Blog: Ron the Integral Thinker - 2013-03-15
I finally got around to watching several of the interviews of Phil Spickler that are posted on You Tube. What a breath of fresh air. A wise man who evolved through Scientology and lived long enough to speak about it with measure, intelligence, compassion and hard won experience. Clearly, Phil doesn't have a horse in the race nor any agenda other than sharing his experience and what he took from it for the purpose of helping others. I am including one video in particular here where he and I share some observations. I am going to tell a back story to demonstrate why I think it speaks to Phil's credibility and teaches an important lesson about Scientology. Phil and I have never met, spoken nor corresponded.
For the past several months I have been studying sources that L. Ron Hubbard once credited as being influential on his thinking. Several of the critical ones he later eschewed and effectively denied had any connection or relationship to the development of Dianetics and Scientology. From my reading, it appeared to me that some indeed had little influence. That was particularly true for some of the more sensational ones that certain journalists have obsessed with because it made good copy, such as Aleister Crowley (note: in my final analysis though, Crowley's influence was a dastardly one). However, after reading Alfred Korzybski, the founder of General Semantics, I found far more influence than Ron ever let onto, even if he consistently made more references to Korzybski than just about anyone else.
Korzybski's 1933 opus Science and Sanity is as close to a template for Dianetics as exists anywhere. Science and Sanity is a 900 page foundation for the creation of a "Science of Man." Korzybski finds the underlying principle aberration of the human mind is 'identification.' He isolates one of the most important foundational skills to develop as that of differentiation, which he calls 'to distinguish.' He begins by establishing the need for the use of infinity logic, and to eliminate two-valued logic and the belief in absolutes. Being the first general semanticist he puts extreme importance on knowing all definitions of words, and emphasizes the importance of creating an entirely new nomenclature. Central to a 'science of man' is revolutionizing the science of communication. He is the one writer I have ever read whose tone and voice closely resembles Ron's. He repeatedly emphasizes, with unrestrained vehemence, the need to reject much of what has come before: scholarship, institutional education, mental health profession givens, politics. He even preaches a heavy disdain for 'democracy.' That was the extent of my comparison by the time I ran into Phil's talk below. He identifies another parallel between Korsybski and LRH that is probably more important than any of those I have noted.