We’ve been looking at L. Ron Hubbard’s “Credo of a True Group Member,” the policy behind Scientology’s “us vs. them” mentality. Let’s get through the last few points.
“13. On the group member depends the height of the ARC of the group. He must insist upon high-level communication lines and clarity in affinity and reality and know the consequence of not having such conditions. And he must work continually and actively to maintain high ARC in the organization.”
Note: The last sentence is italicized in the original.
This deals with the Scientology concept of ARC (Affinity, Reality, Communication), which LRH said is the key to human communication. (It’s high-falutin’ hogwash, which I picked apart in The BS of ARC). The point of this point is that group members always have to put on a happy face, no matter how bad things are going or how much doubt they have. This is part of the reason you always see videos full of happy, smiling, over-enthusiastic Scientologists (who turn all snarling and nasty when Anonymous turn their own cameras on) – they are being True Group Members! This goes hand in hand with the points I talked about in Part Two, in which group members may not “enturbulate” leaders, and if they do choose to exercise their “right” to object, must do so loudly enough for all the other members to see that they are not going with the program.
“14. A group member has the right of pride in his tasks and a right of judgment and handling in those tasks.”
Another one of my favorites. If you’re given something to do, you have the right to be proud of it. This alleviates the group member from having to make any moral judgement about whether the task the are carrying out is right or wrong in the first place. Don’t judge your own actions, just be proud that you did your job! Same deal with having judgement in how to handle it… what about judgement as to whether you should do that task in the first place? Nope, no need to worry about that. (“Ours is not to wonder why…”) And what makes this latter point all the more poignant is that it contributes to Scientologist’s conception that they are free to act as individuals, when in fact they conform to the thoughts and actions dictated by L. Ron Hubbard.
Not that it matters, because in the “group” of Scientology, this point is routinely ignored. Hubbard wrote policy on how to do everything, from the way questions are worded to how the org is to be cleaned. In a Scientology organization (or an “admin tech” company), one is “hatted” in how to use equipment. Few Scientologists dare exercise their “right” as a group member to try to find a better way.
“15. A group member must recognize that he is, himself, a manager of some section of the group and/or its tasks and that he himself must have both the knowledge and right of management in that sphere for which he is responsible.”
More intelligent-sounding bullshit that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. The idea is that you must take ownership of whatever little scrap of responsibility you are given. Take my earlier examples of my old-car group or my monthly poker game. Am I a “manager” of some section? No way. I do nothing to help with organization of the car group and my specialty is playing bad hands of poker, not organizing the games, so how, per LRH, am I a “true” member of the group? Now, I know how a Scientologist would answer this, because I have had similar discussions: They would say that I “manage” my individual hand of cards or the old car that I own. Well, I suppose that’s true – but it has nothing to do with the spirit of the point LRH was making, which is that one must feel one is in a managerial role, even if one is just doing shit work to feed the machine. But Scientologists will go to great lengths to make LRH’s bullshit seem workable and true, even when it isn’t.
“16. The group member should not permit laws to be passed which limit or proscribe the activities of all the members of the group because of the failure of some of the members of the group.”
Man, I love this one. Remember, this was a quarter-century before LRH would go into hiding while his wife and a few other expendable accomplices went to jail for Scientology’s crimes. Reading this, I can’t help but think that even as early as 1951, LRH knew that in order to make his scam succeed, he’d have to skirt the law to get around the objections that Dianetics was already facing. Today, this serves Marty and the Indies well as an argument for prosecuting the practitioners of Scientology policy, without bringing the policies and creeds that led to such activity under the scrutiny of law. This is impossible and illogical, but Hubbard never let reality get in the way of a good con.
“17. The group member should insist on flexible planning and unerring execution of plans.”
In other words, get it done no matter what. Another constant theme in Scientology: “Make it go right.” Doesn’t matter if the plans are flawed, or illegal, or morally wrong, or a PR disaster, as Scientology plans often are; a group member is not to question, but is to simply insist that the plans are executed unerringly. This helps to explain the extraordinarily high number of foot-bullets fired by both the Church and independent Scientologists.
“18. The performance of duty at optimum by every member of the group should be understood by the group member to be the best safeguard of his own and the group survival. It is the pertinent business of any member of the group that optimum performance be achieved by any other member of the group, whether chain of command or similarity of activity sphere warrants such supervision or not.”
This is the grand finale, and it’s a good one: Not only must everyone must do their best for the group, but they must insist on similar standards for others. This helps explain the rationale behind “crush regging,” the relentless harranguing for money and the berating of those who don’t give ’till it hurts: Everyone must do what they can for the group. Indies love to blame this behavior on David Miscavige, but there we see it in LRH’s words: It’s part of being a True Group Member.
LRH was right about one thing: This level of commitment is necessary for the survival of the group, or at least the group of Scientology. Unless everyone works together to hold the scam of Scientology together, it’s bound to fall apart… as it already is. People leave Scientology when they see the truth through the cracks.
But Hubbard was wrong when he said that the survival of the individual relies on the survival of the group. If my poker group breaks up, or if Emma closes down ESMB, the individuals who make up those groups will be just fine. And if Scientology comes to an end – all of it, not just the organized Church – I have no doubt that the members of that group will be much, much more able to survive.