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Tuesday, 30 March 2010 10:52

CRUEL TO BE KIND? I DON'T THINK SO

I just watched the first of the Anderson Cooper 360 series on Scientology, and the response of the Int staff to Anderson's questions made me recall quite vividly why I'm no longer in the Sea Org. It's a very hostile environment, where the only way to survive is to become just as hostile.

When I was at Int in a position of seniority, I was continually berated by those above me for not being mean enough to my staff. I was slapped in the face once because I wouldn't scream at a staff member for not doing a good enough job. It got to the point where I had to do ethics conditions on the fact that I was being "too nice" to my staff.

So I started screaming at staff, berating staff and generally going along with the flow in order to survive. But I was a very unhappy person, even though I was supposed to be one of the happiest people on Earth. Eventually it got to the point where I couldn't take it anymore and I left. I thought I was taking the weakling's way out at the time, but in retrospect, I realize it's one of the times I was at my strongest.

When I got out of the SO, and started working in another environment, I was shocked to see how pleasant people were to one another. I mean, how did they get anything done?

It took me at least two years to get out of that earlier mindset. Any time an employee was late for work, or did something incorrectly, I'd be very harsh on them. I never even realized it.. And I only snapped out of it when one of the people who worked for me did something that got me so upset I actually screamed at her. She looked at me with terror in her eyes, and my boss pulled me into her office to find out what could have been so horrible to have made me "snap" like that.

I cried a lot that day, and for a few days afterwards. Then suddenly it was gone. I was free of it. And I've not had a mean moment since.

That's why you see what you see with Jenny Linson, Norman Starkey et al when they are responding to Anderson Cooper's questions: They are conditioned to be hostile and cruel. That's the way it is up there.

Yet, when you read the following essay on Kindness taken from the works of L. Ron Hubbard, it goes directly against everything that they are portraying. I believe (not totally certain) that this was compiled from a lecture he gave on this subject, which I listened to on one of the many administrative courses I took while at Int. And I think it bears repeating in full, given what we're seeing right now from the management of organized Scientology:

There’s hardly one of us who hasn’t asked himself the question, “Isn’t it better to be mean?” Almost every one of us has had the feeling that we were a bit soft. We didn’t like flying into the teeth of some human being and making him or her feel bad. We’ve told ourselves, “We ought to be tougher. We ought to put up a better front; we ought to know when to snarl, know when to show the sharpened tooth.” And probably we have walked away occasionally after we’ve loaned somebody five dollars or something of the sort and said, “When am I going to learn to be tough? When am I going to learn to be hard-boiled and just stand right up to that little kid and say ‘No!’ When am I going to learn this?”

The motto behind this is “Isn’t it better to be mean occasionally? When am I going to stop being soft and be a hard, forthright, capable-of-saying-no person? I would be a much better manager. I would be a much better person if I knew when to come down with a slight slam. If I could just know, occasionally, when I should be mean, and if I just was willing to be mean, wouldn’t that be right? I should be able to just take the people out there and just sweep them aside. Isn’t there some rightness in being tough?”

One can spot times when he knows he should have been tougher—he’s sure of it. But a highly informative series of Scientology spiritual counseling procedures demonstrates that the person who is willing to confront other things doesn’t ever have to say no, he doesn’t ever have to be mean, he doesn’t ever have to be tough at all. (And by confront things, we mean face things without flinching or avoiding.) It is perfectly all right to be nice to people. It isn’t a weakness at all. As a matter of fact, if you aren’t, you’re in the soup.

You could say that the only times for which you are suffering are those times when you weren’t nice enough, when you weren’t kind enough and when you weren’t unmean enough. Those are the only times from which you’re really suffering.

It is not true that being mean gets anybody ahead anyplace. That’s really factual.

When you deny your fellow man—you say “no”; you say “be mean,” you say “be very positive”—the truth of the matter is that you are denying him communication, one way or the other.

The only thing you should ever be tough about is insisting that the other fellow ought to stand on his own feet, too. And the only way you will ever communicate that to him is to communicate it to him in a very nice way. Then he’s liable to receive it.

Being mean is simply going out of communication with things.

The individual who is kind, who is decent and who does communicate and who is nice and who isn’t averse to conversation and saying this and doing that, who is tolerant, we find gets along beautifully.

But the fellow who’s mean and who’s ornery and who’s cutting communications all the way along the line, we find he’s in the soup.

Therefore, a standard of optimum human performance would be measured on the basis of human kindness as a high and human meanness as a low.

So we know the answer at last to whether you should have been mean all those times or whether you should have been more kind: You should have been more kind.

Written by Scarlet Pumpernickel

 

Comments   

 
0 # Karen 2010-03-30 05:21
Wonderful reference! It helped me tremendously when I was struggling with being told I was too nice by my senior. I'd recently attested to Clear and being mean just didn't fit my character.

Ironically I first heard about this reference from one of my juniors who was praising how nice it was to work with me.

I think she was a very perceptive junior and always enjoyed working with her.
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0 # Freedom Fighter 2010-03-30 12:35
All of the hostility and lack of true caring is why I've distanced myself from the organization over the last few years. I can tell you that it's not just at Int that this stuff happens either. It's all the way down the Org Board. I've seen my share of it from Flag, to AOs, to CL V Orgs, to Missions.

The saddest thing is seeing the Tech terminals, most of which you can see really do care underneath all of this, in an obvious state of stress from the intention-counter-intention of it all.
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0 # Joe Howard 2010-03-30 14:01
Scarlett, I finished reading your article just now and I had the thought that David Miscavige and his brother Ronnie are the embodiments of the extremes that LRH is describing here. It's a mystery to me how Ronnie could be as kind as he is and his brother could be as mean as he is. How different the church would be today had Ronnie ascended to power instead of Dave.
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0 # Marta 2010-03-30 14:33
Thank you, Scarlett, this was such a perfect piece placed right on the spot today.

I've also seen the culture of cruelty in all levels of the CoS, as Freedom Fighter mentioned. And I've seen cultures of cruelty in other groups and organizations - including every day in the news, in varying degrees. We all have this capacity, to be cruel or kind, AND we have the power to choose between them. Ronnie chose one way, David the other.

If we are to hold some LRH writings up as something close to scripture, let's make sure they are the ones like this one - that speak to uplifting spirit!

And then let's not ever again be so arrogant as to consider our group above the laws of civil and human rights.

I was a long time member of this shameful group, not looking at it closely enough. I continue to experience embarrassment, among other things, because of it. Ugh.
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0 # Paul Adams 2010-03-30 17:17
Quoting Joe Howard:
It's a mystery to me how Ronnie could be as kind as he is and his brother could be as mean as he is.


They didn't start as clean slates when they were born, that's all. Each is an individual with his own history over many lifetimes, and behaves according to his long-term nature as well as his present circumstances. But you must know this. :-)

Paul
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0 # Ceileen 2010-03-30 22:19
Scarlett,
Thank you for this wonderful quote. I was once told by Sue Price that I was too nice to people and I had to toughen up. It didn't seem like something that I would have heard from LRH so I dismissed it, although it came to me from a Commodore's Messenger. You have given me the reference I did not have at the time. I knew there must be one. Thanks.
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0 # RJ 2010-03-30 23:34
It's easy to understand why Miscavige acts the way he acts. The guy is one seething mass of Missed Withholds. It's what Ron calls "the wild animal reaction" in the HCOB Withholds Missed and Partial.

What's a mystery to me is how he's gotten away with it for so long.

Do people think that the tech doesn't apply to him?

I know that's what he thinks.
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0 # Guest 2010-03-31 23:13
Scarlett,

Wow, this article caught my attention and thanks for it. I was known too as a softie, and I resented seniors many who were --you know what,giving me shit about being that, but you know what?

That was me, sorry.
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0 # Dan Starr 2010-04-01 08:30
Folks, I appreciate the references and agree that kindness works with the ordinary thetan. However, how to treat the murderer, the criminal,the SP who confronts you, is also important as those are often life and death moments. SPs, the few real ones there are, don't care if you are kind, in my experience. They laugh at kindness and reward it with a bullet.

One of the best Scn courses I ever took was PTS/SP in it's large form. Taught me one important thing, the detection of the difference between the two types of being. Most are good beings. A few are PTS and a very few (luckily) are true SP's. Tech says their handling is very different.

The mistake made in Scn in LA even way back in mid-80's when I left was that good folks were being mis-labeled as being SP or PTS and handled inappropriately, almost always with too much force and nastiness.

However, it would be equally wrong to tell someone to handle everyone with the same tech you use for the NON-SP, NON-PTS. That could get a person killed.
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0 # Thoughtful 2010-04-01 16:09
You have really said a lot in just a few words.
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0 # Scarlet 2010-04-03 05:41
Thanks for this Dan, and I absolutely agree that you have to handle SPs differently. But that wasn't the point of this post. It was simply to show that in handling people in general, there is no need for the kind of strong-arm, harassing actions that are routinely practiced at Int. It either drives away the good, productive staff or beats them into submission. Either way, nothing productive gets done. That was the point, and nothing more.
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0 # Alice 2010-04-02 00:39
The source of the quote is the lecture "Testing" from 15 Nov 1956. It was earlier part of the Organization Series and nowadays can be found in the "How to present Scientology to the World"-Set,Part Two, starting on page 12 of the transcript.
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0 # Robin Clarke 2010-04-04 10:34
Great article. Anyone who has been a Scn exec has been fed that line myriad times. I struggled with it for years, being a collegial and good- natured person (that being the case, I wondered how on Earth the powers that be ever let ME run an org!) And I had the same kind of "aha" moment when later working in the corporate world. It took me quite while to win over the mental jujitsu of "am I being a good tough manager or just an ass?"
Sometimes the things we were made to do and make others do were preposterous, and we knew it. There's the signature lack of integrity that so many past Scn execs are guilty of, and are so grateful to come to terms with when they leave that scene - and find out they can be tough and still be kind about it.
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