Daily Archives: March 1, 2011

Is thinking a lower function?

Today, I want to talk about how Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard classified thinking on one of his ubiquitous scales.

For those not familiar with the concept, Hubbard arranged several concepts into scales; the Tone Scale (which ranked emotions) is the most widely know. Items that are higher on a scale are positive; items lower down are negative.

L. Ron Hubbard wrote one called the Know to Mystery scale. It went through several iterations; this is the 1971 version, which appears to be the last. If this seems like gobbledygook, well, I won’t argue with you. Hubbard had a tendency to gloss over important concepts and go into great detail on the trivial. Still, when you see where “think” comes in, I’m sure you’ll get my point.

Tone Description

40.0 — Know
30.0 — Not-Know
22.0 — Know About
20.0 — Look
8.0 — Plus Emotion
2.0 — Minus Emotion
-1.5 — Effort
-3.0 — Think
-4.0 — Symbols
-5.0 — Eat
-6.0 — Sex
-8.0 — Mystery
-10.0 — Wait
-20.0 — Unconscious
-40.0 — Unknowable

Source: Scientology 0-8 The Book of Basics by L. Ron Hubbard, 2007 edition

Thinking is just above eating and sex, which Scientology views as almost involuntary actions necessary to survive. So you can see that per this scale, thinking isn’t very sophisticated. Note also that doing something (effort) is a higher function than thinking.

Now, in the real world, thinking is up higher. It’s an integral part of knowledge – you learn something, you think it through, you judge whether it is valid, and you know it.

Not so in Scientology. Hubbard will tell you what to know; you don’t need to think about it or pass judgment on its validity.

Once you start taking into account those numbers in the left column, the Know to Mystery Scale takes on even more sinister undertones. “Tone” indicates numbers on the Tone Scale, which goes from +40 (“serenity of beingness” down to -40 (“total failure”). Anything above +3 (“conservatism”) is pretty good. +1.1 is “covert hostility,” the criminal state that Marty accuses David Miscavige of being (Churchies say the same thing about Marty). +0.7 is “hopeless”. Zero is “body death” (presumably, the spirit lives on).

And -3.0, where “Think” is? That’s “owning bodies.”</p

Which, when you think about it, makes no fucking sense whatsoever, but if it’s down that low, it’s got to be pretty bad.

The point is that per Hubbard, thinking is not a higher function. Looking and knowing – those are higher functions. Scientologists often talk about certainty – the certainty that they are doing the right thing, and certainty in LRH’s tech. They look, they see cheery Scientologists and LRH’s tech, and they just know it’s correct.

They don’t ever think about it, because thinking is for degraded beings.

Of course, thinking also leads to freedom. Which means that for LRH and Scientology, thinking is very bad for business.