Comments by Dave Touretzky appear indented, in italics.
Special note to Scientology lawyers: material from the original HCO PL is reproduced here under the ``fair use'' provision of the US Copyright Code. Learn to live with it.
HUBBARD COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, Sussex HCO POLICY LETTER OF 16 APRIL AD15 Gen Non-Remimeo Issue III REISSUED 24 DECEMBER 1978 CORECTED AND REISSUED 14 OCTOBER 1985 (Cancels HCO PL 16 Apr 65RA, Issue III, ALL DIVISIONS) ALL DIVISIONS HANDLING THE PUBLIC INDIVIDUAL We have learned the hard way that an individual from the public must never be asked to DECIDE or CHOOSE. Examining experiences we have had, I finally saw there was a hidden datum we had not been aware of in our orgs and particularly in handling the public. I finally dug it up and here it is: TO DECIDE ONE HAS TO UNDERSTAND. Examining our big org chart, you can see quite plainly that Understanding is higher than the point of public entrance into processing. Example: Mr. J is offered Particle A. He can accept it just because it is offered. He does not have to even perceive it or talk about it or recognize any condition. He needs to see only two things: (a) that it is being offered by somebody or something (source), and (b) that Particle A exists. All you have to do is show him where to obtain it and that it exists. This is acceptance without decision. Therefore he can have it.
``Acceptance without decision'' is mindless obedience. This is what Hubbard strives for in his folowers. But he has to disguise his intentions, so he offers a cover story about how giving people choices is equivalent to confusing them.
Example: Mr. J is offered Particle A or Particle B. Now we have an entirely different situation. Mr. J must compare Particle A and Particle B in order to see which is best. Therefore he must see where each comes from (source), that each exists, establish the condition of each particle, communicate with and about them, perceive them, relate them to each other (become oriented), understand them, be enlightened and finally decide (establish own purpose). If he can do this Mr J can choose which he should have, A or B. If Mr. J can't do all these things, Mr. J is overwhelmed, gets confused and takes neither. One has asked Mr. J to jump up a lot of levels. Actually the ordinary Mr. J's when raw meat and even not so raw would have to have a Grade IX Certificate to obtain a Grade I Certificate. And that of course is impossible.
The unstated premise in the above argument is that if one doesn't already know enough to choose A or B at the moment the choice is offered, then one cannot remedy the situation by asking intelligent questions. This is obviously nonsense.
[... extraneous portion deleted ...] The moral is very plain. Never ask anyone in the public or field to Decide or Choose. Erase from our org patter "Which do you want, Mr. J?" Don't ask which course, or what pin or what book or which auditor or what door or what time he or she wants to start anything or which door or which road or which membership.
This type of domineering approach, associated especially with Scientology ``registrars'' (the people who sign folks up for new courses), turns many people off to Scientology even before they find out about Xenu and the murdered space aliens.
Cultivate totally on a staff a didactic but pleasant approach. "Your intensive starts..." "This is your next book...." "Your next course should be taken on..." "Go to the third door." "I see you're a pc. You go up to the second floor...." Erase even the banal "What do you wish?" or "What can I do for you?" as even that throws confusion into it. [... additional examples deleted ...] Just as you'd never ask a pc which command he wanted, you never ask the public individual to decide.
``Which command he wanted'' refers to auditing commands given to pre-clears (PCs). Auditors are expected to be in full control of their pre-clears at all time. This directive is consistent with Hubbard's view that ``raw meat'' public are not really people, but machines under the control of ``circuits'' driven by engrams. Basically, people are zombies, and one does not reason with a zombie; one is free to take whatever measures are necessary to control it until it can be woken up.
You can teach them anything, particularly the truth. But never ask them to decide. [... further rambling deleted ...] L. RON HUBBARD Founder