Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Is Clearbird affiliated with Church of Scientology?
Answer: No, we are not. Clearbird Publishing is an independent publishing house, unaffiliated with Church of Scientology and its different organizations. We do not run courses nor are we advocating any religious beliefs in our publications.
Question: Are you violating Church of Scientology's copyrights?
Answer: No, we are not. We have simply written a textbook in a subject refined by R. Hubbard. To write a textbook on an existing subject is perfectly legitimate and how any subject gets known and advance. For this reason the legality is guaranteed in international copyright law. Ideas, processes and procedures can explicitly not be copyrighted as that would impede cultural progress, lead to knowledge monopolies, and stagnation. Rights to inventions can be secured under the patent law for a limited number of years. Both laws are looking after both parties, originator and the public, and so are we.
Only artistic and literary works (including textbooks) can be copyrighted and Clearbird owns the copyrights to its publications.
Question: How and why can you offer it for free?
Answer: We have wealthy sponsors that want to see the technology being used across the boards without any strings attached.
Question: Are you affiliated with the Freezone?
Answer: Yes, we are part of the Freezone, a loosely organized network of practitioners and their clients and supporters. The Freezone uses the technology mainly developed by R. Hubbard for personal development in a non-religious setting. There are a number of other distinguished technical researchers and writers in the Freezone. We support their work but the Clearbird Series are textbooks specifically covering what R. Hubbard called standard technology.
Statistics are an important part of R. Hubbard's Ethics system, why isn't it covered more extensively here?
Answer: The purpose of this publication is to cover use of Ethics to individuals, mainly to pc's. We find the connection between high statistics, such as income, and Ethics has not been proven. We find that in practice the emphasis on production statistics turns Ethics upside down. Statistics are indicators of a much lower importance than goals, purposes and intentions (see Admin Scale in Appendix). When you emphasize statistics too much you tempt people to prefer short term gains for long range goals and planning. Ethics, to be Ethics, has to emphasize integrity and ideally an infinite future. It is true that survival and degree of success can be measured and expressed in statistics, but in many situations the ethical thing to do is to give up on the short term gains and advantage. You have tough situations where you have to trust your values and instincts and defy evidence and statistics. A person taking an education will see his income drop to a negative figure as an example, but he can look forward to a better future.
A person with a lofty goal will often have to endure much hardship to prevail and only has a shot at succeeding - no guarantees. Yet, a few of those that do succeed are the ones that cause radical progress in science, arts and society and thus literally create survival into the future.
Philosophers of the past, such as Epicurus and Bentham, used pain and pleasure as their basis for ethical decisions. Pleasure = Ethical. Pain = Unethical. Bentham had an elaborate system, called Hedonic Calculus, based on this model. None of these formula solutions really work. Unfortunately Ethics is not that simple. If it was, any such formula would have been discovered and widely accepted a long time ago. Both the use of statistics and the use of pain/pleasure have some truth to them and should be factored in. Ethics will always be a personal thing.
There are some rules that can be used, however. One is, that the distant future will tell us if a decision was right or wrong. If you try to predict consequences of a decision or action it will tell you something. Also the Golden Rule: "Try to treat others as you would want them to treat you" is a doable way to check the ethical value of an action. To the Golden Rule R. Hubbard actually added this aspect related to self restraint: "Try not to do things to others that you would not like them to do to you". This aspect was added to spell it out in practical application.
Is managing by statistics not part of Ethics?
Answer: Using statistics is done better justice when seen as part of a management system. In this publication we have chosen to concentrate on the individual and the individual's Ethics in the more traditional use of the word. We are not saying managing by statistics doesn't work. It actually works very well as a management tool. You will find all the basic principles of management by statistics included in the Appendix, especially in the chapter, Use of Statistics.
What we are saying is, you can't reduce Ethics to mere production statistics. Ethics come before production. Be comes before Do. Thought and planning come before action. Emphasizing statistics too heavily tend to make people forget that. To mix the traditional subject of Ethics with management methods has proven unworkable.
The Conditions are seen as natural laws that apply to all human activity. The Conditions below Non-Existence are truly applicable to Ethics situations. Production statistics seem irrelevant, except being below zero. Between Non-Existence and Normal Operation we go from the handling of Ethics situations into self-improvement. Normal and above are success management.
Although statistics could be used in personal Ethics from Non-Ex and up they only seem fully relevant when we talk management of a well-defined job or a whole organization with clearly stated purposes and products. This is covered in the Appendix under the Admin Scale and Ethics-Tech-Admin and Use of Statistics. When we talk personal Ethics management would simply be a wrong frame of reference to try to fit it into.
Hubbard's Ethics system has by critics been called 'mind control' and 'brain wash' what is your take on that?
Answer: We find that the bad name the Ethics system has in some quarters mainly stems from the Justice system Hubbard developed. Calling Justice for Ethics didn't help. We have decided to concentrate on the part that apply to the individual and leave the group systems of Justice and management alone. Applying Ethics to individuals with their dynamics in mind work very well and is a necessary tool in many cases. The personal Ethics of an individual has to be in to a certain level before the person will truly benefit from auditing.
Do you advocate disconnection as a way to isolate pc's from Suppressive Persons (SPs)?
Answer: We don't advocate forced disconnection. Obviously we don't recommend pc's to subject themselves to endless invalidations from SPs or bullies either.
Forced disconnection, again, is part of the group system of Justice rather than Ethics and is usually a bad solution. To cease contact with very invalidative or oppressive individuals while receiving auditing are in some cases necessary. An Ethics officer who has the pc's best interest in mind and knows the situation is the one that should determine what it takes. What he should be looking out for is to get the pc safely through his auditing program and stable enough to keep his gains and be able to face the challenges in his life afterwards.
Are you in favor of declaring certain persons for suppressive persons?
Answer: The short answer is no. Again, we find the group system of Justice flawed. Persons under that system are declared SPs according to Scientology™ Justice's list of suppressive acts. If you commit certain acts and break that code you are declared 'SP' and ex-communicated, outlawed and shunned. We find the list of 'high crimes' very intolerant and out of touch with reality. Also, the list of high crimes violates constitutional and human rights - something the Creed of The Church of Scientology™ strongly supports on paper. The practice has done more harm than good; in other words it is non-survival to the very group that exercises it as well - as time has shown.
Ethics are by many perceived as a disciplinary system hostile to the smallest misstep and to outsiders. What's your take?
Unfortunately the Justice system is often administered this way. That is one reason why we say it is badly in need of reform. For one thing, it is usually administered by management and thus used as an extended arm to get compliance. This is in violation of principles such as 'impartial administration of Justice', 'nobody is above the law' and 'equality under the law'. With the serious omissions in the codification and design it has become the weapon of choice for control freaks and leaders wanting to turn the Church into a military group at war with the rest of the world. Over the years this Justice system has decayed into a method of proving self, or the organization, right and others wrong. The Justice system was never reviewed or fixed and is at this point doomed to failure.
You quote that Ethics are only used to get technology in. Isn't that a too shortsighted definition?
The short answer is yes. But as a practical matter it is a good definition. Maybe it should read, "Ethics Actions are only used to get technology in". We work on the assumption that Man is basically good and capable of keeping his own Ethics in. Intervention with Ethics action is only necessary up to a point where the power of auditing can do its magic and rehabilitate the person's natural sense of Ethics.
The tools of Ethics can still be used on a volunteer basis as tools of self-improvement and are very successful as such.
If you are such an expert why don't you suggest a reform of the Justice and stat systems?
Our whole interest and focus with this book is to give the additional tools of Ethics necessary to ensure the success of pc's in auditing. We are not qualified to reform the Justice- or management system. Neither are we qualified to administer any such system be it in business or society. We stick to what we need to produce results in auditing and here the tools of Ethics have to be included. They are needed to handle special situations and a certain percentage of regular pc's wanting auditing.
Hedonic Calculus: "(Gr.hedone pleasure) a method of working out the sum total of pleasure and pain produced by an act, and thus the total value of its consequences; also called the felicific calculus; sketched by Bentham in chapter 4 of his Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation 1789. When determining what action is right in a given situation, we should consider the pleasures and pains resulting from it, in respect of their intensity, duration, certainty, propinquity, fecundity (the chance that a pleasure is followed by other ones, a pain by further pains), purity (the chance that pleasure is followed by pains and vice versa), and extent (the number of persons affected). We should next consider the alternative courses of action: ideally, this method will determine which act has the best tendency, and therefore is right. Bentham envisaged the calculus could be used for criminal law reform: given a crime of a certain kind it would be possible to work out the minimum penalty necessary for its prevention."
The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy
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Clearbird Publishing, 2004