It was 1994, aboard the Scientology cruise vessel MV Freewinds. It was my first trip to the ship and I signed up for the ship-only course “Secrets of the MEST universe” (MEST = Matter, Energy, Space & Time). It was a wonderful course – struck right to the core of my nerdiness. It enhanced my understanding of physics, a field I have been deeply in love with since my childhood.
Plugging away in the course room, I encountered a word I didn’t know and looked it up in a dictionary. It had a couple of different definitions that both could fit – but the meaning would be very different depending on which definition I used. I called the supervisor.
“I don’t know which of these two definitions to use. And the meaning of the sentence will be very different if I pick that one over the other“, pointing in the dictionary.
Scott looked at me “What do you think?”
“Well, I think it would be that one“, moving the finger to the second definition. Scott looked at me, said “Thank you” and walked away.
“Must have been lucky“, I thought.
The next day I was faced with a similar situation, only this time it was even more difficult to figure out which definition to use.
“Scott, come over here… there is this word…blah-blah-blah“. Scott countered “Well, what do you think?“. Me: “Oh, I think it’s this definition“.
“Thank you“, turning around and attended to another student.
Three is a charm, and an hour or so later I raised my hand. Scott looked over. “Nah, forget it“, taking my hand down. Scott smiled and said “Now you get it“.
For this and many other reasons, he is the best supervisor I’ve ever had.
You just got to take responsibility for your own observations, your own viewpoints and your own learning.
In the article “How to study Scientology” (Ability Magazine, Feb 1959), Hubbard writes:
“You are asked to examine the subject of Scientology on a critical basis—a very critical basis.”
“So then we ask you to look at Scientology, study it, question it, and use it as we present it and you will have discovered something for yourself. And in so doing you might well discover a lot more.”
“When you have applied it as it should be, and applied as it is taught at the school, and still find it unworkable, it is your privilege to question it and, if you like, reject it.“