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The Missing Ingredient

There has been a missing ingredient in the study and application of public relations for as long as this subject has existed. This omission has been one of the most important reasons that has made public relations incomplete as a subject and, as a result, something that could become a problem for anyone using public relations.

So what is the missing ingredient? It is reality.

Reality means the things which we perceive ( notice or become aware of ) with our senses, such as seeing, hearing, smelling and touching. These are the things that are real. Reality is basically agreement upon what people see and information in the physical universe. It is the degree of agreement reached between people. You are either in agreement with those people around you in your area or you are in disagreement with them, and as you agree or disagree, you cause your own reality.

For example, if you and another person were on the beach and you both loved the fresh smell and bright sky and agreed it was nice to be there, you would both be sharing a reality.

Those things upon which you and your fellows agree are real. Those things upon which you disagree are not real.

For example, if you had a purpose to become a dancer, yet your parents wanted you to become a doctor and were only willing to support that, this would probably cause quite an upset. Your purpose would not be real to them and so they may ignore it, pretend it did not exist and not support you in achieving that goal. To that degree, you would not be real to them. And your parents would possibly stop being real to you.

It was discovered in Scientology that reality is interconnected (related or joined) with two other components (parts that make up a whole). Those two additional ingredients are affinity and communication.

By affinity we mean “emotional response.” We mean “the feeling of affection or lack of it, of pleasant emotion or unpleasant emotion connected with life.”

Affinity is most closely related to space. In fact, affinity could be defined as the “consideration of distance,” since people who are far apart or close together have different ways they show affinity toward one another. Think of someone you like to be in the same space with compared to someone you do not want to be around or even try to avoid. This has to do with your affinity for those people.

As an example, if you met a friend arriving at an airport who you had not seen for a long time, you would probably greet him enthusiastically and give him a big hug. That is very high affinity. As an opposite example, if you were called to the principal’s office at your school and he was known as someone quite strict and unfriendly, you would probably be fearful and find it difficult to be in the same room. That is very low affinity.

Communication is the interchange (the giving and receiving of something between people) of ideas across space.

These three components—affinity, reality and communication—form the ARC (pronounced A-R-C) Triangle of Scientology and together these form the component parts of understanding.

If one corner of this triangle (say A) is raised, the other two will also rise. If one corner is lowered, the other two are as well.

So, with high affinity, you also have a high reality and a high communication. With a low affinity you also have a low reality and a low communication.

With a high or low R you have a high or low A and C.

For example, when you had to go to the principal’s office. Although the rumors may be that he was strict and unfriendly, you could apply the A-R-C Triangle. If you were to look around the principal’s office you might notice something that could offer an opportunity to create reality. Let’s say you saw a few trophies on his shelf and noticed they are for volunteer fire fighting and outstanding service in the community. Just by you expressing interest and asking him about these awards, you would increase communication. The principal might talk about the events and you could discover a common interest in preserving the forests in your surrounding community. The affinity between both of you increases with the communication and you both have agreement (reality) on a subject, so the A-R-C increases and this brings about a better understanding.

And so it goes with the ARC Triangle. It rises and lowers as one piece. One cannot have a low R and a high A and C.

Public relations is supposed to be a way to get your communication across to others. It communicates ideas. Suppose you were trying to communicate a reality (R) that was in some way altered, meaning not truthful. In such a case the communication would possibly at first reach, but then it would come back on you in a bad way because of the altered reality.

For example, a drug pusher promoting the “mind-expanding thrills” of a new drug to students at a school may be listened to at first by some students. However, sooner or later the drug pusher will be reported to the police who arrest him.

In life you have probably observed many examples of institutions, businesses and dishonest practitioners who promoted their products with promises they did not intend to keep. Their messages might reach at first, but because of the harm they cause, they end up in a real mess—legal suits, being jailed and the list goes on. Telling lies will always end up causing difficulties for those who are not honest.

This whole connection between affinity, reality and communication and how each depends on or is affected by the others is, of course, an advance made in Scientology. It was not available to the people who took part in the early beginnings of public relations. So they talked and still talk mainly lies.

Older PR practitioners found it easier to just tell lies. They would say that something was better or bigger than it actually was, like the promotion of a three-ring circus. Or they secretly spread lies or spoke out against someone with lies to destroy their reputation. The older PR practitioners tried all kinds of ways to surprise or cause people to become interested in what they were saying. And the easiest way to do it was by altering “facts” to make something seem bigger and better or make something far worse than it actually was.

For example, “mental health” public relations men totally made up “statistics” of the insane, without any connection to what existed or what actually happened. The PR statement that “Nine out of every fifteen Englishmen will go insane at some time of their lives” is a complete lie. These false statistics from PRs are used to influence the law-making bodies of governments to get money quickly for their “mental health” programs.

The ways money and people are used by public relations men, whether they are hired by a dictator, a king, a president or a company, show they have been used to spread harmful and evil lies.

For example, a US president once gave two different figures of how much the government’s cost increased per year—and all within just two months. It’s obvious that his public relations man was trying to influence Congress.

The PR promoting the latest car as the “Car of the Century” or a promoter for skydiving promoting a “parachute that never fails to open” and many other types of events are all public relations actions—and many are probably filled throughout with lies.

You pick up a newspaper or listen to people on the street and you hear and see PR—PR—PR—all lies.

The huge power of newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and today’s “mass media” communication is controlled by the PR men of groups that want large benefits and special treatment even though it may harm many other people. And to make this happen the PRs control the media with lies.

And so, public relations has been turned into “the best way to lie”—a way to convince or persuade people to believe whatever the PR is saying.

It makes a world where many people feel less belief in human honesty and goodness. It has lessened the hopes of achieving high goals, weakened people’s loyalty to their countries and made it harder to tell right from wrong.

Why is this?

When someone uses communication to tell only lies, then the affinity goes down and you get hate. That’s because the R (reality) has been destroyed. For example, in a country that used physical force to make people follow orders when they didn’t want to or if the people felt it was wrong, the people would get very upset and start to feel hate. In time, the hate might turn into riots and war.

Public relations that is only promoting a false reality of lies, then becomes low A, low C and will come back on anyone using it in a very unpleasant way.

So the first lesson you can learn that helps you use PR safely is to KEEP A HIGH REALITY.

The more lies you use in public relations the more likely it is that the PR will have a bad effect, not only on others but also you.

And so the law:


The trouble with public relations, then, was its lack of reality. A lie, of course, is a false reality.

The trouble with PR was REALITY!

When you get out a press story on a new can opener that opens cans easily, and you want to say “A child could use it,” first find out if it’s true. Give the can opener to a child and have him open a can. Then you find out that he is able to, it’s true. Now you can promote “A child could use it.” But don’t make it more than it actually is by calling it the “Can Opener of the Century.” That won’t communicate.

Just because radios, TVs and press pour out messages all the time does not mean they communicate to anyone. Real communication means that somebody is actually reached with the message.

Any lie will either cut down the C (communication) or one day will totally end off the C because there is no more trust or affinity.

So there is a way to know and use public relations. But if a person uses PR with only lies, he will cause many problems and personally lose any value or worth.

But if you keep to the truth and use high affinity, you will be able to communicate and get your message across.

Knowing this, public relations becomes a far more useful subject.

The next thing you need to know about is “who” or what “public” you are trying to communicate to. And by knowing this information, you can get your projects done with success.

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