This article, written by Frank Gordon, , is from Part II of TERRA INCOGNITA, a series of articles entitled "Another Look at Basics" which have been published in International Viewpoints (IVy) and which examines many of the fundamentals of Hubbard's popularized epistemology.


Another Look at Basics #21
by Frank Gordon

I have not previously discussed affinity, because I have been deeply puzzled by Hubbard's treatment of it. He considers it the weakest corner of the ARC triangle, and at the same time seems to equate affinity with beingness or theta itself.

Affinity as subordinate

"Looking all around now, I would say that the weakest corner of the ARC triangle is 'A'-Affinity. This has the least monitoring effect upon a preclear but is the most strongly demonstrated (NOTE: I assume this is by emotional manifestations). It is NOT a good entering point.(1) C and R run out A or re-establish A."(2)

Since Hubbard defined Affinity in Scn Axiom 25 as "a scale of attitudes(3) which falls away from the co-existence of static ... down to close proximity but mystery," this makes it the weak corner of the triangle and neglects its dynamic quality as an impetus to action.

Affinity as beingness (theta)

But in Hubbard's alignment of ARC with the elements of theta and MEST, he has the following table,(4) which equates affinity with theta itself:

Affinity - space - beingness (theta)
Reality - matter - havingness
Communication - energy - doingness

This makes affinity, like theta, a "nothingness" in MEST terms, and therefore very difficult to process directly. Nevertheless, as an underlying urge to create what one has an affinity for, it is definitely a "somethingnss."

Affinity's early importance

Let's go back and review the development of this concept. Affinity is first mentioned in Dianetics:MSMH: ".. the law of affinity, as applicable to psychosomaic illness, was more powerful than fear and antagonism by a very wide margin ... chronic psychosomatic ills existed only when they had a sympathy engram behind them. The law of affinity might be interpreted as the law of cohesion; affinity might be defined as 'love' in both its meanings. Deprivation of or absence of affection could be considered as a violation of the law of affinity.(5)

"A pre-clear is only placed in apathy by ally computations.(6) ... The law of afinity has been aberrated into an entrance into the reactive engram bank. And that law, even when twisted ... still works." p.293

Affinity as a dynamic vector

The next mention of affinity is that: "The A-R-C triangle consists of dynamic vectors."(7) If affinity is viewed as a dynamic vector or directed desire, it becomes much more important.

Affinity as a dynamic vector appears in life and art-forms (romantic fiction, movies, true confessions - "sin, suffer and repent") as tremendously important and an ever-favorite topic. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, encounter impediments (or engrams) to the flow of their love and mutual moral support, overcome these complications and "live happily ever after."

Affinity as a driving force or motivation

This aspect of Affinity as a driving force or motivation is given a central place in The Technique of SCREEN WRITING by Eugene Vale(8) in his discussion of motives. He says: "We speak of the cause for the action of an object, and of the motive for the action of a human being ...what constitutes a motive? ... A human being will act to remove pain ... The human being feels pain, when he wants something and does not have it or when he does not want something and has it ... These two .. motives might be called affinity and repulsion. Affinity is the desire to be united with something, and repulsion is the desire to be separated from something. Afffinity means that the human being wants something and repulsion means that the human being dos not want somehing. Affinity could be described as 'love,' and repulsion as 'hatred.'"(9)

Affinity as cohesion or coherence

Later, in Science of Survival, it is described as: "There is in Dianetics a triangle of great importance. Theta, the energy of thought and life, has as primary manifestations affinity, reality and communication ... This is the peculiarity of theta; in lieu of the cohesion, matter, and force laws of the physical universe (MEST), thought (theta) has to have affinity, reality and communication to survive."(10)

Cohesion with coherence would be "sticking together" with a common underlying theme or principle. In an art-form, this manifests as an internal affinity. In a group it manifests as "gung-ho,"(11) an "esprit de corps"(12) or morale.

In chemistry, affinity is the attractive force exerted in different degrees between atoms, which causes them to enter into and remain in combination. E.g., if you add a solution of silver nitrate to a solution of sodium chloride (table salt), silver chloride will precipitate out because of the strong bond (affinity) between silver and chloride ions, resulting in a kind of chemical love-affair. Linus Pauling considers these affinities in his The Nature of the Chemical Bond.(13)

In metallurgy, cohesion and coherence become very important when one wants a metal to "stick together" and resist being pulled or broken apart.

Affinity in TROM

Dennis Stevens states in TROM (The Resolution of Mind): "Once you grasp the truth about the subject of postulates and reasons why you will also learn to cut through the smoke screen of reasons why that others throw up to justify their postulates, and be able to see their naked desire and postulates clearly exposed. The brush salesman may give you a thousand convincing reasons why you ought to buy his brush, but all of them come later than the fact that he desires to sell a brush to you.

"Life gets very simple when you realize that the correct sequence is: Desire - Postulate - Reasons why (invented) for postulate." TROM, p.53

One desires what he feels an affinity for as an ideal scene,(14) postulates its achievement (or reality), then communicates this with the intention of getting it duplicated and understood.

Considering that Dennis has desire (or affinity) as basic to any postulate, the question arises as to whether it would be helpful to use this in some form of: "to be desired, to desire, not to desire, and not to be desired?"

Using this form gives a connection to the Buddhist idea that desire (especially as greed, jealousy, etc.) leads to suffering on the "wheel of Samsara;" and could illuminate and be illuminated by these Buddhist concepts.

Many fiction stories or "vicarious(15) games for the reader" invented by an author are about achieving desired affinities. As far as I know, Hubbard never wrote an explicit love story.

Synonyms of attraction

Attraction, affinity, sympathy mean the relationship existing between things (sometimes persons) that are involuntarily or naturally drawn together. Attraction implies the possession of one thing by a quality that pulls another thing to it. E.g., attraction is the force by which a magnet draws iron to it. Affinity implies the possession of the thing that is drawn of a susceptibility (a predisposition) for it that forces it to approach or come into contact with the other. E.g., iron is one of the few metals that have an affinity for the magnet. Sympathy implies a reciprocal relation between things that are susceptible to the same influence. E.g., the tides rise and fall in sympathy with the moon.

Synonyms of likeness

Likeness, similarity, resemblance, similitude, analogy, affinity mean agreement or correspondence in details, qualities, or the like brought out by comparison. Affinity adds to resemblance the implications of a relationship, such as kinship or common experiences or influences responsible for the similarity.(16)

Affinity as the reason why

These two definition clusters above show the two sides of affinity, attraction and likeness. In life, these two sides are manifested by the order which theta actively brings to life through its agent, mind. A mind which abhors confusion and seeks to bring order and coherence to life's randomities.

Theta has a natural affinity for rational thought, coherence, perspicuity (clarity) and elegance (beauty). And although these natural affinities are difficult to access directly, they are the creative driving force in back of action.

To the question, "Why do you do that?" there is a simple answer. "Because I like doing it."


1 Not being a good entering point does not imply unimportance. You begin: "Start of session. Tell me about your love life." What would probably happen?

2 Tech Vol III, p.139.

3 attitude. posture, position or bearing as indicating action, feeling or mood. Also, a fixed or habitual emotional response.

4 I have so far been unable to locate this exact reference, and would appreciate help on this.

5 Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health by L. Ron Hubbard, pb., 1981, Bridge Publications, p.126. The next pb. edition of 1985 omits the appendices on the philosphic and scientific methods. A mistake. It cuts off important roots.

6 "The ally computation is little more than the idiot calculation that anyone who is a friend can be kept a friend only by approximating the conditions wherein the friendship was realized." p.295.

7 Notes on the Lectures of LRH, Hubbard Dianetic Foundation, Wichita, Kansas, 1951. p.17. A dynamic vector could be defined as a directed active force or energy which produces change. Dynamic as one of the eight dynamics is an urge to survive as the result of an underlying affinity for that state of survival.

8 Crown Publishers, NY, 1945. In the section on "Motive, Intention, Goal," pp.113-14.

9 Since Hubbard at one time wrote screenplays, he may have adopted this term from Vale's book, and expressed it more abstractly as: "Affinity is a consideration of distance." The desired distance could be either spacial or psychological.

10 Science of Survival by L. Ron Hubbard, Pubs Org, 1976, Book I, p.35.

11 gung-ho, Chinese for "pull together."

12 esprit de corp, the common spirit existing in the members of a group and inspiring enthusiasm, devotion, and strong regard for the honor of the group.

13 This could be paralleled with a study of human affinities in a book called The Nature of the Human Bond.

14 Ideal scene, "the entire concept of an ideal scene for any activity is really a clean statement of its purpose." (HCO PL 5 Jul 70) Mod. Manag. Tech., 1976.

15 Vicarious, sympathetic participation in the experience of another, as a reader or observer.

16 Web Coll Dic 1961.