SAINT HILL 1959-66
During the six years that Hubbard lived at Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, he was engaged on several major projects.
There was however a minor project which drew disproportionate attention and lives on in a curious way. As part of his research into the nature and behaviour of different life forms, he undertook son experiments with tomato plants. This included taking readings of the state of well-being on the E-meter The E-meter (E is for Electro- psychometry) was developed in the 50 s as a guide to the Auditor to tell him which of the items the PC mentions is charged and to assist the Auditor in running-out this item without the PC being overwhelmed. The PC holds two electrodes (usually tin cans), one in each hand. An undetectably low electrical charge passes through the PC. Contact wit an item that contains emotional charge disturbs the current and registers on the meter.
As a result of talking to these tomato plants and checking their responses on the meter, Hubbard conducted a form of auditing on them. The plants are said to have responded by growing to unusual size and giving abundant crops of tomatoes. Although it is now more readily believed that plants respond to being talked to, when this work was published it was greeted with derision. As a result some of the local people living around East Grinstead have been known to describe Scientologists as Tomato Worshippers.
During this period international expansion of Scientology was continuing. Churches, more usually known as Organisations and referred to as 'Orgs', were opened in Paris, London, Capetown, Port Elizabeth, Detroit, Seattle and Hawai. Hubbard's clear intention was to set up a centre for running Scientology worldwide at Saint Hill. In addition to the Management Centre, an International Council for Dianetics and Scientology was set-up there in 1959.
It may have been at this time that the goal of the movement was established. This is to 'Clear the Planet'. The word Clear is used in the sense that an individual can be cleared' of his irrational reactions an impulses. It is these irrational responses that are seen as the source r criminal and other acts harmful to oneself or society. A cleared Planet
24 THE SAD TALE OF SCIENTOLOGY
would be one where all the population was free to behave rationally and society was free of all anti-social behaviour. Moving towards this goal was seen as not only being desirable for individual happiness and well-being but also as the best preventative action against a degenerating society and even nuclear war.
Saint Hill became an international centre in another sense. People came from all over the world to learn the theory and practice of Dianetics and Scientology techniques. The enormous quantity of discoveries and therapies were at this time being streamlined into a workable system which would enable an auditor to process individuals from whatever physical and mental state they found them in, by gradual steps of improved awareness and ability, to Clear and beyond.
The priority given to this work of systematisation was to ensure that every step was proven and would produce predictable results. This introduction of certainty of benefit to the broad area of psychotherapy led to the term 'technology' being applied to methods and processes used. So emphatic was Hubbard that the proven workable processes should be used in an unvarying manner that the term 'Standard Tech' was coined and became the motto on the Auditors' badge and certificates.
The out-buildings at Saint Hill Manor were converted into classrooms and auditing rooms. One of the most memorable legacies of this period is the special course which Ron Hubbard assembled, known as the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course, which is still delivered there today.
The methods by which a person studies a subject effectively and efficiently came under Ron Hubbard's scrutiny at this time. The principles evolved were very practical and ensured that students on these courses understood and could apply the materials they were working on, before they moved on to the next stage.
So effective were these methods that people on courses at Saint Hill could not believe how easy it became to study. This was in sharp contrast to most people's experience at school or college. Another feature was how enjoyable it was to study. People exhibited great enthusiasm to study and at the end of set study periods shower! little inclination to finish promptly.
In parallel to making Saint Hill the most advanced study centre of Dianetics and Scientology in the world, Hubbard also set up and ran a processing and training centre or Org, for the local population. This was to be the prototype of the way Church Orgs were to be run throughout the world.
In 1982 a booklet called 'How Big was Old Saint Hill' was published. This gives some idea of how successfully this Org operated. The data we
CHAPTER SIX 25
have in the booklet runs from the beginning of 1965 to September 1967 ,The start of the operation coincides with a reliable method of achieving the state of Clear. Prior to that time it had been a pretty hit and miss process and most of the people who had achieved the state had beer cleared personally by Ron Hubbard. Now a programme of steps was available which comparatively new auditors, not necessarily Clear themselves, could be taught to deliver.
The operation started with less than six staff and during its first quarter was turning over an average of L1,490 per week (at 1965 values). Growth in turnover and staff was very rapid. Within six months turnover had reached an average of L4,521 per week and staff were approaching the 200 mark. Over the next 12 months staff numbers levelled off at 250 but turnover reached a weekly average of L9,532. By the end of the final year for which we have figures average weekly turnover had reached L19,261.
Much more important than turnover figures were the actual products of the activity. Clears were being mass produced. At its peak Saint Hill produced 21 Clears in one week, There was a delivery staff of 50 Auditors. Twelve of these were 'Review Auditors' whose job it was to sort out any case that got bogged down. There were 200 people training to be auditors plus another 100 studying other things. The number of students completing courses in any one week averaged between 40 and 50.
This enormous production operation needed a very well-oiled System to operate. Ron Hubbard evolved a structure of seven separate Departments or Divisions to perform all the f unctions of delivering, training, quality control, dissemination to new people, internal and external communication, staffing, staff training, finance and premises. The structure to do this was laid out on an organisation chant, known as an 'Org Board', and it is still used in the running of the Church Orgs today.
For those fortunate enough to have been there at the time it must have seemed like the dawn of a Golden Age. Some of the letters published in the booklet 'How big was Old Saint Hill' give the flavour very clearly. People crowded in to be audited and trained on the new processes that Hubbard was developing. These were what were termed Power Processing and were a Scientology method of achieving the state of Clear. The first Clears were achieved by this method in early 1966 and then started to come through in increasing numbers after that.
During this time of growth of the local Saint Hill Org, Hubbard was carefully observing the working of the 'organisation' and how it could be improved. He applied elementary 'work study' principles to it just as if it was a factory or car repair garage. From this emerged a whole series of written procedures, known as Administrative Bulletins, which have since
26 THE SAD TALE OF SCIENTOLOGY
been bound into seven volumes and are still used extensively in the operating of Church Orgs today. These Administrative procedures became known as Admin. Tech. They were mimeographed in green ink and are often referred to as 'Green on White'.
A selection from all the volumes was made to produce the organisation Executive Course. A businessman who today sat down and absorbed the principles and practice expounded in that course, and then applied them in his own business, could gain considerable benefits, even if only in reducing the stress and strain he subjects himself to.
The attention that Hubbard devoted to systematising administration shows the lesson he had learned from the early chaotic days of Dianetics. As Scientology became a world movement, the danger of it fragmenting or getting into financial difficulties were that much greater. Until then Ron Hubbard s personal authority held things together, but that could not be relied on forever.
If growth was to continue, it needed to be on the basis of a secure organisational structure. Many of the people coming into the movement had a strong desire to help others and change the world. The experience of the fifties showed that these qualities were not usually combined with good organisational or financial management skill. The method of organisation he evolved was a self-controlling bureaucracy that could produce a minimum standard of efficiency with whatever resources were available to it.
More important than efficiency was the need to keep the auditing technology 'standard'. The bureaucratic structure would ensure that standard processing was delivered in all the Church Orgs and that individual variations or other therapies were not permitted to adulterate proven Scientology and Dianetic processes.
In 1965 a further step towards depersonalising control was taken This was with the establishment of the post of Guardian. The Guardian and his staff were responsible for protecting the technology of Scientology from adulteration issuing and enforcing policy within the Church and defending the Church from attack.
On 1st September 1966 Hubbard resigned from the post of Executive Director and the Board of Directors of the Church and took the title Founder. The reason given is that he wished to continue his writing and research. He had already that year released the auditing procedures for the first two levels above Clear. These were known as OT (Operating Thetan) I and II. Through the late 60's the other OT levels followed up to OT VII which was released in September 1970.
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