There are several levels of communication in Scientology, and these should be known and observed by an auditor in his selection and use of materials.
The first of these which we should consider is the communication from the general public to the general public. Here we have word of mouth. This is the most important communication channel where promulgation and dissemination are concerned simply because it is the broadest and is the one which ultimately will reach the most people. Thus it is that we must be intensely interested in what Scientologists release, and what Scientologists do, and what the press says about Scientology. It would be thought by many with no great background in public relations that the proper method of obtaining word of mouth is through the public presses. This is not the case. Newspapers and magazines do not furnish the material which the public is discussing. The newspaper would love to think that it furnishes all the material which people talk about, but this is not the case, and actually on a check-up you will discover that you have today spent only a moment or two mentioning current events to your neighbors. It is of considerable interest to Scientology and Scientologists that no news stories be released. In the first place newspapers and magazines are incapable of duplication and cannot put forth a straightforward story, and have no cognizance whatsoever of ethics. The level of journalism today, if you care to look it up on the Chart of Human Evaluation, is found to be 1.5 and below, and I invite your attention to the accompanying columns of that level. This is a highly untrustworthy form of communication. It is not a particularly broad form.
What the public says to the public, if it were to be duplicated, and if it were to be regulated in any way by Scientologists and the organizations of Scientology, would have to be brief indeed, and would have to be uncomplicated. Otherwise it would not be duplicated by word of mouth. A central message, properly formulated, would be distributed by word of mouth if it could be embroidered into sufficient material to permit discussion. Without discussion being possible no word of mouth would ensue, since people use word of mouth material simply to be interesting themselves, and their method of being interesting is by taking some simple principle which is being talked about, which is yet controversial and embroidering it. Thus, by adding their opinions to it, they themselves become interesting. Thus, if you have something to which no opinions can be added you have something which will not be talked about.
For example, we have one piece of information, which, variously stated and in various forms, seems to communicate and which is communicated, and that is to the effect that for two thousand years Man has not had health, happiness, or immortality, yet these were promised to him two thousand years ago, and Scientology is delivering them today. Well stated, poorly stated, summed up, rephrased, this is still something that people will talk about. They may only use part of it, to the effect that Man has not had health, happiness, or immortality for two thousand years. Another piece of information which people will talk about, when it gets into circulation, is that a nuclear physicist, in trying to research matters of physics, found the human soul and discovered how to free it. One rather astonishing piece of information which was handed out was found to travel fairly well, and that was to the effect that God did not like unhealthy people. He made Man to be healthy, and Man got unhealthy. This, without any Scientology connected to it, was found to travel. Thus, the information which is put on the communication line from the public to the public has to be simple enough at its core to bring about discussion, so that by being embroidered it yet does not lose its core.
The Scientologist subscribing to the Code of Scientology is also subscribing to some control over this communication line from the public to the public. By staying out of the press, by refusing to engage in unseemly conversations over the subject, he is aiding and abetting the flow of word of mouth.
As any science which betters people gathers unto itself considerable numbers of people who can dramatize only how bad it is over there, we get a great deal of crank, squirrel, neurotic, and psychotic communication flow. We have an incidental communication line, then, which does not at all help the public’s word-of-mouth communication from this entheta line. We call this an entheta line simply because people use Scientology to explain to others how bad it all is over there, how bad auditors are, how bad courses are, how bad Hubbard is, how bad rain is, how bad cats are, how bad the other person is, etc., etc. We even have publications which pretend to be part of Dianetics and Scientology which couldn’t possibly print anything but bad news. That there is not one word of truth in all this news so far detected by the most searching inspection here, that these rumors and perjuries and falsehoods haven’t even the dignity of a background in fact, does not stay their passage.
For instance, a character in that city of characters, Los Angeles, recently wrote to a publication which had no better sense than to print it, that the Supreme Court had many times decided that ministers who charged a fee for whatever they did were practicing medicine without a license. The writer of that letter refuses processing and happens to be connected with persons of a religious faith which is not Christian, and to be himself no Christian, and has a definite stake in religion which he does not mention in his letter. This is overtly slanderous, stated with malice and intention to squirrel up the field. However, many people, simply by driveling along about how bad it all is, put out unconscious dramatizations about how bad it all is, put out unconscious dramatizations about Scientology.
But the HASI, having been free to a large degree of the burden of investigation, has come alertly forward to police these lines, for there is a great deal of difference between free speech and slander. The first notable example the HASI made has come off very successfully. A piece of uncalled-for publicity which, like all the rest, was nothing but a lie, was published; its author was promptly and immediately threatened with suit if he did not instantly apologize, and seeing for the first time the difference between slander and free speech, this person hastily apologized and cut his communication line.
But unless all Scientologists fall into the habit of ascertaining the source of their information, and policing this entheta line, then the word-of-mouth advertising from the public to the public is seriously threatened, and there will be no great advance of Scientology in the public itself. For the very best communication line there can be for Scientology is being continually destroyed by irresponsible, if not insane, people who may not know anything else, but they certainly know how bad it is over there.