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Blogging Dianetics, Part 4: Dynamically Speaking

DianeticsStandardWelcome to our ongoing project, where we blog a 1950 first edition of Scientology’s bible, Dianetics, with the help of ex-Scientologist, Bay Area lawyer, blogger, and author Vance Woodward. Go here for the first post in the series.

This week we have a short chapter in which Hubbard defines the four dynamics. Yes, four. Later, he will expand them to eight, but for now, we have four dynamics for survival — the self, sex, the group, and all mankind.

Earlier, Hubbard had introduced the idea that the purpose of life is to survive, and that we have more pleasure in our lives the closer we are to immortality, and more pain the closer we are to death. He defined something that tended to keep us from immortality as a “suppressor.” (And it’s important to remember that word for later.)

For now, Hubbard expands the idea of survival, saying that we are trying to survive in different realms, not only as individuals, but we’re also trying to leave behind children to carry on our names, and we also want the entire race to persevere.

He proposes that the best possible plan of action is one that benefits all of those goals at the same time. Or, the way he puts it that will become a kind of mantra in Scientology, “The Equation of the Optimum Solution would be that a problem has been well resolved which portends the maximum good for the maximum number of dynamics.” (Emphasis his.)

As we will see, that becomes a rather sinister formulation in the church, as it becomes the ultimate justification for “the ends justify the means” behavior.

But we were struck by something else in this chapter. Once again, Hubbard tries to convince us that these are not the philosophical musings of an eccentric pulp fiction writer, but instead are the rock-solid results of “laboratory” research.

“In the original equations of dianetics,” Hubbard writes to open the chapter, “when the research was young, it was believed that survival could be envisioned in personal terms alone and still answer all conditions…But when addressed to the laboratory — the world — it did not work….A new computation was made on the survival dynamic….And now it was found, a theory was in hand which worked. It explained all observed phenomena and it predicted new phenomena which were discovered to exist. It was a scientific equation, therefore!”

Did you see that trick there, Vance? Having slipped back into passive voice, Hubbard once again tries to give us the sense that some sort of controlled, scientific testing was applied to his ideas. But just there, do you see that interesting admission that he makes? His “laboratory” is in fact “the world” — in other words, there is no controlled scientific experimentation, but instead Hubbard trying out his ideas on friends and neighbors. Or something. Once again he doesn’t give us a single clue about what science there is in his infallible scientific discovery.

We’re finding it hard to discover anything very impressive about this survival business and the dynamics. Maybe you could help us understand what Scientologists think of this.

VANCE: A few things come to mind. First, I remember an OT VIII (someone who has reached the highest spiritual level, when you learn from LRH that all of the results of the exorcism therapy you’d spent years on was all just in your head) saying to me that the key was to get people in when they’re young. This was only a few years ago. Of course, that sounds sinister. But when you’re in, it makes sense. Young people are bright eyed, eager to please, and aren’t jaded yet. It’s easier to get young people interested in anything, including Scientology. So, that’s relevant here in the sense that this might appeal to people who haven’t been exposed to any of these ideas before. When I first read Dianetics, this stuff was new to me. I mean, I simply took it at face value as something that might profoundly help me. I wanted it to help me. That’s significant. If you’re already reading this stuff with the hope that it will do something for you, it stands a good chance that it will. Of course the reverse is true too. I call that The Dynamic Principle of Self-Deception. It was discovered by me while doing hard science in, uh, scientificism. For $1,000, I’ll explain it in detail. But whatever you do, don’t look up the meaning of confirmation bias.

The second thing is that I’m realizing now that Hubbard consistently conveyed information in this manner. It’s like he’s dishing this stuff out from a huge plate of brilliance, and he’s having trouble coming down to my level. So, I always have this feeling like I’m not quite getting what he’s saying but that he expects me to get it. It feels like I’m trying to keep up to understand these obscure statements that are apparently full of meaning … if only I were smart enough to decode them. At the same time, it’s like he’s letting me into his universe. He’s no stuffy, pompous academic. He’s a man of the world, talking from experience and a well-organized mind. Four dynamics, eh? OK. Wow. Let me see. Interesting. Do we weight them? Does this mean I’m as important as the entire human race? Uh. I guess I’ll find out how to actually use these things later. Better keep reading.

For most Scientologists, the dynamics are a weapon, and they come up in the context of demands for time and money. When you’re dependent on (addicted to) Scientology, the dynamics come in the form of: Give all your time to the Church, give your time directly and in the form of money, all of it. Do that because that’s best for the world. It was like I was sitting there pointing a gun at my head, and other Scientology addicts would come around to help me pull the trigger because doing so was “the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics.” It’s not for everybody. I eventually grew bored of it, but not until I financially wiped myself out. Seriously, at the time that I was handing over big money, I actually thought of it as “pulling the trigger,” but I didn’t understand the analogy in quite the way that I do now.

THE BUNKER: This short chapter on dynamics is followed by an even shorter one that summarizes all that we’ve learned in Book One. Hubbard does a couple of really interesting things in this short summation.

First, even though it’s been pretty clear that everything in these early chapters has been quite creative but also completely unscientific, Hubbard now insists that his musings are now “axioms” of dianetics — in other words, infallible, scientific truth.


Among those axioms: that survival is the point of life. That we are trying to survive in four different “dynamics” — self, sex, group, mankind. That we are all striving for immortality and feel pain if we can’t achieve it.

And now, even though he’s summing up what he’s written earlier, Hubbard introduces some new words we haven’t seen before.

The dynamics are inhibited by engrams, which lie across them and disperse life force.”


The reactive mind is that portion of the mind which files and retains physical pain and painful emotion and seeks to direct the organism solely on a stimulus-response basis. It thinks only in identities.


Psycho-somatic ills are caused by engrams. The engram is the single source of aberration and psycho-somatic ills.”

He goes on to say that engrams are only received in an unconscious state, and that they contain painful memories that aren’t available to our “analytical” or conscious minds.

Well, that’s a lot of new information thrown at us in a short chapter that’s supposed to be a summation of what came before. We can only expect that he’ll be explaining these things in greater depth later. But once again, Hubbard is pelting us with unscientific concepts without even attempting to describe how he came to these ideas or how they could be tested by an independent observer.

It’s quite a flourish to end the first book. And to top things off, Hubbard leaves us with what must be one of the squishiest equations in the history of social science.

The potential value of an individual or a group may be expressed by the equation PV = ID2 where I is Intelligence and D is Dynamic.”

We don’t remember seeing that in later Scientology materials, but maybe we’re wrong about that. Vance, are Scientologists still being told their potential value is equal to their intelligence times dynamic squared? It does have a certain ring to it.

VANCE: Oh boy. Uh, no. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard anybody ever mention that equation. I’ve certainly never heard of anybody trying to measure these things. Talk about obscure. Why squared? Do we do this for the sum of the dynamics or by individual dynamic and then apply some tomographizer to get a net geometric fractal of the summation-thingy? Whatever it means, it’s sure a brain tickler. Maybe we need a cup of “life force” to fully comprehend it.

Like you say, the real criticism isn’t that the man is expostulating but that he’s shamelessly tossing this stuff out there as scientific fact. And I know we already covered this but this really does show me that the text selects for a certain type of individual, or more accurately a certain combination of circumstances. I mean, a pre-Scientologist would have to approach this with a sincere desire for improvement rather than with an open mind, much less a critical mind. By the way, having an open mind in Scientology is one of the numerous ways you that can get yourself labeled as a “Potential Trouble Source.” Not joking. It’s right up there with having a felony record. Keep an eye on that girl. She steals stuff. No, forget about her. See that guy? His mind is gaping wide open. Do something!

Hey, when you know that you have all the answers, it makes sense.

Anyhow, when I first read this equation, I remember having a vague curiosity about how anybody could measure D, the dynamic. I didn’t quite articulate it at the time, but I figured that this was a construct. Basically, somebody’s potential value is a metaphorical product of their vibrance and intelligence. And a person’s actual worth, W, is their PV for a particular dynamic multiplied by some vector that represents the optimum survival, OS, for that dynamic. So, W = PV x OS. They’re vectors, like arrows. If they line up, you get a bigger value. If they don’t align, you get a small value. And you can even get a negative value.

I think I actually wrote that out or something like that the first time I read the book. And it made me feel good that I could sort of extract that out of what LRH wrote. It’s like, “Hey, I understand you have a lot of ground to cover and you can’t spoon feed everything to me. But I’m tracking, man. I get what you’re saying, man.”

THE BUNKER: Clearly, you worked hard to make sense of this book. And for that we salute you.

Next week — Blogging Dianetics, Part 5: Your Mind is a 1950s Computer

Blogging Dianetics, part 1: The opening sentence!
Blogging Dianetics, part 2: The State of Clear!
Blogging Dianetics, part 3: The Meaning of Life!


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 25, 2013 at 07:00


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  • that equation is blatantly ripping off Einstein, no?

    Also, if you swap the word “engram” with “doodads*” it makes a lot more sense

    * also works with oojiemaflips, thingamajigs and whatsits

    • Unex Skcus

      …and roundtwits

  • John P.

    It’s like he’s dishing this stuff out from a huge plate of brilliance, and he’s having trouble coming down to my level. So, I always have this feeling like I’m not quite getting what he’s saying but that he expects me to get it. It feels like I’m trying to keep up to understand these obscure statements that are apparently full of meaning … if only I were smart enough to decode them.

    This is exactly right. This tone, of “I’m smarter than you, if only you could understand what I’ve just written,” is a brilliant analysis of the mindfk that Scientology perpetrates.

    It gets those who were disaffected in high school because they were smarter than the average bear hooked into a world where they might finally be learning from someboy with an expanded mind. Those people know just enough to know they don’t fit in where they are, and are looking for someone to lead them. And people like that are often intellectually smart, but emotionally immature, and the idea that life can be reduced to an “equation” to balance conflicting priorities (the different “dynamics”).

    Then Hubbard comes up with an actual “equation,” which is undoubtedly chosen because it looks suspiciously like “E=mc2,” which might be the only “scientific” equation most people in the 1950s had ever seen. Remember, per, only about 15% of the population in 1950 had graduated college; the post-WWII surge powered by the GI Bill was just starting. And only about 30% of the population had graduated high school, versus about 85% today. So a popular book with a real, live scientific equation had to have been something of a novelty. Even though this “mathematical” equation is no longer a big focus, I am sure this was a pretty exciting deal to those early Dianetics readers who fancied themselves on the cutting edge of intellectualism.

    This raises another observation: the number of people who would have read a peer-reviewed scientific paper back in the day that Dianetics was published was probably a very small percentage of the population. This was perhaps due to the fact that Xerox, the company founded to market the first photostatic copier, announced its first product only a year earlier. The countless course “readers” that provided lots of college students with customized material in the 1970s and beyond by collecting a few journal articles, hadn’t been invented yet. People were still reading from textbooks, and that’s exactly what Dianetics sounded like. Textbooks were assumed to be definitive compilations of the underlying science research, even if people didn’t see footnotes up the wazoo as they did when reading an actual peer-reviewed journal article. So Hubbard could get away with an equation pulled out of thin air in that climate.

    But after several decades of students reading primary source material, I suspect that a wealth of footnotes were assumed to be part of the landscape on the page of anything that was “real” science. And that trend has only continued today, where footnotes are increasingly “live” as hyperlinks on the web. Even if you never actually follow the footnotes to verify the underlying information, people today would notice that there are no links to other (real) research in Dianetics. It’s not possible to hide the fact that Hubbard made all this stuff up out of whole cloth the way that he could 50 years ago by burying it in pseudo-scientific gibberish and tossing in the odd equation or two.

    • BuryTheNuts2

      Spot on observations about the education levels and available data during that time period.

      And my first thought when I saw his “equation” was that it was an imitation of E=MC2.

      Vance asked: Why squared? I think that is the obvious answer. Hubbard “imitating” science.

      • BosonStark

        Yeah, it’s a wonder he didn’t say Existence = Mass x Certainty squared. That would at least account for his weight gain.

        PV=MYGTS squared (Personal Value = Money You GIve To Scientology)

        The squared always comes in there because the Orgs are growing exponentially. Still, you can bet Karin Pouw couldn’t figure out the square root of 64 if her “survival” depended on it.

        This whole series is making Dianutty come alive for me. Now, how to kill it. Lance is doing a good job. I’ve always thought that a strong element of Scientology/Dianutty working had to be people wanting and believing it works — the placebo effect — but in that respect, it’s always been too contradictory, elaborate, and downright ridiculous for me to grasp. This series really is helping me understand it.

        My reasoning about it would be that if Dianutty were so great, there would be people with John P’s mind, or Lance’s mind doing it and TALKING about it, and some shrinks would have explored it and loved it — or at least elements from it would be taught in schools. Hubbard’s ideas would be quoted. It wouldn’t be this secret control cult, that costs so fk’n much.

        The people who explain it best are the people who wake up, like Lance. (And Veda, Gadfly and Helluvahoax on ESMB.)

        • Observer

          Psst … it’s Vance …

          • BosonStark

            I had a cognition about that before I got your message. I guess I was thinking of you know who.

            • Observer


            • stillgrace

              That waz what I waz thinking.

          • richelieu jr

            Exactly! You have stated the sum of provable evidence of Dianetics’ value!

            I never could have done it so succinctly!

        • ze moo

          “It’s like he’s dishing this stuff out from a huge plate of brilliance,
          and he’s having trouble coming down to my level. So, I always have this
          feeling like I’m not quite getting what he’s saying but that he expects
          me to get it. It feels like I’m trying to keep up to understand these
          obscure statements that are apparently full of meaning … if only I were
          smart enough to decode them.”

          The above is sometimes called the ‘guru effect’. It is meant to instill a superior-inferior relationship among those hearing it. The contents of the ‘huge plate of brilliance’ can be horseshit, you only have to use the proper words to convey your mysticism and superiority and you can instill suspension of disbelief and start to sell what ever you want to sell.

          Why would any one want to determine the ‘potential value’ of an individual or group? Are we filling lifeboats on the Titanic? Packing trains for Auschwitz? No, they’re just numbers to try to numb your mind and instill the ‘guru effect’. Lron just took a time tested method to suspend disbelief and he took advantage of it. He learned a lot from Parsons. All hail Cthulhu!

        • N. Graham

          PV=MYGTS squared (Personal Value = Money You GIve To Scientology) Now THAT’S a true equation!~

    • Unex Skcus

      “There is no evidence that Dianetics does not work, therefore it works.” could be propounded as fallacy using a well known maxim by Martin Rees: “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”.

      • BuryTheNuts2

        Or, for those of us with an IQ under 150…
        “You can’t prove a negative” -Randi.

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      Exactumondo, JohnP: The major Ideal Customer used to be rebellious, intelligent, but for whatever reasons, emotionally stunted, just like Hubbard. And while it’s true about college experience and educational levels, it was also true that many were well read and came with a wide array of experiences and skills. And if not emotionally stunted, there was some other kind of quirk. I’m thinking of a number of engineer types right now. Think way out wacky Cobol programmers…brilliant and yet weird somehow. I’d say #1 qualifier was: malleable.

      • Hubbard was certainly rebellious and emotionally worse than stunted, but I have yet to see any evidence of intelligence in anything he wrote. I was able to realize Dianetics was nonsense when I read it at 9 years old. At the same age, I thought plants were capable of mental telepathy.

        • N. Graham

          “I thought plants were capable of mental telepathy.”
          *Only when hooked to an e-meter.

    • Bob

      Hubbards litmus test was, did it work on the people around him. We were all his guinea pigs. That was his idea of scientific method. He avidly studied the worksheets of those running Dianetics and came up with his past lives theories from what people were running in session. He just assumed that we accept that his lab was life and once he tested a theory it was now true. But he did say, “now you try it and see if it is true for you.” Of course if it wasn’t then you were usually shown the door. In the present day church you must eventually accept everything or you are “handled” till you do. Or you are labeled as open minded. Which is equivalent to undesirable or PTS.

      • richelieu jr

        Hubbard ‘discovered Dianetics and all the rest of it at exactly the same moment it was coming out of his strangely shaped, fanged mouth… At time you can see his surprise and glee about what he just said… It’s ind of like a jazz musician, except instead of only existing in that instant or possible a recording of that particular gig, acolytes are chiseling everything in nuclear bomb-proof stone for eternity…

        • Bob

          R jr.- Not sure how much you followed the genesis of what Hubbard did or what direct experience you had with him, because my observations over quite a few years are; he did a lot of reading and trial and error before he decided to release something. That comes from direct experience with him. I do not see that his development of Dianetics was any different. Whether he was copying some one else or creating from scratch, he didn’t just make it up out of thin air. He always had a fair amount of input before he “made it up”. That is my opinion based on a lot of first hand knowledge.
          I make no claims about the validity of what he created but I certainly was there to see how he did it. The slavish way every word is being immortalized is valid only to the degree that his philosophy holds up in the next 10-20-50 or 100 years. It is amazing how many lost arts their are because the method of creating was not documented. Hubbard wanted his philosophy preserved as he wrote it. That does not make it true. But many truths have been handed down through the millennium. Hubbard acknowledges that he borrowed from many of these philosophies that are thousands of years old. The new basic books have all the credits to earlier writers deleted. But none the less Hubbard did a lot of reading before he wrote.

          • richelieu jr

            Oh, I am sure he did a lot of reading…

            Certainly more than he did exploring, being elected a honourary indian, sinking ‘Jap’ subs, curing himself of blindness and handicaps from machine-gun fire or visiting the Van Allen Belt….
            And I have exactly zero first-hand knowledge of the man at all…

            But I’ve done a lot of reading,a s you say… Which makes me exactly as much of an expert on him as he was on..well, anything, really…

    • “This leads me to the conclusion that Dianetics today would not find the
      foothold that it did back in the day, which is pleasant news.”

      John P, Perhaps you’re familiar with “The Secret.” There may be more high school graduates running around today, but gullibility and susceptibility levels remain high. I don’t have an equation handy, but if you want proof, I can gin one up.

    • richelieu jr

      You can hear this same ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’, ‘Ain’t We Cleverer than dem Monkeys’ tone in Hubbard when he speaks, as well– A sort, of, Hail Fellow Well-Met,’.. but of course, you know that the Van Allen Belt is Hot!’ (or whatever) thing that implies knowledge and if you say, ‘No, I didn’t know that’, then you’re the idiot who just painted a target on himself..

      “Did you hear? Tom thinks the Van Allen Belt s cold! Can you imagine!”
      Better to stay silent, try and keep up, and stay in the back-patting society…

      It’s ‘Keeping up with the Joneses, only the Joneses are pretending to have a rocketship in their garage– Why, dear me, don’t you?”

    • And, just remember, as of 1950, “only twelve people on earth understand the theory of relativity”, was still being bandied around as if it was an eternal and universal truism. Even as late as the early 80’s, when I was studying physics, my grandmom was skeptical that I could simply up and use E=mc^2 in a school exercise, just like that. I needed a pass from LANL or something, apparently…So making up any kind of equation would have looked extremely impressive to your average Homo sap in the day…

  • Observer

    Well, since he mentioned “the original equations of Dianetics” I guess he had to throw one out. Unfortunately my PV has been compromised by the fact that my eyeballs got stuck pointing toward the back of my head because I rolled them so hard.

    • richelieu jr

      What do you see in there?

      • Observer

        It’s kinda dark … and squishy

  • SFFrog

    I assume not many Scientologists have read The Selfish Gene.

    • BuryTheNuts2

      Wrong author for Scientologist’s.

  • Unex Skcus

    PV=ID^2 … WTF? This cunning plagiarist just couldn’t resist ripping off any idea, from anyone. I could only sum it up as LRH=BS^max

  • Mighty Korgo of Teegeeack

    The greatest win for a guy like me, is that when I type Dianetics into my computer, the spell check thinks it’s a mistake. That is after 63 years, one zillion copies sold throughout the universe, translations into 839 languages, Nobel, Pulitzer, and county fair prizes, it is STILL a spelling mistake.

    • stillgrace

      Once I thought of Hubbard while playing Akinator (a 20 question type game app), the final question before the app supplied the name “L. Ron Hubbard” was “Is your character considered strange?”

      • stillgrace

        Shelly Miscavige comes up in Akinator with the description “Missing wife of David Miscavige”.

    • richelieu jr

      Are you sure it is just a spelling mistake and not just a plain old mistake?

      Perhap computers ahve become sentient and are helping us mae value judgements we seem to be incapable of making for ourselves… “Scientology? Really? Nah, trust me, you don’t wanna get into that, man, how about Science? Or Succotash?

  • Xenu’sAdvocate

    No doubt, as Media Lush and John P point out, the PV=ID^2 equation is a ripoff of E=MC^2, but what I find interesting and disturbing is the implications of such an equation:
    (1) a person does not have any inherent value, but only potential value insofar as they maximize the dynamics. In other words, a person has a use value and is a mere means.
    (2) The more intelligent a person is the more worth they have – or rather the more useful they are. So if you have a lower IQ, then you are (at least potentially) worth less than someone regardless of how much good you do ‘across the dynamics.
    Now, consider the implications of 1 & 2 in the context of the superior tone of Hubbard’s writing style and grand pronouncements. What is suggested is that Hubbard is smarter than his reader, and indeed an unparalleled genius who has invented something more important than the wheel and the equal to fire! Granted, his reader is no doubt, precisely because he is listening to Hubbard, also smarter than those who are not ‘in the know’ regarding these brilliant insights and axioms. Thus: Hubbard > the reader > the unwashed masses, i.e., wogs. Wogs may be used to promote those in the know, those in the know are superior insofar as they slavishly adhere to and at least pretend to understand the brilliant insights of Hubbard, and everyone can be used by Hubbard.

    • Observer

      Excellent points. And the irony is that PV Maximus LRH did less for humanity than your average garbage collector.

    • Great insight!

      Isn’t this the Fascist “Superman” or “Ubermensch” principle which the Nazis borrowed from Nietche?

    • stanrogers

      Actually, the equation implies that caring about and for more than yourself is many, many times more important than your intelligence (in much the same way as E=mv^2 implies that being hit by a relatively lightweight bullet travelling at an immense speed is going to have a bigger effect on your day than, say, being hit by a huge truck travelling at less than 1 km/h). And there is probably some truth to that. The key to properly making use of the equation is to realise that Hubbard gave not a tinker’s damn about anyone or anything but himself, and that you probably do care quite a bit, therefore making you many times more potentially valuable than LRH (provided that your intelligence is greater than that of an amoeba).

      • Xenu’sAdvocate

        I was assuming that just as in E=MC^2 C is a constant, namely the speed of light, so the dynamics are taken as a constant in some sense…

    • richelieu jr

      What is amazing an immediate evident is the degree to which celebrity is a force multiplier for ‘potential’..

      At least now they’re learning the hard way the the force multiplies in the negative direction as well “Become a Scientologist and jump on a couch”…

  • TheHoleDoesNotExist

    “For most scientologists, the dynamics are a weapon”. That is so true, profound, and so obvious, Vance, except when you’re inside the bubble. All roads (books, policies, written rules, hidden rules) lead to justifications of and and all harm and damage. You are now on your way to become a sociopath, just like Hubbard.

  • John P.

    The whole thing about the equation continues to gnaw at me. Here’s a different angle:

    Recall that Hubbard numbered the dynamics. Self = 1, relationship = 2, group = 3, mankind = 4. Then if you use the equation where the “potential value” is based on the square of the ordinal number of the dynamic, you find out that your potential value is 16 times greater if you are focused on saving mankind than if you are solely focused on doing things for yourself.

    In other words, if you sign up for Hubbard’s crazy schemes to “clear the planet” you are way better off than if you just focused on keeping all your money for yourself and your 2D (i.e., your family). Given this little bit of math, I am surprised that this equation wasn’t used more to get people to focus on giving more money to the cult even faster. A missed opportunity…

    • BuryTheNuts2

      John, I think you are giving Hubbard too much credit in that you are actually finding meaning in his equation.

      It was more likely just another of his “thought farts”, that he scratched out on a cocktail napkin so he could pretend to add some type of validity to his enigmatic “science”.

      There certainly wasn’t much profundity in his words…but I will give him credit in the fact that he sure spewed a lot of them.

      • Sherbet

        It sounds like a Professor Irwin Corey routine and makes just as much sense.

        • Captain Howdy

          You’ve solved my equation, Sherbert.

          Professor Irwin Corey + Commander McBragg = L Ron Hubbard

          • Sherbet

            With just a hint of Norm Crosby.

            • ze moo

              Add in some Yogi Bera.

            • N. Graham

              And a tad of Phil Silvers (Sgt. Bilko) and Bozo the Clown.

            • BuryTheNuts2

              More than a hint I would say.

              Seems most of Scientology’s made up words are malapropisms.

            • Poison Ivy

              Aww Bury, you’re just goofin’ the floof.

      • jensting

        It’s probably more that John is trying to force Ron’s rubbish to make sense and extract something useful from it. This is a good way to deal with communication between people who are honest but who sometimes get details wrong. Also, as John points out from time to time, his job consists partially of extracting useful information from information which is as close to misleading as it can legally be.

        I also recognise the urge to look behind the flawed expression for the good idea and to extract the good idea, or – if the idea really is bad – to find a way to frame the explanation of why it’s a bad idea so that perhaps the person who did the expressing can be engaged and be made to understand how the idea and their expression of it can both be improved. (OK, so I’ve spent a lot of time around teachers – I love it!)

        However, I think Hubbard’s writings are actually a bit more sinister than merely flawed. They do not make sense. The new recruit is surrounded by people who all agree that the writings do make sense. The new recruit gets conditioned to leave behind her/his ability to think critically about Hubbard’s rubbish. Results: anyone who sticks around gets conditioned to a little bit of cognitive dissonance. Over time, that little bit of cognitive dissonance becomes the drug that keeps their mind content with the world that Ron made for them (and malcontent with the “wog” world).

        • “They do not make sense. The new recruit is surrounded by people who all agree that the writings do make sense. ” This is reminiscent of the Asch conformity experiment:

          A group of people are asked to look at a pair of cards, one with a line on it and one with three lines of differing length, and say whether the single line is the same length as A, B, or C on the second card:

          But the one who votes last is “real”; the rest are stooges who sometimes unanimously give the right answer but more often unanimously give the wrong answer. The majority of people, it turns out, have great difficulty sticking to their guns in such a circumstance.

    • Bob

      John P.- You have effectively given the IAS fund raisers a new tool. Before your suggestion it was an unspoken agreement that saving the planet far outweighed a little thing like your immediate survival.
      Next time a fund raiser approaches me I will remind him of the Dianetic formula. I will inform him that he is obviously far more intelligent than me and that his potential value is much higher than mine and that he should donate more from his own pocket. And I will suggest he get more donations from those who unlike me have a huge potential worth.
      Being basically stupid and un-dynamic I am a terrible candidate to donate money and help save the world.

    • John P wrote: The whole thing about the equation continues to gnaw at me.

      You know John, training produces half the gains in Scientology. I think this gnawing feeling you are getting is your reactive mind starting to creak open from the wisdom you are studying. I would not be surprised to see you take a pc in session soon.

      In fact, the way Tony and Vance are methodically going through Book One, clearing words, and basically holding a Dianetics seminar here every Friday on his blog, I would not be surprised if half the blog goes Clear!


      • tetloj

        Oh no JP – you’re being restimulated!

        • John P.

          Restimulated. That would explain why I have had unnatural desires to don a bear suit and sit in a rocking chair and gnaw on a turkey leg. I was wondering where that came from.

      • Unex Skcus

        Top half, or bottom half? [g]

    • N. Graham

      Shhh. Don’t give them any ideas…

  • TheHoleDoesNotExist

    Now here’s a shock. Engrams was another “borrowed” word/concept. Turns out we were being used like rats in a maze. lol

  • The chapter may be short but you have identified a major foundational point of the scheme. “The greatest good over the greatest number of dynamics” can be used to defeat contrary data from outside the group. Look at it this way – If I identify with the group, am in relationship with individuals in the group and am conditioned to align with the group and am then confronted with conflicting data from the outside the group I will reject that data, especially if I’m told that most of mankind is deluded or enslaved in “entheata”. The point of a cult is to strengthen the hold of the group on the individuals. Here is a formula doing just that. And it does so by taking another concept that many would have been familiar with, Utilitarianism’s “The greatest good for the greatest number” and tweaking it almost imperceptibly to make it serve its opposite – The greatest good for a specific individual, LRH.

  • dwayners13

    I think the reason LRH wanted to go after the younger crowd was due to a couple of reasons. First, he was banking on their naïveté, especially in terms of believing in him, his history & that Dianetics was based on science. To be honest, I remember when I first heard of Scientology as a young teenager, I assume that because of the name it must be based on scientific principles. I figured there would be some stuff about Darwin & his evolutionary discoveries rather than Xenu & his DC 8’s. I realize that when Hubbard wrote first Dianetics, the term Scientology had yet to come into play, but the reasons for wanting to attract younger people was the same.
    Another reason for wanting to attract young people is that they were less likely to have been exposed to the various psychological & philosophical principles he was ripping off & repackaging. For example his idea of survival being the basic element that ties us all together sounds a lot like Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Further, the greatest good for the great number of dynamics, reminds me of utilitarianism. While there are some differences, a lot of his ‘ideas, axioms, principles etc’, are basically borrowed from popular ideas found in philosophy & psychology. Actually, anyone who has taken first year classes in either subject will likely recognize that Hubbard was simply taking credit for ideas & concepts that have been around for some time. Although a lot of people do this, they rarely claim it came from their own scientific discoveries as Hubbard did. Given more time I could go on & on citing more examples of Hubbard’s plagiarism of Buddhism, existentialism such as Nietzsche’s idea of the übermensch & will to power. Given enough time & resources I’m sure all of us could point to endless example of this, however I will admit Hubbard obsession with abortion may be unique to him.

  • scnethics

    I agree with other comments that this equation was an attempt to sound scientific, but I also think Hubbard believed it wholeheartedly. As a writer given to extreme emotional highs and lows, Hubbard saw his “worth” plummet and soar in ways well-described by the square of his vitality / purposefulness / energy-level. He figured his intelligence was remaining fairly constant, and yet his writing output would reach amazing levels when he was riding one of his manic waves, and become nil when he drifted into depression. If you attach a relative worth to yourself and others in terms of what they can produce, as Hubbard did, the equation makes sense.

  • sugarpie

    Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah … who the fuck cares?

    • BuryTheNuts2

      Thank you for your contribution. You must be related to Hubbard.
      Maybe you could write book 2?

    • Welcome to the site. Just passing through or planning to stay?

    • stillgrace

      Your first post! You have certainly impressed us with your eloquence and vocabulary.

    • Ziontologist

      Are you mocking me?

  • Vance wrote:”I call that The Dynamic Principle of Self-Deception.”

    It’s so ironic. People who cling to Scientology, even after they have learned the abuse that others have suffered from it, will say that the reason they still cling to it is because of the “wins” they experienced with it, which is the basis for their faith that it “works”.

    Yet the dynamic principle of existence teaches them to draw 8 concentric circles and to place the number 8 in the largest circle, 7 in the next, down to 1 in the smallest circle. This teaches them that the first dynamic, the survival of self, is the teensiest little dynamic compared to all the others. And so it is not the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics to emphasize your first dynamic over the others. This is drilled home to you over and over as you move up the Bridge, join staff, etc. It is the basis for “expanding across your dynamics”, becoming more “ethical”, and taking more responsibility as a being.

    Yet here we have Scientologists, especially the “Indies”, who know a lot about the abuses suffered from Scientology on the 3rd and 4rth dynamics, but because they themselves had “wins”, these experiences from others do not matter in their equation.

    That’s because disloyalty to LRH and Scientology is the greatest overt of all. Which is also the basis of the Dynamic Principle of Existence that a Scientologists learns to always apply without ever really consciously confronting it. That’s why it’s always good to ask a Scientologist, “Are your wins in Scientology more important than the suffering of others from Scientology?”

    Irony. I fucking love irony.

    Great comments, Vance. I’m glad you’re there to teach that wog Tony Ortega the ways of Scientology! You’ll make him a Homo Novis yet!


    • villagedianne

      Scientology tries to have it both ways. The greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics means whatever is better for Scientology because, you know, Scientology is going to save the world. So don’t be selfish!
      But “what is true for you is true for you” means your “wins” are the most important thing, never mind the bad experiences others have had. So be selfish!
      All for the greater good of Scientology.

    • jensting

      Well put, and something that I would never stumble upon myself as an outsider.

      One of the side effects of winning the information war against the criminal organisation known as the “church” of $cientology is that it is probably in the interests of the winners (that’s us, folks!) to treat the individual ex-losers in a way which is likely to improve their lot. The contributions of ex-victims who are robustly out of the mind-fuck perpetrated by the criminal organisation known as the “church” of $cientolgy – like you and Vance – are very important to helping those who are half out half in (like indies). Here’s hoping that they will start doing some more reading outside the spew of the phat phraud and read things like the comments here and Vance’s book, and actually start thinking for themselves rather than continuing running “Ron’s case.”

    • California

      I looked at the relatively low number of posters and I can see that this is not of as much interest to most of the posters as some of the other information we have received here.

      But I think this analysis of the writings of LRH about Dianetics serves an excellent purpose of getting something of a grasp of the basic assumptions and philosophies that dominate the thinking of people still considering the teachings, the tech, valuable.

      Chuck Beatty has spoken for years of his wish to have such analyses done by academics and others and I think that what Vance and Tony are doing is serving that purpose, even though they are not academics.

      I will keep reading these postings…. and maybe they can be helpful to the questioning SCN’ers who are becoming more self-reflective about their own journey into and out of SCN’s worldview and philosophies.

      • Yeah this is something I’ve been doing for a while, since getting myself out of the “rabbit warren” of Hubbard’s mindfuck (as Marty Rathbun has now called it today in a comment on his blog)

        There are certain thinking patterns that Scientologists have adopted from “thinking with Scientology” which can be used to break up the ideological trap of Scientology and get them thinking again. Some Scientologists will never break out of the thinking patterns, and those people are the ones who will engage you and start calling you an “SP”, etc. This conflict can be used as an opportunity to spread the “thought grenades” that others will pick up and start thinking with.

        Once you adopt the ideology of Scientology and let it do your thinking for you, it can be a long hard path back to yourself. I had to do it, and I try to help others do it too.

        I feel a kind of responsibility to help with this. I try to get into places where Scientololgists gather on the internet. Here’s an example of one of the things I’ve tried over the years.


      • DeElizabethan

        I agree about not much interest in this and I’m one of those. I’m more interested in what can I do to stop the abuses, lies, ad nauseam through education wherever I can. I know all the propaganda and even if picked apart and funny is not much of interest to me. However there are many who need to read this stuff and I will continue, just more in some areas or subjects than others. Wrights book was excellent tho it quelled the fire or urgency a bit. I have less time left than most do, so my desire for results is a little more keen.

  • dbloch7986

    I know that we all just assumed that Scientology’s chapter, by chapter “rebuttal”, if you can even call it that, of “Going Clear” was just typical Scientology bullshit. But Tony, did you consider that it was also a response to you, to let you know that they are watching? I can’t help but ponder the similarities between your regular “Dianetics” blogs and

    • BuryTheNuts2

      Derek, I love you son. Um, I think we all Know that this blog is watched, read, investigated, picked apart, etc….on a daily basis.
      There is NO WAY that DM isn’t reading this on his iPad right now…Hi there fuckwad! (waves at an elevation of 3 feet)
      Just sayin.

      • dbloch7986

        BTN2? What happened to the original BTN 🙁

        • BuryTheNuts2

          I lost her in a wordpress/disqus/ email nightmare.
          I could not recover her….Long boring story…
          i miss her too

          • She’s in the hole that doesn’t exist?

          • dbloch7986

            Oh well. I guess I will just have to pretend this OSA impostor is you for a while until BTN 1 returns 🙁

      • jensting

        hmm, not sure that’s above the trigger point to make an OSA drone print this out and present it to David “he is NOT insane!” Miscavige.

        Also, I don’t see David “third wheel” Miscavige as a iPad kind of person. To me, he’s more a pointy-haired-boss “print out the Internet for me, Carol” kind of person.

  • dbloch7986

    “…the key was to get people in when they’re young.” Tell me about it. Makes a lot of sense why they focused on college age kids and families with children.

  • we have more pleasure in our lives the closer we are to immortality, and more pain the closer we are to death

    This doesn’t mean anything at all. “Closer to death” means aging, and people do not get more unhappy as they get older. “Immortality” — what does he define that as? Most religions define it as “after you die”, and Scientology seems to do that too. So this is a statement that eats its own tail.

  • JustCallMeMary

    You two are quite a team!! I think you both got more out of that book than the millions who bought it!
    Thanks for the lessons. It really puts things in a CLEAR perspective

    • BuryTheNuts2

      I am pretty sure Vance is the only person who actually read the whole thing.
      (Sorry Vance)

  • N. Graham

    My favorite LRH formula was:
    reds + greys + rum=infinite wisdom

  • jensting

    “The Equation of the Optimum Solution would be that a problem has been well resolved which portends the maximum good for the maximum number of dynamics.”

    That sounds like the author is a bloviating fool who flunked math courses. Oh wait…

    • The same principle applies in advertising. That’s why there are so many TV shows that feature absurdities such as talking to the dead. It’s not that there are so many people that believe in it (and there are). It’s that the audience is a commodity, for sale to advertisers, and gullible people are a high value commodity for that use.

  • psychodiva

    This whole assessment could be applied to Deepak Chopra and his faux science utterings

  • This is all there is in the entire book? Whoa.

  • In older books it was: PV = ID^x

  • I remember this formula. With my massive awareness level ( called E.Q. today ) and 176 I.Q. I had a different take on it. It is a mental illness formula. The more time you speed trying to find yourself on it the crazier you are.