A lot of people have given evidence of how Fair Game was practiced; let’s look at the policy background — a scriptural investigation, if you will.
I want to preface with a reminder of something Aaron Saxton frequently brings up: Along with the publicly-accessible policy I’ve quoted here, L. Ron Hubbard wrote orders and advices that were not available to public Scientologists (a convenient fact for former Scientologists who like to blame all of the Scientology’s evils solely on David Miscavige). Such documentation is very hard to find. Lucky for us, Hubbard was too much of a narcissist to completely hide his self-perceived brilliance. If we combine broadly-available Scientology policy with the actions undertaken by the Church when Hubbard was in charge, we can clearly divine his true intentions, even with several pieces of the puzzle missing.
It’s also worth noting that the policies concerning Fair Game have, as far as I can tell, not changed between 1991 and now – a time period that encompasses Rathbun and Rinder’s ascension to power, period of influence, departure, and vilification from/by the Church of Scientology.
Okay, enough prefacing; let’s start the timeline.
EVENTS LEADING UP TO THE FAIR GAME POLICY
In January 1963, the FDA raided the Church’s Washington storefront and seized several E-Meters, claiming the Church was making illegal claims that they could cure diseases. That same year, the Australian state of Victoria opened a Board of Inquiry into Scientology. This resulted in the Anderson Report, published in 1965, which called Scientology “a delusional belief system, based on fiction and fallacies and propagated by falsehood and deception.” Scientology was banned in several Australian states as a result.
Fair Game was first defined in HCO Policy Letter of 7 March 1965 Issue I, ETHICS SUPPRESSIVE ACTS – SUPPRESSION OF SCIENTOLOGY AND SCIENTOLOGISTS – THE FAIR GAME LAW, during a period when L. Ron Hubbard was on a serious kick of what I like to call “ethic cleansing.” This policy was replaced by a slightly reworded version (see December 1965, below) and the original is difficult to find, but we know it defined FAIR GAME as follows:
“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…”
The policy goes on:
“The homes, property, places and abodes of persons who have been active in attempting to suppress Scientology or Scientologists are all beyond any protection of Scientology Ethics, unless absolved by later Ethics or an amnesty…
“A truly Suppressive Person or group has no rights of any kind and actions taken against them are not punishable.”
This same policy letter also contains the original laundry list of Scientology crimes that I talked about in my blog entry What are your crimes?.
In HCO PL 7 March 1965 Issue III, JUSTICE OFFENSES & PENALTIES, Hubbard codifies punishments and talks more about Fair Game:
“HIGH CRIMES. These are covered in HCO Policy Letters March 7, 1965, Issues I and II, and consist of publicly departing Scientology or committing Suppressive Acts.
“Cancellation of Certificates, Classifications and Awards and becoming fair game are amongst the penalties which can be leveled for this type of offense as well as those recommended by Committees of Evidence.”
Ten days later, Hubbard issued another PL (17 March 1965 Issue II, HCO (DIVISION 1) JUSTICE – FAIR GAME LAW – ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPRESSIVE ACTS – THE SOURCE OF THE FAIR GAME LAW) that talks about the necessity of the Fair Game law:
“Democracy always faces this problem and so far never solved it. The constitution of the US permits people to refuse to testify if it would incriminate them (5th Amendment). Yet it sits by in courts letting people who are pledged to overthrow the government yet use their privilege to invoke the 5th Amendment. Idiocy is the right word for it. It does not make sense to extend the protection of the group to the person seeking to destroy the group. That’s like encouraging a disease.”
Did you get that? According to Hubbard, those who want to speak out against the government should not be protected by the fifth amendment! Hubbard was fond of criticizing Russia and the Communists, and yet here he clearly illustrates his disdain for a society that allows freedom of speech. Anyway, Hubbard continues (notes in brackets are mine):
“Hence we have a Fair Game Law. […]
“So, in Scientology, anyone who rejects Scientology also rejects, knowingly or unknowingly, the protection and benefits of Scientology and the companionship of Scientologists. If the person never was a member of the group or if the person had been a member of it, the result is the same. […]
“In neither case may certificate cancellation or the Fair Game Law be invoked unless the student or pc [“preclear,” a Scientology customer] blow [leave suddenly without proper “routing-out” procedures] or the public resignation also includes a threat to leave Scientology.”
Hubbard is saying that if you are an enemy of Scientology, you don’t deserve protection. And he apparently feels the US should adopt the same policy. (Yet another reason why Scientology isn’t just a kooky-but-harmless religion.)
Hubbard released several PLs on April 5th, 1965. One was titled “HCO JUSTICE DATA RE ACADEMY & HGC – HANDLING THE SUPPRESSIVE PERSON – THE BASIS OF INSANITY,” a long diatribe against suppressive persons (SPs). It’s a fantastic read as it reveals Hubbard’s vitriol against those who oppose Scientology, and I plan to talk about it in a future blog entry. Hubbard makes one mention of the Fair Game law, labeling those who quit Scientology courses and ask for refunds as SPs and saying “The ex-student should realize this makes him Fair Game and outside our Justice Codes.”
Hubbard mentions Fair Game again in HCO PL 16 August 1965 Issue II, COLLECTION FROM SPs AND PTSs:
“Civil Court action against SPs to effect collection of monies owed may be resorted to, as they are Fair Game.”
In HCO Executive Letter 27 September 1965 (which did not become part of the policy volumes), LRH briefly mentions how Fair Game was to be used against a squirrel group, and in doing so ties the Fair Game policy to the oft-quoted definition of Enemy:
“Treatment — They are each fair game, can be sued or harassed.”
Hubbard begins to back-track on Fair Game. He issues HCO PL 23 December 1965, which replaces HCO PL 7 March 1965 Issue I but keeps the title SUPPRESSIVE ACTS – SUPPRESSION OF SCIENTOLOGY – THE FAIR GAME LAW. Much of it is the same, but the definition of Fair Game has changed to the one modern-day Scientologists like to use:
“By FAIR GAME is meant, may not be further protected by the codes and disciplines of Scientology or the rights of a Scientologist.”
L. Ron Hubbard creates the Guardian’s Office, predecessor of today’s Office of Special Affairs (OSA).
Hubbard issues HCO PL 18 October 1967 Issue IV, PENALTIES FOR LOWER CONDITIONS, which includes the famous definition of ENEMY. Here are the penalties for all four conditions:
“LIABILITY — Suspension of Pay and a dirty grey rag on left arm and day and night confinement to org premises.
“TREASON — Suspension of pay and deprivation of all uniforms and insignia, a black mark on left cheek and confinement on org premises or dismissal from post and debarment from premises.
“DOUBT — Debarment from premises. Not to be employed. Payment of fine amounting to any sum may have cost org. Not to be trained or processed. Not to be communicated with or argued with.
“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.”
Taken in context, these penalties would appear to apply only to staff and/or Sea Org members in trouble with the group, but later activities would prove that non-Scientologists could be treated as Enemies.
Two significant Fair Game-related policies were issued in ’68. First, LRH issued HCO PL 21 July 1968, a new version of PENALTIES FOR LOWER CONDITIONS, with a note that this policy applied to both staff and Sea Org members. Punishments were redefined as follows:
“LIABILITY – Dirty grey rag on left arm. May be employed at any additional work. Day and night confinement to premises.
“DOUBT – May be confined in or be barred from premises. Handcuff on left wrist. May be fined up to the amount carelessness or neglect has cost org in actual money.
“ENEMY – Suppressive Person order. May not be communicated with by anyone except an Ethics Officer, Master at Arms, a Hearing Officer or a Board or Committee. 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.
TREASON – May be turned over to civil authorities. Full background to be explored for purposes of prosecution. May not be protected by the rights and fair practices he sought to destroy for others. May be restrained or debarred. Not to be communicated with. Debarred from training and processing and advanced courses forever. Not covered by amnesties.”
Note that “tricked, sued, or lied to or destroyed” is gone from Enemy, but “May be restrained or imprisoned” has been added. Independent Scientologists blame David Miscavige for imprisoning Scientologists, but as you can see, doing so is LRH policy.
Hubbard issues the second significant policy, HCO PL 21 October 1968, CANCELLATION OF FAIR GAME, a three-sentence PL reads as follows:
“The practice of declaring people FAIR GAME will cease.
“FAIR GAME may not appear on any Ethics Order. It causes bad public relations.
“This P/L does not cancel any policy on the treatment or handling of an SP.”
This is where I think Scientologists get hoisted by their own petard.
First, they like to point out that Fair Game was canceled — but by their own definition, Fair Game only means that one is not “protected by the codes and disciplines of Scientology or the rights of a Scientologist.” If that’s the way the policy had been applied, why was it causing bad public relations?
Second, the policy says that only the LABEL of Fair Game will cease, and that SP handling does not change. And it didn’t change, as the world would soon discover.
Hubbard records Ron’s Journal 68 (RJ68), which you can download here. In it, Hubbard praises the Guardian’s Office, Scientology’s “Dirty Tricks” department run by Hubbard’s wife Mary Sue. (Remember, modern-day Scientology blames the Guardian’s Office for bad behavior that Hubbard supposedly did not know about.) Hubbard also says that an attack on Scientology is an attack on human rights; claims the existence of “psychiatric death camps;” and states “I am not from this planet.”
In HCO PL 6 October 1970 Issue III, Ethics Penalties, Hubbard cancels HCO PL 18 Oct. ’67 – that’s the “Tricked, sued, lied to, destroyed” PL which had already been canceled and replaced.
Hubbard issues HCO PL 19 October 1971, ETHICS PENALTIES REINSTATED, which reinstates HCO PL 21 July 1968, the revised ethics penalties (which had never been canceled in the first place – the best explanation is that Hubbard erred in the October 6, 1970 PL). “May be restrained or imprisoned” is, once again, official Scientology policy.
These were the most vicious years of Scientology’s Guardian Office, in which Scientology ran operations against Gabriel Cazares, mayor of Clearwater, Florida, where Scientology was setting up its headquarters; Operation Freakout, the campaign of terror against Paulette Cooper; and Operation Snow White, the theft of US government files with the intention of weeding out negative information about Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard, and which led to the conviction and jailing of eleven Church executives, including Hubbard’s wife Mary Sue. (Hubbard escaped prosecution and never did come to his wife’s aid. So much for standing by your spouse!) In particular, the operations against Cazares and Cooper illustrated that the concepts of tricking, lying to, suing and destroying enemies of Scientology were alive and well. (For more details on GO operations of the early 1970s, check out this page on Xenu.net.)
HCO PL 17 January 1979, A NEW TYPE OF CRIME, cites the December 1965 PL (ETHICS SUPPRESSIVE ACTS – SUPPRESSION OF SCIENTOLOGY AND SCIENTOLOGISTS – THE FAIR GAME LAW) as a reference. This policy talks about “technical perversions” (i.e. intentionally doing Scientology wrong) and makes such actions (including “verbal tech”) a suppressive act.
Hubbard issues HCO PL 22 July 1980, ETHICS – CANCELLATION OF FAIR GAME, MORE ABOUT. Twelve years after (supposedly) canceling Fair Game, and seven months after several Scientologist, including Hubbard’s wife Mary Sue, were sentenced to prison, Hubbard gives an explanation and does a bit of history revision:
“This policy clarifies the cancellation of a former Scientology justice procedure called ‘Fair Game’. The purpose of this policy letter is to bring about a clear understanding of what Fair Game was and why it was canceled and to prevent any alter-is of its former purpose and function.
“‘Fair Game’ first appeared in Scientology ethics terminology in 1965. It was a term used only in connection with individuals who had been expelled from the Church.
“Its use was discontinued in 1968.
“When a person was expelled from the Church it was called ‘Fair Game’; it meant that he would not be further protected by the codes and disciplines of Scientology or the rights of a Scientologist.
“REASON FOR CANCELLATION OF ‘FAIR GAME’
“‘Fair Game’ was canceled, and has remained canceled, because it was found that it could be misinterpreted by those anti-pathetic to Scientology to authorize justice actions of a more severe nature than expulsion.
“There was no reason to retain it as part of our justice system if there was any possibility of it being interpreted in that way.”
L. Ron Hubbard dies, and David Miscavige takes over as head of the Church of Scientology.
A new version of the green-bound Admin Tech volumes, which contain management-related HCO PLs, is printed, and all policies mentioning Fair Game are purged. Among the changes:
- The HIGH CRIMES section of the March 7 1965 Issue III PL, JUSTICE OFFENCES AND PENALTIES (quoted above) is revised to eliminate the reference to March 7 Issues I and II. (Issue I, you will recall, was replaced by the December 1965 PL; Issue II, CERTIFICATE CANCELLATION, remains.)
- HCO PL 23 December 1965, SUPPRESSIVE ACTS – SUPPRESSION OF SCIENTOLOGY AND SCIENTOLOGISTS – THE FAIR GAME LAW is renamed, with THE FAIR GAME LAW dropped from the title and the Fair Game definition eliminated from the text. The following addendum is tacked on: “Nothing in this policy letter shall ever or under any circumstances justify any violation of the laws of the land or intentional legal wrongs. Any such offense shall subject the offender to penalties prescribed by law as well as to ethics and justice actions.”
- HCO PL 17 March 1965 Issue II, JUSTICE – FAIR GAME LAW – ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPRESSIVE ACTS – THE SOURCE OF THE FAIR GAME LAW is renamed HCO PL March 7 Issue IV* and the title shortened to ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPRESSIVE ACTS. All references to the Fair Game law are deleted, although the bit about the 5th Amendment remains.
- HCO PL 5 April 1965, that terrific rant against SPs, is edited from “The ex-student should realize this makes him Fair Game and outside our Justice Codes” to “The ex-student should realize this puts him outside our Justice Codes.” However, the date code on the policy is not amended with “R” (Revised) as per policy.
- HCO PL 16 August 1965, COLLECTION FROM SPs and PTSes, is changed from “Civil Court action against SPs to effect collection of monies owed may be resorted to, as they are Fair Game” to “…as they are no longer protected by Church Justice Codes.” Again, there is no indication that the policy has been revised.
- HCPO PL 21 July 1968, PENALTIES FOR LOWER CONDITIONS, is deleted.
* Another policy from March 17th, RIGHTS OF A STAFF MEMBER, STUDENTS AND PRECLEARS TO JUSTICE, was also labeled Issue II, so this was either an error in the originals or in the 1970s printing of the OEC volumes.
Later in 1991, Time Magazine published its cover story, Scientology: The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power.
The Church re-issues the Management Series and OEC Volume 0 (four of the eleven Admin Tech books; the MS volumes are a re-organized collection of the policies in the other volumes). The 1991 revisions to the policies mentioned above remain.
And that’s where we are today, with all mentions of Hubbard’s Fair Game and the Enemy policies deleted from the Admin Tech volumes.
Now, it’s worth noting that while some policies were revised, others (such as JUSTICE PENALTIES) were simply removed from the green volumes. That doesn’t mean these policies don’t exist; according to the rules laid out by Hubbard, PLs that are not expressly canceled or revised remain in effect.
So now you know some of the history of Fair Game and Enemy policies, as written by L. Ron Hubbard and partially whitewashed by Church management in 1991. You have even seen the Hubbard-authored policy that makes it okay to “restrain” and “imprison” Scientologists who aren’t with the program.
Some “religion,” eh?
Another look at Fair Game: History of Fair Game by Wise Old Goat