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Scientology prophet silent as 'orgs' dig in

The main Edinburgh practitioner, it seems, is a Mr Ernest Saren, and at the appointments he produces a personality "graph" showing the questionnaire results on ten "personality dimensions" such as happy-depressed and capable-inhibited. The final column on the capacity analysis chart gives an I.Q. figure.

Saren's qualifications for discussing people's problems on the basis of this questionnaire, according to a H.A.P.I. spokesman, are scientology qualifications only. One of those tested in the H.A.P.I. building this week, a 19-year-old apprentice who had already spent £16 on an astrology correspondence course to find out if the planets' movements had any bearing on his problems, went to the scientology test "because they seemed to be run by some sort of psychologists."

After his interview, he bought a 6s copy of a paperback by Hubbard on "The Problems of Work." He was given home his personality chart, showing his level on six of the personality scores to be well below the line marked "attention urgent." He believes that reading the book may help him.

At the back of the H.A.P.I. building, in Thistle Street Lane, Pub Org sends these books all over the world. According to Mrs Judy Ziff, an Australian and depute director of Pub Org—her husband, the director is at present in the U.S.—one week recently saw 38,000 books leave the building. They have stocks of 35 titles, all by L. Ron Hubbard, and have just ordered 750,000 reprints.

Pub Org was formed with a staff of 12 last September at East Grinstead, and is the first Org to have a special function. As well as organising the books, the Org tape department can produce 200 copies of lecture tapes a week for distribution to other Orgs. As with the books, the tapes are all by Hubbard.

These books and tapes contain the "data" of scientology, and it is to these Hubbard sources that the novitiate is encouraged to go. His first step on the ladder of upward progression through scientology is to take the Dianetic Auditor's course, costing £125.

The basis of this training is the confessional, or auditing, session which is—according to 19-year-old Laurel Watson, publicity officer at Sea Org in Edinburgh, "two people sitting down together, one—the auditor—listening and asking specifically designed questions."

This set-up seems to have affinities with both the confessional and some forms of " client-centred" psychotherapy. The scientologists, who make wide use of modern scientific developments, have added a technological aid—the E-meter.

Carrying the can

In the auditing process, the person being audited holds two aluminium cans, one in each hand. A low-voltage current is passed through his body from a battery, making contacts with him through the cans: changes in the current passing show up on a dial in front of the auditor.

Laurel Watson explains the changes in the dial reading as being due to "thought charges", and the scientologists offer these E-meters for sale to students at £50 each.

A member of the Edinburgh University Psychology Department staff who specialises in work with similar equipment, describes the meter as "a very crude and imprecise machine for picking up changes in sweat secretion rate and muscle tension". On the basis of external inspection, he values the meters at "around £10". They are, he says, versions of the conventional lie-detector.

There are a dozen grades between starting the first course and reaching the desirable scientological state of being a Clear. Junior courses can he taken in Orgs such as the H.A.P.I. Org in Queen Street; intermediates tend to be concentrated at Saint Hill; in East Grinstead; and the South Bridge college handles the very advanced stuff. As of yesterday there were 1274 Clears in the world.

[Picture / Caption: Dr L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Scientology sect.]

Cost of a Clear

The total cost of courses to be processed from ignorance to clearance, on the reckoning of a 21-year-old Clear, Neville Chamberlain, executive secretary of the Org at the South Bridge college, is between $1800 and $2000.

Madeleine Litchfield explains: "Ron set the prices to make the courses so valuable that everyone will get more out of it. It increases a person's reach if prices are high." At 21, Madeleine is a Clear and holds the job of L.R.H. (Hubbard) Communicator at the college—-"getting his orders, and seeing that they are carried out. I love it."

As well as being processed up through the grades, the scientologist must show that he can apply the new understanding which he is gaining. These practicals involve sitting at the other side of the E-meter, and bringing another student up to the same "grade of release." Thus, for every student progressing up the ladder towards clearance, another student must follow. This system generates its own demand for large numbers of entrants at the bottom.

A ten per cent commission is paid to a scientology student introducing someone else to courses. The Hubbard set-ups use such reward — and punishment — techniques as spurs to efficiency in the Orgs. As business structures, in fact, they are streets ahead of anyone else in the use of incentives, information availability and job-performance analysis.

Every section of an Org, and every individual in it, has a "graph" based on its statistic. The statistic for the mail girl, for instance, is the number of letters coming and going; that for practitioner Ernest Saren, giving his test-result interviews, is the number of people he talks to.

The graphs are publicly displayed — they are to be seen covering the walls in any Org — and on the basis of what they show, each section or individual is assigned a "condition." These range from Affluence and Power at the top, through Normal Operation, down to Non-Existence, Liability and Treason.

Treason court

Each condition has its formula for future action. If you, or your section, are in Power, you economise. If you are in Danger, or Emergency, you work feverishly to promote yourself out of it. The lower conditions carry penalties such as loss of income, not being allowed out for lunch, and—if you drop to a condition of Treason—you may face a court.

The conditions, as with all information, are publicly displayed in the Org. At Sea Org, on the South Bridge, Sue Pomeroy was listed as being a Liability this week. The formula requires her to make amends.

The top conditions carry bonuses. If you go into Affluence, you should earn a bonus and a clothing allowance. And if you transcend that into Power, you win a pay rise and a personal possession of your choice. Judy Ziff has twice been in Power, and as a result has a typewriter and a tape recorder.

Compiling the graphs is the individual's own job, and assigning conditions on the basis of these curves falls to the section senior. But an overall supervision is carried out by the Inspection and Report people, and the Ethics Officer.

According to Neville Chamberlain at Sea Org, the staff are given all food and lodgings on the premises, travel and other expenses, plus £6 a week. They have no trouble with National Insurance or income tax: "All that is done for us."

Promotions seem to carry with them pay rises, yet there is little security of tenure. By means of scientology courses, anyone with the ability can be trained to do any job, and holding on to your job depends on your performance graph. In the top positions, such as that of Judy Ziff at Pub Org, it takes a man at World Wide headquarters in East Grinstead to depose you if you do not voluntarily step down when your graph is doing badly.

And who can depose the man in East Grinstead? "Ultmately," says Judy Ziff, it all goes back to Ron."

Ron Hubbard has an office in every Org, in case he should call. His office on South Bridge however, is not yet ready for him: the desk, the sideboard and the goatskin rug have still to arrive.

But Sea Org, his senior Org with the highest trained scientologists and its base on his flagship, will continue its task whether he comes or not. His mission is to "make the planet a safe environment in which the other Orgs can proceed to get everybody on the planet Clear."

Survival expert

Somewhere out there on the Royal Scotsman, linked by radio and telex to his Orgs, Hubbard must be hoping that the movement which he started 15 years ago will ride out the storm of the present Government restrictions. According to several scientologists, this week's announcement is not all that new: they tell of troubles with British immigration authorities in the past.

They believe they can continue to survive and expand and Hubbard, it seems, is something of an expert at surviving. His literature relates that it is a matter of medical record that he has twice been pronounced dead." He was [?] science fiction writer.

The scientologists decided on Scotland as the site for their advanced Sea Org college after sending deputations to several other countries. "Scotland," says Madeleine Litchfield, "is one of the most advanced countries we have ever been in." Their aim in Scotland, according to the programme for a piano recital which they organised this week, is to "increase the individual, community and national statistic." A scientology symbol, based on an owl, bears the legend: "The Triumphant Scotland."