We’ve all heard of Scientology’s dreaded Supressive Person Declare, the instrument by which Scientologists are excommunicated from the Church. (Check out Declares from 1972 and 2005.) Every SP Declare offers a way back in if, in LRH’s words, the person “comes to his, her or their
senses and recants.” So what, exactly, does an SP have to do to get back into Scientology?
Those are known as the A to E steps, and they are laid out in HCO PL 23 December 1965, ETHICS SUPPRESSIVE ACTS SUPPRESSION OF SCIENTOLOGY AND SCIENTOLOGISTS THE FAIR GAME LAW. Here’s what L. Ron Hubbard said to do – or specifically, what the HCO Secretary must do to/with the repentant:
A. Tells the person or group to stop committing present time overts and to cease all attacks and suppressions so he, she or they can get a case gain;
In other words, stop doing bad things (“overts”) and fighting the Church. Makes sense.
B. Requires a public announcement to the effect that they realize their actions were ignorant and unfounded and stating where possible the influences or motivations which caused them to attempt to suppress or attack Scientology; gets it signed before witnesses and published broadly, particularly to persons directly influenced or formerly associated with the former offender or offenders. The letter should be calculated to expose any conspiracy to suppress Scientology or the preclear or Scientologist if such existed;
That’s a long one*, but it’s probably the most important. You don’t just recant what you did; you have to write that your actions were “ignorant and unfounded” and explain why you did it, and if possible have a good conspiracy story. Talk about what influenced you; that identifies areas of “entheta” that your fellow Scientologists will know to avoid (and Church management may decide to attack). Sign it with witnesses to make it look official. Then the Church sends it out to anyone they deem to be affected by your behavior — perhaps fellow Scientologists amongst whom you may have spread doubt or who might have seen sense in your criticisms, or maybe people who may have been helping you to see the light (to show them their actions were for naught).
*That’s what she said.
It’s worth noting that the Catholic Church has a similar policy for those who are excommunicated; they get back into the Church by making a statement of repentance. The difference is that in the Catholic Church, it’s done privately in the confessional. In Scientology, it’s written, signed with witnesses, and distributed as the Church sees fit.
B(1). Requires that all debts owed to Scientology organizations are paid off;
They want your money ASAP in case they decide to kick you out again.
C. Requires training beginning at HAS at their expense if Division 4 (Training and Processing) will have the person or the group members;
You’re probably thinking “What ISN’T at a Scientologists’ expense?” but keep in mind that some Scientology staff members don’t pay for training. This ensures that they’ll have to spend their meager pay on Scientology services, which keeps them close to the flock and away from outsiders who might inadvertently talk some sense into them.
D. Makes a note of the matter with copies of the statement and files in the Ethics files;
Reminds me of my junior high principal saying “This will go on your permanent record!” except in Scientology, it actually happens. The organized Church loves shit like this, because if the person starts acting out again, they have your signed, witnessed affidavit to wave around.
E. Informs the Chairman at Saint Hill and forwards a duplicate of the original copy which shows signatures.
Ah, LRH, he loves him some paperwork.
So that’s what Church founder L. Ron Hubbard says you must do. But there’s more! This policy was revised in 1991, five years or so after LRH’s death. Let’s look at the changes made by David Miscavige and/or his management team (which, by the way, included Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder).
One item was added:
B2. May require that, subject to the approval of the International Justice Chief, an amends project suitable and commensurate with the severity and extent of the suppressive acts committed be completed before further A to E steps are undertaken;
The amendment goes on to say how the Church can demand that the “amends project” be preceded by proof that the person has show evidence of a “genuine ethics change,” and that “before the amends project may be considered complete, extensive evidence over a protracted period of time that the person has, beyond any doubt, ceased his or her suppressive actions, has created no problems for the Church or any member of the Church in any way on any line.”
In other words, they can drag the process on as long as they like.
In addition, Step C was changed:
C. Requires training beginning at the lowest level of the Bridge at their expense if executives in charge of training will have the person or the group members;
In other words, they have to start from the very beginning, which not only brings more cash into the Church, but gives extra incentive not to misbehave. (UPDATE: Please see Catfish’s first comment for clarification.)
These changes may have come in under Miscavige, but I bet LRH would have been so proud of his little protege!
So, anyway, now you know what LRH required to get back in Scientology’s good graces: Stop doing whatever you are doing that they don’t like. Write a declaration saying your actions were ignorant and unfounded, sign it with witnesses, and let the Church send copies out to the people you associated with when you were on their shit list. Pay up all you owe them, then get back into the fold and start paying for classes. Meanwhile, they’ll keep your declaration on file so that if you sin again, they can show the world that you yourself said you were acting stupid. The post-LRH changes allow the Church to drag this process on as long as they want, and they’ve decreed that if you come back groveling, you have to start your Scientology
scam training from Square One.
See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?*
*That, unfortunately, is also what she said.