no sympathy

By Lana M.

There is a point of aberration in groups that needs to be acknowledged.

It exists to a heavy degree in the Sea Org, as well as in Class V orgs (though it is not reflected in LRH tech or policy anywhere).

You can see it also in the world at large – in companies, in industry, in the school yard – and certainly in many families. And you can see examples of it throughout history.

What I am talking about is a total no-sympathy attitude.

In Scientology you can see this demonstrated  towards someone with a non-optimum body situation, or someone in ethics trouble, or someone who has been taken off post for some reason. And certainly you can see it in a no-affinity for someone who is not following orders or demands from the group — such as to donate large sums, or to join staff or the SO.

It is a withdrawal of all affinity for a person, from the group, leaving the person feeling incredibly alone.

At the Int base the “no-sympathy” was horrific. An unparalleled group bank phenomena that made the suppression and off-policy scene there far worse.  A person would be taken in for an ethics interview, based on an inspection or “bad comm cycle” with COB.  Some withholds would be found in the interview, and then these would be announced to the entire crew of 300 people (or to the entire Int base), and the person would be shunned, by everyone.  This was something I saw occurring from early on – but it amplified through the 90’s and by the 2000’s had become unparalleled to anything I had ever experienced. The total no affinity from others in the group forces a person to pull their anchor points in, and works to push them down the tone scale. To put them at effect.

When I left the SO I was saddened to find that my (now ex) husband had brought this same attitude home with him. Despite pointing it out – he was unswerving in his no sympathy and lack of affinity.

In my view, the “no-sympathy” that we see within the C of S these days has been adopted by both local orgs and public themselves as a copy of the “almost cold” personae of RTC Representatives, and of course DM himself. It is taken on by staff and public as the ideal way of acting, yet it is the opposite to LRH’s personae and affinity for others. And it is essentially like trying to have a two way communication cycle with no affinity. It is impossible. It does not work. And of course, for auditors adopting this beingness, it is an impossibility. The session is doomed from the beginning. You cannot expect a person to make any gain when there is no ARC.

Then recently I read the LRH definition for “no sympathy” in the Tech Dictionary.  I wanted to share it with everyone, as it actually blew charge for me, and showed me what is actually happening with this “no sympathy” group bank we have or are experiencing.


  1. it’s a blackout, it’s an occlusion. “I’m not going to feel sympathy for it” is actually the phrase that goes with the concept. (5208CM07B)
  2. he’s bound and determined not to be sympathetic, and that’s the emotion of no sympathy. (5208CM07B)
  3. is an emotion and an action. One puts a black curtain before himself to prevent his feeling affinity with that which he is hurting.” (Scn 8-80)

That black curtain – that people put up to stop them from hurting – that is what the person receiving the no sympathy experiences. A black curtain. And the confusion it generates can be awful.

But heck – realizing now that the no affinity I have received (over time) has been from people who are hurting from seeing, witnessing, or being part of a given situation – that makes a lot of sense to me.

It is a person’s coping mechanism. It is denial by the person witnessing the situation. And they adopt a no sympathy towards me and others, as a way to not confront the scene – to separate themselves out from it.

In other words – THEY are not coping with what they are seeing and experiencing. THEY are the ones that are effect – and they are dramatizing this by displaying a total no affinity for you and others in that situation.

This realization proved to me that the majority of people from whom I experienced no-sympathy are actually good people, well intentioned, who have been as confused as me about the circumstances they find themselves in.

I guess it is like putting my auditor hat on, and being responsible for them, as well as myself.

Even if they are expressing a total no sympathy – I have not withdrawn my affinity for them. And with this knowledge, it opens the door to actually getting THEM in communication and sorting out what they are unable to confront.

Someone asked me once, who at Int would you rescue, if you could. The answer is EVERYONE! In fact, I will help anyone in the SO, on staff, public, under the radar, above the radar, or anywhere.The fact is that the no sympathy that the group is dramatizing is simply proof that the people doing it need help.

So, next time you experience some no sympathy – pour on the coals of affinity with them, and get them in COMMUNICATION, and I betcha the results will be startling!

21 thoughts on “No sympathy

  1. Very cool cog Lana , I have been reading Dianetics 55 and answering a lot of questions I had about what was going on in the world and the church also the creating a new civilization tapes really explained a lot about tyrants and he actually predicts what is going on right now in the USA and the church . thanks for posting

    • Thanks Bob. Last year I reread DN 55! as well, and I followed it up by studying the 9th ACC, which was the lecture series that accompanied that book. It BLEW my mind! I highly recommend it and can assist you to access those lectures if you don’t have them. Changed my entire view about Scientology, the world and me.

  2. Thank YOU Lana, for sharing this ever so important topic with us. I have moved a ton of mass just by duplicating your article and doing a quick review of where I was operating from.

    Gee, to say there have been a few changes in “mind-set,” just from the cognitions had, would be a gross understatement!

    Thanks for indicating the “spanner” in the works – it has erased now.

    ML, Calvin.

  3. Lana, I used to spot the no sympathy on some staff and my responding attitude to them was an overt” F….. you!!” But you have taken it a step further and shown it was also their non confront and problem, which never occured to me, nicely done.
    There has been some really interesting articles on this blog lately, it just gets better and better!

    • Thanks Cotch — you know it has been hanging me in mystery, for a long time. How is it that people I considered friends (or more), and care about, could flip and do this no sympathy when I ran into trouble in some way. Probably one of the worst examples was a few years back when I had a stomach flu and spent an entire day over a toilet bowl, and my (then) other half’s attitude was a startling no sympathy, despite me still trying to single hand two kids under the age of 4, at the same time as puking.
      This sort of stuff leaves you puzzled and confused — but I can now separate out from it, and see that it aint an issue about me — it is a problem that THEY have – their own non confront, low responsibility, overts and more. And the only way to sort that out is to be pan determined and rise above it, and THEM. Know what I mean? Yes, we all fall in holes or make mistakes or get sick sometimes — but the no sympathy, or withdrawal of affinity aint Scientology. It is a bad indicator (BI) on the persons doing it. And seeing that got me unstuck from it totally. And it showed me how we can sort those persons out too.

  4. Interesting article Lana!
    …I used to think there was something wrong with me, when I couldn’t be cold, distant, uninvolved and unsympathetic like some others!
    I have always believed, by the way, and still do, that people are more important than principles.

    • Lakis — the fact that you couldn’t be cold, distant, uninvolved and unsympathetic is proof that you are higher on the tone scale, more responsible, more in comm, more ARCful, and more theta than those who were making you feel otherwise.

      And yes — caring about people is actually what it is all about. It is what Scientology is actually for. To help people.

      It is unbelievable how screwed up all of this has become!

  5. Thanks for your article.It blew charge for me . Yawned off charge 4 times . Great that you spotted the truth after all these years of no one really commenting on it . Another yawn so know it must be good for me changing my viewpoint.Thanks again for sharing.

  6. Lana, several years ago I was on KTL at my local org. At the end of every evening we went down to the Examiner. For a week our Examiner was away on vacation and the new Snr C/S, just back from Flag, was holding his post. Besides having his attention stuck on the needle and just waiting and waiting motionless, he kept a facial expression like a funeral director (try saying “I am sorry for your loss” in a professional tone). My twin and I red tagged every night that week, and the following week the old examiner came back and things went back to normal. Now I’m wondering, was no-sympathy a new TR? TR-1NS NO SYMPATHY

    • Quiet Guy,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, you got it. At Flag they are put through a TRs course, where they have to get a video pass from RTC Representatives. And those RTC Reps don’t pass someone who has high ARC, warmth and smiles. Just not approved. So your only choice to get through the course is either lose the warmth and ARC that auditing depends on — or never complete the course, and never become an auditor or tech terminal.

  7. Its amazing how someone thinks they can help another by themselves being in the hostility band or get others to smile or be happy by yelling at them.
    I remember a young mother in a mall who was taking a picture of her 5 or 6 year old son and he was being rambunctious. She told him to smile and he refused-her requests started to get more and more angry until she was yelling at him to SMILE. He finally complied by turning up the ends of his mouth, but he had big crocodile tears flowing from his eyes.

  8. I’ve often seen this attitude from Ethics Officers. I imagine it justifies the harsh treatment they often mete out. Lessening the overt, you might say. It’s really not necessary to treat a public/staff his way. If you want “ethics” to work for someone, you’d better consult their understanding, which requires affinity and the like. Only after ethics fails to bite does group justice become necessary. And even then, it is best if the justice applied also consults the person’s understanding and agreement. The whole subject of ethics and justice gets a bad name for exactly this type of behavior on the part of Ethics Officers/MAAs, seniors, etc.

    And of course, it is common at the interface between the Sea Org and others.

    You’d think it would have occurred to Scientologists that “no sympathy” is just a tenth of a point above “covert hostility” on the tone scale. Not what one would consider “up tone”.

  9. Wow, Lana. As usual you hit the nail right on the head! Spot on.
    I too have observed this tone level for a long time, sometimes referred to as the “hard chrome steel” attitude that SO members use to demonstrate their so-called “toughness”.
    I also enjoyed each of the comments and observations on this subject.

    It’s been a while since I posted here. Great comments as usual.

    Anyway, I want to add an observation of my own about the tone level of “No Sympathy” which I made while doing Mood TRs:
    If one looks at the Expanded Tone Scale one will notice that No Sympathy falls at 1.2 on the scale. This is only 1/10th of a tone above 1.1 which is Covert Hostility, which in turn is only 1/10th of a tone above 1.0 which is Fear. All of these tones are in the Fear Band which makes sense to me.

    • Great point Espiritu. Yes — it is in the Fear band. No question it is entheta and leaves you feeling enturbulated. I found, after I was kicked out of RTC and was working in the Gold Galley, that people approached me and thought that I was ARCXen with them from when I had been working in RTC and had to have the RTC personae of “almost cold”. I hated that RTC Code of Conduct (issued in 1994 as an RTC ED). It was this false, cold and hostile approach to people which I have never had and don’t like inflicting on anyone. I was so relieved when I was no longer having to wear that “face” anymore. And interestingly, in RTC, you receive instant ethics and justice if you violate teh Code of Conduct. It is a case of lose, either way. And that is enough to generate fear in anyone!

      • I’m glad you escaped that spiritual trap.
        Three cheers for Freedom, Happiness, and Scientology!
        And mean people can “ride their toboggan to nowhere”.

  10. ‘Almost cold’, I liked that!
    By the way, chapter 10 in Ruth Minshull’s excellent book, ‘How To Choose Your People’, is devoted to the No Sympathy fellow.
    I highly recommend it:
    “…On this level we find an intriguing mixture of the characteristics of 1.5 and 1.1. Displaying more animosity then the 1.1, not quite blasting off in Anger, he dwells in a narrow band where he can be identified by his cold Control.” COLD CONTROL. Interesting!

  11. Hi Lana, yes! I’ve experienced that and felt it was weird. When I was at the Int Training Org for staff in LA from 93 to 95, ALL org exec trainees were sent to train as product officers under a chronic No Sympathy Tech Sec (Ron Smith.) I didn’t wish him dead, he was so cold I don’t think he’d have noticed dying. But I did feel pity for him and anyone around him. Thank you for the cog, a good one to realise.

  12. I recall several missionaires coming into our Class V org projecting No sympathy, Expressed Resentment and just about everything else up to Anger in order to supposedly get Ethics and production in. Usually this meant targeting the public to get the GI up and blows were routine. After the mission was gone, most people returned sometime after. They were usually despised by staff too, who were often forced to quit their jobs, their only means of income, in order to put in more time to get the stats up. I used to shiver when these SOs came into town, and for me, a time to take a vacation from carbonation.

    • When you train as a Commodore’s Messenger, with specific TRs on how to relay a message, you are supposed to take every message to good indicators. You never leave a person bad indicators or upset. That is how LRH dealt with his communications. So the Sea Org members who you had experience with (and I have had dealing with many such individuals) have absolutely NO idea what the hell they are doing. They are not in any way operating as Ron would, nor anything that is reflected in policy or Scientology tech.

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