By Lana M.
Living on a rural property, in a very dry and highly flammable environment like Australia, the survival of our families, friends and properties, rests solely on the shoulders of a volunteer Rural Fire Service.
As I am expecting that if a fire encroaches on my property, the local brigade will show up and put the fire out, then I felt it is only right that I also participate in that group and have my exchange in. To this end, this last weekend I did a two day course as a basic firefighter.
It has been a while since I did fire drills — but my dear old friend Jackson (former Security Chief at the Int base) would be proud at the speed with which I can unroll and fire up a fire hose, how quickly I can get the pump operating and my proficiency at emergency drills. When I am issued with my standard protective gear in a few weeks time I will be sure to take photos to send to him.
After spending two days with people who dedicate literally hundreds of hours, and sometimes weeks on end, every year, providing a service for which they are not paid, I was duly impressed. The course was heavily attended, with some 25 new firefighters trained for the region, and there are close on 1500 members in our region alone.
The group has an exact mission and purpose. They have ideals and ethics and definite standard operating procedures. And they certainly have policy, which they go out of their way to make sure you understand, and follow.
There is no obligation for any person to have to go and fight a fire, nor to go into a circumstance that they are uncomfortable with. In fact, the culture of the organization is that any peer group pressure to “steel up or shut-up” is unacceptable. Lives are at risk at any fire front, and safety of the brigade and the lives of those impacted by fire, are of utmost importance.
Training is heavily encouraged, and the training programs are superb, with plenty of practical and hands-on, and with trainers who really do know their stuff, on the ground, and can tell you their own past experiences with fires of all types.
I realized by the end of the weekend that the success of the Rural Fire Service is based on the dedication, ethics and integrity of its members. There is an environment that is susceptible to fire, and this necessitates that people work together, with a common purpose, goal, ideal and ethic. There is no command channel dictating what must be done, and when. There is no individual at the top, issuing orders, and enforcing compliance. And there are no penalties, threats, coercion, or blackmail. It is simply people working together, with a common goal, with exchange from each individual member, and with trust and responsibility being paramount.
So, how come the Rural Fire Service in New South Wales can set up and run a group that is sane, productive, gung-ho and expanding at a steady and viable rate — and the current Church of Scientology, which has an incredible wealth of technology that can improve conditions and increase abilities, is corrupt, criminally out-exchange, shrinking, and produces entheta (out-tech, disconnection, off-policy arbitraries, etc.) beyond belief?
The individual members of that group, tolerate it.
Heck I did — for 17 years. And others that have done the same for as long, or longer.
Might seem too simple — and for many, a little painful to look at. But yes, the only reason why the group has gone so far South is because WE let it get that way.
This weekend I spoke at length with people who have been members of the Rural Fire Service for 10 years or more, and each one has organized their lives so that they are on-call, so they are competent, proficient and expert, and so they can contribute to the group, and have the group contribute to them. They are keen, dedicated and proud of their group and what they can do. They can look a 5 metre high flame in the eye, and know what to do. They can attend a motor vehicle accident, or a building on fire, and know how to competently extinguish that fire. And they do that as a team, with ever changing and often unpredictable circumstances. If they don’t know what to do, they communicate that, and they are given a job they can cope with and do well at. Everyone is allowed to be part of the group — even if they are simply making sandwiches for hungry men.
They are a successful group — and though there will always be inefficiencies and various things to improve upon, it is THEIR group, and they own it, their equipment, their trucks, their uniforms and the responsibility of the job.
Imagine if we could shoot back to the 50’s and 60’s and 70’s, when the same existed for Scientology?
Well it can be done — it just requires that within the groups we form and are part of, that we, as individuals, enforce the goals, ideals and ethics of the group are maintained.
And this is done so that the purpose of the group can be achieved.
It is actually that simple.
“A group, if it is a true group, has to be composed of three factors and one condition. There must be goals and an ideal and an ethic postulated for this group— goals and ideals and ethics— not just ways to reach the goal. There must be a goal for the Foundation as a group.
“Right now, the individuals in it are going by sub- goals, little things to get to the big goal. Those are the heartbeats of a group, not the main drive.
“The condition that must exist with this group is that each member of the group must be permitted to contribute to the group, and the group must be permitted to contribute to the individuals. There must be an interchange. A person cannot be a true group member without contributing to the group.
“The management level of a group is not a command echelon so much as a planning echelon.
“These echelons should all be set up level with each other, rather than on a vertical command line which is the way an army organization is set up. Management should be dealing with planning and coordination of the planning— creating, in other words, agreement among the people who are doing it. Then there is execution of the projects of this group as done by the individuals of the group itself.
“These things round out the larger picture of Group Dianetics, a study of the third dynamic. This may seem oversimplified; it isn’t. The horrible complexity of the whole thing is that it is very simple. The reason the study of groups has been terrifically complex in the past is that it was so simple nobody would take a look at it.
“There is a vast amount of technology planned to grow out of this subject of groups”. (LRH – lecture given on 17 January 1951 entitled THE THIRD DYNAMIC)