On the value of life

I have come to the conclusion that my view of people and of life have been seriously flawed.

During my first 25 years as a scientologist, I adopted the idea that “A being is only as valuable as he can serve others.” That a persons “Output” or “Statistics” or “Production” was the sole determinants for a person’s value as a being. I believed that if a person did not contribute actively to others, he or she is of low value. I have experienced some extreme examples of this view in other scientologists. And with this view, a whole range of human rights abuses can be fully justified.

I became “hardened” in my views despite the increased love for others achieved through my spiritual progress all those years. My passion for people increased manifold on my journey up the levels in Scientology all while the dramatization of hard policies molded my analytical views. A contrast I can now finally settle.

It started with accepting this quote from L. Ron Hubbard as true: “By my own creed, a being is only as valuable as he can serve others.” It was reinforced by Hubbard’s policies on production, exchange and statistics. It was further cemented by the command intention and push in the Church of Scientology that a person’s value is directly proportional to his time and money donated to Church projects.

I adamantly defended the idea. When someone would counter this by raising the objection of “what about someone with Down’s Syndrome”, I would handle the objection by either a) explaining it away, b) claiming the quote was taken out of context, c) that Hubbard didn’t mean it quite like that, or d) that people with Down’s Syndrome is clearly an exception to the rule… and no rule without an exception etc.

But with everything else he wrote, and especially when I was a Course Supervisor in the Church, I would state emphatically that Hubbard means what he says. Hubbard was a very capable author, and he didn’t throw around approximate statements or statements that he meant to be interpreted in the view of everything else he wrote. No, I have come to understand that Hubbard was a very precise philosopher and author. He was accurate, to-the-point and clear in his views.

I recently read through a whole blog discussion on this very quote, and can only say that the sentence says what it says: “A being is only as valuable as he can serve others.” Only… only as valuable as… Nothing else enters the equation. It is an y = ax type of expression. It is not y = ax +b. There is no other value involved (like the “b” in the last equation).

Perhaps flagging the exception of a person with Down’s Syndrome is a bit extreme, and maybe that is an exception etc. But what about a baby? We have all been one. Screaming and in diapers, completely reliant on our mom and dad, not helping much compared to any grown-up except of course for the smile and shining baby face. But if a baby’s value as a being is to be measured only by it’s ability to serve others, it would be very low compared to the captain on a ship. Still, children and women are put in the life boat first. Chivalry plays a part here. So does love, compassion and one’s affinity for life itself.

I want to make it known that I now believe that life has an intrinsic value all on its own. This is an obvious conclusion from my article “On Will”, but I wanted to share it also as a separate blog post.

I can hear the justifications and objections popping, so I will add this: Of course there are situations in life where people will and should be valued differently. Like in the business world. Just like I would have a low value as a surgeon or as an ice skater, my 2-year old would have a low value as a programmer. But a broad statement that a being is as valuable as he can serve others?

I believe you are valuable. Whoever you are. I believe you deserve compassion love and care whether you are a King or a beggar, a Wall Street executive, baby in diapers, a kid with Down’s Syndrome or a being in an old cancer-ridden body at its last breath. I will commit myself to support the value of You and to fight for life, for freedom, for compassion and for love.

152 thoughts on “On the value of life

  1. Interesting operation base. I myself did not put this up as a stable datum from which I evaluated all individuals around me. It gives a limited view of a person. I was always interested whats there in the other universe ongoing and it did not mind if it was a manager, a gambler, a beggar, a priest, a worker or a soldier. Furthermore “help” is not just auditing, ethics and policy. Just listening and ack a comm, or getting shoppings done for an old handicaped grandma could also considered to be “help” especially in the world ouside SCN. Believe it or not. For those “insignificant”help, I earned the most admiration from others.

    1. It is about Help. I tried to find the entire HCO PL online. Here’s what I found. It was about the SO#1 line, about writing letters to LRH. I don’t know if this is the entire issue or not, I believe it is:

      HCO PL 18 December 1961


      ‘All mail addressed to me shall be received by me.

      ‘I am always willing to help. By my own creed, a being is only as valuable as
      he can serve others.

      ‘Any message addressed to me and sent to the address of the nearest Scientology Church will be forwarded to me directly.’

      L. Ron Hubbard. HCO PL 18 December 1961.

      I see nothing wrong with this in the context.

      I think what applies here is something else LRH said: “Don’t put policy where a being ought to be.” He always said Policy Letters were “To think with”, not to slavishly follow.

      In the background, I see a continuum of states of being, ranging from “Willing to help” to “Unwilling to help”. There is an extreme, a person who is seldom or never willing to help. This person may be at the extreme of “Must be contributed to”. The initials “DM” come to mind. He must endlessly be contributed to and claims he is the only one whoever gets anything done. He claims he is the only one who “serves”, while according to him, everyone else loafs or undermines him….

      I would rate any Downs syndrome person as more valuable than that one.

      I read the quote as Ron’s personal feeling, his own personal Ideal Scene for himself. Did he judge others? I think he did, but having heard him discussing the auditing of preclears whose real tone was on the sub-zero scale, I thought his acceptance of them was almost superhuman! Some of the cases he described, I would have wanted to shoot out of hand! Yet he listened and acknowledged them without any rancor, scolding, or chastisement.

      I think it is others who took those words of Ron’s, and created a judgemental automaticity out of them, essentially a serfac, out of their own weakness and inability or unwillingness to live up to that standard of help. The whole low-toned, 1.2 culture of abusive No Sympathy for “downstats” etc. Nazism, essentially.

      So at this point, it seems to me the axis around which this revolves is simply “willingness to help”. And most anyone I have ever met, Downs syndrome or not, is willing to help, within the limits of their realities.

        1. The fact is, the quote may actually be right, and there may not be any need for me to “make it right”, IF it’s “rightly” understood.

          I will refer to the last section of Ivro’s post in the “StudyTech” thread”

          “9. The barriers to study mainly deal with what is called decoding, i.e. getting what is being said. This in no way guarantees that the person has really understood a) the VIEWPOINT it was being said from b) how exactly the data applies c) how it ties together with other data d) what seniority this data has in relation to other data (Essay on Management and ARC for instance being senior to the ethics presence policy idea of being able to get mad)”


          What was LRH’s VIEWPOINT? And I mean on Life, the universe, everything? What was he looking at, when he wrote it?

          In my own journey, I am not at the point of reviewing LRH, I am still on my”first time through”, so I am still trying to duplicate LRH’s viewpoint on all of this.

          In the PL in question, the contextual clue I see is his statement about being “always willing to help”, and that it is about the establishment of the S.O. #1 line. Which was supposed to be a communication line to him.

          Take that quote and think about how different people in different states of being and emotion would interpret and use it:

          How would a depressed person understand/use it? A frightened person? An angry person? A logical unemotional person? etc. Each person would have a different take on it. Each person understands things according to his nature and capability. Even you and I ๐Ÿ™‚

          I don’t think the CoS in general actually duplicated LRH.
          I think the affinity in the quote was alloyed thousands of different ways by thousands of different people resulting in a sort of “inevitable average of understanding” of what the quote means, similar in nature to what the common shared MEST universe is theorized to be.

          So my project right now is not to make the quote right or wrong, but to discover how it fits in it’s overall context.

          It may well turn out to be a valid operating principle, and “right” in it’s context, which would be optimum Survival along all 8 Dynamics.

          I am not Jewish, but, La Chaim! (To Life!)

      1. Valkov, Thanks for finding the reference. I knew there was a connection to the SO#1 line. And seeing it in context likes that, confirms my feeling that he was describing himself.

        1. It’s still very hard to escape the following:

          “A being is only as valuable as he can serve others”


          “A being that cannot serve others have no value”

          1. Well, let’s look at some beings we have known, either directly or by reputation. Hitler? Stalin? Torquemada? What about the less well-known criminals? Like DM, who apparently lives to aggrandize himself and impoverish, starve, subjugate, and destroy the health and lives of others?
            How valuable were/are they, really? Do these beings have any value?

            I think in reality there are beings who “serve” predominately death and destruction, or only think of themselves, that they must be contributed to, with everyone else doing the contributing, ie “serving” him while he serves no-one.

            What is the “value”of such a being?

            This is just common sense.

            1. My (common?) sense is that they have great value. Just like any life.

              They certainly have less value to a wide variety of situations, but a general sweeping “value”: Great.

          2. This is a very interesting discussion because it opens up such a wealth of interrelated concepts and issues philosophers have struggled with through the ages!
            Such as, how do you, I, or a society define “valuable”?
            Do beings have any intrinsic value at all, or is it “only” a matter of consideration?
            The idea of “value”seems to be built into religions. There are behaviors that “please God”, and behaviors “God abhors”, etc. Those kind of concepts permeate societies and cultures. Good grief!
            We must look outside of the MEST universe to make any sense of it, I think.
            The fabled 9th and 10th Dynamics (Ethics and Esthetics) come to mind.
            Here again is the link to The Pilot’s write-up on some of the upper dynamics. That section is about halfway down through the document. It is all worth reading, however:

  2. A baby’s hat in life is very different than a software developer but NOT any less important. In fact, I believe a baby’s hat is to make the grown ups SMILE and who can put a price on that?? In fact, a baby’s exchange (keying out people) far EXCEEDS whatever we can do or give that baby.

    If everybody were rich and in perfect health, there wouldn’t be much of a game. One of my sons worked with Down’s Syndrome kids for a summer and he will attest that the love he got from those kids far exceeded whatever he did for them. He never felt sorry for them because they didn’t feel sorry for themselves. Everybody, no matter their circumstance, is valuable. Often this value is intangible, but valuable nevertheless.


  3. Life is it’s own value and point IMHO.

    I just finished an oddly titled book, “How to be Sick – A Buddhist Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers”

    It came highly praised by a Facebook/Second Life friend who is on a long road of recovery from cancer surgery and chemotherapy.

    It is written by a very dedicated buddhist who was also a very accomplished lawyer and Prestigious Law Professor. One day on a trip to Paris, she got sick on an airplane and the flu turned into that infamously famous bucket diagnosis of “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” followed by dozens of other diagnoses.

    She is chronically ill with no hope of recovery and without the strength to formally meditate – a tough order for a Buddhist.

    She discusses the ravages of a long term illness and how Buddhist techniques from various teachers have helped her bravely face and embrace this reality with an open heart for herself and others.

    She also writes to help caregivers find support as well, because a person caring for a deeply ill individual loses almost as many freedoms as the patient.

    It’s an amazingly wise piece of practical, paperback compassion that our world can really use.

    And such a life is it’s own point.

  4. “The justifications and objections popping” you hear was from me;))
    What is going on Geir? (You take small things,blow them up out of proportion!?)Why not tackle some bigger stuff? Like is there any OT-powers 2 B had,and proof?Did Ron use drugs extensively as his son claimed?What is his connection 2 Crowley,OTO,The Rose Croix order,CIA (as he was trained in “intelligence”)How and when did he learn Hypnosis etc. Geir tell me what your thoughts are,i know you aren’t giving up Scientology just yet?!:))

    1. Tommy, this is by no means a small thing for me. It is profound and deep and goes beyond respect, compassion and love. It trumps most of the things you mention in your comment. By far. I am surprised you do not appreciate that.

      1. I can appreciate it and agree that the level of ARC in the Church to low. But you are saying that Ron wanted it that way (in his materials)?There is some clues to his double nature,RPF,Simon Bolivar Pl etc.But in his writings and tapes he is a humanist.If people choose to ignore basics like the Axioms,ARC-triangle etc, is it something wrong with the subject? (and AGAIN where are you going with this??)

        1. Your definition of “value” seams also to be a bit one sided? Ron do talk about how small children bring value,smiles,sticks and ARC. Value is not = labor or money?

        2. I am not saying he wanted it that way. But I am saying if he wanted it less that way, he would have focused more on a solution in that direction. He certainly failed in making a sound religious or scientific movement (pick your choice) and he failed utterly in ensuring his succession.

          1. “A being is only as valuable as he can serve others” In this sentence Ron talks about him self and what he believes in and the standards he is operating on!!? Geir there IS real subjects to discus regarding Ron ,Church and Scientology.Did Ron fail? (It isn’t over before its over,i think he DID a super human job!!!) And he told us (as Franklin and others) the price of freedom!!! Remember?? You go out and do a better job!??

            1. There are many important things to write about. For me, the most important thing is how I view, treat and respect other people. I had a profound realization that changed my view on other people. You included.

              The “end justifies the means”-approach is a source of abuse.

              Tommy, I think you are way up justification creek on this one. Let it go.

          2. I’m glad you had this realization,but I’m think you are wrong blaming Ron to have had it!(prior viewpoint)
            I’m justifying what? Allow me to analyze you? You feel betrayed and hurt by Ron and now you are “nattering” (being SP and all;) Ron NEVER said this was a perfect system.I have huge debts that I’m likely to take to my grave,suffering “depression” my life is a mess etc.I’m NOT justifying or thinking Scientology,the Church or Ron is “perfect”.I have however been looking around for anything remotely approaching the same level on the subject of life and spirit.I’m now USING Scientology to look for my self in to the “mysteries” of life.It is a road and a way of thinking about things and i am progressing (having TA in abundance). I wouldn’t be the person i am now,without LRH and i am eternally grateful.(And if he was a greedy lying bastard,if 50% of Scientology is “wrong” that don’t change those facts..)

            1. You don’t get my viewpoint. And I am trying very hard to understand why I cannot get it across to you.

              You see, I am not blaming Ron. And me as you, I got huge gains in Scientology. However, that does not make it ok for me to justify outpoints. Actually, the opposite is true. I owe myself to see Scientology exactly as it is, with all its plus-points and minus-points. Just as they are. Not merely waving aside any outpoints by saying “hey it’s not perfect”, but actually spotting the imperfections and going forward from there. That is what OT is all about. That is what science, truth and honesty embodies.

          3. We are probably not in the same dimension:)And on”study tech ll” you said that we was past talking about “Study tech”.In my com I’m keeping to the subject and never leaving it (i guess that is my auditor training kicking in).And from my point of view I’m receiving your “intention” that you are “projecting” (when stating “missing in study tech”) That is a statement,, and i am running a comm-cycle on that..

          4. Half of my last comment got lost in my old computer:) The part about “projected intention” was from FB.I have to say that this posting of yours was better than the ones on study tech. 5 of 10;))

            1. I wouldn’t expect you to give blessing to anything that challenged the tech in the slightest ๐Ÿ˜‰

    2. How can you understand the ‘bigger’ things if you cannot deal with and understand the basics? If you go deep enough (or back up enough, however you choose to define it ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) you’ll find the ‘basics’ are in fact ‘the bigger stuff’.
      We build concept upon concept upon concept, but forget that we dive into things in order to be able to go back, get an overview/a bigger view, and understand.

    3. Why are you trying to project your thoughts on Geir? If you’ve got anything to say about the things you’ve listed, you can write a blog of your own and I’ll happily read it.

  5. Understood! Your last paragraph is so true.

    I guess outside the application of tech Hubbards writings should be taken more as a guide than an absolute. True of all religions I think.

      1. I really agree with this. A lot of it is his opinions.
        I never entirely agreed with the OP quote, and I realize now that I simply didn’t understand it. I did not understand, and because I haven’t worked it out, still don’t understand, how he arrived at that position. And I think there is a positive meaning to it, that I haven’t grasped. I’m sure I’m not the only one, with whom the phrase “A life of service” resonates, but what does it actually mean???

        So I must say, “Great post, Geir!” I think you have focused right on one of those little statements that have had a huge impact, almost subliminally, on Scientologists, because it has never really been understood! It has become, long since, an “everybody knows”. But actually no-one knows what he meant by it and especially how he derived it.

        Offhand, it would seem to fit somewhere in and interlock with, the complex of ideas such as the idea of “exchange”, of being “out-exchange”, of being contributed to more than one contributes and so on.

        So it could be an “opinion” only, or it could be a valid operating principle in this universe.

        The example of “what does a baby/small child contribute?” is an interesting one. In Child Dianetics, Hubbard himself mentions the smiles and ARC as a child’s major contribution.

        But actually a child’s contribution is more than that, because a child is a link in the continuation of the Great Chain of Being. The child’s survival helps us to survive in the future, because the child has the potential to grow up and himself have children and grandchildren – which will provide us with bodies to assume down the road so we can continue on.

        So although a child apparently takes a lot from us in time, care and expense, in the end the child serves the future. And indeed, at birth I believe many do dedicate themselves to some kind of life-long service.

        “Cause is motivated by the future.”

        So “Thank you, Geir”, for your post about this! It gives me something very worthwhile to ponder and research, too.

        I guess at this point I’ll assume it is actually not just an opinion, but a relatively high-level “truth” that expresses a valid operating basis across the dynamics.

        The idea that “service to others” is valuable occurs too often in too many religions and philosophies, for me to dismiss the idea as just one man’s opinion.

        But I must agree 100% percent, that it may not be an easy thing to judge, and ought not to be judged lightly, and not assumed to be thoroughly understood. It seems to me it may well be in the realm of Ethics, which I view as an entirely personal matter, unless it clearly and obviously spills over into the 3rd dynamic realm of Justice.

        That’s my take on it today. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Nice post.

          Even with the most favorable of interpretations, one must still conclude that a person with Down’s Syndrome is of less value than you.

          1. I wouldn’t bet on it.
            I have had a little contact with Downs syndrome folks. Some higher functioning ones at least. They are all about Love.

            I am an “intellectual”. For various reasons, Emotion was heavily suppressed in me as I grew up. I have had to fight a major negative side of my own constitution to be productive at all. Or even, perhaps, to be still alive. Others helped or I wouldn’t have made it here.

            The Downs syndrome people I have met, are all about Affinity. Granted, in my community here, there are a lot of resources for Downs syndrome, and they get decent care.

            I have no conclusion about all this yet.

            Perhaps they are here to provide us with the opportunity to serve, rather than leaving us free to chase the ever-larger HDTV and all the other toys we are obsessed with “having”.
            They remind us that Heart is more important than anything else. They are part of the Great Chain of Being. They are a mystery. But are they basically different than any other form of Life?

            Whatever he means by it, I like the name Marty chose for his blog – Moving On Up A Little Higher.
            Most of us are reaching upwards.
            In the “uplift” scenario, Evolution is conscious, or it does not happen. Anyone who stops on the ladder, prevents the person behind him from moving up. He who moves up, pulls someone else up.

            We care for stroke victims who survive, or those with closed-head injuries, even when they result from driving drunk and crashing……. We care for them at great expense.

            We build and work in shelters for cats, dogs, and other “lost” and homeless animals…..

            And yet, today’s Medicine is based on statistics. Many treatments are dangerous and will kill a small percentage of the people they are intended to help. Doctors today weigh the risk/reward, cost/benefit ratios in making life-and death decisions…….

            A lot to ponder.

            Did you think all these kinds of issues were embedded in your OP about the meaning of a single sentence?

            1. Nope. It is a mentality where that sentence is merely one tiny example. The whole picture is flanked by lots of other datums in policies and elsewhere. We have the ideas of exchange – that to invalidate the value of something one would give it away for free, the push on statistics, on production serving a predetermined purpose, on processes in a business sense, the RPF and the RPFs RPF where the value of beings is strictly graded, policies on seniority of command, etc. etc. The overall picture points to the grading of the general value of a being based on that being’s output, production and serving of others or preset purposes.

              One could justify, explain away or make the quote right by whatever means. Sure. But if one does not see this overall picture as a factor contributing to the hardass mentality and grading of a being’s value that we in fact see in the CoS, then one is faced with a hefty task of explaining why the mentality is indeed manifested so broadly. It’s all DM’s fault? Oh, gimme’ a break,.

          2. All DM’s fault? Not at all! He is just the epitomy of that culture. The tendency to develop such cultures is inherent in human nature. DM and the current iteration of the CoS is only one recent example of the development of such a culture, these kind of cultures have existed from time immemorial, we can all think of other examples.

            My question is, What is that one sentence actually an example of, in Hubbard’s universe? What, in fact, was he trying to express? I do not believe he necessarily endorsed the development of such a culture in the way it has actually come to exist.

            I am still thinking he meant something else by it. See my coming post “upstream” of this dialogue, about Dynamics beyond the 8 Dynamics. In the meantime, here is a link to paper by The Pilot, which includes sections on the 9th and 10th Dynamics, as well as additional ones beyond those. He calls them “Upper Dynamics” and explains how it all may have come about.

            9th, 10th, and further Dynamics beyond the MEST universe:

            1. I think he inadvertently showed a small bias in that sentece, something that came more on display in several less masked policies.

          3. Geir, in response to your comment about LRH’s “inadvertant bias” (there was no “Reply” button directly under that), I wanted to say that in spite of LRH’s own illogics or case irrationalities (which he himself conceded), he did in fact give us all the tools to become at cause over whatever – even the Tech and LRH himself – while still being able to continue benefitting from it.

            Now, that is the most significant point of all, to my way of thinking.

  6. I’m happy that you’ve made this conclusion.
    By the way “A being is only as valuable as he can serve others” is a broad generality and so “a logical fallacy” ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. I think that this datum of “..as valuable as..,” with the logical conclusion that some are more valuable than others, doesn’t at all preclude the idea that each individual does have intrinsic value. That value is relative – in the context and from and viewpoint of the general dynamics. It aligns with the basic principle of existence, SURVIVE, divided into the 8 dynamics, which otherwise would have to be rejected too, wouldn’t it?

    1. No. You forgot the “only” in the sentence. That is what precludes intrinsic value (as represented by my equations ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. Okay, I see your point. But I still think that LRH was speaking in terms of relative value to the dynamics, “only” nothwithstanding.

        Is this the old philisophical riddle: “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?”

        1. No ๐Ÿ™‚

          The “only” does seal the deal, though. All sorts of justifications may be attempted, and believe me, I have covered most of them if not all of them. They do not work.

          1. I’m just having trouble understanding what “value” could possibly mean if not in relation to someone’s viewpoint. Isn’t it inherently a relative term?

            Thanks for your comm!

          2. I just thought of that axiom having to do with a viewpoint having the ability to evaluate. It seems that any “value” exists because it has been observed as such or postulated as such – from a particular viewpoint, And then there’s the idea of the necessity to have a datum of comparable magnitude… and this is where comparison comes into it.

  8. Congratulations on the cog and the new world view that opens. I certainly agree there is more to the “value of a being” than the utility which he provides to others. I personally believe that may only “scratch the surface” of “value”.

  9. Great article Geir,

    I remember the line โ€œA being is only as valuable as he can serve others.โ€ very well.

    I always took it to mean ‘being of use in achieving some sort of satisfaction for others’. I didn’t think it had anything to do with stats, output or production the way the church looks at it now. I don’t think these had anything whatsoever to do with ‘serving’ others. I was in it to simply help others and gain a little awareness myself.

    Your ‘extreme examples’ are exactly the opposite of what I thought Scientology was and, like you, have seen a number of those extreme examples. To me, they are quite the opposite of what I considered Scientology’s or my own personal aims were.

    And like you, I experienced a tremendous surge of love/compassion/ARC for others as I moved up the bridge. Did I harden over the last few years … to a degree, yes – I don’t like that this happened, and it’s one of the things I ‘battle’ with. I go back to my original goals/purposes to offset this viewpoint.

    I agree that the over-zealous and harmful use of some policies have played a large part in this … as I mentioned before, you get a nutcase in a position of power and the result is definite madness.

    Early on in the Mission I was at, we felt that we were a group – a TRUE group. We did contribute with actions. This is also covered the the True Group PL. Money at the time was waaaay down the list. We knew of the scale of motivation … Duty was at the top, money at the bottom. Unfortunately, money has supplanted duty other than it’s YOUR duty to give money. This is not what i, my fellow staff members, nor the public at the time understood.

    Granting of beingness was ‘supreme’.

    I personally never cared whether I was talking to the Wall St banker or an impoverished soul, whether they were worth billions or I had to lend them 20 bucks – to me they were all interesting and deserved my attention. They all deserved to be heard.

    They all deserve a better game & greater ability to play that game.

    They deserve our help.

    1. Oops … forgot my last paragraph:

      So, as for value – I think we all have intrinsic value, whether that be the joy created with a newborn and experienced by others, helping that little old lady across the street, or forwarding the aims of a group one belongs to towards a pro-survival purpose.

      Yes, there are some nasty beings out there, and in time they too may change. Their ‘value’, at present, is in their universe for themselves and rarely ‘serve’ others.

  10. Well, to be honest, I never fully agreed with that quote. But because he was saying “By my own creed …”, I simply let him have his own creed. ๐Ÿ™‚ And since it wasn’t in the “Creeds” and “Codes” of Scientology, I didn’t have a problem with it.

    That is an interesting point that the policies on production, statistics and exchange do reinforce that quote.

  11. Where is the Like Button. Thanks for seeing it that would be one less indie that treats me that way.

    Most don’t but a few do. It don’t upset me as much as it used to. I get grumpy and talk back now. I see where it is coming from and how and why.

    The thing is if you tell them what is being done it is like feeding a cognition. Don’t work.

  12. Beautiful and very important ideas. Thank you.
    If I recall correctly, the quote was in the context of being in a leadership position. I took it to mean that when you are in a position of leadership, you try to serve and help, as opposed to gaining for yourself through your power. However it was intended, many Scicentologists operate as though people who can’t produce much are not worth much – like children and old people. I always felt that I had to justify caring for my children rather than running off for auditing, and have heard the opinion about how foolish some are when they don’t want to put an old or ill person into an institution. It’s very sad because this intrinsic value and love is what makes the whole thing worth doing at all, IMHO.

  13. There is another reason why one should not agree with this sentence:

    “By my own creed, a being is only as valuable as he can serve others.”

    There are a whole lot of people perfectly able to help others. But they don’t because they are egocentric and selfish. Per Hubbard’s creed, they are more valuable than someone who is afflicted with an illness or injury without fault on his part, that renders him unable to “serve”. I find this wrong.

    1. LRH does make a difference between “apparent worth” and “actual worth” in the Chart of Human Evaluation and its corresponding chapter in Science of Survival.

      1. I fail to see how the introduction of these two phrases can resolve the conflict; but I didn’t read that book or chapter so there may be a valid one. That is not the issue.

        The issue is that this is written in the policy letter without context or differentiation whatsoever. Whatever happened to the easy applicability of the tech if you need to read and know by heart the theses of 20 books?

        1. Ackerland, thanks for your reply.

          My understanding of the difference between apparent worth and actual worth is this: A person may have high intelligence, high “horsepower” (theta), and good health – i.e. his apparent worth is high – but as he goes done the tone scale his actions are directed more and more towards non-survival and thus his actual worth would be lower and lower, the further down he goes.

          Thus, a person like the one you described, who may be perfectly able to help others but doesn’t, might have a high apparent worth but not a high actual worth as he is not directing his actions toward survival – and I think that is the worth LRH was talking about.

          But I do understand what you’re saying about it being beside the point you are making about the statement as it reads, in and of itself.

          And yet, I don’t know if LRH could have spoon fed us the vast subject of Scientology, even if he succeeded in never making a single statement that was not unmistakably clear and accurate. I think that it takes our own participation and responsibility and a thorough, not dilettante, study – at the right speed and on the right gradient, of course. This is something I myself learned from LRH – and have found it to be true! ๐Ÿ™‚

          1. There was a typo in the above – “done the tone scale” should read “down the tone scale.”

          2. P.S. Definition of “spoon feed: to provide so fully with information or the like that one is prevented from thinking or acting independently; to provide someone with (information or the like) in this way.

            Mayabe there was a “method to LRH’s madness,” as the saying goes.

  14. Off course Ron Hubbard was entirely right by stating “a being is only as valuable as he can serve others”. A game has players, pieces and broken pieces. There managers and there are doormats and in betweens. Managers like clean shoes and doormats like a lazy excistence. Also Ron Hubbard stated somewhere else “nobody is indispensable” and this off course counts also for the doormats. What’s the problem

    1. The problem is that this very attitude opens for human rights abuses… like what we see in… yes, the Church of Scientology. So, it’s not a theoretical problem, it is a very real one.

      1. I do think that we have to be careful not to see that quote in a vacuum. There are many many other quotes, of course, on the value of “granting beingness” and “loving ones fellows despite all reasons not to” etc. The very core and nature of Scientology encourages greater ARC with ones environment.

        In reading the OP quote (re: value and serving others), I always saw it as LRH saying that he personally felt that his greatest value to the world was in serving others. I never felt that he was trying to enforce it on others.

        Personally, I don’t have a problem with supporting the growth (stats and production) of a truly pro-survival group which relies on some kind of exchange for the services offered (whatever that exchange may be). I just expect a “pro-survival group” to be respectful and considerate to both its staff and its public — both current and former customers.

        There are CoS policies, unfortunately, that — especially, in the wrong hands — allow for disrespectful treatment of staff and the public. Taken to an extreme or used without judgement, they can even lead to abuses and human rights violations.

        I think both a change in leadership and an improvement/updating of policies, is the only solution to this whole morass called the CoS.

        1. I acknowledge that for me the quote was wrong. Several policies along these lines are equally wrong for me. I can see how they contributed to a wrong attitude in me and others. The fact that LRH also wrote heaps of wonderful stuff does not make the above right for me. I have tried extensively to justify it that way for many years. Finally, the justifications wore out. Through simple and unfiltered looking.

          1. “The fact that LRH also wrote heaps of wonderful stuff does not make the above right for me.”

            And for me either.

      2. I”m not sure that this particular LRH statement was THE factor that took Scientology in the wrong direction, but I can see how it definitiely aligns with that ill-fated direction and could have been at least a major factor – especially since it was bolstered by the policies you’ve cited.

        I still do think, however, that he also gave intrinsic value to each individual. For example, he said that all thetans are basically GOOD. and even said something about all of them being “gods” – not to mention all the basic abilities of a being laid out in the Axioms.

        1. I wasn’t here trying to define some “turning point” for him or for Scientology. I was merely addressing a flaw in my own view on life.

          Also, whatever else he wrote does not make that quote or supporting policies right for me.

      3. Geir,

        Excuse me for butting in here, but you are exactly correct. Not only human rights violations come naturally from this viewpoint, but abuse on a huge scale of all life on the planet, and of the planet itself is based on the philosophy that service is the only measure of value.

        Earth is not generally acknowledged in modern, western culture to be a “being,” but we are pretty much alone in that viewpoint among Earth cultures, modern and ancient. Without that point, however, suffice it say that centuries of destruction to other dynamics have been done by mankind operating from the viewpoint that the planet and all it’s resources and inhabitants are here to “serve” us. Indeed, the rain forests greatest chance of preservation lies in possibility for the powers that be that there is more profit in conserving the wealth of flora and fauna they contain than there is in burning and bulldozing them out of existence.

        But all of that is in addition to the simple and beautiful point you made in your post. Our humanity resides in our ability to see the value in every human life, in all life. Like you, I find I am regaining mine after many years of wrong thinking. Thank you for making this point important by writing about it here.


  15. The statement, โ€œA being is only as valuable as he can serve others,โ€ contributes to the ego the way it is worded. The Hindu master, Vivekanandaโ€™s viewpoint was, โ€œThank the other person that he is presenting a situation and giving you the opportunity to help him.โ€


      1. “One grows spiritually as one helps others.”

        But isn’t that exactly what LRH is saying? … he feels/felt his only value (“By my own creed…”) comes from helping and serving others.

        I never saw this quote as applying to others. It always came across to me as how he felt about himself.

        I don’t see it as “contributing to the ego”. Just the opposite. It shows LRH was interestED … not interestING.

          1. Yes, but if you look at it as his statement about himself, it doesn’t have quite the same meaning as if the statement were about others.

            1. “a being”, not “I”. He sets a standard for how he views any being, not only himself. Time for word clearing.

          2. It’s a weirdness in English, actually. For example, if someone says:

            One is often dismayed by the traffic.”

            The “one” can mean “I” and/or “other people”, depending on the intent. It can often go either way. Or even mean both “I” and “other people”.

            That’s also true of “a being” in the way LRH used it. And because he started the sentence off with “By my own creed” (and also because it was always used as a byline to his offer to respond to all letters, i.e. the SO#1 line), it tended to come across, to me at least, that he was talking about himself.

            In any event, I’m not trying to justify for LRH. I’m just trying to give you my experience and impression of that quote.

            Perhaps if we had the source reference, we could get more context. Do you happen to know what it is?

        1. My thought 2,that statement by Ron was an +point.If you looking for “Outpoints” they can B found.(this is NOT one..)

  16. I like this conclusion:

    I believe you are valuable. Whoever you are. I believe you deserve compassion love and care whether you are a King or a beggar, a Wall Street executive, baby in diapers, a kid with Downโ€™s Syndrome or a being in an old cancer-ridden body at its last breath. I will commit myself to support the value of You and to fight for life, for freedom, for compassion and for love.

    How does one value a being? It all depends on how one looks at oneself.


    1. True.

      I used to be on a compulsive serving of others as a result of my agreeing to the quote and flanking policies. And through this view of myself, I viewed others. And it was seriously off.

  17. Please explain “this attitude”.

    It has nothing to do with attitude, but what’s going on in life and livingness, I am not saying I am it is an ideal scene, far from it. It is a polarized game we are committed to.

    Untill the abuser realise himself, not me or you, what he is doing, he can’t or won’t be helped, Compulsive helpers may try enforcement.

    1. “This attitude” is the attitude expressed in the quote and the flanking policies as noted in the blog post.

      The abuses are the real problem, wouldn’t you agree?

      1. I think “the attitude” is in how one reads the quote. There are some policies which support your (former) view, Geir, so I can see how one could come to that conclusion.

        And then you have something like the “Celebrity Centres” which, if anything, are a real world example of the CoS considering some people as more “valuable” than others. And you have David Miscavige fawning over Tom Cruise, etc.

        It is hard to deny that the organization went severely in this direction (of putting more value on some people over others), and that there are policies which support this behavior.

        I would contend that this whole approach is at odds with the core philosophy of Scientology, and in an “ends justify the means” reasoning, LRH put these policies in place to help grow the organization rapidly, i.e. you get the celebrities and OLs (opinion leaders) of the world to support Scientology and the CoS will grow. We could go back and forth on the wisdom of taking this approach (I don’t think it was a particularly wise one), but then again had a more experienced and competent leadership been in place, things might have turned out differently.

        In any event, I would consider this whole area of policy ripe for reform.

  18. The issue is is getting sidetracked, To return back to my first writing you missed my point I was trying to say. The whole game is about serving, nobody excluded, even the dead are still serving cemetry keepers. Every action is a serving toward something, material or immaterial. We don’t notice it, we don’t think about it. It’s like a long circular chain and every link is important.

  19. Very interesting. At first I was offended because I don’t like Scientology being downgraded. Then I agreed with your initial post when I finished reading it. But as I read through many of the comments I cogged that the statement itself, “a being is only as valuable as he can serve others,” is one hundred percent correct with the following considerations: First of all, value is relative. Value for what viewpoint? So all that is necessary for something to have value is for there to be a viewpoint that considers that it is valuable or for there to be that viewpoint whom it therefore must serve. Value necessitates that it serves the viewer. Gold does not perform a service for others per say. But it serves us with value. A baby has value. He or she serves us because they have value. Even a problem can be thought of something that has value to us as it gives us a game. The equation that I would like to use to represent the stament is y = y + 0. Or let y = value, and x = serves others. In that case, y = x!
    However, I do agree that when I read that and operated with that datum as a Scientologist, it did make me look down on the unable or the less able. Even though, I myself considerewd my own self less able than many others! There is something definitely wrong there. But lets’ remember that Ron admited that Scientology was not perfect. And I think we are in a time where the workable datums of Scientology need to be promoted. That’s what’s important. If we focus on the wrongness in Scientology, we will get more wrongness. Scientology taught us that we get what we give importance to. There is a lot right about the beggar. Life is valuable. Viewpoints are valuable. Beings are valuable. That beggar serves me because he has life and life is valuable and life serves me. Should I focus on what is wrong with the beggar or what is right? Should I focus on what is right with Scientology or what is wrong? Should I focus on what is wrong with Geir and this blog and his contributions, or what is right? What do I want to get more of? What is important is that I have a way of discussing about the subject of Scientology now which I didn’t before. Thank you very much Geir. Thank you to all for being out there. In my opinion, Scientology has been the most awesome organization of awesome data that I have ever experienced. I dodn’t care if it ain’t perfect. It’s what I was looking for. I haven’t studied it, but I wonder if quantum physics might come close to it or if it is a work all alone in its own class. Hey, I only completed the purif in 1986 or 87 and I felt cleaner but it did not handle my drug case. And yet, I’ve gotten so much out of Scientology. I’ve done OT things in my life and I’m not even clear! The data is too valuable. It has definitely served me well enough for me to value it tremendously.

    1. Good post.

      But there is a logical continuation of what you are saying that I believe contributes to the danger of accepting the quote. If a being is only as valuable as it serves me, then I can easily slip into the mentality that the people at the end of my gun point somewhere in Iraq has no value because the serve me not. In fact, the anti-serve me. Hubbard did not say “a being is only as valuable as others value him”, or “a being is only as valuable as the perceiver is served” or “I feel I am only as valuable as I can serve others” or, or, or.

      I have justified this left right and center. I have seen others do the same. And with ensuing corroding respect for #degraded beings”. And remember the flanking policies. There is a certain element of “the end justifies the means” in Scientology. There is. If one is willing to look without justifications.

      Justifications make for less OT.

        1. In fact, sometimes not using less-than-perfect “means” to achieve an “end” is itself more destructive, or an overt, in the grand scheme of things.

          Life requires judgement, and in my view, a high level of personal ethics, to be lived happily.

      1. If you consider that a being is only as valuable as it serves YOU, then you are right about where DM is. You are thinking you must be contributed to, and are placing yourself at Effect.

        The whole thing works on a scale. A being is as valuable as he serves towards the survival of the dynamics. Of course there are gradients. If you are running a business, you evaluate applicants/potential employees on the basis of how they can be valuable in serving you/your business. You don’t want to hire a potential thief or criminal, who thinks only of how others can serve HIM.

        You try to hire the best person, and you have exchange for him, because as Jesus reportedly said, “A laborer is worthy of his hire.” You serve him because he serves you.

        1. I already covered this in the OP.

          I disagree that a person’s value is on-to-one linked to his or her serving of the eight dynamics – with the equation “Value” = X * “Serving the dynamics”

    2. The data contained in Scientology guided many of us to tremendous discovery. Perhaps we just need to re-evaluate some of our evaluations and conclusions.

  20. It might come down to semantics, because as soon as you use a word like “value,” strictly speaking you are already in the context of relativity as well as “opinion.” Here’s why, according to the Logics. “Value” is a “datum” per the definition, “A datum is a facsimile of states of beingness… ” Add to that, “Any datum has only relative truth,” as well as “Absolutes are unattainable”; plus, “A datum can be evaluated only by a datum of comparable magnitude.” Then there’s, “The value of a datum or group of data is modified by the viewpoint of the observer.”

    1. I think it just as well boils down to a need to justify out of gratefulness.

      I do think it is no coincidence that we today have a church where the end does very much justify the means. I held that viewpoint myself for many years. I found my own Why. It is up to others holding a similar view to find their own Why.

      1. Agreed, on both points – the one about “gratefulness” and the one about “no coincidence.”

      2. And in continuing on my theme above (i.e. that sometimes the end does justify the means), there are also times when the end used to justify the means … but they no longer do for any number of reasons such as change of environment, changes in culture, etc.

        All the more reason to continually re-evaluate policies, sometimes even doing a complete “sweep-out” as LRH recommends in “The Structure of Organization: What is Policy?” (13-Mar-1965, OEC Vol 0) — perhaps his most senior policy on the subject of “policy” itself:

        Although it is often too late when bad policies or pressure-group laws have been the order of the day to slash them all from the books and exhume the basic purpose, the action of sweeping away unreal, unapplicable and impeding laws and policies which were based originally on rumor and bad sources can have an effect of rejuvenation on a being, a group or an organization which has begun to die. Periodic sweep-outs of antiquated and didactic laws (rather than general concepts and subpurposes) must be undertaken by a being, organization, group or race or species. However, such an action must be carefully done, selecting only those laws or rules which came into being because of pressure groups or infrequent enemies or which were derived from no experience.

        Someone needs to exhume this policy, imho, and figure out which of the CoS’ “laws” are “antiquated and didactic” or were written “because of pressure groups or infrequent enemies or which were derived from no experience”.

        Now that we have 25-45 years of experience with these laws and policies…

  21. Good post, Geir.

    I have seen the arrogant disregard for “lesser beings” and have, as a church member, experienced this arrogance in myself. It helps to point this out.

    One thing I want to bring up, regarding the sentence, โ€œA being is only as valuable as he can serve othersโ€ is that I’ve noticed over the years when LRH would write something, he’d often express his point in superlatives. He’d say a sentence like, “The ONLY reason a person….” or “The primary cause of an Org’s failure…”, or “All ARC breaks stem from missed withholds.” etc. It seemed to me that LRH’s desire to find basic reasons for things influenced him often when writing about discoveries or developments. I noticed this tendency many years ago when reading OEC volume 0 and ran across several “only reason an org fails…” types of statement, and decided LRH had a tendency to exaggerate certain of his statements for emphasis.

    Perhaps a better expression of โ€œA being is only as valuable as he can serve othersโ€ would be “A being is valuable when he can and does serve others.” This is how I interpreted the original LRH statement in order for it to be a useful datum for me.

    1. Yes, one would have to interpret it in a way other than what it says. But that opens up a can of worms with possible interpretations of everything he wrote, don’t you think?

      1. It does, but it certainly seems to be the case to me. Ron makes these statements often , and they sometimes contradict each other. I have wondered if he really believed them at the time he was saying them, or if he was talking in theory, or supposition, or, or, or…. You try to come up with justifications for it. My conclusion has been that he is not very careful about his language in many cases. It definitely makes studying his materials more difficult.

      2. Well, yes, it does open a can of worms, having to interpret everything he says. But I don’t think there is harm in each of us growing up intellectually and going ahead and thinking for ourselves. There is a great deal to gain doing so and I see this point mentioned often.

        1. Well, there is a difference between thinking for oneself and interpreting the words of Hubbard to fit one’s preconceived viewpoint. Because if that is ok, then it surely must also be ok to interpret his words like most critics do…

  22. I think that by writing โ€œBy my own creed [his own, he keeps safe and states it is only his opinion :-)], a being is only as valuable as he can serve others.โ€ LRH accomplished two things:
    1) made him looks good and humble
    2) made it right for people to serve him and his goals and not their own.

    1. Actually he opened himself up to be judged by others, don’t you think? Because he was applying it to himself: “By my own creed….”

  23. Hi Geir, Hi everybody,

    I’m following you discussions here, but don’t know how to contribute to it.
    To be honest I’m a simple mind and mostly look for simple answers in any problem, and sometimes when reading through the blog here I’m quite amazed at all the thoughts and meanings people are developing re Lrh’s work.

    I’m fascinated by all those different viewpoints and interpretations of Lrh’s writing. Things I never thought about and don’t see in the writings of Hubbard. I think the problem has rather to do with the education, background, intelligence and experiences of a person, how she will interpret the writings of Hubbard or any other person. And this is the Key point.
    I feel lucky of having been part of Scientology from 1974 until 1981, before DM took over. I’ve seen orgs and missions that were really fun to be at with plenty of money, cheap prices and lots of expansion. I’ve seen people trained by LRH on the ship, stellar people with all the good attributes one is dreaming of, I’ve seen the first Nots completions in 1978 (never seen such people again).
    I’ve seen the thousands of Clears pouring out when the dianetics clear bulletin came out and the enthusiasm and love that was created by it.
    I’ve seen people having done the primary rundown and observed their speed and literacy. I’ve seen the first FEBC Graduate, personaly trained by LRH, what a powerhouse and kind person..he was also a class VIII.
    I’ve have seen the fun we had Co-auditing ourselves with Standard Dianetics, hundreds of Hours, running up and down the track and sometimes into OT2 or 3 incidents, we didn’t know, but were fascinated about our tracks and discussing it.
    To come to the point about what I want to say is that I’ve the experience of a very intelligent, kind, loving and helping Scientology.
    For us when somebody was downstat or downtone, the only feeling that existed then was enthusiasm and love of that person, as we were 100% certain we gonna help her to change that condition and we mostly did. No hate…no evals…nothing…than just helping and love for that thetan that didn’t know yet what all his abilities are.
    From 1982 after I did my OT-Levels it changed totally and it became the Scientology you’re discussing here and which I think most of the people have experienced here.
    And those experiences, I think are a burden and are very difficult to sort out or find a meaning in it.
    I stayed in Scientology until 2010 until I had the courage to get out. And those 28 years were very difficult for me, as it was an endless thinkingness and trying to understand what the hell is going on. Any sentence I read from Hubbard was then interpreted by the official church in all kind of manners, that my head never stoppeds spinning. I lived a miserable life in this time but never took part in that squirreling even I was staff several times, but was constantly in fights with scientologists as I coudln’t see their interpretations of tech or admin being meant this way by LRH. I’ve seen it and experienced it in totally other way. BUT now I’m out and back to original Scientology and that’s wonderful !
    When I was a young boy we used to go to a music cafe, and there were music bands playing, some good, some not too good and some very bad. Some of my friends used to ridicule sometimes the bad musicians or were critisizing them, sometimes with quite some evilness connected to it. Until that day when I told them, that if they know it better, then please they should go onto the stage and demonstrate it by giving a better concert, as the musicians on the stage have the courage and they don’t. So I used to say please go onto the stage, make it better or shut your mouth.
    So my question is this, to come back to the subject. If a person never has experienced the Scientology of Miscavige, just a loving and caring Scientology what would he think of above LRH quote ? Would she at all think more about it ?

    Geir, I love the wins and changes you’re having. This was the attitude that was originally teached in C.O.S long..long ..time ago ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Your experience and viewpoint is so similar to mine that it could have been a summary of my own track. Particularly this part:

      “For us when somebody was downstat or downtone, the only feeling that existed then was enthusiasm and love of that person, as we were 100% certain we gonna help her to change that condition and we mostly did. No hateโ€ฆno evalsโ€ฆnothingโ€ฆthan just helping and love for that thetan that didnโ€™t know yet what all his abilities are.”

      One thing that has completely horrified me is the shift from staff policy being applicable to staff posts and duties and responsibilities to staff policy somehow being applicable to everyone and everything. Just doesn’t work. Just as divorcing staff policies from the basics of Scientology, the use of good auditing and the use of good ARC doesn’t work. We’ve had a really good demonstration by the current C of S on just how completely unworkable it really is.

  24. LRH’s quote is in reference to a being. Life on the other hand transcends games and beingness and survival. What is life afterall but pure potential and ARC. A being on the otherhand is part of a game and can therefore be evaluated accordingly. You may have tremendous admiration and respect for a being with Down’s Syndrome and still be unwilling to hire him/her to run your company.
    IMHO the hardening attitude and intolerence come from an inability to step outside the game and evaluate policy and attitude objectively.

      1. Let me jump in here. I think policies are, or ought to be, monitored by something higher. Like an overall ethic. If policies are designed as operating guidelines for Survival in terms of the 8 Dynamics, then the overall ethic that monitors their application needs to be a higher Dynamic.

        I think the hints about the 9th and 10th Dynamics point to this higher viewpoint, which it sounds like you have progressed towards, by discovering, inspecting, and expanding beyond the business-like “utilitarian” agreement and conception you had formed in the past about the meaning of that quote.

        I trust your needle has been floating, as them scientologists like to say….

        In Greek and Latin there are 2 words in each language for “love”, with very distinct meanings. In Greek there is “eros” and “agape”; in Latin there are “amor” and “caritas”. These are on the order of physical, emotional love as between man and woman for example, and a higher, Divine, compassionate caring, a theta kind of love usually expressed as a love of all beings.
        There is no English equivalent.
        Whatever the case, it is very well done that you have achieved a new understanding which is actually a new and more complete state, from what you have said about it.
        Good man!

  25. I love this. My favorite quote from Shakespeare, “There are more things, Horatio, then are dreampt of in your philosophy.”

  26. Paulette Cooper’s testimony in Clearwater is a chilling reminder of what happens when Standard Scientology doesn’t value the freedom of a person’s life and viewpoint. If you haven’t seen this, you haven’t heard her story.

    LRH was fully in charge and wearing his hat.

  27. I too have been grappling with this concept. I have gone through a lot of changes on it.

    I think the only reason that I wrestled with it at all is because it is such an extremely generalized statement. So general that it was meaningless for me.

    Valuable – valuable to whom? Valuable – valuable to what? Valuable – in terms of what? WHAT – WHO – WHEN – HOW.

    Serve – serve in terms of physical labor? serve in terms of helping?

    How about the definition of serve: to pay homage to?

    Homage: respect, reverence.

    Couple this with the statement that admiration is the most valuable particle of all.

    Can you REALLY serve others without respect, admiration, reverence? Is it really of service at all if it does not embody these things?

    In other materials he discusses how money, buildings, etc. have no REAL value.

    How about value in terms of contribution? What of value is being created? Can you really create something of value by invalidating, forcing, judging, harassing, and so on?

    Similar to Geir, as a result of the auditing I had (and I had a lot) I found myself in a state of really caring, truly feeling love and admiration. I no longer see others as these super separate entities that I have to “manage” or “suppress” or push out of my way because they are not valuable to me. If they were not valuable to me they would not be present.

    There’s an old saying that the greatest act of friendship and love is to lay down one’s life for another.

    If I step back and take a lesser role to enable another, am I serving?

    If I do not “work” on staff or contribute recognized “statistics” of Scientology, am I serving?

    Can I be a “lowly” clerk in a retail store and still be serving in other ways? Ways that cannot be seen or measured with physical senses or instruments or in terms of money? ABSOLUTELY.

    This may explain why, in so many societies, people wanted the “holy” men to stay in or near their communities. They didn’t see them as vagrants. They saw them as wonderful and would serve them food and shelter.

    I think that the saddest cut of all is that the Church works very hard at being valuable by serving others and when finally, they find themselves with someone approaching OT, they cannot even comprehend what they have contributed to creating.

    Tough for me to explain but perhaps this will serve.

    Am I valuable, even if I am not exchanging?

    Of course I am, for I am ALWAYS exchanging, even when it looks like I am not being, doing, having anything at all.

    I think that this may happen more often than anyone realizes as people get a lot of good auditing — consider Silvia Kusada’s viewpoints as an example — also here’s another person’s point of view on all this: http://en.allexperts.com/q/Scientology-1751/beauty-admiration-followup-2.htm

    1. My old copy of The Creation of Human Ability started with this quote from St.Luke:
      3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.
      4 Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.
      5 And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.
      6 And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.
      7 And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the laborer is worthy of his hire. 1 Cor. 9.14 ยท 1 Tim. 5.18 Go not from house to house.

      Thus, I have always viewed LRH’s writings as coming from that perspective. I guess I was fortunate not to have been officially involved with the CoS. So those kind of policy attitudes never rubbed off on me.

      I have since found there is some pretty good stuff in St. Luke. I have no idea whether or not I’m objective about any of this, but I have always heard some echoes of the same kind of spirit in LRH.

  28. Sorry Geir for so many posts. But you have SO struck a chord on this one with me!

    So, LRH goes off and writes fiction books. Is he still serving? Is he still valuable?

    LRH dies. Is he still serving? Is he still valuable?

    LRH resigns as Executive Director. Is he still serving? Is he still valuable?

    LRH does photography in his spare time. Is he still serving? Is he still valuable?

    LRH is sick and ill. No longer able to function in a leadership role, as a writer, as a researcher, as a “sage.” Is he still serving. Is he still valuable?

    By his own creed, did he condemn himself?

    Did he judge himself so harshly that he removed himself?

    Did he judge himself so worthless that the only alternative was to leave the game?

    Did he really leave at all?

    1. Really GOOD to see you here on this one, Maria!

      I’ve had many of those questions roiling in my mind. What does it mean “to serve”? Is granting of beingness and admiration to others a way of serving them? Is being there and communicating?

      What about the great (and not so great) artists? Did Michaelangelo “serve others”? How about Mozart, Bach, Beethoven? Shakespeare? Bob Dylan? Any writer? Any philospoher or academic or poet? Are they “valuable”? How did(do) they “serve others”? Most of those kind of guys have to live by patronage one way or another.

      What about priests?

      At this point, I have nothing but questions in my mind, about what “service” really is!

  29. From a mailing list I am on, here’s the best answer to my blog post so far:

    Thank you for telling us that you have had a profound cognition. Congratulations.
    We would never Q and A with your cognition or anyone else’s.

    That’s an amazing one.

    1. Sorry if some of us have created the effect on you of Q and A’ing with your cognition. Not good!

      But I know that you must have been prepared for such when you invited the discussion. So thanks for sticking your neck out and getting a lot of people thinking about this very important subject.

      1. Oh yes, I was duly prepared for that as always. Just thought the reply on the mailinglist was too good not to share ๐Ÿ™‚

        No need to apologize.

    2. I think it is great you got that acknowledgement. I did realize after awhile that you were getting some, but not a lot of ack on it, but a lot of “discussion”.
      I’m glad you had the cog, because you then made the post, and it’s a real hot potato!

      That quote may be one of the major uninspected and unquestioned “everybody knows” for many scientologists, when in reality there are probably about as many understandings of it, as there are people who have read/heard it! Mostly incomplete, too.

      But it did finally sink in that it was a major personal development for you and I do want to ack that.

  30. I suspect that all of us who have been or yet are scientologists have had a little difficulty at times making something that ‘Ron’ wrote, “True for yourself.” Nor would we likely have bothered had we not already found many things he wrote which were, in fact, “True.” For us. Even helpful.

    But this statement troubled me as well: “… a being is only as valuable as he can serve others.” I came across this gem back in the late sixties or early seventies, prior to the adoption of widespread word-clearing and I ‘got past it’ by understanding it as a tautology.

    “Valuable” ‘clearly’ implies able to value — you can place a value on some thing.

    “Value,” then, implies either potential exchange with someone else or an estimation of ‘utility’ to oneself.

    a. The ‘utility’ of oneself to oneself can be high or low, in the past, present, or future depending upon one’s ability to achieve one’s wants and endure past, present and future pain. In any event, “utility to oneself” doesn’t seem to be applicable to the quote.

    b. That leaves, “exchange with someone else.” Which implies that the ‘value’ in question is the value which the other being assigns. Well — you can’t sell yourself; not even into slavery. You can only ‘sell’ your service or the ‘things’ that you possess. In the latter case, the question of value would apply to the things you’re selling — not to you. So the ‘value’ of a ‘being’ (to others) is reduced to the ability of a being ‘to serve’ the other. (In the sense of selling things, the value of the ‘being’ doing the selling is of being willing to provide the _service_ of engaging in the exchange.)

    “… a being is only as valuable as he can serve others.” Tautological. It brought a grin to me as I considered that Ron was playing a little game there and, perhaps, enjoying the thought that only a few would ‘get it.’ As I recall, there were a other bits, here and there, that were generally considered profound but seemed to me to be, at core, tautologies. True by definition.

    Well, that’s how I dealt with the statement and some of my inclination to do so was surely my desire to continue thinking that L.R.H. was — mostly — correct about things.

    But LRH aside, it has become politically correct to assert, “All life has value.” Well, duh, sure: how much value, to whom, and is that ‘valuation’ positive or negative?

    I’m a pretty ‘nice’ guy. Never (or rarely) do I knowingly do anything to create an adverse effect upon another. Still, I’m pretty sure that, had I godlike powers, I could (theoretically) visit such a living hell upon even the most dedicated pacifist that he would willingly terminate my existence to escape that hell. Clearly my ‘value’ to the pacifist became highly _negative_.

    Value. How much do you ‘value’ another’s life? That is, how much of what you have and control would you actually ‘give up’ to preserve another’s existence? I suspect many of us would willingly impoverish ourselves or even ‘give up’ our own life to ‘preserve’ the existence of a spouse, child, or a dear friend — yet we’d be reluctant to go quite that far to preserve the existence of an utter stranger. I mean, duh! We don’t.

    Nor do I suggest that we should.

    Assuming we’re not seeking immediate exit, for most of us, life as a humanoid on planet Earth is a game. A ‘game of games’ surely, a game with numerous sub-games, but a game still.

    We now have a few billion players of this game and, in my view, we can probably ‘accept’ many billions more before any additional player would present an immediate negative ‘value.’ So, for now at least, everyone starts the game with some initial potential value as a game enabler. So, “all human life has value.” ๐Ÿ™‚ (And, lest we forget, we all _serve_ one another at least as ‘enablers’ of the game and non-human life _must_ exist to sustain human life.)

    But then comes the question, “What (sub)game are you playing?” And if it’s a team game of opposition, “Who’s on my side?” and, “Who’s against me?” Both, of course, should be ‘valued’ because both are required to play that particular game and we can assume that you value that game or you wouldn’t be playing in the first place.

    Then there’s the person who’s playing the game of ending games. All the game players are elected as his ‘opponent’ ( SP? ) and he becomes theirs in some meta-game. Now everyone who wants to continue playing (without disruption) the original game must also play the game, “find and throw the bum out!” The ‘bum’ clearly has a negative value with regard to the initial game and a weird positive value (as a worthy opponent) in the “throw the bum out” game. Curious.

    For other’s to ‘value’ you to any extent at all, they have to know (or at least consider) that you exist. Once there exist enough ‘enablers’ to start or continue the game, that degree of ‘value’ is clearly quite modest. “Hey! Another player has joined the game. Whoop te do.” Sure — the game, now in progress, has become infinitesimally more complex. It’s now, potentially but modestly — very modestly — richer.

    After that, your value, _to others_, positive or negative, depends on your ability to help or hinder them. Does your presence in other’s lives enrich them? Do you make them smile, or encourage them? Do you share a burden, lighten their load, brighten their day? Are you a good teammate?

    Some of us believe that we have existed for a very long time and that we will never cease to exist. The ‘spiritual beings’ thing. As such, the first question is: will we make ourselves known to others? And, if we do, the second question is: will our interaction with those others be valuable enough, to them, that they continue to interact with us?

    Now that I think about it, Ron said something on that line too having to do with, “Freedom to communicate.” Or not.



    1. Making Ron right in this quote by seeing it as a tautology is the most creative justification so far.

      What seems very hard to explain by this quote is that many parents would give their life to save their children’s life – most parents are in a better position to serve than their (young) children.

      I think the comments on this post serves as an interesting record of how Scientologists would go to great lengths to make Ron right.

      1. Why thank you — I think. ๐Ÿ™‚ I always thought it was way cool to be creative.

        But this quote was relatively easy for me. I read the “Basic Staff Hat,” along with five or ten other books of Ron’s, well before I ever set foot in a Franchise or Org. (It was an early compilation of around one to two hundred policy letters that dealt with being a staff member.) It was reasonably smooth sailing until I reached the part dealing with the assignment of lower conditions. Whoa!

        A, uh, superficial reading would see some of this stuff as an attempt to degrade. “Dirty gray rags?” But, hey, if you put your head in the right place, and consider:

        1. He could have just fired transgressors like ‘wog’ orgs do, and
        2. Assume generally well intentioned and high toned staff members, and
        3. Remember it is ‘really’ just a very cool game for a good purpose, then ….

        Well, it might work out well, might it not?

        Actually, my first staff experience (later) was at CC under Yvonne and — she (mostly) did make it work well.

        Re. parents sacrificing their own lives to save kids.

        Not to make myself right or anything, or elevate my own take on the quote above others (heaven forbid!)

        If the quote is understood as an _economic_ admonition: “Hey, you want to be valuable to others? Serve them. It’s the only way.” Then it’s immediately obvious that he’s not even suggesting that “being valuable to others” is the only ‘goal’ you’ll ever have.

        But, oh yeah; we ‘studiously’ avoided any serious stumbling blocks where we could and for as long as we could.


        1. It’s interesting how the quote has to be interpreted and understood in the context of other writings for it to be a “good”, “right” or valuable quote. I have tried to serve it to people with no preconceptions on any of this (i.e. not scientologists and not critics of Scientology) and not giving any additional information about the quote as to whom may have said it. Try it out. Let them digest it and see what they come up with. Let them use a dictionary if they need to and make them simply look at the quote and ask for their take on it.

          It makes me wonder what else I have justified just because Ron gave me such incredible wins through the tech.

  31. Gary, I for one didn’t see your post as an effort to make Ron right, but an attempt to sincerely and objectively LOOK at the quote, not take it in a literal way but in a way based on broader understanding. And I thought you did a good job of it.

    I would agree that it’s a matter of seeing the statement in the context of the very game we’re in, the context of the physical universe. And Ron was always, from what I can think of, speaking in that context.

    It may be arguable to fault him for not foreseeing the suppressive direction that statement might have helped take us in, but that’s another subject. The statement itself was totally fine. Good post.

    1. Thanks, Marildi; that’s kind of you.

      It’s certainly the case that I am not, now, trying to, “make Ron right.” It’s been over twenty years since I was last on org premises and I’ve developed a considerably broader perspective. ๐Ÿ™‚

      But Gene is right too: at the time I had a definite personal interest, a bias if you will, in continuing to believe that, “Ron,” wouldn’t steer me wrong. So, where necessary, and for as long as I could manage, I _did_ try to understand various, um, troublesome statements, in a way that would make them, “True for me.”

      I have, now, considerably greater ‘doubt’ about Ron’s character and about his intentions than I did then and thus have no urge to claim, “The way I understood these things, the way I made them ‘true for me’ is THE way Ron intended them to be understood.” Would be kinda nice if I happened to get it all just right; it would be especially ‘nice’ if he were just so terribly misunderstood by others and all ‘bad’ applications of policy and tech were just, well, mistaken applications. “Boy, it’s so _hard_ to get good help these days!”

      “If it ain’t fun, it ain’t Scientology.” Saw that around quite a lot back in the day. Damn! Wish it were true.

        1. haha Gary! Good one. I was thinking if Geir needed another career that he could invent a new and better lubricant under the trade name of “gear icing.” (baaad Chris!)haha!

      1. Yeah, very cool comment. I had a similar transformation.

        And you write well too, with a fun and funny style. I’m guessing you’ve had some practice in one capacity or another – are you a pro or just a natural? ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Thanks again, Marildi, and you are certainly more right than wrong. I am not now nor have I ever been a ‘pro’ writer. But I do occasionally read drafts and do some proofreading for a couple of pros and a handful of amateurs.

          As it happens, and as I write this, I just finished reviewing one chapter and thought I’d answer your post before I began the second. I guess ‘syncronicity’ is alive and well.

          Take a win. ๐Ÿ™‚


  32. All right! I do take a win. I happen to be doing some proofreading and editing myself (just for a would-be writer friend), and couldn’t help but notice some of your carefully nuanced wording and punctuation – “not now nor have I ever been” (funny!), notwithstanding.

    I’ll watch for more from you on other posts here. Gene (kidding you) – Geir _ is one of my favorites.


      1. P.S. While I’m at it, I also noticed that you too have a darn good command of the English language. Especially for a “foreigner.” ๐Ÿ™‚

          1. That makes sense – “you learn to audit by auditing” and “you learn to write by writing” (LRH, both). And you even learn to write (better) by editing, I’ve learned from just recent experience.

            But make that “ma’am.” ๐Ÿ˜‰

  33. What can I say except that I like it and agree heartily …

    In my eyes any living thing is something that nature itself has put it’s “Approved”-stamp onto and thus should be respected as such.

    This โ€œend justifies the meansโ€-approach I’ve never really could accept anyway, to me it smells bad, and I even think it is logically wrong.


  34. There is Value there.
    I do have a daughter with Downs and yes, she does have value. It’s funny, the ARC she radiates… she’s only 2 and everywhere we go, people are drawn to her! Smiling! Talking to her and just so uptone!

    Another interesting story I think you will appreciate I have posted below. The author of the story, well, he isn’t the greatest writer in the world. But the story he tells is truly OT. I hope you find the time to read it, you will enjoy it!

    Excellent work, Geir! Looking forward to reading more. ๐Ÿ™‚

    “Diary 25 (when ripples collide)”

  35. One more quick story:

    On Division 3 OEC vol., I read a PL that I just could NOT think with! It was wrong. I knew it was. Made no sense to me at all, and it was a total and complete road block.

    After putting it in clay, demo-ing, word clearing, etc. I finally was suggested that I go do some False Data Stripping on it.

    I remember distictly re-reading it one more time, and KNEW… I was right. After about 30-45 minutes of F.D.S., I re-read the policy letter again and could not… for the life of me, figure out what the hell my problem was? Why did I even need FDS? This makes sense, what was I even thinking?

    Huge win. But since it was As-is’d, I’ll just have to believe it was a huge win. The whole thing simply vanished. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    2 cents

  36. 1. Value has a basis and that basis is opinion.
    2. Value is bestowed by beings.
    3. Value is directly proportional with the tone level of the being bestowing it.

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