The Art Series

Today I want to talk about The Art Series, a set of Scientology policies that I find both highly amusing and deeply offensive. The Art Series provides an excellent illustration of a) how full of himself L. Ron Hubbard was and b) how tight a grasp he had on the minds of his followers. If you’re looking for evidence that LRH was a megalomaniac, you’ll find it in the Art Series.

(For those who want to read along, you’ll find the Art Series policies in the Management Series volumes, which you can download from this MegaUpload link.)

The first Art Series policy, HCOB 30 August AD15 (1965), “ART,” is typical Hubbardian drivel. Basically, it says that the subject of art has been confusing and confounding people for centuries, so LRH magnanimously decided to engage his superior powers of comprehension and sort out the subject once and for all. And in doing so, he accomplished what millions of people have been unable to do for centuries.

Hubbard’s definition of art is pretty narrow. “ART,” he says, “is a word which summarizes THE QUALITY OF COMMUNICATION.” But that doesn’t stop him from administering a healthy dose of microanalysis and mumbo-jumbo:

“The rule is if one is being too perfectionistic to actually achieve a communication, reduce the mass, time, impedimenta or facilities sufficiently low to accomplish the communication but maintain the technique and perfection as high as is reconcilable with the result to be achieved and within one’s power to act.”

In otherwords, “Don’t over-complicate things.” This is hardly a new concept, but it always amazes me Hubbard was able to stretch out the simplest ideas into unnecessarily long diatribes, and how his followers seem perfectly willing to mistake his needless verbosity for intelligence. People sometimes assume that if something is difficult to understand, it must be above their level of comprehension — a concept of which LRH took full advantage.

What really sticks out about the Art Series, to me at least, is Art Series 11, HCOB 1 February 1984: “HOW TO VIEW ART.” Yup, that’s right – Hubbard actually told his followers that there was a specific and correct technique to view art. Basically, it involves clearing your mind and pretending you haven’t seen the artwork before.

In typical Hubbard style, he takes two and a half single-spaced pages to say this.

I’ve always believed that art is an intensely personal thing. People create art for their own reasons, and people see art the way they see it for their own reasons. According to Hubbard, however, I’m wrong. From Art Series 16, MESSAGE:

“Successful works of art have a message. Art is for the receiver. It is not enough that the creator of the work understands it; those who receive it must.” — LRH

And what about all those art professors who tell you it’s okay to create something simply for the sake of creating it? According to Hubbard, they’re just trying to protect their own interests. From Art Series 2, HCOB 19 July 1973, “ART, MORE ABOUT:”

“Some professors who don’t want rivals tell their students “Art is for self-satisfaction.” “It is a hobby.” In other words, don’t display or exhibit, kid, or you’ll be competition!” — LRH

The Art Series goes on and on and on and on like this. In Art Series 3, STAGE MANNERS, Hubbard gives actors blindingly obvious advice such as, “If you goof, ride right over it. Do not break off, call attention to it or look helpless or foolish.” And surely no artist can accomplish anything great without the advice given in Art Series 9:

“To do a montage, shot or work of art that talks, one must: 1) Figure out what your message is. 2) Decide to communicate the message. 3) Put in things or arrangements that contribute to the message. 4) Take out or exclude things that don’t contribute to it.” — LRH

Art Series 4, RHYTHM, defines rhythm for music, poetry, and the like, with information that one of our musically-inclined readers tells me is completely wrong. Art Series 14, COLOR, has frustrated countless Scientology art directors by making it policy to use a color wheel for their creations. And Art Series 17, ART AND EQUIPMENT, contains the earth-shattering revelation that knowing how to use your equipment will yield better results.

Here’s the rub: For all that Hubbard claimed to have “discovered” about art, Scientology artwork tends to be pretty fucking terrible. The over-the-top backgrounds for David Miscavige’s televised extravagasms are about as good as Scientology-inspired artwork gets; all of the other Scientology paintings I’ve seen have been sci-fi-themed anonymity of the type found on corporate office walls.

LRH’s influence on music can be heard in the horrifically bad album he produced, The Road to Freedom (samples here; download the whole thing here, and if listening to this prompts you to rip out your own eardrums with a salad fork, I am not responsible). And let’s not forget Hubbard’s Hollywood opus, Battlefield Earth, or Marty Rathbun’s awesomely awful Ode to L. Ron Hubbard, presumably written using LRH’s “tech”.

Practical applications aside, the implications of the Art Series go way beyond Hubbard’s laughable delusions of adequacy. The idea behind the Art Series is that all things in the human experience can be quantified and measured. The truth is that no one can really explain why the right arrangement of paint on a canvas or the right combination of musical notes can move a person to tears.

In Scientology, such unexplainable emotional reactions are a bad thing. After all, “THE PRIMARY BARRIER TO PRODUCTION IS HUMAN EMOTION AND REACTION,” LRH wrote in HCO PL 2 June 1971-II — and in all caps, no less.

Personally, I prefer living a life where some things are beyond explanation. I’m not a Scientologist; I am a free wog, and I don’t need Hubbard to tell me what is art, what is beautiful, and why.

Especially when it’s so plainly obvious that he doesn’t know what the fuck he’s talking about.



16 responses to “The Art Series

  1. Hi Caliwog,

    I thaught (or wish) you wouldn’t talke or give link to ”the road to freedom”
    (compassion for ex…)

    A good example of LWrong ‘s kwnowledge in art making and directing as well as talent

    I refused to study the art series after I’ve been forced ot listen to Road to freedom in 80’s . Most of us were embarrassed when listening to it and seeing some going into transe of admiration :O

    really, LWrong should have made a series of
    ”How to make people to buy your crap ” art” –

  2. It boggles the mind that anyone could possibly think that L. Ron Hubbard knew anything about anything, much less, that he was an expert on everything. What a deluded idiot. L. Ron Hubbard was just a sad little man who had a need to puff himself up. He was a con man, not an evil genius, not a super diabolical madman. Just a some guy who got a bunch of other people to believe him. It’s really sad.

  3. Cali,
    1st and most of all, I must apologize for my language in previous comments.
    Sometimes I go “exterior” and I cannot help whats being typed, R U pick’n up what I’m put’in down…………shi,, i mean shoo….see it just happened!! damn-it, i mean darn-it…
    Anyway, I left A recent comment on Mr. Marty’s Blog and *Believe or Not* it was posted. I posted a comment to his
    Super-Duper LRH Ass-Kiss Fest “An Ode to L Ron Hubbard”.

    |||||||johnny d | April 3, 2011 at 10:03 am | Reply
    Really just a horrible poem, I cannot believe everyone here just gushing over your “ode” just really, really bad Marty.||||||

    ……You see I think, by posting a comment way late in the the life of the Blog entry, Marky-Mart might consider it a “forfeit” comment… meaning very few (public and/or in the Co$) will actually read it, and he can also say that he “DOE’S NOT CENSURE HIS BLOG”.. “see look at what johnny d says!!!” riiiiiighttt??
    Here it is and strait to the point…..If ANY and I mean ANY one has a clue (besides my feeble attempt) why he let that comment slip by, I would love to Know!!

  4. Johnny D: You are my fucking hero.


  5. Johnny D,

    Honestly, I don’t see why he wouldn’t let that one through. If people were still reading the comments for that post it would have provided his supporters an opportunity to insult you, allege you are an OSA bot, etc.

    Now if you’d used the art series to prove that his poem was bad he probably wouldn’t have allowed it. 🙂

    • I would have expected the pro-Church, anti-Marty sites to do exactly that – make fun of his poem and hold it up as proof of his lack of understanding of The Tech. So maybe they liked it.

      I once asked a Scientologist about Battlefield Earth being so bad, and he told me it was because the filmmakers didn’t properly duplicate LRH’s film tech. Go figure.


    • SpecialFrog,
      I agree, the fact that, as of this second, NOT ONE of Marty’s butt munchers has replied to the comment i left.
      If Marty had let that comment stand the day he put out the post, well who knows?? I could be, at the worst, sleeping with the fishes or at the least, you would have seen a barrage of counter comments aimed at my intelligence or my upbringing or any number of reasons why I could possibly insult the “GREAT MARTIZMO!!- KING OF THE INDIES”
      I’m just getting warmed-up, Marty is under the delusion that there is a “huge movement” taking place and he feels he is the catalyst for this movement….right, the movement is — folks are wising up to the fact that L RON HUBBARD and SCIENTOLOGY in ALL its forms is FUCKING FRAUD
      !! and that’s all people need to know, and it is happening with or without Marty Rathbun.

  6. I think it’s telling that the pool of Scientologist-artists is comprised largely of actors as opposed to artists in more intuitive disciplines such as, say, painting. Also, to grossly generalize, from my own experience (I went to art school for undgrad degree, which school also had a great theater program), actors are far more willing to have terms (rules, boundaries) dictated to them where other artists instinctively seek their own solitary path, and would be offended by the presumption that art can be reduced to a set of agreeable, simplified principles. Acting is a group activity and has rules, but it goes beyond that and into how acting is taught. Accordingly, actors would naturally be less offended by Hubbard’s mechanical, almost mathematical, views on art than artists from other disciplines. (And this is borne out by example–the TRs closely resemble acting exercises.) I personally find the Art Series to be at best, silly, and at worst, nearly obscene. Hubbard approached art like he approached everything else–boldly, somewhat cluelessly, but always ham-fistedly obtuse. And art isn’t only more resistant to the type of categorical edicts and redefinitions which were Hubbard’s stock in trade, but it’s resistant to authoritarianism–the impulse to create often derives from a reaction against authoritarianism.

  7. Tikk ,
    You’s ams a fricken genius !!! No really you are!!
    Le’ron was a putrid “artist” and I am throwing musician, and writer under the artist title.
    You pretty well summed up $cientology Tikk, LRH had convinced himself and BOATLOADS of other poor misguided folks that – with enough discipline and obedience to the “TECH” (I gotta say the C0$’ use of the word”TECH” makes me ill) you can master the “ARTS” …..Such as the Fine Arts as in Painting, Opera, Sculpting and Writing, Doodling, Tattooing and Face-Painting at County Fairs. Lets not forget Ice Sculpting and Balloon Manipulation, as well as Tagging the walls of the Idle Orgs with Graffiti. And How about Hair Stylists???!!?? come on, Didn’t old LRon see the need to develop some “TECH”to keep the beauticians and finger-nail painters in line??? hmm.. could round up a shit-load of cash from that industry, anyway I digress….

    You see, the big fat guy thought that if you could round up “a group / groups” of people all interested in and doing the same thing ie: Artists, Musicians, Mechanics, Circus Clowns …what-ever ( the jury is still out on ACTORS ) and got them to BELIEVE – this is critical – “HERE IS YOUR PATH TO SUCCESS” they would would climb over each-other to get the god forsaken “TECH” …And you know what ? I would love to say the old-fart failed,failed because “artists” – as Tikk tells us – work in more “intuitive disciplines” !! There is NO “Technology” that makes an individual ARTISTIC OR CREATIVE, one might argue that without certain technologies artists could not be creative, but I don’t think that argument would last to long. I mean look at our ancestors,the “cave-men” creating the famous Cave Paintings we have all seen in National Geographic…
    I know, I know…that was “US THETENS”( or LRH ) way back then taggin the cave walls of the African wilderness….ahhh yea, right.
    But did the Cave-Man “ACT” ?as in acting?? possibly, but I doubt he acted to entertain his large fore-headed friends.
    But LRH absolutely sucked in many “ARTISTS” …but if you look at the names of some of the artists you will appreciate the fact that the talent they posses is 100% their own and has Zippy to do with Lron’s “tech”

    Now if we could only get the “ARTIST” to understand that!!

    Tikk you are an awesome writer, great skills, I bet you acquired them on your own with only YOUR ambition and ability…you don’t need some wack-job telling you to “buy my books and courses chump, because you are unable and you suck, my books and courses will make you a STAR!! I guarantee it!!”
    !!Balogna !!!

  8. Right, the most useless bulletins on the planet. That type of tech is mechanic
    but most artists don´t need it. They are simply natural talents: A good friend of mine is a genious comic strip artist. He is able to caricature people ,with a minimum lines, but also putting in so much character and beingness of this person, that you know exactly who it is (assumed you know the person). Of course hes a “WOG”. Its a natural thing for him, he never learned,trained to DO it the way he does.

  9. Celebrity center turns out thousands who use art well. The list of great artists in scn paid huge sums is outstanding…I mean there are Nobel prize winners in there, people taken seriously by the art community.

    After 60 years scientology is finally taken seriously and is not the laughing stock pile of Los Angeles.

    Just ask any scientologist.

    And as for freezoners well, I mean there are just billions of them out there.

    • I can’t think of a single visual artist taken seriously by the art world that is also a Scientologist. Selling your work in LA to wealthy friends =/= taken seriously by the art community.

      Comparatively speaking, at least, there are no Scientologist visual artists who have risen within their respective disciplines to the same degree Cruise, Travolta, et al. have risen within theirs.

  10. Aaron I love you bro, I really do , please , and excuse my ignorance, tell me who the Nobel Prize winning $cientologist is…who knows it might change my outlook on the cult….
    come on Aaron?????

  11. WTF? It’s me of course!

  12. Freed from Hubbard

    Wasn’t this later renamed the El Ron FART Series?

  13. I thought you would enjoy this : ) Road to Freedom ad spoof

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