Archive for April 2011
Many things I encountered in Scientology were very easy for me to agree with and adopt as doctrine for myself. For example, the idea that if you commit an overt (harmful act) against another and keep that hidden within yourself, there are consequences. It’s not true that what you don’t know can’t hurt you, and if someone has done something to you that you don’t know about, and they are feeling bad about doing it, your relationship with that person will be adversely affected unless you manage to get them to confess. I had experienced that first hand prior to being in Scientology.
I could give many other examples of common sense advice I found in Scientology and adopted as doctrine. I think these “common sense” principles you find in your introduction to Scientology represent the first part of a careful gradient. First, you are given things which are easy to accept. After a while, you are accepting every word LRH ever said or wrote as a higher truth than what you can find anywhere else.
One thing I tucked away in my mind and chose to ignore was The Overt-Motivator Sequence. It was never real to me, so I decided to look for it, but not dwell on it too much. Once I examined the evidence, presented so clearly by the New Yorker, that LRH had completely fabricated his “heroism” in World War II, I was looking at things with different eyes. Re-reading about The Overt-Motivator Sequence, I realized how far gone I was by the time I first read it. It’s pure fantasy.
Here’s what it says in Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 1998 edition, page 32:
Overt Act -Motivator Sequence – when a person commits an overt, he will then believe he’s got to have a motivator or that he has had a motivator. For instance, if he hits somebody, he will tell you immediately that he has been hit by the person, even when he has not been.
Or when one has a motivator, he is liable to hang himself by committing an overt.
If Joe hits Bill, he now believes he should be hit by Bill. More importantly, he will actually get a somatic to prove he has been hit by Bill, even though Bill hasn’t hit him. He will make this law true regardless of the actual circumstances. And people go around all the time justifying, saying how they’ve been “hit by Bill, hit by Bill, hit by Bill.”
As someone who has witnessed a number of physical fights, including ones where it was completely one-sided, this is just not the case. If Joe hits Bill and Bill is out cold on the floor, Joe celebrates. Joe does a little dance. Joe brags that Bill didn’t put a scratch on him. Joe knows he’s committed an overt against Bill, but he’s happy about it.
To extend this lunacy, let’s look at what is in the Scientology Handbook under this same heading:
For example, if you hear a wife saying how the husband beats her every day, look under her pillow for the bat that she uses because sure as the devil, if she is saying that the yellow ball has hit the red ball, notice that the red ball had to hit the yellow ball first.
Wow, how far gone did I have to be to read that and not say to myself: “No, don’t look under her pillow. Call the authorities!”
The Overt-Act Motivator Sequence, just like most everything else you find in Scientology Ethics, is about control. If you can make an individual believe that their criticism of the church, LRH or the Tech, is due to their overts, then you can cave them in and get them to renounce their own feelings and “knowingness” about this subject. You can stop them from thinking critically about the subject in the first place (squash those thoughts – they indicate you have overts! You’ve been spending too much time with the kids and not enough volunteering!). You can more easily convince those around the critical person that their criticism is delusional. Yes, that’s the easiest way to not hear the critical voice, to just say “they have overts” and keep the blinders on. That makes it so easy to justify not employing one’s own powers of thinking to the substance of their complaints.