Ups and Downs

a book by Ruth Minshull

 [word version]

Reproduced for the benefit of the Free Zone by the New Bridge Supply Company.



"The first time it happened was soon after my partner and I formed a business," the young executive said. "I was working hard, 'but I loved it. The money was rolling' in. I was playing my favorite game. And then, I just got depressed. I was uptight with everybody, my appetite worsened and my smoking increased. Later, my stomach began to trouble me and I developed severe headaches. My doctor gave me a complete examination - blood tests, urinalysis - everything. He couldn't find a thing wrong. " It's just nerves," he told me. About a week later I felt fine again. I was back in harness and everything was going great. But I slide into these slumps quite often. Sometimes I have to take off alone in my sailboat for a few days. This usually fixes me up again. "

The forty-year-old housewife describes her fight with obesity. "In my good moods I decide to get involved with things and diet off my extra thirty pounds. And I do it too! I feel great. I'm well-organized and creative. I write poetry. I paint. My mind feels bright and alert.

Losing weight is easy. In fact, I hardly think about food.

"And then, for no reason at all, " she continued, "one of my black moods comes on me. I sleep a lot and I have no enthusiasm for anything. I feel guilty about it, but I don't even have much feeling for my children. I start eating and I can't stop. Before I know it I'm up to my old weight again. The worst part of it is - when I'm in the dumps like that, I don't even care!"

Even great statesmen have suffered ups and downs.

Winston Churchill's son reported that his father often experienced periods of high energy when he was forceful, driving and tireless.  At those times, Mr. Churchill seemed able to achieve whatever he wished, to conquer any impossible situation, to succeed brilliantly as a writer, politician, warrior, or Prime Minister. On the other hand, his son said, he became painfully depressed during major periods of his life and had become a chronic alcoholic in an attempt to treat his depressions.

Abraham Lincoln spent most of his life alternating between high and low moods.

Sometimes he was energetic, ambitious, gregarious - laughing easily and adjusting to any social situation. At other times, overcome with shyness, self-doubt, despair and exhaustion, he was practically a recluse. He suffered from headaches, sleeplessness and nervous indigestion.

There's nothing abnormal about getting down in the dumps now and then. When someone we love deserts us for another, - when four teachers overload us with homework all in one day, when a drought scorches our turnip crop--it's understandable if we feel gloomy.

Life pitches all of us a few curve balls now and then. Naturally, we are not ecstatic on those days when we repeatedly strike out.

However, far too many of us endure repeating ups and downs that occur for no apparent reason.

What causes these inexplicable mood shifts? What would provoke a normally confident and purposeful business woman to bemoan to me: "Every now and then I get into spells where I feel stupid. I can't make decisions. " Why should a person feel optimistic enough to climb Mount Everest on a pogo stick one day, then find himself barely able to cope with the making of a baloney sandwich the next? Some people convince themselves that this wanted roller coaster ride is natural - life just that way. They're resigned to their periodic dipping. "You have to take the bad with good. " "A good thing can't last forever" One woman explained, "When I'm up I feel I'm riding for a fall. When I'm down I just hang on because I know things have to get better."

Others quietly (or loudly) worry about their sanity.

The extreme forms of mood swing have been recognized in the field of mental health patients who cycled between wild, talkative elation and deep, suicidal depression we labeled "manic depressive" or "schizophrenic" . " Cruel shock treatments, prescribed therapy, often reduced them to vegetables or massive doses of mind- numbing tranquilizers created walking zombies. Little else was done for them.

Countless people, however, experience more subtle ups and downs they cannot explain. On the upside, they are cheerful and confident. During the emotional downturns they are plagued by anxiety, irritability or apathy. A heavy drinker, overweight person, or a two pack-a-day smoker who periodically resolves to reform. He or she may succeed for a time and then, for no apparent reason, succumb to the habit again. "What's the use? " you hear. "I might as well get some enjoyment out of life."

For some, the roller coaster pattern may be more noticeable in job performance than in motions. Today an employee performs well tomorrow he makes inexplicable mistake forgets vital details, loses things.

It's easy to assert that this "on again--off again" pattern displays a lack of will power.

But that explanation is inadequate, and it offers no solution. These people DO possess the strength to control their habits when they make their pro- survival decisions. However, their next slide to the bottom of the roller coaster strips them of sufficient strength to sustain their resolutions. Their lives progress in a jerky "Yes, I can...No, I can't" manner with three steps forward and two steps back (or, when things are especially rough, two steps forward and three steps back) .

Those who are accident prone or disposed to frequent illness (particularly psychosomatic illness) are also roller-coastering. In fact, when doctors are unable to find a physical cause for headaches, allergies, skin conditions, indigestion, insomnia, and chronic fatigue, they frequently label them "stress" ailments .

Most likely a majority of the people you know are afflicted with some form of this bouncing cycle.

When they're down, some just snarl and bear it; some quietly weep; others endure it in morose, brooding silence. They lack motivation. Seeking escape, many guzzle too much alcohol, drink too much coffee or eat too many chocolate bars. Others turn to drugs. And far too many become "prescription druggies."  Some become hypochondriacs or take up extreme diets. Some sleep too much, others are insomniacs. A few pay analysts to worry along with them about their mental instability.

But must we accept these ups and downs? Do we have to settle for the periodic blahs?

Don' t we have the right to natural peace of mind?

Of course we do.

We waste our efforts, however, unless we understand the exact nature of the problem.

L. Ron Hubbard, the noted American writer and philosopher, discovered that the emotional roller coaster is caused, in part, by external forces. We must look outside the individual to determine what triggers his unwanted ups and downs.


Suppress: 1) To put an end to, forcibly; to subdue; crush. 2) To curtail or prohibit the activities of. - American Heritage Dictionary

We often hear the word "suppression" used to describe the methods a totalitarian government uses to crush a rebellion, or the way a ruthless dictator oppresses his subjects.

Suppression, however, also occurs on a person- to- person basis.


L. Ron Hubbard has given us a definitive description of personal suppression.

. . . a harmful intention or action against which one cannot fight back. ------L . Ron Hubbard, The Organization Executive Course

Hostility by itself is not necessarily suppression. Suppression occurs only when the victim cannot fight back. Instead, beaten down, he roller coasters.

My friend Joan decided to take a year off and earn the money she needed to finish college. Although jobs were scarce, persistent efforts landed her a well-paying position as a salesgirl in an exclusive women's clothing shop. A few days after she started work she told me excitedly, "I'm earning wonderful commissions. It'll be easy to save the money I need. "

When I saw her three weeks later, however, she looked harried and frantic. "What's happening, Joan? " I asked.

"I don't know, " she sighed deeply. "I'm a nervous wreck lately. I can't sleep. I get awful headaches. Sometimes I find myself crying for no reason. I wish I knew what was the matter with me."

We talked a few minutes longer, then I asked how her job was going.

"Oh, it seemed nice enough when I started. But now I'm pretty fed up with the manager. He's one of those oily guys who smiles while he makes snide remarks. He never misses a chance to make me feel like an idiot when I make a mistake. And I don't dare defend myself. Just yesterday he fired a girl who got mad and told him off. If I didn' t need the money, I'd quit right now. "

Joan had encountered suppression. She felt that she couldn't fight back. Her doctor had told her that the headaches were the result of stress; he prescribed aspirin.

The dictionary defines stress as "a mentally or emotionally disruptive or disquieting influence."

In Joan's case the stress was the result of her manager's suppressive actions.

There are many ways to suppress, but the chief weapon in person-to-person suppression is words.

The artist enthusiastically proclaims, "These hands will create a whole new art form."

The critic quietly observes, "Hmm. Your fingernails are dirty."

"We're going to win this game, " insists the ballplayer.

"Ha! You said that last week," sneers his friend.

Father, after watching the junior league hockey game, grills his exhausted son: "Why didn't you carry the puck? You should have hit that guy. You don't pass the puck when you do get it. Why are you always falling down? "

Marjorie slaves half the day over a gourmet dinner of Peking Duck only to have a guest comment, " This is not half bad. But I still say the best place to get chicken is down at Morey's on Third Avenue ."

Just ordinary conversations?

Not exactly.

Some people specialize in suppression.



The basic travail of Man is that he is divided into those who build and those who demolish...--L. Ron Hubbard, The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology

After studying the phenomenon of emotional ups and downs, L. Ron Hubbard learned that an individual roller- coasters when he is connected to a Suppressive Person.

The Suppressive Person is someone who usually appears mentally sound, but who actually suffers from a persistent insanity: he is convinced he must squash and oppress others in order to survive.

The insanity that dominates this Suppressive Person (also called The Antisocial Personality) causes him to fear others; he believes that everyone is his enemy.

The Suppressive Person's conviction, though seldom vocalized, is more pervasive and more intense than the feelings of persecution commonly associated with "paranoia." To protect himself he has concluded that he must stop all others.

Unfortunately, he is so craftily secretive that he is rarely considered certifiably insane.

He makes things go wrong, hurts people, oppresses. Around him all the right actions vanish and the wrong actions appear.--L. Ron Hubbard, The Organization Executive Course

Ernie rolled over in bed and punched up the pillow. He lay still for a few minutes and then, exasperated, he sat up and turned on the light. What's the matter with me? he wondered?

Why can't I sleep?

He mentally reviewed his day. He had started in top form, excited about his plan for a new sales program. The boss was also enthused and told him to go ahead. Ernie had spent a pleasant morning setting up the program until it was time to meet his father for lunch.

In the afternoon he had found himself unaccountably depressed. His stomach churned uncomfortably. Must have been the lobster, he had concluded.

His mind had wandered for the rest of day. He had made several mistakes.

Fortunately, two of his potentially costly errors had been caught by his alert secretary.

Ernie turned off the bedroom light. Ups downs seem to be the story of my life, sighed.

Why can't I be one of those fell who just sails along cheerfully all the time.

The turning point in Ernie's day had actually occurred during lunch with his father.

Hoping to win his father's approval and respect Ernie had explained his new sales program;

His father had replied, "Well, that's the kind of thinking you should be doing. What you so long? Why, I remember a big sales campaign launched by United Products.

His father went on to describe several classic sales campaigns conducted by giant international corporations. An uninformed bystander might easily have concluded that Ernies father not only approved of his ideas, but hoped to inspire him to even greater achievements.

Actually, the father' s lengthy counting of legendary sales campaigns made Ernies proposal -and even Ernies company - seem insignificant in the world of International Commerce. The real intention behind all this inspirational talk was to minimise Ernie and all his plans.

Ernie had been subdued by this kind of paternal "inspiration" for years.

His father was a Suppressive Person.

It's a person's intention that determines whether or not he is a Suppressive. Most human beings are well-intentioned. They honestly want to help their associates and to see them do well. But the Antisocial Personality-- while pretending to help or lead others--inevitably guides them to unhappiness and failure .

Except for those of us who have been marooned (alone) on a South Pacific atoll for the last twenty years, we all know some Suppressive Persons.

But how do we identify them?

Many times in my life I've felt an instant turn-off when I met certain individuals. At these times I assumed there was something wrong with me, and I usually ignored my instincts, to my later regret.

Until a few years ago I had no data to support these early warning signals. Now, considering these people in retrospect, I find that they were all SPs (Suppressive Persons).

The following chapter describes the characteristics of an SP. If you have intuitively, but inexplicably, disliked certain men and women (or even a bestial child now and then) perhaps these passages will verify your innate knowledge.

For those charitable souls among you who manage to think only kind thoughts about everyone, the next chapter will be tough slogging. You'll find yourself wanting to reject the whole idea and explain away each characteristic .

And, lastly, if you guiltily see yourself too often in the material you read, all I can say is: Hang in there, you have plenty of company. There's relief in Chapter 5.



. . . the bulk of such people exhibit no outward signs of insanity. They appear quite rational. They can be very convincing.--L. Ron Hubbard, Introduction to Scientology Ethics

In view of his dramatic and demoralizing effect, you might assume that an SP would be easy to recognize. If he isn't carrying a pitchfork, he should at least be sporting a set of horns.

Unfortunately, the Antisocial Personality wears many disguises. He may be the star football player or a retarded teenager. He may be viciously insulting or cloyingly sweet. He may be the powerful shipping magnate or the pitiful welfare applicant. He could be the quiet grandpa watering his petunias next door or the seven-year-old bully beating up on the kid across the street.

Despite their many differences, however, all SPs share certain common traits. It isn't necessary that you recognize all of the characteristics in each individual you examine. If someone you know exhibits a majority of the characteristics, that person is most likely a Suppressive Person.

No SP will be totally evil across the board. Adolph Hitler was described by one of his own deputies as "the greatest and most dynamic factor of destruction that humanity has so far had to endure."  At the same time, he was also called "a monster with no bad habits."  A dutiful son to a doting mother, he also loved dogs and children. He was a vegetarian who neither smoked nor drank. Gallant with the ladies, kindly and considerate to secretaries and chauffeurs, he was the same man who engineered the deaths of tens of millions of people.


Any of us may lapse into brief periods of meanness when we say and do regrettable things. Quite different, however, is the behaviour of the Antisocial Personality. He is relentless in his onslaught against those around him.

Jill described her oppressive marriage. "I was fifty pounds overweight. Twice I dieted down to my right weight and then ballooned up again. Why? Because my super-critical husband didn't respond any better to the thin me than he had to the fat me. He blamed me, and my fat, for all his troubles.  Everything wrong with his life--his lousy job, clashes with his family, even when his car broke down, you name it - he blamed it on me.  Even after I lost all that weight, he still enjoyed telling me how ugly I was."

"I went to a counsellor, but he wouldn't go with me. He said it wasn't his problem. After a while I realized that I was just being a door mat for him. When I finally got rid of him, I also got rid of fifty-five pounds--permanently !"

Invalidation can be accomplished without a word. A former neighbor of mine used to work in her husband's office most days, so she employed a marvellous cleaning woman named Judy who worked diligently one day a week to keep the house spotless. Judy took particular care with the dusting after she learned that my neighbor was extremely fussy about such things. As Judy was about to leave one day--exhausted, but satisfied with her work--her employer came home. "I'm proud of myself today," said Judy. "The place is immaculate."

Without a word, my neighbor reached over and rubbed her hand across the light bulb in a lamp. She showed Judy three slightly dusty fingers. "Oh, no," groaned Judy. That's got to be the only place I missed !"

Years ago I knew a seemingly angelic woman who "wouldn't say an unkind word about anyone." Still, unfailingly, she managed to let bad news and criticism slip out, as if by accident. "I saw Peter the other day--Oh, I heard he was in big trouble at home because his wife thinks he's stepping out on her. But he's really quite nice, poor dear. Anyway, he told me. . ."

Many SPs take particular satisfaction in breaking up relationships by passing on malicious gossip and lies to each party in the absence of the other. This Chaos Merchant tells Denny, " I hear that Steve says you're stupid. " Then he tattles to Steve, "Do you know that Denny's been making fun of you behind your back? " Soon Denny and Steve get picky with each other; they can't quite recapture their old friendship. If they were to sit down and talk things out thoroughly, they would discover that a third party --the Supressive-- was secretly undermining their relationship .

Some people make a living out of gossip, vicious slurs, speculations and innuendos.

Columnist Jim Bishop wrote about the late Walter Winchell  "This columnist had an amazing instinct for the kill. He more preferred to pillory than to praise. He liked to sit and recount the names of actors, actresses, press agents, chorus girls and officials who had double-crossed him and who had been ruined by an item in his column.... His ego mania led Winchell to believe that he could make or break statesmen....In time, the fury of his flames consumed him. Winchell lost his family, old friends, his audience...."

I think we can reach our own conclusions about this rapid- talking professional gossip.


SPs are surrounded by unlucky people who suffer from periodic ups and downs. Some of the time (or maybe most of the time) his associates are depressed, cowed, ill or failing.

A business acquaintance recently told me of a family he knew. The husband has suffered from ulcers for several years, one daughter is heavily into drugs. A younger daughter is painfully shy; she never defends her rights or asserts her views. Her spirit is so limp she can't even hold up her end of a conversation. Then there's a son who quit school at the age of fifteen and ran away from home.

"Tell me about the mother," I requested.

"Oh, she's kind of a placid, quiet woman. She seems to be the only calm one in the lot.  In fact, she hardly ever changes expression."

Mother is the one, then, that I would first suspect as the possible SP in this troubled family.

When David began his new job he noticed that everyone in the office spoke in whispers and scurried about looking scared. One day, while talking with fellow employees, David realized that he was whispering himself. Loudly he asked, "Why are we whispering?"

His co-workers flinched, laughed nervously, and then started speaking in normal tones.

David eventually discovered that the department manager was a vile - tempered SP who blew up at the slightest provocation. The employees tiptoed around in continual terror of setting off the next outburst from this Merchant of Fear.

There's a certain tension that exists around the Suppressive Person. One feels compelled to be careful-- to walk softly. A sense of relief prevails when the SP is gone.

Sally took a vacation trip alone with her twelve-year-old son. (Unexpected business demands had forced her husband to stay home).  "The most amazing thing happened," she told me later.  "I heard my son laugh out loud for the first time in years! We both got really silly-- laughing over little things. We were like a couple of kids just let out of school for the summer. I couldn't believe it! We never felt that way when my husband was along."

Until then I hadn't realized how much people closely associated with an SP do improve. They can be treated, counseled or educated.  However, the gains they make are temporary. As long as they remain under the influence of the Suppressive Person, they relapse and they lose the advantage of their improvement.

Children who repeatedly forget what they learn (how to do a math problem or spell a new word) are roller-coastering. When given medical treatment, a person connected to an SP may actually worsen at first and then endure a difficult convalescence.


While he habitually neglects to pass along good news, a Suppressive Person takes any adverse news available, adds a few embellishments, and passes it on with gusto.

Agnes spread the word about her brother who had recently received an excellent promotion. "Oh, he's making good money now. I'll say that for him. But he certainly doesn't see much of his family anymore. If you ask me, " she sniffed, "that marriage won't last long..."

As a co-worker the Suppressive will be the first to inform you that the company has lost an important account, although never even mention that the board of directors just voted a large stock dividend as a bonus for all employees.

This same fellow will criticize the punctuation in your report without telling you about the high praise it received.

Michael described an acquaintance who owns a small but prosperous tool manufacturing company: "Whenever I see him I always ask how business is going. Never, in all the years I've known him, has he admitted that he was doing well.  It's always, 'Business is rotten. We're losing money.'  And even when I know he's making money hand over fist, he'll still say, 'It's terrible. We can't get any decent help anymore,' or 'we're always having trouble getting materials.'  I think if some-one handed him a million dollars, tax free, he'd still think of something to gripe about."

Newspaper editors often specialize in relaying only the bad news in sensational headlines. While watching the last night of the Montreal Olympics on television, I was pleased to see several Americans win gold medals. The next day's newspaper headlines, however, (concentrating only on the names of two men who didn't make it) proclaimed:



A sane, well-balanced person can exercise good control over himself, his work, his environment and other individuals. He is also able to take orders from others.

On the other hand, the Suppressive Person insists that no effect ever be created on him. Rather than submit to any control, he must control and dominate everyone else. It's as if the SP were declaring, "No one will touch me. No one will reach me. No one will hurt me.

No one will change my mind. " He wears a mental suit of armor, and though he may appear friendly-- or even loving-- his defenses are impenetrable.

This is most noticeable in conversation. Your words are delicately shunted aside, pointedly ignored, ridiculed, or dismissed with an air of patronizing indulgence. One no-effect type I have observed always starts nodding impatiently when you try to tell him something; he interrupts, "I know, I know. You don't have to tell me that."

Another one, a pleasant-seeming woman, smiles politely while hearing nothing you say. "Isn't that nice... " she murmers sweetly, whether you tell her you've just been elected chairman of the board or just learned that you have terminal cancer.

Still another ego crusher insists on topping every story you tell by relating one that's bigger, better and more so. No matter what you say, he refuses to be impressed. When you inform him that you just found five dollars in the street, he lets you know that a friend of his discovered a shoebox full of twenty- dollar bills in an abandoned house . If you were lucky in last night's poker game, he deflates you with a story about his cousin who hit it big in the lottery last week.

I once worked with a woman who couldn't drive. Although she frequently took a taxi home, she was unwilling to wait, so she always called for it long before finishing her jobs.

Consequently, she was usually still occupied when the cab arrived. She'd keep the driver waiting, or wave him on. Sometimes the impatient driver would leave without her. Finally, the dispatcher refused to send cabs when she called.

If forced to become unwilling effect of another person, some SPs will actually lose control and explode into violence. Debbie described her sadistic husband: "He was always teasing people. He'd pick on little kids and then laugh and say he was only kidding. He especially enjoyed tickling me. He'd sit on my legs and hold my arms down; then he'd tickle me until I screamed for mercy. He'd just laugh and say he was only having fun. Well, one night I couldn't stand it any more. I told him, 'If you don't stop I'm going to spit in your face.'

He just smiled and said, "You wouldn't dare."

In her desperation, Debbie did spit at him. He became so furious that he beat her into unconsciousness. The next day when she saw her lawyer about a divorce, she showed him two black eyes, a broken jaw and five teeth wrapped in a handkerchief.

Few SPs are this violent about it, but one way or another they absolutely refuse to be the effect of others.

One man described his wife, "she can tell me to shut up, but I can't tell her that. She couldn't take it. She'd burst into tears or sulk for days. She gets very upset when she can't control everything."

Many Antisocial Personalities find it difficult, if not impossible, to say "I don't know."

They can' t bear to admit any ignorance. On the other hand, we find an occasional SP who parades his stupidity. He is the chronic loser who whines constantly about his incapabilities.

"I never learned how to do that. . ."  This one refuses to be effect of any attempt to educate or advise him. He takes pride in proving that your efforts or your solutions won't work.

The Suppressive Person must be right. He permits himself no honest self-examination (although you may see one adopt a sham self-criticism as a cover-up, while never changing in the slightest). He sees his actions as completely justified, however monstrous the effect produced on others.  Many SPs, with their obsessive need to be right, project an aura of absolute certainty.  Those of us who look to others for leadership and guidance often mistake this excessive self-assurance for true competence.  This is why many people are willing to accept and follow the super-confident Suppressives who frequently achieve high positions in business and government.

If an SP is somehow forced into open confrontation of his transgressions, he may become severely ill. Recently we have seen cases of the swaggering, contemptuous, politician who for years tyrannically wielded his power. Suddenly he is exposed as a criminal who secretly misuses government funds. He vigorously denies the charges but hard evidence finally forces him to admit his guilt. The shock of this public condemnation often brings about a dramatic personality change. The SP may become ill or suicidal. Some, permanently jolted out of their suppressive roles and overcome with remorse, become religious zealots or spend the rest of their lives quietly doing charity work as a way of making amends.


Jerry loved to start companies with other people's money. Somehow, none of his ventures ever got off the ground. Still, Jerry continued to charm innocents into trusting him.

Promising fantastic profits, weaving a net of contracts, mergers, documents and agreements while spouting impressive quasi-legal gobbledygook, he induced hundreds of hopeful victims to part with their savings. Jerry lived like a millionaire himself. Exploitation was a way of life for him. Those who had trusted him were left confused, betrayed and angry. When finally indicted for fraud, he was completely mystified. "Why is everyone mad at me? You know, these people were looking for something to invest in. I came along and offered them a good opportunity. Why are they all so against me?"

Astonishingly, as Suppressive Persons often do, he recounted his unethical acts freely and with aplomb, as if these occurrences "just happened."

Many SPs operate flagrantly outside the law.

The Mafia run their protection rackets on pure fear. Loan sharks threaten violence to extract exorbitant interest from their victims. Drug pushers destroy lives without a trace of conscience.

Sometimes, however, you will see Suppressives actually use the law to intimidate others.

Officials of the New York Telephone Company reported that inmates at Manhattan's Metropolitan Correction Center figured out how to make $100,000 worth of long distance calls to points as far away as South America without Ma Bell one thin dime.

Subsequently, the telephone company attempted to remove the twenty-three telephones from the jail. But the resourceful inmates blocked this action with a lawsuit, claiming that removal of the phones would violate their rights to communicate with lawyers and relatives .

All criminals are suppressive. Here we refer to the hardened, habitual offender -- not the individual who makes one or two wrong turns, (often under the pressure of an SP), but then shows genuine remorse and a willingness to reform.

CRIMINAL: one who is unable to think of the other fellow, unable to determine his own actions, unable to follow orders, unable to make things grow, unable to determine the difference between good and evil, unable to think at all on the future. Anybody has some of these; the criminal has ALL of them.--L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary

Not all criminals are in prison. In fact, not all of their crimes are even indictable under the laws of our society. One way or another, however, through overt violence or under handed flimflam, the criminal strives to deprive others of their rightful belongings.

You can nearly always count on the SP to be a chronic lawbreaker. He may be embezzling a fortune from his company or just running stop signs. In any case, he'll resist all discipline.

And last of all, don't dismiss the gentle little-old-lady SP because she's not out on the street with a thirty-eight or pushing heroin in the back of the corner head shop. She may be sympathetically persuading her diabetic husband to eat another piece of whip cream cake, or undermining parental discipline by slipping her grandchildren candy, pop and other appetiteruining goodies on the sly. In conversations peppered with fussy endearments, she will routinely shred a reputation or two. She'll never go to jail for her deeds. Still, the recipients of her " generosity " could be harmed as much as some of the victims of street muggings.


The Suppressive Person aims at the incorrect target. He attacks people who have done nothing to him. He directs his energy to to wrong endeavor. He blames the wrong thing.

At the dinner table the blustering father gestures menacingly at his cowering young son and knocks over a glass water. As he impatiently sops up the mess with his napkin, mutters, "Goddam water!"

Many clever and accomplished criminals could be legitimately successful-- if they merely channelled their brilliance into constructive undertakings. Instead, they elect to rob and deceive innocent people.

Charles Manson, convicted killer and ring leader, exemplifies the most deadly SP. In a courtroom confrontation he delivered a long tirade blaming the "establishment" for all of his atrocities.

. . .to them [SPs] all society is a large hostile generality, against the anti- social in particular.--L. Ron Hubbard, Introduction to Scientology Ethics

While preaching "love" to his followers, Manson persuaded them to kill without remorse. For the most part, his victims were complete strangers to him. Again, he was aiming at the wrong target.

By his own testimony, he was attempting to start a race war, which he claimed was inspired by the music of the Beatles. "Why are you blaming me?" he pleaded. "The music made me do it." His insane attacks led man to death and misery.

The SP is a master at getting others to miss direct their efforts and attention. Bailey, assistant to the president of a small company, talked the boss into firing an innocent man to cover up the fact that he was accepting kick- backs from a large supplier.

At the other extreme Irene mystified me for a long time. She seemed a kindly person with few problems of her own. Her family, however, was a different story. Her husband's frequent illnesses called for unusual treatments, diets, tranquilizers and sleeping pills. Irene was always sympathetic and attentive.

Her son, constantly in trouble at school, had twice been jailed. Her overweight daughter, in and out of mental institutions for ten of her twenty years, had been expelled from two colleges. Whenever she despaired of her over weight condition, Irene consoled her with a box of chocolates. "That's all right, dear," she told her daughter. "Not everyone was meant to be thin. Why not enjoy yourself?"

I marvelled at her equanimity while surrounded by such a problem-ridden family. Then I learned about SPs. Reluctantly I realized that Irene was too sympathetic. She never set down any rules for the household, never guided or advised, never disciplined. Instead of offering effective help, her useless sympathy merely prompted her family to explain away their failings. Her perpetual "kindness" concealed a complete irresponsibility and neglect. What an odd way to wrongly target, I realized-she never targets anything at all!

And that may be the worst kind of misdirected effort.


A study of history will confirm that many a weak populace has promoted a vicious tyrant to leadership as an apparent solution to national problems. Such individuals were classic Suppressives who sought power in order to destroy. Napoleon, Hitler, Genghis Khan, Stalin, Attila the Hun, and Julius Caesar are a few of the more infamous. Their solution to human problems was war, bloodshed and murder.

Napoleon, although a brilliant military leader, laid waste to Europe in his fanatic drive for power and dominion.

Joseph Stalin ordered tens of millions of his own people murdered in the name of national unity.

More recently, Chou En-lai, acting as principal executioner for Mao Tse-tung, presided over policies that during the first ten years of Maoist rule resulted in the death of some thirty to sixty million people. Many died in forced-labor camps, from a bullet in the head, from starvation, or torture.

Any militant group that specializes in senseless acts of terrorism, extortion, hijackings, random bombings, kidnapping or murder of innocent people (wrong targets) is suppressive. Though they proclaim high-minded motives, the end does not justify their means. They destroy, in fact, for the sake of destruction-- not for the sake of reform.

Few of us will ever meet a Hitler or a Stalin. We will, however, encounter those who support the same murderously destructive measures .

A few days after the second attempted shooting of President Ford, I waited in a small grocery store while the proprietor totalled up my purchases. We commiserated together about inflation and the fact that the cost of my bag of groceries once amounted to a weeks' wages.   It's no wonder, he said, "that people are taking shots at the President."

This comment so amazed me that it took me a moment to reply.  "Well, I don't think killing the President would really solve inflation, do you?"   Reluctantly, he agreed.

His one sentence contained three indicators of an SP:
1) He appeared to sanction a destructive solution
2) it was certainly directed at the wrong target and
3) his statement was a fallacious generality; "people" weren't shooting at the President -- just two crazies.


There is nothing wrong with an occasional generality; for convenience we all use them. The Chaos Merchant, however, specializes in broadcasting disturbing generalities .

He habitually uses such phrases as, "Don't you think everybody. . ., " "People are. . .,"

"They always. . ., " "Women never. . ., ", "Everywhere. . " while passing on his bad news.

This practice makes it difficult to locate and identify the SP. His vague generalities scatter our thinking. It seems as if "everyone" said it.

Scanning through a popular weekly news magazine (filled mostly with bad news) I noticed the following: "People are now questioning. . .", "Washington is stunned by the scandalous...,' "Today's life style reflects...," "This is believed to be..., " "It is felt that the candidate is too....," "The nation is waiting for the President to take a stand.... "  The impression the editors attempted to create is that "everything is bad everywhere." And this is the effect our doomsayer strives to achieve with his generalities.

The couple were dining at an expensive New York restaurant. As they finished their second drink the waiter brought rolls and soup. "Bring us another drink," snapped the woman. The had barely tasted the soup when they broke into a heated argument. When the waiter served the main course, the woman looked around belligerently, as if seeking something to criticize. She uncovered the rolls. "Waiter, " she slurred, "these are cold. Bring us some hot ones."

"Now, Ginger," said her partner, "I'm sure they were warm when he brought them, but you wanted another drink. You never eat rolls anyway."

When the waiter hesitated, Ginger snarled, "You'd think at these prices you could at least get warm rolls."

"Yes, madam," replied the waiter before he scurried away.

The couple continued to wrangle during the few minutes it took for the waiter to return with the rolls. "Too late," barked the woman with a wave of her hand. "Take them away."

The confused waiter was still standing there when Ginger signalled at the matre d'.  "Say," she called to him, "the service here is lousy. What's the matter with this place? It's going to the dogs like everything else these days."

"What's the problem, madam?" the matre d asked courteously.

"The whole stinking place is the problem."

Both the waiter and the matre d' tried to determine if there were any further complaints (other than the rolls) but she only became louder and more abusive. "This is just a lousy place. I'm trying to tell you that--and all you can do is ask me more stupid questions.  We're paying customers. We don't have to prove anything to you. I'm telling you--this is nothing but a lousy joint."

Once you start to listen for them, you'll hear the Antisocial Personality intentionally creating alarm and upset with his false generalities .


Many of us delay finishing things; we're not always as efficient as we'd like to be.

This doesn' t mean that we re Suppressive Persons. Chaos Merchants however, consistently leave unfinished cycles behind them-- either their own or those of others.

I know one SP who is surrounded by incomplete and abandoned projects. His home, office and workshop are bursting with incredible collections of junk, all of which he "might need some day." It's impossible to locate supplies or accomplish a job. The thought of trying to clean up such a place, or put it in order would reduce most of us to tears.

Another won't put things away. He may fix the lawnmower, but he'll leave the tools all over the garage.

One Suppressive type habitually does a job so poorly that it has to be done over again.

He will write a report so incomplete that you are forced to go back and ask him for more data.

Another brand of disrupter hurries through jobs--never following through to a correct completion. He installs a new door, but never quite gets around to painting it to match the rest of the room.

I've known a few SPs who always overstay their welcome when they visit. It's almost necessary to push them out the door to prevent them from taking up permanent residence.

Even though you'll find many Antisocial Personalities living in very orderly environments, their inability to finish things shows up in other ways. For one thing, every SP I've known holds onto a grudge endlessly. He neither forgives nor forgets. His upsets do not heal. He cannot let go. Weeks, months, even years later he will complain bitterly about old insults, misfortunes and injustices (real or imagined).

A few Antisocial Personalities never pay their bills. One I'm acquainted with appears to be extremely prosperous and successful. However, I know of five people to whom he has owed money for several years. Their continued efforts to collect have been fruitless.

Along with his inability to finish cycles, the SP stops others from completing theirs.  This is one of his principal methods of creating chaos. When you're trying to do a job, he may repeatedly interrupt you. If this destroyer is your boss he might insist you redo jobs that are already satisfactorily completed (in fact, the perfectionist we can never quite please is a Suppressive).  Another type always rushes people, keeping them off balance and forcing them to a premature completion of their work.

One suppressive father agreed to help his son, Doug, build a model airplane, encouraging him on the project until the boy's attention was thoroughly captured. Then, when Doug needed a vital part to finish the airplane, his father kept "forgetting" to find it for him.

Frustrated, Doug tried to locate the item he needed in his father's workshop, but the place was an impossible jumble of tools and equipment. After more requests and more broken promises, Doug gave up. The airplane lay abandoned on the workbench-- where it gradually became buried.

Another SP specialty is preventing others from finishing communications. They interrupt your stories. They stop you to argue over an irrelevant point. They neglect to answer you--leaving you to wonder if you were heard, or whether you should repeat your message.

One specimen now on my blacklist once cut in to correct me just as I arrived at the punch line of a joke.

A surprising number of Antisocial Personalities work their way into the communications field. I've studied the suppressive techniques of one such type, a talk-show interviewer. He asks a question and before his guest can complete the answer, he interrupts with two or three more questions--all with a big show of pretended interest. The visiting celebrity is thus encumbered with several unanswered questions. Now, whichever one he chooses to answer he still appears to be evading the other. If he is gifted with a superb memory and incredible poise, the guest may be able to retain every question in his mind and answer them one by one. It's unlikely, however, that the interviewer will ever give him the chance. Such tactics rattle the guest and divert his attention. He winds up exhausted (which happens when we cant finish our intended actions); he may stumble, stutter and look foolish.  This, of course, is the hidden intention of the Chaos Merchant.


Many SPs feel that "nobody really owns anything" and they operate with a total disregard for their own or others possessions.

His lack of regard for property often surfaces in his treatment of someone else's belongings. He may dent your car, lose the book you loaned him, or nonchalantly appropriate the hedge trimmer you permitted him to use last week.

Some Suppressives live in dingy conditions, their furniture broken, their equipment inoperative. They may be surrounded by vast collections of junk, incompleted projects and unused materials. Disorder and squalor prevail.

On the job he is the one with no appreciation for the company's property or reputation.

His efforts result in breakage, lost items, and injured public relations. He is probably pilfering supplies and equipment.

A group of college students I know sublet their rented home for the summer to a man who neglected to mention that the place would be used as a shelter for teenage runaways.

After four months, the original tenants returned, and found the once handsome house looking like a disaster area. Four windows were smashed, several screens broken. One door was missing. Many walls were punctured with large holes. The bathroom sink was severed from the wall and broken pipes had gushed out water that ruined the bathroom tile, the subfloorings and the ceilings below. Personal possessions valued at over $4, 000 had been stolen from a locked attic.

Not every SP causes physical destruction. Many live in aesthetic, expensive surroundings. Some are ruthlessly ambitious and become quite wealthy. They have no compunctions about appropriating others' property (including money) to accomplish their goals. They then use their money to control and dominate people.

One wealthy widow continually loans money to friends and relatives to back doubtful schemes or help them out of financial difficulties. None of them have ever paid her back, permitting her to complain interminably about their ingratitude and unreliability. Still, she never seems to learn from experience for she keeps loaning money and losing it. She enjoys complaining that people are "Nothing but conniving thieves."

A person's product may also reflect his suppressiveness. The attorney who cleverly uses legal loopholes to set free a known murderer is hardly doing a service for mankind. Nor is the manufacturer who markets a drug more dangerous than beneficial--or the contractor who specializes in high prices and cheap, faulty construction.

Lastly I know several SPs who live in sumptuous surroundings--but their physical possessions are ALL that matter to them. They belittle all spiritual pursuits and any attempts at self-betterment. They consider friends and family just "objects" to be used, shown off, and controlled. Their twisted sense of property is evident in totally materialistic values.


To the SP there is no such thing as help. He construes any attempt to help him as a personal attack.

Help for others is also threatening since regards everyone as his enemy and, of course he would rather keep his enemies weak.

The Antisocial Personality may actually become ill if you try to assist him or her; he'll likely blame the sickness on your help.

A suppressive acquaintance once complained to me that she felt tired all the time. She had seen a doctor, but he couldn't find anything wrong. I asked if she was taking any kind of vitamin and mineral supplements. "No," she replied, "I've never taken vitamins. Do you think I should? "

I told her I had found them helpful myself.

She called me a few days later. "You know what? I've come down with the worst cold I've had in years!  I thought you told me those vitamins would make me healthy.  I knew I shouldn't have taken them," she said.  "I think it was the vitamins that gave me this cold.

I know a successful businessman who recently married. His pretty wife complained, "You and your friends have so much more confidence than I do."  In response, he suggested a self-improvement course which had helped him and thousands of others. She was still attending the course, off and on, when I first met her several months later. She couldn't seem to find the time to complete it.  "It's a nice course I guess," she told me.  "But I'm not as talented as other people. I try so hard, but I wonder if it's really helping me."

She subtly resisted receiving any benefit from the course. This alone did not convince me that she was a Suppressive, but one look at her husband did. His once cheerful, lighthearted manner had vanished. His face looked dark, his eyes lifeless and brooding as he assured me (very seriously) that he was happy in his new marriage. For his sake, I hope he soon finds a cure for that kind of happy.

On the other hand, the "help" the SP dispenses will most likely deprive the recipient of money, his sanity, his reputation, or his belongings. A Suppressive's brand of help can be pure destruction.

Many brutal therapies have been promoted as a cure for mental problems. It's ironic that most mental patients are already victims of severe suppression and that when they seek help they frequently fall into the hands of another Suppressive who crushes them even further down.

A big-city psychiatric clinic is currently under investigation after these reports: A consultant testified, "I have seen patients on the verge of divorce because of this group, others on the verge of emotional or mental collapse because of the so-called therapy employed.... Merciless verbal attacks on the individuals are encouraged during their sessions.  This is supposed to help but most people find it extremely upsetting."

A social worker reported that the leader of the group was ". . . fascinated with rage.  He enjoyed provoking people to get angry with each other, then he sat back and enjoyed watching them."

A former patient recalled, "They tell you if you leave the group there's no hope for you." 

"These experiences, " reported an investigator, "have caused great psychological harm to many people. They feel they're no good and that they copped out....It's another failure experience for them."

This is help?



You will note in the characteristics of the anti-social personality that intelligence is not a clue to the anti-social. They are bright or stupid or average. Thus those who are extremely intelligent can rise to considerable, even head-of- state heights. Importance and ability or wish to rise above others are likewise not indexes to the anti-social. When they do become important or rise they are, however, rather visible by the broad consequences of their acts. But they are as likely to be unimportant people or hold very lowly stations and wish for nothing better.--L . Ron Hubbard, Introduction to Scientology Ethics

After reading the last chapter, you may suspect that half the people you know are surely SPs--perhaps even yourself. There isn't one of us who hasn't been guilty, at some time, of suppressing another.

Unfortunately, identifying the Antisocial Personality is not always a black and white situation. There are no absolute angels or complete devils among us; most of us fall somewhere in between. To make an accurate judgment, we have to weigh the good and the bad and decide whether the overall product of an individual is constructive and aids the survival of both himself and his associates, or whether his efforts produce mainly destructive results.

It's a matter of proportion. How does a person spend most of his time? If he works hard to lead a decent life, and suffers only occasional slips, he certainly belongs on the plus side of the ledger. But if he habitually exhibits most of the suppressive characteristics, then we can presume that he is a Suppressive Person.

All men have committed acts of violence or omission for which they could be censured. In all Mankind there is not one single perfect human being.  But there ere those who try to do right and those who specialize in wrong and upon these facts and characteristics you can know them.--L. Ron Hubbard, Introduction to Scientology Ethics

If you discover personal symptoms of roller coaster and suspect that there is an SP in your life, look for someone who has consistently worried or troubled you, someone close. It could be Father, Mother, spouse, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, lovers, bosses, teachers, or friends. With family and loved ones it is understandably difficult to look beyond one's close emotional attachment, but here is where we often find the SP. Our emotional or financial dependence increases our vulnerability.

Base your judgment on whether that person consistently knocks you down or stops you.

Use the table of Plus and Minus Traits to help you evaluate a possible SP.


The Social Personality will demonstrate a majority of positive traits, while the Antisocial Personality exhibits a majority of the negative characteristics. In some cases you may not have enough information to evaluate every item on the list. For example, if you don't know whether a person's associates are ill, intimidated and failing, don't automatically assume that they are well and happy. Leave that question blank until you have sufficient information.



 1. Prefers to talk about good news; tries not to hurt people

 1. Deals mainly in bad news, gossip, critical news and hostile remarks and invalidation.

 2. Associates tend to be stable, well and happy.

 2. Associates roller-coaster, are often sick,  intimidated and failing .

 3. Relays communication with little alteration. Tends to drop out bad news.

 3. Alters communication to worsen it when  relaying it to others. Stops good news and magnifies bad.

 4. Will follow orders and and accept advice. Interested in changing, improving. Can admit he's wrong.

 4. Tries to control everything, No-effect. Unchanging. Can't admit he's wrong.

 5. Ashamed of his misdeeds. Takes responsibility for mistakes or transgressions.

 5. Rule breaker. Unethical. No conscience.

 6. Tries to find correct solutions.

 6. Misdirected efforts. Blames the wrong  things..Aims at the wrong target.

 7. Supports constructive groups and actions; protests destructive constructive activities.

 7. Supports destructive solutions; attacks activities.

 8. Tries to be specific in relating circumstances.

 8. Speaks in broad generalities especially to relay rumors and news.

 9. Ordinarily completes things. Respects other peoples time and efforts. Doesn't hold a grudge.

 9. Keeps things from getting done. Stops his own or others' actions. Holds grudges.

 10. Respects rights of others. Disapproves of theft or misuse of property.

 10. Disregards property rights. Careless with own or others possessions. Often materialistic.

 11. Wants to help others and is able to receive help.  11. Resists being helped. Seeks to destroy in the name of help.

This list is derived in part from data in the policy letter by L. Ron Hubbard entitled "The Anti-Social Personality" --Introduction to Scientology Ethics.


In some cases acquaintances can be upsetting to us--yet they are not actually SPs. We will roller coaster when someone reminds us sufficiently of a true Suppressive in our past.

A housekeeper I once employed was nearly incapable of taking orders. Trudy was ferociously efficient at cleaning (she attacked dirt as if it were her mortal enemy), but whenever I suggested any change or correction, she became confused, dispersed, and made incredible mistakes. She defended herself when no one accused her, constantly anticipating and trying to ward off criticism. Trudy nearly went out of her mind any time she learned that I was expecting guests. She'd fly from one end of the house to another--taking down curtains, scrubbing furniture, frantically polishing very surface. "Trudy, " I used to say, "this is not the Queen of England coming, you know. It's just some old friends of mine. They're never going to examine the underside of that couch."

She refused to wash knick-knacks because she was terrified of breaking them. "It's all right, Trudy, " I tried to reassure her. "I don't own any thing I'm not willing to lose. Go ahead and break anything in the place."

"Oh, don't say that!" she shuddered.

Obviously at some time in her past she had been so painfully indoctrinated that she resisted all present-time instructions. No matter how mildly I asked something of her, she reacted as if I brandished a rawhide whip over her. In her mind I was thoroughly identified with some mysterious perfectionist from her past.

To help a person with this kind of flinch, it is necessary to identify the original Merchant of Fear and erase the damage done by him or her. In most cases, this requires professional Scientology counselling.


When a person is exposed to continued suppression and does nothing about it, he gradually becomes more and more suppressive himself. The curve of the roller coaster tends to flatten out and he spends longer periods at the bottom.

Although such a person exhibits many suppressive characteristics, we sense good intentions underneath, and we find ourselves unable to believe he is a genuine SP.

Is such a person a Suppressive? It is my belief that there are two types of Antisocial Personalities: the "Hard Core" SP who acts as though he has been inflicting suppression for centuries, and the "Functional Suppressive" who probably means better, but has so succumbed to attack that he can't help being suppressive himself. (Too late, he finally is fighting back. But he attacks the wrong enemy. )

In any event, the difference between the Hard Core and the Functional Suppressive is merely theoretical. For practical purposes, we must ask only: Is the person actively thwarting others? Is he or she more harmful than beneficial? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then we should regard that person as an SP.


We usually find the Antisocial Personality fixed in one of a handful of chronic emotional attitudes.

Some are snarling, vicious, angry and argumentative. They openly enjoy crushing, squelching, smashing, abusing and terrorizing. If all SPs acted like these mad dogs, the job of identifying them would be easy.

More often, though, the Merchant of Fear hides his hostility behind a smiling, jovial mask. He still manages to thrust home his verbal barbs and put-downs during the course of his "friendly" conversation. He ridicules, mocks, undermines, and deflates. Always "just kidding, of course."

Less frightening, but no less demoralizing is the "kindly," oversolicitous SP, who subtly throttles the life out of those around him. He buys you gifts; he waits on you; he insists on taking nothing in return. He overrides your ability to do something for yourself.

For several days Mrs. Baker watched her son laboriously constructing a model boat.

As she was leaving to go shopping one day, he asked her to buy him more glue. Instead she "surprised" him by returning with an expensive, completed boat. His own crude, unfinished, creation was tucked away in a closet until his mother finally discarded it in a grand spring cleaning .

This apparent do-gooder smothers with over-protection and demoralizes by insisting on caring for you when you don't need it. The same SP often makes sweet apologies for you when none are called for.

Arthur was enthusiastically describing his new job when his mother cut in, "My Arthur was lucky to find anything. It's so hard to find jobs now. I'm sure he'll do better in the future. He's only twenty-nine, you know."

The super kind person may be the most insidious suppressor of all, because it's unpopular to think nasty thoughts about anyone who' s so obviously well meaning.

And don't overlook the professional victim, who deliberately employs his unhappiness and afflictions to disrupt the lives of others. He clutches; he hinders; he overwhelms with his despondency. He fails to respond to your well intentioned advice. He makes your efforts at cheerful optimism appear asinine.

The welfare worker encouraged the applicant to find employment or help elsewhere, but the apathetic young woman droned out her story over and over as if she were deaf to every word that was said to her. "I can't work. I'm epileptic. My sister gave me money once, but she won't let me come there anymore. My mother helped for a while. Now every time I call her she won't have anything to do with me. I keep calling her and she just hangs up. I had a husband, but he kept telling me I was driving him nuts. He ran out on me. I don't know where he is. Why doesn't anyone like me? Everybody always says I'm hard to get along with.

But nobody's perfect. That's no reason why everyone should be against me. I don't even have a place to live since my boy-friend turned me out. Now I've lost my food stamps. This is an emergency. I'm epileptic too. I can't work..."

Another type of Antisocial Personality is cold and unemotional. Capable of heartless cruelties, he's the perfectionist who manages to disconcert and intimidate with a fractional turn of the lip, a lifted eyebrow, or an icy stare.

Kitty left Dick after five years of marriage. "He was so cold," she told me later. 'You couldn't tell him anything. He thought he knew all the answers. I was miserable, couldn't figure out what was wrong. I cried a lot. Once I talked him into going with me to a marriage counsellor, but he wouldn't open up.

He told the counselor, 'I don't have the need to express myself in feelings the way Kit does.'

"When I married him." Kitty continued, "I wanted to be taken care of. I wanted the security of marriage. The price I paid was terrible. I lost my self-esteem, my confidence my feeling of self-worth. I lost my sense of humour. I haven' t laughed-- really laughed-- for ages.  For five years I felt guilty, stupid worthless and incompetent. Nothing ever won his approval.  It was passable or it was wrong or it was adequate. It was never fine."

So we will find the Antisocial Personality can be angry, covertly hostile, propitiative, apathetic, coldly unfeeling or any of the lower- level attitudes. He is nearly always fixed in his particular emotion.


One way or another, the Merchant of Fear works to ensure that those he dominates won't fight back. How this is done depends on the SP's predominate emotion.

If he's harsh, brutal, or coldly critical, his victims will be afraid of incurring his wrath , and criticism. He might beat them, fire them, verbally abuse them, or cut them out of his will.

When a person challenges the more covert SP he can immediately expect to be the subject of increased attack (behind his back, naturally) in the form of lies, malicious gossip and criticism.

When the SP is the kind, sympathetic type, he's so "sweet" that you don't want to be the ogre who condemns him.

Of course, you feel most helpless around the poor, sorrowful, crippled, professional victims. Your guilt protects them.

Here are the most common reasons victims of suppression feel they can't fight back:

1) They fear blackmail, violence, or some form of retribution.

2) They don't want to hurt the feelings of an SP to whom they've been emotionally close.

3) They are dependent on the SP in some way.

4) They suffer a paralysis of the spirit that prevents them from fighting anybody.

5) Though they probably are unaware of it, they think they deserve the treatment they are getting.


Some Antisocial Personalities enjoy a state of constant warfare with associates. They manage to stir up innumerable feuds, lawsuits and petty controversies. You may wonder how any individual could become so embroiled. The answer is that the SP never lets go of a grudge and works tirelessly to keep his environment in a state of perpetual turmoil.

I recently read the following description of a Chaos Merchant in New York City: "He was angry, argumentative and suspicious. He refused treatment until backed up to the wall.

He spent excessively, got involved in grand schemes to make money, undertook large projects and tangled with legal authority with great relish. He was overweight and drank heavily. One night after a minor accident he was arrested for arguing with the police.

"He invested in two fly-by-night companies. Then he bought a huge house. Soon he was involved in altercations with the local officials over zoning laws. Then he became so abusive to workmen and city officials they refused to cooperate with him and he had to abandon plans for his project. He sold the house at a tremendous loss. The last time I saw him, he was involved in a fight with the IRS because he had claimed such a huge income tax deduction."


Many SPs are compulsive talkers. They like to destroy communication by monopolizing conversations (one notable exception is the sullen, turned-off Suppressive, who rejects communications silently).  A friend told me about one garrulous woman who talks even during movies.

"What does one do with a friend that never stops talking?" asked Evelyn. "I've known Lillian for years and she was always wordy, but in recent years she's become unbearable -going from one subject to the next, pausing only to catch her breath or ask a question. Then she goes right on talking--not giving a person a chance to answer. Mostly Lillian talks about her loneliness, how all her old friends (except me) have dropped out of sight, and how her husband never talks to her. I've been tempted to say, 'How can he? You never give a person a chance to get a word in sideways. ' Interrupting doesn't work. She talks right over me."

Sometimes one of these non stop talkers artfully creates the illusion that two-way communication is occurring by questioning you in minute detail, as if intensely interested. He uses a rapid-fire inquisition technique; he interrupts eagerly to finish your sentences; he innocently offers wild guesses at the outcome of your narrative. Thus he maintains control over your conversation by making you the effect of his queries and suppositions.

SP: "How do you keep your lawn so green? "

Victim: "Well, I. . .

SP: "You must have a gardener? "

V: "No, I. . . "

SP: " One of those lawn services ? How much does that cost you? "

V: "No, I do it myself. . . "

SP: "Ah! Chemical fertilizers then?"

V: "Not exactly. I make a compost. . . "

SP: "I've read about that. You throw all your garbage out in the backyard and let it rot."

V: "Well, it's really more. . . "

SP: "Doesn't it stink up the place? I mean, is it worth it? You can buy packaged stuff that will turn the grass green, kill the weeds and knock off the bugs too."

A grilling by such a master interrogator is so exhausting that it's no wonder his victims give up trying to communicate.


Quite a number of Chaos Merchants exhibit a relentless energy. They buzz with inner tension, never completely relaxing. A man described his maddeningly helpful ex-wife, "She seldom went to sleep before one or two in the morning. Then she was always the first one up.  She just kept going all day. Always doing something for somebody--whether they wanted it or not."

Some aren't so active, but they still impinge relentlessly. "My aunt was the most tiring person I've ever known," the young man said. "When she came to visit us she never seemed to relax. She'd follow me or my wife around the house talking every minute. She demanded attention. She bedeviled the daylights out of us! She couldn't stand it if you were trying to concentrate on anything else but her. When we returned from taking her to the airport after her last visit, my wife announced as we walked into the house, 'I'm going to bed. Don't anybody talk to me for three days."'


Sex, obsessive and promiscuous, is a blood brother of psychosis.---L . Ron Hubbard, The Organization Executive Course.

Some SPs are highly promiscuous and often perverted in their sexual behavior. Here you find the chronic adulterer or adulteress, the secret pervert, the sex-crazy person.

Ross described his suppressive brother, "He was as different from me as a person could be. His sex life, for instance, was absolutely frenetic. He was insatiable. He had, literally, hundreds of women. He got at least ten of them pregnant and had to get abortions for them. But he always insisted he was 'wholesome and natural' about sex."


Now and then you will find an SP with a passion for religion. His sanctimonious attitude, however, disguises a total lack of empathy for the human spirit. He contributes no genuine effort to heal or help or love. Instead, he uses religion to condemn, to stop, to make people feel guilty.


Many SPs end up alone and friendless. One man described his wife: "She pretended she was kidding, but she ridiculed people. It seemed as if she was never satisfied until someone got so mad or hurt that they never came back.  I watched her getting rid of all our friends for years."

When one or both parents are suppressive, their children often find jobs in other cities or marry someone who lives across the country. Children leave happy homes too, of course, but these offspring stay in contact with their parents and return home with pleasure. When the parent is an SP, however, sons and daughters drift out of communication and dread having to make their "duty" visits.

It is no accident when an Antisocial Personality ends up alone and friendless. A television documentary on welfare programs pictured a young woman applicant in the midst of a telephone conversation: "I had to get a letter from my father saying that he wouldn't support me. I had to bring a notarized letter from my doctor and one from my roommate saying she wouldn't put up with me anymore. She [the welfare worker] says I can't get an appointment until Monday. What am I suppose to do for the week-end? She wanted me to go to some shelter. I don't need that. I can't take that-- being with all those people. She doesn't care. No one cares. I told her I have no friends. I told her I have no place to go . . . ."


Be prepared for the fact that the SP may appear quite normal, sound completely reasonable, and even be extremely clever. However, the Antisocial Personality always manages to implant the idea that anything that happens to you is slightly absurd, probably not important and undoubtedly deserved. On the other hand, if you (or others) have done something to him, it's important, extremely serious and, what's more, beyond repair.



In the family, in business, in the classroom, in our friendships, it is vitally important that we know the symptoms and methods of suppression as our first step toward dealing effectively with the problem.


The SP is totally insecure and is battling constantly in covert ways to make others less powerful and less able.--L. Ron Hubbard, The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology

One way the Suppressive Person diminishes others is to convince them that their environment is dangerous.

This destroys one's spirit of adventure. As his last defense, the victim of suppression pulls into a shell like a turtle. He won't try out a new idea for fear it will fail. He'll turn down the opportunity to upgrade his job rather than confront the unknown. He doesn't ask a girl for a date; he might be turned down.


An occasional SP deliberately creates the roller coaster pattern in his victims by alternating unpredictably between decency and cruelty. Like a cat playing with a captured mouse, he allows his victim a little freedom and then pounces. The suppressed person, never knowing what to expect next, walks softly--in constant fear of the next outburst.

An actor described working with a once famous comedian: "His behavior was more changeable than any of the slapstick comedy he ever did in front of the camera. He'd be in a rage at times; the next minute he'd be inviting the whole cast to play volleyball with him. He was furious when he lost or if anyone dared to find fault with him. He thought he was an expert in everything he did; but a lot of his actions ended in disaster.

"Sometimes he'd stop the filming and vanish into his private trailer. No one knew when he'd return. But the moment he came out again he'd expect everyone to be standing right where he left them, ready to work. He'd shout, 'Get moving! Can't you morons realize that we're running late on this picture?'

"He kept the people around him in a state constant anxiety. Some of them ended either with a psychiatrist or an ulcer, both. I don't think many people can function properly when they never know what to expect.

"He was merciless to those who were close to him. Then he'd try to make up for meanness by giving us expensive presents.


A professor at Berkely has spent several years in a study of 200 poverty lawyers, physicians, prison personnel, social welfare workers, clinical psychologists and psychaitrists in a mental hospital, child-care workers, and psychiatric nurses. After a certain period of time, such people become "burnt out." She reports that, ". . . they are often unable to cope with this continual emotion stress, and 'burnout' occurs.- They lose emotional feeling for the persons they work with and come to treat them in detached or even dehumanized ways" "For social workers, burnout can turn a creative person into a mechanical, petty bureacrat." "Burnout, " she relates, "often leads to a deterioration of health. The professional becomes exhausted, is frequently sick and may be beset by insomnia, ulcers and migraine headaches as well as more serious illnesses. Some prison guards reported physical problems with their backs and necks, although only a few seemed to realize the psychosomatic nature of these ailments. "In order to cope with these physical problems, the worker may turn to tranquilizers, drugs or alcohol. . . " "Further, burnout is related to other damaging indexes of stress, such as alcoholism, mental illness, marital conflict and suicide. . . "

This is quite an impressive list of roller coaster symptoms.


In families which are breaking up we commonly find one or the other of the persons involved to have such a personality.---L. Ron Hubbard, Introduction to Scientology Ethics

If there is any mother or father who has never suppressed the children, I'd like to meet this paragon of parenthood. Sometimes we simply grow weary, impatient or frazzled and we say or do suppressive things. At other times we must stop a young child in order to protect him, although he seldom understands this at the time.

But don't go hang yourself for these occasional suppressive acts. Children want firm control and guidance. If your intentions are monitored by love, your children will realize this and appreciate you as they mature.

The truly suppressive mother or father can, with abusive treatment and constant belittling, crush a child's self-confidence almost beyond recovery.

The tyrant is only one type of parental Suppressive. One girl I know was forced to spend her childhood summers with a protective grandmother who harped constantly about the necessity of "being careful"--careful of playmates, careful of her reputation, careful of germs, careful where she played, careful of her clothes. Careful of living. Years later, the girl told me, "I felt as if I were being smothered to death!

Recently a teenage girl described to me a situation that may have been intentional or merely misguided: "What about the parent or authority who never comes out and says no? It' s always, 'You really don't want to do that. ' It appears they want to have you make your own decisions. You feel after awhile that you really don't want to do anything... You start to believe it."

Many parents inadvertently suppress a child by not allowing him space of his own.

This deprivation of space can dishearten anyone, young or old. Every child must be allowed space of his own--an area in which he is sole master. Don't clean it up, don't tell him what to do with it. I have often wondered if the child who grows up to be a perpetual wanderer is merely someone who never found a safe space of his own; he must keep moving.

Parents want a safe environment for their children, but physical location is only a part of it. We must not overlook the less tangible influences in our child's surrounding. Just one SP can irreparably corrode a youngsters spirit and confidence. It is worth nearly any price to spare a child this.

An insidious type of parental Suppressive is the mother or father who is too indulgent, too sympathetic. When a parent compulsively gives to his or her child and asks for nothing in return, that child could easily turn into a criminal who continues to demand something for nothing the rest of his life.

Husbands and wives often give each other a rough time. This doesn't necessarily mean that either of them is a bonafide SP. We habitually take out our frustrations on those closest to us. (Who else would tolerate our ill humored moods?) If neither party takes these lapses seriously, good communication can usually heal up any residual injury.


When we trace the cause of a fading business, we will inevitably discover somewhere in it , ranks the anti-social personality at work.---L. Ron Hubbard, Introduction to Scientology Ethics

June seemed so confident that I assumed she was capable. She attended college, worked at the library parttime and always appeared busy and efficient. When she asked me for a job one summer, I hired her to help in my small business.

Before long, I thought I was going crazy. My office was in constant confusion and we received daily complaints from customers. Simple jobs took three times longer. Despite the harried activity, less work was being accomplished.

Although I knew nothing about SPs at the time, I began to wonder. Something was obviously wrong. Then I knew. The chaos had not existed before I hired June.

After I let her go I was amazed at how quickly the easygoing efficiency returned to our little organization. After cleaning up all the botched orders and errors in the records, I found, to my astonishment, that we could now accomplish twice as much without the "help" of my former employee.

If a company starts to do poorly, to lose sales, to mess up orders, to fall behind in production, the management should examine the statistics of each department and narrow down the area of trouble. On first inspection, it may appear that every individual in that department is incompetent and should be replaced. However, the problems may originate from just one person-- a Suppressive.

When you encounter an SP in business, look for flagrant dishonesty, false statements, covered- up messes and gross misrepresentation. This business wrecker may also conceal and encourage unethical conduct in others.

The actual source of suppression is sometimes outside of the organization itself. An accountant might go a little crazy trying to cope with a suppressive IRS man. A plant manager may have trouble trying to satisfy government inspectors who enforce complicated and ambiguous safety regulations. A vice president could cave in while attempting to deal with the local zoning board. An executive may develop ulcers trying to satisfy a suppressive union leader. A purchase agent could be stymied by an SP supplier.

A friend of mine recently purchased new glasses. After a long delay in delivery, it took three additional visits to the optometrist to replace a flawed lens and defective frames.

Altogether, six weeks passed before the glasses were satisfactory. On one of his visits he learned the reason for the delays and poor workmanship.

"The laboratory has been making an incredible number of mistakes lately," the optometrist sighed. "It seems as if I spend half my time handling patients who return defective glasses. My wife tells me I'm going to have a nervous breakdown one of these days."

"The problem," said the doctor, "is that during the recent business slump the laboratory laid off a large number of employees. Unfortunately, they laid off the older, more experienced people and kept on the new ones who don't know what they're doing. Now, they've run into so much trouble, they're trying to get back their more experienced staff."

There's little question that the head of this laboratory is either an SP or strongly influenced by one, and that both the optometrist's business and his mental well are being are endangered by that suppression.


When they begin school young children are almost always enthusiastic and eager to learn. Too often, however, they quickly grow to hate the class room.

SPs are responsible for much of this turn off to education.

The Antisocial teacher suppresses in a number of ways. He makes the subject dull and unattractive; he neglects to explain the use of the subject (thus the student sees no connection between what he is forced to learn and the skills he will need in life); he skips intermediate steps and thereby leaves the student floundering; he fails to clear up misunderstandings; he belittles the child. Under such influence, many students bog down at an early age and never catch up.

Most teachers are well meaning Social Personalities, but they are frequently thwarted by being forced to use suppressively written textbooks (inadequate definitions, missing vital material, overly complex).

Nowadays when I decide to study a new subject, I pick up three or four books on that subject and select the most clearly written one. Invariably, at least one of the books will have been written by an SP. The difference between them is amazing!

Learning is a sensitive process. A subject must be presented well for the student to absorb it. Yet, when we have trouble learning, we often tend to question our own capacity rather than suspect that the fault may lie in the quality of the teaching. A clever SP can easily make a student feel stupid, and this idea of mental inadequacy may plague the victim for the rest of his life. On the other hand, I have seen many people who, when liberated from their "I'm stupid" ideas, recover their selfconfidence and regain their ability to learn.

On the other side of the slate, there is always the possibility that the Suppressive Person in the classroom is the student and not the teacher. If the teacher finds himself obsessively worried or disturbed by one student, he should suspect that the troublemaker is not really there to learn but to cause as much havoc as possible. Trying to motivate a Suppressive to learn can lead to a demoralizing deadlock.


One SP in the lives of many of us is the nameless, unseen criminal who keeps us off the streets at night, who frightens us into installing multiple locks, who causes us to fear for the safety of our young children. What can we do about him? We don't know who he is; we don't know where or when he may strike.

The newspapers inform us that crime is on the increase. Does this mean that every other stranger we encounter on the streets is secretly a mugger or a burglar? When the FBI recently computerized its files, this striking picture emerged. The United States harbors approximately 550,000 career criminals who show little inclination to change their life style.

Records of solved felonies alone reveal that these career criminals commit 81 per cent of all burglaries and 68-77 percent of the rapes, muggings, robberies, car thefts and forgeries.

These staggering statistics tell us that the streets aren't "filled with criminals."

Instead, a relatively few commit their offences over and over again.

A few cities have formed new "career criminal bureaus" to identify these hard core repeaters and assist in their prosecution. The results are most encouraging. Since the bureau began, in New York's Bronx county, robberies of Bronx supermarkets decreased from 31 to 3 a month. And during Houston's year- old career - crime program, robberies dropped for the first time in 22 years, by a remarkable 24 percent.

These are the hard core SPs. And something can be done about them.


The concept of the Antisocial Personality is by no means unknown in our culture. He shows up in novels, plays, movies and endless TV dramas. He's the smilingly evil lover, the tough hit man, the crooked politico, the scheming socialite, the shady tycoon, the corrupted cop, the mad scientist who plots to rule the world, the quiet pervert, the beautiful, betraying seductress, the drug pusher, the thief. The villain--or the villainess. Even Charles Schulz's happy comic strip, Charlie Brown, features it's resident SP in Lucy She greets him one day, "Well, if it isn't Charlie Brown! Good o'l wishy-washy Charlie Brown," and another time, "Hi, Charlie Brown. Is that your head or are you hiding behind a balloon?"

If only SPs could be left behind at the studio-- if only they were fictional--artists would lead more joyful lives. Unfortunately, however, Chaos Merchants are especially attracted to creative people--artists, writers, musicians, actors actresses, directors and producers. They manoeuvre to get into fields adjacent to the artist. These vampire personalities can then drink up some of the admiration directed to the artist himself. We find them among the people who work with artists and among the hangers on.

Every talented person must examine his or her associates with care. Making use of his position close to the creative person, the Antisocial Personality begins his insidious campaign of destruction. As an advisor, he will recommend all the wrong actions. As a business manager, he will make poor investments, waste the artist's money or siphon it off into his own pocket. As a friend or lover, he will attempt to undermine the artist's self confidence. If his suppressive intentions are exposed, he'll run--usually as dramatically and destructively as possible.

''Artistic temperament" may be nothing more than the artist's emotional roller coaster.

A famous singer and actor recently acquired a new girl friend. He was so infatuated with her that she was able to persuade him to make several radical changes.

She convinced him that he should alter his appearance--the type of clothes he wore, his hairstyle, etc. His new look was not flattering, and his friends and fans protested.

His girl friend also persuaded him to let her produce his next record album. In the process, she coerced him to sing a different type of music. The record was released--and flopped.

Despite the many successful movies to his credit, she next talked him into going to acting school.

Their relationship has been stormy. Occasionally he flares up in anger and throws her out. But, unfortunately, they get back together again.

So far she has invalidated his appearance, his singing style, his acting, and his choice of music. All in the face of the fact that he is one of the country's most successful entertainers. Anyone can give poor advice occasionally, but only an SP consistently recommends abandoning every successful action.

If an artist, by some miracle, is free of Chaos Merchants in his personal entourage, he will undoubtedly meet one or more in the news media. When an individual becomes famous, he is no longer able to move about freely without attracting continual harassment from reporters, many of whom have no compunctions about invading privacy, asking intimate questions, or making outrageous speculations. Some delight in hounding the stars unmercifully. Is it any wonder that occasionally celebrities break under the stress and lash out--verbally or physically--at reporters and photographers?

A great many critics are SPs. One famous drama critic, the late Alexander Woollcott, could behead a new play with a single thrust of his pen. He insolently courted animosity by dropping in at opening--night parties for plays he had just panned. He would then proceed to brag about how he had" just wiped off the blood. " Furthermore, he once boasted, "If I were found dead with a dagger through my chest, three hundred actors would have to be arrested the next morning on suspicion of murder.


None of us are untouched by suppression. If we don't personally know an SP (very unlikely), we surely know the victim of one.

The roller-coastering person represents potential trouble if we must live or work with him. He's often miserable and upset. He'll make mistakes; his ambition will atrophy; he'll be unreliable and indecisive; he'll suffer accidents or become ill.

We want to think twice (or even three times) before we allow such an emotionally unstable person to give us financial advice, perform open-heart surgery, or teach us how to fly an airplane. If the victim of suppression does nothing about the SP who is ruining his life, he will eventually succumb.


None of us find it easy to believe that another person has evil intentions. Why should an individual choose to be suppressive?

Ever person, himself, is basically good. But the Suppressive Person is not being himself. Somewhere in his past, the SP became utterly convinced that the only way to survive is to treat everyone else as enemies. He does suppress knowingly. However, and this is important to our understanding of him, he does not consider his acts evil or destructive. To him, his behavior is natural; it's the only way to get along in the world. He feels justified and right.

Milton gets irritated by his rowdy son and spanks him. Later he is sorry that he lost his temper; he vows to be more patient in the future. In contrast, the SP hits his child and defends his actions: "That's the only way to handle kids. They get away with too much anyway. You have to show them who's boss." Both Milton and the SP knew what they were doing, but only the sane person feels remorse about his occasional suppressive actions.

Compare the SP's viewpoint with that of a cat playing with a mouse. The cat knows he's doing it, but he doesn't consider his actions evil. We do; we call it cruel. But the cat is a hunter; a carnivore; the mouse game is natural, a survival instinct for him. On the other hand, the SP is not displaying natural survival actions when he automatically suppresses--but HE THINKS HE IS. It is only we, on the outside, who realize how needlessly cruel the SP's actions really are .


The SP is not merely an evil person. He is insane. His mental condition, however, goes largely undetected because he does not display the peculiar and dramatic behavior that usually lands people in mental institutions. Perhaps he isn't certifiably insane according to current notions on the subject, but the SP's vicious actions, cloaked in normalcy, have driven many of his victims into institutions. Who is more insane? We have long lacked an adequate definition of sanity to answer this question.

L. Ron Hubbard, however, has truly defined sanity--for the first time. The sanest person is someone who, by his own actions, aids survival both for himself and everyone connected with him. He is a builder, a creator, a solver of problems who operates to improve conditions in life. The saner he is, the more people he helps.

Now, how far in the opposite direction could one go? The insane person, by his actions, causes destruction to those connected to him. His presence threatens the survival of every one around him.

So, insanity is more than strange and peculiar behavior. The insane person brings about destruction on all fronts. Instead of enhancing survival, he suppresses survival.

The basic characteristic of extreme madness is perpetual attack, attacks on anything, attacks on persons or things which contain no menace.---L. Ron Hubbard, The Management Series

We don't have to hate the SP, but we can understand him and what motivates him.

Understanding suppression does not mean that we condone it. We know better than to pet a mad dog; we know it would strike out indiscriminately at anyone within reach. Similarly, we must deal with a Suppressive Person in such a way as to first protect ourselves and others.


Some people won't believe that there is such a thing as a Suppressive Person. Anyone who feels this way is completely suppressed himself. Long ago he gave up trying to fight back. To salvage some human dignity, however, he has opted to blind himself to the evils of the world and see only the "good."

Until he started his own cosmetic company, Mr. Franklin's fortunes had bounded up and down like a yo-yo. His new business thrived until, once again, his major weakness brought about his downfall: he maintained a completely blind faith in the honesty and loyalty of those who served him. When he began to receive warnings that a few of his branch managers were engaged in illegal practices, he couldn't conceive that any of his trusted people would knowingly jeopardize the company that was making them all wealthy. Despite repeated warnings from his accountants and attorneys he continued to give second, third, and fourth chances to employees. After a series of fraud indictments, state after state prohibited the operations of his company. Expensive legal fees, closing branches, and adverse publicity forced his company into bankruptcy. Once again, his blind trust had left him penniless.


Surprisingly, long suppressed individuals seek out SPs to work for, befriend, hire or fall in love with. They may accept deplorable--even dangerous--working and living conditions. (Have you ever wondered why some continue to live in places that are flooded almost annually?) Such individuals have been suppressed so long they can conceive of no other life. The actual SP may be in the present or the past, but in either case he has left deep scars on the souls of his victims in the form of lasting convictions of worthlessness, inability and hopelessness.

Columnist Ann Landers had advised a wife to leave the husband who beat her.

Another broken woman wrote this letter in rebuttal: "You said a woman who stays with a man who beats her is sick. Your advice proves you have no idea what a battered wife's life is like.

"Well, I can tell you. It's hell. At least the woman who wrote got her husband to see a psychiatrist. Most men won't go. They see nothing wrong with what they are doing. You say, 'Leave !' How can she leave when there is no place to go?

"You are probably thinking, 'There is always a place to go, ' but you're wrong.

"People who have never had the experience can't imagine what it's like to be a battered wife. More has been done to help abused animals in this country than women. You call the police and the guy is arrested. Within hours he is out of jail--mad as hell. So he goes home and beats up his wife again.

"I've been clobbered dozens of times in the ten years we've been married, often in front of the children, for no reason except I said hello to a man on the street, or cooked a dinner my husband didn't like.

"I've resigned myself to more of the same because I'm trapped...." 

This woman was undoubtedly suppressed by someone long before she met her husband-- who continues to oblige her with further suppression.


After reading about the characteristics of an SP, you may have decided that you must be one yourself. This depressing thought occurs to many of us. There's no doubt that we HAVE done suppressive things from time to time. However, if you regret your past actions, you are not an SP. The Antisocial Person feels no remorse. He cannot indulge in self-criticism. He doesn't wonder--ever. He knows he's sane.



When we first learn about the Antisocial Personality, most of us immediately wonder if anything can be done for them.

Sometimes a powerful impact such as public exposure and condemnation, or a severe loss, will bounce the SP out of his destructive dramatization. He may be genuinely contrite and regret his deeds.

Perhaps he will seek in some way to make amends.

If the SP is willing to reach for help and willing to permit himself to accept discipline, he could be helped with Scientology counselling. Whether or not he could be persuaded to accept such help (beyond mere gesture-making) is a question I can't answer.

There is help available, but it is up to the individual to accept it. He must be willing to change. With his cooperation it can be done.

Meanwhile, what can we do to help ourselves?


If you haven't already grabbed your backpack and headed for the mountains, you must

be wondering how to cope with the problem of suppression.


The first step is to observe that people do roller coaster emotionally, they do experience frequent unexplained illness, they do make senseless blunders, they do suffer occasions when they lose their ability to smile or joke.

Sometimes you will discover a whole pocket of suppressed individuals--an entire family, department, classroom or organization. In the middle of the chaos, of course, you will find an SP.


Study the traits of the Antisocial Personality until you can recognize them in all their variations. If you notice one or more suppressive characteristics in an individual, look for others.

Once you have unmistakably identified the SP, a quick solution may come to mind.

Unfortunately, it's illegal.


There are three major solutions to suppression:

1. See the SP as little as possible.

2. Make the SP stop suppressing.

3. Become invulnerable to suppression.

Which alternative we select and how we implement it depends on the depth of our relationship with the Antisocial Personality and what we want to accomplish. In dealing with any specific SP, we must first answer this question: what end result do I want?


The lightest, easiest treatment of an Antisocial Personality consists of merely recognizing what he is doing as he does it. This is mental awareness, and is usually effective only when the relationship is superficial.

My friend Carl once complained to me about an older sister who continually demanded the Carl visit her. Carl put off these visits until conscience forced him to go. "She's a miserable old biddy, " Carl told me. "It always takes me a few days to recover from a visit up there. I really dread seeing her. I don't know why."

Briefly, I described Suppressive Persons to Carl. He brightened up immediately. "Hey That's it, " he said excitedly. "My sister is one of those SP people. No doubt about it.

He asked me what he should do. "It depends on what you want to accomplish. . ." I began.

"You know, " he interrupted- thoughtfully, don't think I'll have to do anything. Just knowing what to expect seems to clear up things for me. Just knowing that she's doing it is enough. I was beginning to think there was something wrong with me! I don't think she'll bother me any more."

The SP is expert at making us feel that we are at fault if we get upset by his oppressiveness. He is skilled at camouflage and prefers that we question our own sanity instead of his. When we understand the SPs game in advance, we identify him as Suppressive and cease to condemn ourselves for non- existent character deficiencies.

So, sometimes simply understanding suppression is enough.


Roller-coastering, as we've mentioned before often causes sleeplessness, a result of emotional and mental exhaustion.

If you suffer only occasional suppression (coinciding with a rare visit from dear old Grandma Clobber) you may find immediate relief in exercise. Bicycle, run, play tennis.

dance, swim. Engage in some activity that will exhaust you physically.


Sometimes the SP so overwhelms us that the only effective solution is to see the person as little as possible.

If we are repeatedly victimized and upset by an individual, if we are convinced we cannot fight back, it's best to arrange our lives so that we have few, if any, dealings with the person.

In some circumstances this treatment is no problem. Personally, I avoid these people most of the time. I don't go to their homes, nor do I invite them to mine. In fact, now that I know better, I don't form friendships or do business with suppressive people in the first place.

Sometimes, however, staying away from an SP is not so easy. We might be economically dependent on a boss who could jeopardize future employment by damaging our reputation. We may be strongly attached to the person emotionally and worry about hurting him or her. Often we feel guilty about our past acts against the person, and these feelings loom up to haunt and paralyze us when we try to turn away.

Here's what one man said, "I have nothing but praise for the men who have the courage to leave a 'non-wife' and 'non-mother' in spite of what family and friends have to say.

"How I wish I had had the guts to do it. For 22 years I've known this is a terrible marriage. But I listened to all the 'do-gooders' who kept telling me to put my children first.

"Now my children are grown and on their own. We never hear from them. I'm alone with this miserable female.

"She is 44 (looks 64), cold and harping. Her family and friends don't come near us because they can't stand her company. "I'm stuck now. I have a heart condition and high blood pressure. I couldn't take the wrangling. She'd never let me go without a fight. Too bad I didn't make my move when she had her looks and I had my health."

Combating a Suppressive person is never an easy job. If it were, we wouldn't be overwhelmed by him in the first place.

When we are connected to an SP, each line of connection, whether it be emotional, financial, familial, educational, or social, is an avenue of vulnerability. We can be hurt in each of these areas of connection--hurt badly enough to cause us to roller-coaster. It is up to us to figure out ways to change those connections where possible, so the SP has less hold on us.

Simply altering a few circumstances may relieve a great deal of suppression in one's life. This could entail choosing new lunch companions or inviting a different group of people for Saturday night poker. Alter your patterns or routines to exclude the Antisocial Personality as much as possible. If you must deal with him or her occasionally in the office, class- room, or local pizza place, you can keep your contacts brief.

When I first met George, he roller-coastered continually. He was often ill with severe colds and annoying allergies.  He worried greatly about his businessAfter a long talk one day, I learned that his business partner was the source of most of his concern. The partner was obviously an SP, and George had discovered recently that he was cleverly stealing money from their mutual account.

"Do you have to stay with him? " I asked.

"Oh, yes, I have to. We've spent eight years building up our business. It would be suicide to leave it now. And I can't afford to buy him out.

"Is there some way you can have less to do with him?"

After a few minutes of thought, George brightened up and smiled.

"Yes, there is, " It seemed that their business was divided into two distinct categories:

George dealt in industrial insurance and his partner handled only personal insurance.

Since they were currently constructing a new office, George realized that the building could be separated into two distinct office spaces, sharing only a common hallway.

He arranged for accountants to go through the books and set up two individual business structures.

When I talked to George a few months later, he was highly pleased with the arrangement.

"You cant imagine the change this has made in my life. I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off of me. I go for weeks without even seeing him. Sometimes I talk to him on the phone. But now that he's no longer hooked to me financially, I find that he's just not suppressive to me."


As long as you do not fight back, you're fair game to an Antisocial Personality; he will continue to bore in and make life miserable for you. On the other hand, if you let the SP know that you no longer intend to be intimidated--that you will fight back--he generally retreats.

Several years ago, after giving a talk in Los Angeles, I met a young man who told me he was going to hairdresser's school. He liked this work, he said, but one of the other students, a homosexual, continually made personal remarks and overtures to him. Herb wasn't interested and told him so. He continued to torment Herb, however, and when rebuffed he made sly, cutting remarks about Herb to the other students. These attacks so disturbed Herb that he considered quitting the school. "This guy's driving me crazy. I don't know what to do.

I'm getting so I hate to go to class in the morning. Can you suggest something?"

"Yes," I said. "Don't suppress your emotions. Let him know exactly how you feel."

''That's great! I've been holding back all the anger I feel towards the guy. I thought it wasn't right to get mad at him. Thanks a lot."

It wasn't until a year later, during another visit to Los Angeles, that I talked to Herb again. He reminded me of our earlier conversation. I asked, "How did that Situation turn out?"

"You told me not to hold back my emotions. So I took your advice. The very next day this guy said something to me. I grabbed him by the shirt front and threatened to beat the daylights out of him. I told him that if he ever pulled any of that stuff again or said anything about me I would put him in the hospital."

Herb laughed and continued. "I just wanted to thank you. I found out later that a lot of the other people there were plagued by him. They despised him, but no one knew what to do.

Were they ever grateful to me for curbing the guy's suppressiveness! He was no problem to anyone after that. In fact, after a while he left. And to think--I almost quit!"

The counter-attack needn't be heavy-handed.

While giving talks and seminar, I frequently encounter Chaos Merchants in my audiences.

They ask sly questions meant to invalidate me or the subject.

I deal with the attack in a throw-away manner, returning with a bit of humorous ridicule which makes the audience laugh.

Once, in the course of conducting a week-end workshop, I was giving the correct answers to a quiz when a man in the front row challenged one of the answers. "No," he said flatly. "I see that answer as.."

He was telling me rather than asking me.

Since this was the fourth time he had interrupted with suppressive comments, I replied, "Oh? I guess I'll have to chalk you up as my first one hundred percent failure." Everyone laughed. Being laughed at is even more intolerable to an SP than to most of us. He shut up immediately.

I don't direct a heavy attack on the SP under such circumstances, as this would be upsetting to the rest of the audience--and thereby the SP would have achieved his disruptive purpose.


To minimize the effect of a Chaos Merchant, it helps to identify each act of suppression as soon as it occurs. When he speaks in generalities, ask him, "Who said that exactly? " If he tries to discourage you in some way, identify his tack as such, and refuse to accept it. Label exactly what he is doing. Most of the time the Suppressive Person will retreat if his specific actions are immediately named. He has been found out.

In a discussion group I once belonged to, we had always enjoyed lively, constructive talks until an SP began attending the meetings. The convivial spirit of our group soon dissipated. Driving to the meeting one night, my riding companion and I discussed the problem. We decided we wouldn't let the SP get away with his game any longer. Tonight we would attack every suppressive communication.

The Suppressive spent a frantic evening. We challenged his generalities and demanded specifics. We caught his altered communication and corrected him. We indicated wrong targets when he mentioned them. We interrupted his critical comments and talked him down. To my surprise, our fellow members joined in as if we were of one mind. I later learned that several other individuals in our group had also decided to squelch the SP that evening. Incidentally, he never returned.


Sometimes a strategic retreat will serve your purpose better than an attack.

My friend, Linda, arrived for our luncheon date looking frustrated. "Oh, that boss of mine, " she sighed as she sat down.

Linda was moving to another city where she had lined up a new job. She had planned to give notice on her present job as soon as she worked out all the arrangements. To Linda's embarrassment, however, her future employer called her present employer for a reference.

Her current boss was furious (a nearly chronic state anyway); he accused her of deception, ingratitude, inconsideration and betrayal. She tried to explain the circumstances, but he refused to listen.

"I'm supposed to see him again this afternoon, " she told me. "What should I do? He won't even listen!"

"What is it you want to accomplish? Do you expect to change his mind or simply want him off your back?"

After a thoughtful moment, she answered, "I know he won't change his mind. He's never changed his mind about anything since I've worked for him. I guess I'd like to get him off my back."

"OK. Then make him right, " I suggested.


"Tell him you're sorry. Tell him you really are thoughtless, inconsiderate and selfish.

You're not changing your plans, mind you. He won't expect you to. Just agree with him. If this doesn't mollify him, there's one last thing you can do."

"What's that?"

"Look at him and ask, 'What can I do to make it right? ' He'll probably say, 'Nothing,' but that should stop his attack."

Later she called me. "It worked out exactly as you said it would. In fact, after I asked him what I could do to make it right, he did say 'Nothing, ' and he stopped criticizing me. He was actually decent the rest of the afternoon."

I don't advocate that you make a door mat out of yourself--but you may find times when a shrewd retreat offers an immediate solution.


Here's a variation that can be fun. Determine the covert intention behind the words the SP is saying, and name it in the form of a mocking surrender.

I was enthusiastically describing a new project of mine to Kirk when he interrupted, "But my dear, that's going to take years!"

"You're right, " I replied instantly. "I'll give it up."

"No, no. I didn't mean that. Don't get me wrong. I just..."  He quickly backed off. That was the end of his attempts to discourage me.


Sometimes simply establishing a strong discipline in your environment will be enough to control suppressive activities. Tell Mary Squelch from next door that she is no longer welcome in your house unless she can stop criticizing your children.

If you discover dishonest behavior in your office--padded expense accounts, brazen goofing off, too many coffee breaks, extended lunch hours, pilfering of supplies and equipment--issue firm corrective policy; demand stronger discipline. You will find that decent people straighten themselves out immediately.

The Suppressive Person will grouch loudly, complain about the discipline, and probably leave the organization.


Although they had been divorced for several years, Cindy was still suppressed by her former husband. During the divorce proceedings he had threatened her repeatedly with generalities. If she didn't "handle the children just right," he warned, she would lose them. As a result, she lived in continual fear that her former husband would come along any time and take away her two daughters.

When I explained the mechanics of suppresion to Cindy, she agreed that her form husband was an SP. She described him as cruel, cold and unfeeling, given to sexual perversions and unethical activities.

"Do you think he's committed any crimes I asked. "If so, the courts will never let him take away your children."

"I'm sure he's committed crimes!  He's big real estate developer, you know. And didn't make his millions by being a good guy. I know he's pulled a number of really shady deals."

She mused to herself and then decided, "I'll hire a detective."

When I saw Cindy again several months late she was radiant. "You know your advice was a lifesaver. After I talked to you I realized that I didn't have to hire a detective. I had complete confidence that I could win a court battle against him if necessary. I simply stated flatly that from now on I wanted to hear no more threats from him concerning the children.

He realized that I meant business.  He gave in without a word."


Although we may have been crushed and thwarted by suppression, we can recover our self-determinism. We can erase those sensitive areas that make us vulnerable. We can strengthen ourselves and cease to be the helpless effect of a Merchant of Fear.

It's an over-simplification to regard the SP as the big, bad ogre and ourselves as totally innocent, lily-white victims. We each have played our own part in bringing suppression down upon ourselves.

Scientology counseling can help us locate present or past SPs and rid ourselves of the weaknesses that make us suppressible.


1. SEE LESS OF THE SP. This is the quickest solution--and immediately effective. My own inclination is to have as little to do with SPs as possible. Who needs them?

2. STOP THE SP. By fighting back you are letting the Antisocial Personality know that you won't be intimidated. There are several ways to do this:

a) Spotlight the suppression. Demand that he gives specifics instead of generalities.

Correct his wrong-targeting. Identify and verbally indicate all instances of warped communication. Stop him from passing on bad news. Do not permit him to interrupt

your cycles.

b) Discipline. When your relationship makes it possible, set down strong rules and policies that will control the SP and nullify his harmful effects.

c) Confrontation. Face up to the Antisocial Personality and tell him you don't intend to let him suppress you.  Ridicule him where advisable. Take him to court if necessary.

d) Exposure. Discover exactly what he is doing and expose his actions to fellow workers, family members, associates and/or legal authorities.

3. MAKE YOURSELF INVULNERABLE. This is the ultimate guarantee of personal serenity.

a) End any dependency. Become independent of the Suppressive Person and this will automatically eliminate most of the hold he has on you.

b) Receive personal counseling. Scientology counseling can help most people become immune to suppression by eliminating the raw nerves that the SP can probe.

These are not all the solutions, by any means; they're offered only as a guide. You will find others, perhaps better ones, that will help restore your peace of mind.

Not every human ill can be explained in terms of suppression. There are other causes, other answers. But if you find an SP in your life, DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE SITUATION.

Your sanity-- your life --may depend on it.

Suppression is not a pleasant subject. It's a dark, ugly, side of living. But understanding suppression and knowing how to conquer it can bring us out into the sunshine again.

Good luck!

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