In Part One, we started looking at how LRH used the Credo of a Group Member to keep Scientologists looking inward, never outward. Let’s continue, shall we?
“6. Enturbulence of the affairs of the group by sudden shifts of plans unjustified by circumstances, breakdown of recognized channels or cessation of useful operations in a group must be refused and blocked by the member of a group. He should take care not to enturbulate a manager and thus lower ARC.”
This is an important one. The first sentence basically charges group members with keeping others in line and moving in the same direction – no flying off on tangents. The second sentence, couched in Scientologese, says not to give bad news or negative feedback to the group leader, for fear of reducing Affinity, Reality or Communications (in other words, good feelings. Read more in The BS of ARC). I have learned this one through experience, by the way – being frank with management about problems and obstacles may be welcome in most companies, but it is severely frowned upon in Scientology organizations.
And this plays an important part in the next point:
“7. Failure in planning or failure to recognize goals must be corrected by the group member, for the group, by calling the matter to conference or acting upon his own initiative.”
Okay, got that? If the group isn’t going in the right direction, it’s the responsibility of the group member to do something about it. BUT – what about point #6 which says that a group member “should take care not to enturbulate a manager and thus lower ARC?” So acting upon one’s own initiative and telling the boss where he or she is going wrong violates the Credo, but not doing so also violates the Credo. This is an example of the contradiction that is frequently found in Scientology policy – and I happen to think that Hubbard did it intentionally.
But wait, it’s about to get more convoluted:
“8. A group member must coordinate his initiative with the goals and rationale of the entire group and with other individual members, well publishing his activities and intentions so that all conflicts may be brought forth in advance.”
So wait, if you see something wrong, you’re supposed to take your own initiative… but you must first coordinate it with the group. In fact, you must publish it for the whole group to see.
See what LRH did there?
He started with all this rah-rah shit about how you are a key part of making the group succeed, and if you see the group going wrong, you are obligated to say something. But you have to make sure everyone knows about your disagreement, which gives them the opportunity to decide that you are violating the first point in the Credo by not approximating “the ideal, ethic and rationale of the overall group” or by “enturbulating” the group leadearship. And so the hunter becomes the hunted! When you do see something wrong and point it out, you run the risk of being labeled as “against us” rather than “with us.”
SP declare, anyone?
“9. A group member must insist upon his right to have initiative.”
Except that initiative, as the earlier points make clear, can get you in trouble. On the surface, this sounds like a cry for individual freedom. In practice, it means that if you’re going to put your head up, you must raise it high enough so that when the axe swings, it gets chopped off.
“10. A group member must study and understand and work with the goals, rationale and executions of the group.”
In other words, you must know the reasons why the group does what it does. Fair enough.
“11. A group member must work toward becoming as expert as possible in his specialized technology and skill in the group and must assist other individuals of the group to an understanding of that technology and skill and its place in the organizational necessities of the group.”
This one seems pretty innocuous, but it takes on its own meaning when applied to Scientology. Because, of course, being an expert in the “specialized technology” and “assisting others” means immersing yourself in the religion… and in Scientology, the only way to do that is to spend money or volunteer your time and labor. (And at the time Hubbard wrote this, it was all about money, not labor – the Sea Org was a few years off.) So we can translate: “If you want to be a true member of this group, open your wallet.”
“12. A group member should have a working knowledge of all technologies and skills in the group in order to understand them and their place in the organizational necessities of the group.”
This goes hand-in-hand with #11. The fact is, it’s complete bullshit. Can I be a member of my old car group without an intimate knowledge of my car’s inner workings? Of course I can. Can I be a part of my first-of-the-month poker group without being an expert poker player? Of course I can, and in my case, my fellow group members are all the richer for it.
So why did LRH include this obviously-false point? I would think the answer is just as obvious: As with #11, in order to be part of the Scientology group, you have to spend money on Scientology.
We’ll finish off the last six points of the Credo in our next installment.