SCN 8-8008: Responsibility

This paper presents Section 26 from the book SCIENTOLOGY 8-8008 by L. RON HUBBARD. The contents are from the original publication of this book by The Church of Scientology (1952).

The paragraphs of the original material (in black) are accompanied by brief comments (in color) based on the present understanding.  Feedback on these comments is appreciated.

The heading below is linked to the original materials.



The responsibility level of the preclear depends upon his willingness or unwillingness to handle energy. That preclear who is protesting against energy in any direction is abandoning responsibility in greater or lesser degree.

Responsibility is the ability to appropriately respond to a situation. This requires willingness to face the force in that situation. If a person is unwilling to deal with force, he is abandoning responsibility to that degree.

One obtains randomity (see Axioms) by abandoning responsibility in some sphere. He will then find himself in conflict in that sphere.

The responsibility in any sphere is to evolve further. When one abandons that responsibility one finds greater randomity and conflict.

The gradient scale of responsibility is as follows: at 40.0 responsibility manifests itself as will and can be so pervasive that there is no randomity. This would be full responsibility.

Under full responsibility situations are handled in real time as they occur. So there is little randomity.

At 20.0, responsibility would manifest itself in terms of action where roughly half one’s environment or space had been selected for randomity and for which one would take no responsibility. At 20.0 responsibility would be 50 per cent of the total energy existing.

At 4.0 we find homo sapiens in his narrow environment disagreeing by using the emotion of enthusiasm with an existing state of affairs and directing energy toward the righting of that state of affairs. Even so, responsibility is low at this level.

As one moves down the Tone scale, the sense of responsibility decreases and randomity increases.

At 2.0 blame enters the tone-scale as a major factor. This is the level of the tone-scale where fault is envisioned for the first time. Above this level there is sufficient breadth of understanding to see that interdependencies and randomities can exist without fault and blame. At 2.0, with the emotion of antagonism, an individual is assigning blame for lack of responsibility rather than trying to enforce responsibility.

At 1.5 blaming is almost the sole activity of the individual, and, while taking no real responsibility himself, yet he blames all on his environment and does so with violence.

At 1.1 one pretends to take some responsibility in order to demonstrate that others are at fault but one has no real responsibility.

At the lower end of the tone scale the sense of responsibility has dropped so much that one starts to find fault in others and blame them for situations.

At 0.9 or around the level of fear, one does not think in terms of responsibility but is willing to accept all blame in an effort to escape all punishment.

At 0.75, grief, the individual blames himself, and accepts the fault for what has occurred.

At 0.375, apathy, there is no question of either blame or responsibility. At this level one has become MEST.

Still lower on the tone scale, one accepts blame with no real sense of responsibility. He does that only to escape punishment.

On the tone-scale in Science of Survival one will find what might be expected to happen to materiel and communication and persons in the vicinity of those below 20 on the tone- scale. This stems normally from responsibility, or rather, its lack.

The keynote of responsibility is the willingness to handle energy. The rehabilitation of the thetan in the handling of energy brings about a rise in responsibility. If a person is low on the tone-scale and still exhibits responsibility, then his energy activity initially must be enormous for any segment of responsibility to exist low on the scale.

The processing of responsibility is one of the most vital processes. If one processes responsibility itself, he can expect sooner or later a theta clear. He would process it by brackets.

The keynote of responsibility is the willingness to move force around. As this willingness is rehabilitated the person’s sense of responsibility rises. This rehabilitation of responsibility is most vital in processing.

There is a condition known as the “glee of insanity.” This is essentially a specialized case of irresponsibility. A thetan who cannot be killed and yet can be punished, has only one answer to those punishing him, and that is to demonstrate to them that he is no longer capable of force or action and is no longer responsible. He therefore states that he is insane, and acts insane and demonstrates that he cannot possibly harm them as he lacks any further rationality. This is the root and basis of insanity. Insanity is the only escape possible besides death.

Death has the value of convincing others that one can no longer be punished or feel. As long as one has a body, which can die, there is a limit to the amount he can be hurt. When there is no body, and there is no limit to the amount he can be hurt, his only answer is this plea of complete irresponsibility which is the “glee of insanity.” This is found as an actual energy manifestation in the vicinity of sanatoria and can be felt as an emanation from the insane.

If the preclear is unable to conceive of “being happy about being insane” (which he usually cannot), get him to get the feeling of anticipation for a vacation. This is irresponsibility in one sense and in actuality, when deepened, becomes the “glee of insanity.”

A person has given up responsibility completely when he ignores reality and acts irrationally. He has become insane. He gets into a “glee of insanity”.

Happiness is the overcoming of not insurmountable obstacles toward the known goal of havingness. Stepping away from this track, feeling that one’s work is too hard, these are forsaking of responsibility. A common method employed by low-toned people to reduce the power and ability of an individual and so place him under control is to convince him that he is tired and overworked. If they can so convince him, they can then get him to take a vacation. An examination of an individual who has been subjected to this will show that he was happiest when he was working and that before he “needed a vacation” many people worked on him to convince him that he should not work so hard, and thus turned what was actually play to him into work. Society almost demands that a man consider whatever he is doing as work and demands that he consider work as an unhappy thing. In looking around the society at those who gain easily, one finds only people who take a great deal of joy in working and who never think in terms of a vacation.

Taking responsibility means clear perception and skillful management of force. It does not mean “unhappy hard work”. One’s work can be effortless and joyful. No work is hard if approached on the proper gradient. If a person is low in tone then that low tone needs to be handled. If there are social conditions that encourage indolence then those conditions need to be handled.

To run the bracket on responsibility, one would run the desire on the part of the preclear to be responsible, his desire not to be responsible, times when he has been forced to be responsible, times when he has been forced not to be responsible, times when he has been restrained from being responsible, times when he has been restrained from being not-responsible, times when he has been sympathized with because of his responsibilities and then all this as a bracket, the preclear doing it to others and others doing it to others. This run round and round as brackets produces marked results.

Note that responsibility is the ability to appropriately respond to a situation. Many a times this requires proper preparation and training. To rehabilitate your ability to respond, you may meditate on the following: (a) “desire to be responsible”, (b) “desire not to be responsible”, (c) “times when you were forced to be responsible”, (d) “times when you were forced not to be responsible”, (e) “times when you were restrained from being responsible”, (f) “times when you were restrained from being not-responsible”, (g) “times when you were sympathized with because of your responsibilities.” Meditate also on you doing these things to another or others. This meditation brings interesting realizations. You may do this during your walk next time.

The joy of responsibility and the joy of irresponsibility should also be run in terms of brackets.

You may also meditate on: (a) “joy of responsibility”, and (b) “joy of irresponsibility”. To meditate, simply keep the idea in quotation at the back of your mind. Then let the mind freely associate all thoughts.

This becomes most effective when run in terms of responsibilities of having, the irresponsibilities of having, the responsibilities and irresponsibilities of having had, and of will have.

Normally, your attention will go quickly to an event in your life, which is associated with the idea you are meditating on. If no such event comes up after a few tries, simply move on to the next idea.

Before this has been run very long on some individuals, the glee of insanity will manifest itself and it must be very thoroughly run out. It is often a hectic, uncontrolled laughter. This should not be confused with line-charge laughter to which it is a cousin; a preclear who starts laughing over the serious things of his past is breaking locks, and can be made to laugh in this fashion for many hours if the chain reaction is started. The laughter which accompanies the “glee of insanity” has no mirth in it whatever.

It is very likely that “glee of insanity” may manifest with the recall of an event when a person was pushed to his breaking point for “not taking responsibility”, and he did not understand what he was supposed to do. This may have happened when one was expected to earn high grades in school.

Peculiar to this is what might be called the attitude of MEST. MEST is not responsible for anything. That preclear who has as his goal complete irresponsibility has also as his goal being complete MEST.

There are physical principles that MEST always obeys. So, Hubbard’s example of MEST not being responsible is not quite right. Part of taking responsibility is following one’s true nature. For a living organism, responsibility comes from understanding the situation and finding the best resolution possible.

MEST has no space of its own, it causes no action except when acted upon, and it owns nothing but is itself owned.

If a person is not allowed enough time to understand the situation and develop the capabilities to handle it then he would be stressed and crack when pushed. It is same as matter cracking when stressed beyond its limits.

Slaves are made by giving them freedom from responsibility.

Slaves are made by not letting them take responsibility to handle situations, or giving them failures by not allowing them the proper gradient to handle situations.

The thetan high on the scale can make space or own space, has wide choices of action, and can create, change or destroy anything be wishes.

The thetan represents the mental matrix. The ideal condition of this matrix is to be well assimilated.



Responsibility is the ability to appropriately respond to a situation. The responsibility in any sphere is toward greater evolution. This requires willingness to handle force. When there is unwillingness, there is also greater randomity and conflict. This happens as one descends down the tone scale. At the lower end of the tone scale, instead of taking responsibility one starts to put it on others. When the sense of responsibility is totally lost a “glee of insanity” is manifested.

Taking responsibility does not mean hard work and drudgery. It is in one’s nature to understand and resolve situations. Done right it is effortless and joyful. The rehabilitation of one’s sense of responsibility is most vital in processing.

As a person’s willingness to handle force is rehabilitated, so is his sense of responsibility.


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