The following is an excerpt from the book Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior. It covers my introduction to the Policy Letter entitled Keeping Scientology Working. In the past, we have attempted to discuss how far this central religious tenet of Scientology ought to be adhered to given its thought-stopping potential. That discussion degenerated into recriminations, character assasinations, and other indicia of thought stoppping. Perhaps presented in a fuller context we can consider the effects of this indoctrination without instigating a riot.
From Chapter Seven:
This particular policy (still in use today) was originally issued in 1965. It pronounces that Scientology had by that point achieved “uniformly workable technology.” It states that the only troubles the organization ever encountered were because of incorrect application of that uniformly workable technology. Therefore, KSW called for zealous enforcement of the standard application of Scientology. By “standard” was meant precise, unquestioning adherence to all technical and administrative instructions from L. Ron Hubbard. No interpretations or alterations allowed. Only L. Ron Hubbard’s words, followed to the letter. Quite a bit of attention was paid by the course supervisors to each student, on a one-to-one basis, seeking to elicit agreement that they would follow KSW to the letter.
My struggle was attempting to accept that level of certainty, and agreeing to that level of steadfast devotion to the idea that Scientology was it, to the utter exclusion of any other ideas or philosophies – all without the experience of finding out for myself whether Scientology was indeed it. I could not progress in my studies without first agreeing that the following ideas of L. Ron Hubbard were incontrovertibly true, and that I vowed to adopt and adhere to them:
- Any inability to agree to the tenets of KSW was due to the fact that “the not-too-bright have a bad point on the button ‘self-importance,” and that “the lower the IQ, the more the individual is shut off from the fruits of observation,”
- That “the [defense mechanisms] of people make them defend themselves against anything they confront, good or bad, and seek to make it wrong,” and that “the bank [reactive mind] seeks to knock out the good and perpetuate the bad.”
- The idea that “a group [of people] could evolve truth” is inherently false.
- That Hubbard relied on absolutely no major or basic ideas or suggestions from any other source in developing the world’s only workable mental/spiritual technology, which he called Scientology.
- “Popular measures” and “democracy” have done nothing for humankind except “push him further into the mud.”
- Humankind never before “evolved workable mental technology,” but instead only “vicious technology.” Scientology, therefore, must be “ruthlessly followed.”
- The only common denominator among humans is the reactive mind. Therefore all agreements between humans who have not achieved the state of Clear can only be classified as “bank [reactive mind] agreement.”
- “Bank agreement” can also be called “collective thought agreement.” Collective thought agreement is responsible for “war, famine, disease” and the development of “the means of frying every man, woman, and child on the planet.”
- “The decent, pleasant things on this planet come from individual actions and ideas that have somehow gotten by the Group Idea.”
- “It’s the bank that says the group is all and the individual nothing. It’s the bank that says we must fail.”
- “When somebody enrolls, consider he or she has joined up for the duration of the universe – never permit an ‘open-minded’ approach…If they enrolled, they’re aboard; and if they’re aboard, they’re here on the same terms as the rest of us – win or die in the attempt. Never let them be half-minded about being Scientologists.”
- “The proper instruction attitude is, ‘You’re here so you’re a Scientologist. Now we’re going to make you into an expert auditor no matter what happens. We’d rather have you dead than incapable.’”
- “We’re not playing some minor game in Scientology. It isn’t cute or something to do for lack of something better. The whole agonized future of this planet, every man, woman and child on it, and your own destiny for the next trillions of years depend on what you do here and now with and in Scientology. This is a deadly serious activity. And if we miss getting out of the trap now, we may never again have another chance.”
The tract dramatically drove home some conflicting ideas. On the one hand, Scientology is portrayed as the only technology for enhancing and preserving individuality. On the other hand, by the end of the policy Hubbard is demanding that no one be allowed past the first bulletin in Scientology training courses without assuming the identity of hard-core Scientologist, and agreeing to abide by the rules on the same terms as everyone else. The conflicting concepts between the group and the individual were finally resolved by me with the mental computation that the only way to truly realize true individuality is to forfeit individuality in favor of the purposes and goals of the group.
In retrospect, had it not been for the fact that my life seemed so bleak and hopeless, given the circumstances of my brother, I never would have agreed to this indoctrination. But the world and the state of mental health in my view were as bad as Hubbard described, and up to then I had not found anyone else who saw what I was seeing in such black-and-white terms. And so I decided to agree and to abide, even though deep inside I did not fully agree.
Only 30 years later did I fully appreciate how significant that moment of intellectual surrender would become. The realization occurred when I read Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason, which described precisely what I had done with my fresh, sharply-honed intentional abilities:
It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime.