ASSIGNMENT >> 1. Read “The Basics of Ethics.”


Throughout the ages, Man has struggled with the subjects of right and wrong and ethics and justice.

The dictionary defines ethics as “the study of the general nature of morals and of the specific moral choices to be made by the individual in his relationship with others.”

The same dictionary defines justice as “conformity to moral right or to reason, truth or fact,” or “the administration of law.”

As you can see, these terms have become confused.

All philosophies from time immemorial have involved themselves with these subjects. And they never solved them.

That they have been solved in Dianetics and Scientology is a breakthrough of magnitude. The solution lay, first, in their separation. From there it could go forward to a workable technology for each.

Ethics consists simply of the actions an individual takes on himself. It is a personal thing. When one is ethical or “has his ethics in,” it is by his own determinism and is done by himself.

Justice is the action taken on the individual by the group when he fails to take these actions himself.


These subjects are, actually, the basis of all philosophy. But in any study of the history of philosophy, it is plain that they have puzzled philosophers for a long time.

The early Greek followers of Pythagoras (Greek philosopher of the sixth century B.C.) tried to apply their mathematical theories to the subject of human conduct and ethics. Some time later, Socrates (Greek philosopher and teacher, 470?–399 B.C.) tackled the subject. He demonstrated that all those who were claiming to show people how to live were unable to defend their views or even define the terms they were using. He argued that we must know what courage, and justice, law and government are before we can be brave or good citizens or just or good rulers. This was fine but he then refused to provide definitions. He said that all sin was ignorance but did not take the necessary actions to rid Man of his ignorance.

Socrates’ pupil, Plato (Greek philosopher, 427?–347 B.C.), adhered to his master’s theories but insisted that these definitions could only be defined by pure reason. This meant that one had to isolate oneself from life in some ivory tower and figure it all out—not very useful to the man in the street.

Aristotle (Greek philosopher, 384–322 B.C.) also got involved with ethics. He explained unethical behavior by saying that Man’s rationality became overruled by his desire.

This chain continued down the ages. Philosopher after philosopher tried to resolve the subjects of ethics and justice.

Unfortunately, until now, there has been no workable solution, as evidenced by the declining ethical level of society.

So you see it is no small breakthrough that has been made in this subject. We have defined the terms, which Socrates omitted to do, and we have a workable technology that anyone can use to help get himself out of the mud. The natural laws behind this subject have been found and made available for all to use.


Ethics is so native to the individual that when it goes off the rails he will always seek to overcome his own lack of ethics.

He knows he has an ethics blind spot the moment he develops it. At that moment he starts trying to put ethics in on himself and, to the degree that he can envision long-term survival concepts, he may be successful—even though lacking the actual technology of Ethics.

All too often, however, the bank is triggered by an out-ethics situation and, if the individual has no technology with which to handle it analytically (rationally), his “handling” is to believe or pretend that something was done to him that prompted or justified his out-ethics action and at that point he starts downhill.

And, once on the way down, without the basic technology of Ethics, he has no way of climbing back up the chute—he just caves himself in directly and deliberately. And even though he has a lot of complexities in his life, and he has other people doing him in, it all starts with his lack of knowledge of the technology of Ethics.

This, basically, is one of the primary tools he uses to dig himself out.

Basic Nature of Man

No matter how criminal an individual is, he will be trying, one way or another, to put ethics in on himself.

This explains why Hitler invited the world to destroy Germany. He had the whole war won before September 1939, before he declared war. The Allies were giving him everything he wanted; he had one of the finest intelligence organizations that ever walked; he had Germany well on the way to getting her colonies back and the idiot declared war! And he just caved himself and Germany right in. His brilliance was going at a mad rate in one direction and his native sense of ethics was causing him to cave himself in at a mad rate in the other direction.

The individual who lacks any Ethics Technology is unable to put in ethics on himself and restrain himself from contra-survival actions, so he caves himself in. And the individual is not going to come alive unless he gets hold of the basic tech of Ethics and applies it to himself and others. He may find it a little unpalatable at first, but when you’re dying of malaria you don’t usually complain about the taste of the quinine: you may not like it, but you sure drink it.


When the individual fails to put in his own ethics, the group takes action against him and this is called justice.

I have found that Man cannot be trusted with justice. The truth is, Man cannot really be trusted with “punishment.” With it he does not really seek discipline, he wreaks injustice. He dramatizes his inability to get his own ethics in by trying to get others to get their ethics in: I invite you to examine what laughingly passes for “justice” in our current society.

Many governments are so touchy about their divine rightness in judicial matters that you hardly open your mouth before they burst into uncontrolled violence. Getting into police hands is a catastrophe in its own right in many places, even when one is merely the plaintiff, much less the accused. Thus, social disturbance is at maximum in such areas.

When the tech of Ethics isn’t known, justice becomes an end-all in itself. And that just degenerates into a sadism. Governments, because they don’t understand ethics, have “ethics committees” but these are all worded in the framework of justice. They are even violating the derivation of the word ethics. They write justice over into ethics continuously with medical ethics committees, psychological ethics committees, Congressional committees, etc. These are all on the basis of justice because they don’t really know what ethics is. They call it ethics but they initiate justice actions and they punish people and make it harder for them to get their own ethics in.

Proper justice is expected and has definite use. When a state of discipline does not exist the whole group caves in. It has been noted continually that the failure of a group began with a lack of or loss of discipline. Without it, the group and its members die. But you must understand ethics and justice.

The individual can be trusted with ethics and when he is taught to put his own ethics in, justice no longer becomes the all-important subject that it is made out to be.


The breakthrough in Scientology is that we do have the basic technology of Ethics. For the first time Man can learn how to put his own ethics in and climb back up the chute.

This is a brand-new discovery. Before Scientology it had never before seen the light of day, anywhere. It marks a turning point in the history of philosophy. The individual can learn this technology, learn to apply it to his life and can then put his own ethics in, change conditions and start heading upwards toward survival under his own steam.

I hope you will learn to use this technology very well for your own sake, for the sake of those around you and for the sake of the future of this culture as a whole.

the actions an individual takes on himself to correct some conduct or situation in which he is involved which is contrary to the ideals and best interests of his group. It is a personal thing. When one is ethical or “has his ethics in,” it is by his own determinism and is done by himself.

the action taken on an individual by the group when he fails to take appropriate ethics actions himself.

power of choice; power of decision; ability to decide or determine the course of one’s actions.

(582–500 b.c.) Greek philosopher and mathematician who founded a school in southern Italy that emphasized the study of musical harmony and geometry and is considered the first true mathematician.

(470?–399 b.c.) Greek philosopher and teacher, who believed that goodness was based on knowledge, and wickedness was based on ignorance. He urged his fellow Greeks to consider as the most important things in life the moral character of their souls and the search for knowledge of moral ideas like justice.

(ca. 427–347 b.c.) Greek philosopher and teacher, born in Athens. In 387 b.c., he founded a school of philosophy known as the Academy which became the first university known in history.

(384–322 b.c.) Greek philosopher, educator and scientist. His works covered all branches of human knowledge known in his time, including logic, ethics, natural science and politics.

reactive mind, that portion of a person’s mind which works on a totally stimulus-response basis (given a certain stimulus it gives a certain response), which is not under his volitional control, and which exerts force and the power of command over his awareness, purposes, thoughts, body and actions. (A bank is a storage place for information, as in early computers where data was stored on a group or series of cards called a bank.)

an action or situation in which an individual is involved, or something the individual does, which is contrary to the ideals, best interests and survival of his dynamics.

Adolf Hitler (1889–1945), German political leader of the twentieth century who dreamed of creating a master race that would rule for a thousand years as the third German Empire. Taking over rule of Germany by force in 1933 as a dictator, he began World War II (1939–1945), subjecting much of Europe to his domination and murdering millions of Jews and others considered “inferior.” He committed suicide in 1945 when Germany’s defeat was imminent.

a group of twenty-six nations, including Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union, who opposed the Axis—the countries, which included Germany, Italy and Japan, which fought together during World War II.

from contra, against, in opposition to, and survival. Hence, contra-survival is something in opposition to, against or contrary to survival.

unpleasant and not easy to accept, as facts or ideas.

a bitter-tasting drug used to treat certain forms of malaria (an infectious disease that can cause death if not treated).

brings about (harm); causes, inflicts.

imitate, express or act out something, as an actor would in a drama or play acting out his scripted part.

a reference to the divine right of kings, the belief that kings and queens had a God-given right to rule, that they could do no wrong and were accountable only to God for their actions and not to the people they ruled. Used figuratively.

one who begins a lawsuit against another person (defendant) in a court of law to obtain a remedy for an injury to his rights.

a type of behavior in which pleasure is obtained from hurting others and making them suffer physically or mentally.

causes to collapse mentally or physically to the extent that the individual cannot function causatively. The individual is quite effect. A US Western term which symbolized mental or physical collapse as like being at the bottom of a mine shaft or in a tunnel when the supports collapsed and left the person under tons of debris.

unaided; by one’s own efforts; without any help from others.