tech which emphasized doing the tech just as written and all will be well. You would think I would have gotten the hint that it wasn’t working for me. But I was clinging and grasping to the story that I would be rescued or otherwise delivered to total power.

          After compulsively trying to make it work for 26 years I began to tune into my own inner voice which took me out. I don’t have any objection to the tech and it at times did wonders for me. Much more important than the tech or any system is honoring your own path which I believe is a natural part of being human. In my opinion, the need for so many to leave the church whether as indies or straights or just left it, was all part of their own spiritual evolution. Good book: The Five Stages of the Soul by Harry R. Moody. That and other similar books map out the milestones we pass through (each a bit different). I don’t think a bunch of auditing even if done to result can make up for making your way through those passages of life. The goal of power on all 8 dynamics that I bought into in some ways is a distraction from being a loving and engaged human.

          Did I false attest…. sure. Did I invalidate my own abilities… sure. So what. I’m alive and life is…..

    • One of those who see

      Hi Dave,
      thanks for communicating about this.
      Yes! I absolutely hate that question: “Do you have any doubts or reservations concerning attesting to _________?” I mean one of the main reasons I want to go up the bridge is to get rid of all the noise in my universe, all the fighting. Obtain knowing how to know-gain more certainty. So this question was/is out gradient for me. It introverts. I had the same problem with study. “Never go past a word you don’t fully understand” Has anyone who had the same problem, handled this for themselves? A formally great student, I found it paralyzing. Instead of studying for knowledge, I would find myself introverted into the words. Is the word an mu or not? Have I cleared it or not??? Ugh!
      The certainty required in Scientology has been a problem for me.

      • One,

        After having been a Sup for 20 years, I think the number one factor in messing up students who would otherwise be fine, is incompetent and off-purpose flunking by the twin or Sup on words, ignoring all the rest of the Study Tapes besides “don’t go past a word you don’t fully understand”.

        I’ve had students who, after I pulled enough strings, I would find out that they were quizzing themselves on every word they saw, to see if they would be able to tell themselves what each and every word meant, as if they were theory coaching themselves (get the student to define ALL the words, etc). The next thing you know, you have someone on the Student Hat for a year, and at the end of it, reading about a page every two hours.

        Also I would say that this is one of the causes of robotic “application”.

        I feel that it is a personal matter of ethics and getting a personal understanding of why you are there and how to intelligently balance the discipline of not going past MUs with the purpose of why you are studying.

        There’s lots of stuff in the Study Tapes that would help a person sort this out if he really got the concepts.

        • Dave

          As a sup I have also observed all of what you have posted for myself.

          I went so far as to write up something that I call “a why for study failures”. It doesn’t just apply to Scientology courses, but it definitely applies there, from my observation. It does not cover all the points that you mention, but all the points that you mention are definitely significant outpoints.

          Anyone is welcome to contact me at windwalker8008@gmail(dot)com if you would like me to send a copy.

          Eric

      • So, here we have a problem of lack of certainty. I saw a lot of people wallow around words when they studied – worry about which precise definition was the exact correct one for the word “is” or whatever. I had a twin on level E of the BC (when there were levels A-F) who would always have his nose in the dictionary, looking up words he looked up before, probably 20-30 words per lecture – and he was pissed off at me for being able to listen to a lecture and not look up more than a word or two, if any. I have no idea what the F he was doing – but when he confronted me with it, my reply is that there is a finite number of words in the English language, and by the time you have read ALL the books, listened to hundreds of lectures, read hundreds and hundreds of HCOBs, PABs, PLs, etc., and completed M1 word clearing, why eventually you will LEARN THE CUSSING LANGUAGE.

        At the end of the day, if you look up words all the time you will eventually look them all up.

        And there are degrees of understanding, which also came out of the study tapes (as Dean noted). You don’t need, for example, a PhD to clear the words “Quantum Mechanics,” but to be able to fully think with quantum mechanics you would have to go a lot deeper than you would if you just came across the words in daily life.

        • Oops – meant Dave, not Dean.

        • Grasshopper

          Warning… Rant coming…

          I am trained as a Professional Course Supervisor, and this aspect of over-inspection of, or concentrating on words, I feel is actually a significant barrier to study.

          In one of the Study Tapes, on the Student Hat, Ron talks about how one actually balks the student if he asks for too deep an understanding for things of little significance.

          The whole “snap answer” system of “checking for misunderstoods” on student checkouts effectively interiorizes the student into words. It slows “study” down to a crawl for most students. The student often feels invalidated, evaluated for, and balked in his simple desire to learn.

          When the words asked for in checkouts have become ANY AND EVERY word, students are pretty much trained into some nutty concept that the words are somehow WAY more important than what the materials are talking about. The whole concept of going somewhat blank when one passes over a word he doesn’t understand, (A SIGNIFICANT WORD NECESSARY FOR THAT UNDERSTANDING!) doesn’t even get a chance to be demonstrated, for the most part, because the student is so busy doubting himself on his minute understanding of EVERY single F–ing word, that he never gets going in the first place.

          Students are repeatedly told that if he cannot instantly blurt out the RIGHT definition then that word IS OBVIOUSLY MISUNDERSTOOD and he didn’t understand anything after it, and probably before it either.

          What a massive, and totally unfounded evaluation. The chances of that evaluation being even remotely true is next to ZERO.

          Upon completion of my Professional Course Supervisor internship I was asked to attest to “the ability to train ANYBODY on ANYTHING” .(assuming that they had the interest and the physical necessities) To this day I feel I am capable of demonstrating that result, but I can tell you, I find NO use for that method of training. (And I never got that that was how it was to be done in the first place)

          Talk about “balking the student”… My God!

          Thank you all for your patience in letting me get that off my chest…

          Eric

          • I just have to add an example here…

            I was helping out as the volunteer ethics officer at my Org, and my would go down to the course room to study her Full Hat. One day she comes back totally in tears.

            I ask what is up and she blurts out that “she is so stupid and cannot study, and will NEVER EVER be able to get through her Full Hat”. She had been on this particular Policy for days. (it is important to note here that this particular girl could get results in any situation that you threw her into, on a very limited amount of data.)

            After calming her down a bit I decided to demonstrate to her a different approach to study.

            I told her I would help her to get through the Policy Letter that she was “studying”. I told her that to start off, I didn’t want her to study the Policy for right now. I told her that I just wanted her to read over it and see what it was talking about. I told her that she needn’t look up any words unless she absolutely couldn’t get past them.

            When she was done, (and she hadn’t looked up a single word) I asked what the information was basically about, and were there any parts in it that she could use. (this was a four or five page policy) She gave me a good working understanding of the contents of the policy. I told her “PASS”. She had nailed it.

            It was only then that she realized what she had done.

            This, I recommended, is how you should approach study.

            Eric

            • Wow, that explains something that has been gnawing at me for the last couple of years. Thanks for that rant Eric S (.. snap answer system.. interiorizes the student..) and for the post above by David Fagen (…incompetent and off purpose flunking of words). I spent 2 years doing the student hat and was often miserable. I read these posts to my wife who spent 2 Months on a Policy letter before, and she laughed to beat the band. Thanks for that, I got a win from reading your posts that I was expecting to get while I was on the Student Hat.

            • One of those who see

              Thank you, Thank you Thank you! I am one of those people who can apply what I learn. Always have been a great student except in Scientology. It makes perfect sense to me that you should look up words you don’t know. But the way the study tech was communicated got me completely introverted into the words. You wrote: “The whole concept of going somewhat blank when one passes over a word he doesn’t understand, (A SIGNIFICANT WORD NECESSARY FOR THAT UNDERSTANDING!) doesn’t even get a chance to be demonstrated, for the most part, because the student is so busy doubting himself on his minute understanding of EVERY single F–ing word, that he never gets going in the first place.” Yep!! I eventually stopped studying in the Church, way before I left. Just listened to lectures and read at home. Studying in the course room became too painful. My god, the possible overt of possibly going past an mu! I will write you for a copy of your “Why.” Thanks again!

          • Well delineated, Eric. What you rant about is just another example of inspection before the fact. There are gradients of understanding, which is why number of times over = certainty and results. But demanding “absolute total certainty”, especially the first time through, is a way to invalidate, introvert and stop training. There are over 1,000,000 words in the English language and the majority of those have several definitions, and then there are the symbols and idioms. NO ONE knows all of them and requiring someone to know every out of context definition of every word used in a particular piece is just asinine. Sure, if you see a word you know you don’t understand, by all means look it up and thoroughly clear it standardly and add it to your personal lexicon. Or if a sentence doesn’t make sense, check your understanding of the words in it. But otherwise, don’t obsess over it! That’s what your knowledge of study phenomena is for – to alert you to the fact that you missed something and how to remedy THAT phenomenon. But if you’re moving along bright and getting it, don’t worry that your “tongue’s not hanging out” and just plow right ahead.

            Of course, if you’ve done the Student Hat, Method 1, Grammar Course and Key to Life Course (BTW, what the hell ever happened with the Primary Rundown??), your speed and duplication will be greatly enhanced, assuming you can find a sane, standard environment to do them in.

            But my beef is with Method 9 Word Clearing. LRH has a penchant for sometimes using words in their obscure or arcane or uncommon meanings, and you may have to stop to figure out WHICH one applies to that context EVEN WHEN YOU ALREADY KNOW THEM. But no, the robot coach – even when you’ve spotted it, now duplicate what’s said, are bright and ready to move on – will make you go through the whole rigmarole of clearing the little bitch (again). And, ah-ha! He “found another M.U.”! But there’s nothing in the reference with which to reprogram the robot for this contingency. And then there’s the colloquial style in which much of LRH’s material is written. I find I have to just turn off my internal text editor and just read as if the Ole Man is just talking to me, as I normally do when studying silently – then, no worries, mate.

            • Ron did say the number of times though equals certainty, right? Therefore, he is acknowledging that the first time through does not result in 100% certainty.

              Also, one of huge, huge, huge beefs that I have against Mayo is that his TRs course required everyone to M9 everything! It is crazy!

              Sounds like it is worse – way worse – now.

              • Grasshopper

                Yes…

                I consider wholesale M9 usually works out to be more of an invalidation than an assist. And then if you add to that a misuse of the tech itself, it just acts as a stop.

                I have to wonder how many people may have been blown off, just on that one insanity alone.

                Eric

            • Graduated

              We seem to be on the same page with all that.

              Regarding the PRD. I was one of the ones who did that one. It was actually quite good, and I had a lot of fun with it because I love words, I do not think that it would have mattered where the words came from (the Student Hat, in this case) but just looking up 8000 individual words, and all the words in their definitions that you didn’t fully understand would drastically assist most anyone in further study.

              The last person that I supervised on the PRD was in 1993. and he was the first in a long time. We are a dying breed.

              And “method 9″, well… I personally tend to take most everything with a grain of salt, and consider “reason” senior to robotism any day.

              Here is something I can offer on Method 9 word clearing.

              As a supervisor I use “method 9″ a lot. I do not use it on whole bulletins however because I find that that is usually a total overrun and acts as an invalidation. However, when I want to help a student pinpoint what he actually doesn’t understand, or misunderstands, I find that tool especially good. I focus on a particular area where he seems to be missing something, (perhaps a single sentence) and watch for anything that might indicate what he is misunderstanding. I watch the student and the issue simultaneously. ( I have trained myself to read almost as fast upside down as I do normally so I actually read the same issue he is reading and thereby am looking more in his direction.) I watch for the usual things, slows, stumbles, missing words, etc. I also watch for more subtle indicators, like the eyes flicking back over something already read, HOW he says the word can point to a wrong use, or even slight “zoning out” and going into a “reading valence”. I don’t just listen, I WATCH him read.

              I do not hound the student with these indicators. I am trying to assist him to figure out what HE doesn’t understand. Often the student will spot the problem, (and it is not ALWAYS misunderstood) and is then ready to move on. At that point I let him do so.

              Anyway, thanks for your experiences.

              Eric

          • Grasshopper, I agree with you about words balking the student, but IMO that’s why Key To Life was so valuable, because you really learn, you really get that words are not things but merely symbols for the concepts, the things.

            • Also you really learn that speech and writing are just tools for communication, but are not of themselves, communication.

          • Thanks for the rant, Eric. So, to me the problem with the church is that DM is a sociopath and managed to get the entire cussing church to take something workable and turn it into a make-wrong. “Snap answer” is not the same thing to me as no comm lag. If you ask me for the definition of “dog,” there is a big difference between making someone blurt out “a-four-footed-furry-mammal-that-barks-and-has-teeth-with-the-latin-name-canis-lupus-familiaris” and a more moderated “well, a dog is a mammal that is commonly owned as a pet.” if someone were to say “so, uh, let me think… dog, eh?” that is a flunk. And it should be.

            I was checked out on Star Rate checkouts way back in ’74. For a four page PL, I would probably check about 4-5 words at most before asking questions, and getting the person to demo a (or the) key concept.

            For example, for the PL “Safeguarding Technology”, I would ask for words like “labyrinth,” “tape”, and “prenatals.” And that would be it. For questions, I would ask about what is a squirrel, and have the student demo “workable system” and how it relates to the PL. And that is it. A Start-rate is a spot check. It should take no more than 5 minutes, and I am sure your student would have passed a checkout like that.

            Now, of course, I could be super-rotten about it. For example, if she had replied to the “labyrinth” question with the answer “It’s like a maze.” I could flunk her: “It is NOT a maze – look it up!” and sit back in my DM-valence sociopathic glow of accomplishment. Same technique, totally different result.

            The church of Scientology has been invaded by assholes who over the years supplanted real tech with crap like “FLUNK FOR COMM LAG, hee, hee, hee”, and “Maybe, just maybe, you’re not really clear, dear. Let’s just recheck” again, and again, and again. “That floating needle is not quite floating enough, I am sooo sorry, but it only swung 2.5 times, and you certainly could not dance to it. It’s supposed to be rhythmic, you know. ”

            There is nothing at all wrong with asking for word definitions during a check-out, and there is nothing wrong, and everything right, with having the person re-study the bulletin if they really missed on a word. I mean really missed on one.

            But then, when you take that and turn it into “you must know each word down to its derivations and each and every possible definition from the American Heritage dictionary and if you can’t spew that out on demand you don’t really know it.” well, that’s different, and that’s not Scientology,

            • Grasshopper

              Ok… I’ll see your rant and raise you….. ;)

              Thank you for all that. We could probably study well together.

              Eric

  22. Love the post.
    Love the new family pic.
    Love being uncertain.
    What.fun.

  23. Certainty is a finite thing as we are always evolving…..One can be certain only to a degree and then moves on.to the next item……I will say that there is only one thing I have total certainty on……there is a God.

  24. Here is a list of folks who imagine themselves to have “Total Certainty” over what Scientologists must do to attain “Total Certainty”, as per command intention.
    [List of OT Committee Members that have confirmed for the Alliance Convention in Tampa Bay & Clearwater]

    Donna Andrus
    Susan Arnold
    Jim Bridgeforth
    Vicki Bromboz
    Kaye Champagne
    Collette Dearaujo
    Pete Dearaujo
    Jack Dirmann
    Jean Dwyer
    Marisa Eckleberry
    Jim Forte
    Jeanine Hall
    Rosie Friehof
    Susan Frielich
    Ulrike Gent
    Sarah Harvey
    Arte Maren
    George Mesmer
    Sue Moore
    Gudrun Morgan
    Deb Sharp
    Charlie Snyder
    Sylvie Taft
    Laura Thompson
    Moe Troelsen
    Chantal Valtin
    Delon Wilson
    Lee Wilson
    Dusti Woodbury

    Reference: http://www.mikerindersblog.org/hmmm-maybe-this-alliance-thing-isnt-working-out/

  25. I agree with this as it relates to moral and behavioral certainty. Those that are very certain of their religious or philosophical beliefs are boring and a pain in the ass. If they are convincing speakers, that can be very destructive.

    To me, it is obvious that the church has totally twisted what Ron was referring to when he wrote of “certainty.” There is a band of technical certainty – in any subject. You can be certain of basic computer science information, such as the use of bits, bytes, manipulation of memory objects, communications protocols, and other information. Being wishy-washy in the technical realm is not a good idea. Scientologically, you can be (workably) certain of basic phenomena, such as the concepts of ARC, Missed Withhold phenomena, service fac tech, OW tech, listing and nulling (and metering) tech. Being wishy-washy on this when you are running a 53 on someone is not a good idea. To me, that is what Ron means. Also, he means being reasonably certain of things.

    This post made me look up “Journal of Scientology Issue 16G: This is Scientology, Science of Certainty.” This is in tech vol 1. In it, Ron describes what he means about certainty, and I agree with his assessment. But, he is talking about certainty of observation, not certainty of morality. This is a milestone Journal of Scientology – in it, he introduces the Factors, outlines SOP 8 and Certainty Processing, and describes the anatomy of “maybe.” The goal is to get the person to observe in PT.

    But all that aside, I agree that people wrestle all the time with issues of morality, of those things that are intangible. “Is there a God? Is there not a God?” and “Is it right to have kids now? Should I wait?” “Should I home school, or send my children to public school, or private school?” I totally agree that these are the questions of people of conscience.

    One of the things that really pisses me off about Mr. David Miscavige is that he took words and phrases by Ron and TOTALLY ripped from them any of the original meaning. “Ideal Orgs” are not ideal orgs as per what Ron intended. “Total Certainty!” is not certainty as Ron meant it. “OT” is not OT as Ron defined it. And worst of all “Scientology” is not Scientology as is written and practiced by Ron and those that studied his materials. Dave’s an SP, a sociopath, so anything he promotes is in the direction of manipulation, control, domination, and the destruction of other people’s self determination. Ron never advocated that – it took Dave to be in a position where he could act with complete abandon to do it.

  26. Interesting point about the know-to-mystery scale. If I’m understanding “not know” correctly, it’s a state of fully recognizing your own limitations, no?

    One of the biggest things that helped me to grow up as a young man was to realize that I don’t know everything. That’s kind of a hallmark of adolescent thinking: you think you understand everything, you have it all figured out, and so you judge and judge some more. You disdain those who are low enough to not “get it,” while you make bad decisions based upon your own perceived infallible understanding.

    Once you get older and you mature, you realize that you don’t know everything, and your lot as a human is to do your best to be curious- to reach for new understandings and to find ways to figure things out, while always acknowledging your own limitations. If you can’t do that, how can you ever improve?

    When you do recognize those limitations, you can plot a way forward, while also gracefully helping those around you. If I understand it right, that’s the whole spirit of your “moving on up a little higher” title for this blog.

  27. In my professional life I point out to my people that “I don’t know ” is a valid answer to a question . The first time they hear it I can se all the circuits criss crossing and they finally settle with some relief .Fascinating!
    I remember reading something to the effect..”nobody knows you better than you” , after getting over the fact that all those evaluations about me in the past were pointless , my own so called certainty about people ,in general and in particular , disappeared to be replaced with greater perceptions and knowingness and no desire for judgment or condemnation.
    I agree that being fixated on being totally certain is a stop on the ability to just look and know and move on.
    I know a sociopath and she has total certainty on just about everything and uses it to such an extent that anybody dealing with her is in a no win situation , continuous loss on all games , can never be right . Very difficult .
    I noticed that scientologists who make statements with total certainty often have an air of superiority about them that is pitiful , kind of stops you in your track….nothing left to say…all done!
    But I have learned so much from this blog and all the viewpoints in the comments ,I am better equipped to deal with it and hold my position.
    I read Martha Stout and loved it.
    I am now on the Tao with delight.
    Thank you Marty

  28. great new picture!!

  29. I imagine, “total certainty” would eliminate the need for thinking. Or communicating. It would get very quiet.

    If there was any real place for total certainty in Scientology, we wouldn’t have reams of correction lists. A qual division to correct, which did not work as we can now see. 100% of the people never making it all the way up the bridge. More freeloaders than staff. More members blown and out on comm than on lines. And witch hunters politicking for public executions to “protect bodies” from the spooky unknown.

  30. Marty, Yes, those were both great books (the Tao Te Ching and Martha Stout’s book). I really like being out of the church. Thanks for keeping us informed about the truth of things since 2009. It’s like starting life all anew. That’s a great new picture of you and Mosey.

  31. Total Certainty and the Cognitive Dissonance of Being Stuck in a Maybe a la C of S:

    1. Nothing is true in Scientology unless it’s true for you.
    But maybe, if I disagree, I must have an M.U.

    2. If it isn’t written, it isn’t true.
    But maybe it’s “Command Intention”

    3. [Blank] dedicated [blank] decades of selfless service as a staff member but is now an SP.
    But maybe it was a case of “SPs, How They Become One”

    4. Super Power still hasn’t been released after 35 years.
    But maybe they don’t have enough staff yet.

    5. I feel awesome but my needle is not floating?
    But maybe I’m actually keyed-in.

    6. Don’t spend more than you make.
    But maybe I need to borrow more for my next action so I can get out of debt.

    7. Only the bank says that the group is everything and the individual nothing.
    But maybe the 3rd Dynamic is more important than the 1st Dynamic.

    8. There is no LRH policy authorizing the IAS.
    But maybe it’s an upgrade of the HASI to meet current needs.

    9. There seems to be an unpleasant culture of force, threats and crush-regging at the Org.
    But maybe it’s just necessary to keep the show on the road because of the SPs.

    10. Int-level Execs rarely if ever speak at International Events anymore.
    But maybe they’re off on other projects, or maybe DM is the best Speaker.

    11. [Blank] Ideal Org isn’t earning enough to pay staff and utility bills.
    But maybe the new international marketing campaign will remedy that.

    12. Flag is demanding we send public for Grades, Clearing and Auditor training.
    But maybe their Golden Age of Tech is better than ours.

    13. I should look on the Internet and see if there is anything bad going on that rings true.
    But maybe I’ll get in Ethics trouble.

    14. There was testimony on CNN from veteran Int-level S.O. members of physical violence at Int Base.
    But maybe all those guys are lying SPs.

    15. [Blank] OT is no longer active and on lines.
    But maybe there is out-tech on his/her case.

    16. [Blank] PM’d me and said I have someone among my Facebook friends who has gone sour.
    But maybe if I don’t unfriend him, everybody will think I’m in agreement with him.

    17. [Blank] has been declared an SP even though I know him and know he’s not.
    But maybe I should cut comm just in case.

    (Feel free to add your own to the list.)

  32. The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.

    Bertrand Russell

  33. Yes, but…

    It’s been also said there are three universes: one’s own universe, the universes of others, and the physical universe, a commun playground.

    That the attainement of certainty in or of one’s own universe has been sometimes denied or the route to get there hijacked, does that mean that this certainty cannot be attained? With certainty of course, and no doubt?

    Regarding certainty about the universes of others each one can display more humility.

    Total certainty about the physical universe would lead to the disappearance of games, thus one aims at “operating”. Here certainty would be relative and contextual.

    It’s been said certainty in all three universes should be attained, in view of the above such an absolute is unattainable or non desirable. A good balance in order to have the havingness of a good game is more like it.

    • Yes, that “absolutes are unattainable’ reffers to the MEST universe. And yes, with total certainty, it would disappear. But with total certainty one could make it reappear too. As-isness is not loss. It would just cease to be an apparency.

  34. John Sweeney and Panorama have a show going ouyt tonigh secretly filmed inside North Korea , causing a bvit of a stir in the UK, interestingly it has taken less than a month from filming to airing and i suspect with far less editing than the second Church of Scientology special !!!
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22144667

    • While North Korea’s ‘Supreme Commander’ Kim Jong-Un has been threatening thermo-nuclear war against the United States, Panorama reporter John Sweeney spent eight days undercover inside the most rigidly-controlled nation on Earth.

      Travelling from the capital Pyongyang to the countryside beyond and to the de-Militarised Zone on the border with South Korea, Sweeney witnesses a landscape bleak beyond words, a people brainwashed for three generations and a regime happy to give the impression of marching towards Armageddon

      • Kim seemingly knows from history what he is doing. The more
        he acts out and threatens world peace, the more money he
        gets from the superpowers. It is a child’s game (he could put
        the nation’s attention on production of sustainable resources
        instead and move towards self-sufficiency) but it is working.

  35. People who seemingly are very strong in their convictions
    and very opinionated are less attractive then the “searchers”,
    but then again that might just be because you feel empathy
    or even sympathy for the latter. Kids have a tendency to try to
    look at things from a black or white view in order to understand.
    “I hate you” or “he/she is very cool”. What is “reality”? Agreed
    upon aspects of life…

    Talking about the tone scale:
    The admiration particle is involved. Plus there is the state
    of where there is no “know” nor any “not know”, that space
    is not filled with anything not even a space, that’s where the
    OT phenom takes place, IMHO. I think, Marty, we are getting
    down to the beeswax here. Thanks.

    I have found that to get into someone’s universe, just find all
    the agreements you can with them, then gently steer them
    to a diametrically opposite view. Like molding a piece of clay.
    Oh, wait, isn’t that what the regges do? Forget it.

  36. Total certainty is attainable. I’m totally certain that my understanding of Life is enhanced every time I clear a word, for example.

  37. I just have to give you props. Your new photo really captures the inner beauty of both of you so well. That’s how life should live. Bravo!

  38. Total certainty regarding an is-ness……that would be total certainty that a lie is truth…..awesome……”You can’t be human and be right” -RH
    :P

    • Now I understand better why it is good to be wrong.

      When I insist that I an apparency that I talk about is right, and that I am right too (as in the case of an online arguement), I make both the apparency and myself more solid, and I can’t as-is. Because, essentially, I insist that the lie (apparency) is true! :)

  39. There is a lot to be said about the state of not knowingness. It sets up our games, makes learning fun and spices up life, I am certain of that. It is only the set of rules one must engage ones self with in order to understand this universe’s pitfalls. Thank Ron for the help I mean in a way he even had sort of a contingency plan for the juvenile delinquent that now sits in his chair. I want to thank you now as you maintain your blog and carry the torch. I also like your new picture It emanates a peaceful presence, a place you have surely , certainly earned.Can not wait for the release of the third book. ARC Bill Dupree

  40. Looking to get going again on some auditing. Went to the Free and Able sight and contacted an auditor Trey Lotz. Anybody know him? Feel like I am flying blind a bit. Any recommendations would be appreciated….this is my first auditing outside the church. Sorry to use this blog other than to comment on the topic at hand but not sure of the best communication options with the independent field. Thank you.

  41. Dani Lemberger

    Well, there’s so much I do not know, and I have total certainty that I do not know, that I am able to keep on searching. But that search is conducted with certainty that I do not know and that much remains unknowable, even with Scientology.
    At the same time, I have attained, thanks to Scientology, total certainty about how I treat others, maintaining ARC with others, caring about others, total freedom from committing overts on others. Like Les, I have total ability to give and receive any communication from anyone on anything, and many more certainties achieved though many years of Scn processing and training.
    Thus, I have total certainty that Scn does work yet I totally respect the right of another to differ on that. It won’t bother me that he would say so, I can accept that communication and maintain high ARC with someone attacking Scn and be interested in him if he is smart about objecting to Scn.
    There are values that we all agree are absolutes, and Scn does strengthen those in sane people.
    Like I’ve said many times, Scientology and the Church of Scientology are two totally separate things. The Church can only serve as proof that Scn does not always work.

    • martyrathbun09

      We’ll, we’ve known that for some years. What is more of concern is that people outside the church don’t apply that ‘totally certainty’ attitude toward judging and attacking others.

      • Maybe it is, maybe it’s not.
        I had to handle a 1.1 terminal today (in real-spacetime) and I maintained as much ARC as I could and all was fine. I am absolutley certain about his attitude and I know he’ll try it again next time. Some people just don’t want to grant others beingness – Scientology has answers to it. So better communication skills are needed on my side.

        And besides of it, i’d like to share a LRH quote from the Art Series #1:

        Too much originality throws the audience into unfamiliarity and therefore disagreement, as communication contains duplication and “originality” is the foe of duplication.

        TECHNIQUE should not rise above the level of workability for the purpose of communication.

        PERFECTION cannot be attained at the expense of communication.

        Seeking perfection is a wrong target in art.
        One should primarily seek communication with it and then perfect it as far as reasonable.
        One attempts communication within the framework of applicable skill. If perfection greater than that which can be attained for communication is sought, one will not communicate.

        LRH was right, when he said: It’s all about communication.

        • martyrathbun09

          You think maybe so, maybe not? I think, given the efforts over the past four years to salvage the name and reputation of Scientology (given its previous fifty-nine year history), in my evaluated estimation this is Scientology’s, under the banner ‘Scientology’, last chance. I think ‘maybes’ are rooted in denialism at this stage.

          • I think Scientology has only chances where proper communication occurs.
            There is no “Last Chance” for Scientology. It will be used as much as people understand it. Pointing out weaknesses is the opposite to “acknowledging the rightness of the being” and will lead, ultimatley, to frustration.

            You are right on many levels.
            I am not the only one who will attest to it.
            But so are others, too.

            Thank you for the last four years of efforts.
            My hat gets off to you. And all the other people who put in effort in the last four years and before.

            • martyrathbun09

              ‘Pointing out weaknesses is the opposite to “acknowledging the rightness of the being”’ This think is precisely why you are mistaken. It apparently is ingrained so deeply die-hards cannot see it even after years out of the organization.

              • What “think” exactly is so deeply ingrained?
                What is so good about pointing out weaknesses?
                How will it help to evolve and to integrate?

                • martyrathbun09

                  In answer to your first questin, your statement: ‘Pointing out weaknesses is the opposite to “acknowledging the rightness of the being”’. I am sorry that I cannot answer your other two questions any more clearly. If you cannot see the danger and illogic of this ‘think’ I doubt there is anything further I can write that will get through to you. You will merely consider it as an invalidation of the rightness of the being.

                  • You could try.
                    I am not ego-centric and won’t take it personally.
                    You only say this with such a certainty.
                    I understand maybe better what you are doing than many other people who already stoped to communicate on this blog. I see where this is leading and I see the emerging ARCx’s (or should I better say the rising TA). But I am more concerned, that you overstep the mark in trying to bring your point across. This is too bad as many of your viewpoints have value.
                    If you really understand “group-think” and “cultishness”, you then could keep things in a better balance. Otherwise, I fear, you will end up in extrimism – the exact thing you tried to void in the scene of Scientology.
                    There are other people with valid viewpoints, too.

                    • martyrathbun09

                      Funny how you can sit in anonymity and judge and question the communication abilities and effectiveness of others so critically – in utter violation of your stable datum, ‘Pointing out weaknesses is the opposite to “acknowledging the rightness of the being”’. Cling to ‘group think’ and ‘cultishness’ to your heart’s desire. It is your perogative.

                    • It’s too bad you did’t recieve my communication as it was meant.

                    • martyrathbun09

                      A lot of Scientologists just don’t seem capable of recognizing the double standard they continually, even on an automaticity, run on people.

                    • OK Marty, but why do you think you are an exception?
                      Why are you condemning “judgmentalism” while in the same breathe you practice it yourself? (This thread is a good example.)

                    • martyrathbun09

                      You are stuck in the Scientology rubber-blue syndrome. I’ve moved on; new post.

                    • Thanks for the indication, Marty.
                      I’m free of cult-think now.

                    • martyrathbun09

                      Sorry, meant rubber-glue. You are rubber, and I am apparently glue. I am beginning to be able to have that.

                    • I like you too, Marty. Go ahead.

                      It’s not easy for me to bring my point really across, as my english skills are limited.
                      The simplicity of this thread, as I intended, was: folks are used to some agreements and considerations (some are stupid, some are cultish, some are ridiculous, but it is not the generality).
                      It is my conviction, that Scientology will survive only with live communication. Fair enough, you try to get folks out of some of the automaticities. As I said, it’s not that I couldn’t see it. But I also see a lot of rightness in the approach of other people, they have done a lot and are preparing to do even more.
                      It is absolutley fine with me if you insist on being an “individual”, when you say you have no need for some synthetical “3rd Dynamic”, put in place by agreenets.
                      Other people want to have a 3rd dynamic or 3rd dynamics as it is their believe that Scientology works best in groups, training, cramming etc.
                      Your “ideal scene” may differ. But does it make the other “postulated ideal scenes” wrong altogether?

                      Evolution is happening indeed.

                    • martyrathbun09

                      Third dynamics that encourage the judgmentalism addressed in this post are cults, in the perjorative sense the word. I am working to help people transcend cults and move on up to higher places.

                    • It is your right to do so. And indeed I also think that this is an important task.
                      The only thing is, there is nothing wrong about “cultivation” of some agreed upon realities.
                      There is a big difference between a “cult” and “authoritarianism”.
                      Of course we need to rise, on a personal level, above any cultish thinking. But things improve on gradients. This is the simplicity of it.

                      Thank you for the communications.

            • Hi SKM :)

              I have pointed out things over which I agreed with others that were ‘wrong’ about SCN, in order to make the person understand that. what he had been taught to be SCN, was not SCN as per LRH. Although, this may at first appear an invalidation of SCN, it isn’t in the end, if the person grasps that what LRH wrote was one thing, and what SCNists or some SCNists did was another.

              I personally like LRH’s red tech pretty much (COS alterations excluded) but if a person was to follow this whole thing, as delivered by some Church or some person/group who hasn’t run the COS out thoroughly, cleared his MUs, and generally re-learn directly by LRH, and discard what he once knew. I would tell him he would be better off away from it.

              • I know some people miss things about the COS. Even if it wasn’t the orgs themselves, then maybe their friends there or times that they had some great release. You know a loss is when you think you cannot have again what you had before, when you think that you cannot re-create it. I don’t think there is any reason why something cannot be re-created. The trap would be if one tried to re-create the past SCN, that would include the parts of that past SCN that he detested. That needs to be dealt with, as case, in my opinion. Not only what was once experienced, can be experienced again, but even better things can be experienced, in a new unit of time.

                • Yes, Spyros, I understand what you’re talking about.

                • …a thing which reminds me of those IAS events, where were told over and over how the 4th dynamic is in grave need of our help, and if we don’t help then the 4th dynamic is destroyed. I think that was closer to ridge making, than it was to ridge running. If one thinks that if he doesn’t obey, the 4th dynamic is over, then yeah he cannot but stick there no matter what and play another’s game.

                  I think that assumption about the 4th dynamic was false. And -among other things- I don’t think that us -as SCNists- were the chosen ones, or superior in any way. I think whether SCN gets ruined legally or not, other things will take it’s place, if they haven’t already. And this is closer to being at cause and being free, than to depend on what happens to a single group. There is an infinity of groups to be created. And nobody has the copyrights over spirits, potential and ways to get rid of case. If it hadn;t happened again in the past (I don’t think this is utterly true) then there is no reason for it to not happen in the now.

                  All this is just my own rant, and it doesn’t have much to do with what you said. I just took the chance to write about it :)

                  • martyrathbun09

                    Rants like that could popularize ranting.

                    • :P Yeaaah I had some doubt about using this word. I’m greek (and in Greece) and some times (not often) I may have some wrong definition. I meant that I suddently started giving a speech, a bit out of context. But if this idea a creating things anew becomes popular, I’ll be very glad :)

                  • Spyros, I understand your viewpoint.
                    And I agree with you to some large degree.

                    • Thanks :) I assume you may be careful to avoid squirreling and not having certain results. And that there may be reverse spiritualities that lead southward. Yes, sure. I agree that if one follows the SCN road, he should follow the SCN road –by SCN I mean strictly the LRH road. And yes I know of spiritualities that add more case and hardly ever erase any. Well, I have my criteria to judge. Generally the as-isness rule is good criteria. :)

                    • Spyros, yes.
                      As you said.

                      Scientology can be understood. Indeed, and a not unsignificant part of Scientology deals with the mechanics of how to understand and implement Scientology as a technology and also a way of living.
                      Marty’s next post deals with this subject, to some degree.

                    • Yes SKM. Me too as a member of the group, I was mostly into the mechanical part of SCN.

                      The past years I have been living in a more simplistic, trouble-free manner. And lately I have been talking about much about the very basics of creation. I understand someone could interpret that as a retreat from human life. But this is not the case, in no case. The core-basics of SCN can and are used, for as long as there is something there. Whether there is a PTS condition, some 3rd party, some misunderstood word, Black PR….you name it. The fact that one experiences his own creations doesn’t change. And to the degree that one is aware of that, he can have a choice to either play with the mechanics and resolve something or not create the problem at all, and instead create a situation that he wants, if he wants…if he creates that he wants :P

                      And I’m glad to know now that nobody needs to ‘become’ something to be able to cause and to know. He has to try hard instead, in order to alter that.

                      Anyway…whatever floats one’s boat :)

                  • I think what matters is to get ‘there’. I mean some state of not creating obsessively nor limiting potential to create –which is a creation too.

                    Whether that happens through the COS, or the FZ or Buddhism or some other thing or some other new thing or whateverism, it doesn’t matter. It may matter to those who would like to have your money, but I don’t worry about that either. I think if someone wants and can ‘take you there’, he is not that much concerned about money either.

                    I think the situation is not tragic at all, and I think the 4th dynamic is neither crazy, nor nearly dead. We just need to change our ‘minds’ about some things. And that’s just my point of view.

                    (No thetan has ever taken psychomeds by the way :P )

  42. Maxim46bitnoff mentions about the great book: “The Five Stages of the Soul” by Harry R. Moody, who is cofounder and director of the Brookdale Institute of Aging at Hunter College.

    This is the only book I know of that explores the spiritual passages that we go through as we age – from midlife crisis to the search for inner purpose – and the possibilities that these passages offer for fulfillment in the journey of life. The book approaches philosophy and religion from a psychological point of view, and offers readers a detailed road map for embarking on a quest for meaning and self-discovery.

    The core of the book is where Moody identifies four additional spiritual stages most people go through on their quest for inner fulfillment, bringing together the psychology of spiritual development together with insights from Western and Eastern spiritual masters in an attempt to shed some light on the “passage through the labyrinth of life.”
    His five stages of soul are: call, search, struggle, breakthrough, and return.

    He skillfully unveils a wide variety of spiritual paths and the common threads that bind them all together. I like the fact that he tackles a broad range of ethnicities, religions and beliefs and yet he doesn’t say one is better than the other nor does he sugar-coat the answers to finding spiritual meaning. .

    In some ways, Moody moves beyond Jung, Erikson, or Maslow… His work is somewhat reminiscent in its approach of the best work of Scott Peck and Thomas Moore. The book could also be seen as a 21st century counterpart to Gail Sheehy’s “Passages”, and has also been compared to Thomas Moore’s “Care of the Soul.”

    Moody writes from deep knowledge and research: 20 years of case studies and deep research in the field of aging, together with an exhaustive knowledge of psychology, religion, and literature. Some of the obstacles to soul fulfillment, according to him, are regret, self-delusion, spiritual pride, discouragement, and misunderstanding. The person, as Moody sees it, is able to learn from pain, illness, setbacks, and trouble. Spiritual teachers appear at all stages of life to help a person understand effortless effort, limits, and living in the moment.

    The last two chapters on breakthrough and return are in my view the best. They are rich with insights on mystical consciousness, service, and reconfiguring one’s life upon returning from the mountaintop of spiritual renewal. Really nice book, and one more reminder of how important it is to look at all traditions with respect, and to integrate their learning’s and teachings in order to inch further along the beautiful path of light, love and peace.

  43. Roger From Switzerland Thought

    Good post !
    There must be something awfully wrong with Study tech or there is missing technology . I’ve seen 100ds of staff attesting to courses with 100% certainty about organisation and management but their products spoke another language.
    This would be a vast field to inspect !

    • I agree about study tech Roger, in that the understanding of words is only relative understanding. I don’t think -for example- that if one reads the definition of the word ‘thetan’ will have the same idea(s) about what it is with somebody who has read all the red volumes or somebody who has experienced thetans himself. An understood/misunderstood word is not an absolute.

  44. I think the only “total certainty” one can have is:
    Everything changes, everything, every millisecond, every life, every eon.
    (only you as static of course not)

  45. I am really good at my job of handling computers. Currently I have to change an important server. Even if I did it in the past many times it still is a challenge. So much things can go wrong during the process that you never can have „total certainty“ even if you did it many times in the past. And this is only a machine. Handling life, other people or just trying to live a good life as quite packed with challenges. How could anybody claim to have „total certainty“? Every situation is new, even if you encountered this situation many times in the past.

  46. The know to mystery scale should be viewed just like that. Know to Mystery. It is not called the mystery to know scale. Looking down the scale makes it very clear.

    It really is the path to creating a universe. You can’t play a game by knowing the results. So you have to create an area of not know. For an example just create a world in your mind. It is boring because you are creating it all. There is no game!! No play!!

    Now I know everyone knows this and I am stating the obvious. But you have to be very careful or it could all disappear. Enter Miscavige??

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