The question of "how much has LRH tech been altered in later compilations" has come up a number of times. As rundowns like the Superpower, OT IX, X and other yet unreleased technical items loom on the horizon, I asked a person with long-term personal experience on the subject for a write up on how technical compilations have been done through the years by others than LRH. The resulting writeup is quite extensive, and amounts to one of the most comprehensive overviews of how this has actually been done. It sheds some light on the mysteries and unknowns surrounding the compilations of the Golden Age of Tech, any and all materials re-released after LRH's death, the upcoming Superpower and a lot more.
7 April 2008
The following information will probably be of interest mostly to freezoners who will already be familiar with most of the terms, so I’m writing it from that assumption. My editor did insist on spelling out some of the abbreviations to assist the potential casual reader. The era I am personally familiar with is from 1978 to around 2000. Others might have input from other eras.
Technical Compilations in Scientology
Occasionally you’ll see people posting about people altering LRH tech and changing things that were LRH and thus perverting the subject. One thing to know right at the outset is that LRH had people assisting him on research and compilations right from the early days, even before publication of Book One (Dianetics). If you look in Technical Volume I, you’ll see mention of a compilations unit and mention of the first Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation.
Throughout the original the Tech Volumes (original 1976 printing) there were all kinds of HCOBs (Hubbard Communication Office Bulletins) with signatories other than LRH’s. I don’t recall if these have all been removed, but LRH never seemed to have any problem with people contributing to the subject despite what some people may think to the contrary.
With the formation of SO management, people in the Technical and Qualifications Divisions continued to assist in the writing of HCOBs and assisting in research auditing. Commodore’s Staff Aides for Divisions 4 and 5, CS-4 and CS-5, often wrote bulletins, as did other people. From what I know these were always based on an order from LRH to “write a bulletin on so and so (meaning a specific topic—usually related to some technical matter or discovery that had just come up).” The person would write it up and send it through to LRH with a CSW (completed staff work, i.e. submission for authorization) for okay. LRH would look it over and okay it as is or modify it in some way and then authorize it for issue. The two names you’d mostly see on issues from that period are Ron Shaffran (CS-4) and John Eastment.(CS-5). The signatory for the issue would usually say “[Name, Post] for L. Ron Hubbard Founder (or Commodore)” or “By order of L. Ron Hubbard Founder.”
In 1978, LRH was now living in La Quinta and shooting the tech films. There was a book compilations unit, which was mainly supposed to be transcribing all LRH lectures so they could be put out in written form as the Research and Discovery Series. They were also handling reissues of LRH’s books. But he had no unit around to help him with new compilations. So he formed a unit called LRH Technical Compilations, which became known as RTC. This was later changed to RTRC (LRH Technical Research and Compilations) in 1982 when the corporate sort of the church occurred and the current Religious Technology Center preempted those initials.
Anyway, this was the first official compilations unit LRH had had since probably the early days of Dianetics. The head of the unit was Phoebe Maurer who was a long time SO member from the earliest days of the Sea Project. (Earlier in her life she had worked for a guy named Charlie Finley who had developed the Blue Cross or Blue Shield medical insurance model and later was the colorfully eccentric owner of the Kansas City/Oakland Athletics baseball team. Phoebe had a lot of stories about Charlie.)
LRH had a lot of technical things going on in that period and RTC facilitated him enormously. That fall (1978) he started developing Super Power, which is a series of 12 rundowns that are meant to improve the capabilities of staff members, to make them more effective. RTRC (I’ll use that designation to avoid confusion with the current-day RTC, even though it was called RTC in those early days) helped assemble the issues. One of the rundowns was called the Ethics Repair List, which was aimed at helping a person sort out problems and charge he or she had with ethics and justice actions, not only in Scientology but in life. LRH started looking into this and he began sending dispatches to RTRC (Phoebe, really) and the unit began assembling the repair list, following LRH’s directions. He’d say the list should cover “A, B, C … X, Y, Z.” and so on and he would list out what the handing for each item. RTRC would put an issue together with the appropriate heading and signatory on it and send it to LRH for an okay to pilot it on the crew. He’d okay it and then RTRC would brief the Qual auditors on the rundown and Qual would begin auditing it on some staff as a pilot. RTRC would monitor the pilot, collect up reports from the auditors on their pilot pcs and all this information would be used to modify the issue, add new questions or delete inappropriate ones and basically come up with an issue that was workable and which achieved the desired result of a pc who was freed from his BPC (by-passed charge) on the subject of ethics. The pilot was run on enough people to give what amounted to a workable issue or rundown, whatever was being piloted. Some rundowns or actions were piloted on more people, some less. The Purification Rundown, begun in 1979 was piloted on hundreds, as was the Key to Life Course. The Ethics Repair List was piloted on, maybe, 30 or so.
There was a messenger at the time who was a Class VIII auditor and she was the main liaison between LRH and RTRC. She’d take the tech traffic to LRH and go over it with him and take his notes or taped conversations on the topic back down to RTRC and go over it with them, pass on LRH’s further instructions, etc. In this way, a little unit formed up that was able to assist LRH with his technical research.
A lot of tech stuff started getting done immediately. Several of the Super Power rundowns got written up and piloted, different meter phenomena got clarified and NOTs development started. Later that fall, LRH called for auditors to be brought in for training on Super Power so it could be exported to staff in orgs. The first thing he wanted to make sure was that their TRs were okay and when they weren’t, that began a lot of work on TR training, which RTRC and the new Snr C/S Int, David Mayo, were involved in. And from that came LRH’s evaluation (called “World out of Communication”) that led to development of the Key to Life Course and Life Orientation Course, the Purification Rundown and all kinds of stuff like that. 1978 and 1979 were big years for tech and that was mainly due to the formation of a tech comps unit that could assist him.
People were added to RTRC who were good auditors and who could write and they assisted in compilation and piloting of the rundowns that came out of this era. LRH was pretty much all over the lines in those days. Any technical compilation written in that period was directly seen and reviewed by him. There were also numerous orders to compile other issues and rundowns that didn’t get worked on from that period because of other priorities or lack of people in the unit to work on them. These were placed in a log for later handling.
In February 1980, LRH went off the lines and tech issues were authorized by the Messenger for Tech and/or David Mayo. LRH came back on the lines at the end of 1981/beginning of 1982. During that period from Feb. 80 to Dec 81, there were some good bulletins that got issued and some crappy ones. LRH cancelled these when he came back on the lines. Around time, the current RTRC was formed as to structure and position on the org board. It was placed in the Snr C/S Int Office whereas before it was placed in the Personal Office of LRH. Big whip.
Phoebe remained the one constant in the unit. Other personnel came (notably Russ Williams) and went but she was very trusted by LRH and she knew the compilations beat extremely well. In 1984, LRH developed FPRD (False Purpose Rundown) based on the datum that O/Ws (overt acts and withholds) followed in the wake of an evil purpose and that evil purpose was formed in the midst of a confusion in an effort to solve the confusion. RTRC and Senior Case Supervisor International, Ray Mithoff, basically got that piloted, written up, okayed by LRH and exported. The line wasn’t as tight with LRH as it had been in La Quinta because LRH was not living in the same location. Still, he saw and reviewed every issue, as far as I know, and all rundowns were based directly on his directions and writings. Everything was piloted and gotten into shape before being exported.
In 1986, LRH died and there ensued a power struggle between DM and Pat Broeker. RTRC went through a bad dry spell where nothing could be authorized and nothing came out of the unit for about a year. It was a freaking mess. Lots of personnel changes. Phoebe lost her interest in the game after LRH left and she died later in 1986.
In 1987, DM ousted Broeker and the compilations lines opened up again. Since the formation of RTRC back in 1978, LRH had sent down streams of orders, ideas, advices and so on of compilations he wanted done as well as advices on how to do technical writing and how to compile. These latter advices were put into hats that were studied by people working in the unit.
Over the years of sending issues to LRH, certain things were learned about what not to do on a compilation and what was expected and these were put into a checklist that was followed religiously in preparing technical submissions. The basic aspects of a compilation were: a) research, b) compilation, c) piloting (if needed) and d) administration (meaning the submission itself—how to write the CSW (completed staff work), how to assemble everything so it could be reviewed expeditiously).
Say, for example, there was an order to compile HCOB (Hubbard Communication Office Bulletin) X. The research guys would find everything they could find on that subject, down to getting people at the org in London or Washington DC to go look through the boxes in their attics to find anything LRH had said about the matter. Sometimes they’d put together several boxes of junk (uh, research data) that the compiler would then pore over for days to get a grip on what LRH intended for the issue to include. Then he or she would write the issue. If it was an auditing action, the thing would get piloted and the issue or rundown was modified based on the pilot results. Once everything was done, a submission would be assembled summarizing the research, notating with a verified LRH reference every single point made in the issue, a summary of pilot results and everything neatly tabbed, blah, blah, blah. The point being that people took the work very seriously.
The submission would then go to RTC for authorization. For tech submissions this meant it would go to whoever was Snr C/S Int, then to Inspector General for Tech (Ray Mithoff) and then Chairman of the Board (DM.) Submissions for policy letters went to IG Admin (Marc Yager) and the OSA submissions to IG Ethics (Marty Rathbun). One (admittedly extreme) example of how issues were scrutinized occurred during compilation of a bunch of LRH advices on how OSA is supposed to operate. One OSA Network Order being submitted for okay was held up and debated for 3 days based on the placement of a single comma, because that comma might have changed the meaning of the issue. Now, whether that was nuts or not, I don’t know, I only heard the conversations. But that level of scrutiny was pretty routine. The people who worked in the unit truly did give a shit about getting it right and if they didn’t it wasn’t for lack of effort or sincerity. Those who weren’t willing to invest themselves fully in their work ended up somewhere else.
From 1987 onwards the two central people in the unit were Dan Koon and Sue Koon. The emphasis shifted from keeping up with current LRH traffic (obviously) to complying with the backlog of orders issued during his lifetime that hadn’t been handled. The first main evolution was fixing up course checksheets for Academy training. This included handling any HCOBs that needed updating or fixing in some way that were meant for inclusion on the checksheets. As such, the process checklists for all the Lower Expanded Grades were completely redone and expanded to include every single process that could be scraped up for each grade. After that, they updated the books on the E-Meter, worked out introductory services for Book One auditing, got the courses for the Advanced Courses upgraded and then by 1990 set about to reworking the SHSBC (Saint Hill Special Briefing Course). As is evident, the thrust of the unit’s work was upgrading training courses and basically consolidating everything that LRH had already done.
Here is where we get into the issue that makes some people nervous—how did these RTRC guys monkey with LRH tech? Why are new bulletins coming out years after LRH dropped his body? Here’s the answer: in every case, there was an LRH order about what to do. Sometimes there was extensive LRH traffic on a particular issue, such as for many of the Super Power Rundowns or for the Key to Life and Life Orientation Courses. Sometimes there was only an order to “get out an issue on [whatever].”
Nothing has ever been issued that LRH didn’t expressly order. And everything was done following the sequence outlined above of research, compilation, piloting and submission and then nitpicked (principally by Ray Mithoff and DM) to within an inch of its life (way overboard in some cases).
A huge compilation project was the release of the KTL and LOC courses in mid-1990. This was something begun by LRH in 1979 but never finalized until 1990.
The SHSBC redo in 1991 basically wrapped up all undone non-confidential compilations. This course includes all LRH books and HCOBs in the Tech Vols and all the 465 LRH SHSBC lectures. Many earlier checksheets had excluded up to 150 lectures, so these were all added back in, except as I recall one on whole track incidents, which was regarded as out-PR.
The years 1987-1991 were the most productive time for RTRC and the unit was pretty much protected from the turmoil that seemed to tie up the rest of the org (Commodore’s Messenger Org International). Staff were pretty much left alone to do their jobs and they got a lot done.
In 1994, NOTs got a re-release after being recompiled, as was Expanded Dianetics.
1995 was mainly taken up with compilation of the now-almost-mythical Scientology Dictionary. A version got done but was a piece of junk and before it could be honestly reviewed and straightened out, it was preempted by what came to be named the Golden Age of Tech. I’ll skip the auditing flaps that necessitated the overhaul of auditor training and stick to the compilations.
On 5 September 1971, LRH gave a lecture “A Talk on a Basic Qual,” and during this lecture he talked about preparation of a book of drills that took every auditing action and turned it into a drill that could be used to train auditors to do auditing actions correctly. The idea was to take every action that an auditor could be called upon to do and create a drill that s/he could do to learn how to do the action. The previous year he had written an HCOB called Dianetic Command Training Drills, which was part of the old Hubbard Standard Dianetics Course. This contained a series of 4 different drills that took the student through a gradient of learning how to audit Dianetics. First he learned the different commands by reciting them to a wall until he knew them. Then, he’d recite them with the meter and his auditing set up, then with a coach giving answers and finally in a mock session with a preclear and meter responding as it might in a session. Around that same time, LRH was training auditors to deliver the L Rundowns and in a lecture to Class XIIs, he talked about another drill where a coach would present a situation and ask, “What do you do?” and the student would have to give the correct response.
Based on those main references, in 1996 RTRC assembled the packs of drills that cover every auditing action from flying ruds to running processes to handling correction lists. These were all incorporated into newly revised checksheets for Academy Level training.
The way these drills were compiled was to lay out what auditing actions there are in the first place and then take the LRH bulletins covering the action and convert it into steps of drills following the sequence of: 1) learning the commands, 2) knowing what response to take in every situation, 3) knowing how to do the action in sequence using the meter and 4) doing the action in a “live” session. Once a drill was compiled it would get piloted by auditors and revised as needed and then issued.
Of course, what precede the Academy Levels are the basics of auditor training which are TRs and Metering. Where people go crazy is on these courses. Once they get through those, if they do, the rest of the lineup is pretty straightforward. The problems with these two courses are 1) arbitraries about whether the student’s TRs are acceptable instead of simply comparing it to the film that LRH made that shows the standard for each drill, 2) inclusion of the meter dating drills which can take a long time to complete, but then almost never get used in actual auditing, which basically relegates hours and hours of course time to an admin exercise that will never be used. Those two things corrected would cut the amount of time needed in training in half at least.
Other than that, there aren’t any particular flaws with the original release of the Golden Age of Tech. Notice I said “original.” The problem, and it is a significant one, is that there are different levels of auditor skill and the GAT drills have been applied to every level of skill, which when you really take a look at it doesn’t make sense.
In 1978, when LRH first had RTRC recompile the Academy Levels, he said that a Class IV auditor is supposed to be a mechanic who can do certain actions. That’s what the Golden Age of Tech was supposed to teach (after the student learned TRs and metering, obviously).
Beneath that level of auditor skill you basically have people who learn to audit Book One style Dianetics and this really should be the entry level for auditors. They should learn how to audit another person using just communication and not a lot of other things such as the meter and complex procedures.
Then you have the Academy trained auditor, which includes Class V, New Era Dianetics.
Now, above that you get the SHSBC (Class VI Auditor Course), which is a completely different understanding of the subject. It is a much longer course and pretty much the equivalent of a university education in terms of classroom hours, though it can be done in a year or less of work. The Briefing Course student studies the complete philosophical and technical breadth of Scientology, which is a hell of a lot of material. (By the way, people who bitch and complain about Scientology are, 99% of the time, bitching about the organization or the lousy auditing they had, not the actual philosophical principles or the technology itself. From what I’ve read on these boards, that is the case.) At any rate, the SHSBC would be another level of auditor drills, especially in light of the fact that on the SHSBC, LRH says over and over and over that “auditing is what you can get away with.” In other words, anything you did that improved the preclear was considered valid, the whole idea of Scientology being to improve the ability to better conditions. So, if you did something as an auditor that might not strictly fall under the conventional way of doing things but you still got a good result on your preclear, good for you. That is understandable within the framework of the Class VI Course, which includes thousands of pages of written materials and several hundred lectures. It’s a hell of a lot of material. (By the way, anyone who thinks LRH was just a scam artist—no one, no matter how desperate to avoid an honest day’s work, would have gone to the trouble to put that much material together over the course of over 20 years just make dough off some poor suckers. Moreover, the material all flows in a logical sequence of progression from the earliest book all the way to the end.)
Of course, on the first lecture for the Class VIII Auditor Course he says emphatically, “Auditing is NOT what you can get away with.” Well, that would necessitate a whole other level of auditor drills and training.
But the Golden Age of Tech evolution has been applied across the board to all auditor training from Class 0 on up. The GAT (Golden Age of Tech) drills are meant to bring about the level of duplication, which they do. But above that is real understanding and that isn’t attainable on the Academy Levels. For that you need the SHSBC. And then above understanding you get judgment and for that you need the Class VIII Auditor Course. Each one would require its own level of drills and types of drills to make an appropriately skilled auditor. Only the first level has been compiled.
Of course, none of the above relates to whether or not auditing actually works or whether it is actually possible to use it to improve a condition in someone’s life. That’s up to every individual to decide for him/herself. But you can’t do that only by talking or thinking about it any more than you could understand sex by talking about.
There’s probably more that can be written in further posts about this if there is any interest in the subject. (Compilations, that is, not sex.)