<%@ Language=JavaScript %> changes to scientology materials


This essay was written in 2001 and was spruced up a little in August 2002.

More recent articles appear here: Materials Index


1. Types of Change

2. Minor Editorial Corrections to the Tapes

3. The Removal of Class VI material from the Student Hat tapes

4. Upgrades in the Physical Quality and Aesthetics of the

5. More Materials Released 



Over the past few years there has been some examination of the church's stewardship of LRH's legacy. I think that this will continue for the foreseeable future as it is of interest to church affiliated Scientologists (who hope and trust that things are fine); to non-church Scientologists (who have a variety of attitudes on the subject); and to the critics (most of whom would like to cause a rift between the church and its parishioners).

As a public (off-lines) Scientologist, who one day intends to get back on the Bridge, I'm interested in seeing that LRH's works are maintained and used as he intended (when being delivered under the aegis of the CofS). 

I believe that this is being done.

In this essay I'll write down my findings so far. I'll revise these in the future as more information comes in, but I can provide some important pieces of textual authority for my position and even some of the underlying philosophy.

1) Types of Change

Changes might be made:

i. With malicious intent

ii. Wrongly, but with good intent.

iii. Correctly, to remedy a real issue.

LRH left instructions about how his written and recorded works should be edited and released. We'll come to these further on.

Some people have found enough changes to make them jump ship. I believe they are thoroughly mistaken. Important information about how Scientology materials are compiled and released has not been known or considered.

Incorrect changes can be, and are, corrected back again.

For example: in 1983 when I did The Student Hat course, there were only nine recorded lectures on the course. In the late eighties another three were added.

These are on the subject of education, so someone probably had a bright idea and stuck them on the course.

A while later, someone else had an even brighter idea and realized that whilst there are a vast quantity of interesting things that could be on the course, those three tapes can be listened to as part of their respective series. They don't  need to be inserted into The Student Hat.

There was no LRH checksheet for the course itself; instead it was compiled by the unit that does such things and I saw it revised a number of times.  Through the 1980s the course checksheets for the Pro TRs, the Academy Levels and The Student Hat were each revised a number of times. LRH delegated this responsibility to the compilations unit.

Initially the checksheets were BPLs and then later they were authorized by AVC Int (as per HCOPL 17 June 1970RB, Rev 25 Oct 1983,Tech Degrades).

I would say that in the case of the three lectures that got added and then later removed we probably have an example of a well-meaning, wrong-headed change followed by a correction.

Unfortunately, because of a certain shortage of information, good alterations (such as taking off the three unnecessary tapes) has been taken by some as being evidence of maliciousness o the part of the management.

The information about these changes is available, but it needs hunting for. It takes time and a good LRH library.

I do remember that information about changes was often carried on the original mimeo issue sent to orgs, but it wasn't then included in the bulletins in the new Tech Volumes. When they removed the three added study tapes  they could have said, 'Hey, we made a mistake.'

But if they trumpet those easily explained points, then it becomes more necessary to explain the trickier issues. There isn't really much desire to explain the details of (for example)  out-PR LRH statements that have been bowdlerized.

This is true of many of the other positive changes I have seen in the church over the years. I used to be puzzled about why these generally weren't boasted of.

There are two points: Firstly, some people tend to complain that the correction should have been noticed and done earlier. Secondly, it's possible that if the church boasts about doing  away with bad practice X, that someone could  claim that bad practice X  had been done to them at an earlier time.

This might involve the church in  unwelcome publicity or in litigation. So they sometimes keep shtum about positive changes. 

As far as I can see (and I look fairly carefully) the current management is moving in the right direction. I don't see any evidence that the management is 'systematically destroying the technology' as has been stated on a.r.s.

2)  Minor Editorial Changes to the Tapes

Many of these changes have been made for the sake of clarity. Here's an example:

T1 (Feb 16, 2001): >At the beginning of the tape, there is a small deletion of a few words.  The deleted words are [enclosed in brackets] below:

'So education - education I would define as something that is for blood, and I would say that many things pass under the heading of education which aren't.  [I'm not talking if -] this is a good English dictionary definition, you see?'

L. Ron Hubbard. Study and Education lecture.


Recorded speech is very different from the written word. Just as we edit our words when we write, we edit our thoughts as we speak. In the version of the study tapes that I studied there were numerous instances where LRH changed his mind half-way through a sentence, stopped speaking and then restated the idea in different words. 

This can be a problem for some; particularly for the less literate and for foreign students studying in English.

Recent sets of transcripts have the following note at the front:

"These transcripts have been prepared from the recorded lectures and written materials of L. Ron Hubbard in accordance with his specific directions for the publication of his recorded lecture materials."


"Any outness found in these transcripts should be reported to:

LRH Book Compilations
Tape Transcripts editor
6331 Hollywood Blvd. Suite 106
Los Angeles, Ca 90028-6313 "

Editing out snippets like the one above is to some extent a matter of judgment. Not everyone would take out the same things; not everyone punctuates a transcript in the same way.

As language and morés change with the passing years one will probably find different things will be misunderstood or will be out-PR.

I don't know what specific directions LRH left at Gold for the publication of his recorded lecture materials. However the following policy reference from 1959 broadly covers the area:


HCOPL 5 October 1959. Tape and Record Production Hat

3. Edits out all snaps, pops, coughs of audience (where possible) and LRH coughs (where possible). Cuts out any phrases which might in some way downgrade Scientology, Scientologists or Central Organizations.

L. Ron Hubbard


They are cleaning up the tapes to make them more understandable. Cutting out phrases which might downgrade Scientology - as they aren't completed thoughts and don't make sense as written.

Is it dangerous? Absolutely.

Is it a good idea? I think it is.

I remember some students having a lot of trouble clearing up sentences that didn't textually make sense - until you realized that a word had been accidentally transposed, or an idea had been abandoned mid-way through.

Carefully editing these parts should make training faster, and, so long as it's done well and honestly, makes LRH's lectures smoother and thereby upgrades them.  It's similar to correcting grammar and spelling when typing written work. It isn't strictly necessary but it helps a lot.

With regard to downgrading statements, the question of exactly what would downgrade Scientology, Scientologists or central organisations, is again going to depend on someone's judgment.

3)  The Removal of Class VI Material from The Student Hat Tapes

This is going to be a lengthy section as I'm going to bring in some of the philosophy from the training materials themselves to support my position.

LRH gave a number of lectures on training. The nine mentioned earlier were given on the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course - a long advanced course for auditors which includes many, many lectures.

The full versions of those nine lectures are still on the Briefing Course. When he was giving the original course (in the 1960s) his attention was primarily on the advanced students he was training. Here this is made explicit:


'But here, just on this other subject of study, of studying the subject of study, one walks forth with a brand new avenue of lower level disentanglement and lower level therapy lines which look quite promising; they look quite promising. But what I'm mainly interested in is you, a Scientology pro training people, have to know something about this subject. I'm interested in your education right now as you exist.'

L. Ron Hubbard, A Summary of Study, a lecture of 4 August 1964


Mixed in with the extremely useful information given about study was some information about the advanced procedures he was developing at that time. There was information about the structure of aberration as it accumulates through a being's lifetimes; there was information about the techniques that he and the students were testing.

Very useful for the students on that course - and do remember the information is still there for SHSBC students today - but it was something of a puzzle to most lower level students on The Student Hat course who had never done any metered auditing and only had the vaguest notion of previous lifetimes. Therefore the advanced references were snipped out.

I don't think any supervisor relished clearing up the notion of R6, line plots, GPMs, Helatrobus Implants, end words and 3D Criss Cross on new students who were supposed to be swiftly learning how to study so that they could smoothly get through their basic auditor training and  into session.

'Hey, maybe that's true,' says you; 'but if it's on the bloody tape, it's on the bloody tape. Can't change it now.'

Well... maybe we can and maybe we can't. Let's look further.

The unbeatable trump card here is of course the unknown advices to Gold by LRH on publishing his work. We don't know what they were, and I'm going to avoid using them in my argument, as I think I can make my case with the information that's freely available

The next section is way too lengthy. I've included some of the information that informs my own opinion about this issue.

If necessary I'll do a cut-down version later. Email me if you have any questions. Read the next section if you are interested but otherwise you can skip down to about section (i) in which we get back onto the main track.

a.)  Importances

One point LRH emphasized about study is that one should be careful to differentiate between important and unimportant materials. I remember this was brought out in the Learning Drills I did in the Basic Study Manual. I don't think the following quotation is necessarily the best quote to show LRH's thinking on this area, but it's the one that I came across:


'When you consider a bulletin or tape too unimportant for a 100% pass, just require evidence that it has been read and don’t examine it at all. In other words, on those you check out, require 100% and on less important material don’t examine, merely require evidence of having read.'

L. Ron Hubbard, HCOPL 4 October 1964, Theory Check-Out Data


If anyone comes across a better quote to illustrate the above point please send it in and I'll incorporate it into my next revision.

b) LRH warned about going in too high with students

'You see, you can always fail utterly in teaching somebody something by not cutting in at the lowest level of entrance and reality on the subject. There is always a first lesson to teach. And where you fail in instruction is you haven't isolated the first lesson to teach. There
are numerous examples. I could give you tons of data on that subject, all by itself. Very interesting.'

L. Ron Hubbard, Studying: Introduction, a lecture of 18 June 1964

'And when YOU start talking to people about Scientology, you are actually talking to them above the strata where YOU should be talking to them to. Somebody says, Well, on this new PE Course, how do we get in ARC? Well, you don't! ARC is too high. That's very advanced data; you've got to undercut this.'

L. Ron Hubbard, A Review of Study, a lecture of 22 September 1964

c.) Teaching people what they need to know and not something else

'If you're going to teach a fellow about roller balls,give him a roller ball! ... Don't teach him the history of roller balls!


'So we come to the conclusion that the doingness and the mass of a subject are the current, applicable and useful doingnesses and masses of the subject and those are what should be taught hard.  ...  In other words, the student should be taught what the student is going to be

'[E]ducation shouldn't give people the technology in such a way that the technology is not useful to them. They've got to be able to think with it.

L. Ron Hubbard. A Summary of Study. Lecture of 4 August 1964.

d.)  Gradients

'Well now, the only place you can err in this area is trying to start in too high on the gradient and you can make that mistake and you can make that mistake with the greatest of ease.

'All right, so there there is the idea of education by gradient and the repeat the mistake YOU can make in education by gradient is a big mistake and that is: failure to undercut the gradient, failure to get simple enough, failure to get the primary action. You must get the starting action that the person can be made sure of so that he can then go on to another action and become sure of that and go on to another action that he becomes sure of, you see? ...'

L. Ron Hubbard, Study: Gradients and Nomenclature, a lecture given on 6 August 1964.

e.) Specialist Words

'Anyway, sources of information all add up, then, to comprehensibility and words form the woof and warp of any professional or technical area. Specialized words are used for specialized observations. Now, we move off into the field of specialized observations, as a specialist, which is perfectly fine. But where you are lightly tapping some field for just a moment's understanding and you collide with specialist vocabulary, you are lost at once. ...

'But the evaluation of what you want it for how are you studying it which direction it's going, and so forth, is all part and parcel to the whole subject of study. And if it is not included in the field of study, why, your use of the information is minimal and you can become very stultified and you can become very horrified and you can hang up on a lot of words and things that are getting in your road and upsetting you and that you don't understand, and you get into an obsessive  I've got to understand everything I read perfectly or I will hang up, and this is taught to you by the fact that if you don't understand what you read, a half a page later you're going to get a headache. Well, you also must include the idea that after you've read that half page more and gotten a headache, that you've now got to be smart enough to know there was something back of you, find out what it was, spot it, get it out of the road. Say, Yeah, that's a word I don't know, and go on reading.

'In other words, in order to study, you've got to have a lot of the technology of study or the use of the information which you are getting is going to be minimal.'

L. Ron Hubbard, Study: Evaluation of Information, a lecture of 11 August 1964.

f.) Academic Study

'Scholastic or academic study is not worth very much. Why you have a fellow go through a course and wind up at the other end of the course unable to audit, it's because he in actual fact studied for the examination. He did not study to apply it to people. So he winds up
with the material unapplied. That's regrettable.'

L. Ron Hubbard, Study and Intention, a lecture given on 18 August 1966

g.)  Textbooks

'Now, the suppressive subject then is something which booby-traps study, and all of the work which you put in to get somebody to know his algebra, and so on, might be all lost because he hasn't got a textbook which teaches him algebra. You see? Now, what is needed is an
appreciation of the study materials by the people who write materials to be studied.'


h.)  Location of GPM materials

All the lower level materials are in the HCOBs, Pol Ltrs or on tapes. All the GPM materials released are here waiting for the student when he reaches that level.

L. Ron Hubbard, HCOPL 16 April 1965, The "Hidden Data Line“.

i.)  The value of the tabulation and co-ordination of the materials

'There remains, of course, group tabulation or co-ordination of what has been done, which will be valuable—only so long as it does not seek to alter basic principles and successful applications.'

L. Ron Hubbard, HCOPL 7 February 1965, Keeping Scientology Working.

j.) Editing

As quoted above, we have LRH's instructions about cutting out downgrading statements:

'Edits out all snaps, pops, coughs of audience (where possible) and LRH coughs (where possible). Cuts out any phrases which might in some way downgrade Scientology, Scientologists or Central Organizations.'

L. Ron Hubbard, HCOPL 5 October 1959, Tape and Record Production Hat.

For this issue - the removal of the SHSBC level material from the study tapes - that reference can be applied in conjunction with the following fascinating (and key) policy:

'Protecting names and repute may also involve selection of correct materials. ... Sending Level VI works to Level 0 people is easy to see and intercept. But an instructor teaching Level VI to Level II students is not always found until somebody blows. This comes under protecting
names and repute as well as properly targeted tech because the recipients can't understand it and so may think it's silly. ...

'Even when I strayed on research, we still did better than with the strayings of others. The public knows rightly that I correct any errors as soon as I discover them and that errors grew less as research went on.

'Therefore HCO issues the best material it has for the right targets and notes carefully any lack of results because of misapplication and retains the authority and control necessary to correct bad delivery under its justice hat as well as its certificate and awards hat.

'The formula is, "Issue the correct data properly, correct use when delivery is poor or non-existent." ...

'The thing to guard against in releasing teaching and admin policy letters is the change factor. Teaching and admin evolved with our formative years. Thus, patterns and policies, like our tech, grew better. Growing better, some of it became obsolete.

'When re-releasing an old policy letter, always blue-pencil out everything gone old and contradicted by later policy letters. You can still salvage a lot that still applies--a surprising amount. But try to cut out the contradictions with our modern policy where they exist.
After all, we were children when we first tackled teaching and admin. As we grew, we became wiser. But even our admin childhood has wisdom in it and in some places even more fire and interest.

'Don't release contradictory hats where you can help it. Modernize them with a blue pencil whether you retype them or remimeo them or not.

'That way none get a chance to invalidate a really great achievement - teaching that works despite aberration and admin that works amongst men.'

L. Ron Hubbard, HCOPL 4 March 65RA II, Rev 7 July 1983, Tech and Policy Distribution

k.) More on the liabilities of presenting unreal information

Here is one of my favorite quotes. It's from 1956.


Now, in talking to a group, steer off from para-Scientology. Lay off the whole track stuff, huh? Lay off the fantastic. And if you have some chap around who insists on telling people about these things, just note him down; he isn't working for us, fellers. The quickest way to lose a
beset person or a group is to load him down with phenomena.  Talk instead about the fact that something can be done. Talk about the fact that there is a spiritual side to man. Talk about the fact that Scientology solves social problems. When they are very initiate and it's all in good fun and they've got their HPA or HCA, do what you like with whole track. Or use it in private sessions. Don't hand it out to the public raw. It's too strong. ...

Communication brings about understanding so communicate a lot. But some understanding must exist to bring about communication so don't tell the Ladies' Aid Society about your whole track space opera and expect them to begin cheering your speech. If their mouths open at all it will be either to say "Huh?" or to snore.

L. Ron Hubbard. PAB 61, 16 September 1956, Selling.

4) Continuing Upgrades of the Physical Quality and Aesthetics of the Materials.

The quality of production of Scientology materials has been improving for years and is now excellent.

This has gladdened my heart. When I started doing services about twenty years ago the quality was worse - sometimes appreciably worse - than one would find on a business course.

For example:

a.) My old copy of
The Phoenix Lectures came with a multi-page errata sheet - an errata booklet in fact.

b.) There were no transcripts for the tapes. Sometimes we had the handwritten notes of old students. This meant that it was often necessary to consult with the supervisor over what LRH had said. This was exacerbated by the fact that the old reel-to-reel tapes had drop-outs of sound and the the tape machines were sometimes temperamental and

Whilst it can be expensive to buy one's own taped lectures (as one does nowadays) it does mean that each student starts with a clean copy (and has a transcript).

c.) The lecture transcripts now contain glossaries of hard to find words. We used to have problems with obscure words and references. Some orgs maintained a card index with definitions they had found of such things.

To my mind these new glossaries have been done with love and care. Here's a glossary entry for Kahlil Gibran in the newly released 'Game of Life' lecture series (originally given by LRH in 1956).

Gibran Kahlil: (1883-1931) Lebanese poet, philosopher and artist who in
1895 immigrated to the United States where he studied English and
published his first literary essays. After travelling back and forth between
Lebanon and the US he finally settled in New York in 1912 and thereafter
devoted himself to painting and to writing short stories and essays in English
and Arabic. His works teach of religious tolerance and the idea that the spirit
of love transcends cultural differences. His book The Prophet (1923), a series
of poetic writings, is considered his masterpiece. We're studying living. Kahlil
Gibran said in his very, very great book
The Prophet that anyone to understand
him had to have a shadow of that knowledge in himself first. -The Auditor's
(Aug. 56)

5) More Materials Released.

A lot of lectures from the 1950s and 1960s have been newly released with transcripts. There are over 3000 lectures and the plan is to have them all released by 2007.

Many more hat packs and training packs have been made up for the administrative posts in the organizations.

Previously unavailable material is being made available in the R&D series volumes. 

I look forward to the day when the materials are all released and ideally  available on one searchable new-generation DVD (27GB).



I had been posting fairly regularly for five months when I started tackling  this issue but had more trouble with it (in terms of the amount of flack  received) than with any of the others. 

Previously I was being attacked as a Scientologist mainly by  people who had very little idea of the benefits of the subject.

But when I posted on this subject I was attacked by disaffected Scientologists who were trying to do a good thing. They themselves were confused about what was going on with the changes they'd found.

The problem (as I see it now) is that people have a huge tendency to believe those things which support their position and help them.

Having left the church, some had a different view of the same issues than I did. I want things to be OK. They don't.

It's understandable. Once someone has started down a path, it is often easier and more comfortable to continue going down that path. And many factors can then conspire to keep the person in that  particular version of reality.

For example:

a. Our friends. With them we share a common reality. It's got to be unpleasant to say to your friends, 'Hey you know that group we've been fighting? The  cause which drew us together? Well, I've changed my mind now. I think they're OK after all.'

Or, 'Hey you know the church we belong to? The place I met you? Well I've  changed my mind. I currently think the subject/ management is evil.' 

b. Our dignity. We all like to think we have a particularly good grasp of a  situation (well I do anyway). And of course we all do  -  according to the  information we have and our own mental filters. It's difficult to maintain that dignity when you decide that you've been trotting merrily along the wrong road for years.

c. Our knowledge. Some of the critics have a great grasp of facts useful to the anti-Scientology cause. It's an esoteric brand of knowledge that probably has value only to someone fighting Scientology/other religious groups/cults.  The same goes for some of the more esoteric areas of Scientology knowledge (like how to trim an e-meter or run a session).

d. Our livelihoods. Some people work with others who share the same reality.  Some people earn their living working for Scientology, some against Scientology. 


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