Science of Survival, reviewed (Part 1, abridged) The year of 1950 saw a peak of public attention for L. Ron Hubbard ("LRH"). Thanks to exploitative marketing his book "Dianetics" was a best-seller, his classes and lectures were well-attended, and many followers awaited further developments from his evolving movement. In August 1950, a sequel titled "Dianetics, what it means to you" was announced for publication in late Autumn by the Hubbard Dianetics Foundation. But internal conflicts within that Foundation, and escalating turmoil in his private life, caused a case of "writer's block" and ultimately a post-Dianetics mental breakdown for LRH. A book, re-titled "Science of Survival" ("S.O.S."), didn't see its formal release until many months later in Summer 1951. In that interim, negative publicity regarding the Foundation and then LRH himself became news coast-to-coast, and the original large audience for Dianetics-related publications practically vanished. The initial print run for S.O.S. was only 1250 volumes, and received zero press attention or editorial reviews. Even now, despite extensive reviews of operations of the Church of Scientology, none yet analyze S.O.S. Science of Survival deserves greater scrutiny now, as documents about L. Ron Hubbard's misfortunes preceding his founding of the Church of Scientology are now being sourced from collections and placed on the Internet. Selections, such as those posted at: http://www.meepthorp.com provide us a better means of identifying significance of some of the more obscure passages in LRH's writings and what they were actually referencing. Science of Survival is anything but a spellbinding page-turner with a flowing narrative. Unlike conventional works, S.O.S. is formatted around a chart broken into over-40 classifications described within hundreds of pages. Separate chapters analyze individual chart sections, beginning with a few pedestrian comments about its virtue, followed by a description of claimed observations starting with numerically-designated "high tones" then "low tones." Readers were also admonished to consult a glossary whenever encountering many of the newly introduced terms. Passages also notably lapsed into rants done in a stream-of-consciousness style, disparaging characteristics of "low-toned" individuals. Reportedly dictated in rented rooms, at several hundreds of pages S.O.S. really could have benefited from more aggressive editing, if only to suggest a sense of coherence from its author. Despite its title S.O.S. did not rise to the level of actual "science," as the most fanciful claims by the author in most cases contained no attributions to peer-reviews nor any other external evidentiary support. Its redundant format also makes S.O.S. quite depressing to read, but with a focused effort one can find interpretive values, primarily where LRH's spews include vengeful comments targeting recent and identifiable adversaries to himself and to the Dianetics movement. This correlates with insights from a published 1950 review of "Dianetics" where psychiatrist Robert E. Peck wrote: "...As for Hubbard himself, he may be explained as a misguided and frustrated genius whose previous efforts in the realm of scientific fiction have subtly prepared him for that nice ignorance of reality without which he could not have developed this epic. Certain bits of internal evidence such as his insistence on the frequency of abortions, his cruel fathers, his unfaithful mothers, his blundering doctors, his arrogance toward authority, may indicate the author's own systematized paranoid delusions..." Beyond demonstrations of a "malignant narcissism," what is most dangerous about S.O.S. is how it then extends to advocate mistreatment of anyone who does not "measure up" on an arbitrarily-numbered "tone scale" applied by the self-described "mathematician-philosopher" L. Ron Hubbard. The purpose of Dianetics was said to be to raise a person up the "tone scale" where the optimum was 4.0 and irrationality existed below 2.0. Examples of this follow. Truly negative emotions resided in a band from 1.5 to 1.1, and death was 0.0. The bulk of "Science of Survival" is about how to handle these various states with Dianetics processing, according to advocacy by LRH. (For purposes of brevity, processing is only explored when it relates to selective contexts here). S.O.S. has two main sections, which include book numbers of I or II. To prevent variations within print runs from affecting accuracy of these references, book and chapter location rather than page numbers are given. Redefinitions within S.O.S. Dianetics' Early Internal Failures (1) Dr. Joseph Winters, Medical Director of the Dianetics Foundation, resigned in October 1950, after he saw clients have breakdowns (including a suicide) instead of becoming "clear." He elaborated on his concerns in a critical book "Dianetics, a Doctor's Report" published in May 1951. In apparent response, LRH wrote "Dianetics works. None who have spent any time around the Foundation can doubt that," "You can't drive anybody mad with Dianetic processing" (Introduction, book I) and "...other suicides, great and not so great, stack like cordwood before the back alleys that block Dianetics" (chapter 27, book I). Regarding Dr. Winter's areas of specialty, LRH also wrote "We in Dianetics...are not at all concerned with psychosis, neurosis or psychosomatic illnesses" (chapter 27, book I). (2) Demonstration of Dianetic "Clears" LRH tried and failed when publicly attempting to demonstrate the superior memory retention capabilities claimed of a "clear" (as defined in the book "Dianetics"). Onstage at the Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium on August 10, 1950, "clear" Sonya Bianca couldn't even remember the color of LRH's necktie! LRH wrote "A general tendency is to regard a Clear as a sideshow piece... but too much emphasis has been laid upon mental tricks a Clear may be able to do, his ability to recall accurately, his ability to see again anything at which he has gazed. In the business of living these things are not important." (chapter 2, Book I) (3) Death of David Cary Dianetic Instructor David Cary was involved in a murder-suicide in February 1951. Within S.O.S. a "memorial" was written as a footnote, placing blame solely on his wife, stating that "friends" in Dianetics had warned him that she was dangerous, and advising others against husband-and-wife auditing (chapter 4, book I). (4) Prosecution of Dianetics Foundation In early 1951, the State of New Jersey filed suit to have the Dianetics Foundation shut down on the charge of practicing medicine without a license. LRH wrote "If it is illegal anywhere to process people, then it must also, sequitur, be illegal to make people happy. And if laws exist against making people happy, somebody had better overthrow that government, quick. For it is a death government, so entheta that it will bring about the death of the state and those within it." (chapter 1, book I) Additionally, he wrote "Any law which would force people to remain ill when they might be well would be an evil law. Furthermore, the laws of man have never been able to do much to suppress the laws of God" (chapter 12, book I). Dianetics Early External Failures (5) Critical Press Reviews Criticisms of Dianetics appeared in 1950-1951 within newspapers, professional journals, mass-market magazines, and at scientific meetings. A brief chapter in S.O.S. seemed to address critical writers, when it introduced a claimed liability where persons demonstrating a "lower-tone" would only receive written information literally, which was restated as an inability to rationalize or understand ambiguities, and criticizing a person when "he is very concerned sometimes about the rightness of words in remarks." (chapter 26, book I). This was sort of a glancing blow. LRH more directly criticized the aims of science, stating "Modern science has gone so far to advocate the rise of man from mud and clay alone, has denied to him even a semblance of a soul, and so has not only solved none of the problems of the humanities, but has aided and abetted a godless government which seeks nothing less than the engulfment and enslavement of all men" (chapter 15, book I). LRH blamed Scientists collectively, saying their goal for man was an "ant society," and criticized schools of thought that resulted in unlimited weapons like the "grave spade" of the atom bomb (chapter 18, book II). (6) Business Rivals and Hypnotism The most active competition for Dianetics therapy and training in 1950 was from existing practitioners of hypnosis. LRH countered that by claiming that Dianetic "reverie...is not even a cousin to hypnotism" (chapter 5, book II), that "time track" therapy of Dianetics worked better with a person who was not hypnotized (chapter 16, book I), and that "hypnotism never has and never will raise an individual on the tone scale" (chapter 27, book I). LRH further wrote "hypnotism has been a parlor game, the tool of the pervert, the command assertion of the authoritarian, and is more general than one would immediately suspect, as the auditor will discover after he has processed a few cases. He should not be surprised at what he finds in a hypnotic incident, since the facts may differ entirely from what the hypnotist told the subject had taken place. A motto one could use is 'never believe a hypnotist'" (chapter 17, book II). Perhaps more relevant is LRH's characterizations of how "the apathy case to some degree is in a permanent hypnotic trance and will listen to and believe anything no matter how ridiculous it may be" and "Hypnotism is used in some base religions and is commonly employed by old schools of mental healing, which should make plain the level of these cults on the Tone Scale" (chapter 27, book I). LRH cautioned that "there is another form of hypnotism...(it) has been a carefully guarded secret of certain military and intelligence organizations. It is a vicious war weapon and may be of considerable more use in conquering a society than the atom bomb. This is no exaggeration. The extensiveness of the use of this form of hypnotism in espionage work is so wide today that it is long past the time when people should have become alarmed about it." (chapter 17, book II). (This passage appears to be an early exposure of the CIA's "Operation Bluebird" program, which was launched in April 1950 and was a precursor to what became the infamous "MKUltra" program). Personal Issues of L. Ron Hubbard (7) Education LRH's credentials for effective psychotherapy seemed to rest solely on his status as a prolific science-fiction author, as his educational background seemed to be based on recitations of his mere attendance at just one class of a branch of physics. LRH took on the educational process as a whole in S.O.S., stating "The educational process becomes one of semi-hypnotically receiving doughy masses of data and regurgitating them upon examination papers." "No words bitter enough or strong enough could be leveled at authoritarian educational systems...wastebasketing this enormous and onerous effort on the part of mentally constipated straw men and would-be Little Caesars on their lecture platforms would, of course, be an enormous benefit to the whole society...authoritarian education has more or less the same effect upon the individual as hypnotism..." (chapter 27, book I and chapter 1, book II). Finally, in a clearly self-referential passage, as a college dropout himself LRH summarized: "In a very low-tone society, institutions of 'learning' are commonly deserted after a year or two by most persons who, through reason, wish to be of worth to their fellow men" (chapter 18, book II). (8) Jack Parson's OTO Society LRH was a partner in a failed business with Jack Parsons, who was the leader of the "Agape Lodge" of the "Ordo Templi Orientis" of Pasadena in 1945-1946. "Free love" was a central mandate of the OTO, and although LRH reportedly participated freely with young women of the lodge, within S.O.S. he disparaged that philosophy as one that was unfit for society. LRH stated that "love" as a word was not fit for accurate communication as it had conflicting meanings, then added: "A government wishing to deprave its people to the point where they will accept the most perfidious and rotten acts abolishes first the concept of God; and in the wake of that destroys the family with free love..." (chapter 15, book I). Free love was later considered a threat as "a society which reaches this level is on its way out of history, as went the Greeks, as went the Romans, as goes modern Europe and American culture..." (chapter 18, book I). "To such people the perfidious and twisted practices of subversion have an enormous appeal. It gives them the 'right' to free love and general promiscuity and sets them above, by destroying the church and other institutions of by holding these as nothing, any necessity to conform to an existing social order" (chapter 27, book I). As further evidence of LRH's familiarity with OTO's anti-Christian stance and its emphasis on demonology, S.O.S. is laced with frequent references such as "demon circuits" (chapter 10, book I), "minions of the devil" (chapter 24, book I), "devil worship" (chapter 1, book II), "the devil is succumb" and "servants of evil" and "minions of the devil" (chapter 4, book II), witchcraft (chapter 13, book II), references to a demon (chapter 15, book II) and the devil (chapter 18, book II), and also criticizes Christianity (chapter 18, book II). (9) Marriage In late 1950 LRH's marriage was wracked with dissension, with both partners reportedly engaging in affairs, ultimately leading to a separation and divorce filing of April 1951. Within S.O.S. the reader finds numerous disparaging references to marriage with a partner who is deemed unfit, such as "any luckless person...is, literally speaking in danger of his life and sanity" (chapter 13, book I). Regarding extra-marital affairs, "a love clandestinely conducted and based on lies which will bring harm to others denotes a cowardice low enough to bring nausea to any decent man" (chapter 21, book I). Finally, LRH warns that "one should be apprised that his name on a marriage certificate coupled with that of an apathy case constitutes a death warrant more certain than that of a court of law" (chapter 27, book I). Here the "tone scale" is directly brought into play, as "1.1" (one-point-one) is stated to be the "most wicked" level of the "tone scale" and it is applied to the unfaithful wife, including the harlot and those who engage in free love, early marriage and quick divorce (chapter 18, book I), whose direction it is said is "towards death" (chapter 27, book I). Poor memory is also attributed to such women, as at 1.1 "a mother will attempt the abortion of her child" and "the mother who has many times attempted abortion upon her child is quite anxious that the child should not remember anything" (chapter 18, book I and chapter 7, II). Regarding women more generally, LRH elaborates: "The whole future of the race depends upon its attitude toward children; and a race which specializes in women for 'menial purposes' or which believes that the contest of the sexes in the spheres of business, action, and politics is a worthier endeavor than the creation of tomorrow's generation, is a race which is dying. We have, in the woman who is an ambitious rival of the man in his own activities, a woman who is neglecting the most important mission she may have. A society which looks down upon this mission, and in which women are taught anything but the management of a family, the care of men, and the creation of the future generation, is a society which is on its way out. The historian can peg the point where a society begins its sharpest decline at the instant where women begin to take part, on an equal footing with men, in political and business affairs; since this means that the men are decadent and the women are no longer women. This is not a sermon on the role or position of women: it is the statement of a bald and basic fact. When children become unimportant to a society, that society has forfeited its future" (chapter 18, book I). Evalution of 1.1 on the Tone Scale LRH had a lot to disparage, when he created then described particular characteristics of a band at "1.1" on his tone scale. In various chapters he wrote about "1.1s": "The level of covert hostility" "Even their small talk is utterly untrustworthy" "Imaginary exteriorizations are most chronic" "At 1.1 we have lying to avoid real communication" "The most dangerous and wicked level on the Tone Scale" "Here is the person who smiles while he inserts a knife blade between your vertebrae" "This is the level of the pervert, the homosexual, the turncoat" "A 1.1 is the most dangerously insane person in society and is likely to cause the most damage" "On this level there is no concept of honor, decency or ethics; there is only desperate death-bent thought of self and of damage to others" "Such people should be taken from the society as rapidly as possible and uniformly institutionalized; for here is the level of the contagion of immorality and the destruction of ethics; here is the fodder which secret police organizations use for their filthy operations" "A society which falls into the 1.1 band of the Tone Scale can be expected to abuse sex, to be promiscuous, to misuse and maltreat children, and to act, in short, much the way current cultures are acting" "Many 1.1s blatantly 'pride themselves' on their honesty, and so license themselves to make destructive statements 'for the good of' somebody else which are actually lies" At greater length, LRH explained: "At 1.1, truth receives her severest drubbing; for here truth is confused, upset and twisted, hidden for fear somebody may make retaliation, until one understands that data from this level of the Tone Scale has only two purposes: to wreak the most harm upon others and secure the greatest safety for self. Here we have lies used to hide lies amid the most frantic protestations of honesty and a noisy advertising campaign about the ethics of the speaker. Beneath the facade of honor, honesty, ethics and 'one's sacred word,' one is apt to find a writhing cesspool of vicious and malicious lies calculated to to the greatest possible harm...Experience demonstrated that, whatever the advertisement of honesty, the 1.1 is completely incapable of truth but lies out of some horrible mechanical compulsion... Bluntly, anyone takes his life and his reputation in his hands when he believes a 1.1, no matter the evidence...in the 1.1, a deep and exhaustive inspection of the motivations and goals reveals a snake pit of lies and insincerities, of pretenses and unrealities. Such persons can turn on tears and other emotions at will and use the language of highest honor to serve the most despicable ends." (chapter 22, book I). "A 1.1 with a superiority engram which demands that he take responsibility may make an excellent show and be very convincing, but the show he is making and the conviction he seeks to implant in others are not the things intended, and a glance below the surface will discover an entirely different program aimed solely toward malicious destruction." (chapter 24, book I) Authoritarianism/1.5 From individual concerns at 1.1 LRH expanded to societal concerns at 1.5: "One has to go well down the Tone Scale in order to find the next stopping point for politics, and here he locates fascism as existing between 2.0 and 1.5. Fascism is an absolute control, for destructive purposes, of an environ, with forthright and strong-armed means employed in seeking that control." (chapter 19, book I) A related term was "death talkers" which referenced dictators of WWII, "It so happens that anyone in the 1.5 band will bring about disaster regardless of his stated intentions" (chapter 13, book I). "At 1.5 we have the individual assuming responsibility much more often and more widely than he can possibly manage in order to bring about destruction along the dynamics. He will play one dynamic against another. He may talk as if he is saving something or give very preservative motives for his actions, but no matter what he does the end result will be destruction...here is the death talker who is going to save something from destruction by creating great havoc... warmongers and dictators are markedly in this band, but one finds 1.5s in all business organizations..." (chapter 24, book I). "In any relatively low-toned social order the idea of having the right to do hidden and vicious things for a 'glorious cause' is so attractive to persons in this area that they automatically support this political idiocy. As reason is absent in this area of the Tone Scale, it never occurs to these recruits that the most zealous amongst them will be the first to go down under firing squads, since even a totalitarian regime, in attempting to run any kind of a state, must compel severe conformity to its own 'codes,' no matter how depraved these 'codes' might be; and the recruit in the land which was about to be conquered was selected because of nonconformity. Thus, immediately after a complete totalitarian conquest of a country we invariably witness an extensive slaughter of individuals" (chapter 27, book I). S.O.S. and society LRH's arbitrary application of his numerical scale to redefine persons, goes beyond the original 1951 subtitle of S.O.S. which promised "simplified, faster Dianetics techniques." The Freudian concept of analysis of behaviour through classification of motives was emulated with LRH's division of the mind as "analytical" or "reactive," and a division of all life into "mental" and "physical." The Tone Scale itself was cornered with "affinity, reality and communication" or A-R-C. As a self-described "mathematical philosopher" LRH stated that all math was "A-R-C acting upon MEST" (defined as matter, energy, space and time, composing the physical universe). LRH postulated that the mission of life-force "theta" was to conquer "MEST" and that part of exercising command over an environment included an individual's or group's belief in its ability to affect a section of life, a nation or a smaller group (chapter 19, book I). From there broader denigrations and societal remedies were proposed. For example, of an estimated 152 million population in 1950, 19 million persons (about 1/8th) were declared by LRH to be insane in the USA, and LRH stated that any person who measured below 2.0 on his Tone Scale had a negative value to society (chapter 1, book I, and chapter 13, book II). LRH also postulated that instead of the moral concepts of absolute right and absolute wrong, that there was "infinity-valued logic" which is on a gradient scale which permits no absolute at either end (chapter 19, book II). Furthermore, "agreement" constituted what was actually reality, and that "majority opinion rules" where defining reality was concerned (which stands as an antithesis to other structures, such as fundamental "thou shalt not" prohibitions of the "Ten Commandments"). As an explanation, LRH cites a "certain mawkish sentimentality" in our current society, "encouraged by generations of literary men who were attempting only the strongest impact and thus the greatest sale for their works" who resulted in considerations of empathy...by Dianetics processing this grief is very easily dispensed with" (chapter 27, book I). Accordingly, LRH stated that low-toned persons should be denied civil rights. "In any event, any person from 2.0 down on the Tone Scale should not have, in any thinking society, any civil rights of any kind. Because by abusing those rights, they bring into being arduous and strenuous laws which are oppressive to those who need no such restraints. And particularly none below 2.0, chronically or acutely, should be used as witnesses or jurors in courts of law, since their position in regard to ethics is such as to nullify the validity of any testimony they might assay or any verdict they might offer" (chapter 21, book I). Consistent with such, LRH wrote regarding psychotics that "it would be far kinder to kill then immediately and completely" rather than to submit them for medical treatment (chapter 1, book II). LRH then wrote that low-toned persons were to either be processed, or disposed: "The reasonable man quite ordinarily overlooks the fact that people from 2.0 down have no traffic with reason and cannot be reasoned with as one would reason with a 3.0. There are only two answers for the handling of people from 2.0 down on the tone scale, neither one of which has anything to do with reasoning with them or listening to their justification of their acts. The first is to raise them on the tone scale by un-enturbulating some of their theta by any one of the three valid processes. The other is to dispose of them quietly and without sorrow. Adders are safe bedmates compared to people on the lower bands of the tone scale" (ch 27, book I). LRH believed that Dianetics auditing was so important, that within S.O.S. he advocated murder of those who may deny it: "When you spot a sudden cessation of auditing, the barring of a person from auditing or a refusal to audit, you can be certain that the person responsible for this cessation of auditing or the refusal to permit or encourage it has a selfish profit to make or is hiding something. A person like this is such a menace to himself and to others around him that auditing is much too good for him; he should be shot on sight" (chapter 25, book I) Rather than allow these sentiments to be read as anomalies, shock tactics were also endorsed. "In fighting, the best tactic is to strike such a sudden, unexpected and hard blow that one's enemy is instantly shot down the Tone Scale to apathy. Japan, receiving an atom bomb, descended instantly into apathy and surrendered. Hard but long-drawn-out blows or shocks harden resistance as in the bombing of London or Madrid. Shock and courage level are intimately connected" (chapter 23, book I). Later on, LRH added "a Venezuelan director once decided to stop leprosy. He saw that most lepers in his country were also beggars. By the simple expedient of collecting and destroying all the beggars in Venezuela an end was put to leprosy in the country" (chapter 27, book I). So...is S.O.S. about "Survival" or really about Genocide? At this point, a reader would feel justified in concluding that he had been misdirected or tricked at the least, and cheated at the most. The title of "Science of Survival" implied objective information aiding survival, and the original subtitle promised faster Dianetics techniques. Numerous references had gone on to disparage dictators, including some labeling of some as "death talkers," which were intermixed with statements such as "Don't be convinced that you have rights of ownership or life-and-death powers over your fellow man. Leave that to the accomplished authoritarians, of whom we, unfortunately, have so many" (chapter 4, book I). Now, arguments were being made commanding readers to plan for mass killings, without necessary explanation on procedures with which how to accomplish these society-shattering goals. This sort of confusion arises from an uncommon "unreliable narrator" literary technique. The result is that readers become obligated to stop, re-consider, and make up their own minds. So, which course of action did author L. Ron Hubbard actually advocate? The mis-mash of LRH's writing results in arguments made both ways. Was this intentional? Here we would have to speculate. Support for the view that the admonitions within S.O.S. were written without intention, would rest on an examination of the author's state of mind at the time. Certainly the heavy burden of launching and publicizing Dianetics in 1950, handling demands of business matters as well as frequent travel and lecturing, combined with responsibilities of raising a newborn infant, would have caused significant fatigue. Within S.O.S. there are passages advocating use of substances: "The auditor, if he wishes, may even put his preclear on freewheeling with a ration of GUK between sessions. He will find that this had the efficacy of occasionally knocking out whole somatics and making the future job of processing easier. In any event the GUK seems to promote the case." (chapter 19, book II) "If one must do something by way of drugs for these people, better effects, according to medical observation, can be achieved by the administration of stimulants such as benzedrine..." (in comparison to phenobarbitol) (chapter 17, book II). Stimulants and sedatives were referenced knowingly in S.O.S., and reliance upon them to help manage personal affairs, would have compounded that fatigue. Perhaps the revelation of even a top-secret CIA program like "Operation Bluebird" within S.O.S. is evidence of a sort of poor judgment, often seen from those who have frequently used a regimen of stimulants. S.O.S's stated intention of implementation of the Dianetics program, to save society "before the atom bomb (could destroy it)" also implies an adrenaline-fed writing perspective. These likely were part of a combination of factors, that led to an acknowledged "mental breakdown" that LRH suffered in early 1951. Alternately, the inherent conflicts within S.O.S. could also have been intentional. S.O.S. acknowledges that if a "pre-clear" were told to go in two directions at once, he would be confused. How the "pre-clear" behaves towards "action phrases" was an indicator of his position on the Tone Scale (chapter 28, book I). What was LRH saying and trying to warn readers about? Was this then a test of his reader's "theta" (life spirit)? If it is a test of the reader, it is consistent with LRH's statement that "On the highest levels (of the Tone Scale), the individual can understand that the thing is not its name..." (chapter 26, book I). According to Scientology author Jon Atack, this also resembles an aspect of the practice of occult "magick," where one way to conceal the true meaning of a teaching is to reverse it. In his essay "Scientology and the Occult" (available online), Jon Atack cited a 2-faced God named Janus, which to some had an etymological link to the term "Dianus" (similar to "Dianetics") and in context Jon cited a Roman term of "maleficium" in that essay for "Black Magic." LRH participated directly with one leader of occult magick (Jack Parsons of the OTO) in 1945-1946, and numerous aspects of LRH's actions and writings following that time parallel those occult teachings, including a later 1952 spoken admission that "magic" was indeed one of his sources. Which leads to a possible third interpretation of S.O.S., where its internal conflicts are alternately a sort of a OTO-style public confession. Within S.O.S. clear clues of a dishonest style of communications are identified as a characteristic of behaviors found at "1.1" on his tone scale. If so, can we ask, based on what we now know about LRH, if he was, relative to teachings within S.O.S, just what he was trying to warn us against? (Part 2 of this discussion will explore Science of Survival's impacts within Scientology).