Editorial Errors


LRH gave various instructions about the release of his work. He was keen that it be preserved, but he also wanted it to be correctly targeted, and for old and conflicting information to be removed. 

Before jumping to the conclusion that any changes must, by their very nature, be unholy, it is only sensible to look and see whether a particular change was mandated by LRH's own words.

Even if you feel that a particular change isn't correct, it's better to understand the probable reason for the editor's decision. It will be easier to resolve the matter.

Take a look at this order LRH gave in relation to the release of his lectures:

'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.

Knowing the above should affect our response to one category of issues that have been complained about. This is the reason downgrading statements are cut out of tapes. It's the way  LRH ordered his lectures to be released. Putting them out without doing this would be off-policy. 

The same goes for other types of change. Before complaining, it's important to understand as much as possible about LRH's instructions about the release and dissemination of his work.

Once these are known and understood, the things complained about, as far as I can see, become non-issues.

Over the years, the editors haven't always gotten it right . A way of distinguishing careful stewardship from malicious intent is to look at whether known errors get corrected in later editions, or whether they multiply.

Examining the texts in detail makes it clearer (at least to me) that the editors are moving towards a closer adherence to LRH's wishes and that they have tried to correct earlier mistakes and errors of judgement.

Let's take a look at the three major sets of LRH material:

The R&D Volumes
The Tech Volumes
The OEC Volumes


The R&D Volumes

These are the large blue volumes that contain a running record of LRH's lectures. During the 1980s ten volumes were released. However, during this time, a large project was undertaken to locate the original versions of all of his work (see the opening quote above); and more lectures turned up that had either not been included or which had earlier been incomplete. The first edition of the series came to a halt in 1989.

The first volume of the next edition wasn't published until 1994 (starting again at Volume 1).

The new edition included contemporaneous photographs of people and locations, and also photographs of the artefacts of the time (such as the kinds of psychometric tests they used, and interesting letters by LRH). The glossaries and indexing in the new edition were far more comprehensive.

Catherine provided some interesting information on this issue. She stated that the project was started again due to complaints. The first edition had been overly edited and tidied up. Material had been omitted, and people complained that they wanted the full versions. The new editions are far closer to what LRH actually said.

So... with the R&D volumes, at some point after 1989 there appears to have been a strong desire to provide fuller and more accurate transcripts - so strong in fact that they restarted the whole series from the beginning.

The Tech Volumes

These are the large red volumes that contain Ron's technical bulletins. The first edition came out in 1976, the last one, as of this date, in 1991. Non-LRH issues (such as the Survival Rundown series) were removed from the 1991 edition.

Also, when the first edition was released a largish number of GPM bulletins, wrongly thought to be confidential weren't included, but they were added to the 1991 edition (in volume VII) along with 'numerous issues, notes, data sheets and process sheets not broadly published earlier.' (Quote taken from the editors' introduction to the 1991 edition.)

The OEC Volumes

These are the green volumes that contain HCO policy letters. First published in 1970, there was a major new edition in 1991 and a further new edition of Volume 0 in 1999. This last also came out on a searchable CD.

Levi complained about a definition from a list of issue types which appears at the back of the 1991 edition of Volume 0:

> The back of OEC volume 0 states:
>"Scientology Policy Directives - its purpose is to provide an issue
>type for policy for the Church of Scientology, and to distinguish
>from policy issued by LRH which is issued in HCO PL form. Senior to
>all administrative issues except HCOPLs and any other issues or
>advices by LRH. Its distribution is all staff unless otherwise
>designated. Black ink on blue paper."
>I have added the above quote to the discussion because it specifically
>says its purpose is an "issue type for POLICY" (emphasis mine) which
>contradicts your stable datum that these are mere "directives".

He was worried about this, but when I looked at the 1999 edition I found it was slightly different. I was interested to note that the newer edition has had a couple of extra words added at the start of the definition.

'Scientology Policy Directives: a directive whose purpose is to provide...'

This makes the difference between Policy Letters and the junior SPD issues more explicit.

My point is this. There was a little ambiguity in the first part of the definition given in 1991, but this was spotted and then fixed in 1999 by adding the three extra words.

It's quite possible the words were already in the ~original~ definition of SPD, and that the excerpt in the 1991 definition list had simply been shortened too much.

The added words are a good example of an improvement; of how problems are perceived and then corrected in later editions.




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