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Via Hubbard Communications Office
163 Holland Park Avenue, London W. 11
[1953, ca. mid-November]


It greatly facilitates the work of the auditor to know the most aberrated and most aberrative types of personality.

Kraepelin in Germany a long time ago made a long and varied psychotic classification. This has been refined and made, if anything, even more unwieldy in modern times. It is valueless since it does not lead to the immediate remedy of the situation. Further, we are not very interested in types. There is really no such thing as a special type of psychosis or neurosis, beyond those types which are quite aberrative around the preclear.

If we could isolate a particular set of traits as being the most aberrative traits, we could more quickly process the preclear by using Acceptance Level Processing or Viewpoint Processing on such people.

Probably the truly aberrative personalities in our society do not number more than five or ten percent. They have very special traits. Where you find in the preclear’s bank a person with one or more of these characteristics, you will have the person who most thoroughly tried the preclear’s sanity.

What we will call the aberrative personality does the following things:

  1. Everything bad that happened to the preclear was (a) ridiculous, (b) unimportant, (c) deserved.
  2. Everything the preclear and others did to the aberrative person was (a) very important, (b) very bad, (c) irremediable.
  3. Those things which the preclear could do (a) were without real value, (b) were done better by the aberrative personality or by others.
  4. Sexual restraint or perversion.
  5. Inhibition of eating.

Such people would be better understood if I called them the “merchants of fear.” The most degraded control operation of which the GE is capable is utilized by these people for their sole method of getting on in the world. They have lost all ability themselves to create, they cannot work themselves, they must either amass money which is never to be spent or must prevent others from amassing money. They produce nothing, they must steal one way or another, and then devaluate whatever they obtain. They speak very sternly of honesty or ethics and put on a formidable front of complete legality. They are impartial, which is to say they are incapable of decision but ride continually a maybe. They close terminals easily with courts, for courts are, sad to say, more or less of this disposition themselves. They feel called upon at no pretext to become adjudicative on subjects where their opinion has not been invited.

Probably a society could be cleared and allowed to bloom if these people were simply rounded up and removed from contagion with the remaining populace, for they are not numerous. Yet they are in sufficient number that it is doubtful if your preclears who are more seriously badly off have not had at least one in their past. It is particularly true of the occluded case that he has been victimized by one of these “merchants of fear.”

Although there are many characteristics which are undesirable in such aberrative people, it is remarkable that only those listed above are aberrative. These wind sinuously as a threatening thread through all of their conversations. Such people are a mixture of paradoxes to the observer who does not understand the basic ingredients of human character.

Such people are themselves a continuous maybe, and therefore will be found very easily in the bank, for they appear most often. Where you find one, two or three people appearing almost continuously in the preclear’s bank, or his lamenting conversation, you will find that these people answer the above-numbered characteristics.

The method of processing these people is to have the preclear mock them up in large masses with the certainty that they are there, and then, with them unmocked, with the certainty they are not there. Then, mocked up again, with the certainty that they will be in the future, and, unmocked, with the certainty they will not be in the future. One also runs the above concepts in masses and in brackets.

A case cannot be said to be well so long as these aberrative personalities continue to reappear in his thoughts and processing. Therefore the auditor will find it extremely profitable to use all available means to process these people out of the preclear’s bank. When the auditor has succeeded in doing this, he will find that the preclear now believes himself to be very much better than before and, indeed, he will be.

It should be remembered that such people have invited many overt acts. The “merchants of fear” specialize in being offended themselves and, even though the overt acts against them are slight, these have become magnified in the preclear’s bank until such people, on the overt act phenomenon alone, occupy a major role in the preclear’s thinking.

It will often be discovered by the auditor that the preclear has “swapped terminals” with these aberrative persons. The weight of aberration is such that the preclear has been swung into the valence of such people, for they have obviously won.

The truth of the matter is: such people never win. If one traces out these people, as I have done occasionally after processing a preclear, he will discover that the aberrative personality is very close to the brink of a crack-up, has a very low survival level, and quite commonly goes insane.

It should be understood that anyone going down tone scale in moments of anger is apt to use the above-numbered steps one way or another. But this is a momentary thing; the above steps belong, of course, on the tone scale and are significant of a level on the tone scale. Thus, one going down tone scale into anger or into apathy, is inclined to use these operations momentarily. This is quite different from the aberrative personality. The aberrative personality is at work with this operation 24 hours a day. Ceaselessly, relentlessly, calculatingly, with full knowingness, the aberrative personality continues this onslaught against those around him.

The entire computation of this aberrative personality is that he is worthless, he himself knows himself to be completely worthless. One might feel a little pity if the harm were not so great, for there is nothing more terrible than this knowledge. The aberrative personality feels he cannot succeed unless he drives others away from him with fear, preferably with terror. He assumes aspects of ugliness in matters of clothing; he is quite prone to ugliness. Very often this personality does not bathe, his breath is very often foul, his feet become odorous, the endocrine system has failed one way or another, the person has considerable bowel trouble. Other people than the aberrative personality occasionally manifest these difficulties; unfortunately, it all stems from the same idea — to drive other people away.

The communication lag of the aberrative personality is his easiest clue. These people are slow to respond, they are very thoughtful about what they say. They “think twice before speaking once,” if they speak at all. When they do speak it is very often not on the subject. Their favorite phrase is “You do not understand.” They preface their statements with, “Well, I don’t know but....” There is no decision in such people; they do not know whether to go up the street or down the street. Put into a certain routine and forced into that routine they will carry on, but they do not themselves produce anything, they are entirely parasitic. This parasiticism is gained either by the inheritance or other accumulation of money or by a direct and forthright nullification of those around them into the status of slaves. For this person knows above all other things that he cannot produce an honest day’s work.

Now in case you err and try to apply this classification too widely, there is one definite characteristic you must not overlook. This characteristic makes the difference between the aberrative personality and run-of-the-mill human beings. The secrecy computation is the clue. The best index to a secrecy computation is a refusal to be audited. Because of this factor of the secrecy computation, and for no other factor, it chances to follow that the aberrative personality can be known by his refusal to have any auditing of any kind, or, if he has any auditing, accepts it very covertly and will not permit it to have any effect upon him. He will not have a second session. He has all manner of excuses for this such as “altitude,” but in any way, shape or form he escapes auditing. If your preclear’s unwilling to be audited, he himself may fall into this classification.

Because justice in this society prides itself upon impartiality, these impartial people — the aberrative personalities — are quite often listened to by those around them. The pose of being impartial is an effort to escape decision. People who get things done or who are worth anything to the society make decisions. The impartial people make no decisions if they can possibly avoid them, and at the very best put off decisions as long as possible, as in the case of a court of law. These people, being well downscale, are very close to MEST and have a very solid agreement with MEST.

Very often you will find aberrative personalities addicted to religion, but the addiction will not be accompanied by any belief in the human spirit. Just how this paradox is accomplished a professed avowal of Christianity and a complete unwillingness to accept any effort to heal or help the human spirit as opposed to the body — is just another one of this bundle of paradoxes which mark the aberrative personality. For, you see, the person is such a complete maybe that anything about him is indecisive, and people trying to make up their minds about this person, of course, fall into the state of maybe, because that is the clue to the personality. Impartial personality — the maybe personality — and the “merchant of fear” are more or less of the same order and are alike aberrative.

Men in the field of the arts are very often victimized by these aberrative personalities. The “merchant of fear” closes terminals rapidly with any area which contains a great deal of admiration. Since the person is actually incapable of decision, this is a mechanical closure. The presence of admiration around anyone else begins to dissolve some of the completely stultified bank of the “merchant of fear” and this finds him very close to the source. Orchestra leaders, painters, writers are always having the terrible misfortune of closing terminals with such personalities. There is hardly a man of art or letters who does not bear on him the scar of having associated with a “merchant of fear,” for these are vampire personalities. They are themselves so starved of admiration and of sensation that they drink out of others around them any possible drop of admiration in any form. Where a woman becomes a “merchant of fear,” sexual starvation is continually attempting satiation and all the while the “merchant of fear” will protest and, to all visible signs, follow a life of complete celibacy.

While it is not my purpose here to revile, I wish to impress upon the auditor that the “merchant of fear” is extremely dangerous, both to creative impulses and to sanity. One could say airily, “Why don’t we just audit these people upscale, since they are so few,” but these people will never present themselves for auditing and will discourage anyone else from having any auditing. A solution to the “merchant of fear” probably does not lie in the field of auditing.

The society at large is so accustomed to association with MEST and the “merchant of fear” so closely approximates some of the characteristics of MEST — the maybe, for instance — that the public quite commonly misassigns strength to such aberrative personalities and thinks of them as strong people or as wise people. They are neither strong nor wise, and before an even indifferently forceful attack quickly capitulate. They live their whole lives in terror of attack.

One often finds these characteristics in company with paresis or hears the aberrative personality has actually contracted a dreadful disease to add to his repulsiveness.

The auditor should not err in thinking that these people always present a repulsive appearance; repulsive conduct precedes a repulsive appearance. At first they operate only mentally in trying to make everyone afraid. Then this begins to show up more and more in their own MEST and finally will demonstrate itself in their personal appearance. Thus one can mark the state of decay of these aberrative personalities.

Now and then some violent man in one country or another has undertaken programs to rid a society of these points of contagion. Kings in olden times handled the problem by decapitating people who continually brought them bad news — this was a very wise measure. In more recent times it has been said that Gomez, late dictator of Venezuela, discovered that the contagion point of leprosy in the country was the beggar. He found that the beggars of Venezuela were using leprosy in order to beg. People would pay in order to have the ugly thing taken away from them (the basic philosophy of the beggar is to be paid to go away). Gomez had the beggars told that they were going to be taken to a very fruitful part of Venezuela and given a colony of their own; he had them collected on a river bank and loaded aboard two large river boats. The river boats proceeded into midstream, their crews left them in skiffs and the boats blew up with a resounding explosion. This was the end of leprosy in Venezuela. I am not telling you this to advocate the immediate slaughter of the “merchants of fear”; I am merely giving you an historical note. The extreme impatience of people trying to get something done in a society will eventually center upon those who will not work and, in the case of kings or tyrants, such people have very often been done away with. Thus the precedent is very old of a society cleansing itself by removing from its ranks the non-workers.

Revolutions very often have this as an objective. The French Revolution recognized in the existing aristocracy a state of will-not-work, and saw in these people the character of the “merchant of fear,” and for several years there in France, shortly after America became free, the tumbrils formed an assembly line to the guillotine. People in societies are extremely punitive about those who will not work and about those who depend on fear for their sustenance. But society going downscale can become more and more apathetic toward the “merchant of fear” until the “merchant of fear” predominates as a class.

Just as the king or the society revolted against the “merchant of fear,” so has your preclear tried to get the “merchant of fear” to work and to contribute something besides bad news. This effort, of course, was bent toward an organism which was already rotten at the core. Whether the “merchant of fear” used money or beauty to excuse his own lack of labor, only added to the maybe. The law forbade the preclear to use the measure of the tyrant or the Gomez, for the law is utterly infatuated with such people and defends them at every turn just as such people use almost exclusively the law. As your preclear was balked in his natural impulse to clear the way he was brought into staring recognition of the fact that the necessary act — murder — was halted by the existence of police and courts. This brought the preclear to the point where he conceived himself to be put upon by the society and the law. Many of your preclears, as a result of this, are startled to find, when it is run on them, that they believe themselves under arrest, even though any arrest they have been subjected to was as minor as a traffic pick-up. I am not advocating, again, violence; I am merely trying to explain to you the state of mind of the preclear and the most aberrative person he has confronted. He wanted to, and didn’t, kill these people. If your preclear is of the kind who produces or creates or who works and makes his way in the world in general, you can find the aberrative personality in his bank immediately by asking him — with an E- Meter, of course, because he probably won’t tell you direct — if he wanted to kill anyone. The E-Meter will say that he did, and on discovery of this identity the auditor will find the aberrative personality. This even follows through with women, although women go more quickly into apathy when confronted with an aberrative personality than do men.

You should understand that the aberrative personality has not become an aberrative personality by being confronted by another aberrative personality. You are not getting here the pattern of stimulus-response, you are getting the decay of a human spirit to complete inactivity so that the entire modus operandi becomes that of the body itself, and a body, in the case of the aberrative personality, which itself is too deteriorated or exhausted to work. Not all bodies becoming so exhausted and unable to work turn into aberrative personalities, but the aberrative personality is born entirely out of the decline of the ability of the individual to produce. When the individual really recognizes his utter worthlessness to the society, he becomes an aberrative personality. Many people who cannot work physically turn to other lines of progress. They are getting on one way or another. The aberrative personality is so badly off that he can lead only a parasitic existence. You will understand, then, that people going down tone scale do not immediately and automatically become aberrative personalities, in our definition as here used. People become aberrative personalities out of a malevolence which insists on a high level of survival without the production of anything.