[Part 1 of 2] NEXT
WHAT IS AND WHAT ISN'T TRUE ABOUT SCIENTOLOGY
|SUPER SCIO # 1A|
|This document attempts to confront various things which are wrong with Scientology.
It is not idle natter or an unjustified viscous attack. I believe in the stated goals of the subject and wish to
see them achieved. To some degree, the subject has become its own worst enemy and this needs to be handled so that
forward progress can be made. It would be wrong of me to simply shoot without offering something positive as well.
For this reason, I ask that anyone making this document available to others should also include the remaining,
more positively oriented, documents in this series.
WHAT IS: That Hubbard was a self educated intuitive genius capable of great leaps of inductive logic.
WHAT ISN'T: The supposedly thorough research. It did not happen that way. LRH assumed that if something worked once, it would work again. He wanted to learn what he could from it and then go on to something else. Once the early Dianetic boom petered out, he was generally only teaching small classes of 10 to 20 advanced students and they jumped from one process to the next like jackrabbits. The techniques of one month were old in the next. The collection and codification of this material was left to others. Later, when there were thousands of practitioners, there was no room left for criticism of his words. He accepted little feedback from the field. In later days, backwards rundowns would be in use for years before any hint of failure filtered back up to the top.
WHAT IS: Scientology is a study of the mind and spirit.
WHAT ISN'T: Scientology has not really earned its claims of being a science. It might best be described as an "alchemy" sitting on the border between superstition and real understanding. Scientology works often but not always. The discrepancies are forced to fit by "Making it go right" and the failures are blamed on "out-Ethics" and hidden under the carpet least they blacken the reputation of the subject and thereby deny freedom to all mankind. This is a fanatical rather than a scientific approach.
WHAT IS: A science is the work of many individuals, each working independently. Hopefully there would be a free interchange of ideas but progress can occur even when this is absent. For example, Edison and Tesla were notorious enemies and yet the electricity in our homes depends heavily on both of their discoveries (Edison for the lights and motors and Tesla for the generators and transmission system).
Progress does not come from committees. Ideas, inventions, techniques, and discoveries do indeed originate from singular and individual sources. I have been on software design committees that achieved less than any of the individual members could have done alone. But this does not mean that everything comes from one single source.
WHAT ISN'T: A complete science has never been originated exclusively by a single individual. In attempting to deny any possibility of other researchers, Hubbard has barred the road more thoroughly than any of the closed minds who reject the very existence of a spirit.
WHAT IS: The original foundations of Dianetics was in regression therapy. Ron made improvements, but the majority of the valuable enhancements came out in later years and are the valid product of years of running engrams on people.
WHAT ISN'T: The research line of regression therapy was never followed up properly by the professionals in psychotherapy. The problem was that regression therapy will quickly open up past lives. This made it obviously false to anyone who had the average scientist's anti-religious bias. In modern times, this prejudice has faded and you will find some psychotherapists practicing regression therapy, and it is almost always referred to as past life regression because that is what it inevitably leads to.
I doubt that Ron knew about this "bug" in regression therapy when he was writing DMSMH (Dianetics the Modern Science of Mental Health). He certainly doesn't mention it in the book and in his early lectures and taped demonstrations (1950), he forces the PCs (Preclears) into prenatal incidents as a solution to the inability to find basic incidents in the current lifetime. These prenatal incidents almost never show up in modern Dianetics and can safely be discounted as trivial and unimportant in most cases. This puts the entire Dianetics book in a bad light as far as any claims to producing real results or having been researched thoroughly.
Actually it was probably a lucky break for us (except for those who hate the subject) that he didn't do extensive research before he wrote the popular book and found himself committed to a supposedly invalidated technique. He opened his eyes, accepted the past lives, and ran with it.
WHAT IS: Many of the ideas and techniques in Scientology stem from earlier sources. Ron would say this quite freely in the early days. The Dianetic breakthrough into past lives (which strips away all the usual BS about everybody having been Cleopatra that comes up in many mystical circles) provided an organizing point (a stable datum) around which all the existing data in metaphysics and philosophy could be aligned. Scientology was originally a system for separating the wheat from the chaff (see the 1952 lecture "Scientology: Milestone One").
Ron pulled together stuff out of everything from General Semantics and Magic to Krishnamurti and the Tibetan materials. He distilled out the essence of what he saw as true, discarded the old superstitions that were mingled in, and pulled it together into what he considered to be a cohesive whole. Even as late as 1955 he talked about himself as being the great organizer rather than an originator.
From magic and Crowley he deduces that the one thing they were doing that worked was to practice clearly visualizing the effect of a spell before trying to cast it so as to avoid the spell going wrong and backfiring. Ron realized that when these spells work, it was this visualization and "The Will" which created the success rather than the mumbo-jumbo rituals. He distills this down to the mockup processing which is the mainstay of the Philadelphia Doctorate Course and he refines Crowly's idea of "Will" into a much more clearly defined concept of "Intention".
Early in this century, self hypnosis and auto-suggestion were in vogue and according to the unauthorized biographies, Ron jumped on the bandwagon with his "affirmations". This makes total sense because if you drop out the hypnosis (which Ron turned his back on fairly early) and evolve the concept into its highest imaginable form, you find yourself with the Scientology concept of making postulates. And that's quite a step above positive thinking (which also evolved out of auto-suggestion).
You'll find the "Yoga of the psychic heat" (see Evan's "Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines") in a vastly improved form among the Route 1 drills in Creation of Human Ability and you'll find that the "Meditation on a Breathing Object" is the forerunner of TR0. But the improvements made are vast and show real brilliance. He got very good at this over the years.
WHAT ISN'T: The subject of Scientology did not spring out of thin air. Hubbard didn't come from some advanced Galactic Civilization to teach us poor yokels. This is a weird idea that has gained popularity on the dumb rumor line within the subject. Of course he jokingly says that he's not from this planet, but neither is anybody else according to Scientology theory. He certainly never says that the subject came from off planet. In fact he says the exact opposite.
The subject evolved. It must continue to evolve.
WHAT IS: The Mind's Protection. If you read or talk about something, or even if you engage in consciousness raising techniques or processes, it is nearly impossible to do any lasting harm. If an idea is too dangerous to the person's current mental state, he will tune it out, misunderstand it, or simply consider it to be ridiculous. "They have ears that hear not" is basically a protective mechanism, and it works. LRH was a strong proponent of this idea.
WHAT ISN'T: The mind's protection does not work in the presence of duress or high pressure techniques. Brainwashing, hypnotism, and even the implants (electronic implantation of hypnotic commands as done in advanced space traveling cultures found in past life incidents) described in the Scientology literature illustrate this quite clearly.
Sea Org training techniques intentionally bypassed the mind's protection and made robots. Consider, for example, the early FEBC (Flag Executive Briefing Course) students studying with poor food and sleep in a dangerous environment (Ethics etc.) under heavy time and peer pressure with literal minded instructors and occasional bouts of physical duress ("run around the deck 10 times"). Listening to the course tapes in a reasonable environment, you might actually learn something from them. But most of the original students came back crazy as loons and acted like dramatizing psychotics.
Most auditing is light enough in its methods that the mind's protection concept is effective and keeps you from doing any long term damage. The rule against evaluating for the PreClear and telling him what to think rules out many of the potentially dangerous pressures that could be brought to bear. But there are exceptions. The most notable is listing techniques where the PC gives answers to a listing question (such as "What do you use to make others wrong") in an effort to find "The Real Answer". When the PC finds the correct answer, the auditor gives it back to him indicating that it is the correct answer. The technique is very powerful and can produce fantastic results. But the auditor can make a mistake and jam a wrong answer down the PCs throat. The questions are generally so hot and the answers of such importance that this puts significant pressure on the PC and the mind's protection idea ceases to work. Goofing this up can make the PC worse. There was an HCOB (Hubbard Communication Office Bulletin) to this effect at one time but it dived out of sight and is not in the Tech Volumes.
WHAT IS: The lower level grades of release can produce marvelous results. The grades 0 to 4 address communication, problems, overts, upsets, and fixed ideas. This was probably the cleanest and most thorough research done in the subject.
WHAT ISN'T: These grades were not well planned out and designed. Instead, they evolved on a hit or miss basis. They began as a hodge-podge of processes that handled things that Hubbard kept running into while trying to research the areas that he was really interested in. Eventually he packaged these up into the grades in 1965. But there were errors and mistaken assumptions and it wasn't until the 1970s that these were knocked around into a really workable form. Much of the compilation and even the process commands were put together by others and apparently not even reviewed by Ron because years later he was shocked at one of the processes being used (a particular grade 4 technique) and issued a bulletin saying that it was a dumb idea.
WHAT IS: These grades do work (unless grossly misapplied) to produce a state of release on the topic addressed so that the person not only feels better about the specific thing handled but also becomes free of the accumulated weight of the entire topic. For example, problems are handled until the mass of past problems that he is still carrying around suddenly falls away and leaves him much relieved.
WHAT ISN'T: The grade releases are known to be unstable. What was handled generally remains handled, but the extra effect of being free on the entire subject (e.g. can make problems vanish at will etc.) is a temporary condition. The area is not actually erased, it is only "keyed-out". If it later "keys-in" again, more processing is needed to rehabilitate the release.
WHAT IS: Ron believed that the "reactive mind" underlied the grades of release and that when it was erased by going clear, the underlying source of these grades would be gone and they would be automatically erased as a consequence.
WHAT ISN'T: This is obviously incorrect. All auditing sessions begin with handling any problems, upsets, etc. that have newly arisen. This is done even on Clears and OTs. You can see the effect of a grade release in that the PC doesn't come up with new problems for awhile after a problems release etc., but they certainly come up with them eventually even if the person is Clear or on the upper OT levels.
WHAT IS: The latest effort to explain why a clear has problems is to blame it on OT III or NOTs.
WHAT ISN'T: Again this is a mistake, and a bad one. The person is the source of their own problems. There is nothing on the upper levels which shows them to be a primary source and there is plenty of material on the grades themselves which logically speaking could be viewed as a primary source for aberration. The person does become free of problems by running Grade I and he does not do so by running OT III.
WHAT IS: The theory of the grades is stand alone and does not include anything which requires the prior existence of engrams, implants, entities, or anything else. The grades contain factors which could be operative on a god-like thetan who was incapable of being hurt whereas things such as implants and engrams require that the being has already sunk low enough to be kicked around. The idea of an upset god wildly committing overts is quite common and probably rests on real buried memories.
WHAT ISN'T: We've got it backwards. The grades are the ultimate OT levels. They are what was really wrong in the first place. Nobody in Scientology has ever erased the basic material on these grades. Total cause over communications would include the ability to acknowledge a speeding bullet and have it vanish.
WHAT IS: All that other stuff on the upper levels is there to be audited out. But it's minor stuff. A mere distraction which is in the way of getting to the basics on the grades.
WHAT ISN'T: It is not practical to try and erase the grades at lower levels. People are nowhere near being able to reach the original problems, overts, etc. which they had when they were early god-like beings and which caused them to postulate their own downfall. They can't even visualize the multi-dimensional realities that had to be present early on. They are fixated on an Earth-like three dimensional existence and you can only expect so much of them. So the right approach would be to get a release on the grades (the basic aberrations), then fool around with all the other stuff to get it out of the way and raise the guy's awareness, and then get back to the grade materials and really erase them in the basic area of his past existence.
WHAT IS: There is a state of Clear. It might be described as regaining control over painful mental pictures. Even the psychiatrists recognize that a person can get flashbacks of a violent incident. It is attained either by gradually accustoming the PC to recalling painful incidents (as in Dianetics) or by repetitive spotting of commands implanted with heavy force eons ago (as is done on the Clearing Course) until the person can confront the force in mental pictures without being bothered by it.
WHAT ISN'T: The wild ideas and sales talk about the state of clear in Scientology is mainly advertising and wishful thinking. The description of a Clear in the Dianetics book is an impossible condition since it assumes perfect recall etc. in one lifetime without any spiritual awareness or knowledge of earlier lives. It was never possible. If you extend the definition out into the realm of Scientology and expect full recall across the whole course of a being's existence, then we are talking about an ultimate super OT condition that Scientology is nowhere near achieving at this time, but which might be the ultimate target that we are working towards.
WHAT IS: There is a CofS policy to the effect that invalidating the state of clear is a suppressive act.
WHAT ISN'T: The shortcomings of the definition of clear are not generally talked about among Scientologists and nobody dares say anything to mitigate unrestrained sales hype on the subject because that might well get them kicked out. People who have gone clear know what they did and didn't get from it but keep their mouths shut because it really is a wonderful state despite its limitations. The unfortunate side effect is that many who do achieve the state then look at the definition and invalidate themselves because they don't match up to what the book says. And so they have an entire auditing rundown (the CCRD - Clear Certainty Rundown) to cure the harm done by this wrong information.
WHAT IS: The clear cognition is the awareness that the individual is mocking up his own bank (reactive mind) and pictures.
WHAT ISN'T: Knowing this in the abstract is not the same as being aware of and in control of it. The cognition is not confidential and is mentioned often on Ron's Tapes. It is generally helpful for someone who is not clear to know it because it encourages them to take control over their reactive mind. It was common knowledge among most Scientologists in the 1960s. When they started letting people attest to Dianetic Clear, there was a technical bulletin saying not to push people into falsely attesting to the state by feeding them the Clear cog. This is commonly (but not always) misinterpreted to mean that the cog is confidential and so the cog has ceased to be common knowledge among lower level Scientology public.
WHAT IS: The Church's polices on confidentiality of upper level materials are quite drastic. Lose a piece of confidential paper and you may be disbarred from upper levels for life. Breath a word of it in casual conversation, even with others who have done the level, or forget to lock a briefcase, and you may be doing a substantial amends project.
WHAT ISN'T: The policy isn't successful except to harass their loyal members and generate a big mystery. Back in the 1950s, Ron used to talk jokingly about the cults which kept big hidden secrets in their inner sanctums so as to keep the bucks flowing. Just check out the introduction to Dianetics 55 ("Secrets, Secrets, Secrets) for a sample of this. As far as keeping anything out of the hands of their enemies, the confidentiality seems to have caused a publishing boom in unauthorized copies.
WHAT IS: In the early days, when Ron was digging up material on implants, issuing OT drills, and even coming up with early versions of the NOTs techniques (1952-1953), some of the students asked if this stuff should be confidential and he said that it must not be made confidential and hidden because then it will fall into the wrong hands and be used against people who are unaware of it. He said that the only safety was to shout this stuff from the rooftops and publish it broadly. The only real danger is in keeping it secret.
WHAT ISN'T: The horrible danger of seeing the confidential materials without proper preparation. It just doesn't happen that way. The mind's protection is at maximum when somebody is safely reading something on their own. You can sometimes get somebody sick by jamming this stuff down their throats, but that's true of force feeding any Scientology process or, for that matter, the techniques of other practices as well.
WHAT IS: The idea that entities are the source of bank, aberrations, and somatics is currently believed in the upper levels of the Church. Ron certainly ranted and raved enough about it in the Class VIII Course lectures and he theorized it as the source of somatics.
WHAT ISN'T: This is totally contrary to all basic Scientology theory. The whole reason that auditing works is that the person himself is generating all of his own ills.
WHAT IS: There is a benefit to running NOTs. The BTs (body thetans - entities) get in the way. They are a bit like a boat anchor that makes it difficult to build up any horsepower. They will amplify your pains and aberrations. But they are never the source. They are not worth bothering about while you have things to handle which are closer to home (such as problems, upsets, etc.) but eventually they need to be knocked out of the way. Blaming stuff on these guys is the exact reason that the org has trouble if a PC finds out about them at lower levels. It's a license to blame somebody else for your overts and problems and that has always been known (at least in Scientology) to be a sure way to get worse.
WHAT ISN'T: Most of the BTs are not independent beings. That is simply a mistaken idea. We all put pieces of ourselves on each other. Joe puts a bit of himself on Bill to keep Bill in line. Parents will instinctively shove a bit of themselves into their kids to keep tabs on them. The child would find these as "BT"s. The big mass implants were to make us do this compulsively and unconsciously so as to keep each other obedient and human. The implants didn't reduce the population at all.
WHAT IS: The solo nots technique is simple and useful. Everybody should know that you ask "What are you"/"Who are you" if an entity of some sort does pop up, and to encourage them to answer "Me" until they do so and stop fooling around with mocking themselves up as demons or whatever. This stuff does show up on rare occasions at lower levels, and the org leaves you stumbling around in the dark when an easy trick would handle it.
WHAT ISN'T: The idea of handling court cases by fooling around with the opponent's BTs at a distance was ridiculous. Maybe it would have worked if entities really were the source of all aberration, but they're only a minor factor. The auditors would have been better off visiting enemies in their sleep and trying to give them nightmares. But Ron used to joke about his students doing that to him, he just though it was funny and not very effective.
As a little aside, there is also an old Tibetan technique for handling demons. This is from the Book of the Dead. If a demon shows up to scare you, you mock yourself up as an even bigger and more horrible demon and scare him right back. If you really get in trouble with an entity of some sort haunting you, this does work as a last resort. Its not very nice so don't use it without just cause.
WHAT IS: The idea that if the specific details of implants were not kept confidential, they would be used in advertising etc. This was being spread about as one of the reasons for confidentiality.
WHAT ISN'T: It's just not an important point. Madison avenue has already found all the hottest buttons on people. They would laugh at using Scientology's stuff for this. If you find some really early implants, you will often find Gorillas, Tigers, Bears, Planes, Trains, Automobiles, etc. These are the hottest buttons. That's why this universe is so solid. Its all around us. Madison Ave. might not know about implants, but they sure do know about the key buttons and they push them with great vigor. By this time, we have become so thick skinned that we just shrug this stuff off with hardly a quiver.
By the way, the hotter TV commercials are good ways to spot implanted buttons. The advertisers do all the surveys for you and then you just notice what item had to have been implanted for the commercials to work. For example, "To be everybody" is not very hot as a sales button but "To be just like everyone else" is pretty good and is a popular underlying button in advertisements. Guess which one has the bigger kick on an E-meter. Of course the opposite was also implanted (implants often use positive/negative pairs) so that "To be different" is also a hot sales button and implant item.
WHAT IS: XENU (or XEMU) is a bad guy mentioned in the confidential literature. He's a villain comparable to Hitler except that he had a higher level of technology to kick people around with.
WHAT ISN'T: Scientologists who have done OT III don't have any particular flinch at this guy. Its not like you're talking about Satan or some evil god who can reach out and get you. He was just a bad guy. The flinch that you see when the "dreaded" name comes up is not fear of Xemu. It is fear of Ethics. I would not be surprised if you saw an OT turn green at the mention of him. But it's visions of being put on thousands of hours of amends projects or being permanently barred from upper levels that is scaring him.
WHAT IS: Ron was all excited about writing and filming a popular movie about Xemu. It showed him (Xemu) shipping all the malcontents and minorities to Earth and then bombing the volcanoes and ended with the brave fight of the loyal officers to bring Xemu to justice. It centered around a particular loyal officer and (for a sexy heroine) a movie starlet who find out about the plot but are too late to stop it. But they lead the revolution that overthrows Xemu. Of course there is no mention of BTs or past lives. The story is presented as a record left for future civilizations on Earth so they can know what happened when the dinosaurs died out. It is found by archeologists or something like that and shown to the president of the US who promptly has it destroyed.
WHAT ISN'T: This movie, which was called "Revolt in the Stars", apparently isn't going to be made. There was an unsuccessful attempt to film it in the late 70s and a second try (which I think never got past the financing stage) in the early 80s. The screenplay circulated quite widely, being given out to anyone who they were trying to talk into taking a share in the financing. In the late 80s the SO got scared about this film (I can hardly imagine why) and started trying to gather up all the copies and jumping on anyone who had ever had their hands on the screenplay.
Maybe their attitude will change eventually. It wasn't a bad screenplay. Nowhere near as good as "Total Recall" but better than "The Black Hole". Maybe with all the ARS publicity (the alt.relegion.scientology newsgroup on the internet) it would do better if it was retitled "XENU, The Movie". I think LRH would have liked that.
WHAT IS: There are all sorts of parody's of Xemu and various OT levels floating around on the net.
WHAT ISN'T: I can't see the harm in this. Not only is it funny, but it helps you get exterior to the whole mess. By placing such fantastic importance on a few incidents and making them confidential, and furthermore loading them all with tons of sales hype, we have actually created a great deal of mental charge on this stuff and given it more power than it has. A few jokes can blow off this artificially built up charge and get the whole thing in perspective.
I particularly liked the parody of Incident One where a Ford Mustang comes out and turns right, then left, followed by the sounds of Snap, Crackle, and Pop, and then the being is overwhelmed by waves of soggy Rice Crispies.
WHAT IS: There is a Scientology policy against jokers and degraders issued around 1969 or 70. It basically makes it a suppressive act to make fun of the subject.
WHAT ISN'T: This is not a good policy. Humor is more than just entertainment. The ability to laugh at ourselves is a mechanism for social change. It is one of the few ways to relieve charge outside of auditing. It even works on groups, and relieving group charge has always been one of our biggest problems in Scientology.
WHAT IS: There used to be many jokes within the organization. We enjoyed laughing at ourselves. How many OTs does it take to change a light bulb? Seven. One to hold the light bulb and six to turn the universe around it. One of our layout artists once made up an ad about how the R6 course enlarged breasts, complete with before and after pictures. She pasted this into a ladies magazine in a vary professional manner and we used to hand it to unsuspecting students and staff members and tell them to look at the exciting new ad from St. Hill (the advanced training center in England).
One time we drew up an org board (Scientology organization chart) for a Scientology whorehouse. The examiner would check that the "session" went OK. There would be success stories, etc. We figured that it would be light years beyond the competition. There were slogans like "The Golden Age of Standard Screwing".
WHAT ISN'T: This kind of stuff is now forbidden. That, all by itself, I consider to be a key characteristic of a suppressive group.
WHAT IS: There are "group engrams" discussed in the early tech. Ron saw that groups did have many of the characteristics of individuals and could be bent out of shape by external impacts (or for that matter by committing overts etc.).
WHAT ISN'T: All attempts at group engram running failed. Ron finally concluded that it couldn't be done with the existing technology. He never got back to this topic and its still an area that is in desperate need of research. As a stopgap measure, he offered the idea of writing honest histories as the best way of blowing group charge. At one time he considered this to be of tremendous importance in keeping a group sane and true to its original goals. Now, unfortunately, the real stories of what happened are hidden and buried under a tidal wave of PR.
WHAT IS: To publish or even say anything publicly about Scientology, a Scientologist must first get "Issue Authority". This doesn't apply to talking to friends, which is dissemination, but it does apply to anything which reaches the public at large. This was the way it was in the sixties and seventies. They might call it something else now. One guy I know was all excited about Scientology and planned to give a little speech about it as part of a presentation he was doing at a computer conference and was stopped by the GO (this was late 1970s). Someone like Travolta would have to rehearse and clear exactly what he was going to say about the subject before making any statement on TV. But sometimes if they trust the guy's judgment (and maybe put him through some training) they will give someone a blanket OK to say things publicly, but even then the ethics officer will be looking over his shoulder to be sure that no out-ethics occurs, and anything that puts the subject in a bad light is considered to be out-ethics.
WHAT ISN'T: There isn't a lot of real communication from Scientologists on the internet. Of course they will let an innocent beginner blabber about how wonderful it all is and there are real professionals hatted up to handle the internet, but anyone else better be careful what they say or they'll end up in Ethics. You might still have a gutsy OT who takes his chances, but it would be rare. Also, since there is NOTS material on the internet, anyone who has not already started NOTS would be risking terrible amends projects or disbarment by reading ARS.
WHAT IS: The book "What is Scientology" and the other stuff that has been put up at the church's website obviously has issue authority. Therefore any member will be allowed to freely copy and spread this stuff around. I'm talking now about internal Church policies rather than copyright laws.
WHAT ISN'T: They can't normally say anything else. Even quoting an innocuous line from a technical bulletin might get one in deep trouble. Getting issue authority used to take many months and endless hassles and arguments. It puts a big stop on the communications. Their horrible spam (flooding the newsgroup with messages to drown out the opposition and break the communication line) might actually have been interesting and of use to some people if they had dumped megabytes of real material (maybe tape transcripts) onto the internet. There are about 3000 hours of taped lectures and most of them have been transcribed. They could have gone on for weeks without ever repeating themselves. Instead, they couldn't say anything worthwhile and had to keep repeating quotes from that shallow book which isn't even by Ron and is hardly more than a collection of sales hype.
WHAT IS: Some of LRH's most famous lines were "When In Doubt, Communicate" and "Communication is the Universal Solvent".
WHAT ISN'T: Current policy apparently frowns on applying this. But as is often the case, Ron's early statement was correct and the later policy is self-destructive. They have been trying to stop communications on the internet and it has been rebounding against them badly.
But they are not all stupid, and some of them know the early tech. I believe that there has been an internal push for many months now to give at least a few trustworthy OTs a blanket OK to really talk on the internet. The terrible failure of the existing effort to handle the net by spamming (which lead to all sorts of "horrible" consequences such as the Xenu message headers etc.) has probably caused enough of an upheaval internally that this OK may have been issued.
I believe that this is the status of "Clear Baby" who has shown up on the internet lately. I don't know for sure, but she does seem to be communicating rather freely without looking out for the Ethics officer. People like this will probably communicate honestly as long as you don't push them too hard on delicate issues or try to pull the Church's withholds. They might not even know anything about Flag Orders or the Church's internal operations. If OSA was smart, they gave this OK to devoted public rather than SO staff and are trusting to the person's love of the subject rather than trying to control the communication.
(Update: Clear Baby's identity was exposed and she now seems to be headed for the freezone).
Needless to say, I don't have any such OK. If you said the kind of stuff within the Church that I've been saying here, you'd be in Ethics the next day. That would happen even if you only said it in a confessional, nothing to say of blabbing it all over the internet.
...Continued in Part 2