Sunday, March 09, 2008

Answer to Comment on Fair Game

Flowers accused me of lying about "Fair Game":

"Fair Game, may have been canceled, however this does not apply to enemies of the Church, or SPs as you like to label anyone that is critical of the practices of the Cult of Scientology."

How do you answer someone who is a fanatic? No matter what you say they aren't going to believe you. However, for the benefit of anyone who is reading this to find data, here is a personal story for you about "Fair Game".

In the early 1980s I was expelled from the Church of Scientology. Yup, that's right, poor little, innocent me, in whose mouth butter wouldn't melt. I messed up big time and did something that, when I look back upon it, makes me cringe, and quite rightly I was expelled and "declared" a suppressive person. So, if "Fair Game" existed, according to the fanatics I should have been attacked, spat upon, harassed, etc., etc. So what really happened? Absolutely nothing, zip, zilch, nada. Kinda boring, but that's what happened.

It took me some time, but I handled it and did the necessary steps (there are only 5 of them) to get back in good standing with the Church.

Anyone can screw up so there needs to be a way to make up for the damage and get back in good standing with your community. In the world outside Scientology you get thrown in jail and you do your time and then you are allowed back into society. In Scientology if you screw up you get tons of chances to make good the damage and change your ways, and if you don't you will eventually (after lots of chances) be kicked out. If you do get kicked out then there are ways to get back in and it isn't hard. But that is all there is to it.

There is no "Fair Game", Flowers. I know you aren't going to believe me but that's your problem not mine.


Anonymous said...

I can sympathize with how you must have felt, but may I ask;

1. Can you give us any clue as to what your offense was? If you'd rather not mention it that's fine, you and I and everyone has their right to privacy. Maybe you could tell us the type or catagory of offense you had, if you want to...

2. You must have felt upset about the "suppressive person" label. Logic would dictate that some folks would take the steps to get that label removed, and others would be quite upset and never admit they were wrong (if they were, in fact, wrong..).. How did you handle it?

PS.. I think EVERY religion has a "code of conduct"..., so I am not being negative at all, and I don't want anyone to think that...

Grahame said...

Hey Jim,

Excellent questions.

On #1, well ... I'd rather not go into details - don't want to embarrass myself any more than I already have :) Let's just say I was young and my solution to a problem was to run away from it rather than handle the mess I'd created. I think the category would be behavior that caused damage to the Church I was working at. Is it okay if I leave it at that?

On #2, strangely enough I was not upset about the "Suppressive Person" label. I had studied Scientology Ethics and I understood what it meant, that it wasn't a permanent label and I knew what to do about it. I also felt it was deserved. So, whilst I wasn't exactly over the moon about it, I wasn't upset.

The steps to handle a Suppressive Person declare are pretty simple. The detailed description takes a long page of a policy letter, so I'll give you the Reader's Digest version: stop doing bad stuff, publicly announce that you realize what you did wasn't good and what may have influenced you to act that way, pay off any debts you may have to Scientology churches, do some project to make up for what you did (the project must be clearly of benefit to mankind and can't involve Scientology) then start doing Scientology training starting at the lowest level.

That's all you have to do.

By the way, the things that can get you declared a "suppressive person" are called "suppressive acts" and they are listed in the book "Introduction To Scientology Ethics." So it's not like you get labeled just because someone gets pissed off at you or doesn't like you. You have to actually do stuff such as: Any felony (murder, arson, etc.), blackmail, using the mailing lists of Scientology organizations for personal profit or gain and there are quite a lot that are specifically concerned with the correct delivery of Scientology services and the spiritual technology of Scientology.

I guess people who read about "SP" on the Internet are not told that although the definition of Suppressive Person lists particular attributes of behavior, you only get officially labeled as a "SP" if you actually do something bad. Which is pretty much like it is in any group - you have to do something.

You also get a lot of chances to handle the situation. There is a thing called the "Ethics Gradient" which lists the steps that are taken to try and help a person handle his situation. The last step is #36 and that is "Expulsion from Scientology" which means you are expelled and declared a SP. And every expulsion has to go through several levels of the church before it is approved. So no one gets declared on a whim or without a lot of oversight and review.

And finally, Here is a quote from the policy letter written by L. Ron Hubbard that says how to handle a suppressive person:

"Civil court actions against SPs to effect collection of monies owed may be resorted to, as they are not entitled to Scientology ethics procedures."

That is all "Fair Game" every meant before it was canceled 40 years ago. Someone who had been expelled was not entitled to the protection of Scientology Ethics procedures. Nothing more and nothing less.

Well, I hope that answers it for you.