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.”
Source: HCO PL 18 Oct 1967 Issue IV, PENALTIES FOR LOWER CONDITIONS
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.”
Source: HCO PL 23 Dec 1965, ETHICS SUPPRESSIVE ACTS – SUPPRESSION OF SCIENTOLOGY AND SCIENTOLOGISTS – THE FAIR GAME LAW
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.”
Source: HCO PL 21 JULY 1968, PENALTIES FOR LOWER CONDITIONS
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.