June 25, 2004
Open Letter to
Superintendent, California Department of Education
State Board of Education
San Francisco School Board
Los Angeles School Board
Dear Mr. O’Connell and Board Members:
Regarding the issue of Narconon’s efforts to be accepted to provide presentations, courses, seminars, education or treatment in association with the San Francisco or Los Angeles School systems, or in association with any entity, it is obviously necessary to understand what it is Narconon, as a piece of the Scientology organization, teaches, and what it is trying with its actions and teachings to achieve.
An essential piece of what Narconon is teaching, and which governs its actions, as directed by Scientology, both the organization and the “philosophy,” is a concept known as the “Suppressive Person” doctrine. I have not seen in the media coverage that I have read that the doctrine has been discussed in connection with the issue of Narconon in the schools; but the “Suppressive Person” doctrine is key, and indispensable to making an informed evaluation.
I have both personal and organizational reasons for writing this letter, and for offering my knowledge and testimony to everyone regarding this subject. I am the founder of the Suppressive Person Defense League which is dedicated to the defense of Scientology’s targets, who comprise the “Suppressive Persons.” I have been what Scientology and Scientologists and, no doubt, Narconon, declare to be a “Suppressive Person,” commonly called an “SP,” since 1982.1
Scientology creator L. Ron Hubbard taught and Scientology teaches that SPs are a class of human beings making up 2½ percent of the planetary population, and that this class or type of being is responsible for all illness, accidents, any bad condition. Scientology teaches that these people are completely evil and irredeemable, “truly dangerous,” committing crime continuously, “psychotic,” and deserving of no civil rights.
In 1953, just as he was getting his Scientology organization started, Hubbard dubbed these people “Merchants of Fear.” A decade later he called them “Merchants of Chaos,” and in 1965 he labeled them “Suppressive Persons,” or “SPs,” as these people are known to all Scientologists today. Hubbard also described SPs as the “anti-social personality,” and assigned to them specific, destructive psychological and behavioral characteristics and “emotional tone level.”
Scientology publishes as Hubbard “scripture” about this class identified as SPs:
“Well-known, even stellar, examples of such a personality are, of course, Napoleon and Hitler. Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, Christie and other famous criminals were well-known examples of the antisocial personality. But with such a cast of characters in history we neglect the less stellar examples and do not perceive that such personalities exist in current life, very common, often undetected.” — L. Ron Hubbard
HCO B 27 September 1966 The Anti-social Personality The Anti-Scientologist
There is no argument that these historical villains were not villainous, nor that nasty, even evil personalities do not exist in the world and that many aren’t undetected. The problem with the Scientologists’ Suppressive Person doctrine, as they still teach and enforce it, Hubbard having died in 1986, is that people whom Scientology, and its components, are declaring to be “SPs” and “enemies,” evil and insane, are decent people who simply oppose or even criticize any of this global cult’s policies, practices or claims. Hubbard wrote, and the Scientologists still teach, that every critic of Scientology is a “criminal,” and is to be treated as a criminal.
In another infamous “scripture,” which has been entered into evidence and condemned in a number of judicial proceedings, Hubbard spelled out the treatment for SPs, often termed the “Fair Game” policy.
“ENEMY – SP Order. Fair game. May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.”2
Since the Scientology enterprise has a number of policies and practices that are opprobrious, and since the organization’s significant claims of results for its “technology” and its intentions are false, there is much about Scientology that good people with a brain and a heart should criticize. Scientology’s endlessly repeated claim that its “technology” raises IQ, even claiming “about one point per hour,” something educators would be attracted by, is completely false, and should be criticized by everyone as the fraud it is. Viewing critics of these criticism-worthy policies, practices and claims as “Suppressive Persons,” and subjecting these people to fair game and the threat of fair game, is opportunistic, irrational and dangerous, with no basis in science, truth or humanity.
Following a lengthy trial in Los Angeles Superior Court in 1984 in Scientology vs. Armstrong, case no. C420153, the Court rendered a decision that stated:
“In addition to violating and abusing its own members civil rights, the organization over the years with its “Fair Game” doctrine has harassed and abused those persons not in the Church whom it perceives as enemies. The organization clearly is schizophrenic and paranoid, and this bizarre combination seems to be a reflection of its founder LRH[ubbard]. The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background, and achievements. The writings and documents in evidence additionally reflect his egoism, greed, avarice, lust for power, and vindictiveness and aggressiveness against persons perceived by him to be disloyal or hostile.”3
This decision was affirmed on appeal in 1991.4
Hubbard wrote for Scientologists in 1965, and Scientologists today accept his pronouncement as unchangeable and vital “scripture:”
“The whole agonized future of this planet, every man, woman and child on it, and your own destiny for the next endless trillions of years depend on what you do here and now with and in Scientology.”5
What Scientologists, including, unquestionably, Narconon’s Scientologists, do with and in Scientology necessarily encompasses the teaching, executing and living of the Suppressive Person doctrine.
Scientology proclaims that its “aims,” as laid down by Hubbard, are:
“A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights.”6
These are nice aims or planetary conditions that no one, again with a standard brain and a heart, would oppose. Scientology also asserts, however, that the only thing standing in the organization’s way to creating this “world without war, criminality and insanity and where all men are free to rise to greater heights” are “Suppressive Persons.”
Scientology’s solution for the SPs, who are simply and demonstrably good people who speak up about the organization’s antisocial policies and practices and fraudulent claims, is to “shatter” them. Scientology teaches that it possesses a “technology,” indeed the “only workable technology,” to identify SPs and shatter them, and sells courses in this “technology” to all Scientologists. The Narconon arm of Scientology also sells and delivers courses in this “technology” to its customers, and seeks to indoctrinate them in the basics of the Suppressive Person doctrine to create in their minds the “reality” that the doctrine requires.
The June 9 San Francisco Chronicle reveals that the Suppressive Person doctrine is being taught in at least three courses on “Narconon’s 9 steps” program.
— “Ups and Downs in Life Course: Gains the knowledge to spot and handle those influences in the environment that would cause him to lose any gains he has made …
— “Personal Values and Integrity Course: Gains the data (needed) to improve his survival potential. The course teaches him about the eight dynamics, ethics, honesty and integrity, showing him how to correct antisocial behavior by ridding himself of the effects of past harmful deeds …
— “Changing Conditions in Life Course: Covers the ethics technology of L. Ron Hubbard and shows the individual exactly how to apply it to improve conditions in his life …7
Promoting these three courses on its program, Narconon’s web site states:
“THE UPS AND DOWNS IN LIFE COURSE gives the student the ability to spot and handle those influences in his environment that would cause him to lose any gains he has made.
He learns the characteristics of the social personality as well as those of the anti-social personality so that he can spot the difference and better choose his friends and associates. Completing this course makes the student less susceptible to those who would influence him to revert to drugs.
THE PERSONAL VALUES AND INTEGRITY COURSE gives the student the data he needs to improve his survival potential. It teaches the student the eight survival dynamics, gives him invaluable knowledge about personal ethics, honesty and integrity and shows him how to correct contra-survival behavior by ridding himself of past harmful deeds.
THE NARCONON CHANGING CONDITIONS OF LIFE COURSE gives the student the exact step-by-step technology he needs to improve his life.
This ethics technology was developed by L. Ron Hubbard and covers exactly how to apply these steps to improve conditions in life. It also teaches the student how to repair previous bad conditions and how he can apply this technology and keep winning.”8
Hubbard’s Suppressive Person doctrine states that “ups and downs in life,” which Scientology also commonly calls “roller-coastering,” is caused by the person who is “losing his gains” being connected to a Suppressive Person. The SP doctrine identifies such a person connected to an SP as a “Potential Trouble Source” or “PTS,” because the PTS person is “going to make trouble” for Scientology. Being “connected” to a Suppressive Person makes a PTS person subject to Scientology’s infamous practice of “Disconnection,” which has been used to break up countless families. Scientologists are taught that disconnecting from the SP, severing all ties, will end the PTS person’s going up and down and getting ill, and allow him to continuing with Scientology’s program.
In its implementation of the SP doctrine Scientology states as unequivocal organization policy
“It is a SUPPRESSIVE ACT to deal with a Declared SUPPRESSIVE PERSON […] To maintain a line with, offer support to, or in any way grant credence to such a person indicates nothing more than agreement with that person’s destructive intentions and acts.
[… ] to deal with one constitutes no less than a Suppressive Act. Such an act is cause to have levied against you the same per policy Church justice procedures afforded any Suppressive Person. Full ethics penalties will be applied.”9
If Scientologists, Narconon personnel included, do not apply the Suppressive Person doctrine to people whom organization leaders declare to be SPs, the Scientologists know that they will themselves be declared SP, and the doctrine will be applied to them. The doctrine is applied to Scientologist children, and they are required to apply it others, and it is Scientology’s intention to get secular society’s school children to apply it in their lives, to their fellow students, to their teachers, family and friends. Such students would be joining the organization’s cause, even if they didn’t call themselves Scientologists, by attacking and shattering the organization’s opponents, the “SPs.”
The “anti-social personality” that a person is taught to spot by “characteristics” on Narconon’s “Ups and Downs in Life Course,” is the “Suppressive Person.” The characteristics for identifying SPs in Narconon are identical to what all other Scientologists in all other parts of Scientology use to identify SPs. The criticisms of Scientology policies and practices that will result in a person being declared an SP in Narconon are the same as the criticisms that will cause a person to be declared an SP in the rest of Scientology.
Both the “Personal Values and Integrity Course” and the “Changing Conditions of Life Course,” as described by Narconon, teach Hubbard’s “ethics technology,” the organization’s system of rewards and punishment based on the Suppressive Person doctrine. Hubbard wrote, and Scientology teaches as “scripture:”
“The purpose of Ethics is: TO REMOVE COUNTER-INTENTIONS FROM THE ENVIRONMENT. And having accomplished that the purpose becomes:
TO REMOVE OTHER-INTENTIONEDNESS FROM THE ENVIRONMENT.” 10
The “counter-intention” to Scientology’s intentions, operations and communications, the organization teaches, comes from “Suppressive Persons,” who must be removed from the environment.
This removal of people identified as Suppressive Persons is not a peaceful dismissal from Scientology’s premises or courses, but a violent shattering of their personalities and lives. The “battle tactics” Hubbard ordered for his Scientology troops’ “war” on SPs states:
“We must ourselves fight on a basis of total attrition of the enemy. So never get reasonable about him. Just go all the way in and obliterate him.
One cuts off enemy communications, funds, connections. He deprives the enemy of political advantages, connections and power. He takes over enemy territory. He raids and harrasses.
The prize is “public opinion” where press is concerned. The only safe public opinion to head for is they love us and are in a frenzy of hate against the enemy, this means standard wartime propaganda is what one is doing, complete with atrocity, war crimes trials, the lot. Know the mores of your public opinion, what they hate. That’s the enemy. What they love. That’s you.
You preserve the image or increase it of your own troops and degrade the image of the enemy to beast level.
Wars are composed of many battles.
Never treat a war like a skirmish. Treat all skirmishes like wars.”11
Scientology teaches that “there is no more ethical group on this planet” than themselves, and the organization claims that for this reason it has an undeniable right to impose its system of “ethics” on mankind. In truth, Scientology’s Suppressive Person doctrine, and the fair game to execute it, make Scientology an extremely unethical organization. The “ethical level” of Scientology and Narconon can be established by observing their response to criticism of their policies and practices: they will not reason with their critics, the SPs, but will only attack.
Scientology’s “logic” for its Suppressive Person doctrine is syllogistic, circular, and so ridiculous and also dangerous that it cries out for criticism. Scientology teaches that Hubbard’s knowledge and system, and the organization’s personnel, the Scientologists, including the Narconon Scientologists, applying that knowledge within that system are mankind’s only hope, that Scientology is the only “technology” that “works” to make people better, to clear the planet of dishonesty, crime, wars and insanity. 2 ½ percent of the population, Hubbard and Scientology teach, can’t stand the idea of people getting better, and “going free,” but want to keep people suppressed, ill and enslaved. Hubbard and his organization teach that these are the Suppressive Persons, who oppose and criticize Scientology’s policies, practices or philosophy because Scientology works.
That people whom Scientology declares to be SPs oppose and criticize the organization’s policies, practices or philosophy also serves to “prove” to Scientologists that their “technology” works. Since the “tech” works, and is mankind’s only hope, Scientology also teaches, the criticisms of people should not be addressed, but the critics, being SPs and criminal, should be attacked as hard as the law will allow, and then some, and obliterated.
People outside of Scientology are only just beginning to understand the Suppressive Person doctrine, even though numbers of individuals have known about organization abuses and criminal activities for five decades, and several of these individuals have made this knowledge available in readable scholarly books or studies. It may be that the irrationality and extreme hatefulness of the doctrine have impeded information diffusion, because it is hard and disconcerting to confront. Certainly Scientology, by threatening knowledgeable expositors with the doctrine and its execution that the expositors would expose, has actively sought to prevent this information from being disseminated and assimilated. I believe, however, that the SP doctrine inevitably will enter the public consciousness, that society will reject it, and that the apparent “gains” obtained by doing what Hubbard said to do, even if it apparently got some people off drugs, will be seen as not only non-existent but ill-gotten.
Scientology has for as long as it has taught and enforced the SP doctrine ducked discussion of the doctrine with the claim that such would be an improper questioning of religion, of religious beliefs and religious practices. The organization has made Hubbard’s “policies” and “directives” that lay out the SP doctrine and its terms and definitions; SP, PTS, fair game, ethics, counter-intention, etc., into “religious scripture.” Narconon’s insistence that the Scientology “technology” it is teaching is “secular,” in order to gain admittance into the secular school systems, and other secular systems, permits the Suppressive Person doctrine to be publicly investigated without in any way questioning what Scientology claims is “religious” doctrine.
There is a certain attractiveness to being a fighter in a war, the goal of which is nothing less than total control in a world without war, crime and insanity, and there is a seductiveness in having a group or class of person to vilify, to blame for all the personal and societal “bad conditions” in the way of that goal, and to fair game. There is as well the obvious advantage of the Scientology side actually having an army to join, actually having battle tactics and battle plans, well financed, and with sophisticated, professional mercenary companies of lawyers, private investigators, public relations agents, intelligence operatives in addition to their own troops, and a regiment of celebrities. The Suppressive Persons have no army, and no celebrities, and have never organized to fight back.
The Suppressive Person doctrine is very simplistic, but it justifies its own execution, which is an aggressive, sophisticated, costly, threatening and debilitating war of total attrition. The doctrine made Hubbard very wealthy, and it is an essential part of “administration technology,” by which Scientology runs its own “church” organizations, and which it exports into the secular business world. The World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE), an arm of Scientology parallel to the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE) that houses Narconon, states as its primary purpose:
“To get LRH [Hubbard] administrative technology broadly in use in every business, organization and nation of earth.” — WISE International Business Directory 2001
It is quite clear that if a person becomes devoted to pursuing the goals Scientology gives him he will quit doing drugs, if he was doing them, since Scientology will require that to continue pursuing Scientology goals he could not do drugs. It is equally clear that persons who began to devote themselves to any number of other pursuits, whether these required abstinence such as the military or prison, or not, will also quit drugs. The question then becomes, does any school system wish, or even have a right, put any of its students in a setting where they are vulnerable to Scientologists getting them to pursue Scientology’s goals, which includes the acceptance and application of the Suppressive Person doctrine?
Understanding Hubbard’s, Scientology’s and Narconon’s “science” about drugs that their organization teaches is important, and understanding the Scientologists’ actual intentions underlying their drug “science” and their “humanitarianism” is equally important. Every person on any school board, or anywhere, who is counter-intention to Scientology’s intention to be accepted in schools, or anywhere, needs to know what they are up against. Every such opposition and every criticism provides adequate motivation to Scientology’s leaders to declare the opponent or critics an enemy and suppressive.
Every SP welcomes your criticisms of anything to do with Scientology. Every criticism shows a defect in the Suppressive Person doctrine. Enough criticism and all society will see that the whole doctrine is defective, and it will cease creating victims.
#1-45950 Alexander Avenue
Chilliwack, B.C. V2P 1L5
To see what has happened to an “SP” who is an average, common person that has simply spoken out about Scientology’s fraud and antisocial doctrines, policies and practices, please read http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/cult/index.html
To evaluate what Scientology’s actual intentions are regarding human rights, since the organization portrays itself as a champion of human rights, please see Scientology vs. Armstrong, Marin County California Superior Court Case No. CV 021632, documents from which are available at http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/legal/a7/index.html
© 2004 SPDL, Gerry Armstrong, Caroline Letkeman
- See FCO Suppressive Person Declare: Gerry Armstrong (04-22-1982) ↩
- From HCOPL Penalties for Lower Conditions ↩
- From the Breckenridge Decision ↩
- See 283 Cal.Rptr. 917 ↩
- From HCOPL Keeping Scientology Working ↩
- From The Aims of Scientology. See also: SPDL note on The Aims of Scientology ↩
- San Francisco Chronicle article: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/06/09/MNGO572ISD1.DTL ↩
- From a Narconon website ↩
- From SPD 28 Suppressive Act Dealing with a Suppressive Person ↩
- From HCOPL 18 June 1968 Ethics ↩
- From HCOPL Battle Tactics ↩