Outdated Policies

Luckily LRH allowed the church management to delete outdated policies as necessary.

I'll use an example to illustrate this point. Here is an accusation I found on the web that indignantly accused the management of wiping out a valuable LRH datum: 

"LRH's famous quote, "By my own creed a being is only as valuable as he can serve others," has been obliterated from Miscavige's brand of Scientology. It was contained in HCO PL 18 December 1961,
Standing Orders. It is not in the "new" OEC volumes."

[Taken from The McDonald Papers]


So I had a look into it to work out what had happened:

Question 1: Had LRH's famous quote indeed been
'obliterated from Miscavige's brand of Scientology'?

Answer: No, it hadn't.

Someone kindly wrote to tell me that it's also contained in the Code of a Sea Org Member.

And in fact the management love the sentiment so much they sell it on an inspirational poster:


Question 2: OK... But was HCO PL 18 Dec 1961, Standing Orders cancelled?

Answer: Well, er, yes. It would seem so.


Given that the datum mentioned above is still extant I decided that there were three possible  reasons it might have been cancelled.

(a) It was an editorial error and it would be back in a future edition of the OEC.

(b) According to the definition of 'Standing Order No. 1 Line' in the Scientology dictionary, the initial LRH order was ~reissued~ as an HCO Policy Letter on 18 Dec 1961.

He may well have originally given the order in another form (as a Sec ED for example). It's possible that someone wrongly took it on themselves to reissue it as an HCOPL and that the policy was later transformed back into its original (non HCOPL) form.

This wasn't likely, but it did seem possible.

In HCO PL 20 October 1966, Signatures of Policy Letters, LRH indicated that until that date every HCOPL had only been signed with LRH's own name. He ordered that from that point on, any policy letter he hadn't personally written was to bear the signature of the actual composer and also each agency or identity that passed it into the books as a legal policy.

As I wrote in an earlier article, the question of who actually wrote or compiled any particular Scientology issue is sometimes a complex one.

We now come to the third possibility. This one made the most sense and was later confirmed (in a reply from the PR department) as being correct.

(c) It was actually removed from the OEC volumes because it was no longer useful as ~policy~.

After all it concerned the SO#1 line:


'All mail addressed to me shall be received by me.

'I am always willing to help.  By my own creed, a being is only as valuable as
he can serve others.

'Any message addressed to me and sent to the address of the nearest Scientology
Church will be forwarded to me directly.'

L. Ron Hubbard. HCO PL 18 December 1961.

Now while this is interesting from a historical point of view, it can no longer be the policy of the organization. Since 1986 LRH hasn't physically been here to receive any mail.

However... the spirit and the intent of the policy has been maintained.

There are now boxes in orgs for mail to be sent to ED International instead. There is a message posted on the box that explains the tradition of the SO#1 line and how it works. Take a look in Scientology books and magazines and you'll see a notice advertising a similar service.

The management made a sensible move to remind people about the traditions of the organization whilst also removing policy that was redundant following LRH's death.

'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.'

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


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