Shedding mental lead

It may be inevitable. It could be that no person is immune to the mental laziness of dropping one’s guard and sacrificing one’s personal integrity in the face of great success or real failure.

All the Scientologists I have met have accepted large or small portions of Scientology by faith rather than by inspection. Their personal experiences have shown them that parts of Scientology has great workability. Maybe it was the communication course, maybe their Dianetics sessions, or the moment they went Clear or an OT level that got them real and tangible gains or maybe something entirely different.

From those successful experiences and gains comes the acceptance by extrapolation. “If that was so excellent, then this must surely also be great“. And thus preconceptions are born.

This of course also works the other way; Presented with some real failure, something really bad, one can get preconceptions as well. Just like some person having bad experiences in Scientology or reading something negative about the subject can become cemented in “how bad it all is”.

A person can become hyper-critical or gullible by extrapolating his experiences.

And so it has been also with me. Although I have tended to inspect a great deal myself and tried very hard to not let my personal integrity slide, I have not been immune to this extrapolation effect.

There have been areas that I have not inspected and trusted at face value. Such as parts of the Admin Tech (the administrative technology developed by L. Ron Hubbard for the organizing of Scientology organizations). I have seen some clear successes with this technology and with that concluded that some other piece of Admin Tech must surely also work equally well. Or, I have jumped to the conclusion that what I have seen as successful must surely also work really well in a totally different setting or field.

And this is wrong.

Take but one example: Even though the Organizing Board developed by L. Ron Hubbard can be an excellent tool, it can also be dead weight. In some areas it can work well. In other areas it can straight-jacket an otherwise thriving organization. It is surely not the silver bullet I once thought it was.

Realizing one’s preconceptions is an important step forward in regaining one’s personal integrity. Shedding such mental lead is the road to regaining oneself.

In the last year I have had ample space to reexamine my own preconceptions and mental lead. And it is coming off, layer after layer.

I no longer think that the Admin Tech is so special. It is perhaps a good way to organize a Church of Scientology. Perhaps. But to extrapolate that into thinking it’s “the only workable administrative technology” (as trumpeted by the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises – WISE), or even good for a particular business is folly. It’s a just a tool, and a business needs the tools suited for that business to operate successfully. And so the Org Board was the latest holy cow slaughtered on the altar of progress. Just yesterday.

Nothing is holy like that. Everything is workable to a certain degree in a certain setting. And there really is no substitute for finding out by real examination. Not by faith or trust or skepticism or distrust.

The answer lies in really LOOKING. For oneself.

43 thoughts on “Shedding mental lead

  1. Well… Green volumes weren’t an effective tool to prevent DM from coming to power in Co$. And while they might have protected churchies from unnecessary entheta in the past, they currently prevent churchies from facts about their own org.
    And what have they done to children?
    So the policy that the policy with poor results should be dismissed should really be put into effect.

    1. Good write-ups!

      And how fascinating that the book that contained the quotes about children is no longer published – it was titled Child Dianetics.

      It was canceled along with the book “Notes on the Lectures” which flies into the teeth of authoritarian rule and lays out exactly what happens to a group that commits genocide.

      Coincidence? I don’t think so.

  2. Despite Ron’s dead-agenting of the concept in his “Personal Integrity” essay, I think you are applying skepticism, and it is a good thing.

    Here is an etymology of the word taken from

    Main Entry: skep·tic

    Etymology: Latin or Greek; Latin scepticus, from Greek skeptikos, from skeptikos thoughtful, from skeptesthai to look, consider — more at spy
    Date: 1587

    Here is a definition for “Skepticism”

    “2 a : the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain b : the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism characteristic of skeptics”

    Here is a synonym study for UNCERTAINTY, containing “skepticism”

    “synonyms uncertainty, doubt, dubiety, skepticism, suspicion, mistrust mean lack of sureness about someone or something. uncertainty may range from a falling short of certainty to an almost complete lack of conviction or knowledge especially about an outcome or result . doubt suggests both uncertainty and inability to make a decision . dubiety stresses a wavering between conclusions . skepticism implies unwillingness to believe without conclusive evidence . suspicion stresses lack of faith in the truth, reality, fairness, or reliability of something or someone . mistrust implies a genuine doubt based upon suspicion .”

    Face it, dude. You are a skeptic.

    And I salute you.

    1. And with these definitions you would be right. With the way it is more commonly used in everyday talk, I would disagree. Then skepticism would be a preconceived negative knee-jerk response standing in the way of seeking truth by premature rejection (nope, it’s not a new medical term for something sexual).

      1. Yes Geir, but that represents a popular misconception of the meaning of the word. There is nothing to be achieved by agreement with the misinformed.

        1. Ah, but definitions are formed by the use of the language, not by dogmatic adherence to definitions of past usage. So that too has to be respected.

      2. You seem to be confusing skeptic with critic, from a non-educated layperson interpretation. Anybody with a college degree thats been immersed in critical thinking skills & formal education interprets the general meaning of “skeptic” as an amateur academic, and whether or not a skeptic expresses the findings of their independent research in a critical fashion vs. apologist fashion is semantics.

  3. Exactly. I think it should be thoroughly confronted that perhaps Scientology is not for everybody, perhaps some of the tech are flawed, perhaps auditing as of right now isn’t successfull for everybody. This must be confronted and as-is:ed. The problem of the current CoS is that they don’t do that. I have a big problem with this “you’re either in or out of Scientology. This black or white choice. Not good.

    Then there are of course great successes with Scientology. This must also be confronted.

    I also took a lot for granted. For example past lives, storing things in the reactive mind etc because it “felt right”, but further “informal” studies in this subject has rather confirmed that Hubbard is probably right about this.

    Hubbard did the best he could. He researched and audited lots of people and wrote down as much as he could. Sometimes he exagerrated, sometimes he he was right on and sometimes he was probably wrong.

    As LRH said himself: “What’s true for you is true for you.”

    I think the most important lesson is for the rest of us to try to spread what works and try to get scientific, independent studies of the claims Hubbard has made, for example some of the OT-material etc.

    / Hub

  4. Here’s an excellent article on Wikipedia on Skepticsm:

    “Contemporary skepticism (or scepticism) is loosely used to denote any questioning attitude,[1] or some degree of doubt regarding claims that are elsewhere taken for granted.[2]

    The word skepticism can characterise a position on a single claim, but in scholastic circles more frequently describes a lasting mind-set. Skepticism is an approach to accepting, rejecting, or suspending judgment on new information that requires the new information to be well supported by evidence.[3] Individuals who proclaim to have a skeptical outlook are frequently called skeptics, often without regard to whether it is philosophical skepticism or empirical skepticism that they profess.[4]

    In religion, skepticism refers to ‘doubt concerning basic religious principles (such as immortality, providence, and revelation).’ (Merriam–Webster)

    In classical philosophy, skepticism (or scepticism) is the teachings and the traits of the ‘Skeptikoi’, a school of philosophers of whom it was said that they ‘asserted nothing but only opined.’ (Liddell and Scott) In this sense, philosophical skepticism, or Pyrrhonism, is the philosophical position that one should suspend judgment in investigations.”

    See more at link above.

  5. “Shedding Mental Lead” is a delightful read. Thank you, Geir.

    Anything one accepts without one’s personal examination is an abdication of responsibility. The acceptance of ideas without critical personal inspection, places the responsibility for praise or blame on the person who invented or made the statement. What tone level is that?

    Great contributions to our development are thus truncated or stopped because people do not apply the study tech, one of its fundamental premises being the idee fixe, i.e., the acceptance of ideas without personal examination. Study takes DISCIPLINE.

    Psychologism is rampant in the society and it is quite prevalent that people judge data through the filter of their own FEELINGS and EXPERIENCES rather than on lucid and critical (careful examination) judgment.


  6. Thank you for having the courage and damn, I can’t find the right word, but moxie comes to mind, yes moxie = backbone: fortitude and determination, for continuing to look and reevaluate your views on Scn.

    You’re a good man, and I very much appreciate your postings and blogs.

  7. Great article Geir. I think that you should have repeated your opening paragraph at the end of the article too:

    “It may be inevitable. It could be that no person is immune to the mental laziness of dropping one’s guard and sacrificing one’s personal integrity in the face of great success or real failure.”

    I’m not so sure that it is mental laziness though. I think it may be expediency. Life is so short in many ways and situations can become very compressed and demanding. I think perhaps all of us look for useful handles we can use even if they may only be a temporary solution or fix. Lacking a great deal of time for in-depth research, we tend to rely on concepts that make sense. Sometimes we rely on people that make sense.

    I’ve seen many a company try to use the organizing board successfully. If it is used rotely, it is pretty much useless because it is intended for a Church, which has no owner and no profits paid to owners. If it is used intelligently, as the foreword in the OEC volumes used to describe, then it is an extremely valuable tool for sorting out importances and for establishing one’s own policy.

    It goes WAY off the rails when inexperienced people attempt to use it, especially if they attempt to use it rotely. This is true inside and outside of the Church of Scientology.

    I think that the underlying problem is not so much mental laziness, but a failure to sort out importances for oneself. i.e. “close the door” is an order, “doors should be always be unlocked during business hours” is policy. Much of it is obvious if you take the time to sort these things out. What is special about it is that there has been a darned good analysis of importances along the way. But it can easily be made into a laughingstock when rotely applied and claimed as “the only workable admin tech.” That statement itself applies ONLY to the the Church using it. Only to the CHURCH using it. The missed datum here is that it applies ONLY TO THE CHURCH USING IT. This is the first and most important piece of information about it. And, obviously it follows that it is NOT the “only workable admin tech” when applied to a profit making entity.

    Anyways, it may not be laziness. It may be an inability to sort through importances and work outwards from most to least important.

    Add laziness and you’ve got ROTENESS, stupidity and sacrifice of personal integrity for the sake of expediency, status, lack of time and so on.

    That’s just what I have seen over the years, and to my observation it is the bane of management.

  8. My main beef with the org board was the (IMHO faulty) ideal scene behind it – to create an organization where each staff member knows and wears his hat and therefore production will occur.

    The main problem in the Church with the strict adherence to the org board was the differences in individual abilities, especially if it was posted from the top down. It was almost impossible to get a good auditor, a good exec, a good reg, and a good PR person in one team. Overspecialization and differences in ability killed the show and led to staff complaining about the others “not wearing their hats”.

    There was no good solution to this. And the personal enhancement tools available could not make up for differences in inherent ability.

    The complete tech of org boards has workable elements, but the whole of the package is unworkable. Just can’t just put anyone to be a dept head just because there is noone else there and demand all kinds of products the guy might not be able to do.

    1. Agreed. The ideal of the Org Board does not utilize the best of the abilities and motivation for each staff.

  9. Geir

    I was quite surprised and not just a little pleased to see this post! (and your new blog). You are indeed changing a lot we all do after a degree of time in which we can do a real inspection of all we previously took “on faith”.

    The Org Board concept was originally developed by a man (who’s name I forget but Jeff Hawkins knows it), who worked in the railroad business in the early 1900’s or perhaps it was the late 1800’s. He was trying to handle the problem of trains colliding with each other due to mis-communication about the tracks. It was a useful tool for its day and its purpose. One that was adopted by Hubbard for his orgs.(almost EXACTLY duplicated by Hubbard from this man but changed the name of). As technology changed and most especially with the internet, work at home, networking thru computers, etc the usefulness of an org board with all the vias and personnel and top down management, became very outdated and in fact, hinders production in the modern day work world. Perhaps there are some types of business that some of the org board would be useful for, but most of the time, it’s more restraining than not. With the speed of communication that is available today, the coordination that can occur instantaneously and at long distances, it’s a much different scene. Just like the Despatch system and most of the Admin tech based on top down management, if you look closely at them, they are simply outdated and more bothersome than not.


  10. Geir, here’s more info. The man’s name was Daniel McCallum. This is a bit different look at where Hubbard got his famously brilliant Org Board from…evidently it wasn’t “pulled off the track from the days of the Galactic Confederacy which was doomed to failure because of the lack of a Qual Division”. (the story I read and heard many times over the years). The following was culled from various books about Daniel McCallum:

    Daniel McCallum was the superintendent of the New York & Erie Railway. In his 1856 superintendent’s report suggest some principals that he believed would increase the railways efficiency. He developed principles of management that included discipline, division of labor, detailed job descriptions, promotion and pay based on merit, frequent and accurate reporting of worker performance, and a clearly defined chain of command. He called for the utilization of the following principals:

    1) A proper division of responsibility

    2) A sufficient power conferred to enable the same to be fully carried out

    3) The means of knowing whether such responsibilities are faithfully executed

    4) Great promptness in the report of all derelictions of duty, that evils may be at once corrected

    5) Such information, to be obtained through a system of daily reports and checks that will not embarrass principal officers, nor lessen their influence with their subordinates

    6) The adoption of a system, as a whole, which will not only enable the general supervisors to detect errors immediately, but will also point out the delinquent

    McCallum also facilitated the use of the organizational chart to which is used to track an organizations structure and rank and file.

    The principals of McCallum are the foundation of the modern business management including the use of organizational charts. Organizational charts are commonly used by businesses and organizations of all types. According to the Harvard Business Review, “From the beginning, the organization chart was much more than a piece of paper. McCallum insisted that people report only to their superiors; there was no bucking the lines of authority set out on the chart. ‘All subordinates should be accountable to, and be directed by their immediate superiors only,’ he wrote in 1856. ‘Obedience cannot be enforced when the foreman in immediate charge is interfered with by a superior officer giving orders directly to his subordinates.'” (Chandler, 156). The use of the chart allowed for the implementation of McCallum principals by creating a chain of command. “The organization chart is a symbol of the evolution of Western industry from businesses…. Its development and proliferation heralded the rise of the modern corporation” (Chandler, 157). The organizational chart is a fundamental component of modern business management.

    The chain of command is also born out of McCallum’s prinicipals. The chain of command allows for supervision of officers and for “evils to be corrected” within the department. “The principal of hierarchy requirement that each lower level of organization be supervised by a higher level results not only in the use of multiple spans of control but also in different grades of authority that increase at each successively higher level of the organization. This authority flows downward in the organization as a formal grant of power from the chief of police to those selected for leadership positions. These different grades of authority produce the chain of command” (234, Swanson).

    Just as the McCallum organizational chart was important to business management it is also an central tool of law enforcement agencies. It is used by police administration to organize the chain of command with in a department and show the flow of the departments division, subdivisions, beats, units etc. Appendix 1 shows the organizational chart of the Vacaville Police Department.

    McCallum’s principals of daily reports and checks are also a significant element of police organization. Officer and supervisor create written reports for calls dispatched too, investigations in progress, traffic stops and all types of duties performed. Reports are also used to track officer officer conduct or to pass information throughout the department. The reports allow supervisors to maintain information of what their subordinated are doing and the activities of the department. According to McCallum this system of reports is necessary to make sure that each officer is doing what is required of him and to protect the integrity of the department.

    The ideas and principals of men such as Smith and McCallum lay the foundation not just for management of factories or companies but also for police organizations and the effects of their principals can be readily seen in the functions of law enforcement agencies.

    1. Thanks for the data. It sheds light on the origins of the modern Org Boards. It does however not invalidate the Type of Org Board LRH devised, since that is different than the usual business Org Board (and I have seen a few hundred).

      What I am looking at is throwing Org Boards out all together.

      1. You’re doesn’t invalidate Hubbard’s org board…the point was only to show that the model for Hubbards’ Org Board did not originate from Hubbard, wasn’t “pulled off the track from the days of the Galactic Confederacy” by Hubbard. It is an antiquated system which doesn’t apply to today’s business world, and, in many instances limits an organization’s efficiency by making things more complex than necessary.

        1. I’m not sure that Hubbard meant that he discovered the Org Board as a concept (I am rather sure he didn’t) – but rather that specific model promoted by him.

            1. Sure – but this does not resemble the organizing flow of Hubbards Org Board. Org Boards as a general concept has been known from armies since the time of the Romans and Spartans – but not the specific “flow-org board” of LRH.

    2. You mean the org board didn’t come from the whole track and wasn’t used by the longest-lasting civilization in the history of the universe?!

      I am devastated – I’m almost tempted to think that Hubbard just made up half of his ‘discoveries’.

      Nice find Sherry.

      1. LRH’s version may have been from the whole track etc. But that doesn’t mean it is usable for organizing an ice cream factory.

  11. There is a lecture called “Org Board and Livingness”.
    It explains the philosophy behind the Org board.
    Have you people here ever listened to it ?
    An org board is an natural evolution of an Organisation.
    When you start a business the first thing is Source (div 7) or better said the purpose or idea of what you want to achieve, then comes personal and communication you need (= Div 1), then you sell and promote (div 2), you get money (div3) or expect some, you produce (div 4), you check the quality (div5), you let more people know about your product (div 6). in fact its a production cycle. Now you got some better ideas (div7) and go throught the whole thing again. And really it got something to do with Livingness !
    Comments ?

  12. Hello Geir.

    I had a couple thoughts reading your writeup.

    Admin tech was developed by LRH over many years while running the Church. I think it has to be understood as an entire body. It is for the Church and for orgs. One should take that into consideration and perhaps use parts of it that might help in their situation.

    The Org board can be adjusted and made to fit to any organization. It has to be made for the organization. You cant take the org board for Scientology orgs and try to make a company conform to it. It’s pretty easy to look at any activity or company and see the major areas of the org board, divisions, or lack thereof, etc. But to make a company conform to an Scientology org board is approaching it backwards. Approaching it the other way, looking over your company and preserving what is already there you come to see areas that maybe should be there and it helps strengthen areas that are there. You can find out that those bits of little things you are doing every other monday for five minutes that you feel you should have more time for and it’s been bothering you but you cant figure out why- well, you realize thats Div6 or something. You know what I mean? Then you can see thats actually something you might need so you put it in as an actual Div6 by spending fifteen minutes a week on it instead of five and you get a big new customer.

    I think WISE promotes the idea that a complete application of LRH admin tech will boom your business. The part that makes this seem like a square peg in a round hole is that this tech was developed for Scientology orgs, not your business. There is data from it that can help you though.

    1. Agreed. But I am about to go much further than this and throw out the idea of an Org Board all together 8-]

  13. Hello Geir,

    I just read your views about the org board. I am quite familiar with this org board, how it works in organizing. I find it extremely workable. I believe it is a matter of getting results with it, becoming really familiar with it.

    There are times when I don’t know everything, you know. For example: I don’t know much about cooking, so if I see a recipe I know I will not say that this recipe will suck. I realize there are others who know more about cooking than I do.

    I suggest that you don’t have much experience in organizing. I think you should be humble enough to recognize that there are others who know more about this subject than you do.

    If not, ok. At least now you know my view. You are of course entitled to say what you want but I just wanted you to know what I say about this degrading of a very workable technology.

    Best Regards
    Stefan Tunedal

    1. Given that I have first hand experience with some 30 different organizing boards and some 17 years as the CEO for several companies, I reckon I could rack up some credit in this area.

      I have seen it work. I have also seen it not work.

      It works well when the machine called the organizing board is more valuable to the company than each individual. But when the asset is the creative genius of each employee, I believe there is a better way.

      More on this in a future blog post 🙂

  14. RE: Mental Lead

    Ron’s own advice (which use to be printed on the beginning pages of all Scientology books) : “What’s true for you is what you have experienced”…, is the wisest way to approach and continue studying Scientology. In other words, ‘the proof is in the pudding.” This is easy to apply if one has integrity as a being.

    What is difficult is how this applies to the be, do, have of the organization itself. The LRH “solution” is to have a policy for every possible organizational situation so that workable solutions are at one finger tips. Having been on staff for years, years ago, I would say that his inclinations were correct. Most new staff don’t have the training or experience to make decisions which will have a high percent of success. However, the solution is sometimes paradoxical and “mental lead” ensues. An example of this is the unit system by which staff are paid. I don’t believe this was ever workable (perhaps for a short period of time at St Hill?) for the staff. It works for the Org as very little of the GI goes toward staff, hence, almost free labor. Any staff can observe how unworkable this is by the fact that all staff on the planet, unless they are being supported, must moonlight. Yet, everyone agrees to the terms and no one tries to change it. They have agreed to the idea (more mental lead) that if they work harder or better they will get more money. Theoretically, this is true; the more each unit is worth, the more everyone makes. But if the unit is not worth much, then either is the pay. If your own stats are in screaming affluence, but the higher percentage of staff are in normal or lower, then your pay still suffers.

    A simple confront of the situation would demand that staff should be paid at least a minimum wage with bonuses for upstats. This won’t happen.

    Another thing to look at is the “hard sell” viewpoint that is LRH policy. He says to sell Scientology like soap. He says he doesn’t like that we have to do that , but that it is necessary. Well, I take issue with him on that, per his own testimony that when the tech in the course rooms is in and the auditing tech is in … you can’t keep people away(paraphrased). Secondly, the “caring about the individual” always gets left out of “hard sell”, and finally, I personally hate bad salesmanship and most people in and out of Scientology can’t hard sell without ARCXing the client. It comes off as rude and overwhelming. I use to “sell” in Div 6, and was quite good at selling books. I sold because I gave lectures. I gave useful information about the mind and they wanted more. I didn’t just say, buy this book. I never made people wrong on the OCA by insisting that “this is you” if they didn’t agree. I just set the test aside and got in comm.

    Therefore, being honest about what is workable and what isn’t, is vital and keeps one from being in the “Scientology and Ron are perfect” camp or “Scientology and Ron are evil” camp.

    The organization of Scientology has its own beingness and therefore necessity to survive for its own sake, and unfortunately, this has come to mean that the individual means nothing and the group is everything. Something Ron warned against, but was not able to exemplify even in his time. I think all groups eventually implode. My solution…each individual must retain their inherent ability to observe, and act in a way which makes sense. Don’t ARCX people that you say you are trying to help. Don’t put MEST above theta. Treat others how you would like to be treated. Simple.
    And, as for the OT8 that didn’t want to help, well, I don’t like arrogance or non compassion…but perhaps he/she didn’t feel that person could be helped. I don’t know.

    1. The person in need of help is one of the more able persons I know – extremely able and indeed worthy of help… like anyone else.

  15. No offence, but I believe you can have another look at this Geir. And being CEO of many places is a beingness. It doesn’t say anything about your organizing skill.

    “But when the asset is the creative genius of each employee, I believe there is a better way.”

    If you had a magnifier looking att those genius employees you may find that each and everyone of them were running on their individual org board, doing the functions which you will find in the LRH’s publication.

    Degrading the org board, don’t you find anything wrong with this? Really?

    1. Not at all. Why?

      Anything is good to the degree it is proven workable for the purpose intended.

      As for my organizing skills; The financial results of the companies I have run speak for themselves.

      I believe there is a better way than any traditional organizing board (including that of LRH) – in many instances.

      As for the LRH org board: None of the really large and successful organizations on the planet run on it.

      Apart from all this; I have seen the LRH org board do really good. I have also seen it fail. It is not a silver bullet.

      1. Alright, Geir. I see it quite differently. All successful international companies that deliver a product are applying much, not all, of that LRH org board and this can be easily proven. It’s a matter of who is looking and why you look, I think. Some have vast div 4:s and some have vast div 6:s. This is normal.
        And you ask why you shouldn’t degrade the org board? Well, that’s a question I can’t answer for you.
        I am ending my input by this comment.

        Best Regards

        1. It is not a matter of degrading anything. It all has to do with proven workability. And everything should be subjected to that test.

  16. I have a vast respect for LRH for reasons I think do not need explaining. However, I have to agree with Geir that just because LRH reworked an old org board and chose to use it for the Church structure does not mean that it is perfect for every situation. So far, I have found it workable for me, but if it doesn’t work for all organizations so be it.
    Why is that a degrade? If Ron says that blue is the best color for offices, does that make it so?

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