Graduating Scientology (What We Do: Part Two)
What We Do: Part Three
In my estimation one of L. Ron Hubbard’s most important contributions to spiritual psychotherapy was his guided approach to witnessing. The Scientology Grades were for the most part developed in Ron’s attempt to build a smoother, more sure-fire route to ‘Clear’, which he defined as the ‘unrepressed, self-determined’ state of being that is not continuing to unwittingly create his or her own mental barriers. Engram running of the early fifties was a grinding, messy affair. Notwithstanding ample claims otherwise in Scientology publications and lectures, the results were inconsistent and many times catastrophic. Fifteen years of experimentation and research led to the introduction of the Grade Chart. It was the culmination of years of research on how to achieve ‘Clear’ more rapidly and certainly than with the uncertain, hit-and-miss Dianetics engram running method.
As Ron developed each Scientology grade, along the line he claimed that each, individually, was the answer to attaining Clear, quite independent of one another. For example, Grade 0 is the Communication grade. The book that serves as the backbone of Grade 0 technology – and the auditing (communication) process itself – is called Dianetics 55! The book explains the entire universe within the sole construct of communication. It posits that if one were perfectly ‘cleared’ on the subject of communication one would have no ‘case’ (the cumulative aberration of an individual) and thus would not only be Clear, but also OT (Operating Thetan, later ‘higher’ postulated state of being).
It is the same for Grade 1 (problems), Grade 2 (hostilities and sufferings), Grade 3 (change), and Grade 4 (fixed conditions and ability to do new things). The statement of those goals, intentions, and results at each Grade were memorialized in his lectures along the way. And at every level you can find Ron postulating – in fact, stating as factual certainty in his own inimitable style – that that grade is the answer to Clear and beyond.
During much of that research period Ron included a caveat about each of those levels being the answer in and of itself. That is, that if an auditor were addressing the recipient-client from the perspective and with the intention of improving ability his postulated Clear and beyond could and would occur. Addressing ability was starkly in contrast to the approach in Dianetics, which attacked disabilities. This is well covered in the Ability Congress lectures. There, Ron pronounces as ‘law’ that if an auditor approaches a client with the attitude of improving ability, he will get more ability. If he focuses on addressing disability, he will cause more disability.
As was most often the case in the history of Dianetics and Scientology research, the survival considerations of fighting enemies and having the wherewithal to do so and carry on affected the ability or willingness to test out the hypotheses and claims Ron made along the way. It was a fast-moving train constantly receiving and firing volleys, while attempting to lay ever-more instant and consistent track. Critics of Scientology and Hubbard will give more nefarious, ill-intentioned reasons for that omission of testing. The reason why is of little import, because regardless of causation, the fact remains.
Along the way, the once stable foundation of the priority of addressing ability as opposed to disability was lost. I have found through 35 years of practice that this loss was fatal. Focusing on disability results in a never-ending ‘bridge’ requiring cult-like devotion and ultimately creating regression. Focusing on ability brings greater ability and determinism. There is one thing that perhaps best distinguishes how we practice from others we are aware of. Our first stable foundation is that we audit and train toward ability.