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Holy Cows Ser. 8
Suppressive Means BAD!
The use of 'Suppressive Person' in Scientology™ is not very well defined - but one thing is for sure: It's bad!
It's used to describe a case condition; It's used as a Justice Label and it's used as a Boogie Man to keep you on the narrow path and Bridge to "Total Freedom".
The loose and multiple use of the term has
unfortunately led to considerable confusion. The SP is a much looked for
character in CoS. He is seen as a major factor in any bad
situation. If a project fails you look for "the Who" - the SP:
The bad guy that covertly worked against it. If a preclear isn't getting
stable gains, you again look for the villain that invalidates the pc
between sessions. If you experience
opposition from the press or the environment - again - who is the hidden
SP behind the attacks? There is usually a wild goose chase going on to
label and deal with these characters. This easily develops into a witch
hunt. This very concern is mentioned in "The Anti Social
But let's look at each of these areas - one at a time and see what we can learn.
"The Anti Social Personality"
There are given 12 characteristics in the LRH bulletin mentioned, which are listed in the table below. It describes a character, which is known to cause a lot of trouble, usually through covert means. The SP can be hard to detect and this is probably the reason for, that the term has become so loaded.
That such a personality type do exist is nothing new. It's a type of villain, well known from literature. It's "who has done it" in crime stories. It's Blofeld in the James Bond movies. It's maybe the Boogie man from your childhoods fairy tales. You see him in the news and in entertainment every day. As far as pathological description goes, 'anti-socials' have been well known to criminologists and psychiatrists for over 50 years.
In 1941 the American psychiatrist Henley Cleckley published a book called: "The Mask of Sanity". This quote from the book seems to correspond very well with Hubbard's descriptions of 'SP'. (Cleckley uses the word 'psychopath'):
"It must be remembered that even the most severely and obviously disabled psychopath presents a technical appearance of sanity, often with high intellectual capacities and not infrequently succeeds in business or professional activities for short periods, some for considerable periods. Although they occasionally appear on casual inspection as successful members of the community, as able lawyers, executives or physicians, they do not, it seems, succeed in the sense of finding satisfaction of fulfillment in their own accomplishments. Nor do they, when the full story is known, appear to find this in an ordinary activity."
Here are some other quotes:
"Psychiatrists are often helplessly manipulated by the psychopath; just as are the psychopaths other victims."
From Dr. Ken Magid's "High Risk, Children Without a Conscience."
"There are psychopathic personalities in the highest echelons of government, and even within religious hierarchies in America. You can't just assume that a person with the title of judge or hospital orderly got there honestly and won't manipulate the hell out of you."
Letter from Psychologist Schreibman to H. Cleckley, 2/10/86
Cleckley and later authors have settled on 20 characteristics, that describes the same vile, anti-social character. Take a look at the table and you will see how criminology and Hubbard match up pretty well:
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SP - A Case Condition
SP - A Justice Label
SP - The Boogie Man
If a project fails you look for "the Who" - the SP
There is usually a wild goose chase going on to label and deal with these characters. This easily develops into a witch hunt.
The SP can be hard to detect and this is probably the reason for, that the term has become so loaded.
That such personality type do exist is nothing new
In 1941 American psychiatrist Henley Cleckley published a book called: "The Mask of Sanity". It seems to correspond very well with Hubbard's descriptions of 'SP'
"psychopaths presents a technical appearance of sanity"
"There are psychopathic personalities in the highest echelons of government, and even within religious hierarchies in America."
Cleckly and others mainly studied the prison population, which not surprisingly has the highest concentration of anti-socials.
He settled on 20 characteristics
The anti-social personality
1. Speaks in generalities
"They say", "Everybody thinks" "Everyone knows" etc., particularly when imparting rumors.
2. Deals in bad news
"Gossip" or "harbinger of evil tidings" or "rumor monger"
3. Stops or worsens good news
Good news is stopped and only bad news, often
embellished, is passed along.
4. Does not respond to treatment
Does not respond to treatment or reform or psycho-therapy.
5. Is surrounded by sick and failing associates
7. Cannot finish a cycle of action.
8. No sense of responsibility
9. Supports only destructive groups and rages against and attacks any constructive or betterment group.
12. Bad sense of property
Some say 4%, others (APA) says: 3% of male
population and 1% of females. Some estimates will have the prison
population around 65-75% (APA) Others say around 20%.
(APA: American Psychiatric Association)
|Percentages: Original HCOB states 2 1/2% of population. In CS Ser 22 (1971) the percentage is suddenly raised to 20%! (But it is not repeated later).|
|There are a number of terms in use: Psychopath, Sociopath and Anti-social Personality Disorder. True to psychiatry they have countless "diagnoses", but it's hard to see more than one group of cases.||Although the description and emphasis vary somewhat in criminology/psychiatry and in Scientology™, there is no doubt (based on the percentages and main characteristics) that it's the same group of anti-socials they both are talking about.|
Hervey Cleckley (1941): " The Mask of Sanity", is the classic work on the subject - still used.
R.D. Hare. (1980). " A research scale for the assessment of psychopathy in criminal populations", and a number of other books.
Prison populations are the primary group being studied. I have seen studies of military groups as well. Saw a British study of 'bullies in the work place' which refers to the same phenomenon.
A Canadian Correction Agency's Comments on the Problem
have no records of research, but assume it's based on psychiatry's (Cleckley's)
data with a restatement of characteristics. The dramatic increase of the
estimated % of SP's in the population, (in 1971 to 20% - CS ser. 22, Psychosis),
was based on tech research that led to 'False Purpose RD'. This figure wasn't
repeated in later writings. Hubbard operated with a total 20% of the population were
PTS or SP. PTS are under heavy influence
from SP's. We take the figures 2.5% SP's and 17.5% PTS as the figures that
Hubbard did supervise auditing but pc's are not a good representation of the population in general, so we believe he only wild guessed the %.
|Method of detection:
The Psychopathy Checklist
consists of 22 items (e.g. callousness, impulsivity) which were modeled
after the psychopathy criteria originally proposed by Cleckley. In order to complete the checklist, the
a psychologist, must conduct a detailed interview and a
comprehensive review of the offender's file. Recent analyses of the
checklist items have demonstrated that the Psychopathy Checklist
measures not only the lack of empathy described by Cleckley, but also factors related to their chronic, unstable
lifestyle and social deviance.
Method of detection:
The basic "Checklist" are the 12
characteristics quoted above and the list for "social personality" for
Determination is riddled with errors and often a very
subjective 'crying wolf'. In the PTS RD you have pcs name people suppressive to
them and they often come up with "parent(s)" due to problems with them.
|Easy to recognize? No. The whole point of Cleckley's "The Mask of Sanity", was that they can appear completely 'normal'. They can be career criminals (detected or undetected), but can also rise to responsible positions in society, if they are well educated and intelligent.||Easy to recognize? As pc's or staff members they will gradually reveal a pattern. The correct labeling is however made troublesome as Scn Justice codes redefines 'Suppressive Person' "as those which seek to destroy Scn" - here meaning people you want to separate yourself from or kick out of the group for a variety of reasons.|
given for condition
Bad childhood; broken homes. No father figure at home. A high percentage of sociopaths has this background (up to 70%). Condition is manifest from around age 13 (juvenile delinquents) and carries on into adulthood. Also speculations on genetic reasons and due to brain chemistry. Typical juvenile delinquent behavior is the most obvious dramatization of the characteristics of anti-social behavior.
given for condition
The basic reason is the person being completely stuck in a past, life-threatening incident, and he replays all his trickery to survive. An SP is considered 'out of valence' and stuck in the incident and dramatizing evil intent.
"The SP is sure everyone is against him personally and if others became more powerful they would dispose of him." Thus he fights back against imaginary enemies.
As you can see: it's not a 100% match - but then again literature describes them in hundreds of different ways. When you look at the percentages, it is clear, that they are talking about the same group of anti-social people.
The difference in the details can most likely be assigned to the different purposes or viewpoints behind the two columns. Cleckley's work mainly has interest to law enforcement, to the courts and prison systems. Hubbard's work is used in Scientology™ organizations to spot ill intended trouble makers (internally and externally) and to isolate the organization from them.
It's also used with preclears, connected to such persons (SP's), to identify them and handle or disconnect from them (handling of PTS phenomena). The case condition known as PTS (potential trouble source) is an important discovery in Scientology™. It is estimated to affect 17.5% of the population and can be tackled by educating and coaching the pc as an important first step.
How Many and Where?
The real discrepancy is the estimation of how likely you are to run into these anti-socials and where. Since the prison population is estimated to consist of as many of 75% (the estimates I have seen swing from 20% - 75%), you for sure are dealing with them a lot in law enforcement, in the courts and in the jails.
If you are looking at a self improvement activity as Scientology™, the probability - I would estimate - is well below the average population percentage of about 2.5 %. According to theory, SP's in the Orgs are there to purposely sabotage the system - something they will have to do either at extreme low pay (as staff) or at very high expense (as public). You have to be pretty determined to keep going under those circumstances; and that's something the anti-social personality is known not to be in either of the columns.
PTS'es (people crippled from close contact with SP's) can display some of the characteristics. They would have a genuine interest in recovering from this influence and could have enough determination to go through with the program. This is what you mainly can run into in CoS.
Since no reliable tests are administered in Scientology™, I think this has been dramatized way out of proportion and this very campaign to 'get the SP's' has acted as a 'Merchant of Chaos' phenomenon. It has been a dramatization of the very thing the orgs tried to fight and get rid of. In my estimation less than 0.5% of people active in Scientology™ would fall in the category of SP. Many times, when I thought "I have finally found one" and started to investigate, it all resolved rather peacefully and undramatically. I am not saying I haven't met such people; because I certainly have. But in Scientology™ it has mainly been on the fringes. When confronted they would usually blow immediately as they hate discovery.
In my estimation there is a lot of 'crying wolf' and this has all by itself done far more harm, than any true suppressive could ever dream of or hope to accomplish. The mislabeling of PTS for SP has been a major source of self generated troubles for CoS.
labeling of unwanted elements and personal enemies as SP's is another source. It
has an uncanny likeness of labeling political opponents and dissidents 'insane',
a practice known from the former Soviet Union and elsewhere.
This Policy was from the same period as CS Series 22, "Psychosis", where Hubbard researched Evil Purposes and their influence on cases. It led to Expanded Dianetics™ and Later 'False Purpose RD'. Both are dealing with 'False PTS'ness' or SP characteristics, of which some can be present in a PC without making him a criminal or SP. As a matter of fact, the PC will often recognize it as his main problem. Working with the PC's basic goodness, these are very powerful technologies. How the development of good technology in the area could lead to such an SP scare, is one of the riddles in Scientology™, we may never get a rational answer to - but it certainly did.
The very fact of this SP hunt is being played out so prominently, when no reliable test can be administered to their detection and identification, has created a huge amount of paranoia, suspicion and hostility among Scientologists themselves, among Scientologists and their environment (family, friends etc.) as well as between Orgs and society. The rude treatment of the press and government agencies by CoS is legendary and mainly based on 'SP data'.
There seems to be the same hunger for drama in CoS as we see in the news media and in entertainment, where anti-socials always seem to be in the spotlight. Only CoS does not depend upon the media. They have their own version, the SP hunt, that provides all the thrills of news and entertainment.
The SP case
SP Justice label
The SP Hunt
A Look at the Dark Side
© 2002 by Holy Cows. All rights reserved.
When you look at the percentages, it is clear, that they are talking about the same group of anti-social people.
Hubbard's work is used to spot ill intended trouble makers
It's also used with preclears, connected to SP's, to identify them and handle or disconnect from them
you for sure are dealing with them in law enforcement, in the courts and in the jails.
You have to be pretty determined to keep going as a Scientologist - and that's something the anti-social personality is known not to be in either of the columns.
PTS' would have a genuine interest in recovering from SPs and could have enough determination to go through with the program.
The 'Merchant of Chaos' has been a dramatized - the very thing the orgs tried to fight and get rid of.
When confronted SP's would blow immediately as they hate discovery.
A lot of 'crying wolf' has all by itself done far more harm, than any true suppressive could ever dream of or hope to accomplish.
labeling unwanted elements and personal enemies SP's has an uncanny likeness of labeling political opponents and dissidents 'insane'
How the development of good tech in the area could lead to such an SP scare, is one of the riddles in Scn, we may never get a rational answer to...
That no reliable test can be administered to their detection...has created a huge amount of paranoia, suspicion and hostility
The CoS does not depend upon the media. They have their own version, the SP hunt, that provides all the thrills of news and entertainment.