History of Fair Game, Part 1: What did Hubbard really say?

A recent comment exchange on Marty’s site (starting here) led me to do some research into the Fair Game law. Now, when critics cite the Fair Game law, they often refer to the following passage from a Hubbard Communication Office Policy Letter (HCO PL) which has long since been deleted from the Management volumes:

“ENEMY – SP Order. Fair game. May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.”


Scientologists, both Independent and Church-going, frequently fire back with this definition:

“A Suppressive Person or Group becomes ‘fair game’. By FAIR GAME is meant, may not be further protected by the codes and disciplines of Scientology or the rights of a Scientologist.”


But what they won’t tell you – in fact, what they may not even know – is that this was Hubbard’s second definition of Fair Game. In the first version of this policy, issued on March 7th, 1965 and now very difficult to find, Hubbard wrote:

“By Fair Game is meant, without rights for self, possessions or position, and no Scientologist may be brought before a Committee of Evidence or punished for any action taken against a Suppressive Person or Group during the period that person or group is ‘fair game’.”

The old definition of Fair Game does not appear in the Admin Tech volumes (and as of 2001, all references to Fair Game appear to have been eliminated altogether). I’ve read that the original Fair Game definition appeared in the 1968 version of Introduction to Scientology Ethics; the current version has also been scrubbed of all Fair Game references.

And what of the phrase “May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed”? Technically, that phrase refers not to fair game, but to people in the condition of Enemy, and that PL was replaced by a slightly softer version a year later:

“May be restrained or imprisoned. May not be protected by any rules or laws of the group he sought to injure as he sought to destroy or bar fair practices for others. May not be trained or processed or admitted to any org.”


This definition was canceled in 1970, and then reinstated in 1971 (HCO PL 19 October 1971, ETHICS PENALTIES REINSTATED). So the softer definition – complete with the phrase “May be restrained or imprisoned” – remains valid L. Ron Hubbard policy to this day.

So what did Hubbard really mean? For most of us, this is a fairly black and white issue. Hubbard may have canceled his original Fair Game and Enemy definitions, but that doesn’t change the fact that he came up with them in the first place. Unless, of course, you are a Scientologist. To their way of thinking, the fact that Hubbard replaced the original definitions means the originals no longer exist. Intent may matter to us, but not to a Scientologist – at least, not as far as Hubbard is concerned.

In my next blog entry, we’ll comb through LRH’s policy to trace the history of the Fair Game law. I’ll present the facts, and you can make your own decision about Hubbard’s intentions – and about whether Fair Game ever really was canceled.


8 responses to “History of Fair Game, Part 1: What did Hubbard really say?

  1. Looking forward to it. There is of course the whole thing about the phrase being cancelled but it “does not affect the treatment of those labeled as suppressives” crapola. And it seems like there really are 3 layers to the Scn ethics cake. The public which naïvely takes policy, or the absence of policy, as the final word (as in the above), the mid-level (staff?) who are kind of aware of how things “really are run”, and the upper echelons (sea org and its divisions of lowly scum, mid-level abusers and the high-level sycophants) who pretty much know that once something like fair game was created, its use never adjusted, but the intensity of the attacks was instead adjusted depending on the “enemy.”

    And props for pointing out the difference between fair game and “Enemy. SP Order.”

    Now if only people would get the “reading OT3” misconception correct (pneumonia if the process is run, not just read.) But I’ve heard some Ex-Scns say that the “reading OT3=death” is the belief within the CoS itself….

  2. William Johnson

    Regarding ElRon:
    “To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture” Thomas Paine

  3. Partially in response to the discussion on Marty’s site I’ve tried to dig through the history of the policy.

    Wise Old Goat has a claimed history but he admits he can’t find a lot of the docs in the chain.

    Additionally, Scientology’s own lawyers in the GO trials admitted that “fair game” was still practiced long after the public cancellation:


    From various leaked GO materials, it is clear that there are a lot of confidential policies that only apply to GO (and no presumably OSA) that pretty definitely encourage illegal activities.

  4. I would like to point out, that Sea Org members have as higher orders the Flag Orders, CBOs and Rons direct references.

    In hat packs, the ratio of FOs to HCO Pls is about 2:1 in favor of FOs.

    In Flag Orders, the Fair Game policy was issued and was never cancelled as a Flag Order – the only reason why every ex-SO from mgmt can quote it isn’t because they found out about it after they left – they were taught it, in FOs and not HCO PLs.

    Try to keep this in mind – Marty nor the Church will ever argue with the Flag Orders or bring them up – because they contain the worst of it.

    Remember, Scientologists and staff adhere to HCOPLs and SO Members to FOs. Only SO members are Mgmt or OSA.

    Messengers for example in their hat packs through the CMO EPF and Basic Modified Product One Series of training have a ratio of messenger orders, FOs/CBOs and HCO PLs of about 4:2:1.

    In other words, HCO PLs are for the people, but FOs are for the Princes.

  5. And by Princes I meant assholes.

  6. Cali,
    Have you read Marty’s latest nonsense? He is really off the rails. He is sounding more like Hubbard everyday.

    • I thought exactly the same johnny. He is either channelling Hubbard or slowing sliding even further away from reality as we watch. And, as always, what is even more frightening is the adoration heaped on him by his followers! If you can divorce yourself from the negative impact this bullshit has on the people caught in the trap then it really is fascinating to observe.

      Loving your work caliwog btw. Keep it up.

  7. Links to quoted DOX please.

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