By Lana M.
I was reflecting this morning on the life and times of Milestone Two and our blog. As detailed in LRH’s Group Dianetics (see reference at bottom of this article), in the last 3 years we have had an interesting journey — with many highs and also a number of significant lows.
Our persistence has surprised many – and despite shellackings and counter-efforts, we just keep on communicating. Infuriating for some, I am sure.
It is always good to take an external look at what has occurred over time and to reassess and question what occurred — to get clarification and as-isness on what has befallen a group over time.
Decisions have been made over the last 3 years that have, on occasion, been done with no consultation with the group and have been arbitrary decisions and actions. It is important that the group has an opportunity to examine those decisions and learn about what occurred. There is a possibility that directions or actions taken by MS2 (or myself personally in overseeing and directing MS2) that were not in the best interests of the group and need to be sorted out, reversed, cancelled or changed. And there are group engrams that hinder a group, which we should hunt out and deal with so that 2016 is a prosperous and expanding year for MS2.
All of the above is the purpose of this article, and why I have named it “This is the session”.
Please do read everything below, and I welcome your comments, questions, information, clarifications and views. There are no right or wrong answers. And you are totally OK to point out if you feel things I have done were wrongly targeted, incorrect, or should have been done differently. I have no desire to be right — just want to bleed off any upset, confusions, questions, or mystery for the group.
Looking back, we initially launched in January 2013 with a blog called iScientology, hosted on WordPress. We got off to a good start and I was surprised at the interest and contributions that flowed in – with 22 articles published, 2,500 visitors and 8000 views over a period of just a few months. The purpose at that time was to create a platform where Scientologists could talk about using and applying LRH tech in life. Not a rah-rah, fluffy PR site — but where real people can talk about real application of Dianetics and Scientology in their lives and across their dynamics. Where people, from whatever walks of life and in whatever location, could tune in and be part of a theta conversation and maybe enlightened or encouraged to crack a book, take their next step on The Bridge, learn to audit (or get back in the chair), start a group, or just be more secure in knowing what they know. And most importantly, I wanted it to be a safe space, as the C of S has become more than a little dangerous to many – so I wanted it to be a space where you can ask questions and get answers, where you can speak your mind, and be heard, with a group of like-minded people who will support, help and assist.
With the interest and response to the new platform, I was asked by Steve Hall to move the blog to the iScientology website as a way of bringing more people to his site and building the “indi field”. So we moved and continued on that platform for a few more months. I rounded up a number of contributors and we had some great articles and conversations.
But then, with the launch of Milestone Two in mid 2013, we suffered our first major group engram. Attacked by a number of people who we had assumed were friends, we suddenly found MS2 was being torpedoed and our blog was on a platform where we were considered untrustworthy and where we lost all access to publish further. At the time, half a dozen people who had helped to form MS2, jumped ship and started pointing fingers and claiming they were not and never had been part of MS2. It was a strange time period. There was a lot of entheta, many lies and twisted “facts”, and the force of the attack surprised us. An MS2 board of more than 10 people, ended up with only 4 remaining.
It was without question a group engram — but we worked our way through it and created this new platform on WordPress called the Milestone Two blog – starting off with an article called Guilty as Charged, on 25 June 2013.
We started off with a basic membership model for MS2, so that people paid a small sum for membership. The blog was public and free, but we were working on other services and benefits for those that were members. The membership instantly became a problem as a number of people were under the radar and still in good standing with the C of S. A few signed up under their real names and then a handful of ex-Scnsts joined up and took the membership list and published it – causing real strife for those under-the-radar individuals. As a result people took pseudo names as members, but this was just weird, as essentially you were a member of a group where people could not just be themselves and communicate. MS2 was continually being made into a dangerous environment by persons hostile to Scientology.
So after deliberation we nixed the private membership model. It was only covering the cost of the website/blog and domain names, so those costs are now borne personally. This change opened up the forum while at the same time taking away the power of ex-Scnsts to enturbulate.
Milestone Two and the blog continued. We had some posts that were highly controversial and lots of success stories from delivery in the field. We had ESMB and some other unpleasant types try several times to jump in and cause trouble — so our moderation got strict and our list of banned posters became the firewall so that we could keep our platform safe from persons who want to attack LRH, attack MS2, attack Scientology. We put in a policy that if a person continually derails the conversation, or starts to get nasty, then we put them on moderation – and this caused (and still causes) some waves and protest. Though the individuals concerned thought it was a personal affront and attack on them, it never has been. It has simply been a gate policy for the group, to keep the Milestone Two blog unique and a conversation that is generally above 2.0 on the tone scale. As a result of this gate policy there have been some individuals who have been moderated and then gone to other platforms to vent their frustration and upset. This has created locks for the group on that original engram when MS2 was first formed. My arbitrary moderation of individuals has not always been perfect — and I am the first to admit this. Further, as I am in the Southern Hemisphere, a comment awaiting moderation from the Northern Hemisphere is sometimes not seen for 10 or more hours and this has caused mystery and confusion for some. Secondly, I have sometimes misjudged or misunderstood a comment, and this too has sometimes caused problems for those posting.
Our readership ebbed and flowed, and then in 2014 it became apparent that there was an ongoing Black PR campaign from Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder (and those that heavily support them). We were labeled “Fundamentalist Nazi’s” and “KSW Kamakazes” plus many other names, and we kept running into evidence that there was nattering and underhanded activities ongoing regarding Milestone Two. As we are not in this to win a popularity contest, we reasserted our purpose and continued on. It has never been our game to try and attack or undermine Rathbun or Rinder, but many of our readers have been more than vocal about their views and this has generally created the idea that we do have some games condition. There have been some readers who got caught up in confusion or cross fire, which in some cases created more locks or secondaries.
We created a community newsletter and also a newsletter for the many auditors and tech trained people who exist in the field, and these went out regularly for over a year. Interestingly enough these services, even though they had a great sign up, had little feedback and it was hard to establish any kind of two-way comm with the individuals involved, so they have dropped out in the last year. I lacked the time to do them, and no one stepped forward and raised their hand to help or provide feedback. With readership spread out across the globe, it has been difficult to round up local information from different regions to communicate with. And with such a fragmented and largely separated group of people, it seemed these newsletters were just a little bit early in the evolution of the field from individual Scientologists to the formation of groups and field auditors and delivery facilities. Many people are reading and watching and supporting from their location and sphere, but few seem ready to contribute directly (whether that is information, delivery, promotion), and this is for a range of very valid reasons. I thank all those who have assisted – and there are many, such as Richard Lloyd Roberts, and Bernie Wimbush, and Tom Martinano. Unfortunately for some, the disappearance of the newsletters was a secondary for them – adding to charge already existing.
We have not issued newsletters for a while now – but do not despair – they will re-appear at some point in the future, when resources exist, and when we have a better system for collecting regional/local information that is pertinent to those who are subscribing.
A year ago we launched a survey based on RJ 68 – which had the potential to really move and shake things up. Plans to have a full time project running it did not occur due to lack of resources, so we put it to the wind and published it to see how far it would go. It chugged along for 6 months or more, and based on the answers from those who responded, it was bleeding off bypassed charge and getting the answers needed. But, as LRH states in HCO PL PROGRAMMING, an untended child will become a juvenile delinquent, and the survey, without being continually pushed by me, was dropped. It became a further incomplete project and to that degree, a further lock on the group.
We had two other incidents – which in my view have also been locks to the group. One of them was a field auditor in the USA who had accepted money for services and not delivered the services or returned the money. I posted an article on the MS2 blog for a few hours, pointing out that this activity was not ethical, and then removed the post once I knew the message had been received. There was an uproar from a handful of people about this and I received several hostile communications telling me Milestone Two should never have gotten involved. The button of justice is a big one in the field – and the idea that a person (myself) or a group (MS2), not involved in the delivery of a service, could publicly make a statement about that delivery (or non-delivery in this particular case) enraged some. I had one person write to MS2 and ask that I remove their success stories from the platform (which I did). I had several emails over the next week and though there was a lot of steam vented, I found it interesting to note that 6 months later, when the dust had settled, the delivery to that preclear has still not occurred, and the money still not been returned.
So… what did we learn? We certainly learnt that the confusion and noise from a missed withhold can bash into a group and cause upset and turmoil. We also learnt that unless the person is right in front of you, with a meter in between, if you attempt to deal with ethics issues over a long distance comm line it goes nowhere. I also learned that the righteous communications received in protest were loud but came with no responsibility to sort out the situation with the preclear, who has still not been returned her $16,000. All in all, there was quite some enturbulation and confusion generated around the whole cycle and it just added to the chains that already existed. My effort to help on the situation did not result in resolution.
Another MS2 lock has been with the departure of a preclear here in Gundaroo. An ethics handling blew up and they stormed out – never to return and they have since been nattering up a storm in Sydney with some others who are mutually out-ruds. The noise generated by this person since that time, coupled with those who are mutual out-ruds, is just more confusion and entheta. Our intention was, and still is, to help – in fact, we had considered this person a dear friend, and still do. It is amazing the force, upset and entheta that is generated by missed withholds – and it was our failing to get them sorted out for that person. We are not infallible – and we learn by our mistakes. This too was added to the chains that exist.
Additional information is that a few months ago, after MS2 had been operating as a not-for-profit charity for several years, we decided to voluntarily deregister MS2 as a legal entity in Australia. This was decided as maintaining MS2 as a legal entity involved costs, financial & corporate reports and regular director meetings. Whilst it was great to meet with the directors every month, the need for a legal entity seemed unnecessary and over-complicated for a group that has little to no income, and operates globally as a network of professional Scientologists. So we deregistered MS2 several months ago with no hitch or problem. This has no impact on the blog, website or the ongoing activities of MS2 but there were a few who constantly monitor MS2, and when they saw a change in our listing they immediately started sending the information around the field, with an implication that MS2 was shutting shop – which we were never doing.
Then at the end of 2015, for the first time in our history, I was very distracted on another project and got little time to write articles or collect up success stories. All went quiet at MS2 and a number of regular readers drifted off, thinking we were following the same path as BackInComm (which stopped posting in August 2015). The project has since been completed and MS2 has my attention again.
We are now approaching our 3rd anniversary. In terms of stats, we have published 474 articles, had 12,000 comments, and more than 300,000 views. We are very proud to be associated with some great field auditors, such as Chris Black, Ingrid Anderson, Tom Martiniano, and others. MS2’s reach is planet-wide, and though we have about 15 regular commenters, there are several hundred who check in regularly. We also routinely have new people who discover us and spend days on end going through every post we have published. Some days we have more than 300 individual articles viewed, showing that our articles are timeless and have appeal to those newly discovering the group.
From the view of helping the group into the future by resolving attention units from the past, I would appreciate it if you would let us know if you have attention on any of the above, or if there is more information, clarification of resolution needed for you. If you got caught up in noise, upset, enturbulation or confusion relating to MS2 in the past 3 years, would you let us know what it was, so that we can hopefully provide further information to resolve it? If you feel that arbitrary decisions were incorrect and need to be changed, please let us know.
If you feel you have had your comm line cut with MS2, or with individuals who have posted articles on MS2, please write below (or if you are not comfortable with the open forum, then email firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you have questions, or want to get rumors clarified – here is your chance.
This is the session and as note to ALL commenting — the Auditor’s Code applies. Please keep this in on all responses. If someone needs to communicate what they are upset or confused or angry about, and it does not align with your reality — please don’t jump on them, defend me or MS2. Let’s make it a safe and open comm line so that we can apply the below.
LRH states in Dianetics Auditor Bulletin, No. 7, GROUP DIANETICS, issued on 7 January 1951:
“These tenets which are delineated here actually constitute a discovery about groups comparable to the discovery of the engrams in individuals. Each time instantaneous action is demanded of the group by situations and each time commands are given by the selected individual or individuals for those moments of emergency, an engram can be said to have been implanted in the group. These instantaneous orders and commands are indicators of an engram. The engram actually took place during a moment of shock when the ideals, ethics, rationale and general thought and energy of the group collided forcefully with MEST. AS in an engram in an individual, the MEST entering into the ideals and ethics of the group and the ideals and the ethics of the group entering into the MEST is a point of turbulence wherein physical force is mixed with theta. Groups customarily answer such emergency situations by instantaneous orders and commands which are given without consideration by the whole group but which are accepted by the whole group as necessary for the emergency.
“The running of such a moment of turbulence is done simply by exposing all facets of it to the general view of all the individuals who compose the group. Time itself suppresses the turbulent area-that is, lack of time in which events can be explained. There is actual pain here since the ideals and ethics of the group itself have been infiltrated by MEST. Should such moments of emergency remain unexplained, they are not analytically understood by other members of the group and so lie in the ideals and ethics of the group as engrams.
“Processing the group should be the special trust and charge of selected members of the group itself. The processing is done by the examination of emergency situations and the complete detail of them by this selection of the group. Such examination and publication and discussion of these moments of emergency should not be colored in any slightest degree by any thought of protecting the public idea concerning the ethics of this particular group. Infor- mation cannot be masked, either from individuals of the group or to other groups examining this group, save as that information may apply to the emergency status of the situation which may still be existing, as in the case of disposition of troops by a general during a time of combat.
“The people selected by the group to be auditors to the group, or an auditor to the group, discover the existence of engrams by the existence of arbitrary com- mands. They then proceed to discover the basic-basic on the chain of engrams and, after due examination not only of the arbitrary orders but of the entire status of the turmoil, publish for the discussion and information of all the mem- bers of the group everything which can be discovered about the situation with all evidences which can be collected. This is not done with a view to introducing punitive action; it is done with a view to acquainting the group members with the situations as they existed. It takes, you might say, a bunched-up time track- bunched up by a moment of emergency or a moment of fancied emergency-and straightens it out, arranging all the data upon it. This effort at processing will be utterly defeated should the auditor of the group pay any attention whatsoever to the consideration the public or other groups may have for the group, to the reputation of any individual involved in the moment of emergency, or to any idea that members of the group itself may be grossly upset by the discovery of certain facts about its members. The characteristic point of this turmoil or turbulence, the engram of the group, is that it contains suppressed or out-of-sight information. If at any moment the auditor to the group suppresses information or colors it in any way, some of that engram is going to remain, and actually a situation is entered here where the engram is left in a state of restimulation where it can do more damage than it could have done had it never been run.
“The auditors of the group must be individuals fully schooled in the ideals, rationale and ethic of the group, whose integrities are not questioned by the group. The whole keynote of the group auditor is honesty and truth-uncolored, unvarnished and unsuppressed data. In this way a good auditing job can be done. The auditor to the group is discovering what has been done to the group and is running it. There is no need of going over and over one of these engrams beyond exposing the information thoroughly and competently to the view of all and permitting all members of the group to discuss that information as they wish. The group itself may then decide upon certain actions but so long as the group itself is doing the deciding, not an individual or just a few individuals in the group, no engram is created.
“Punitive action, with the knowledge and consent of the whole group and dictated by that whole group, cannot be said to create engrams so long as that punitive action does not fall outside the rationale, ideals and ethics of the group itself. In other words, punitive action undertaken by all the individuals of a group and understood by all the individuals of a group does not create an engram. Action of a punitive character taken by one individual in the group without the understanding or consent of other members of the group will create a lock or an engram.
“The toughness and resilience of the ideals, ethic and rationale of a group- that is to say, the group itself-is enormous and should not be underestimated in any degree. Any group can embark on the most arduous enterprises which would seem fraught with all possibilities of creating moments of pain; but so long as it is understood that whenever an emergency status occurs and a selected member of the group issues arbitrary orders to take care of emergency situations, and that this issuance of orders must be scouted down in an effort to find the engram and the engram run, the group can then under no circumstances suffer any enduring harm save only whatever harm may have been done in the actual conflict itself, and this harm would not be to ideals and ethics but would be to individuals and MEST in the group.
“A group is composed of theta and MEST. It has an analytical mind and a reactive mind. The theta in the group consists of the ideals, rationale and ethic of the group. The MEST of the group consists, not of the minds, but of the bodies of the individuals of the group and the property and space and time owned by the group. The analytical mind consists of the adjudicated, fully comprehensive opinion of all the members of the group and their efforts and actions to activate and run this group. The reactive mind of the group could be considered to lie in the actions of those individuals set up for emergency status during emergency status, which is to say, the reactive mind is composed of the composite engrams of the group. The group will grow and prosper only insofar as it lacks engrams. It should not fear engrams; it should only fear the fact that the engrams may not be processed and run.
“The principle of the introduction of an arbitrary should be thoroughly under- stood by a group. Because of an emergency or because of some past engram, there may exist within or around the group sources of continual arbitrary orders. An arbitrary is an order or command introduced into the group in an effort to lay aside certain harm which may befall the group or in an effort to get through a period of emergency and foreshortened time for a certain action. Subsequent arbitraries issued by any member of a group not during periods of emergency can be considered to be locks or dramatizations of the engrams of the group. Each time an arbitrary is introduced it has the effect of reducing the rationale and tone of the group as a whole and will lead to the necessity of introducing two or three more arbitraries, each one of which in turn will lead to the necessity for several more arbitraries, each one of which in turn will lead to the necessity for several more arbitraries until there is an entire network of arbitraries which have sought to correct some central evil. After a short time a complexity in the situation makes it very difficult to discover the central point of departure. Any arbitrary order not only can be considered to be a lock or a dramatization on a group engram, but IS a lock or a dramatization on a group engram. To make this more clear, any continuing stream of arbitraries are dramatizations of an engram in the group and the lock is that turbulence created by the arbitrary’s issuance. In other words, the engram dramatizes by causing an individual to issue an arbi- trary, and the issuance of this arbitrary then creates a lock on top of the original engram. Of course, such issuances supercharge this engram.
“A true group is one which has ideals, ethics, rationale and a dynamic to carry forth its ideals and rationale on the ethics standard it has selected. Just as the analytical mind safeguards its individual cells in the body, so does a group safeguard the individuals within its membership. The individuals of the group support it just as the cells work to support the body and the analytical mind. The group analytical mind is the composite of analytical thought of the members of the group which it has developed into a culture. Individual aberrations of the members of the group do not composite into the aberrations of the group itself. In other words, it is not necessary to clear all members of the group to have a cleared group. The group, however, can be affected by the individual aberrations of members within it. The optimum group could then be obtained only when all individuals in it are cleared and the group itself is cleared, but a group could act as a very excellent Release and could be entirely effective and could be nearly Clear even though every individual in it were aberrated.
“The first right of any true group is to survive. The goal of the group is to conquer and use MEST and to make MEST work against MEST.
“All groups must have goals. Only the deterioration of the goals of the group or the reaching of all the goals of the group can bring about the decline of the group or the individuals within it. It is therefore incumbent upon any group to have a postulated set of goals which are continuing goals; to have a major goal which cannot be reached all in a breath but also to have minor goals which go in progression toward major goals which go in progression towards super-major goals.
“The group has the perfect right to demand the help, life or, in a continuing sense, the energy and devotion of any member of the group. Any member of the group has the right to demand the most and highest level of the ideals, rationale and ethics of the group and to demand that these be maintained. A true group owes to its individual members their livelihood and a chance for their future generations. The members must not deny to the group its right to expand and perpetuate itself but must contribute fully and wholly to these.
“An individual has the right to contribute to the group and the group has the right to expect every individual to contribute to it to his maximum ability and energy. The individual has the right to expect to be contributed to from the group and for the group to safeguard him insofar as is possible in the maintenance of the group and the reaching by the group of its goals.
“A group will deteriorate in exact ratio to the number of engrams and locks it receives and will revive in ratio to the number of engrams and locks which are picked up out of it.”