ARS Literati $10,000 Challenge

From: ralph@scientology.at (Ralph Hilton)
Subject: Re: ARS Literati $10,000 Challenge - Judge's Report
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 1999 20:51:55 GMT
Message-ID: <38355465.148735267@news.magnet.at>

On Wed, 29 Sep 1999 18:57:03 +0200, "Baba ROM DOS" <Baba_ROM_DOS@hotmail.com> wrote:

>Not every message posted to this newsgroup makes it to my
>server - Martin Hunt's original message giving his qualification
>votes did not, for example. Nor do I have the time to read everything
>that does make it onto the server. Assuming for the sake of
>the argument that Bob did give Ralph dispensation to turn
>in a shorter entry, it doesn't matter. As I stated above, there
>were two other qualification criteria that were not, in my view,
>satisfied in his (excellent, of course) entry.
>
>Similarly, Phil Scott's piece would have been disqualified
>for being in-your-face to current Scientologists[tm], even
>if the length requirement had been relaxed for him as well.

The rule was changed generally soon after the beginning of the contest but I can understand the server problems. A few months ago I moved out here to a mountain top where my 56k line barely gets about 10k from the comfortable city life of a 24 hour connection with 300k.

However it actually made no difference to the finally qualifying entries.

I appreciated that you qualified Scott's entry as I felt he made some excellent points.

Bob asked for a straw poll on the newsgroup. Given that he agreed to give a decision by tomorrow there is little time for such to occur. Perhaps my slow feed means that there have been commentaries that have been posted but not yet appeared here.

Given the vast (at least to me) amount of money he is contributing to this competition I feel that he deserves a decent debate on the subject.

I daresay anyone who has entered the competion and isn't rolling is money is downloading a.r.s. every 20 minutes or so. But the extreme silence on the subject of who should win is a bit surprising.

So I'll start the straw poll going and maybe I'll push enough buttons to get a bit of response.

First of all I would say that I felt the conditions of the competition to be extremely exacting. To communicate to Scientologists without lecturing a little is extremely difficult. I spent many years communicating to Scientologists as an auditor, ethics officer and course supervisor. Most Scientologists are sheep and respond to little but lecturing. It is one of the flaws of Scientology that in the attempt to make people free it enslaves them. So, for me at least, the requirement that one should communicate to Scientologists without lecturing them was a difficult one.

The second point on which you felt that my essay failed to meet the criteria was that I did not address the hidden parts of Hubbard. I do not actually feel that there were any. In his many years of public lectures and writings I do not think that there is anything about his character and conduct that didn't appear for others to view. Perhaps they were hidden from many but enough saw them to be able to communicate openly about them now.

I addressed the areas that I felt would not be obvious to most with reference to his own works. In his own works one could obviously not find anything that was hidden. So I had put myself in a bit of a catch 22.

I don't think it was Bob's intention in this competition to disqualify all nor to disqualify none. It appeared to me that he wanted a game, perhaps to lighten up the overly serious intentness of the newsgroup.

I felt that you interpreted the rules very strictly and that in very strictly appling the rules Scott would have to be disqualified too. Looking back at my way of being while a strict adherent I would have rejected his further communication after the sentence:

"I'm hoping, deep down inside, that they will be willing to forego the electronic bliss of floating a needle by agreeing with pre-conceived session results and do some deep-seated agonizing as to their personal desire to control the environment that the rest of life will come to experience if they are allowed by a quirk of fate, or process of L. Ron Hubbard to control the destiny of others."

Your assessment was honest and if you lost any friends by giving it then I think you have not lost much.

I felt that Martin's intent was to accept all entries but somehow he didn't actually get the list of authors right so I was left a bit wondering as to what he actually read.

I had the impression that Gerry read all the entries and thought about the matter in detail before posting. I would have liked it if he had posted his reasoning but that is a minor point.

I felt that his rejection of Phil's entry was correct. It could in no way communicate to a Scientologist given the degree of hostility toward their beliefs and Messiah that it communicated.

I felt that Ed's entry was excellent in the first part. It was slightly condescending but not sufficiently so to stop the communication. In the 2nd part it seemed as if there was almost another author writing. It came across to me as preaching about "channelling" which would instantly alienate someone still fairly immersed in the Scientology organizational belief system.

I felt that Gerry was sitting midway as a judge and that his evaluation was fair.

I disagree with his evaluation to the extent that in accepting 7 out of 10 entries I wouldn't have rejected Pat's. I would have placed the criteria of communicating to scientologists, which I think she did quite well, as senior to some of the other criteria.

The job of being a judge in a competition where what is quite a large sum of money is involved and many whom one may have learned to like as friends or not like as opponents in flame wars are involved is a very hard one.

It's much easier for the rest to make their opinions known without that fairly heavy weight on their shoulders.

Obviously I can't give an objective statement about my own entry and won't place it within my ratings but I'll give my opinions about the others.

I'm putting more of a weighting on some criteria than others.

If I had actually been a judge in the competition I would have rejected the essays of Phil Scott, Konchok Penday and Arnie Lerma as being too antagonistic toward Scientology and thus not communicating to Scientologists and probably accepted the rest as I hate to hurt peoples' feelings but couldn't stretch the criteria to include them.

In applying the criteria more harshly I would have excluded Ed for his unrealistic (IMNSHO) communication about channelling.

Going a little bit harsher I would take out Joe Cisar's as not directly hitting the points. The analogy doesn't communicate that well.

Then I would have to take out Warrior and Pat. Both their essays communicated very well to me. I would consider them both excellent pieces of autobiographic material - that is in many ways the best way to communicate to almost ex-scientologists. Both were real and involving. Under the criteria of the competition the essays were required to go into the nature of Hubbard's character. I felt that neither did that. In actual preliminary dissemination to Scientologists on the fence involving real communication with Scientologists at their level of reality I would actually consider Pat's entry the best and if Bob wants to be generous then I think she deserves an award for her very valuable contribution.

That leaves Jeff and Scott.

Jeff obviously spent a lot of time and effort researching and writing his contribution. More so by a long way than any others. I feel that the main reason I would have to give him second place is that he doesn't have a reality on the nature of the Scientologist. He has written an extremely well documented essay that details considerable information but he hasn't written it to communicate to a Scientologist. The essay was written before the competition started and not rewritten or edited for the competition at all. A brilliant piece of work.

But if anyone were to have the prize but me I would nominate Scott.

His point about Hubbard's fear seemed a crucial one. As I look at it more it seems fundamental. One can see it portrayed in his description of the suppressive person which is obviously the opposite of how he wished to appear. One can see it in the story he tells of himself in the OEC where he as the great hero beats up the 3 local bullies.

Oh well. Perhaps I have shot myself in the foot.

I had intended to send out a revised edition of my essay before the closing date. However I had problems with connecting for about a week and entries were closed when the connection was working again.

The revisions aren't major - I just added a few quotes that took a little while to dig out. The final version is on www.fzint.org/essays/rhilton.htm just for posterity.

I offered earlier to web all contributions and will still do so for all that wish on www.fzint.org/essays/
--

Ralph Hilton
http://Ralph.Hilton.org
Freezone International: http://www.fzint.org