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When a person has committed an overt act and then withholds it, he usually tries to explain how an overt act was not really an overt act. This is called “justification.”

We have all heard people try to justify their actions, but not until now have we understood exactly what brings about justification.

Prior to having Scientology procedures, there was no way in which a person could relieve the suffering of knowing that he had committed an overt act except to try to lessen the overt.

Some churches and other groups have used confession to try to help people get relief from their overt acts. However, without a full understanding of all that was involved, it has had limited workability.

Scientology has fully proven that Man is basically good—a fact that directly goes against older beliefs that Man is basically evil. As proof of Man’s basic goodness, when a person realizes he is being very dangerous and in error, he tries to make himself less powerful. And if that doesn’t work and he still finds himself committing overt acts, he then tries to get rid of himself either by leaving an area or by getting caught and punished.

The criminal always does things that make it easy for someone to catch him doing wrong. He wants to be less harmful to society and he wants to become honest again.

But if this is true, then why does he not get relief from his worries by telling others about his overt acts?

The fact is this: people withhold overt acts because they think that telling them would be another overt act. It is as if people were trying to take into themselves all the evil of the world and hide it. But this is not sensible, because by withholding overt acts, these acts are kept in existence, which causes the evil involved to continue.

When the suffering and worry from his own overts become too great, a person faces another problem—how to lessen the size and pressure of the overt. A person could try to lessen the overt only by trying to reduce the size and value of the person they committed the overt against.

So when someone has committed an overt act, he usually tries to reduce the goodness or importance of the people or things the harmful act was done to. For example, the husband who is unfaithful to his wife must then say that his wife was no good in some way. The wife who was unfaithful to her husband likewise has to reduce the husband to reduce the overt.

From this it is seen that most criticism (complaining about what other people are doing badly or wrong) is a justification for having done an overt. This does not mean to say that all things are right and that no criticism anywhere is ever deserved.

Criticism, when not supported by fact, is only an effort to reduce the size of the target of the overt so that a person can live (he hopes) with his overt. Of course, to criticize someone when it is not deserved and damage someone’s reputation is itself an overt act and so this “solution” is not, in fact, workable.

Matters continue to get worse when the following happens: a person commits overt acts without realizing it. He tries to justify them by finding fault or blaming others. This leads him into further overts against them, which leads to a lowering of his own survival and, sometimes, the survival and reputation of the people he is blaming.

When you hear extreme and harsh criticism of someone that sounds just a bit forced and unnatural, realize that this is someone with overts against that criticized person.

Society punishes many transgressions in one way or another, but such punishment often makes things worse.

People who are guilty of overts demand their own punishment, using it to help stop themselves (they hope) from committing further transgressions. Some people even beg to be put to death. But in the end, punishment does not solve the basic problem involved.

We have our hands on what makes this a crazy world. The good news is that we can now restore sanity using this knowledge and understanding.

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