[ Chapter One | Table of Contents | Chapter Three ]

The Mind Benders, Scientology

by Cyril Vosper

2. Assumptions

The major sources of basic assumptions in Dianetics and Scientology are the Axioms, Prelogics and Logics.

Scientology Axiom One is the assumption upon which the rest of the subject stands.

"LIFE IS BASICALLY A STATIC", and this is further defined - "a Life Static has no mass, no motion, no wave-length, no location in space or in time. It has the ability to postulate and to perceive".

Hubbard has redefined in modern, scientific-sounding terms the ancient Hindu Vedanta concept of a soul or spirit that whilst appearing to inhabit the physical universe is of a distinctly separate order.

This static is called Theta (eighth letter of Greek alphabet - Ø). Individual units of Theta, such as people, are called Thetans. Theta could be regarded as God, Infinity, the Supreme Being. An analogy could be made with an ocean of Theta, each drop of which is a Thetan. The explanation of what provides the animation of lesser creatures such as parrots or boll weevils is a little hazy but it is suggested that degenerate Thetans "run" one or more such creatures, which is similar again to the Hindu beliefs.

The physical universe is inferior since not, of itself, animate. The presence of Thetans within it is explained by the fact that in the beginning of the universe, variously stated by Hubbard to be seventy-six trillion, 142 trillion and 320 trillion years ago, we were all "young" Thetans who had nothing better to do than construct a universe for ourselves in which to have a game. Hubbard explains at great length, but with no great lucidity, in his version of "Games Theory" that there must be barriers, freedoms, rules, intentions and willingness to participate for any game to exist. Ludo, for instance, has these ingredients and is therefore a compact version of life as Hubbard sees it.

Axiom Two states: "The Life Static is capable of considerations, postulates and opinions." By thought and thought alone, life can adopt or relinquish any role, situation or environment. Whilst it is, by definition, at total and permanent cause over its own situation, by the same definition it can be at varying levels of effect - it can CAUSE itself to be at effect. This is an important fundamental of Hubbard's reasoning.

Axiom Three: "Space, energy, objects, form and time are the result of considerations made and/or agreed upon or not by the Static, and are perceived solely because the Static considers that it can perceive them." This extends the properties and capabilities of the Life Static to god-like dimensions. The physical universe exists essentially because life considers it to exist and by co-operative effort, life is able to introduce reality into it. (Axiom Twenty-six: Reality is the agreed upon apparency of existence.) Thus whilst Scientology contains the mystic concept of life being an illusion - being primarily a matter of thought - by an agreement between life units that the physical universe is ordered and arranged such and so, it becomes "Real". Such enigmatic questions as: "If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a noise?" are thus handled. As also the fact that if someone leaps from the top of a cliff whilst "considering" that all is illusion and in the mind, that someone's neck will still be broken in a painfully "real" manner.

Obviously a Thetan is immortal. Each of us has been around since the outset of the universe. We made it or at least helped to make it. We are not able to make universes now though. We are not even able to "hurl a few planets around" as Hubbard says. We have lost these abilities and live now in a shallow and fearful way. Potentially, we still contain the abilities of Gods and by the grace of Hubbard through Scientology, we have the opportunity to regain these abilities. It would appear that all Theta existed in a state of total knowingness prior to the creation of the universe. This creation occurred because of the perverse desire on the part of Theta - to experience. Why something in a state of total knowingness needs to experience anything, or even if it is possible for it to experience anything, is not very clear but presumably total knowingness was extraordinarily trying without any thing to experience, since in the state prior to the universe there was no THING. Such profound information as Hubbard has uncovered would appear to be of intense interest to cosmologists and astronomers since they might as well give up and go home - all their work has been done for them. Yet they persist in squabbling amongst themselves about expanding or static or pulsating universes, and they will keep discovering those quasars.

Axiom Four: "Space is a viewpoint of dimension." Again one sees that life, by looking, creates dimension and space. There is no space until one adopts a viewpoint and looks.

Axiom Five: "Energy consists of postulated particles in space." Thetans, a long while ago, said the equivalent of "Let there be light" and, Lo, there it was. At the same time we created the laws whereby energy operates. "These assumptions or considerations are the totality of energy" as Hubbard coyly puts it. Why Einstein and many others worked so hard to establish a Unified Field Theory when Hubbard could have told them all about it is further proof that scientists are crazy.

Axiom Six: "Objects consist of grouped particles in space."

Axiom Seven: "Time is basically a postulate that space and particles will persist."

Axiom Eight: "The apparency of time is the change of position of particles in space."

Axiom Nine: "Change is the primary manifestation of time."

Axiom Ten: "The highest purpose in thls universe is the creation of an effect."

The remaining forty-eight Scientology Axioms consist, in the main, of enlargements of the ways in which life handles itself in relation to the physical universe environment. It is apparent from all of the Axioms that Theta is at total cause over the universe. Only by a series of errors, probably deliberate at the outset but now accidental - since we have reduced our abilities to such a degree that "accidents" can occur - and over a vast span of time, have we been reduced to our present level of spiritual unawareness. From our original state of total awareness and power we must have postulated unknowingness for ourselves and have ever since been descending into greater unknowingness.

Almost the entirety of Scientology consists of the discovery and refinements of methods whereby the Thetan can be persuaded to relinquish his self-imposed limitations.

The concept of the individual being only a shadow of his true state, the result of a fall from grace, is not original since all major religions contain something along this line. Hubbard has placed this assumption on a factual basis and claims it is not purely a matter of faith to re-establish supremacy but is a problem resolvable by scientific procedures.

Although Hubbard claims his Axioms are self-evident truths, one is at a loss to put them to any direct tests for validity. Certainly at this time, subjective faith and conviction play a more important part than scientific tests, analyses and statistics. This is not a major criticism since to attempt to validate any of the material of Scientology, let alone such awesome points as the creation of the universe, is objectively impossible now, if it ever will be possible in the future. One is dealing exclusively in subjective impression and probably the least reliable evidence is that given by a Scientologist.

A non-Scientologist, no matter how closely he observes, will not be able to appreciate the full subjectivity of a Scientologist. He must become a Scientologist in the full sense of the word and by so doing be automatically barred from objectivity. Hubbard's Axioms are self-evident truths to Scientologists although not at all self-evident to anyone else.

It is claimed that the validity of Hubbard's words are apparent in the successes achieved by the publication of Scientology theory and practice. Even if there be real successes, which is open to some doubt, one is still left with the question of whether the success is by Scientology or for Scientology. Surely no Scientologist would admit his philosophy is anything less than Hubbard claims for it. Beyond anything else, he would not be allowed to remain a Scientologist if he doubted any of the material. Only by a total faith can a person expect to "gain" anything from Scientology. His own opinions are worthless and harmful. An astronomer can hold doubts as to the validity of much of the sacred cows of astronomy - this is, in theory at least, a healthy attitude in a science - but his is an essentially objective pursuit. Scientology is a highly subjective pursuit and thereby involves aspects of personal motives and desires.

Strangely, under the circumstances, the Scientology Axioms, by stating, "fundamentally all is thought", give the clue to much of the successes of Scientology and unexpectedly invalidate the entirety of the remainder. If consideration be the major ability of life and if Scientology is presented as one of sufficient power and attractiveness that one considers it to work, then and only then will it work.

Although this may indeed invalidate the claimed objectivity of Scientology it does not necessarily make it less valid. Psychology, psychotherapy, medicine and many another authoritative subject would find it difficult to claim objectivity. If Scientology can better the state of the individual in a real, pragmatic and applicable sense then the reasoning behind it matters little. The question then becomes one of quality of result rather than method. The end, perhaps for once, could justify the means but that end must be a superlative improvement.

It is claimed for the Scientology Axioms that they are unique. No other subject has commenced operations with as complete a set of assumptions. This is true, but from the outset the Axioms limit objective analysis and as in so many subjects which are the brain child of one man, personal preference limits the application of analytical techniques. If a Scientologist other than Hubbard were to discover and establish an error in these assumptions he would have to set up another sect apart from Scientology. Also, if he were a true believer, he would be pathologically incapable of even questioning Hubbard's pronouncements. Various splinter groups from Scientology have appeared from time to time but these have been so bizarre as to make Scientology appear the height of rationality.

By the construction of a set of assumptions from which further conclusions may be drawn, a methodology can rapidly be built for ascertaining these further conclusions. This is fair enough, provided the factors of which the fundamentals consist are indeed fundamentally true or are sufficiently fluid as to allow change. Truth would always appear to be comparative. Yet Hubbard claims his assumptions to be TRUTH and offers no further proof. In other words, he, unique amongst men, has established absolute truth and graciously offers, or rather sells it, to mankind.

Scientology is not a science because its assumptions are stated as truth from the outset and no further inspection is permitted. It may be of worth but it is not a science.

The seven Prelogics are concerned with self-determinism as regards the life unit or static as opposed to the overall concept of Theta. The Prelogics add nothing to the axiomatic definitions of life units except to show self-determinism as the motivation for all life units. This contradicts Axiom Three, and other Axioms which state agreement between life units is necessary for the creation of a real universe.

Hubbard stresses in earlier material the concept of an individual in a state of "Other-determinism", that is, his considerations, postulates and opinions are overruled by another agency, will, through the application of Scientology techniques, regain Self-determinism to such a degree as to be able to practise Pan-determinism, which means his considerations, postulates and opinions take into account the best survival for all aspects of life and the environment. This pleasing statement is more easily said than achieved. In recent years, Hubbard has relied less on Pan-determinism in his own approach to his followers, than on simply telling them what's what.

The twenty-four Logics are adaptations of Alfred Korzybski's "General Semantics" and contain a curious mixture of Aristotelian and what Korzybski called "non-Aristotelian" logic. Hubbard appears to have read Korzybski's 800-page "Science and Sanity" and to have taken the most sweeping and simply stated "Logical Facts" therefrom. A major factor in Scientology, which gives it the appearance of a technology, is the aspect of relativism derived directly from "General Semantics" and called by Hubbard "Gradient Scales". In Hubbard's Gradient Scales, human characteristics are given arbitrary values in relation to each other as can be seen from the brief example of the Tone Scale given in the last chapter.

Although these scales may be valid within known realms, Hubbard extends them to absolute points, even though Logic Six states "Absolutes are unobtainable".

Korzybski's theory of logic says thought arrives at incorrect answers by considering there to be only the alternatives of Black or White, Good or Bad, Right or Wrong (claimed to be Aristotelian!) and he propounds a theory of semantic usage which would precisely indicate the shadings of greyness, the degree of goodness or badness, rightness or wrongness. The Scientological adaptation of this theory shows typical Hubbardian enthusiasm by taking the Gradient Scales to absolute points. The Tone Scale is extended from the known levels of Fear (1.0), Anger (1.5), Boredom (2.5), Enthusiasm (4.0), to take but a few of the arbitrary values, and extends it to Serenity of Beingness (40.0) and states this to be an attainable absolute. Hubbard also states Tone 40.0 to be such an exalted state as to be unreal within the physical universe, e.g. the player in the game of life would have such superior abilities as to be unable to play.

At the same time, the Logics of Scientology contain assumptions of very great value to Scientology itself. Logic Five: "A definition of terms is necessary to the alignment, statement and resolution of suppositions, observations, problems and solutions and their communication." If one reads the books of Scientology or listens to Hubbard's taped lectures, one wonders that the same man had originated this "Logic", for even the numerous glossaries of terms in his books do nothing to clearly define his terms or their parameters. The Scientology Dictionary probably reduces understanding of Scientologese.

Lastly on the subject of the Logics, number Seventeen states: "Those fields which most depend upon authoritative opinion for their data least contain known natural law." Surely there can never have been a subject that contains more authoritative opinion than Scientology? Even when Hubbard states a Natural Law, he does it with an authority which changes it from a Natural Law to a peculiarly Hubbardian Law!

In addition to the Axioms, Prelogics and Logics of Scientology, there are 194 Axioms of Dianetics. As with all of Hubbard's pronouncements as to the way in which things are arranged throughout the Cosmos, the Axioms of Dianetics are a mixture of established fact and convenient assumption. Mind-boggling though the universe may be, all 10,000 million observable light years' radius of it, containing about 100,000 million galaxies each composed of about 50,000 million stars, Hubbard's easy summation of it all is even more stupefying in its audacity.

The Dianetic Axioms cover some of the same ground as those of Scientology even though Hubbard describes Dianetics as purely a psychotherapy and claims that all of the spiritual matters belong in Scientology. Dianetics is supposed to cover Dynamics One to Four; Scientology covers the lot.

Dianetic Axiom One: "The source of life is a static of peculiar and particular properties", is only another way to say "Life is basically a static" - Scientology Axiom One. Much of the theoretical matter of Scientology is outlined in the Dianetic Axioms. "That part of the Static of Life which is impinged upon the physical universe has, for its dynamic goal, survival and only survival" - Dianetic Axiom Three. This introduces one of the major assumptions of Scientology. The urge towards survival is regarded by Hubbard as the most generalised motivation of life. This urge is divided into Eight Dynamics: "First - is the urge toward survival of self; Second - is the urge toward survival through sex or children; Third - is the urge toward survival through a group of individuals or as a group; Fourth - is the urge toward survival through all mankind and as all mankind; Fifth - is the urge toward survival through life forms such as animals, birds, insects, fish and vegetation and is the urge to survive as these; Sixth - is the urge toward survival as the physical universe and has as its components Matter, Energy, Space and Time from which is derived the word MEST; Seventh - is the urge toward survival through spirits or as a spirit; Eighth - is the urge toward survival through a Supreme Being or, more exactly, Infinity. This is called the Eighth Dynamic because the symbol of Infinity stood upright makes the numeral "8".

The eighth letter of the Greek alphabet is Theta, which must mean something too!

The Eight Dynamics demonstrate a neat expansion from singularity to infinity or at least that is what they are supposed to demonstrate. An individual could be assessed as demonstrating a greater or lesser degree of ability to survive - survival potential - by the number of these dynamics on which he is operating. The fullest life would be the one which includes all of the eight. This fortunate individual would be vastly superior - would be Homo novis rather than Homo sapiens or "Homo sap", as Hubbard has expressed his opinion of the current norm of human being.

In the Tone Scale mentioned earlier and illustrated below, the level of 2.2 between boredom and antagonism is a mid-point between survive and succumb. The urge to survive is the essential motivation but when aberrated in spirit and mentality, the individual works towards succumb. In the Awareness Scale illustrated below, those points descending from Need of Change (-4) down to Unexistence (-34) are diminishing awareness - the individual is succumbing to a greater and greater extent - and those points ascending from Need of Change up to Power on All Eight Dynamics (presumably +22 to infinity) demonstrate an increasing awareness and desire to survive. As the individual progress further from the points of 2.2 (Tone Scale) and -4 (Awareness Scale) direction, the urge to survive or the urge to succumb increases proportionately.

|                          40.0 Serenity of Beingness
|                           8.0 Exhilaration
|              |----------------
|  THETAN      |            4.0 Enthusiasm
|  TONE        |            3.0 Conservatism
|  SCALE       |            2.5 Boredom
|              |            2.0 Antagonism
|  Well below  |  THETAN    1.8 Pain
|  body death  |  PLUS      1.5 Anger
|  at '0' down |  BODY      1.2 No-sympathy
|  to complete |            1.1 Covert Hostility
|  unbeingness |            1.0 Fear
|  as a Thetan |            0.9 Sympathy
|              |            0.8 Propitiation
|              |            0.5 Grief
|              |            0.375 Making Amends
|              |            0.05 Apathy
|              |
|              |----------- 0.0 Death
|                          -1.0 Punishing Bodies
|                          -1.5 Controlling Bodies
|                          -2.2 Protecting Bodies
|                          -3.0 Owning Bodies
|                          -3.5 Approval from Bodies
|                          -4.0 Needing Bodies
|                          -8.0 Hiding


             21 SOURCE
             20 EXISTENCE
             19 CONDITIONS
     ^       18 REALIZATION
   / | \     17 CLEARING
     |       16 PURPOSE
     |       15 ABILITY
     |       14 CORRECTION
     |       13 RESULT
     |       12 PRODUCTION
     |       11 ACTIVITY
     |       10 PREDICTION
     |        9 BODY
     |        8 ADJUSTMENT
     |        7 ENLIGHTENMENT
     |        6 ENLIGHTENMENT
     |        5 UNDERSTANDING
     |        4 ORIENTATION
     |        3 PERCEPTION
     |        2 COMMUNICATION
     |        1 RECOGNITION
     |       -1 HELP
     |       -2 HOPE
     |       -4 NEED OF CHANGE
     |       -5 FEAR OF WORSENING
     |       -6 EFFECT
     |       -7 RUIN
     |       -8 DESPAIR
     |       -9 SUFFERING
     |      -10 NUMBNESS
     |      -11 INTROVERSION
     |      -12 DISASTER
     |      -13 INACTUALITY
     |      -14 DELUSION
     |      -15 HYSTERIA
     |      -16 SHOCK
     |      -17 CATATONIA
     |      -18 OBLIVION
     |      -19 DETACHMENT
     |      -20 DUALITY
     |      -21 SECRECY
     |      -22 HALLUCINATION
     |      -23 SADISM
     |      -24 MASOCHISM
     |      -25 ELATION
     |      -26 GLEE
     |      -27 FIXIDITY
     |      -28 EROSION
     |      -29 DISPERSAL
     |      -30 DISASSOCIATION
     |      -31 CRIMINALITY
     |      -32 UNCAUSING
     |      -33 DISCONNECTION
            -34 UNEXISTENCE

Simple this may seem at first sight. Difficulties arise when it is applied to life as it is, rather than to life as viewed by Scientology. The aim of Scientology is to first establish the self-determinism of the individual which is another way to say, to get him living and surviving as himself and fully on the First Dynamic. Since the mental state of EVERY individual with the sole exception of Scientologists automatically means he is not living self-determinedly and therefore cannot be on the First Dynamic, it means that all activities towards survival on any other Dynamic are inverted and unreal. No matter how much pride the non-Scientologist Husband or Wife may take in marriage or children (Dynamic Two); no matter how successful the business man, union leader or pop star may be in relation to groups (Dynamic Three): no matter how helpful to humanity at large the statesman may be (Dynamic Four); no matter how good at growing his crops or tending his herds the farmer may be (Dynamic Five); all is set at naught and is delusion and pretence unless Scientology is present and has made sure the individual is operating as himself, first and foremost. Only with Scientology can the individual be sure to operate as himself through the other Dynamics.

Further complexity is introduced when one sees that in real life an individual could be successful on some Dynamics and unsuccessful on others. On Dynamic Eight, he could be in total Apathy (0.05) and Unexistence (-34) on the subject of God and Religion. He could be at Enthusiasm (4.0) and Understanding (+ 5) as regards his new o.h.c. twin carburettor GT car, Dynamic Six. On Dynamic Two he could be in a state of Boredom (2.5) and Need of Change (-4) as regards his marriage. His ability to keep goldfish alive for more than a few days could be low and he may not be able to tell the difference between a Sweet Pea and an Oak Tree which probably means he is at Grief (0.5) and Disaster (-12) on the Fifth Dynamic. Strangely though, he has a magnificent Alsatian dog about which he again feels Enthusiasm (4.0) and Energy (+7). All this makes life very difficult. People will refuse to obey the rules!

The Tone Scale levels below 0.0 are those in which non-Scientologist human beings are found at this time. Having lost the awareness of operating a body as a non-material static with no mass, no motion, etc., the majority of people have descended into extremely degraded Tone and Awareness Levels from which they just about manage to energise sufficient mental mechanisms to maintain the body at levels of apparent tone. We, poor degraded things, think we are our bodies. We do not know we are immortal and beautifully separate entities who joyously play the game of life like a puppet master. If we demonstrate Anger, Fear or Enthusiasm through our bodies this is purely a dramatisation and it is not the true us, the awareness of awareness units, who are feeling it. A mental mechanism causes our bodies to enact the part whilst we cower deep down inside wondering what on earth is going on and "Needing Bodies"! And Hubbard accuses psychiatrists of having a degraded view of their fellow man and claims he has an elevated and loving view.

Dianetic Axiom Eleven: "A life organism is composed of matter and energy in space and time, animated by Theta. Symbol: Living organism or organisms will hereafter be represented by the Greek letter Lambda (^)." Beyond the fact that Lambda is not used to represent the living organism or organisms thereafter either in the rest of the Dianetic Axioms or the remainder of Dianetics and Scientology, the following Axioms sound rather like a Readers Digest style introduction to biology and mysticism. For instance, Axiom Forty-two: "The virus and cell are matter and energy animated and motivated in space and time by Theta" which one would have assumed from Axiom Eleven in any case since it is not a heavily guarded secret that complex organisms are quite often composed of viri and cells. Evolution is lightly discussed, Axiom Sixteen: "The basic food of any organism consists of light and chemicals. Organisms can exist only as higher levels of complexities because lower levels of converters exist. Theta evolves organisms from lower to higher forms and supports them by the existence of lower converter forms."

And so on. Throughout Hubbard's pronouncements as to the inter-relationships between the spirit, bodies, minds, thought and psychical universe, there is lip-service paid to currently accepted scientific opinion linked to his personal interpretation as to how life, as he sees it, manipulates its environment to fit the rules.

It is a pleasing and somewhat flattering outlook since it means that every living creature has the opportunity to regain immense powers over the implacability of the universe. It is the same message, though in very different terms, as has been purveyed by all other major beliefs in the essential spirituality of the human race. The greater part of Hubbard's opinions remain as opinions even though he claims scientific objectivity. This must surely he the greatest error in the whole of his subject. If he claimed to have introduced a new variation on the theme of religion and was honest in his approach by stating that by faith alone could a man gain the blessings of Scientology, he would attract those who agreed or found comfort in his faith. By stating that Scientology is the ONLY truth, the Road to Total Freedom, and so on and by mixing his credo with pseudoscientific mumbo-jumbo, the faith is reduced to the level of a cheap confidence trick. There are many very admirable points to Scientology and it deserves more than this treatment.

If Scientology is a science, then there are some enormous gaps in the reasoning, gaps which should be filled before any further assumptions are made.

Even if one grants that there is some totally separate and distinguishable essence or élan which animates matter, energy, space and time, to produce, for instance, people, it would have been a better use of all the pompous and repetitive words had Hubbard explained, in precise and observable terms, exactly how this is done. It is much too easy to say that Theta controls the physical universe by consideration and postulate. Even if one grants the current examples of life on this planet to be too degraded to postulate or consider in a positively creative sense, in his wisdom, Hubbard must know HOW it is done. Unfortunately he is careful not to claim any such powers for himself or for his most highly trained followers, on the justification that if one were to lift his body six feet above the ground or to mentally move objects without any contact with the body, it would drive all non-Scientologists insane. The only reason why a non-Scientologist cannot naturally demonstrate mental power over his environment is that he is too degraded by his experiences with the physical universe and has lost all knowledge and confidence in his superiority. Hubbard and his closest followers certainly should be able to demonstrate their ability to make changes in their environment. They do not show any such abilities and one can only conclude they do not know how to do it and the entire theory structure is erroneous.

If the Thetan is the primary cause which energises the mind through the brain to the body to the outside universe, where does he get the energy from? Does he create it out of thin air and if so how does he create it? If he uses another source of energy, how does he utilise it? Since it is such an important function of whatever one thinks or does and is so intensely personal, most Thetans should know how it is done. Hubbard would claim that the source of energy is the Thetan who creates it but being in a state of unconsciousness, he has placed even this primary function on to a mechanical basis. Even it this also be true, there must be a point where even such an automatic function is given impetus, energised and the question still comes down to HOW?

This question is not unique to Scientology. It is probably the concern, or should be, of many branches of science. There IS a difference between living and non-living things. What is this difference and how does it animate matter?

That Scientology does not know the answer is not serious. That it acts and claims to know is sad for so long as it thinks it has the answers to everything, it will not even look.

[Chapter One | Table of Contents | Chapter Three ]