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The Merchants of Chaos

There are people who could be called Merchants of Chaos. These are people who want an environment to look very, very disturbing. A merchant is someone who buys and sells goods for a profit. Chaos is where everything is in confusion or disorder. So a Merchant of Chaos is someone who spreads bad news to make the environment seem far more dangerous than it is, for his own advantage.

Newspapermen shove the environment in people’s faces and say, “Look! It’s dangerous. Look! It’s overwhelming. Look! It’s threatening.” They report the most threatening bits of news in the most shocking way, making it worse than it is. This is the Merchant of Chaos. He is paid to the degree that he can make the environment threatening. To expect “good news” is foolish where Merchants of Chaos are active.

What is a blackmailer but somebody who is trying to get money by telling someone else that he can make the environment far more dangerous?

The Merchant of Chaos has a lot of troops, a lot of people who depend for their incomes on a dangerous environment. Even doctors are not paid for the number of people in the society they make well. They are paid for the number who are sick. Similarly, if you didn’t have crime, there would be no police. The number of policemen gives you the amount of crime there must be. The more crime, the more cops. The more sickness, the more doctors.

But it isn’t only the politician, the reporter and the makers of weapons who are making the environment threatening. A lot of people spend their whole lives as Chaos Merchants worrying everybody around them to death. The number of people who do this is quite high—probably one out of four. “If I can just keep Henry worried enough, he does what I tell him” is the basic idea. They spread confusion and upset. They may say, “I wonder why Henry doesn’t get ahead? ” Of course, they’re making Henry sick.

It runs all through the society that the environment has to be made to appear dangerous. Of course, there are real areas of danger in the environment. But it is never as dangerous as it is made to appear.

Any person, however, believes that there are areas in his environment which are completely overwhelming and that he will not be able to deal with. This we can say with absolute certainty, whether we’re talking to Joe, Bill or Pete, or even a politician or a newspaper reporter or a policeman. Any fairly sane person will agree with you that the environment, and certain parts of the environment, are a bit too much for him.

A Calming Influence

Anything that brings a calmed environment is resisted by those who want a disturbed environment.

As Scientology progresses in an area, the environment becomes calmer and calmer. Not less adventurous, but calmer. The threat in the environment reduces. Somebody who knows more about himself, others and life, and who gets a better grip on things, has less trouble in his environment. Even though it may only be reduced slightly, it is reduced.

When an individual is less threatened by the environment, he starts to do better. He thinks he can do more about life. He can reach outward a little further and so he can calm the people around him when they become frightened or anxious.

So there are three important points to note in finding solutions for the dangerous environment:

1. The environment seems dangerous to the person—you’ll get an agreement from him on this—and he is undertaking certain methods to hold the environment down and keep it from biting him.

2. Merchants of Chaos make the environment seem more dangerous in certain areas than it actually is.

3. A person’s health, activity and his desire to do well in life depend on his idea of how dangerous the environment is. If he finds his environment too dangerous, he will withdraw from the threat of the environment. He is likely to be more healthy, active and successful if he feels he can deal adequately with his environment.

With an understanding of these three points we can take steps to help anyone better his life.

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