How To Choose Your People
by Ruth Minshull
Out in the Jungle
I don’t know what occupied your mind when you were in the early teens; but I was usually engrossed in trying to top insults with my older brothers. When I bothered to think about it at all, I expected that somewhere in the process of growing up I’d learn how to choose people—how to tell the good guys from the bad ones.
In the movies it was easy (those white hats); but I wasn’t acquainted with any cowboys. Trustingly, however, I assumed that if the movie people recognized the difference, surely my parents and teachers knew all about people and someday would share the secrets with me.
But they didn’t.
I grew up, more or less, and wandered out into the jungle without knowing the difference between a tiger and teddy bear. Probably, I supposed, there aren’t any tigers in real life anyway.
I fell in love. Ecstatically. Deliriously. This was more exciting than devouring cotton candy or swinging on top of the ferris wheel.
One week later (through a friend of a friend) I discovered that my handsome coastguardsman had a girl back home in Chicago. They planned to marry as soon as he was out of the service.
I wept the tears that only the young know. How could he have been so deceitful? Why should he do this to me? And worst of all was my own betrayal of myself: Why didn’t I know he was that kind of person?
It was a dangerous jungle—and I wasn’t yet prepared for it.
I went to college. I learned four or five big words. I learned to give a speech while concealing the jellyfish tremoring inside me. I learned something important (I forget just what it was now) about a thing called “pi.” And I learned how to balance a teacup on my knee while mouthing inanities.
But even here, among the most well-meaning and erudite, no one could tell me how to choose my people—the people to love, hire, fire, follow, avoid, befriend, leave or trust.
Out into the sophisticated world—business, social life, suburbia—still no answers, only questions all around me: Is this really love? Which club should I join? Do I want to work for this company? Should I support this charity? Is he a true friend? How can I get the customer to buy? Will he betray me? Is this a worthy cause? Should I take this teacher’s advice?
At the same time, my friends were stumbling along too. Mark meets Kathy. He falls in love. She’s cute, smart, sexy. She nevers wears too much makeup; she’s into his kind of music; she likes the same things on her pizza. Everything’s going for them. Should he marry her and make little pizzas together? It appeared to me that if any tiny voice inside him posed these questions, no voice replied: How will she withstand future family crises? Will she ooze into a puddle or keep her strength? Will she stage tearful scenes when he must work late? Will she be afraid to move out of town if he’s offered an attractive transfer? Will she become a nagging harridan if he doesn’t make enough money? Will she ruin their children?
Mark’s dad is no help. He’s preoccupied with his own troubles at the office: Should he hire this man? He dresses well, he’s not a communist, his sideburns are no longer than the company president’s and he’s the nephew of an old fraternity brother. On paper, he looks good. But how will he perform on the job? Can he work on his own initiative? Is he an idea man or a plodder? Will he inspire people or crush them? Can he follow through? Will he carry out orders correctly or make costly bungles? Will he pull or drag?
I wasn’t the only one wondering: How do you figure people out?
Early in 1951 a close friend gave me a book called Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, by an American writer and philosopher, L. Ron Hubbard (who later founded the international Church of Scientology). This enlightening book exposed the major cause and remedy of man’s miseries. In addition, however, Ron Hubbard also reported his first research in an entirely new field of study: the classification and prediction of human behavior.
Later in 1951 he published Science of Survival in which he expanded on this new science. Reading the book, I was amazed to learn that this man stripped off all social veneer and predicted exactly what to expect from any individual. He so thoroughly unmasked all the beasts of the jungle (yes, even the tigers in teddy bear clothing) that I was shaken and gratified at the same time.
I’ve been acquainted with this material now for twenty-one years (a nodding acquaintance for the first seven years and a close one for the last fourteen). I use it in business and in personal life and find it consistently accurate and reliable. The only times it “failed” me were when I failed to use it.
In this book I’d like to share my experiences in using Ron Hubbard’s data. When you finish you will know how to evaluate people correctly, what you can expect of them, and what to do about it all.
Of course, you are already sizing people up (with greater or lesser success), so much of the material will be no surprise; you’ll recognize it.
Other ideas, however, depart so radically from accepted social theories that even if you discovered them yourself, you may have repressed them. They don’t quite conform to what we heard in Sunday school or at Mother’s knee. They puncture some of our most comfortable, but weary, platitudes.
I found out (and so will you) that the sweet, smiling person who never, never loses his temper is in worse shape than the man who occasionally flies into a rage, that the compulsive do-gooder is more destructive than the aggressive scoundrel who only looks out for himself, that the person who never cries (but accepts every loss as his “cross to bear”) is nearer death than one who sobs.
Don’t take my word for all this. Read the material. Observe for yourself.
When you finish, I hope you’ll agree that once we possess adequate equipment to survive, exploring the jungle can be quite fun after all.
THE COMMON DENOMINATOR
“The basic nature of Man is not bad. It is good. But between him and that goodness are fears, rages and repressions.”— L. Ron Hubbard, “The Free Man,” Ability 232
A wise person once said that no two people are exactly alike. For this we can be eternally grateful.
People come in tall sizes, short sizes and assorted colors. There are varied backgrounds, experiences and people who enjoy molded plastic flamingos perched in their front yards.
Despite obviously unique personalities, however, Ron Hubbard encountered one common denominator in everyone: emotions.
He must be talking about that neurotic woman screaming at the mouse, the child throwing tantrums when he can’t have a cookie, the frightened soldier who won’t go back to the battlefield, the wife sobbing hysterically that her husband doesn’t love her.
What’s that got to do with you and me and the mild little bookkeeper down the street? We’re not emotional. That’s a derogatory word.
As I read Ron Hubbard’s work, however, I began observing all the people I knew (when unavoidable, I even looked at myself). His statements all appeared to be true. Every person is clinging to some attitude about life—he finds it grim, frightening, regretful, maddening or wonderful—but his viewpoint is not governed by reasoning or intellect. It is determined by emotion.
Ron Hubbard’s significant discovery revealed three important facts about emotions:
1. There’s a package of fixed responses that goes with every emotion.
2. Emotions fall into a certain order—going from grim to great.
3. There are layers of restrained emotions, formerly unrecognized.
THE EMOTIONAL PACKAGE
Accompanying each emotion is a complete, unvarying package of attitudes and behavior. Therefore, once we recognize that a person is in grief (whether temporarily or chronically), we can expect him to be lamenting: “I was betrayed. Nobody loves me. Things used to be better.” We also know how he will behave in most situations.
The rich and beautiful actress who takes a bottle of sleeping pills feels the same overwhelming hopelessness as the skid row bum sitting in the gutter hugging his empty bottle. Although using different stage settings and different costumes, they’re both reading the same lines.
The person who’s looking at the world through apathy-colored glasses is close to death, no matter what his background or his present environment. Every comment, every decision, every action is colored by his apathy.
THE ORDER OF EMOTIONS
It was while researching methods for improving mental health that Ron Hubbard encountered a consistent pattern of responses as people advanced. Helping individuals erase the effects of painful past experiences, he found they often manifested apathy at first and as the work proceeded, they moved through certain emotional stages that always occurred in the same unvarying order for every person: grief, fear, covert hostility, anger (or combativeness), antagonism, boredom, contentment and well-being. This change from painful emotions to pleasant emotions was such a reliable indication of success that he began to use it as the basic yardstick of his progress with each person.
He next found that he could plot these emotional responses on a scale, with the happier ones on the top and the miserable ones on the bottom. Soon it was apparent that every person is somewhere on this scale at all times, although he moves up and down as he experiences fortunes and misfortunes.
It also became evident that the higher a person’s position on the scale of emotions, the better he survives. He’s more capable of obtaining the necessities of living. He’s happier, more alive, more confident and competent. He’s winning. Conversely, the lower the person drops on the scale, the closer he is to death. He’s losing, more miserable, ready to succumb.
If we are planning a difficult camping trip through wild, uninhabited country, the emotional scale tells us we should not choose a companion who mopes around complaining that it all sounds too hazardous. We should take the fellow who’s looking forward to the trip.
People low on the scale don’t look forward to things. The less willingly a person contemplates the future, the lower are his chances of surviving.
For identification, Ron Hubbard gave the various emotions a name and a number as he arranged them in order. He called his final sequence The Emotional Tone Scale.
Each emotional position is called a “tone.” Just as every musical tone is a sound of definite pitch and vibration, so each tone on the emotional scale contains its unique identifying characteristics. It would be hard to play a piano if the keys were intermixed rather than in succession. Similarly, it’s nearly impossible to understand people and help them improve without an accurate scale to tell us exactly how high or low a person is on the emotional keyboard.
The dividing line of the tone scale is 2.0. Above this point, the person is surviving well. Below this level, his life expectancy is much poorer. Using this line, we refer to the people above it as “high-tone” or “upscale.” People below 2.0 are “low-tone” or “downscale.”
Whereas a high-tone person is rational, the low-tone person operates irrationally. The lower his tone, the more a person’s decisions and behavior are governed by emotional feeling, regardless of his education or intellect.
When we hear of the staid, “respectable” bank president with a devoted family who unexpectedly embezzles a hundred thousand dollars and absconds to South America with a young belly dancer, we may ask: “Whatever was he thinking of?”
That’s the trouble, of course. He wasn’t thinking. He was feeling. Emotions ruled him as they do almost everyone. Likely such a person would take us by surprise only because his emotional tone was a restrained one.
Some emotions are obvious because they’re expressed. But Ron Hubbard observed that beneath every expressed emotion there lies a band of restrained emotions:
|(No Sympathy) 1.2
(Covert Hostility) 1.1
|(Making Amends) 0.375
With the discovery of these subtle, restrained emotions, fitting like layers of a club sandwich between the expressed emotions, we now have a new classification of man’s many attitudes about life.
None of this means that a person is locked permanently into any particular position. People can change. And sometimes a high-tone individual can fall sharply for a brief period. But if he is high-tone enough, he will bounce back.
HOW YOU CAN USE THIS MATERIAL
Once we know the basic characteristics of each emotion, we can meet a person for the first time and, within minutes, we can understand his present frame of mind. Longer observation will show us his most frequent (habitual) emotion. We will then know how well he’s surviving and whether he will be an asset or a liability in our relationship. We will know how well he can execute a job, how truthful he is, how accurately he can relay a message or follow orders, how he feels about sex and children and whether or not we would want to be stranded on a desert island with him.
This is better than relying on whims and folksy prejudices handed down from Grandma. Actually, it’s the only possible way to choose your people.
THE EMOTIONAL TONE SCALE
If you already despise somebody, you don’t need the tone scale to tell you there’s something wrong (with him, naturally), but it will give you a good reason for your feelings and provide an excuse for not inviting him to your next party.
There are certain people we insist we love despite the fact that they continually disappoint us. As dinner congeals on the stove and the souffle quietly sinks into a gooey mess, we wonder, dejectedly, how we ever got mixed up with someone who doesn’t even think to call when he’s going to be late. It seldom occurs to us that we just might be expecting too much from those on whom we bestow our priceless affection.
There are people who dwell in the twilight zone of our friendship. They seem nice enough—they always remember to send a birthday card and to wipe their feet at the door—but there is no joy in spending an evening with them.
In the next few chapters we’re going to climb up through each level of the tone scale. With any luck, we should discover the entire cast of characters in our lives, and (at last!) we’ll know just what to expect from them (For quick reference there’s a condensed description of each tone inside the back cover).
Before we get to the individual tones, let’s cover some general information about the scale.
Since every book must have a last page, and preferably one that is within comfortable shooting distance from the first page, I won’t try to include everything there is to know about the tone scale and emotions.
The basic data in this book as well as the quotations (except where otherwise indicated) come from “The Hubbard Chart of Human Evaluation,” “The Hubbard Chart of Attitudes” and Science of Survival, by L. Ron Hubbard. I recommend them all for further study (see list in the back of the book).
The examples are from my own forays into the jungle.
UPS AND DOWNS
People experience an emotional curve. That is, everyone fluctuates on the scale from hour to hour, day to day. He goes up if he wins the office pool. He slumps when he loses that big sale. He falls in love and soars to the top. His girl leaves him for another man and he drops to Grief.
Young children often travel up and down with the speed of light. As they grow older, the high peaks are cropped off, the curve widens and they often settle into one tone (or narrow band) where they remain a large share of the time. Once in a while they drop and resettle as life bumps them about.
The person we call high-tone doesn’t settle down on the scale. He maintains a high interest and enthusiasm for living. Although he may become upset and drop down-tone in a lowscale environment, he is resilient and recovers quickly once he is free of the influence.
The high-tone person displays the emotion called for by the occasion. When he suffers a deep loss, he feels Grief. If he’s the victim of some underhanded trickery, he usually gets angry. He experiences the right emotion at the right time. So, the person who is surviving well fluctuates all over the scale; he’s volatile. The better his condition, the more mobile he is. When he gets mad, he’s really mad, but he gets over it. When he gets scared, he’ll get unscared. He may be unaccountably depressed once in awhile, but he’ll recover quickly.
If you’re trying to improve a person, you’re not trying to take him off the scale (the so-called “emotionless” person is definitely on the scale). We improve someone most when we enable him to gain control, action, ability and experience with all of the tones.
Whenever we mention a high-tone person having “control” over his emotions, there is always somebody around who insists: “Emotions are only true when they are spontaneous. Controlling emotions just wouldn’t be honest!” On the contrary, it is the low-tone person who is the real phoney; he doesn’t even experience the right emotion for the occasion. This objector is the same person who will likely weep at a wedding or laugh madly when someone falls down and breaks a leg. That’s honest emotion?
When we call a person low-tone, we’re not talking about the boss who got mad the other day when he found the unfilled customer orders thrown into the wastebasket. This doesn’t make him a 1.5 (Anger tone). The 1.5 is a person who’s mad almost constantly. When we mention Fear, we don’t mean the hunter who runs when his gun jams as the bear charges him. We’re talking about a fixed condition—the inability to change one’s attitude and one’s environment.
The able person can act and react; but the low-tone person reads the same lines for every scene in the play. This is aberration. All that’s wrong with a low-tone person is his inflexibility. When he gets frightened, can he let go of the fear? If a man gets mad and tells someone off, can he let go of his grievance?
High-tone people bounce back upscale. Low-tone people stay chronically settled. Although they may shift a notch up or down, they never move out of the lower ranges for long.
A NEW LOOK AT THE MEANING OF SANITY
It’s easy to say that a man is mad if he insists he’s Napoleon or if he runs amuck in the streets killing people. But there is little doubt in the minds of intelligent people (particularly those in our young reform movements) that a more subtle madness permeates our whole culture today. We see a society that permits the indiscriminate destruction of people and environments (through wars and pollution), a society that pours millions into mental health “research” while institutions fill to overflowing and suicides increase. We see government agencies that confiscate honey off health store shelves because of “mislabeling” while condoning the label “enriched bread” on a product containing mostly unpronounceable chemicals, whipped and baked into a foamy, plastic lump.
Legally a person is considered insane if he doesn’t know right from wrong; but this is hardly a guide we can use in our delicate daily judgments and choices.
Along with its other helpful offerings, the tone scale gives us a reliable scale for measuring sanity.
The lower a person is fixed on the scale, the less sane he is. There is no sharp division between sanity and insanity. A person is more or less sane at any given minute. In fact, he may be rational in one area of living and nutty as a pecan pie in another.
It’s mostly the volume of a tone that provokes society to lock a person up. That is, when someone is caught in a low tone with the volume turned on full, he’s generally considered insane. This means that one angry person may beat his wife with a baseball bat while another (at lower volume) destroys her with words. They’re both insane; but society recognizes only the first one as dangerous.
Most people wear a pleasant social tone layered over their chronic emotion, and they use this to handle the superficial exchanges in daily living. The store clerk smiles politely even when he’d prefer to kick our teeth in. When we meet a casual acquaintance on the street, we generally say we’re fine even though we’re miserable.
With a little practice, however, you will be able to identify the chronic tone quickly despite this protective covering.
Likely you’ll think of some emotions not shown on the scale. Most of them will fall somewhere on the levels either as synonyms or as another depth of a tone. For instance, anxiety, embarrassment, worry, terror and shyness all represent different shades and depths of the Fear band.
There are other feelings such as love, hate and jealousy, which come through a person’s tone. A Sympathy person loves much differently than an angry one. A jealous husband might shoot his rival or he might get quietly drunk, depending on his tone.
Some of these extra feelings will be discussed more in a later chapter.
OTHER FIELDS OF RESEARCH
Bits and pieces about emotions turn up in any research on human behavior. Without the use of the tone scale, however, material on the subject seldom aligns into workable form.
Any person counseling, advising or attempting to assist people (providing he actually wants to help the individual) will welcome and accept the tone scale because his own observations will indicate its validity.
There’s an interesting example of a professional study which confirms the arrangement of emotions on the scale. A psychiatrist in a large Midwest university hospital recently conducted a five-year research program in which she interviewed over four hundred terminal patients in order to find ways of helping the dying patients face their predicament. From her research, she discovered that most people go through “five psychological stages before death: denial, anger, ‘bargaining,’ grief and acceptance.” During the first four periods, the doctor said, the patients still have a glimmer of hope for life. In the final stage, “for the most part, he is ready to face the end in peace.”
After you read the next few chapters, you will recognize that the five stages the doctor reported are:
Antagonism, Anger, Fear (in the form of Propitiation), Grief and Apathy.
Low-tone people will give you many articulate reasons for their attitudes; they will use their intelligence to justify their convictions while, in actual truth, they are trying to explain emotional attitudes over which they have no control. The Anger person will say, “You gotta be tough with people.” The Fear person will admonish you to “be careful . . .” and the Apathy individual will tell you (if he bothers at all) that “nothing can be done, anyway.” Each person believes what he is saying. If he’s lived in a tone for a long time, it’s home—and he’s convinced he has an inherent right to be there.
We don’t need to dislike people because they are low-tone. Nor should we try to “think the best of them” in the face of contrary evidence. The kindest action (for them and ourselves) is to evaluate them correctly. Only then do we have a chance of lifting them upscale.
You can start teaching the tone scale to children when they are four or five years old. They are usually fascinated as soon as they see the colored tone scale chart. You could give them no better preparation for living. Having taught it to my own boys, I know they will not work for, hire, vote for or fall in love with a low-tone person (and that’s quite a few worries out of the way).
Don’t tell another person where you think he is on the scale. You may be wrong and it could depress him. You may be right and it could worry him. In either case, it won’t help him. (Surely at some time or other you’ve met and loathed a guy who smiled at you, smugly, as he said, “I’ve got you all figured out.” We’ll get him all figured out, incidentally, in the 1.1 chapter.) So, don’t do it. If he reads this book and finds himself on the scale, he’ll be taking a major step toward his own improvement. Most people raise themselves on the scale considerably by simply understanding it.
Use the tone scale to choose your people, to find trouble spots in your family, your office and your groups. Learn how to spot people quickly and you won’t expect more than they can give. Instead, you can help them raise tone.
Try not to concern yourself too much with your own position on the scale. We do bump into ourselves in odd places; turning a corner and seeing a face in a harsh mirror we exclaim: “Who is that stranger? Oh, no! Is that really me?”
It’s disconcerting, but as you continue reading you’ll find yourself up near the top too. I promise.
Anyway, this book is about those other people, remember? Not you and me.
Now, let’s have a look at these characters.
Apathy: 1. Lack of emotion or feeling. 2. Lack of interest in things generally found exciting, interesting, or moving; indifference.— The American Heritage Dictionary
“I’m on a different trip now,” my young friend said.
“Nothing bothers me; I just take life as it comes. I’ve matured a lot in the last few months. I got all those wild dreams out of my system and now I’m ready to settle down to some serious study. That’s where it’s really at.”
If I didn’t know the tone scale, my friend’s assertions of maturity might have convinced me. But I recalled his sparkling ebullience only four months earlier as he left for New York City. Confident of his talent, optimistic about the future, he departed with dreams of success. Somewhere in the intervening months, soundlessly and without fanfare, the bottom dropped out of his world. Someone or something took away his hope. The philosophic “realization” was a cop-out. He had given up. Apathy.
When a person suffers a severe loss and cannot express his grief, he restrains it and goes into Apathy where he may claim that he isn’t affected at all. “I didn’t want that part in the play anyway.”
Apathy is turned-off. Turned-off to loving, living, hoping, crying, laughing, dreaming.
A person may drop to any low tone after a loss, but in Apathy he has not only lost, he knows he will never be able to win again.
This is the most serious of all tone levels. A dangerous state of mind bordering death, it’s often suicidal. Life is a herd of elephants which knocked him down and trampled him beyond hope or help.
THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF APATHY
If every person in this emotion were curled up in a ball on the floor of a mental institution and labelled “catatonic,” you could identify him easily. But you are just as likely to find him lecturing in a large university and labelled a “brilliant intellectual.”
Apathy breaks down into two levels. Deepest Apathy (sometimes called pretended death) is only a gnat’s breath above death. He may be in bed, unable to care for himself, completely withdrawn and suffering hallucinations. People are usually in this state after an operation or severe accident. He’s easy to recognize.
It’s the higher level, walking-around-Apathy person we find more deceiving. He may be barefoot, bearded and freaked out on LSD. He could be wearing the portly businessman’s costume and getting smashed on martinis every afternoon. He may commit suicide with a gun or wander listlessly across the street against the light, hoping someone else will do it for him.
I met a talkative Apathy person at a dinner party recently. His tone was reflected in nearly every remark. We were talking about cars. He disposed of the subject with: “The automotive business is dead. It’s all over.”
When the conversation turned to problems in the construction business, he said, “The small contractor is dead. He hasn’t a chance.”
Later we discussed a political problem: “Try to get something like that corrected and you’re dead.”
The clue to his tone was not only his absolute pessimism, but his frequent use of the word dead.
Although the Apathy person may be going to classes, doing housework, making movies, or holding a job, he is usually trying to destroy himself in some manner.
DRUGS AND ALCOHOL
The drug addict and the alcoholic are Apathy persons. Don’t be misled by any surface belligerence, maudlin sweetness, or exuberance manifested when he’s high. How is he when he’s down? That’s the feeling which drives him back to the chemical escape. He’s committing suicide slowly. He’s waiting to succumb, but he’s going to stay stoned so it won’t hurt so much. Meanwhile the people around him will be frustrated, concerned and desperately trying to do something for him. That’s a good tip-off to Apathy; his associates are frazzled beyond endurance from trying (and failing) to help him.
BEYOND RIGHT AND WRONG
Now and then we find a person in Apathy who thinks he’s in a state of serenity. Unable to acknowledge his own feeling of helplessness, he justifies it with scholarly discourse. I call this “Intellectual Apathy.”
Bill, a college student, told me about his friend who studied many philosophies and religions until he evolved one of his own. The friend lengthily described his achievement of “ultimate awareness.”
Deeply impressed, Bill said, “Now that you’ve reached this state yourself, I’m surprised you’re not trying to help others to get there too.”
“Why should I?” the friend replied. “They’re all me anyway.”
Everything is beyond right and wrong. He walks around in Apathy and thinks he’s a god.
There are certain philosophies (such as Eastern religions) based on the highest attitudes of the scale; but low-tone people can invert the meaning so that the end result is Apathy. When any individual or body of thought advocates less activity, less communication, less contact with people or less involvement with living, you can disregard the erudite labels. It leads toward Apathy.
Other studies and doctrines seem to invite an apathetic outlook. The fatalist clings to the belief that all events are preordained and human beings are powerless to change anything (“I’m not even responsible for myself” says Apathy). Their followers look to the stars, numbers, colors and crystal balls to indicate their destinies.
People in Apathy are perfect dupes for such hokum.
CAUSE AND EFFECT
When someone considers himself to be totally governed by influences outside himself, he sits in Apathy. He will accept grievous losses and say with a sigh, “It’s God’s will; nothing can be done.” “If it was meant to be, it will be.” (This is not truly a religious viewpoint, incidentally, for any religion worthy of the name, offers man a way out—a salvation.) The Apathy person considers himself less than the stars, the planets, the baseball scores and the flea on his leg. High on the tone scale a person feels dangerous to his environment (not full effect of it); he changes the environment to suit him; he’s cause. But the more a person believes himself to be the effect, the closer he is to Apathy and death.
Low-tone people have peculiar concepts of ownership. At Apathy, however, a person is close to feeling that he owns nothing. This may be literally true or he may own many possessions and still run around saying, “There’s just no point in owning anything.”
He also thinks others should own nothing. He lets all property decay and rot. He wastes your time, runs up your utility bills, leaves lights on and motors running, and casually uses your telephone to call New Zealand. He’s quite bewildered if this bothers you: “You should get rid of all this anyway.”
A newly rich screen star says: “I should save money for my old age, but I don’t. All the money I’ve made just slips away as if it didn’t belong to me. I don’t feel like doing anything to save myself. I just let everything happen.”
There are people who brag about not being affected by anything; they’re the emotionally unemployed. This is most extreme in Apathy.
Jim, a college student, felt that life was losing its sparkle; nothing turned him on anymore. He told his friend, George, he planned to try an LSD trip. Both boys knew that the drug could produce long-term mental disorders and, up to that point, they had opted to bypass the whole drug venture. George, however, was also in Apathy at the time, so he said only, “Well, I don’t agree with what you want to do, but I know there is nothing I can say that will stop you.”
In a higher tone, George would not have felt powerless; he would at least try to do something about the situation.
The sophisticated Apathy person will claim he’s bored: “I’m fed up with life. Nothing is amusing. What can you do to create excitement in this superficial world?”
“THINGS ARE NEVER REAL”
One year after the first moon landing by American astronauts, a large U.S. newspaper chain sent reporters to conduct seventeen hundred interviews in communities across the nation, asking for opinions of the event. The newsmen reported that an extraordinary number of people doubted the reality of the Apollo feat. This was true particularly among the old and the poor. An elderly Philadelphia woman thought the moon landing was “staged” on the Arizona desert. An unemployed construction worker in Miami said, “I saw that on television, but I don’t believe none of it. Man’s never been on the moon.” In a Washington, D. C. ghetto more than half of the people interviewed expressed doubts about the authenticity of the moon walk. One man, trying to explain away his emotional attitude, said, “It’s all a deliberate effort to mask problems at home. The people are unhappy, and this takes their minds off their problems.”
Things are never real to the Apathy person.
The compulsive gambler is at Apathy. If a person consistently wins he’s higher-tone because he’s cause over the game rather than effect. The compulsive gambler, however, cannot quit any game a winner. When a man gambles away the rent and grocery money every payday, he’s manifesting the Apathy attitude about ownership: “I’d better not own.”
A steamship on a cruise to South America received a report that another ship nearby was wrecked and on fire. The captain changed course and was the first to arrive at the flaming ship. Eight hundred passengers and crew members were in the water, floundering, wet and frightened. They’d lost everything but the clothes they wore. All of them were saved, however, and passengers crowded on deck where they watched and participated in the exciting rescue, some of them providing clothing and warm quarters for the victims.
Throughout all this activity the gambling casino remained open. A certain number of hard-core players stayed there, eyes hypnotically fixed on the tables, apparently unaware and unaffected by the real-life drama occurring a few yards outside the door.
That’s Apathy. No other tone would be indifferent to such a moving experience.
“MAN NEVER CHANGES”
The youngster who understands the tone scale knows whether to accept advice and ideas from his elders. One day my seventeen-year-old son described a lecture given by one of his high school teachers, who declared, “Man never changes. He keeps making the same mistakes over and over. He never learns. He will never improve.”
“Where’s that on the tone scale?” I asked.
My son laughed and said, “Apathy, of course.”
This is another person using her years of education and experience to support an emotional attitude over which she has no control.
You can find history and documentation to support every attitude on the scale. If we fully accepted her “proof,” however, no teacher would bother to teach, no scientist would continue to juggle his test tubes, and I would have stayed in bed myself today.
No matter how brilliant he is, no Apathy person can be more than an imitation of the vitality we find in the higher tones.
Let’s crawl up a notch…
MAKING AMENDS (0.375)
Amends: Reparation or payment as satisfaction for insult or in jury.
Lucy decides to quit dating Oliver. He’s crushed. Sobbing, deep in self-pity, he vows, “I’ll do anything to make you love me again.”
He calls, he sends presents and pleading notes. He waits around the corner for her to come out of her house so he can “accidentally” meet her. “Please, Lucy. Tell me why you stopped loving me. I’ll do anything you want me to do. Just say you’ll give me a chance.”
“Oliver, can’t you get it through your head that we’re through? I don’t want to see you again.”
His head slumps down, “Then what’s the use of living,” he murmurs, “I wish I was dead. I might as well blow my brains out.”
A person Making Amends is living a constant apology—fawning, parasitic, groveling—trying to atone for some real or imagined wrong. His bootlicking servility is so tiresome that it’s fortunate few people remain in this tone for long. It’s more frequently used by transients, because when Making Amends gestures fail, the person feels more and more sorry for himself and hits bottom (as did Oliver here).
The person at .375 is propitiating, but he can’t withhold anything. Here we find blind loyalty, the self-sacrificing, the suicidal martyr and “I can never repay you enough.” He will wheedle, flatter, or debase himself to get sympathy or help.
The puppy is scolded for committing a misdemeanor in the corner. He lowers his head and slinks away. All is lost. But, wait a minute. . . maybe there’s some hope. He comes back, licks your hand, wags his body and soulfully pleads for your forgiveness. He’s Making Amends.
This is where we find the wino who begs on the street and the female heroin addict who takes up prostitution to earn another fix.
In the corridor between Apathy and Grief, this is a soupy tone; but it’s a good sign if the person is moving up from the basement.
WHEN THE ALCOHOLIC IS READY FOR HELP
The drunkard will go into .375 if he’s trying to wheedle another drink; but the reformed drunk must also go through this emotion in order to recover. In fact, he may hit Making Amends going both ways. A person in Grief feels that everything is painful. If he slides down to .375 he says, “I’ll do anything to get rid of this.” When there is no constructive help forthcoming, he turns the pain off with emotional anaesthetic—alcohol.
If he’s lucky, one day, in a moment of sobriety, he realizes that his solution is now a greater problem than the one he was originally attempting to escape. His remorse moves him up to Making Amends.
Incidentally, we find here the reason why many drug and alcohol “cures” are not lasting. Taking a person off drugs is only a temporary measure. To be effectively cured a person must rise up out of Apathy and want to do something about his condition. After that he must continue to move upscale. If he stays near the bottom emotions, he will slip back into the habit at the slightest provocation.
Sometimes we see the drunk who makes sporadic resolutions to reform, but soon relapses. In such a case, a knowledge of the tone scale can help. He must know that the problem is not alcohol; it’s emotion—the miseries he feels when no longer numbed by martinis. The cure is in raising tone. It is vital that he be in an environment where he gets high-tone support and not with someone who enjoys holding him down.
Jack elected the wrong profession in order to please his parents. He didn’t think he minded giving up his own goal (to be a photographer). Twenty years later he was an alcoholic in the hospital for his sixth cure. The doctor warned him: “If you go back to the booze again you’ll be dead within a year. Your liver can’t take any more.”
He moved up tone to .375 and looked for professional help. As soon as he discovered the cause of his Apathy, he quit his job and became a free lance photographer. He hasn’t taken a drink in five years, and he’s cheerfully successful at his new work.
A gambler bet his home against the house in a poker game. Expressionlessly he waited. When the final play told him he won, he merely nodded. A spectator, bewildered by the apparent indifference—especially the absence of enthusiasm at winning—asked, “How can you just nod your head when you’ve won twenty-five thousand dollars?”
The gambler shrugged and said, “You know when I liked it best? When we were waiting to see what the last card was going to be. That’s when I felt alive. It’s the only time I mean anything. Winning, losing and the money mean nothing, but in that moment I’m really somebody.”
The concept “I’m nobody” is an Apathy one. When a person finds something that lifts him out of it, even temporarily, he becomes addicted. Thus, to be cured, a person must come up a level. An organization called Gambler’s Anonymous made this discovery. Its program, apparently, saves marriages, homes and even lives; but it works only when the individual admits he’s powerless over gambling and that with the help of others he may lick the problem. Furthermore, he must realize that he could be “somebody” even when he’s out of the action. This, of course, requires a rise in tone; but first he must reach Making Amends before he’s willing to do something for himself.
ON THE JOB
A person working for a heavy-handed boss may eventually lose all confidence in himself and become apathetic about his own judgment and creativeness. If there’s a glimmer of hope that he can retain his job, however, he may turn into the weak “yes” man. In constant apology for his humble existence, he’ll attempt the most debasing job to escape the “pain” of being fired or chastised. He’ll probably bungle it, however. He’s an apple polisher who keeps dropping the apple in the mud in his frenetic attempts to please.
Any time a person experiences a deep disappointment, is wronged or betrayed, he may give up his goals and sink to Apathy. While in this emotion of heavy sadness, he’s unwilling to repair the misunderstanding or wrongs that exist (whether his own or another’s). He must move up to Making Amends. Then he has a chance.
One day a twenty-year-old friend came to me: “I don’t know what’s the matter with me lately. I feel as if life is going by me but I’m not even in it. I don’t know what’s real anymore. It’s terrible. Anything would be better than this. What do I have to do to get out of it?”
Although his condition seemed grim, it was an improvement. For several weeks this young man had been dwelling in an “everything’s fine” Apathy—the tone most difficult to reach. Now he was aware of it. Although only a tiny rise, he was willing to do something about it. We talked awhile and he told me about the big disappointment that brought on his Apathy. He cried then, and after the bottled-up tears were all released, he skipped easily up the scale. He left with eyes sparkling and face radiant.
Making Amends is a weak, fawning tone; but it contains some hope. You just go from here on up through the blues, which is what we’re going to do in the next chapter.
Grief: Intense mental anguish; deep remorse, acute sorrow or the like.—American Heritage Dictionary
Mildred always complained about her married life. He doesn’t love me. He treats me so badly and I gave up my whole career for him. Everything was so much better when I was single.”
Just to have something to say (this was back in more naive days), I asked her why she stayed with if it was so bad. When I saw her a year later she “Well, I’m taking your advice; I’m getting a divorce.”
This was a shock to me, since I didn’t advise get a divorce. But Grief is a somewhat hypnotic level; he soaks up everything you say to him and selective parts of it to succumb.
I didn’t see Mildred for another year and she sobbed still. Now divorced, her son refused to live with her and she quit a coveted job as an actress in a long running play because she wasn’t “getting anywhere.” Now, arranging all of this misery, she was saying, “I used to have a husband and a son and money and a job. Now I don’t have anything.”
Grief cries for help, pleads for sympathy. He’s a potential suicide, a whiner, a habitual complainer wrapped in self-pity. He failed; he’s been betrayed; he’s lost everything.
He’s a mess.
Grief and Apathy are overlapping tones with many common characteristics. In fact, the position of .5 is actually Apathy driven by Grief. It’s a little more alive than .05. He’s wringing his hands. He feels he’s about to fail, but he still sustains one last cry of protest.
When any individual suffers a loss (death, departure of a loved one, failure of a goal), he may drop temporarily to Grief. The person stuck in this tone, however, is the personification of loss, even though it may not be justified: “What did I do wrong?” “Why is God punishing me this way?”
A woman in Grief may be on the verge of tears all the time. You can see it on her face. If you try to question her closely about anything, she’ll cry. A rough word may turn on the faucet. She hears of the poor little dying orphans in Timbuktu and she sheds enough tears to float the Queen Mary.
Not every Grief person cries, however. Some remain in suppressed Grief just below tears (which moves them closer to Apathy). This is more common in men since they are usually convinced, as children, that “big boys never cry.” so they must suppress the outward manifestations of misery. You will see it on their faces though—a petulant mouth and the downcast, melancholy, bloodhound eyes. You will hear it in the deep, heaving sighs. Even without the physical manifestations, you should recognize Grief by his words.
Although he’s not always crying, he’s always whining.
THE PAST IS ALL THERE IS
The chronic 0.5 is aground on a narrow ridge; he can’t go up or down and he won’t let go. He can’t give help and he won’t receive it. He hangs on. Among other things, he tries to hang on to the past. He collects tokens of better times—the theatre program, the glove she was wearing the first time he kissed her, the pressed flowers, the old chair that belonged to great-aunt Belinda (Note: antique collectors are not necessarily in Grief; they’re usually just smart investors).
In addition to articles, he also collects old memories. Much of his conversation lingers in the past. His stories usually express beautiful sadness and a longing for the “good old days.”
Old Lucifer misses his dog, which died of old age. He saves the dog’s leash, and feeding bowls. He keeps pictures of the dog around the house and constantly talks about their good times together: “He was the best friend I ever had. He always stood by me.”
He concludes that he has lost everything. If you suggest he get another dog, he tells you, “I can’t ever replace old Jake. Besides, I don’t want to get attached to another dog. He’ll just die someday too.”
Loneliness and nostalgia are both mild manifestations of Grief. When a person returns to the old school, home town or office, he finds things changed; they aren’t like they used to be. It’s a little sad. (It’s often expensive for a man to feel nostalgic about his old school; the alumni association catches him moving up to Propitiation, and extracts a generous donation.)
Anytime a person feels downhearted about leaving, he’s manifesting Grief, mild or strong, in his reluctance to let go of the past.
Don’t rely on information given you by a Grief person. In pleading for pity, he may tell you the wildest tales to justify his wretchedness.
I heard two teen-age boys talking with a girl in chronic Grief. Complaining about her mother, she said, “She beats me.”
Shocked and sympathetic, the boys started questioning her further. One of them asked, “No kidding? How many times has she beaten you?”
“Oh. How many times did she actually hit you then?”
“Ah . . . once.”
“Did she hit you with her fist or her open hand?”
“Well, it was her open hand; but it really hurt!”
“In other words, she only slapped you once. Is that right?”
“Well, I guess so. But it really did hurt.”
This is the honesty level of .5. One slap in the face becomes “beatings.”
The chronic Grief person must constantly look for reasons to explain the emotion. Widow Jones nagged the life out of her husband, moaning and complaining all the time. Now that he’s gone, however, she describes him as if he were faultless. This makes the loss seem greater and helps to justify her emotion.
“LIFE HAS AFFECTED ME TERRIBLY”
The high-tone person who marries a Grief type regret it because he’ll never be able to “solve” wretchedness. A .5 wife demands enormous quantities of affection and constant assurance that you love her; but she never really believes you. When she experiences the slightest snub or rejection (real or imagined) she plunges in the direction of death. She’ll develop parasitic dependency. If you eventually give up and leave her, you’ll be a black-hearted villain; she’ll all sorts of peculiar incidents of cruelty which you committed against her in order to win the sympathy of others around her.
Sometimes people group together on this tone, crying for sympathy and help while offering nothing in return. No solution, no contribution, no concession is enough. They still continue their collective whining. Thoroughly introverted, irresponsible, absorbing pity, sympathy and affection, Grief people are sponges for the inflow of your charity; but they never improve (real charity would be directed toward raising their tone: not just patting them on the heads giving them more lollipops).
I’ve known many a griefy bird who was an impeccable nest-keeper because he (or she) was trained to maintain a pleasant, clean environment. If he hasn’t been so trained, however, his tendency toward death shows up in his surroundings. He gravitates toward grim living quarters; he drives ancient, rickety cars; he dresses in drab, ragged clothes. These are all pleas for pity; he won’t permit himself to have something better. We sometimes see a rebuilt slum district that (when populated with Grief and Apathy people) soon slumps back to a state of squalor. When you see an environment that reflects obvious long-term neglect, you can be certain it is “cared for” by low-tone persons—most likely Grief or Apathy.
It is down in this general tone range (could be a tone or two higher) that we find the girl who could be pretty “if she would only fix herself up a bit.” She refuses to use makeup to her best advantage, never knows what to do with her hair and buys the most unattractive clothes possible.
When you see a woman wearing clothes that went out of style twenty years ago, it’s a safe bet that she’s a Grief type. These are probably the clothes that were fashionable before dear Wilbur died. It’s another way to hang on to the past.
I once knew two sisters who looked alike in size, coloring and bone structure. They were similar enough to be twins, except that one was high-tone and attractively groomed while the other looked incredibly plain, mousy and old for her years. When I remarked on the strong resemblance between them, the low-scale girl replied, “Well, maybe, but Marcia really inherited all the good looks in the family.”
This was an emotional response. She could have been just as stunning as her sister; but she elected to stay unattractive in an attempt to get sympathy for the cruel way in which life was treating her. Grief prefers attention in the form of pity, rather than admiration.
As a friend, he’s a drag.
He latches on, expecting advice, guidance and care. Childishly dependent, he’ll lean on you totally (if let him). Although affecting “humility,” he’s actually convinced he’s a privileged person who should be taken care of by others. The world owes him a living.
He loses his job because he never did his work, and he expects you to feed him. He gets kicked out of his house for not paying his rent; he tells you the landlady was cruel and expects you to take him in. His friends desert him and he wants you to spend your time consoling him in his loneliness. He steals your time, your money, your space, your kindness and power.
“THEY WON’T LET ME”
Grief appears to blame himself for everything ( ‘I was wrong’) but he is actually blaming everyone else. If he were able to take responsibility for his own destructive actions, he would move upscale. If he could say, “I stole money from the company, no wonder they fired me,” he would recover. Instead, he says, “I tried to do my best, but I don’t know where I went wrong. They just fired me. I never seem to do anything right.”
He hangs on to his grievances.
THE ADVICE TRAP
The .5 is easily moved to shame and anxiety. He fusses about conditions, his conversation dwelling on illness, death and tragedy; but he won’t do anything about them. He merely uses his anxieties to set advice traps for the unsuspecting. “Oh, what should I do?” he wails. If you try to suggest a solution or give him a job, he dissolves in a puddle and tells you it’s impossible.
I once received a letter from a New York school teacher who read my book on raising children (Miracles for Breakfast). She told me of working for a private school specializing in difficult youngsters. She complained about the children’s open rebellion, sullen hatred, endless arguments and blank minds at test time. She described the degraded facilities—broken windows, broken desks, clogged plumbing and damaged equipment that was never repaired. Classes were set on a chaotic half-hour schedule which never gave time to get into a subject and teach anything before it was time for the class to move on. She was missing half of the required textbooks. “I’m uptight and discouraged. What should I do?”
Someone was working overtime to make this school fail. It would take a very strong, uptone person to put order into such manufactured confusion. My correspondent could get up to Sympathy tone (which is why she took the job) but probably not much higher.
I wrote: “Change jobs. You should get more training before you try to conquer a situation like this. Meanwhile, get a job where you can win.”
If she were mobile on the scale, I knew she’d accept my advice. But she wasn’t and she didn’t. Her reply was typical of someone caught in the circular route between Grief and Sympathy (more about this in the Sympathy chapter). She replied that she couldn’t leave her job because it was hard to get work, she needed money and, anyway, “I really want to help these children.”
As with any Grief person, she didn’t expect to rid herself of the problem; she merely wanted to wallow in the horribleness of it all . . . and she wanted company. This tone always considers that a tremendous effort is required to accomplish something. My answer, of course, was too simple. No low-tone person accepts a simple solution. And a Grief person doesn’t accept any solution.
The only real cure for Grief is raising tone. Don’t worry too much about the reason he gives you; it’s probably a lie or a contrived situation he’s brought on himself. If you manage to remove the “cause” of his malady, he’ll quickly find another.
Each low tone tries to solve the problems of life through his emotion. The .5 does it by dribbling through life hanging on to his grievances. He’s an injustice collector.
Propitiation: To appease and make favorable; conciliate.—Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary
Some years ago an elderly family friend often invited me to her home for dinner after I finished work. She was thoughtful, generous and a superb cook. Why, I wondered, did I feel depressed after these visits? One evening on arriving for dinner I offered to help her in the kitchen. “Oh, I wouldn’t think of it,” she said, “You look tired. Why don’t you just lie down on the couch and rest awhile?”
Usually I resisted her solicitous attentions, but this evening I decided to surrender. I lay down on the couch as she suggested. Soon she appeared with a blanket. A short time later she brought me a pillow. She returned several times to flutter over me and inquire about my comfort. When dinner was ready, she offered to serve me a tray so I wouldn’t need to get up. By this time I realized that if I remained there much longer I’d probably turn into an invalid, even though a few hours earlier I walked in the door as a reasonably happy, healthy twenty-three-year-old.
Maybe you can’t kill somebody with kindness, but the Propitiation person is going to try.
He makes friendly overtures to gain someone’s favor. He gives—himself, his services, his talent, his time, his possessions or his creations. He seems to ask nothing in return.
Well, what’s so bad about that? Isn’t this the kind of person we’ve been looking for—someone to serve us, and to give us desirable baubles? Aren’t generous, unselfish people the good guys after all?
THE HIDDEN INTENTION
This tone position is a paradox because it looks so admirable at first glance. Of course, there is a place for the generous person—high on the tone scale. Upscale we find that a person often gives more than he receives; he needs less. High-tone help and generosity are motivated by a genuine intention to improve conditions.
Intention makes the difference.
The compulsive Propitiation we find at .8 is motivated by an intention to stop.
This is the friendly neighbor who’s always bringing over a pie or cake and who refuses to accept anything in return. Here is the over-indulgent parent who does too much for the child, thus firmly tying knots in the apron strings. Here is the hostess who presses you to eat more. Here is the self-sacrificing do-gooder.
Propitiation is actually part of the Fear band (which extends from .8 through 1.2 on the scale). The person at this tone, however, is unaware of his fear. He retains memories of Grief so he tries to buy his way into good favor to prevent coming to Grief again. His propitiative gestures are performed to protect himself from bad effects.
He can tolerate little effect on himself. Just try to give him something in return. I once knew a Propitiation neighbor who frequently babysat for me, but refused to accept return favors or payment. One day she was complaining about the high cost of barbers, so I offered to give haircuts to her three boys. This seemed a fine opportunity to repay her many kindnesses, so I was delighted when she accepted my offer. A few days afterward, however, she presented me with a gift worth twice the value of the haircuts. I decided to quit playing barber before she went broke.
TO STOP SOMEONE
To stop someone, give him lots of (unearned) objects that he considers desirable, wait on him, do things for him. The more we give someone, the more unhappy he becomes. Why? Because it stunts his ability to earn these things for himself. Given enough, he either runs away (if he’s bent toward survival) or curls up in Apathy, no longer confident of the ability to provide for himself.
The .8 wife will try to stop her husband (from leaving, criticizing or disliking her) by polishing his shoes, cooking his favorite food and faithfully serving him. Thus, even in his most disgruntled moments, he’s forced to admit that she’s a “good wife.” The Propitiative husband operates in a similar manner: just when his wife nearly works up the courage to walk out on him, he brings home a cozy mink coat for her.
The propitiative parent unconsciously creates a weak child. Junior is planning to break away from home; he’s going on a junket around the world. Dad says, “I’ve been thinking of getting you a car, son. What kind do you think you’d like?”
If son is weak enough for the glitter of chrome to blind his ambitions, he steps into the trap. Soon Dad will be saying, “Maybe after you think it over, you’ll want to come into the business with me. You could do worse. You’ll never want for anything.”
If the boy yields on the basis of what he will get, rather than a genuine interest in the business, he’s stopped. It’s a short trip downscale to Apathy.
I saw this happen to a sparkling, fun-loving young girl. As a high school graduation gift, her parents gave her a small shop with a going business. They never let go of the gift, however. They still hover around “helping” her and reminding her of frequently neglected chores. Sometimes, when the kindly admonishments become too heavy, she sullenly responds: “I didn’t ask for this business anyway.”
Most of the time she slumps around in Apathy, all of her sparkle gone. She’s nearly forgotten whatever it was that she planned to do with her life.
If Dad works nineteen hours a day because he enjoys it, that’s fine. If he works so his children “will never want for anything,” it’s misplaced kindness. The child of an over-indulgent parent becomes lazy; he lies around unwilling to work and feeling that the world owes him a living. His early attempts to contribute were squelched; the acquisitions came too easy; why work? He develops a comfortable philosophy: “If he wants to give me money, let him. It makes him feel better.” If the child is higher-tone, he leaves, refusing further help. When this happens, the parent drops the short distance to Grief and wails: “How can he be so ungrateful after all we did for him?”
The upscale parent permits his child the dignity of working and learning to provide for his own needs. This makes the youngster feel wonderful; he’s worth something.
COMING UP FROM GRIEF
The .8 tone is fine if one is just passing through. When a person, grieving over a recent loss, stops feeling sorry for himself and becomes interested in you (perhaps inquiring about your health or offering you a cup of coffee), it’s a good sign.
I once read an article which promised to divulge the secret of “being happy.” The writer described several cases of grieving widows who found happiness by getting interested in other people worse off than themselves. Some of them went to work in hospitals; others taught retarded children or joined charity groups. In essence she told the reader to be interested in others, rather than himself. Good advice for Grief; but if a person parks in Propitiation chronically he’ll never find that promised happiness.
GIVE AND TAKE
The main reason Propitiation drives a high-tone person downscale is because the flow is moving in one direction only. We humans are healthiest and happiest when we balance up our giving and receiving.
I used to drop in on a friend of mine who always wanted to feed me. Sometimes, having eaten earlier, I declined. This never deterred her; she always prepared food anyway and if I didn’t eat it she became quite distressed.
That’s another way to stop a person: stuff him with so much food he can’t move.
At first glance, Propitiation would seem just the right tone to hire. He’ll work for practically nothing and give his all for the cause. Not so.
Although he flaunts a strong sense of duty, he’s ineffective on the job. He makes mistakes, crumbles in a crisis and he’ll try to give away your whole business.
Most low tones are wasteful, but Propitiation must be; that’s his whole theme song. He’ll design and mail tons of ineffective advertising. He’ll place expensive ads that neglect to give the company address. (I know a Detroit woman who failed in three business ventures this past year. Recently she opened still another shop.
She ran a large, expensive ad in the paper which glowingly described her product and the exact business hours, but neglected to mention the name or the address of the store!) Propitiation will give away premiums and neglect to follow up. He’ll donate your services for “good will” when you can’t afford it. He’ll send out sales notices that arrive two days after the event. He’ll propose elaborate “money making” schemes which can cost you a fortune. He has to flow things out. He’ll give away your profits just as he gives himself.
Whole segments of society are grouped together on this tone, particularly charities and government agencies that exist to care for the downtrodden. These are fine if they actually help the unfortunate individual regain his self-reliance. Charities which donate without rehabilitating, however, help the losers stay down. Thus we wind up with two large factions: 1) those who need to give and 2) the Grief/Apathy ones who sob that they can’t find work, never get the breaks and want someone to take care of them. It would seem that these two groups could nicely satisfy each other. To some extent they do, but they also spend far too much time trying to shame higher-tone people into their game—and they’re dedicated to channeling tax money and charitable contributions into low-tone “help” endeavors.
The more we support give-away programs, the more individual self-reliance crumbles and we slide downhill as a society. This doesn’t mean we should give the fallen man another kick. We mustn’t cover him with a blanket either. Get him on his feet. A charity which provides for physical needs while failing to restore the individual’s independence and self-respect is the cruellest of all; it keeps him stuck at the bottom of the scale crying for more handouts. For this reason most massive welfare programs don’t solve poverty and unemployment. They actually breed these conditions. We gradually cease to survive as a society when we try to satisfy the requirements of the body alone. Food, warmth and shelter may satisfy the needs of an animal; but man requires the dignity of self-worth.
Since .8 is basically a tone of appeasement—a tone used to stop—it is the most frequently adopted (even by higher-tone people) to mollify Anger and Grief. “If I’m real nice to him, maybe he won’t hurt me.” Or, “There, there, don’t cry; I’ll give you a cookie.”
This is the store clerk who waits on the loud, angry customer first. Here is the university which yields to a few dissenting students to avoid trouble. Here is the company leader who gives in under threats of violence from unions. Here is the government which surrenders to those who wail the loudest and takes from the person who is quietly doing his job and contributing the most.
Continually appeasing the noisy, non-producer, Propitiation fixes both the giver and the receiver low on the scale.
In deep Fear, the .8 offers soft words or expensive presents. He seems to be asking for a license to survive; but he’s always motivated by an effort to stop. Don’t be fooled by the apparent kindness. He’s doing favors to protect himself from bad effects. He bustles through life maintaining a mild faith that if he does “good unto others” he’ll come out all right.
He’ll try to keep you from high-tone activities. He wants you down in Apathy where you can’t hurt him. And that’s mostly all that’s wrong with Propitiation—he needs to keep someone below him to “do for.”
Let’s crawl out of this pretty trap.
Sympathy: A relationship or affinity between persons or things in which whatever affects one correspondingly affects the other. The act of or capacity for sharing or understanding the feelings of another person. A feeling or expression of pity or of sorrow for the distress of another.— The American Heritage Dictionary
Maxwell was a cheerful, optimistic man who plodded off to a regular job each day and spent every night writing short stories. These he sent off to the popular magazines. Although he did sell two stories, he acquired a huge collection of rejection slips. He persisted, however. One day, he promised himself, I’ll quit that dull job and write all the time.
Meanwhile, he married a lovely girl who was kind and understanding. He knew she would “stand by him” through everything. And she certainly did. Every time he received a rejection slip, she said, “Poor darling. They don’t appreciate your talent.”
One day he came home to find four of his favorite stories returned. Slumping dejectedly in the chair he moaned, “I guess I just don’t have what it takes.”
His tender wife sat on the arm of his chair to comfort him. “Now, dear, you’ve just been working too hard. You need a rest. Why don’t you take a vacation?”
So he did take a vacation—from writing. Maxwell now spends his evenings glumly watching television and drinking beer. His sweet wife understands why he gave up his ambitions and consoles him: “You tried so hard, and you are a good writer. I’m sure the only people who get published nowadays are the ones who know the editors personally.”
That’s Sympathy. She’s a darling. And she’s deadly.
The only trouble looming in this chapter is with the definition of the word Sympathy. So let’s clear that up first.
We say “we’re in complete sympathy with each other” when we’re talking about the closest possible harmony with someone. We say “he’s sympathetic to our cause” when referring to a person who’s smart enough to agree with our own ideas. And is there any one of us with a character so stoic that we don’t welcome a sympathetic person around to soothe us when someone has stolen our little red wagon, our lover or our knee warmers (depending on which stage of this game we’re playing)?
Sympathy, as we generally use the word, can mean a high-tone empathy and accord, the charitableness and understanding of the big-hearted, a shaft of warm sunlight slicing through the murk. However, we’re talking about something else here.
The .9 is a counterfeit. He doesn’t choose to be kind; he’s chronically sympathetic. He can’t do anything but commiserate.
The prominent manifestation of this emotion is obsessive agreement. We’re in the Fear band here and it is Fear that dominates the .9. So at this position of the scale, Sympathy is not valor, but cowardice, stemming from a basic fear of people. He’s excessively afraid of hurting others. He’s compulsively “understanding” and “reasonable” about all the lowest-tone unfortunates of the world. He’s the person who’s “reasonable” about the axe murderer. He’ll be understanding about the toadying leech.
Sympathy means “feeling together,” so if one were sympathetic with a high-tone person, everything would be glorious; he’d feel high-tone. But the person at .9 seldom achieves more than a superficial tolerance of upscale people and conditions. He is most comfortable when he can sympathize with Apathy and Grief. Of course, his “feeling together” causes this chameleon to wobble drunkenly through the low tones always somewhere between complacent tenderness and tears.
He looks harmless. And that’s just how he wants to look. He’s desperately trying to ward off blame. “See how understanding I am?” “See how I wouldn’t hurt anybody?” His addiction to praise and fear of blame make him compulsively understanding.
It was a quiet, pleasant party. We were exchanging ideas about the future of religion when Casper—a new arrival—interrupted contemptuously: “Surely you’ve read Schemerhorn’s theory on penalties and predicaments?”
No one had, but he rambled on interspersing his complicated monolog with obscure references. When he ran out of breath, we picked up our conversation again. Someone said, “I think most people need to believe in something, whether or not they call it religion. So if…”
Sneeringly, Casper cut in: “That’s just infantile thinking! In my opinion, there’s only one intelligent viewpoint. Vosgarten’s treatise on the majestic obsession covers the whole concept. . .
After enduring two hours of Casper’s rude arrogance and unintelligible speeches, an aggressive member of the party challenged him: “Why can’t you just say what you want to say, man? We don’t understand you. Do you believe that?”
“Well, it doesn’t fit into my model of reference. It’s like Wumvoogen says. .
“Don’t get started again. I’m trying to tell you that we can’t understand you. You don’t make sense. You’ve monopolized the conversation and you haven’t said anything. Furthermore, you don’t listen to anything the rest of us say. What’s the matter with you that you can’t communicate?”
To our amazement, Casper’s defenses collapsed and his eyes filled with tears.
Although everyone felt some compassion for him (and eased the conversation back to neutral grounds), only one compulsive Sympathy person emerged. A pretty young woman named Judy, silent until now, leaned toward him, “Casper,” she said, “I see beautiful qualities in you.”
“I can’t believe you mean that.”
“Of course, I mean it.”
“Oh, people say those things, but they don’t follow through. It takes more than words to convince me.”
“I want you to believe me. I mean it sincerely.”
I could see the beginnings of a complicated and regrettable relationship here. Judy saw nothing “beautiful” about Casper in his moments of boorish arrogance. It required his defenseless state of Grief to bring her to life. The ultimate cohesion between this pair would be about as inspired as a glutinous mass of day-old spaghetti.
BEHIND EVERY FAILURE
Someone once said that behind every successful man there’s a woman. What no one said (until Ron Hubbard uncovered this emotion) is that behind every upscale man who goes downhill and fails, there’s probably a sympathetic woman. No high-tone man ever broke down from mere hard work or even a few setbacks. He can be crushed, however, by the slow, eroding benevolence of a Sympathy person who “helps” by supplying infinite justifications for his failures.
Sympathy is so devastating because he is telling the low-tone person: “The helplessness you feel about yourself is so justified that I feel it too.”
No one needs that kind of assistance; it strengthens the person’s problems instead of his ability to solve problems. It takes responsibility away from the individual. “Poor you. The world isn’t treating you right.”
The high-tone person (especially if he understands the tone scale) would say, “Well, this is most unfortunate; but let’s take a look and see what went wrong. You can go out and try it again.” But Sympathy loves company, so he doesn’t help someone recover from a loss and go back to win. He can’t; there wouldn’t be anyone to spend his Sympathy on.
The high-tone person sees a drowning man and throws him a life line. The Sympathy person jumps in and drowns with the victim.
INFLUENCE ON LOW-TONE PEOPLE
We may find ourselves liking Sympathy better than the more aggressive people between 1.1 and 2.0 on the scale. He’s not throwing barbs at us. He’s not demanding that we change. He’s not excessively critical. If we need to lay the head down for a good cry, he’s right in there with a velvet-cushioned shoulder. It feels so comfortable to have someone who accepts us uncritically in our most unlovely moments (it’s probably quite similar to the sensation of drowning).
But, he’s ineffectual. He does nothing to improve conditions. The upscale person says “You’re hurt; we’ll patch it up.” But .9 moves in on the same wavelength saying, “Oh, you’re so tired. We’ll have to take care of you.” There’s a deadly timelessness about that. He doesn’t say “cure.” He says “take care of.”
Sympathy (as well as Propitiation) is most comfortable around sick people. And if they’re not sick already, he’ll help them along. If the person on the receiving end of all this kindness becomes convinced that he needs to be cared for, he remains at the bottom of the scale.
The .9 is too afraid of hurting others to do anything effective. He just agrees about how terrible it all is. A high-tone person is not afraid of hurting others for a just cause; he’s able to take any necessary actions to benefit the greatest number. But Sympathy, instead of curing the alcoholic, sits down and gets drunk with him.
Don’t work yourself into a lather trying to figure out whether a person is at Sympathy or Propitiation. Although each tone is slightly different in character, they intertwine like two tangled coat hangers. Sympathy often leads, automatically, to Propitiation. Mother says, “It’s too cold out for you to walk (Sympathy). I’ll drive you to school (Propitiation).” The student says, “It’s too bad you fell asleep during the lectures. Here, you can copy my notes.”
THE CRIME OF SYMPATHY
The crime of Sympathy is the crime of omission—the crime of not handling, not controlling, not disciplining, not providing strength. His pity and leniency merely reinforce low tones.
He’s quite destructive when coupled with a higher-tone individual because the emotion results from a hidden goal to knock the higher person down to the point where Sympathy will be needed. He waits until the upscale person suffers a setback, at which time he comes alive. He slows down or stops the other individual by pitying him.
Sympathy finds many ways of castrating the higher-tone person. The boss gets mad when he hears that the tippling salesman is offending customers, so he plans a showdown. Along comes Sympathy who soothingly purrs: “Now, now, boss. Of course it’s upsetting, but let me handle it. I have a little more patience than you have.”
Patience may be a virtue at the top of the scale, but at .9 it’s only another euphemism for weakness.
THE DEADLY CYCLE
Everyone—even the topscale person—sinks down into the drearies sometimes. Sympathy, however, is more prone than any other emotion to revolve in a perpetual circle between happiness and melancholia. His brand of happiness, of course, is nothing you’re going to want to bottle up and sell on the street corners. It’s mostly a consoling self-righteousness: “Oh, how merciful and compassionate I am. I never turn my back on anyone who needs me.”
He’s a magnet for the dregs of society. He puts his attention on the criminals, the invalids, the skid row bums, addicts, alcoholics, and all the woeful, poor, stricken, limp, sobbing Grief and Apathy cats he can find. He’s easily taken in by their lies. Grief says he has no money, no job and nobody loves him. So Sympathy says, “Oh, you poor thing. Life has treated you terribly. Of course I’ll help you.” So he goes down to Propitiation, providing shelter, food, money, sex— perhaps his whole life. Soon he’s down there in Grief himself (he’s always duplicating tones, remember) and we hear him sobbing “I’ve done everything I could, but nothing seems to help.”
When Sympathy isn’t slobbering over the needy types at the bottom, he’s recklessly defending the destructive ones in the 1.0 to 2.0 band. He insists that “Nobody is all bad. Give them the benefit of the doubt.”
He’s the most gullible victim of the 1.1 con. Also, because of the ease with which he is influenced, the Sympathy person can be readily corrupted; the glib 1.1 can lure him into all sorts of criminality, perversion or promiscuity (all of which are more common to the 1.1 tone). Eventually these activities get Sympathy into trouble, so we hear him grieving again.
Too weak to actually handle the low tones he attracts and too compulsively “understanding” to permit himself to retreat, he stays locked in a permanent elevator ride with Sympathy as the top floor and Apathy in the basement.
You can spot him by his fluctuation. Even if you point out that he’s associating with low-tone people who are dragging him down, he’s unable to handle and unwilling to disconnect. He might hurt somebody.
That’s how such a nice person gets betrayed so often. He’s noble though. He soon crawls back up to Sympathy and tries again.
If you run a business and you want to stay solvent, don’t put a Sympathy person in charge of a department. His overwhelming fear of hurting others is a dangerous attitude. He’ll be ineffective on the job, he’ll throw away your profits and he’ll attract the losers because he feels sorry for them. He’s the one who insists on hiring the griefy girl because she’s had all the bad breaks. He’ll defend the employee who goofs off because “he has a sick wife and fourteen children, you know.”
IN THE FAMILY
It’s the Sympathy person who most often marries the bad fellow. Here you find the beautiful young girl who weds the down-and-outer, because she just can’t bear to hurt his feelings.
The .9 is one of the worst possible parents. His over-permissiveness breeds an uncontrolled, destructive child.
It’s easy for loving parents to get lured into feeling Sympathy. How many of us could remain untouched if we saw a small child sobbing because his ice cream cone just fell in the sand? Attitudes of Sympathy and Propitiation are automatic: “There, there, don’t cry. I’ll buy you another one.” This is not truly kindness because it neglects the future of the child; the gesture teaches him that no matter how careless and negligent he is, if he cries loud enough someone will pity and take care of him. It would be equally cruel to shrug unsympathetically and say, “That’s tough; you should learn to be more careful.” What is the high-tone response? Give the child a chance to recover from the loss with dignity, not as a beggar: “How would you like to do a job for me? You can earn the money for another ice cream if you want it.”
When we see a youngster who is chronically hideous—crying, whining, screaming or throwing tantrums—it’s a safe bet his parents are stuck in the Sympathy/Propitiation tones. They obviously surrendered, repeatedly, to this behavior; that’s why the child continues using it. He’s rewarded for his weaknesses, so he never develops strength.
Sympathy parents wonder “Where did we go wrong?” while the child grows into a perpetually immature adult who continues whining through life looking for a permanent baby sitter to hold his hand and agree that it’s a cruel world.
When I was a child, I knew a young boy who was constantly getting beaten up by a neighborhood bully. One day he ran home crying and his mother decided not to be sympathetic: “You go back over there and lick that kid or I’m going to give you a beating myself.”
More frightened of his mother’s mood than the neighbor, the boy went back and beat up on the bully for the first time. With new confidence he soon established neighborhood supremacy as a fighter. As I recall, it was necessary to take on nearly every belligerent kid in the school first, but he eventually emerged as a peace-loving individual who knew he could defend himself.
A mother stuck in Sympathy will be so “understanding” that she creates a permanent loser. I’m not suggesting that we cultivate bullies; but we should recognize that fighting is higher-tone than surrender. And the person who cannot fight cannot move upscale.
Probably the best answer is to teach the child the tone scale so he can select higher-tone friends.
He’s the nice guy who marries the helpless clinging vine because “she needs me.”
Not everyone who goes to read to the blind children is in permanent Sympathy. High-tone people care too. In fact, they’ll probably be the first ones to teach the children to read Braille.
The highscale person will be compassionate; but he’ll boost you back up.
When you find someone who seems hard to place on the chart, who’s never vicious, who’s prone to noble deeds and good intentions, but who collects physical and emotional cripples faster than a dog picks up parasites in a flea farm, suspect a Sympathy person.
I started my study of this tone with the assumption that I would find very few people here—probably only those types who get their kicks out of going to funerals or placing wreaths on gravestones. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I finished with the shocking realization that it was one of the more populated levels of the tone scale. Those who aren’t there already are frequently forced into Sympathy socially by the many popular pity-the underdog movements.
In the harsh light of research I recognized a disconcerting number of my favorite people at .9—people I tried (sympathetically) to place at a higher tone.
The act of Sympathy convinces a person he has lost, and once he thoroughly believes that he can lose, he is unable to win. After a person finds the comfortable warmth of Sympathy, he begins to desire it. He may become so addicted that he runs around hoping for an accident or illness so he can get more.
This is a thick, gooey, insidiously destructive emotion. Everything’s so serious.
In fact, it’s a downright shame
Fear: A feeling of alarm or disquiet caused by the expectation of danger, pain, disaster, or the like; terror; dread; apprehension.—American Heritage Dictionary
“Now, Fred, slow down. Watch this car up here, Fred. Better get into the left lane, Fred. We have to turn eight blocks from here. That dog might run out. Be careful, Fred!” (Scream)
Driver panics (at scream, not at any outside threat) and hits brakes; he nearly gets rammed by the car behind. Everyone is a nervous wreck. Fear.
This tone wears many disguises. It slips down to influence the Sympathy person (who is afraid of hurting others) and Propitiation (where we see the strange manifestation of a person attempting to buy off imagined danger by propitiating), and it sneaks upward on the tone scale to lurk behind Covert Hostility and No Sympathy tones.
Most people harbor a few select, temporary fears. We see the tough, swaggering student who turns to a quivering butterfly in the seat of an airplane. We see a housewife who has the courage to be a Cub Scout den mother, but who quails at the sight of a harmless snake. We see the bull strength of the business tycoon melt into a pool of limp terror when forced to give a speech. Although irrational, these fears are not necessarily chronic, so they don’t indicate that the person is a 1.0.
There is a time to be afraid, just as there is a time for joy or grief. It’s sensible to have a respect for danger when caught in a burning house or a New York taxicab. That’s survival.
Acute Fear (whether rational or irrational) causes a pounding heart, a cold sweat or trembling. This may be fear of actual death, injury or merely some harmless menace. Stark terror is the highest volume of Fear. In low volume, we see Fear expressed as excessive shyness, extreme modesty, or unwarranted suspicions. We find the person who gets tongue-tied easily, who withdraws from people, who jumps at a door slam.
The person in chronic Fear tone lives with one or another of these manifestations all the time. He’s continually frightened; everything is dangerous. He’s afraid to exist. He’s afraid to own things (he might lose them). His solution to life is to be careful—about everything. So, whether he’s in terror, mild anxiety, dread or insecurity, he’s at Fear on the tone scale. He talks about fearful things, real or imaginary.
In Grief we find anxiety taking a limp form (“Oh, dear, how am I going to handle this? I just don’t know what I can do.”) but at the higher tone of Fear the person tries to handle all of the anxieties. Of course, he’s pretty ineffectual, but he does work hard at it.
This person is scattered—like a Kleenex that’s been through the washing machine. He’s trying to be somewhere else—anywhere else. He flits around, physically or mentally. His attention jumps from one thing to another. His conversation takes grasshopper leaps from subject to subject.
Sometimes (not always) you can see this dispersal in his eyes when he talks to you—they flit over here, over there, up, down—everywhere but straight ahead. He can’t look at you.
LIFE IS THREATENING
Fear is careful because he knows that nearly everything is threatening. I once knew a man who insisted that all of the doors and windows of his house be locked, day and night. He called his wife half a dozen times daily just to see if everything was all right. If she went on an unscheduled visit to a neighbor, he phoned every house in the block until he located her. His speech was peppered with phrases such as “You can’t be too careful,” “You never know what might happen,” and “It doesn’t pay to take chances.”
Where a higher-tone person will plan his attack on the enemy force, Fear is always planning his defense (if he’s on the high side) or his retreat (if he’s on the low side of Fear).
When there’s a robbery on the other side of town, Fear puts extra locks on his doors. If he lives in Minnesota, but learns of a deadly new mosquito breeding in the tropics, he get anxious about it. His attention flits all over the universe trying to cover every possible danger.
In case you think there aren’t many people at Fear, let me remind you of the now famous Orson Wells radio broadcast “The War of the Worlds” in 1938—a realistic but fictional report of a Martian “invasion.” An estimated one million listeners missed the three announcements about the fictional nature of the program and panicked. Telephone lines were hopelessly jammed and people were running in the streets. A Fear person is gullible and credulous about fearful things. He selectively hears only communications on his own level.
A smooth-talking insurance salesman chalks up a bonus day when he meets up with a Fear person—the poor devil will buy one of everything.
He’s afraid of losing things, so he walks around constantly fearing that he’ll get bad news—news of a loss. He’s afraid he’ll hear that his house burned down; he’s apprehensive about getting fired; he wonders if somebody is going to die; he worries about his wife leaving him.
I once lived across the street from a Fear couple. His face compressed with deep worry lines, completely bald at the age of twenty-nine (I don’t know if that’s relevant; but I’ll mention it anyway), he and his wife worried constantly about germs, diseases, bad health, burglaries, accidents and disasters. Name anything dreadful—they dreaded it. Before letting their children out to play, they bundled them up like Eskimos for fear of catching colds. Interestingly, their two youngsters suffered more colds and illnesses than any children on the block.
One quiet Sunday morning I saw this neighbor cautiously emerge from his house. After carefully testing the door to make certain it was locked, he walked to the garage and unlocked it. After unlocking his car, he drove out to the gate, which he also unlocked. He backed the car out, returned to the garage and locked it, walked down the drive, put the chain padlock back on the gate and drove off.
Impressed, I thought: he must be leaving for a month. (We weren’t living in the heart of the crime belt, you understand. The most serious wrongdoing in this bland suburban community during the previous six months was when a three-year-old youngster down the street toddled off with another three-year-old’s tricycle). Ten minutes later, however, the neighbor returned with the Sunday papers. He unlocked the gate, the garage, and went through the whole lockup routine in reverse. This chap could put the security system at Fort Knox to shame.
While we were living in the same neighborhood, a salesman called one evening trying to sell a fire alarm system. We turned him down, but as he left I thought:
If he would only stop across the street, they’ll surely buy one.
Well, he did, and they did.
LOVE AND CHILDREN
At 1.0 love shows up as suspicion of proffered affection. Filbert offers Belinda his class ring. Instead of happily accepting it, she queries, “What does this mean?”
He tells her he loves her and she wonders what that really means: “I don’t want to say I love you; it might turn out that I don’t.”
There won’t be much free-wheeling love from a Fear partner. He’s too careful to be spontaneous.
Fear parents strongly influence their children~ I once knew a woman who actually hid in the bedroom closet whenever there was a thunder storm. Her fearful mother taught her to do this. I knew another woman who was afraid of cats, “My mother always said they were dangerous. You know, they’re supposed to carry all sorts of diseases—at least that’s what Mother told me.”
A contagious emotion, Fear. Unless he takes the trouble to examine all the boogies himself, the child grows up convinced that nearly everything is dangerous.
The Fear person performs poorly on a job. He constantly worries about protecting himself. He’s afraid to make decisions, worries about taking on new projects and invents amazingly insurmountable obstacles to any new plan. “This is a dangerous time to get into that market. We could lose our shirts.” “I’m afraid we’ll get sued for patent infringement if we try this.” “It’s a nice idea if it weren’t so risky.”
Convinced that huge effort and energy are necessary to overcome his imaginary barriers, he’d rather put off than confront them. So he invents reasons why he can’t do a job.
He tries to avoid responsibility at all cost (he thinks he’d be hurt): “Oh no, you’re not going to get me to take on that job. Everybody would be passing the buck to me. I’d have to take the blame for everything that goes wrong.”
While he’s better than all the tones below this, you have a poor job risk here.
THE THREE LEVELS OF FEAR
Fear represents a crossover point on decision making. At the lower part of Fear, the person is afraid to do things. Retreating, on the run, he’s a master at avoiding. At the high point of Fear the person is afraid not to. He defends against every possible eventuality. In the middle of Fear tone, we find the absolute maybe. Here is the person frozen into indecision; he can’t make up his mind.
This is not the apathetic indecision of Grief (“I just don’t know what to do”). At Fear the person actively vacillates between “Should I?” and “Shouldn’t I?”
When a higher-tone person hits this level of the scale, he finds it uncomfortable. Here we see the young girl faced with the choice between two eligible men. She likes them both; she can’t decide; she wavers back and forth. Finally, the indecision becomes so painful that she impulsively makes a choice (she may even run away with a third man who is totally unsuitable). Anything to move off that maybe.
Some Fear people, however, live in indecision for years—waiting for some occurrence to tip the scale. Such an individual is afraid to be right and he doesn’t dare be wrong. He’s afraid to and he’s afraid not to. He can’t commit himself. He can’t plan the future, and he can’t face the present. If you ask him to set up an appointment a few days in advance, he can’t: “Call me later. We’ll see what happens.” (The more high-tone a person is, the more willingly he will commit himself to something in the future.)
Here we find the couple who date each other for seventeen years because they’re afraid to get married. He’s the man who wants to change jobs, but can’t muster the nerve; he grows old waiting for the right impetus. Here’s the miserable marriage that continues on because neither person works up the courage to resolve it or end it.
Hope is a marvelous quality when it is quickly transferred into specific plans, actions and accomplishments. Every great doer starts with a dream. At Fear, however, we find the vacuum of blind hope—the deadly initiative killer. He doesn’t progress; he doesn’t give up. He simply postpones living today. It’s too frightful, so he waits for something to happen. What is that something? I don’t know. I’ve seen people who waited for years, but “it” never arrived. They spend their lives living out of mental suitcases; they never unpack and settle down to something and they never take off and go anywhere. They wait. They day-dream. They think wistfully. The next moment, the next hour, the next day, surely, will bring that magic something that dissolves all doubts.
That’s blind hope. Waiting. Indecision. That’s the dead center of Fear.
Fear is the last of the soft emotions. Now we’re going to leave the mushy marshes and pick our way through a stretch of barbed wire . .
COVERT HOSTILITY (1.1)
Covert: 1) Covered or covered over; sheltered. 2) concealed; hidden; secret. Hostile: 1) Of or pertaining to an enemy. 2) feeling or showing enmity; antagonistic.—American Heritage Dictionary
The main difficulty with a 1.1 is that he doesn’t wear a neon sign telling you he’s a 1.1.
It’s a cover-up tone—the most difficult one on the scale to recognize. After you do spot one, don’t expect the next 1.1 you meet to bear much resemblance.
HIS MANY DISGUISES
He may be that hearty buffoon, “the life of the party.” She’s the inconspicuous little old maid down the street who never forgets your birthday. He could be the jovial, back-slapping salesman. The smooth con man. The witty, entertaining gossip columnist. The swaggering office Don Juan. She might be the smiling lady next door who knows all the delicious little stories about the neighbors. He’s the lover who is gay and tenderly passionate one minute and disdainfully sarcastic the next. He’s the clever imposter who passed himself off as a surgeon for fifteen years. He’s the gentle-mannered homosexual. Or that pleasant young man who “never said an unkind word to anyone” but was just convicted of seven hideous sex crimes. Or that newspaper reporter who appeared so friendly until his story (full of slimy innuendos) was in print. And here’s where we find that nice bank president who embezzled $100,000 and skipped off to Brazil with the belly dancer. He could be the sensitive poet, the suave millionaire or the charming vagrant who lives by his wits and hasn’t done a day’s work in twenty years.
Wherever he turns up, he’ll be in disguise. If you’re generous in character, you may be tempted to treat him leniently.
At 1.1 we find the emotion Ron Hubbard has described as “the most dangerous and wicked level on the tone scale.” (Science of Survival)
He’s halfway between Fear (which motivates his tone) and Anger (which he must conceal). His emotion dictates that he smile and put up a good front at all times since he “knows” he mustn’t ever become angry. At this position we find flagrant lying in order to avoid real communication. Such lying may be in the form of pretended agreement (“what a marvelous idea”), flattery (“that’s a darling dress, my dear”) or appeasement (“now don’t worry; I’ll take care of everything”).
The 1.1 constructs a false facade, an artificial personality. He’s the cheerful hypocrite.
AS A FRIEND
You wont need enemies. You’d be better off as a recluse. Don’t trust him with your money, your reputation or your wife. He’s a person who hates but is unable to say he hates. He deals in treachery and expects to be forgiven. He’ll tell you he stood up for you when he actually did his best to destroy your reputation. He’ll flatter you quite insincerely while he waits for his moment to do you in. And he’ll find more ways of doing you in than I can possibly catalog in one chapter.
The 1.1 expects special privileges or exemptions, He’ll be the one most likely to assume that he can break the rules—of a marriage, a company, a group or society.
We often like the 1.1 at first because he pretends to be so high-tone. But eventually (unless we’re in Sympathy) we grow to despise him. Our loathing, however, is sometimes hard to explain because we can seldom pin down exactly what this doll is doing that’s so despicable.
While he’s arrogant, he’s such an accomplished actor that we may be deceived by his put-on of humility. Having command of all the tones below his, he uses them without conscience to convince us he’s harmless and means well. In this way, he manipulates people, always seeking hidden control. He may weep, plead, propitiate or sympathize; he may pose contempt or disdain. But through all the histrionics he is trying to nullify others to get them to the level where they can be used.
If you get mad at him, he usually drops to Propitiation (goes out of his way to do things for you or brings you gifts) or Grief (“I didn’t mean any harm . . . “) in order to worm his way back into your confidence. Count on him to know your soft spots and to play on them with consummate skill.
Here’s a fast way to peg a 1.1: he seeks to introvert you. This generally occurs in the first few seconds of meeting him. He’ll say, “You’ve gained some weight, haven’t you?” or “I can’t figure out why you look so different . . . ” On the phone, he may open the conversation with: “Your voice sounds funny; do you have a cold?” Under the guise of friendly concern, these remarks are meant to push your attention into yourself (and away from him). Soon you’ll be explaining yourself or worrying: “What’s the matter with me?”
On meeting, the 1.1 nearly always tries to speak first in order to grasp control of the conversation. If he gets his own darts in first, there is less chance for something to be thrown at him. I once introduced two 1.1 men to each other. As I did so, I wondered who would win the inevitable rush to get in the first word. Well, they both started talking at once, and they kept talking for at least a full minute, neither hearing a single word said by the other. They were well-matched.
Covert Hostility fills his conversation with small barbs, thinly veiled as compliments (“this cake is delicious, almost as good as anything you could buy in a store”). It’s a 1.1 who uttered the classic put-down: “That’s such a lovely dress you’re wearing. I’ve admired it for years.”
He feels a continual nervous necessity to reject almost any remark. If you’re trying to make a sincere statement or present an upscale idea, he’ll query it, “I see what you mean, but. . .” He’ll helpfully correct your pronunciation and word choices (he’s the semantic fanatic), start picking lint off your shoulder, or interject a joke at your expense (usually with puns; he loves them). He uses any conceivable method of cutting your communication to ribbons. Of course (ha ha) he didn’t mean any harm. Just being friendly.
He lies when there’s no reason to lie. Facts are confused, twisted or hidden, while he noisily advertises his honesty, ethics and virtue. He may be giving you his “sacred word” while he wields his automatic knife-in-the-back trickery.
If you challenge his lies, he’ll probably tell you he was being “subtle.”
The high-tone person might play the role of spy and do it well (although he does not enjoy subterfuge). The 1.1, however, is a natural spy. If you want to make this fellow come to life, present him with an inviting situation that requires guile, cunning, deviousness or perversion. Give him a justification for window peeping, eavesdropping, snooping or secret investigating and he’s fully aware.
When there’s a straight course for doing something, the 1.1 won’t use it; it doesn’t occur to him. He’ll think of a devious method for doing the same thing. I once worked in an office where the 1.1 office manager forbade dumping ashtrays in the wastebaskets. I assumed this rule was motivated by fastidiousness (or a conscience about fire prevention) until I learned that every night he searched through all the wastebaskets before they were emptied (even piecing together torn bits of paper), so he could find out what was “really going on” in the office. He relished discovering some juicy secret in this manner. Of course, the word got around, so the staff started amusing themselves by planting all sorts of wild, fictitious scraps of “evidence” in with the discards.
Although 1.1 conceals his own motives and activities, he is strongly compelled to reveal secrets of others. This is the tone of the traitor and the subversive. Having no regard for privacy, he thrives on the chance to expose people (this is even more prevalent in the next tone: No Sympathy). The Covert Hostility who is having a “secret” love affair will do his best to see that evidence is left around so that people find out, especially where this creates trouble for his partner.
He’s a genius at extracting information from others. Several years ago I worked for a company on some secret research. Only three of us knew the nature of the project and none of us was an indiscriminate talker. Therefore, I was surprised one day, lunching with the switchboard operator, when she casually said, “Well, I understand you found . . . ” She was so nearly right that it was hard to believe she was only guessing. I denied any knowledge of the subject, so she said, “Oh, come on, don’t kid me. Everyone knows what you’re working on.” I realized later that she must have listened in on phone conversations for part of her information; the rest was conjecture.
Even the speculations of a 1.1 are done with a blatant pretense that he knows all; this way he frequently lures his unsuspecting victim into telling too much.
THE MYSTERY TECHNIQUE
The 1.1 not only enjoys probing a mystery, he likes to create one. He can even use a knowing, enigmatic smile as a put-down. I once saw a 1.1 looking over the manuscript prepared by a friend of mine, while my friend eagerly awaited comments. When he finished, the 1.1 merely smiled slyly and said, “I’m reserving judgment on it. I’ll be thinking it over.”
This was an insidious blow to the author’s pride, but he recovered when I indicated the tone level of his would-be critic. A clever and vicious way to entrap a creative person—pin his attention in a mystery.
Implying hidden knowledge is a common device of the gossip. A person of higher tone may pass on news of mutual friends, but he tries to stay with facts. The 1.1, however, embellishes the facts with additives which sound true. “You know Joe and Phyllis are splitting up?” That may be a fact. But Mabel (the 1.1) will add: “Just between you and me, it wouldn’t surprise me to hear that she was running around with Bill on the sly.”
Her knowing manner suggests that she’s certain of more facts than she’s telling.
The chronic gossip who enjoys shredding a reputation with half-truths, suppositions and speculations is a 1.1. You may meet her draped over the backyard fence; you’ll find him leaning on the office water cooler. It’s often the tone of the reporter, interviewer and talk show m.c.—the one who uses his charm to gain the confidence of the interviewee before he slices him up.
It requires stoic discipline to resist the sly questioning techniques of the 1.1.
Many years ago I moved into a flat and purchased the furniture of the former tenants. A short time later, the upstairs neighbour dropped in. “I see you bought their furniture,” she said.
I nodded and changed the subject. A few minutes later she brought the conversation back to the furniture: “I understand they were asking fifteen hundred dollars for it . . .
The statement hung in the air like a question, creating a perfect opportunity for me to correct or confirm her statement. Having met her kind before, however, I decided to out 1.1 her, so I simply murmured, “Really?” and changed the subject.
The 1.1 will jeopardize a business. He cunningly infects an entire office, turning people against each other and all of them against the company. He’s so covert that he’s nearly invisible as the source of bad news and general frustration in the environment.
Although he can do a job, and usually manages to appear hardworking, it’s often a bluff. Unable to tolerate being the effect of anyone, he evades by covert means. Ask him to do a job and he says, “Sure, I’ll be glad to do it,” but it never gets done. He pretends to take orders; but there’s no intention to follow through.
Covert Hostility is not responsible but he pretends to be. I went to a charming modern wedding out on the West Coast where there were no ushers. A 1.1 relative of the groom took it upon herself to stand at the door telling incoming guests: “Since apparently there aren’t to be any ushers, I guess you’ll just have to find your own seat.”
Speaking with acid emphasis, she appeared to be assuming responsibility; but her intent was destructive. Clearly, she wanted to make certain the guests knew this wedding was “improperly planned.” If a high-tone person noticed that arriving guests were confused (and I don’t think they were in this case), he might say, “Just take a seat wherever you like.” No vicious implications.
The 1.1 is so preoccupied with making an impression on people, his need for recognition puts him on stage all of the time. Never relaxing, he’s an actor, constantly studying his audience to see if everyone is impressed. It’s difficult for a 1.1 to be an audience for long.
In the classroom, he’s often the first person to pose a question after the lecture (he’ll interrupt if permitted):
“Professor, don’t you think. . .” He’s not interested in getting an answer; he merely wants to establish his brilliance. The question is posed for its effect.
Many 1.ls want attention so much they’re immune to embarrassment. I once knew one who dressed in the most outlandish clothes imaginable. He drifted around looking like a psychedelic bad trip and frequently bragged: “Everybody noticed me.” This same person relished any opportunity to make remarks designed to shock everyone in the room. There are other 1.1s, incidentally, who dress and speak most conservatively.
When he can’t get into the limelight himself, he fastens onto creative, successful people and works unceasingly to knock them downscale. We find 1.1s clustered around the perimeter of show business. He is often the nonperforming critic who seeks hidden control over some area of aesthetics so he can tell the talented person viciously destructive things “for your own good.”
When he fails to get close to the winners, he brags that he is anyway. He knows the big movie stars. The President asks his advice. He pretends he’s having love affairs with the most beautiful women.
Because of a strong compulsion to play the big shot, the 1.1 often connives his way to the higher echelons of business, politics, clubs or social groups. He’s a short-cutter, however, with such idle persistence that he’s rarely proficient in any line. Instead, he learns only enough to fake his way to an influential spot. He wants the applause without ever learning to dance.
He’s the dilettante who dabbles in music and gives it up. He studies painting for a month and loses interest. Too flighty to concentrate on a subject long enough to become accomplished, he prefers to make a cursory study after which he uses guile and chicanery to pass himself off as an expert.
All criminals fall below 2.0 on the scale (as long as they are still criminals) and a great many of them are 1.1s. Even when a Covert Hostility person is not actively breaking the law, he is unethical and dishonest.
He has a tendency toward suicidal actions; but he is actively seeking the death of his entire environment (“I guess I’ll succumb but maybe I’ll take you with me”). Here we have murder by slow erosion of individuals and culture, each harmful action slyly masked with lengthy reasoning. Here we find the people who most promote (and most enjoy) pornography. Here is the silky pimp who talks the young girl into becoming a prostitute. Here is the cagey pusher who convinces teenagers that they should “get with it,” and that drugs are harmless anyway.
RELAY OF COMMUNICATION
He prefers to relay only the most malicious communication. Good news is quickly forgotten or deliberately suppressed. If you send a special bargain notice to a customer and there’s a 1 .1 opening the mail, he’ll see that the notice never gets to the buyer in time. Covert Hostility people frequently position themselves where they can control incoming communications. This not only gratifies their snooping instincts, it permits hidden control.
One morning I observed a 1.1 handling a small business establishment for the absent owner. It was a busy day with customers, orders and inquiries constantly flowing in. An irate workman called; a foreman was not on the job and couldn’t be located. A few minutes later the owner phoned in. “Oh boy,” our dream girl reported with relish, “things are really a mess around here today . . .
She dwelled lengthily on the one “trouble” call, completely neglecting to mention all the good news and normal business.
SENSE OF HUMOR
He enjoys no real sense of humor, but at this tone we most often hear the compulsive laughter that burbles out when there is nothing at all amusing. We may be discussing the weather or the ball scores and the 1.1 will titter or chuckle meaninglessly. He laughs at a joke—probably longer than everyone else—but it’s not really funny to him. Nothing is.
I’ve known many 1.1s who were not practical jokers; but I’ve never known a practical joker who wasn’t a 1.1. They delight in making elaborate, secret preparations designed to fool, embarrass, expose, belittle or humiliate the victim. All in fun, of course.
The manager of a local insurance company told me of a time, early in his career, when he was transferred to an office in another state. Apparently some ethnic conviction caused people in that particular area to shun life insurance policies, although they would happily buy annuities. Unaware of this, our man spent two frustrating weeks trying to sell life insurance; but he failed completely. Bewildered and depressed, he described his experiences to the men in the office. Finally, they disclosed the secret of selling in that city. Permitting him to lose for awhile was part of the “initiation” for a new man. Although my friend failed to appreciate the joke, the 1.1 boys in the office considered it hilarious.
He acts amazed when you don’t laugh at his sly capers. If you get annoyed, he expects you to forgive his peccadilloes.
You could write a whole book on the sexual characteristics of the 1.1 (and many people have). Some of them are strait-laced to the point of prudishness and blatantly insist on morals for others. But also at this level we most frequently find promiscuity, perversion, sadism and every irregular practice. Strangely, the 1.1 doesn’t actually enjoy the sex act itself, but is hectically anxious about it. He’ll be the strong advocate of “free love.”
The excessively promiscuous person is nearly always a 1.1. His lack of persistence shows up in the inability to enjoy a long-term, meaningful relationship with one individual. He constantly seeks sexual pleasure through the new and different.
Such people are dangerous to a society because their kinky behaviour is contagious. Free love and promiscuity are danger signals which should be heeded if a race is to go forward. Such activities indicate a covert reversal of the sanctity of love and marriage. There are now so many publications devoted exclusively to advocating, encouraging and glamorizing promiscuity, that the upscale person may feel out-numbered. He begins to question his natural instinct for fidelity and constancy and wonders if he’s old-fashioned.
Today’s frank confrontation of problems related to abortion, birth control and enlightened sexual adjustment is much saner than the Victorian priggishness that clouded such issues for many years. However, harbingers of the “liberated age” (usually the 1.ls of the press and periodicals) would have us believe that this means anything goes. With glib irresponsibility, they report on man’s most debased activities and ignore the possibility that their own choice of “news” will be a corroding influence.
The 1 .1 can be the sweetest-talking lover on the tone scale, but as a long-term partner, he’s most harmful. Very likely he’ll cheat and/or insidiously undermine his spouse’s confidence with all manner of subterfuge. He won’t be satisfied until his partner is reduced to Apathy and all dreams are gone.
Recently a friend wrote me about observing a group of homosexuals who lived near him: “I think they’re called ‘gay’ for good reason,” he said, “I’ve never heard so much laughter as I have living with these cats around. There’s an almost constant level of superficial gaiety and happiness.”
This is the forced “happiness” of the 1.1.
Homosexuals may be fearful, sympathetic, propitiative, griefy or apathetic. Occasionally they manage an ineffectual tantrum. But home base is 1.1.
Homosexuals don’t practice love; 1.1s can’t. Their relationships consist of: 1) brief, sordid and impersonal meetings or 2) longer arrangements punctuated by dramatic tirades, discords, jealousies and frequent infidelity. It could hardly be otherwise since the tone is made up of suspicion and hate, producing a darling sweetness interspersed with petty peevishness. Their “love” turns to deep contempt eventually.
Although the 1.1 detests children, he’s sometimes capable of playing the role of parent convincingly. There is always the subtle, damaging inclination, however, no matter how benignly masked. We see little want his company. Once you do this, naturally, he’ll talk about you behind your back. But, don’t kid yourself, he’s been talking about you all along anyway.
Remember that beneath that pixie twinkle thumps a heart of solid granite.
NO SYMPATHY (1.2)
“I don’t know, Frank, which one of these girls do you think I should marry?”
Puzzled by the unexpected confidence from his fellow worker, my somewhat conventional friend asked, “Well, which one are you in love with?”
“Who the hell’s talking about love? I’m wondering which one will do me the most good.”
This young social climber later married a beautiful girl from a wealthy, prominent family and worked his way to the top in the entertainment business, ruthlessly trampling his trusting benefactors.
Meet No Sympathy. He’s cold, blunt, uncaring, unfeeling. You aren’t going to like him. A man without a conscience, he appears to be totally emotionless. He’s the person for whom most of our explicit swear words were coined.
On this level we find an intriguing mixture of the characteristics of 1.5 and 1.1. Displaying more animosity then the 1.1, not quite blasting off in Anger, he dwells in a narrow band where he can be identified by his cold control.
“Don’t tell me your troubles.” He puts up a black curtain before himself to prevent experiencing any compassion for those he’s hurting—and he will be hurting somebody.
When people get upset by his actions (and many do), the 1.2 is genuinely surprised. Such emotions are unreal to him. His aloof rigidity is the result of tightly holding down a violent charge of Anger. He’s using so much effort to suppress Anger that he shuts off all emotions—high and low. This creates a paradox: a person who appears unemotional because his emotions are actually too strong. Of course, he is suppressing all remorse for his past actions. He doesn’t dare unbend, because “emotion” to him is violent and uncontrolled Anger.
At a party once each person was giving a brief description of himself. One man indicated his tone with the remark: “Most people think I’m snobbish, but I just wasn’t born with the gift of gregariousness.”
Later the same man said to me, “I’m usually cool and unemotional, although sometimes I do lose my temper and I suffer for it. It’s pretty terrible.”
THE LOVE GAME
Some 1.2s are completely turned off to the whole love scene. Others are compulsively promiscuous. If No Sympathy decides to play the lover, he is usually a heartbreaker, because he is able to turn on enough of the 1.1 charm to captivate his victims; but his subsequent indifference leaves them miserable and mystified.
If he’s carrying on with more than one girl at a time, he may nonchalantly tell them about each other. He’ll get perverse enjoyment from their jealousy.
Some (not all) 1.2 women are bluntly masculine in behavior. However, when we find the 1.2 aloofness accompanied by femininity and beauty, the combination devastates men.
A young man was successfully playing a 1.1 love-em-and-leave-em game until he met a No Sympathy girl. He found her icy beauty and standoffish attitude an intriguing challenge to his talents. Surely, he convinced himself, beneath that glacial exterior there is a warm heart. He was confident of ultimate victory. But he’d met his match—a better games player. She accepted his attentions for a while (in a go-away-closer manner) before casually dropping him. Bewildered and crestfallen, he dropped downscale. He recovered enough to become successful in his field, but he retained a beautiful sadness about the loss of his only “true love” until years later when he became acquainted with the tone scale.
He states his views abruptly. If you disagree with him, that’s too bad. He’ll probably ignore you. He appears strong. If he’s ambitious, he’s often successful (by certain standards, anyway), because he’ll mercilessly stomp on anyone to get what he wants.
His super-confidence usually attracts lower-tone persons to him. They think, “Here’s a man who really knows what he’s doing.” But before long, they find themselves confused and upset by his attitude and they wonder: “How can he be so heartless?” But he maintains his frosty, unsmiling attitude toward those less fortunate. He’s a mixture of the blunt “I’m too good for them” of the 1.5 and the self-conscious ego of the 1.1.
He may sometimes be an exhibitionist, in which case he’ll embarrass everyone around him; but he couldn’t care less. His own insensitivity makes it almost impossible for him to feel embarrassment himself—or to understand it in others.
He may own a great deal or little; but he will have the 1.5’s attitude “It’s mine!” about anyone’s possessions. So he can be quite unscrupulous about appropriating the property, time or money of other people.
While this tone is higher than Sympathy (he’s more alive and more capable), the person who remains at 1.2 is extremely aberrated. Instead of needing to sympathize, he can’t. Callously immune to pleas for pity or understanding, he lives in his locked-up world between forced “niceness” and smashing hate. If you tell him of some difficulty, he replies, “Well, you got yourself into it.” He refuses to help, “You made your bed. Now lie in it.”
He usually ignores communications from other people—except those close to his own tone. If you’re telling him something, he may tap his foot impatiently or otherwise rush you, unless the subject matter is scandalous or turbulent enough (he’s fascinated with stories of violence).
ANGER IN ABSENTIA
Often we see this person act bold or angry in absentia. Unable to throw his Anger straight at someone, he expresses it indirectly. He says, “They can go fly a kite,” but he says it to someone else. I’ve even seen the No Sympathy utter sneering asides to a third person in front of the person he’s talking about.
Once I saw a 1 .2 waiting in line at the bank. Annoyed at the delay, he started loudly remarking to the room at large: “They sure have a bunch of cretins working here. What’s the delay anyhow? Did they wait until the place filled up so they could all go out for coffee?”
This indirect Anger is a characteristic peculiar to No Sympathy. A 1.5 on a rampage would blast the bank teller directly. A 1.1 would make critical remarks after leaving the bank. No Sympathy, trapped between bravado and cowardice, makes the negative remarks, but not in direct confrontation.
AS A FRIEND
You’ll never develop a close, mutual understanding with 1 .2. He can’t share your joys or comfort you in the boo-hoos. He may forget to call you if he breaks a date; he may unexpectedly depart for Hong Kong without saying good-bye. He gives no thought to amenities. Inconsiderate to an extreme, he operates like a horse with blinders seeing only the path ahead of him— unaware of the upsets and wretchedness he creates.
If he bothers to cultivate your friendship at all, he’s probably using you.
“I ONLY WANT TO KNOW ENOUGH TO DESTROY”
Each tone has its awakening point—some acceptable activity that permits the person to fully dramatize the characteristics of his tone. When an individual finds a compatible profession which allows him the full play of his emotional tone (with public sanction), he usually operates effectively and industriously.
If the 1.2 finds his way into the field of journalism, he can become a crakerjack exposé writer. Such work calls for the guile of the 1.1 and the impartial hatred of the 1.5. The guiding attitude is: “I only want to know enough to destroy.” The exposé writer, operating with disarming friendliness to get the confidence of his victims, prides himself on his ability to ferret out the “real truth.” Using the spying talents of the 1.1, he can start with a hint of a story and carefully piece together elusive facts, rumors and reports extracted from informers.
He blatantly insists on ethics and morals for others, although his own destructive actions are excused with: “The public deserves to know the truth.”
One such writer says he resorts to flagrant impersonations in order to get information or documents. He considers that the end always justifies the means, because “democracy entitles people to know; it is to the public benefit.”
Waiving responsibility for any harmful result, he asserts that a good journalist must absolutely never worry about the aftermath of the news he’s reporting. “Use any guile you can, bluff your way along if necessary, but get the facts. Then report them, good or bad, to the public without concern over the consequences. We must satisfy the public’s right to know. To do otherwise, would mean the destruction of free journalism.”
His biased viewpoint is close enough to the truth that it is believed and accepted by many intelligent people. We should know, however, that low-tone people selectively report only low-tone “news,” the sordid and sensational activities of a small minority. They actually do not see uptone, high survival activities.
You could take a survey in middle-class suburbia any evening and you’d hardly find anybody who was committing murder, rape, robbery or scandal. Instead, you’d probably find Mom at the PTA meeting engaged in a warm debate about hot lunches, Dad falling asleep over the newspaper and Junior eating a pound of cookies, watching TV, listening to the blast of a stereo and doodling in the margins of his history book.
“But none of this is news,” the journalist tells us. It’s an interesting commentary on the tone of our whole society that the word “news” has come to mean mostly low-scale sensationalism.
LIVING BY ROTE
It always seemed to me as if Beverly studied other people to find out how she should react herself. She was like a teenager at his first formal dinner, watching everyone else to see which fork to use.
On the day of her marriage, she asked me, “I never could figure out weddings. Are they supposed to be somber like church or fun like a party or what?”
“I think it depends on how you feel yourself,” I said.
“But I don’t feel anything. I don’t know how to act.”
As she matured, she gradually acquired the accepted social gestures, but there was never any spontaneous originality or graciousness. Once she said to me: “My husband says I’m not sensitive enough. I never seem to know when people are upset or disturbed about something. I guess this is true, but how am I supposed to know what’s going on in someone else’s mind?”
I never could understand her strange uninvolvement with life until I became familiar with the tone scale. She was so thoroughly walled in at 1.2 that she experienced no natural responses. It was necessary to acquire them, by rote, from others.
The good-looking young man sat mute, expressionless. Throughout the long trial he showed no emotion, no worry, no tears. When the jury convicted him (on circumstantial evidence) of the brutal sex slaying of a young girl, he still showed no response. Many people wondered if he was really guilty. Former neighbors said, “I can’t imagine him doing anything so violent. He always seemed such a quiet fellow.”
I didn’t know the man was guilty either; but I knew from his tone that he was capable of such a crime.
Not all 1 .2s are sex killers (you might also find on this tone the crusty dowager who doesn’t even believe in sex), but such killers are usually in this tone.
He’s a sadist. He likes to maim and injure for kicks. He’s the kid who picked the wings off the fly. He takes pleasure in hurting someone who lies helpless. Incapable of the aggressive brutality of the 1.5, he operates behind the scenes (Nazi war crimes and cruel treatment of war prisoners were examples of 1 .2). His balance of secrecy and brutality is seen in clandestine crimes where there is little chance of retaliation.
Should you attempt to call down a 1.2 for his heartless actions, he’ll be unmoved: “I do what I do. If that bothers you, it’s your problem.” He’s afraid to know what others are feeling because he must avoid responsibility for the effect he creates on them. His unpredictable actions may be unsettling to others. But, of course, “That’s tough.”
The 1.1 often pretends to be sympathetic, understanding, or even griefy (to achieve some covert ends), but the 1.2 seldom bothers with such deception. He turns an indifferent back on someone else’s weaknesses or troubles. Paradoxically, however, he will fully expect his own harmful acts to be understood, overlooked or forgiven.
At this level you often see a stubborn refusal to talk. He sulks in silence, refusing to listen to others unless they are encouraging his own attitude.
To No Sympathy there is only one viewpoint: his own.
Let’s get out in the open now.
Anger: 1) a feeling of extreme displeasure, hostility, indignation, or exasperation toward someone or something; rage; wrath; ire.—American Heritage Dictionary
Bristling with a case of permanent distemper, he rants, raves, rages, seethes, fumes, blames and complains.
He’s the neighborhood crank who kicks the kids off the vacant lot in the middle of the ball game. He’s the impatient driver who starts honking a millisecond after the stop light changes and shouts obscenities out the car window. He’s the tyrant father who berates and belittles the child. He’s the boss who keeps the whole office staff in terror. He’s the wife beater. The rapist.
His game is stopping things. When he isn’t boiling over, he’s simmering. The 1.5 tone ranges from seething resentment at the bottom, through expressed bad temper, up to a smashing rage on the top.
“I’M RIGHT WHENEVER I’M WRONG”
This one tells you what’s wrong with things; that’s all he tells you. You’re wrong; they’re wrong; it’s wrong. The only thing he never says is “I’m wrong.” He’s always right—even when he’s wrong. Don’t try confuse him with facts.
This isn’t the only tone trying to make others (every tone below 2.0 does it one way or another), but the 1.5 is direct about it. You always know where you stand with him; you’re wrong, of course, just by being there.
ALL REALITY IS PERVERTED
Did you ever hear an Angry man tell the truth? I once tried to imagine how a man and wife could real fight if they spoke only the truth, generalities and exaggerations. The usual argument goes something like this:
HE: “When are you ever going to learn to cook? This food tastes terrible!”
SHE: “You’re always criticizing my cooking. You never appreciate all the work I do for you.”
HE: “Sure I do. I’m always telling you what a good wife you are.”
SHE: “You do not! You don’t even love me! (Exists slamming door)
HE: “Women! They’re impossible!”
If you removed all the generalities from this dispute and substituted nothing but facts, it would sound thing like this:
HE: “The gravy is a bit thin tonight.”
SHE: “That’s the fiftieth time you’ve criticized my cooking. In fact, on one hundred and seventy-eight occasions during our marriage you showed a lack of appreciation for my efforts.”
HE: “That’s true. However, I’ve complimented you three hundred and seventy-eight times.”
SHE: “By my count, there were only three hundred and fourteen genuine compliments and fifty-seven implied approvals. The seven additional compliments you claim, apparently did not seem like compliments to me. This imbalance of agreement leads me to believe that you don’t love me.” (Exit)
HE: “That woman! Forty-three thousand two hundred and eighty-seven times I have been unable to comprehend and converse intelligently with her.”
A fight without a bit of untruth just isn’t a fight. No producer would buy that script.
“I AM SOMEBODY”
His oversized ego and aggressiveness frequently win him a position as boss. He appears to be a man of action, but usually he merely creates a flurry that’s mostly noise. When the dust settles, we can see that little was accomplished.
Since his blustering distemper thrives best in a climate of emergencies, he frequently creates them.
He knows exactly how to handle people: “Tell them off,” “I say, shoot em all,” “You gotta be tough to get along in this world.”
The angry person is hung up on obedience.
I once worked for a company owned by a 1 .5. He was fanatic about cleanliness and order, so when he was expected in town, the whole office force scurried around spiffing up the place.
On one such visit, the big boss marched through the halls glancing into rooms until he came to the empty office of the sales manager where he noticed a hat lying on the desk. Erupting in rage, he screamed:
“What’s the matter with these idiots? What do they think we have coat closets for?”
He continued his virulent outburst as he picked up the hat, slammed open the window and slung the offending headgear out of the twenty-first story of the building. Just as the sales manager returned to his office with one of the company’s biggest clients, the client’s hat caught in the breeze and sailed off like a glorious kite across the city of Detroit.
The company lost a client.
ON THE JOB
High-tone creative people don’t want to work for a 1.5. Anger is dedicated to driving them downscale and killing all creativeness. In addition to demands for obedience, he uses threats, punishment and alarming lies to dominate. He gives enigmatic, incomplete orders, and after the job is done he criticizes by saying, “I didn’t tell you to do it that way.”
A friend of mine told me about showing a presentation to his 1.5 boss who said, “That’s all wrong! Do this. Change that.”
After my friend made all of the indicated changes, he returned the proposal for approval. This time the boss yelled: “Where on earth did you get these stupid ideas?”
In business the 1.5 will not delegate responsibility to subordinates. He tries to keep control of everything while complaining that “no one can do anything for himself around here. I have to do it all.”
Because of his inability to give clear, understandable orders, and because of his constant threatening interference, the 1 .5’s subordinates become confused people—lacking in confidence and ability. They’ve been wrong so often that most of them end up stuck in Fear, Grief or Apathy. At best, they’ll become 1.ls.
Anger’s underlying obsession is a desire to make people remain in one place. The angry parent says, “Stop running,” “Stop doing that.” Too civilized to actually kill people (usually), the 1.5 tries to reduce them to Apathy. After he succeeds, he attempts to straighten things out by demanding obedience.
I once knew a 1.5 boss who whipped his people into frenzied activity (“Let’s get some action here”)—the staff members were nervous and busy—but little was ever accomplished. He went away for a month, however, and the entire atmosphere changed. People were punctual, cheerful, relaxed and at least twice as much work was accomplished.
SMASH AND DESTROY
The death-talker who plans revolts is a 1.5. He’s going to save the country (by destroying it). He won’t listen to a constructive plan unless he can turn it to destruction. Here we find warmongers and dictators.
He spreads dour and terrible news and generally won’t pass on good news. He prefers to spread tidings of alarm. He asserts that all is about to be destroyed and that destruction alone can prevent destruction from taking place. Sounds like madness, doesn’t it? It is.
I read an underground newspaper which was handed out to Ann Arbor high school students. In the middle of a “peace” article, it said, “We’ll stop war, even if we have to fight to do it.”
The 1.5 will destroy any and all ethics (as will anyone from here on down the scale). He’s actively dishonest. I read another underground newspaper published by an anarchist group which said: “For too long now, sisters and brothers have been getting ripped off in this community. The criminal element has run wild like a pack of mad dogs, busting and harassing our people at will. It’s time we got it together enough so our culture has some ‘police protection.’ In other words, we need some protection against the police (pigs). The LSD trip is one way to get this together. .
The first thing to be done is arming and training of each affinity group . . . The M-1 carbine is the ideal weapon for situations we are likely to encounter.”
The article went on to suggest regular target practice, exercises in gun cleaning and more. The rest of the paper consisted of a “drug market report” giving prices and quality of drugs currently on the local market. In typical 1.5 conduct, this group would destroy the “enemy” (organized police forces) with guns and its own participants with drugs.
People will let themselves be led by someone who is in the next level up on the scale. Therefore, all of the gullible souls in the Fear band can be easily influenced and pushed into action by the 1.5.
SENSE OF HUMOR
His sense of humor (if you can call it that) consists of laughter at very painful misfortunes. Fall down and break your neck and the 1.5 will think it’s hilarious.
His real “pleasure” in life comes from venting his Anger; he enjoys being dangerous. He describes with relish how he “really told them off” or “busted him in the nose.”
At this position on the tone scale we find total unreasoning “bravery.” He gets his kicks from taking high risks—especially toward destruction of other people and things. Many war heroes (but not all) operated on nothing more than the false bravado of the 1.5, this, of course, looks pretty awesome to the cowardly tones below it.
If you’ve ever experienced a moment of rage when it was tremendously satisfying to smash a plate or slam a door, you can understand this tone. Rage is the high side of 1.5 and if a person is here chronically, smashing things is his form of pleasure.
“I OWN PEOPLE”
Not particularly interested in viewpoints unless they fortify his own, he usually shuts off the other person’s conversation by interrupting or refusing to listen. Once he decides you shouldn’t be what you are or do what you’re doing, he accepts no excuse or explanation.
While working for the company I mentioned earlier (owned by the 1.5), I heard this story about one of our young engineers: He was on vacation, but came to the office to pick up a paycheck. Not knowing the owner was in town, he wore a pair of slacks and a wildly colorful sport shirt. To his alarm, he stepped out of the elevator directly in front of the big boss. Scowling at the casual apparel, the boss snarled, “Young man, do you work for me?”
Demonstrating mental agility and a high survival instinct, the engineer promptly replied, “No, sir. I’m on the wrong floor.”
Quickly wheeling around, he vanished down the stairway.
If you leave a message with him, know that it will produce a different result than the one you intended. Tell the 1.5 to have the janitor wash the windows and he’ll pass this on as a threat: “Boy, you’re in trouble with the front office. If you don’t get those windows cleaned you’re out of a job.”
Fiercely possessive of people and belongings, he’ll actually destroy his own property if threatened. The child when someone tries to take a toy away screams “It’s mine!” In Anger a child will often destroy his toys rather than be forced to share them.
AS A PARENT
Here’s the old-time Victorian father who rules with an iron hand. Easily upset by noise, clutter or enthusiastic play, the Anger person treats a child brutally, sometimes with heavy corporal punishment, as he tries to force the youngster into a mold with pain. (Incidentally, lower-tone parents will get angry at their children when they don’t dare express this emotion to anyone else.)
I once saw an entire family driven into mutual covertness under the domination of a 1.5 father. This father firmly believed that every growing child should start each day with a huge bowl of oatmeal. Although his four boys soon despised oatmeal, Father was unrelenting. During all the growing-up years, there was an unvarying morning ritual: Father supervised his wife’s preparation of the cereal and watched her serve it to the boys. Satisfied, he left for work. As soon as his car pulled out of the driveway each morning, however, four untouched bowls of oatmeal were dumped into the dog’s dish and Mother started cooking bacon and eggs.
I never did learn how the dog survived on this peculiar diet.
Any warmth or affection from a 1.5 would indicate that he’d changed tone.
It’s traditional for rampaging, conquering armies to rape. We hear of the mad criminal who rapes. Today’s 1.5 may be too civilized for actual rape, but he takes his woman with unfeeling abruptness, as tender as the bull storming through the barnyard. There’s no smooth talk, no kindness, no consideration. The 1.5 woman uses sex as punishment, by withholding it.
He may be blatantly unfaithful. Although he’s a poor lover, he’ll never believe it. He’s convinced (along with 1.1 and 1.2) that he’s God’s gift to women.
He’s all right, I guess, if you happen to like nuzzling with a barracuda.
“Stop!” the movie director screamed at the actors, “For God’s sake, will you do this scene right?”
A psychology book described this director’s behavior as a “mixture of emotions: anger, disgust, and impatience.” Actually, the mixture is just several predictable characteristics of Anger, rather than separate emotions. They’re all part of the 1 .5 package.
If you suggest something fun to a 1.5, he’ll snap, “I’ve got no time for that.” He prefers to complain. No matter how much he acquires, he experiences no real enjoyment from it; he feels he deserves more.
He blames someone for every defeat. He’s a grudge collector. If you say “I’m sorry, I take it all back,” he won’t let you take it back. He needs his grudges. They’re a reserve supply of fuel to throw on his ever-smoldering embers.
Armed with blind certainty, he’s the fool who rushes in while the angels are still checking with their attorneys. If someone says “you’re wrong,” he’s at 1.5 or 2.0. No other tone level will say this so bluntly.
The high-tone person drops to Anger when he’s stopped; but he recovers quickly and forgets it. He’s only in trouble if he makes a major decision or tries to fix something while he’s still in this tone.
I was teaching the tone scale to a class in England once when I asked the students to give me examples of low-scale behavior. One student described watching his neighbor try to start the car one morning. The neighbor turned the key, pumped the accelerator; but the car refused to start. He lifted the hood, puttered around inside and tried again. Still no response. After some time at this fruitless endeavor, the man flew into a passionate fit. He opened the trunk, grabbed a big hammer, and ran to the front of the car. Screaming, ranting, raving, he began beating the hammer on the hood of the car. . . again and again.
That’s one way to fix things. Permanently.
If you’ve ever taken care of a fellow in pain, you know how demanding, cranky and irritable a normally good-natured person can be.
Pain itself is not an emotion, but a perception that warns the individual that his survival is threatened. However, there is a particular emotional response to pain which occurs on a small way-stop between Anger and Antagonism.
A person cannot stay high-tone when he is in pain, so this is the level to which he drops. His attention scatters; he wants to be elsewhere (anywhere else); he’s testy, snappish and impatient. He’s fighting the pain; but his mind is so scattered that he’s completely ineffective.
Joe is cleaning the garage when a bee stings him. He makes a wild slap at the bee, misses and knocks over an oil can. He picks up the oil can, fumbles and drops it. Snarling, he lunges at the half-dead bee on the work bench and hits his head on the open cupboard door. His comments during this fiasco are unprintable.
Pain so interrupts a person’s orderly control of his environment that he fights it—with churlish, ill-natured thrusts. Extreme heat (one form of pain) produces emotions in this band of the scale. We see this in the person who climbs into a closed car on a hot summer day; he becomes impatient and cantankerous. Those same hot summer days are the ones which produce an eruption of riots and “crimes of passion.”
An upscale person can tolerate more discomfort in the form of extreme heat, cold, light or noise. The lower a person is on the scale, the lower his pain tolerance. Grief considers everything painful (knowledge, reality, experience and most sensations), so don’t confuse him with 1.8 where pain is real and sharp and the emotion is much more alive. Grief will complain of pain when his shoe pinches a little, whereas the high-tone person might not even consider the shoe uncomfortable.
We see many sports played across the level of 1.8 on the tone scale (although the top athletes themselves are usually higher tone than this). Ice hockey, for instance, is essentially an Antagonism game that produces frequent injuries. A player gets pushed against the boards; he drops to 1.8 and turns around clubbing with his stick at the offending opponent. Another player gets hit, so he too swings. Soon the whole thing turns into a donnybrook that sends half of the players to the penalty box.
It’s easy to identify someone in this tone: splice together equal parts of Anger and Antagonism, then sprinkle a little salt on the wound.
Antagonism: 1) Mutual resistance; opposition; hostility. 2) The condition of being an opposing principle, force or factor.—American Heritage Dictionary
On leaving a luncheon party, a friend of mine heard a departing guest gushing to the hostess: “This has been such a lovely lunch. I just can’t thank you enough. . .
The hostess queried dryly, “You can’t?”
After my friend told this story, I indicated to him that his hostess was at Antagonism. He was surprised by my quick evaluation; but he confirmed it. The tip-off was not only the words used, but the occasion and manner of use.
The primary characteristic of Antagonism is rebuttal. The emotion is overt hostility. He never fields the ball; he always bats it back. He twists facts to suit his Antagonism. He expresses verbal doubt. Defending his own reality, he attempts to undermine the reality of others.
All of these characteristics were evident in the hostess who was unwilling to accept a thank you with graciousness. Her challenging question was expressing verbal doubt, trying to undermine a statement made by the guest, twisting the facts by refusing to understand the guest’s intention and hurling the communication back.
That’s getting high mileage out of two words. Right?
Antagonism is the place where Anger goes in his better moments and where Boredom goes when provoked. The emotion is more alive than any tones we’ve covered so far. We might find him sometimes amusing, but seldom comfortable. This is the level of barbs and sarcastic word play. He throws everything back at you. That’s the quickest way to identify him. He’s openly resentful on the low side and mildly bantering on the high side.
While he can differentiate lower tones, he interprets all higher-tone communications to be the same as his own. If you try to give him a compliment, he turns it into an insult: “You did a great job here.”
He says, “Yeah? What do you mean by that crack?”
He nags, threatens and bluntly criticizes. He thrives on an argument. He challenges and cross-examines.
THE GAME IS THE THING
Two boys meet in a school yard “What’s your name?”
“What’s it to you?”
“I can lick you, loud mouth.”
“Yeah? Let’s see you try.”
Antagonism can’t resist a dare. If you want him to do something, suggest the opposite. If you want to sell him something, inform him that he can’t have it. Give him something to challenge. He will.
The best way to get him fired up is to give him a contest to win: “Bet you can’t get these done before two o’clock,” or “Bill will probably get more done than you.” Competition is his game. He’ll be persistent if there’s a chance to best the “enemy.”
You zig; he must zag. He’s the one who votes “no” when everyone else votes “yes.” He’s the person who wants to go to the dog show when everyone else wants to attend a concert. He must disagree. He must rebel. His whole survival (he thinks) depends on finding and engaging an opponent. Where Anger bluntly overrides you, the 2.0 prefers to debate about it. (Anger doesn’t bother arguing; he knows he’s right). Antagonism encourages a long argument in order to prove himself.
A high-tone person is not a blind follower. He often opposes the group-think. But he does so only out of personal conviction and only for a definite purpose. Antagonism, however, goes against others just for the pleasure of going against.
He never plays for the fun of it; he only plays to win. It’s serious. He likes to dominate every activity; where he can’t, he’ll quit. If he can’t quit, he’ll try to spoil it for others. He’s a poor sport. In a card game, he groans if he’s given a bad hand; he’s bitter if he loses a trick; he blames others for his bad luck. When he wins, he gloats and brags. He’ll cheat if he dares. There’s a driving complusion to win at all costs; it’s winning, not playing, that counts. An upscale person enjoys winning too; but he plays the game with a light, unserious touch . . . and it’s OK if he loses.
At 2.0 the person is so convinced that he’s either a victim or a victor that you can’t keep him from fighting his fellows (in a family or group) unless you find a common enemy elsewhere for him to oppose.
IN THE FAMILY
As a spouse, the 2.0 receives love with suspicion. It’s seriously questioned (“How do I know you love me?”); he may even return it with distaste or revulsion. Give him a tender pat on the cheek and he pushes your hand away.
He’s nagging and nervous about children and gives them a hard time.
If you marry a 2.0, don’t expect a placid relationship. He only comes to life at the chance of a good fight. If you refuse to fight, he carps and picks away until he gets some response. He works on a higher-tone person until he drags him down. He wants an opponent, not a partner.
His aggressiveness and competitive spirit frequently win him promotions; but people won’t like working for him. He’ll give orders in the form of threats: “Get this job done by the end of the week or you’ll never see that raise you’re wanting.”
Try to give him a job, and he’ll argue about it: “Why don’t we wait until next month. This’ll just bring us more headaches.” He’s a master at inventing reasons why he shouldn’t do a job.
How will 2.0 relay communication? Can you trust his reports? He does better than any of the tones we’ve met so far, letting a certain amount of communication come through accurately. However, he deals mostly in hostile and threatening conversation, and he will likely omit more creative or constructive news while passing on the destructive news. Instead of telling you the research department finally solved the problem of the leaking whatsis, he’ll say, “Research has worked out something; but they’re running into a big hassle with production over how to do it.”
Here is another tone that will laugh at the misfortune of others. He enjoys hearing the brutal, cutting remark; but he has no ear for the subtle or ludicrous humor enjoyed by higher-tone people.
When my oldest son was about four years old he was playing with a neighbor girl who locked him in a closet and kept the door shut until he was in a state of screaming hysteria. When I described the incident to a neighbor, she laughed.
He’s blunt, honest and tactless. The permanent chip on his shoulder can be knocked off by a mosquito’s breath.
* * * *
We’ve made it through the worst of the obstacle course now. Antagonism is the dividing line. Above it, a person is rational most of the time. Below 2.0 the person is irrational a larger percentage of the time.
The irrationality of the downscale person is evident in his limited viewpoint. He may be gullibly for, blindly against or forever indecisive; but he’s seldom flexible. Above this position, the person looks at things from many different viewpoints.
Let’s mosey out into the sunshine.
You go the the beach for a two-week vacation. Sometimes it takes most of the journey to quit worrying about whether you turned off all the stove burners and whether the dog will feel heartbroken at the kennel. It may be another day or so before you stop waking up with the panicky feeling that you’re late for work. Finally you relax and drift along with the mildly pleasant experience of no pressures or demands. You sleep late, swim, fish, loaf. When everything becomes so calm that the big event of the day is a stroll to the general store to see what’s going on— you’ve arrived at Boredom.
It’s a pleasant state where one is unconcerned about the larger issues of the world. Most of us, however, soon reach a saturation point on this level and start looking forward to getting involved again.
Not so with the chronic Boredom person. His biggest purpose in life is to kill time; he’s an expert at it.
About the only mistake you can make with this tone is putting people here who don’t belong.
Sometimes a person gives the appearance of going up to Boredom when actually he is still in his usual tone with the volume turned down. Nothing is happening which permits him to dramatize his chronic tone.
An Apathy person may tell you almost anything was boring, because it takes such an impact to create any effect on him. Grief will complain that a funny movie was boring, simply because she found no occasion to cry. When the 1.1 is not getting enough attention to ignite his spark plugs he affects a sophisticated, hypercritical boredom: “Why are we hanging around here? Let’s go where there’s some action.”
Such people are bored (by most definitions) because nothing is occurring that turns on the adrenalin; but they are not at 2.5 on the tone scale. The Boredom person is not complaining, not impatient. He can endure it.
Let’s look in on a high school classroom .
“Dear Marcy, I’ve never been so bored. If this guy doesn’t shut up pretty soon, I’m going to have a screaming fit! He’s talking about grasshopper legs, for gosh sakes! Like, wouldn’t you think you’d learn something sexy in Biology?”
Three seats behind our letter writer, a lanky six-footer slumps in light slumber. Across the row, a scowling youth swings his foot impatiently.
All of them will say they are bored; but none of them are really at Boredom on the scale. The real 2.5 is sitting in the back of the room. He doodles in his notebook. He watches a fly explore the top of the desk. He wonders if the instructor is wearing a wig and decides it doesn’t matter. He examines dust particles drifting through a shaft of sunlight. He thinks briefly about grasshoppers and limply resolves to read that chapter someday.
Let’s turn up the volume on the true tone of the students by introducing an emergency. A huge rock smashes through the window and thuds on the teacher’s desk. Papers fly. A vase of flowers crashes to the floor. The teacher jumps back. A chilling wind whips through the room. A girl screams. Another bursts into tears. Several students laugh. One of them rushes up to see if the instructor is hurt. A 1.1 affects concern while mentally planning how he’ll embellish the story later. Each of them turns on strong in his chronic tone. In the back of the room, Boredom placidly watches everything. He realizes this might be serious; but he doesn’t panic. Looking out the window, he wonders who threw the rock; but he decides it really doesn’t matter. It’s been an interesting afternoon.
He’s “well adjusted.” The emotion is pleasurable. His attention is leisurely and slightly scattered. He wants to be entertained. He likes a certain amount of pleasant, random activity. He can occupy himself for hours, days, years with the most trivial matters. He’ll wash the car, trim the shrubs, play a game of cribbage, watch the ball game on TV.
Although some large ideas may flicker through his mind from time to time, he won’t be the guy who invents a new fuel to replace gasoline, and he won’t join the revolution movement.
This tone is marked by a purposelessness in living.
He’s careless, indifferent, mildly pleasant. You’ll probably like him. He won’t be attacking you, trying to undermine you, warning you, taking care of you, or sopping all over you. He won’t try to draw you into his game; he’s not even playing much of a game. He’s just watching it.
Boredom is somewhat negligent about facts; but you’ll find him comfortable and amiable. He won’t pick a fight because he doesn’t care whether or not you agree with him. If you introduce some static, he’ll say, “Let’s not argue.”
He makes pointless, idle conversation. Although this easygoing guy may be able to tell you all about the neighbors, his mild gossip is never vicious. He’s somewhat careless as to whether his communications are received or understood. If you try to clarify something, he’ll toss it away: “Oh, it’s not important.”
He accepts people, not necessarily because he’s interested in them, but because it would be too much trouble to do otherwise. Ask him whether he thinks you should hire Mertin for the job and he’ll say, “He’s OK, I guess.”
The 2.5 devaluates emergencies. If somebody comes along and says, “The house is burning down. Hurry! Do something!” he says, “Well, now, don’t get all worked up about it.”
He collects comfortable platitudes with which to dismiss all emergencies and shed all responsibilities. Tell him you’re trying to find a way to make more money, and he’ll shrug and discard the whole subject with: “Well, it takes money to make money.”
He doesn’t feel much need to do anything about anything.
Ask him what he’s been doing lately; he’ll probably say, “Oh, nothing much. Same old thing.” He putters and loafs. He collects useless informaton and trivia. He may remember every baseball score since the beginning of time; but won’t master a new subject that could improve his whole life.
He’ll never achieve greatness unless it’s thrust upon him.
SENSE OF HUMOR
There’s a moth-eaten old joke about two Britishers talking: “I was so sorry to hear that you buried your wife yesterday.”
“Well, I had to, old man. She was dead, you know.”
The 2.5 will laugh merrily at that one (he’ll probably repeat it too). His sense of humor is so literal that he likes the groaners. His attempts at humor will include cheerful, but corny puns and platitudes—seldom original—which he will repeat predictably over and over:
“Long time no see,” “I shoulda stood in bed,” and “Well, shut my mouth.” The witty, original puns are usually the product of a 1.1. Boredom can’t be bothered thinking up anything original.
I was selecting ears of corn from a wheelbarrow in front of a farm house when the owner strolled over. “Looks like nice corn,” I said.
“Yup. Fresh too. Only been picked less than an hour. I know that for a fact,” he leaned forward and with a conspiratorial grin, confided: “cause I picked it myself—that’s how I know.”
Chuckling in appreciation of his own nimble humor, he bagged up the corn and handed me change. This agreeable exchange represents the height of original humor that will be attempted by a 2.5.
Not exactly a rapier wit, but a pleasant fellow.
THE LOVE DEPARTMENT
As a father he’s OK. He has a friendly tolerance of children, although he never gets too involved in their affairs.
If you like a passionate relationship, scintillating repartee and hilarious high jinks, don’t hook up with Boredom. He’s far too negligent to pursue you with any burning passion. He won’t even lose sleep worrying about whether or not you love him.
If he wants to watch Wild Will Sixgun on television, he’ll simply turn it on. He’s indifferent about getting your agreement or support.
Hardly the lordly cavalier; but he’ll keep the grass mowed.
Although he doesn’t look as active as many lower-tone people, he’ll drift along fairly well on a routine job, and he’ll be much better liked by his fellow employees. He’s a poor candidate for manager because he’s incapable of getting others enthused and too careless of support or participation. As an idea man, don’t count on him. His decision making is indifferent. Ask him, “How would you like to organize a big sales campaign?” He’ll shrug and say, “I don’t mind.”
Not persistent, too idle, concentration poor, he’s willing to do the job. Just.
Boredom is a sort of high-tone Apathy. But there’s flippancy in Boredom. It’s much more alive, carefree and extroverted.
This is the nicest person we’ve met so far on our trip up the scale. If you find it hard to remember any Boredom people, it’s because they so seldom say or do anything memorable.
He’s a man of unused ambition, pleasant and easygoing, who won’t set the world on fire—or even light a match.
He’s neither contented nor discontented. He mostly wants to be entertained. He’s a spectator.
Conservatism: The disposition in politics or culture to maintain the existing order and to resist or oppose change or innovation.— The American Heritage Dictionary
He’s not superman.
You’ll probably like him, unless you’re trying to bring about some drastic reform. Being a don’t-rock-the-boat kind of a person, he squelches enthusiasm and inventiveness.
More alive than any lower tone, it’s still not the best place to park. But park he does. Try to sell, inspire or shift him and he’ll say, “I’ll have to think it over carefully. We’ll talk about it later.” Another stop.
Ruled by caution, poised, conforming, restrained, he’s a tolerant guy who never swings into action without careful consideration.
He probably won’t make a fortune or go broke. His money will be in 3% municipal bonds while his more adventurous friends are investing in the volatile new oil stock.
He plods along like the famous tortoise, enjoying life in a rather routine and unimaginative way.
If you see a fellow gussied up in the newest clothing and wearing the latest haircut, you can be certain he’s not a 3.0. No trend-setter, he wears new styles only after they become common. He does nothing to make himself stand out. He abhors attention directed at him, preferring to be one of the crowd.
He’s a moral person who follows the ethics in which he was educated. Count on him to be honest in his dealings; but don’t expect him to mention that your new hairdo looks awful. He won’t. He tells little social “white lies,” and withholds anything he thinks might hurt someone’s feelings.
I met a typical Conservatism person recently who told me that his wife just purchased some new dress fabric which he considered too gaudy.
“The trouble is,” he said, “I couldn’t get enthused about it and she suspected I didn’t like it;. but I wouldn’t hurt her feelings for the world.”
This is the kind of problem that a 3.0 lives with.
“WE’RE ALL MORE OR LESS RIGHT”
He usually avoids arguments. Instead, he listens to everyone’s comments and decides that “We are all more or less right.” While maintaining his own viewpoint, he is able to see both sides of an issue more easily than any of the lower tones. When his fellow workers are engaged in a gripe session, he’ll say, “Well, on the other hand, I can see what management’s up against. They’ve got their problems too.”
He speaks casually, with reserve, preferring small talk about weather and good roads, rather than massive ideas.
If you tell him you’re going to quit your job, sell your house and drift around the world in a sampan, the 3.0 will listen and, while he doesn’t suppress or ridicule you, he’ll use all of his social graces to persuade you out of it. He’ll argue in favor of safety, security and what he considers better survival actions.
RELAY OF COMMUNICATIONS
“Things are going fine. No problems.” This is the communication he prefers to pass on. He’s fairly dependable as a relay, but if you give him a communication much higher or lower on the scale, he’ll tone it down. He’ll be suspicious of highly creative ideas and he minimizes sensational or bad ones.
I was listening to some men talking about the Indian fishermen taking salmon from the Great Lakes. One fellow (1.5) was saying, “If we don’t stop those Indians, there won’t be any salmon left.”
The 3.0 refused to take sides: “Well, I think it’s difficult to say when you’re not personally involved. I’m not conversant enough to form an opinion on that. I’m sure there’s something to be said for both sides.”
ON THE JOB
If you want somebody to dream up a bold, new advertising campaign, don’t choose a 3.0; he’s not gutsy enough. if you need somebody in accounting to hold extravagances to a minimum, he’ll be superb. He’s willing to work on planning and goals, provided the end results are foreseeable. His persistence is fairly good if the obstacles aren’t too large. He’s content to do the job. If skilled in his line, his work will be highly satisfactory. You can count on him to accept a limited amount of responsibility.
The 3.0 attitude is highly admired and embraced by scientific circles: a careful, tentative, non-sensational advancement of data and theory.
Suppose you’re boss and you plan to fire someone in your company. The 3.0 will prefer not to do it personally; he doesn’t like to hurt people. Don’t confuse him with Sympathy on this (the .9 will try to talk you out of it: “Oh, he isn’t all that bad. We should give him more of a chance. He’s really trying”). The 3.0 is more likely to see the logic of firing the person although, if he is required to handle it, he’ll gloss over everything to avoid creating a scene or an upset. Instead of saying, “Look man, you just aren’t producing,” he’ll murmur something consoling about budget cutbacks and wish the employee all the best.
Don’t put him in charge of investigating someone. He shuns prying and probing. Remarkably incurious, he strongly believes you should respect the rights of others.
IN THE FAMILY
Children have a good chance of becoming better adults with a conservative parent. He’s interested in children, and rather than force his ideas on them, he’ll encourage them to express their own. He’ll be shocked at his son wearing wild clothes and his daughter going without a bra; but his rebukes (if any) will be mild. Although he will give advice (conservative, naturally), he’ll permit his children to select their own friends, life-styles and occupations with a minimum of interference.
You could do much worse than marry a 3.0 (and most people do). He’ll receive your affection warmly, although he may be somewhat inhibited in expressing his own. You can be sure he’ll never serenade you in Central Park (or she’ll never wear that frontless, backless, topless creation that’s currently the rage), but his (or her) love will be constant.
Two 3.0s married to each other will probably stay married and be faithful. This is the level of contentment.
If you try to convince him there is life on Saturn, he’ll say, “You’re entitled to your opinion. I won’t say it’s impossible, but I’d want to see more proof before I believe it completely.”
Conservatism doesn’t think anything should be done for the first time.
He’s a follower, not an explorer.
Hold that line . .
INTEREST AND ENTHUSIASM (3.5—4.0)
Our new high school math teacher was speaking carefully, “This is supposed to be a true story,” he said. “A man, sitting in church with his wife, fell asleep and dreamed he was living in the time of the French Revolution. He was captured and brought before the guillotine. Death seemed imminent. At just this moment his wife noticed his closed eyes and drooping head, so she picked up his straw hat and tapped the back of his neck. Dreaming that this was the blade of the guillotine coming down on him, he died right there in his sleep.
“Now, how do you know this is not really a true story?”
The teacher laughed as he watched us catch on, one by one, to his trick story. If the man died in his sleep who would know what he was dreaming?
Our introduction to this handsome young man was certainly unusual. The girls were delighted to be in his class, of course, but we were somewhat apprehensive about that formidable looking geometry textbook.
To our surprise, however, he ignored the text for over a week. Instead, he spent each class period telling us baffling stories for which we were to find loopholes or solutions. This was school? Soon we were eagerly anticipating his class and wondering what kind of posers we would get each day. After a week of grappling with strange puzzles—taking them apart, finding flaws, arriving at solutions—we were convinced that problem solving could be fun. By the time he finally opened the geometry textbook, we were interested.
That’s how a topscale person handles others—by bringing them up to a level where they become interested. He uses reasoning rather than the emotional persuasions used by lower tones (“Do your work or you flunk”).
At the top of the scale we find a band ranging from Interest (amusement) to Enthusiasm (cheerfulness). I’ve placed them in one chapter because they’re similar in characteristics. The 4.0 is just a little more so. Anyway, when we meet either one of them, it’s such a welcome experience we don’t want to waste our time nit-picking about which tone he’s in.
One can become interested in various subjects, of course, at any level of the tone scale. He may be interested in anything from learning Swahili to looking at dirty pictures; but this doesn’t place him at 3.5 on the scale.
The high-tone person takes an active interest in subjects related to survival. There’s more action, more involvement and more creativity.
He can envision far-reaching plans and ideas that project toward a better future for himself and all mankind. His interests may be more novel and of broader scope than those of the lower-tone person.
He’s more of a participant than a spectator. If he takes up sports, he’ll excel because of his fast reaction time.
The 3.5 is capable of maintaining a strong, sustained interest; he doesn’t take up something and drop it a week later (as we see in lower tones).
I once knew a young man who became interested in bird-watching. He was so enthused with the subject that he learned to recognize every bird call as soon as he heard it, and within a few months became an expert. Later this same young man studied karate until he earned the coveted black belt. Before he was twenty years old he acquired two skills that would give him pleasure and confidence for the rest of his life. I’ve known many people twice his age who have dabbled in a dozen subjects without achieving such proficiency in any of them.
One reason the 3.5 can put more attention onto any subject he’s learning is because he is less introverted. His attention is outside of himself; he wants to be interested, rather than interesting.
This is the tone of the fellow who just won the Irish Sweepstakes (before the income tax men arrive). He’s eager, enthusiastic, cheerful, alive!
Before you get the picture of 4.0 as a perpetually grinning ape whom most of us would find obnoxious (at least before the first cup of coffee in the morning), I’d better explain that he is not constantly bubbling over (that’s more likely the phoney bonhomie of the 1.1 or the strange, hysterical glee that may occur on any low tone—even Apathy). Generally he wakes up with a quiet sense of well-being and looks forward to carrying out his plans for the future.
He’s mobile on the scale—able to experience all emotions as the occasion calls for them—although he’s generally at the top with the volume turned down to a good-natured cheerfulness.
He’s an active person who inspires others to action. If he’s not the boss yet, he probably will be. He enjoys working and is willing to be responsible for a large sphere of activity.
You won’t find him in squalid quarters; he recognizes and enjoys the good things in living. Here’s a fully sane human being. He’s free from having to take sides. He finds no need to fight; but he definitely will rather than tolerate injustices. Since he doesn’t need approval from others, he is able to do things courageously on a basis of personal conviction.
He can spend time with low-tone people without getting depressed, compulsively sympathetic or cruel.
There was a San Francisco men’s club which collected money and food each year for a needy family in the community. One year, after such a family was selected, Fred, an up-tone member of the club, said, “You know, I don’t mind helping this fellow, but I’d much rather see him earn his own money.”
Fred followed up on his idea and learned that the impoverished man was laid off, but sincerely wanted to work. With the cooperation of the other members, Fred helped the man set up a lawn care business. The man soon came upscale and started adding customers. Within two years he owned two trucks, employed several helpers and ran a busy, thriving business—one that benefited the whole community. That’s upscale help.
Having no need to control or dominate people to satisfy his own ego, the 4.0 uses his enthusiasm and confidence to inspire others to reach higher levels and do things for themselves. His tremendous personal power is a calming influence to a worried or troubled area.
Because of his fast reaction time, he avoids accidents. He’s excellent at sports or any project he undertakes. He generally enjoys good health, because he doesn’t recklessly ignore the rules of good body care.
A high-tone person makes himself understood easily. He’s capable of communicating deeply-felt ideas, but he does so with discrimination. He prefers dealing with constructive facts, rather than destructive ones. While a lower-tone doom salesman is reciting all the shocking news, he will be pointing to the survival activities occurring. He’ll mention a book that will help you make more money. He’ll describe a new development for making sturdier cars. He prefers discussing solutions, rather than clucking about the horribleness of it all.
He listens to others and understands them easily (provided the communication is understandable and does not exceed his educational level) and he can hear low-tone people without becoming upset, critical or derogatory.
My son told me about an upscale teacher who periodically gave the students a free discussion period in which they could make suggestions or comments about the class. One day a girl peevishly complained, “I don’t think you let us talk enough.”
Not finding it necessary to argue or defend himself, he replied calmly: “Hmm. I think you’re right. I often talk too much.”
If a high-tone fellow delegates someone to give him a futl report on a situation, he’ll expect truthful facts and, if possible, a suggestion for rectifying any negative conditions. He will not accept a report based on generalities, innuendoes and assumptions that merely concludes: “The world is going to hell in a handbasket.” The 3.5 will call such a person on the carpet. He resents and strikes back at unnecessary “bad news” reports.
At 4.0 the person simply cuts a vicious or slanderous communication line. He doesn’t absorb it or relay it. If possible, he’ll raise the tone of the originator. Otherwise, he’ll probably just cease accepting communication from that person.
When the 3.5 gets mad at a newspaper for biased reporting, he’ll write a blistering letter to the editor. The 4.0 will most likely cancel his subscription and look for a more upscale paper.
AS A FRIEND
His magnetic personality attracts people without effort, and he’ll be loved by almost everyone. Some low-tone types, however, will get upset around 4.0 because they can’t knock him down to their level. People who can move easily on the tone scale will find him inspiring. His high tone is contagious; they want to be around him so they can catch it themselves.
Be friends with him, hire him, elect him, promote him, work for him. You can’t go wrong.
If you are playing cards with him and accidentally expose your hand, he won’t look. He’s honest. He doesn’t subscribe to the get-away-with-what-you-can philosophy. He actually refines ethics beyond those demanded by his group. He doesn’t need laws, rules or policies to force him to be honest.
You can trust him with your money, your reputation or your wife.
ON THE JOB
A person who can assume no responsibility feels horrible.
“Full responsibility is a very light-hearted thing.”—L. Ron Hubbard, Philadelphia Doctorate Course
If Enthusiasm isn’t chairman of the board, he should be. He enjoys his work and takes large responsibilities easily.
He’s willing to take command or take orders (although he’ll rebel against executing non-survival orders).
He works with persistence toward constructive goals. If someone tells him it can’t be done or “We don’t have any,” a person in this tone band will bypass the obstructing individual and find another way to accomplish his purpose. I observed a topscale man recently calling a New York supplier to order materials for one of his machines. The supplier’s order department was manned by a Grief/Apathy person who said, “Well, I don’t know if you’re ever going to get these supplies. We’re out of them and they’ve been on order for ages. That machine is obsolete now, you know.”
“Are you telling me the company just stopped making supplies for the machines that are out in the field?”
“Well, it’s coming to that. We aren’t getting our shipments like we used to.”
“What am I supposed to do?”
“I don’t know. You’ll just have to get a new machine, I guess.”
“Would I be able to trade this one in?”
“Well, you won’t get much money for it. After all, it’s obsolete.”
“This is ridiculous; my machine is still working fine.”
“That’s all I can tell you. There’s nothing more I can do.”
He hung up in disgust; but he didn’t stay upset long. Unwilling to accept this stop, he phoned another supplier who promptly filled the order. A lower-tone person would have succumbed to the bad news without question. The upscale guy just doesn’t give up so easily.
He tends toward higher goals than people lower on the scale. If you hire him, you’d better plan on promoting him; he won’t settle for mediocrity. While he’s not grasping or greedy, he’s more capable of owning than people lower on the scale. He enjoys possessions, can easily make a fortune and usually embraces plentiful goals of survival. Lower on the scale, we find people who think they would like to have more money or more possessions and sometimes they acquire them. More often, however, they cannot permit themselves to own much. This is no problem to the high-tone person. He will realize that survival on a bare necessity level is unsafe, and it will be intolerable to him. If it appears that he needs five hundred dollars a month in order to provide the minimum needs for himself and his family, he’ll get busy and earn two thousand dollars a month.
He can tolerate larger effects on himself than lower-tone people. This means that he may lose a fortune; but he’s able to bounce back and earn another one. Although he’s frequently attacked by downscale people, he fights such attacks (if necessary) and recovers easily.
LOVE AND FAMILY
If you can find such a spouse, take him (or her) and don’t look back. You must be doing something right.
Here at the highest level of the scale, we find constancy and a natural instinct for monogamy. The 4.0 has a high enjoyment of sex; but a moral reaction to it. Although he loves with a spontaneous and free exuberance, we won’t find the dissipated roue at 4.0, because at this level a person is more likely to sublimate the sexual drive into creative thought and energy.
The 4.0 is extremely interested in children. He not only cares for their mental and physical well-being, he is concerned about the society in which they will live. He is interested in efforts that improve the culture, so that youngsters will have a better chance for survival in the future.
THE EXPANDED SCALE
Ron Hubbard has plotted a second, expanded tone scale which goes below 0.0 and above 4.0. It relates to the spiritual entity, however, and to understand it one must know and embrace the religious philosophy of Scientology. One actually appears on both scales. But this book deals with the human being, who will always be found somewhere between 0.0 and 4.0. A chart of the expanded scale is available to those who are interested (see list in the back).
He’s alive and he likes it. Neither falsely modest nor egotistically inflated, he knows what he can do and has an honest evaluation of his own worth. He enjoys being himself.
He’s mobile on the tone scale. He can suffer a loss and bounce back quickly. When he is deliberately stopped or suppressed, he fights with fervor, although he holds no long-term grudges.
This fellow is no rubber stamp, but he’ll follow orders without an argument provided they do not compromise his own integrity. He’s both independent and cooperative. He can stay on good terms with others without surrendering his own principles.
If he resolves to save money, lose weight or stop playing the horses, he’ll do it.
He’s a lighthearted man with a free mind, capable of changing viewpoints and looking at new concepts. He can act spontaneously and intuitively. He’s liable to follow his hunches—and be right.
Can you remember the last day of school? You walk out of the dreary building. Gone are the deadlines, those tardy themes, the verb conjugations, the heavy homework and the dull lectures. There’s a tremendous relief. You’re so light you could float through the air with the dandelion seeds. Nothing is serious; the future looks gloriously bright. You feel magnanimous and the world is yours to explore, to love, to play in and to laugh with.
That’s the top of the scale.
You just can’t buy that sort of thing at the corner drugstore.
SOME TIPS ON SPOTTING TONES
You will get the most benefit from the tone scale by using it on every person you meet: business associates, neighbors, store clerks, club members, relatives and friends. You begin by determining whether the person is high or low. After that, spotting exact tone is easier (and often unnecessary). The data in this chapter should help.
HOW DO YOU FEEL AFTER YOU ARE WITH HIM?
For at least a short time after exposure to a down-scale person, the world looks a bit grimmer and the future less exciting. The contagious good humor of an up-tone person leaves you happier and more optimistic.
Also, there’s your instinctive sense the moment you meet a person for the first time. As the young people say, you’ll get “good vibes” or “bad vibes.” If you have established a fair batting average with your intuition, trust it. If your average isn’t so good, you are probably most often taken in by beautiful Apathy, kind Sympathy or sweet Covert Hostility.
HOW WELL IS HE SURVIVING?
Survival relates to both physical and mental wellbeing. If a person is losing, if he can’t support himself, if he’s inadequately clothed, fed or housed, he’s in the lower ranges of the emotions. Nearer the top, the person owns the basic necessities of living (or more). He’s winning and planning a better future.
Possession of money alone is not always an accurate index of a person’s survival. We sometimes see a down-scale person with a great deal of money who is unable to accomplish as much as a high-tone individual with much less.
HOW WELL IS HE UNDERSTOOD?
The chap in the lower emotions frequently complains that people don’t understand him. If you listen to him, you’ll know why. He may say too little. He may chatter on in a daffy monolog constantly interrupting himself and flitting off on new tangents as he tries to say everything at once. If he’s in a hyper-intellectual bag, he’ll use such big words and obscure references that a hardened egghead can’t understand him.
A topscale person is able to make himself understood. He’s courageous enough to communicate clearly and simply.
So, for a quick tone assessment, don’t concern yourself with how much he says or how many ten-dollar words he uses; the only question is: does his message ever arrive?
WHAT DOES HE TALK ABOUT?
The higher level person enjoys hearing and passing on good news, ideas, inspiring concepts and solutions. Lower types prefer talking about (and listening to) bad news, sensationalism death destruction, scandal and problems Many people are concerned about pollution problems today but while the downscale people are merely spreading advance death notices the high tone ones are offering solutions.
Upscale people enjoy talking but they are equally able and willing to listen So when we see someone whose mouth runs like a perpetual motion machine or someone who’s bottled up like a time capsule, we can be sure he is in the bottom ranks.
Under 2.0 a person takes pride in convincing others that his problems can’t be solved. He says he has to get downtown but his car is in the garage for repairs. You suggest a taxi and he replies, “Oh, you can’t get a taxi this time of day.” A neighbor perhaps? “I don’t know anyone well enough to ask.” Hitchhike? “But people won’t pick up hitchhikers anymore.” By this time, you’ll probably quit trying to solve his dilemma. The real problem isn’t transportation anyway; it’s tone.
A person near the top enjoys getting problems solved so he can get on with his major goals.
THE COMMUNICATION LAG
Ron Hubbard discovered another excellent indication of tone level: the communication lag (usually referred to as comm lag). This is the length of time that elapses after a person is asked a question and before he answers. If you ask an upscale person an answerable question, such as “How many doors are in this room?” he will look and give you an instant answer. Someone on the downside, however, will hesitate for a short or a long time (depending on how low-tone he is). He may wonder what you’re driving at, or try to figure out if this is a trick question. He may launch into a long dissertation about the definition of a door and maybe those windows could be considered doors and how does he know you don’t have a hidden door under the rug; but he doesn’t answer the question. A long communication lag indicates a chaotic mind, one that cannot handle the simple cycle of a question and an answer.
A person in Apathy or Grief may never answer a question (unless you repeat it several times). Some college boys brought a friend to see me one day. Several weeks earlier this boy had taken one LSD trip too many; he never came back. He was in deep, foggy Apathy. When I suggested a cup of coffee, he followed me to the kitchen. I asked if he took cream or sugar; he stared off vacantly for several minutes until I repeated the question. Finally, looking at me as if I were a total stranger, he mumbled, “I don’t know. .
A person’s environment becomes less and less real as he descends the tone scale. What he hears, sees, smells, tastes or feels is less real in the low bands. To this young man, a cup of coffee was unreal, and so was the cream and sugar.
The communication lag is an excellent tool for a personnel man or anyone who is interviewing men and women for hire. If you ask someone for his name, address or phone number, he may reply quickly because he is programmed by habit to give automatic answers to these questions. Ask him something like: “How many feet do most people have?” and you will learn his communication lag.
Some low-tone individuals will give you a barrel of philosophical hogwash without answering the question. The 1.1 will comm lag while he searches for a hidden meaning behind your question (he’ll be trying to figure out what you want to hear). A person may jabber, or be silent; he may repeat or try to clarify your question. Near answers, guesses and indecision don’t count. The length of time between asking the question the first time and receiving a correct answer is the comm lag.
An individual’s ability to plunge into elaborate thinking processes is no clue to his tone. He must be here—now—to observe accurately. So the comm lag tells you how far a person is out of present time.
A person or business will take a certain length of time to execute an order. This is also a comm lag. When a secretary takes three hours to find a letter in her files, she’s pretty far gone. If you order office equipment that doesn’t arrive for six months, you are dealing with a low-tone organization. You can predict the survival potential of a business by its comm lag.
When someone frequently cuts, bruises and smashes his body, gets things in his eyes, bashes the fenders of his car, or acquires an excessive number of traffic tickets, he’s low-tone, regardless of how well he explains his tribulations. The lower the tone, the more accident prone he is.
The person on the upper side leads a “charmed life,” experiencing few accidents and injuries. This isn’t just luck. He’s more here; he reacts faster and thereby avoids accidents.
DOING A JOB
Someone high on the tone scale structure accomplishes a great deal in a short time, while the low person takes a long time to do a small job. However, there are the downscale short-cutters who rush through something and really make a hash of it.
Willingness to do a job is another indication of tone. The upscale individual is willing to take on any job, big or small, if it fits in with his general goals. A downscale person finds all sorts of ways to avoid getting involved. Many jobs are beneath his dignity (unless he’s way down in the mop-the-floor-with-me tones). It’s below 2.0 that we find the chap who wastes his life away because he’s too good for all the jobs around.
“I KNEW IT ALL THE TIME” SYNDROME
In the bottom zones we find people who refuse to be surprised. This is most common between 1.1 and 2.0. You tell him something amazing and he says, “I already knew that,” “I expected as much,” or “I can’t say I’m surprised.”
He “agrees late.” Unwilling to be taken by surprise, or thrown off balance, he pretends he knew it all the time. He’s second cousin to the man who says “I told you so,” and twin brother to the one who makes a mistake and pretends he meant to do it that way all along.
The highscale person is willing to be surprised and he’s willing to make and admit mistakes.
The most important thing to know about emotions is that individuals change all over the scale if they are sane. The sane man gets mad when the supplier fails to deliver on time; but he gets over it. He gets scared if a drunken driver careens out in front of him; but he gets unscared when the danger is past. He experiences the appropriate emotion for the occasion; but the higher he is on the scale, the more quickly he recovers. Most of the time, of course, he’s cheerful and confident.
The low-tone person gets shaken up more easily and takes longer to recover. He may stay upset for days or weeks. He may never recover, in which case he settles into a chronic lower tone.
A number of years ago I played duplicate bridge in Detroit tournaments. My partner and I agreed that when either of us made an error, we would acknowledge it and forget it. By taking our thoughts off of our goofs we could put our full attention on the present play at all times. This agreement turned out to be one of our best assets. As we moved from table to table, we often encountered couples who were still engaged in heated arguments about the previous hand. When this happened, we nearly always won our round with them because the angry person will continue the attack against his own partner (this gave us three against one). He can be counted on to be reckless, to give too little information and to do everything possible to make his partner wrong. With such a couple the bidding might go something like this:
Opponent: “Two hearts.” (That’ll force her to bid.)
His Partner: “Three hearts.” (Let’s see him make that, the fool.)
Opponent: “Four hearts.” (She’d better have them!)
While this could be legitimate bidding, with two angry people, the chances are it’s not. In such a case we generally doubled the contract and walked off with top board.
As mentioned several times, people move on the scale. This can be confusing when you are trying to spot someone who moves only in a low range, for it means that when he is at his best, he’s still below 2.0. If he’s usually in Grief, he’ll feel excited and alive when he gets up to Fear.
Dennis, an unsuccessful free lance writer and moderately successful gigolo, spent most of his time in subdued Fear, although he was flexible enough to utilize a 1.1 charm or a griefy Propitiation when threatened with the necessity of having to support himself. Thus he lived by worming his way into the benevolent confidence of sympathetic and propitiative women. With a full stomach and a few extra dollars in his pocket, however, he often soared up to his emotional ceiling—No Sympathy—where he snarled at the hands that fed him, ran around looking menacing and took tremendous pride in believing that people found him formidable.
Perry was in Anger most of the time. As the volume turned up and down, he ranged from sullen resentment (at the bottom of 1.2) to bristling combativeness, but never made it quite up to rage. His uninformed friends, however, liked him best when he dropped down to 1.1 where he became politely “nice.”
Merilee, the lovely and constantly promiscuous actress, was primarily a Sympathy person who frequently slipped to Apathy and drank herself senseless. In her best (and sober) times, she became a 1.1 doll who glowingly proclaimed that everything was marvelous.
The most insane people of all are those who remain solidly in one tone all the time. Next on the sanity scale are those who move; but their peak is still below 2.0. Even more sane are those who can hit the high tones when all is going well and the environment is good. The sanest people rest at the top, but travel down and back up the scale freely.
The downscale person prefers explaining why he failed, telling you (with malicious pleasure) that others are failing or pretending he’s a huge success when his actual achievements are minimal.
The upscale person enjoys true success and seeing others succeed.
An individual in the lower tones uses generalities to justify his position on something: “Nobody goes there anymore,” “Everybody thinks . . .” “People always . .
The upscale person is more specific. If he uses generalities for convenience, they will be backed up with statistics.
If you’re having a social lunch with a friend and he suggests you put the lunch on your expense account because “nobody will know the difference anyway,” he’s below 2.5 on the scale.
At Boredom a person will do what he can get away with. Lower down, ethics go all the way from mild cheating to flagrant criminality. A person engaged in any illegal or unethical activities is always below 2.0.
The high-tone person plays it straight—even when nobody’s looking.
Notice how the person grooms himself. Is he clean and neat or is he dirty and unkempt? He’ll take care of his environment the same way he takes care of his body.
In the upper tones a person puts order into an environment. His property will be neat, clean and in good repair. The low-scale individual creates chaos; his possessions will be dirty, broken, unworkable (and sometimes unfindable).
If you create an attractive home or office, the down-tone individual who comes into it will destroy the beauty one way or another. He dirties it, breaks the curtain rod and leaves it drooping, clutters the space with junk, smashes a window and neglects to fix it. He turns your beauty into shambles.
His “acceptance level” is low. This is reflected in the cars he drives, the hotels he uses, the clothes he wears. Living in a cluttered, shabby environment indicates that he cannot accept a clean, attractive area. When a man leaves a beautiful, happy girl to run off with a low-tone prostitute, his acceptance level is below that of the beautiful girl. If he receives handsome clothes but wears rags, if he remains on a poorly paying job, his acceptance level is low.
Some downscale people are trained to be clean and to collect decent belongings; but they care for their property very seriously, constantly worrying and fussing about it. The upscale person takes good care of possessions; but he’s splendidly lighthearted about them.
Too often a fun-loving child is chastised for not “taking things seriously.” That’s a sure clue to a down-scale person. He’s intense and he wants others to be serious about things. The upscale individual keeps his sense of humor and buoyancy.
While happiness and cheerfulness are trademarks of the high-tone person, we must differentiate the real thing from the sham. Happiness isn’t: 1) the sad-faced euphoric living-happily-ever-after kind of thing in which the Apathy person speaks of “inner peace” in a dull monotone interspersed with deep sighs 2) the phoney 1.1 enthusiasm with its perpetual smile and compulsive laughter 3) Propitiation asserting (with sober intensity) how fulfilling it is to “do” for those less fortunate or 4) a manic state of he-hawing donkey glee (usually such a person is actually Apathy).
It is a quiet inner glow of cheerfulness which sometimes bubbles over into a song or a belly laugh. It’s not asserted; it’s just there. And the sun shines a little brighter.
If there’s any doubt, look at the other aspects of the person’s life.
THE “COME ALIVE” ASSESSMENT
One of the most valuable tools in spotting tone is this: What turns the person on? I call it the “come alive” assessment. Notice what grabs a person’s interest and animates him and you’ll know his tone.
Between 1.1 and 2.0 a person gets kicks out of scaring people, making them nervous, bewildered, embarrassed, making them wrong and seeing them disturbed. He will relish recounting such incidents. Upscale people never take pleasure in someone else’s discomfort.
I read recently about a carnival side show in which (with the aid of glass and special lighting) the audience was tricked into believing that a wild animal was coming right out into the audience. The perpetrator of this hoax says he’s happy when the crowd is frightened into a frenzied stampede for the door. “When I do a show and nobody runs, it makes me feel bad,” he said.
Pleasure is something that neither man nor civilization can do without. It’s man’s whole reason for existing. The concept of pleasure takes on many meanings as we move up and down the scale, however. In the rich playboy, pleasure becomes an idle satisfaction of the senses without plan or progress toward any goal. High-tone pleasure may be easy and relaxed or dynamic and constructive; but the upscale person never enjoys purely destructive or perverted sensual gratification. He gets enjoyment from survival actions. He will desire skills, a good job, a large income, many holdings and good possessions. These are all survival goals.
Downscale, pleasure moments are turned toward destruction. The Antagonism person takes pleasure in whomping up a good argument or beating down the enemy. The 1.5 will tell you, with satisfaction, how he really “put a stop to that.” He’ll advocate killing and blowing things up. The idea of destruction turns him on. A 1.1 comes alive if he runs across a tremendously inviting situation which permits him to be devious, covertly hostile, or perverted in some way. He’ll delight in deceiving someone into believing an outrageous lie. He’ll chuckle lasciviously as he describes how he cheated on his wife. If he dwells on death, illness, tragedy, and poverty he’s probably in the lower band. And if he turns on with a chance to do for the unfortunate, he’s in Sympathy or Propitiation.
A Grief/Apathy person will actually daydream contemplating the most gruesome suicides and deaths of his loved ones and how he and everyone else would feel if this happened. That’s his kinky kind of pleasure.
PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
Where is his attention in time? A person between 0 and 1.0 is caught in the past. You say, “Look at the purple sunset,” and he must describe all the other sunsets he’s ever seen (or those he missed).
Between 1.1 and 2.0 he’s barely in present time. He talks a great deal about “getting things started.” He lives impulsively without regard for the future consequences.
Between 2.0 and 3.0 the person is pretty much in present time, although he doesn’t look back much and prefers not to plan too far ahead.
The individual at the top can remember the past with enjoyment; but his attention is on the present and long-range planning of the future.
If you’re a teacher, minister, office manager, marriage counselor, doctor or a person with a next door neighbor, sooner or later you are likely to be faced with the job of coping with an upset person. When this happens, you should keep in mind the progressive order of the tones. This is the only way to determine whether you boosted him up the scale a bit or pushed him out the bottom.
When someone comes to you in tears and leaves feeling calm, you should be able to determine whether his calmness is higher tone or whether he’s slipping into Apathy. If a person stops crying, heaves a monstrous sigh, and says, “Well, I guess that’s the way life is. I’ll just have to accept it,” you’d better panic. He’s gone down-tone and you may next hear of him in the obituary column. On the other hand, if a Grief person stops crying and becomes interested in you or someone else and wants to do something, he’s risen to Propitiation and that’s an improvement.
A friend once called me sobbing, “! just can’t take any more. What’s the use of it all?”
Without waiting to hear her whole story, I said: “Put the coffee pot on. I’m coming over.”
The trouble, it seemed was with her marriage which had graduated into a limply “polite” stage. Now, due to some small provocation, she was convinced that her husband no longer loved her and everything was hopeless. Many cups of coffee later I left her in Anger—not the best tone, but much more alive.
Before her husband arrived home she lined up her old job and a place for herself and three children to live. Typical of Anger, she was ready to destroy the marriage; but she was also eager to confront her husband without sentimentality or forced niceness, and she did so. A royal battle ensued. Her husband, apparently, harbored much repressed discontent with their marriage too. Her Anger brought him out of his shell. They screamed until all their gripes were aired, a few confessions made and they became bored with the whole thing. After realizing that they were both more or less right, they emerged at a new level of interest in each other and this led to a second honeymoon-type situation which, according to her report, was better than the first one. Their marriage now operates on a higher tone. They engage in healthy battle from time to time; but they are no longer covert with each other. When they are loving and kind, it’s genuine.
As a person changes emotions, he may skip some tones or they won’t be apparent. It’s an elevator ride where he won’t necessarily stop at every floor; bul you should be able to identify enough emotions tc know whether he’s going up or down.
Learn to differentiate between high and low tones first. After that an exact evaluation is easier.
A person may not manifest every characteristic of his tone. You may know someone who seems to be in Fear, but who whips up a tirade at the paper boy. You may know a 1.1 who never puns, plays practical jokes or laughs nervously. Look for the tone in which most of his actions fall and don’t worry about the manifestations that don’t fit.
Most people move up and down the scale somewhat, so you may need to observe someone several times to determine his chronic tone (or tone range).
When you encounter someone you can’t place on the scale (and you know he’s not at the top) he’s probably a 1.1.
Social prejudices can hamper our ability to use the tone scale accurately. A man may admire a beautiful girl so much that he is incapable of evaluating her tone. A person over forty, may form an instant dislike for a long-haired, bare-footed, let-it-all-hang-out youth. If you evaluate by tone instead of prejudice you’ll find some lovable, topscale men under those shaggy beards. When we use outmoded standards to classify people we may choose some bad ones—and we may also miss the opportunity of sharing a bit of merriment with a blithe spirit.
The other major flaw in tone scale evaluation lies in our own personal weaknesses. We may give someone the “benefit of the doubt” when we actually know better. This is a misguided kindness, for we can aid the other person most (not to mention the wear and tear we save on our own nervous systems) by simply evaluating him correctly in the beginning.
So, the first mistake you can make with the tone scale is not using it. The second mistake you can make is not believing it.
Any further mistakes depend upon your own originality and imagination.
CLICHES TO LIVE BY—OR SHOULD WE?
The well-meaning minister tells us to “turn the other cheek.” Mother says, “Laugh and the world laughs with you.” Teacher admonishes, “Count to ten before you lose your temper.”
With the help of kindly mentors, most of us started stuffing our mental closets with guiding platitudes from the time we read our first Popeye comic strip. We take out and dust off some of them at the slightest provocation; others we keep around because they might be valuable someday. We seldom consider cleaning out the closet because it’s too difficult to separate the authentic pieces from the counterfeit. In this chapter we’ll haul out a few odds and ends and examine them beside the tone scale.
THE INGREDIENT OF TRUTH
In a Professional Bulletin, L. Ron Hubbard once said: “In all aberration we discover that it is the ingredient of truth which maintains the aberration in force.”—P.A.B. No. 46
Every level of the tone scale contains an “ingredient of truth,” and this is what each person uses to defend his emotional temperament. The person in Fear says, “What’s wrong with being a little careful?” Propitiation asks: “Why shouldn’t you do things for people? Isn’t that what life’s all about?”
They’re both right, of course. There’s enough truth in each tone to make a person feel justified in his emotional inclinations; but it is only part of the truth.
There was the case of the butcher who lost both legs and worked around his shop in a wheel chair for fifteen years. One day his granddaughter, Debbie, was playing in a neighbor’s yard with a friend when a strange man came out of the house. Debbie asked, “Who’s that?”
“That’s my grandfather,” her friend replied.
“No,” said Debbie scornfully, “he can’t be your grandfather.”
“Because grandfathers don’t have legs, silly.”
That was Debbie’s ingredient of truth about grandfathers. It was right as far as it went. Thus it is with the tones. Each one is right as far as it goes; but it only goes far enough to become a mockery of the higher emotions.
Every tone level is fortified with clichés, bromides, proverbs and whole philosophies to justify the position. Only with the use of the Emotional Tone Scale can we differentiate between a truly sane attitude and it’s lowtone imitation. Let’s look at some of the levels to see what sayings a person might use to excuse his tone.
“Give me the serenity to accept those things I cannot change.” This might well be the prayer of a high-tone person because he is basically realistic about his ambitions. Apathy, however, thinks you can’t change anything anyway, so his brand of serenity is only the weakness of the overwhelmed.
A regrettable influence on mankind is the King James translation of the beatitude, “Blessed are the meek . .
This phrase is a paradox to thinking man, for “meek” implies spineless submissiveness. Many experts consider this word a faulty translation. In fact, the French Douay Bible translates the beatitude as: “Blessed are the debonair. .”
“Debonair,” according to the dictionary, is “affable, gracious, genial, carefree, gay and jaunty.” That’s high-tone. It makes more sense.
Personally, I’ve never seen a doormat inherit anything but a little more mud.
“To weep is to make less the depth of grief.” Yes, if he can shed his grief through tears, one can move back upscale again. The stuck Grief person, however, just keeps finding more to wail about.
The upscale individual takes pleasure in remembering and describing pleasant experiences from the past. Grief, too, reminisces; but he thinks the past is all there is, so his stories are basted with dripping regrets and spiced with nostalgic mi ght-have-beens.
Is it really better to give than to receive? Yes. The high-tone person is a generous one (after the needs of self and family are met), and his giving tends to promote survival. The downscale mockery, Propitiation, however, gives because he is too weak to do otherwise. He’s trying to buy off danger, so his hidden motive is to stop the recipient and render him harmless.
“There is always someone worse off than yourself.” Yes, indeed, and Sympathy delights in finding every one of them. At the top levels we discover a natural empathy. He doesn’t enjoy seeing someone in difficulty and will do his best to help the person out of it. Sympathy, on the other hand, pats the unfortunate one on the head, murmurs “poor dear,” and does his best to keep him there.
“Look before you leap.” The upscale person has a healthy respect for danger if his actual survival is threatened; but his fear is balanced with courage and good judgment. The person at 1.0 is afraid of everything.
“Count to ten before you lose your temper” may be sound practice for one who is above Anger, but it’s suppressive to one below that emotion for it leaves him without a safety valve and fixes him in the lower tones.
“The day is lost in which one has not laughed.” Upscale we find a fun-loving spirit of play. The 1 .1 however, takes everything so seriously that he now pretends to be unserious. He manifests compulsive laughter, a constant effort to entertain or a sweet, insincere mimicry of highscale good humor. He jokes at others’ expense. He mocks and makes fun of everything he can’t do himself. He must show that it doesn’t matter and “it’s all amusing.” He’s the witty, cynical critic—the player who spends all his time on the bench.
“Don’t tell everything you know.” The high-tone person can be discreet; but he’s not sneaky. The 1.1 prides himself on being “subtle,” which is merely a way of defending the subterfuge with which he covers up his perverted activities.
Kipling said, “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs. . .” The No Sympathy person prides himself on never getting emotional; he’s always in control.
The high-tone fellow doesn’t panic in a crisis. He handles emergencies better than anyone else; but he needn’t consign his soul to the Deepfreeze in order to keep his cool. He’s a warm-hearted, loving person who’s willing to feel emotions.
“You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.” The upscale person is courageous enough to destroy where necessary for survival or when it benefits the greatest number. Anger, driven by false bravado, only breaks the eggs; he never does get around to making the omelet.
“You have to fight fire with fire.” When the upscale person gets some opposition thrown at him, he turns it to his advantage; he neither collapses nor gets endlessly involved in fighting it. The “truth” at 2.0, however, is reflected in the necessity to challenge anything that seems threatening. He tries to build a fire out of every spark.
SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES
There are hundreds of memorable passages (both profound and trite) containing an ingredient of truth which can be used to amplify below 2.0 emotions. For a helpful exercise, examine the similarities and differences between upscale truths and their downscale mockeries. Do this especially before you accept advice; it may be attractively gift-wrapped in a low-tone package.
Many self-help books are in the catagory of neartruths. I read such a book recently by an experienced psychologist who pointed out the flaws in numerous human attitudes. He condemned whining, bootlicking, false veneer and competitiveness. Most of his advice, however, rested in the tone of Boredom. He suggested that one should “. . . sway with the breeze. Take life as it comes. Adjust. Don’t set your hopes impossibly high. Don’t try to thrive on daydreams. Just enjoy what’s here.”
Some of his advice rested in Apathy: “We should not try to understand man’s conduct,” he claimed, “because asking why we do things is of little use. There are no causes for behavior.”
He further advised the reader to be neither optimistic nor pessimistic because both attitudes were crutches used by those who lacked confidence in themselves. We should take life as it comes, he tells us, not dwelling in hope because it’s only wishful thinking.
These statements contain both elements of truth and something false. All of us might hope for a saner world. An idealistic dream, to be sure. The lowscale person only listlessly wishes that someone would do something about it. The uptone individual discovers a way to make one man saner, and another, so he keeps working toward his dream, and his life has a purpose. A man without hope is a flower that never blooms, a sun without warmth, a man with no tomorrow. Hope is man’s link with the future.
In short, this book was telling us that in order to be “mature” one should quit hoping and trying and getting all involved and frustrated. Throw away the oars instead, and let the current take your boat wherever it will. At best this is Boredom; at worst it’s Apathy. In either case, it’s a limp surrender. No high-tone person needs to compromise with mediocrity. And no man needs to settle for less than high-tone.
I read another interesting self-help book which promised to make the reader “powerful and influential with people.” The author started off advocating that one walk with confidence, look people right in the eye, observe good manners, courtesy and respect. Sounds good; but this turned out to be another downscale look-alike. When he began proposing methods for artificially boosting status and leveling others down, I realized that the author was selling a 1.1 and 1.2 mockery of power. Nearly every paragraph advocated smooth, but covert, methods for getting attention and putting others down. He warned the reader: “Other people are out to get you, to nullify your status, prestige or authority. Never relax for a moment or someone will push you off your pedestal.”
He repeatedly cautioned against the danger of losing one’s temper: “Keep a tight control.” He even offered several techniques for introverting the other person with snide, well-placed questions when there was any risk of venting Anger. The book could be summarized briefly: the way to be powerful is to suppress everyone else; but do it nicely with a smile on your face.
Sometimes we see the results of research by sincere people who (because they do not know the tone scale) arrive at false judgments. Recently I heard of a London psychiatrist who concluded after several years of study that “good girls grow up to be bad mothers.” He explained that a young girl who always minds her mother, does just as she’s told at home or school, and never causes any trouble or fuss, turns out to be inadequate as a mother because there is no longer anyone telling her what to do.
Those “good girls” were obviously Fear or below, since no spirited, upscale child is so blindly obedient that she remains dependent.
What his research actually tells us is that 1) many people consider a downscale, submissive child to be a “good girl” and 2) the low-tone child grows into a low-tone adult.
Before you accept the ancient proverb, the popular cliche or the advice of an “expert,” look beyond the ingredient of truth for the emotion behind those words of alleged wisdom.
THE BATTLE OF THE SEXES
If there’s any time that two and two don’t equal four, it’s in a marriage. Add one 2.0 to another 2.0 and you don’t get Cheerfulness (4.0). You get fireworks!
A person’s attitude about the opposite sex is dependent on his tone. Love itself is not an emotional tone; but the energy of loving may raise, lower or intensify one’s tone. It can sit anywhere on the scale. We may see a young man deeply in love who starves himself to death (a characteristic of Apathy) or a young girl in love who manifests a dreamy enthusiasm which makes her bloom.
Let’s examine this “grave mental disease” (Plato’s definition of love) on a few levels of the scale.
At Grief/Apathy the person doesn’t outflow much love; he wants to receive it, but he worries so much about losing it that he is never able to have it anyway. His “you don’t really love me” needs constant reassurance.
Far too many marriages are based not on love but on the limp substitute, Propitiation. The .8 or .9 usually marries someone who “needs” him.
The fearful person yearns and marries for security.
The 1.1, although incapable of true affection, will put on a good show when it furthers his own purposes. He will charm, flatter and betray; he’ll undermine his partner’s confidence; he’ll point out faults (just to improve her); he’ll try to educate her into adjusting to her environment (“Stop being vital and alive”); he’ll break his vows; he’ll enjoy clandestine affairs. It’s all part of his game.
The 1.2 doesn’t believe in love, but he may enjoy playing the cool Lady Killer.
The 1.5 overrides and dominates his mate using blame and blunt invalidations. He’ll try to enforce affinity (“say you love me”).
Antagonism mostly wants a sparring partner.
So, it’s not love, but who’s doing the loving that counts.
WHAT IS LOVE?
Fred Allen once said, “It’s what makes the world go around with that worried expression.”
This too depends on tone. It’s a natural instinct for man to seek companionship and ultimately to select one person of the opposite sex as a partner. The highest-tone love is based on strong friendship—one which will survive as a friendship with or without the introduction of romantic (or physical) love. Such a relationship requires the willingness and ability to communicate easily and a fairly close agreement about the things one considers essential goals and efforts. Together these produce a strong attraction and understanding.
When two people disagree about most things, their understanding and affection for each other are limited. Similarly, if they cannot communicate easily, fondness
After falling in love with an object, the low-tone person wants to own and control it. The beginnings of most downscale romances are in the 1.1 band. He’s plotting how to “make out,” and she’s eagerly reading the articles entitled “How to Trap Your Man.”
Following the initial stages, however, the low-tone lover tries to reduce his mate to Apathy (where the person thinks he is a physical object and is therefore as ownable and controllable as a vegetable). This is the famous battle of the sexes: two lowscale individuals trying to own, dominate and control each other. Each one, of course, resists such domination and control, using the tools of his particular tone.
In addition to his need for companionship and understanding, man needs sensation. High on the scale a person can experience pleasurable sensation easily in many ways. In the low bands, the person needs more impact to feel sensation of any kind. His love life reflects this obsessive need for more impact in masochism, sadism, promiscuity, perversion, orgies, preoccupation with pornography and the constant search for variety.
IS THERE A HIGH-TONE LOVE?
Yes, Virginia, there really is a high-tone love. Brotherhood, friendship and love are only possible above 2.0 where people aren’t motivated to trap, dominate or own one another. And they do not worry about losing each other. They channel their mutual understanding into growing together, rather than apart. We find constancy—the desire for a monogamistic relationship. The partner is faithful, not because of custom, enforcement or fear, but because he prefers to be.
The high-tone person is able to sublimate the sex drive, so his love is not so dependent on the physical relationship. This doesn’t mean he outgrows lovemaking. On the contrary, the upscale person enjoys sex more than any of the lower tones. However (some people will never believe this), when two people share a high-tone spirit of play, this is a more intense sensation than that of sex.
MIX AND MATCH
If I were to devise a computer program for mating people, the first step would be a test for emotional tone. Once tones were matched, I would look for compatibility in goals and activities. What does the person want to achieve and what does he consider the most important way he can spend his energy? If one partner thinks the ideal occupation is an unending junket around the country on a motorcycle and his partner prefers puttering in the rose garden, theirs is a rather slippery grip on a workable partnership.
Two people within the same tone range will be well-matched, which doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily live happily ever after if they are below 2 0 You can’t sweeten lemon juice with vinegar and get good lemonade
I knew one marriage where the husband started out at 2.5 and the wife at 1 .5. He was easy-going, pleasant and content with a routine that was uninspired and uninspiring. She was feisty and domineering. Most of the time he simply ignored her, going his own way; but occasionally he dropped to 2.0 long enough to deal with her. After several mellowing years of marriage, they equalized out with a mildly antagonistic marriage which consists of constant, shallow banter. They resolve most of their differences by stubbornly going separate ways, which seems to satisfy them both. This is a relatively compatible relationship which I call “individuated togetherness.”
Another marriage between a Grief and a Sympathy appears to serve a mutual need. She conjures up countless soupy problems which never completely resolve, and he gives her constant fussy attention. Thus they maintain their own kind of low-tone affection for one another. This marriage serves another admirable purpose: it takes them both off the market so they can’t inflict themselves on higher-tone people.
The only danger to this type of compatibility occurs when one person moves upscale (maybe he gets promoted or his bald spot grows back in). This ruins the whole game.
When diverse tones mate up, the person in the lower tone demands more affection and gives less. He wants more communication and contributes less. He asserts his beliefs on less foundation and he expects to receive more agreement than he gives. The high-tone person seeks to understand; but the low one wants to be understood (even though he complains that “nobody understands me”).
The upscale individual with his tremendous capacity for loving finds it wasted on the down-tone partner, who can only accept a limited amount of love. This is much like trying to pour a gallon of water into a thimble. You end up with only a thimbleful—and a big puddle.
The warped emotional dependence of a low-tone person sometimes traps the upscale individual who thinks: “She needs me.” But, as Ron Hubbard says, “When any individual has to depend upon his emotional partner being low on the tone scale, he’s like a man dying of thirst who drinks salt water. It is wet, but it will not keep him alive.” (Science of Survival)
I observed a marriage between a Conservatism man and a Propitiation wife. They owned a business which she dedicated herself to giving away. She refunded to people who actually purchased the product from someone else (a complete loss since the product was not resalable). She hired people who lied to her customers, sold the wrong products and stole from her. Her husband was kind at first; but he soon became alarmed by his wife’s one-woman welfare program, and he dropped to Anger where he put tight controls on her spending. This didn’t stop her, however. She developed more covert ways of spending money without his knowledge. The last time I saw them, she had written several checks without recording them, so when the rent check for their business bounced, her husband, inarticulate with rage, was ripping her checkbook to shreds.
There are a number of human responses that are generally described as emotions. Some of them fall into one band or another as synonyms or shadings of emotions; but some move across the tones. Hate is strongly expressed in Anger; but a person may hate up and down the entire emotional band. In fact, he may have been taught to hate many things (or that he must love everything). So we could find a person in the paradoxical state of “hating love” (especially when his darling runs off with another man). A person who is quite free emotionally can actually enjoy a “good cry.” Another might hate having a good cry.
Sometimes courage and cowardice are described as emotions. Actually they alternate like cake and custard on a napoleon pastry. We find true courage at the top, then caution, indifference, and “Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?” (at 2.0 and 1.5). Across the Fear band we get pure, ungarnished cowardice. Toward the bottom (near Sympathy and Propitiation) the whole issue gets cluttered with noble deeds. Grief of course, is a limp coward. Making Amends may be prone to acts of heroic martyrdom (people who burn themselves alive to prove some fanatic point), and in the sub-basement, the fellow doesn’t even know there’s a threat.
Hope (often called an emotion) is high on the tone scale; but down near Fear it becomes an escape mechanism and a little lower it turns into gullibility. We find foolish optimism at .8 and .9. Below this, hope is perverted into daydreams and delusions. And one daydreams only because he has not been able to achieve real action.
Well, you get the idea. There are many so-called emotions, and they all fit into the scale somewhere.
Jealousy is not an emotion, but the motivation for an emotion, so it can erupt at many different levels of the scale. A person feels jealous when there is a real, imagined or threatened loss of affection, and this usually drops him down tone. He may become angry, fearful, covert, griefy, propitiative or apathetic about it.
Jealousy actually stems from the desire for information. The jealous person is wondering: “Does he still love me?” “Was he out with another woman?” “Does she wish she had married the other guy?” “What are they laughing about together?” The big question is:
“Does he want to replace me with someone else?”
The reason jealousy finds no foothold in a high-tone relationship is because communication is free and open. Lower on the scale, where the person thinks of his mate as an ownable object, there is a much greater threat of losing the object.
Also of low tone is the person who deliberately provokes jealousy from his partner; it’s another covert method of attempting to own and control.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BOYS AND GIRLS
The main difference between boys and girls is the same one you thought it was back in kindergarten.
There are no differences in tone between men and women except those that are introduced by the culture. Boys are admonished for crying. Such training tends to produce the stereotyped rough, swaggering male; but such a false tone will collapse under stress.
When the bottom falls out of a man’s world and he cannot cry, he is forced into Apathy (which is probably the exact reason there is a higher incidence of suicide and alcoholism among men). On the other hand, girls are not supposed to be tomboys; they must act “ladylike.” For this reason, many women stay stuck below Anger as gossipy 1.ls, clinging vines or soft-hearted Sympathy types.
High on the scale, the stereotypes fall away. A woman can be enterprising and capable without sacrificing her graciousness. The high-tone man can be both aggressive and compassionate—and he doesn’t lose his masculinity. Topscale people are neither confused about their gender, nor must they assert it.
You should make no major decision (to marry, to separate, or to serve your first baked Alaska when hubby’s boss comes to dinner) while temporarily down-tone. This is where you find the familiar phrase:
“Marrying on the rebound.” I knew a girl in college who broke up with her boy friend and dropped to Grief. Before she moved up any further than Sympathy, she met a young man in Apathy/Grief. They seemed to have so much in common and, of course, he needed her. They married. The last I saw of them, he was jealous, possessive, demanding; constantly whining his need for her, he held this once-bright girl locked in the bottom band of the scale.
The trouble with rebound is that we don’t bound back high enough before we make decisions.
THE DEGENERATING RELATIONSHIP
We sometimes see a marriage start out high-tone and degenerate. This occurs when either person drops down-scale for any reason and doesn’t return. The emotional balance is destroyed.
One of the most frequent causes of this phenomenon is the broken agreement. When an individual breaks the codes in his relationship with another, he ceases to survive so well, because those codes were originally devised for the survival of the marriage. The minute he breaks the agreement, some of his freedom is gone. He must hide his actions from the other person. This takes us back to communication. As long as we are able to say anything to a person, we like that person and the relationship thrives.
A partner who commits any non-survival act against a marriage drops downtone. He may be gambling with the rent money. She may be gossiping about him at her bridge club. Infidelity automatically drops a person downscale. The individual who is keeping a secret becomes less talkative, irritable, picky and critical of his partner. Eventually such a marriage erupts with both partners unhappy, blaming and bewildered. They settle into a low-tone relationship or they separate.
If either partner remains in Grief about the subject of love, he may go off and write soap operas or country western music.
FOR MEN ONLY
Girls, go freshen your mascara while I chat with the fellows for a minute.
Have you noticed that sometimes your charming, sweet-tempered gal turns into an unmanageable vixen whose only purpose is to drive you up the wall? There’s a medical explanation: it’s premenstrual tension, caused by physical changes in her body. In most women, the symptoms occur four or five days before the onset of menses. She goes berserk (griefy, jealous, accusing, nagging, irritable or whatever) and strikes out at the nearest target which, unfortunately, is usually you. Don’t take it seriously and don’t confuse this madness with the tone scale.
What to do? Current medical research indicates that in the near future it may be possible for women to take hormones and dietary minerals which will reduce or prevent these symptoms. Meanwhile, you can try indicating the source of her unhappiness. If there’s a thread of reason left, she may be able to get herself under control. You can tuck her in with a good book and go play solitaire in the basement with as few words as possible (anything you say will be used against you when you come up for trial again next month). If all else fails, run for cover.
When two people don’t understand this emotional paradox, they can get into some ludicrous situations (if not the divorce court) as did some friends of mine:
It was New Year’s Eve. A violent snow storm raged outside as Marie and George were spending a quiet evening alone in their second-floor flat. All was well until the monthly uglies overcame Marie. She started nagging, “Here it is the end of December and you never did put the storm windows up. It’s snowing like mad and we’ve still got screens on the windows, for gosh sakes! I can’t imagine what the neighbors think.”
She kept picking at him until her bewildered (and normally good-natured) husband stomped out into the storm. In a desperate attempt to please her, he grabbed a ladder from the garage, climbed up the slippery rungs and grimly began to replace each screen with a storm window. His frantic wife, meanwhile, pranced from window to window, raising it up and screaming, “What do you think you’re doing? for gosh sakes, it’s New Year’s Eve. . . George, you’re out there in the middle of a blizzard . . . You’re insane! George! What will the neighbors think?”
Before you decide you want to hang your wet socks on the same shower rod with someone for the rest of your life, you should establish some mutual purpose in marriage—one that includes the advancement of your own personal goals (the goals needn’t be the same, but they mustn’t clash). Too often a person sacrifices his own goals for marriage. She gives up a promising career to become a housewife. The man abandons the invention he wants to develop and takes a nine-to-five job for security. As millions of disillusioned spouses can tell you, that marvelous loved one can never fully compensate for the broken dream. For the sake of tolerable cohabitation, marriage may require that you give up some of your mangier personal habits; but when it asks you to abandon your aspirations, the. price is too high. Marriage is not an end in itself. It should help further your individual purposes.
To determine whether or not you are close enough in tone and other important elements with a particular person, take stock of the assets and liabilities in your relationship. As one of my sharp college friends puts it:
“What’s the pain/pleasure ratio?” Is he (or she) giving you too many moments of worry and torment, compared to the periods of fun, warmth, inspiration and sparkling agreement? If the ratio is only 50/50, that’s too delicate; it could easily tip the wrong way. A good relationship should be about eighty-five (pleasure) to fifteen (pain), which will give you just about enough trouble to keep life interesting.
MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE OFFICE
I was shown into the sales manager’s office. Briefly I described the product I wanted manufactured, and asked for an estimate on price and delivery. He seemed to be worried about how I was going to sell them all; he asked me to repeat all the specifications again. He rambled on about production problems. It took me more than thirty minutes, and much persistence, to get him to tell me that it would take at least three months (and possibly longer) for delivery. After juggling papers and charts around for a while, he admitted he couldn’t yet give me a rough estimate of costs.
I left after extracting his promise to mail me price quotations as soon as possible.
Whew! If the rest of his company operates in such a low tone band, I thought, my product will die of old age on the assembly line. Better try someplace else.
I called on another business and was turned over to the company president. I told him my requirements while he took notes. He asked one or two questions, and said: “Fine. It’ll take us three weeks to deliver them and I’ll have a price for you in a minute.”
While I was recovering from this shock (three weeks; not three months!) his fingers flew over the keys of a calculating machine on his desk. He made a brief phone call, punched a few more keys and gave me the price. Just like that.
Immediately, I placed my order with him and left the office fifteen minutes after arriving—and everything was done. What a relief. And what a difference from the first company. I’d found a topscale man, and there are few experiences so gratifying. My trust in him was not betrayed. He delivered as promised.
One week after my product was received and in distribution, I received the price quotation from the first company I visited. It was twice the cost I paid.
Just as an individual’s tone relates to his survival, the tone of a company’s leaders influences the survival of an organization. Within a year, the first company I called on was out of business; the other one is still expanding.
I placed dozens of orders with this firm over the years. All were handled with cheerful efficiency. At one time I spent a week working in the company’s plant on a special project connected with one of my products. Observing the routine and the personnel I could see that the high-tone leadership influenced the entire place. The staff was cheerful; but their good-natured banter did not interfere with the output of work. On the contrary, that’s what high-tone is all about. When a person feels happy and light-hearted he will accomplish twice as much as when he’s down.
Whether you’re buying or selling, whether you’re stock boy or president, choosing the right people has everything to do with your success in the business maze.
CHOOSING A JOB
When you take a job with an upscale company, work can actually be fun and the climate will encourage the growth of your talents and ambitions.
An entire organization reflects the tone level of its leadership. So, maybe you can’t judge a book by its cover (especially these days when even a treatise on the life style of an aardvark would sport a naked woman on its jacket); but you can judge a company by its reception room.
In a high-tone firm you will see employees moving briskly; but there’s always time for a little in-joking as they pass through. When you see staff members trudging by in grim silence, ignoring each other, bickering or speaking in whispers, you can be sure the leadership is heavy-handed. Employees who lounge through gossipy day-long coffee breaks are the result of lax leadership (to use the word loosely), probably around Propitiation or Sympathy.
Let those first impressions influence you. And remember that a high-tone boss is worth more than a dozen fringe benefits.
AS THE BOSS
An application form can tell you almost everything you need to know about a man except the most important: what is his emotional outlook on life? When you’re hiring, it’s smarter to choose a high-tone person with no experience than a low-scale one who knows every nut and bolt of the business, because you can teach an upscale person anything (if he’s interested) more easily than you can teach the low-scale person to change his tone. I’m talking about a person who is chronically low. He can be raised up by a skilled professional, of course; but if you’re trying to run a productive business you don’t have time to spoon-feed emotional infants.
Efficiency experts claim that you can raise morale and production somewhat if you paint the walls old swimming hole green, pipe in some lilting supermarket music and install pretty blond secretaries. An aesthetic atmosphere is certainly tone raising; but in the long run, it’s better to select upscale people right from the start and treat them well. No amount of music and fancy paint will offset the destructiveness of a high-volume, low-scale person who’s really working at it.
A talented woman started a partnership with a personable young man in an advertising agency. She took care of getting new accounts while he managed the administration. They became well-known and prosperous. She frequently raved about his brilliant business acumen.
Later their partnership broke up and she assumed full responsibility for the business. Sometime afterward, still bewildered by the experience, she said: “He was so incredibly charming; but it was only a facade. He never could follow through on things. He’d start a project and then he’d tire of it and be off on something else. He was never around to follow up on things he got going. When he wanted out of the business, I couldn’t understand it; but I bought him out because we had an agreement to do that.”
Only after he left did she discover how run-down the company was. Because of poor management, they’d been losing money steadily for five years, and she found it necessary to rebuild the company herself in order to recover her investment. She started by cleaning out the deadwood—friends of her former partner who were drawing salaries over fifty thousand dollars, but contributing nothing.
Even when she first learned of the tone scale, she found it hard to believe he was a 1.1 because he was so “brilliant.” (Need I mention that you shouldn’t confuse intelligence with emotion?)
You could study most business failures and discover a low-tone person somewhere on the scene.
There is one certain rule on the subject: You will never run an efficient, cheerful and productive organization with a staff of low-tone individuals. You’ll spend most of your time handling personal conflicts, apologizing to customers for goofs, replacing personnel, soothing disgruntled staff members and trying to plug the holes in the sieve before all your profits drain out.
THE LOW-TONE EMPLOYEE
Downscale types can do more to sabotage the success of your firm than you can imagine in your wildest nightmares. They’ll filch everything from nickel blotters to million-dollar ideas. They may talk big deals with all the confidence of lemmings racing over the edge of a cliff while leading your company toward corporate suicide. They’ll stop all the best ideas from reaching you. They’ll garble messages and orders. They’ll misfile important papers. They’ll tell you everything is great when the place is collapsing, and when things are picking up they’ll paint such a picture of gloom that you’ll contemplate hara-kiri. They’ll goof up jobs, delay orders and enrage customers.
If a few downscale people in an organization only messed up their own assignments they could be tolerated. But, unfortunately, they labor diligently (both wittingly and unwittingly) to halt the production of efficient people as well. For this reason, I consider it more efficient to run a business on a skeleton staff of highscale people sincerely working for the benefit of the enterprise, rather than a large staff of low-tone people pulling in the opposite direction.
One upscale person is capable of incredibly high output—if he can maneuver without interference. You can do any job more quickly and accurately when you give it your undivided attention until it’s finished. However, a few low-scale types in the vicinity (dedicated to the destruction of your goals), can find an abundance of methods for distracting your attention. They call you when a memo would be more efficient. They check back to confirm an order which already has been clearly stated. They drop in to borrow a stapler (their own equipment always breaks down with alarming ease) and try to stay for an hour of idle chatter. You ask them to type a report and they come back to inquire about the size of the margins. They bring you a problem that should be given to Jones.
When you’re trying to complete your own tasks, just one low-scale person can be real ulcer fodder.
Most of the “secrets of success” books that catalog the characteristics of self-made millionaires are saying (although they don’t know it): be high-tone. With the top tones goes a magnetic drive that never stays down for long. We find responsibility, persistence, good humor and love of work.
If you’re in a position of hiring or appointing executives, choose with the tone scale in front of you and your credulity locked away in the bottom drawer.
That “nice” man everybody likes may be so understanding that nothing gets done. And especially watch out for that brisk, let’s-get-things-moving-around-here Anger type who looks like a leader but, with his low boiling point, only attempts to handle people by force, threats and punishment. Man responds to being led, but not to being driven. Heavy-handed pressure appears to work at first; but the fear-ridden person loses all confidence and creativeness and becomes a hopeless bungler. At best, he gets covert revenge by doing only the bare minimum of work.
Some years ago a group of psychologists and sociologists studying behavior of business people learned that performance was critically related to the quality of inter-personnel associations, particularly the relationship one had with his own superior. They found that people worked more efficiently (and felt better) if their boss was not too officious, didn’t interfere with social alliances built up on the job and was not demanding production in an impersonal and callous way. In other words, employees don’t produce well for bosses between 1 .2 and 2.0 on the scale.
The psychologists decided to train the supervisors in one large company in an attempt to instill the good traits necessary to greater efficiency. Testing before and immediately after, they launched a two-week program in which they tried to teach supervisors to show concern and consideration, and to treat their employees as human beings. Immediately following the course, most of the supervisors rated significantly higher in their attitudes. However, when tests were made six months later (against a control group), most of the men had not only reverted back to their original behavior, but in many cases were less considerate than the supervisors in the control group. Interestingly, the men who maintained a more agreeable attitude were those who worked under better-natured bosses themselves. Thus we see the contagion of low-tone (and high-tone) leadership as it spreads down through the ranks.
So even though an individual can be brought upscale to some extent, he won’t stay there if he is under the influence of a downscale boss. He not only doesn’t stay up, the chances are pretty great that he won’t even stay with the company. Whenever you find an exceptionally high turnover in an organization, or in one department, you can bet your slide rule there’s a low-tone boss in charge.
You can predict a person’s level of responsibility on a job if you examine the quality of responsibility he shows in other areas of his living. The responsible person takes good care of himself physically. He’ll be clean, well-fed and well-groomed. His personal possessions will be orderly and in reasonably good condition. He does his best to adequately support and assist his family and to provide them with a promising future. He’s loyal to any group he joins. Since he’s concerned about the improvement and the survival of mankind, he may belong to groups devoted to such causes.
His responsibility may extend to raising plants or animals because such a person prefers living things in his vicinity. He never wantonly kills other life forms, although he will use them when necessary for his own sustenance (the person who will not kill for food he needs is actually on the Propitiation/Sympathy level of the tone scale).
He’ll revere and respect religion, whether or not he’s an active church-goer himself.
Use the tone scale in all business dealings whether buying, selling, hiring, firing and especially when you are shaking all your savings out of the cookie jar to invest in a “can’t lose” business venture. Your tone scale evaluation will be more reliable than the apparent qualifications of a fast-talking entrepreneur.
A number of years ago I knew a No Sympathy person who clawed, wheedled and blackmailed his way to a high position in the entertainment field. Men who were victimized by his chicanery maintained no illusions about this man; but his prominence continued to open new doors for him. At one time he convinced several moneyed men to invest in a restaurant chain which he would run. They responded because he was well-known and “obviously” successful (after all, everybody’s heard of him). However, as usual, he acquired more enemies than friends. The operation was soon doomed to failure because of his petty feudings with everyone from his biggest investors down to the customers he needed to survive. To the amazement of those who originally trusted him, it was necessary to sell the operation at a huge financial loss. That the weakness was not in the business itself, was proven by the new owner who went on to build it into a multi-million dollar operation.
RELAY OF COMMUNICATION
Nearly every function in an organization involves relaying of communication in one form or another, and probably ninety-five percent of an executive’s headaches are caused by the break-down of these communications.
The moment a salesman writes up an order, he starts a series of communications that must be relayed from sales to production to shipping to accounting and so on. There are multiple opportunities for mistakes along the way (as any businessman can attest).
An individual’s ability to relay communication is another aspect of tone. The low-scale person garbles messages, introduces alterations or negligently (sometimes deliberately) fails to pass them on at all. If you dictate a letter to your secretary, will she take it accurately? Having done so, will she dispatch it without delay?
In my own business, I find it easy to identify a customer who employs low-tone help. The customer sends an urgent order requesting immediate delivery. We notice, however, that the order was not mailed until three days after it was written. In one case we received an “urgent” overseas order which was sent turtle-speed by surface mail instead of air. It arrived six weeks after it was written.
Send a company representative to a convention and his report will depend more on his tone than on the program. The low-scale person will bring you all the bad news. He’ll tell you about the companies that went bankrupt, government cutbacks and new competition that will probably ruin your market. He may entirely forget to mention the hot, new prospect from a giant company. He may alter the report on a new product so thoroughly that you fail to see its potential value. The Boredom person won’t bring you so much bad news; but he won’t tell you anything exciting either. He’ll pass on amusing, but irrelevant, anecdotes. Mostly it’s “just the same old thing.” Conservatism will give you a more valid report, although he’ll tone down anything extremely new and different.
Wherever he is on the scale, the person does not realize that he is altering facts. Ten people witnessing an accident will give ten different versions of it. The lower a person goes, the more imaginary his memory becomes, although he believes it to be authentic. People at 1.1 get reality and imagination so mixed up that even their small talk is untrustworthy; but they will swear they are telling the truth. Of course, the wildest perversions of memory occur down at the bottom of the scale where we find fantasies and hallucinations.
AROUND THE CONFERENCE TABLE
The board meeting, sales conference or a brainstorming session are all excellent opportunities to study the tone in an organization. If someone presents an idea for a bold, new program, tones show up in the various responses. A person at the Grief/Apathy level automatically considers the whole project hopeless and, if permitted, he’ll drag up old losses and tell you how things used to be better in the old days. Propitiation or Sympathy will probably profess some enthusiasm for your idea; but he’ll immediately offer plans for wasting it (perhaps by advocating a tremendous amount of research or worthless advertising and promotion). The person in Fear will introduce every conceivable worry, “we’ll probably lose our shirts.” The 1.1 invariably pretends the idea is great, but will immediately attempt to undermine it, “Well, the idea sounds good . . .” The 1.5 usually tells you bluntly that it won’t work (or he’ll try to find another way to stop it). Antagonism, of course, will want to bicker about a few things whether he likes the idea or not. Boredom will shrug and take the course of least resistance. Conservatism may try to delay it, “Why don’t we sleep on it? Let’s kick it around a bit. We don’t want to be too impulsive.” He probably won’t stop it; but he’ll have the brakes on. If there’s a 3.5 or 4.0 in the group, he may get fired up with the idea (provided it was a good one) and offer constructive suggestions, methods for implementing, additional uses, promotion and production plans.
The salesman who understands the tone scale can correctly spot his prospect and bring him up-tone to the point of interest where he makes the sale. (This technique is discussed in a later chapter.) He not only gets the sale, he leaves a happier customer behind.
A salesman also can save himself much stress by knowing when not to sell. He’s working in a shoe store. A Grief lady comes in; he shows her ten pairs of shoes and she complains about every one of them. If he cannot bring her upscale, he’s better off not selling her. She’ll be back within a week complaining. Grief suffers a low pain threshold. Where someone else might feel a little pressure, she says, “It’s killing me; it’s excruciati ng.” Grief considers most everything painful. That’s the way it is to her. Furthermore, she is only satisfied when she’s been betrayed. The Apathy customer will say, “It’s hopeless; there isn’t any product that will solve my problem.”
The best of salesmen run into a few unsatisfiables. If you do sell to such types, expect most of them to come back with complaints and requests for refunds or replacements. They not only consume time, patience and profits, they frequently undermine the salesman’s confidence in his product. A smart salesman will simply skip these customers whenever he can.
Everybody fumbles through an occasional day when he should have pulled the pillow over his head and stayed in bed in the first place. Such a day is particularly demoralizing to a salesman. After several tumdowns he may start to believe that the economy is pretty shaky these days, there’s too much competition, nobody’s buying anything, or any of the other consolation prizes with which discouraged salesmen reward themselves. It’s so easy to go one step further and say, “I give up.”
The salesman who understands the tone scale, however, will recognize that he has dropped tone and he won’t take himself too seriously while in this dark mood. The main difference between the successful salesman and the failure is whether or not he believes the low-tone ideas which come to him on the bad days.
Most important, the informed salesman will not decide (just because he’s in a slump) to quit and go get a job flipping flap-jacks at the nearby beanery. Instead, he should push himself to call on one more prospect, and then another, until he makes a sale. He (and everyone) should try to quit the day on a win. Revitalized by a night’s sleep and a sturdy breakfast, he’ll probably be courageous enough to get out there and pitch again the next day.
The selling field offers unlimited opportunities to an ambitious person; but it is essential that he sell only a superb product. He must be convinced he’s doing the customer a favor when he sells. Because man is basically ethical (down beneath the flim-flam), he won’t let himself succeed if he thinks he is taking advantage of others. The salesman who cons his way along may be able to acquire money, but he’ll never enjoy it because he can’t go uptone as long as he’s being dishonest.
Sales managers will benefit by selecting high-tone distributors and sales people. Many companies with salable products fail because of the common belief that if you recruit enough people some of them will work out well (this fallacy is particularly popular in the direct sales field). The detrimental effects of a few low-tone representatives can cancel out most of the benefits of this method because word-of-mouth advertising can also work to bad-mouth a product. Mary tells her bridge club, “I just bought a marvelous new Whoosh vacuum cleaner and I love it.”
“Oh, no!” screams Phyllis, “My next door neighbor was telling me that a friend of her cousin’s ordered one of those from a salesman and she never got it. He just took off with her fifty-dollar deposit and the company says they have no record of her order and the salesman has quit.”
Emotional tone being what it is, this bad news spreads faster than chicken pox in a nursery school. Now the whole bridge club seeds the story out through the city: “Don’t get taken by those Whoosh vacuum cleaner salesmen. They’re a bunch of crooks.”
Everybody forgets that Mary is happy with her machine. So one unethical salesman can virtually ruin the entire market for the industrious men in the same organization.
Low-tone people are predictably unethical. Some knowingly deceive both customers and company. Others simply fail to learn their product well; they make false claims (sometimes out of sincere but misguided enthusiasm), tell unwitting lies, sell incorrect sizes and recommend the wrong products. There are innumerable ways to lose customers—and low-scale salesmen know them all.
Before we leave the office, we should make certain we take the curse off the word work. Contrary to popular opinion, pleasure is not found in idleness or wastefulness. An up-tone person finds work exhilarating. The successful industrialist is a man who enjoys overcoming the obstacles to management. The greatest pleasure a composer can achieve is in composing. The pianist prefers playing the piano to doing anything else. The active businessman only goes downscale if he’s constantly stopped, distracted or if he has some lowscale person trying to spare him (and thus destroy his greatest pleasure) by telling him he should not work so hard.
No person can be truly successful and low-tone at the same time. The terms are contradictory.
Unless you’re crouched in a cave somewhere under the ice caps of the North Pole, you can hardly avoid being asked to join, donate to, endorse or believe in some group or other. Today there seem to be more groups, clubs, fraternities, lodges, associations, sects and societies than ever before—or do they just make more noise? Anyway, they go all the way from the Stone Skipping and Geplunking Club of Mackinac Island, Michigan, to the aggressive evangelists known as “Jesus Freaks” from California.
Few of us have the problem of a wealthy bachelor I heard of recently. He wanted to will his money to a deserving cause; but he was unable to select one with confidence. Still, it’s understandable if we’re in some dilemma as to which groups most deserve our time, money and efforts.
We live in a culture that is changing with dizzying speed. More than ever we need guidelines to determine which of our constantly shifting values are healthy and honest and which ones are potentially suicidal to mankind. Thinking based on worn-out platitudes and wild guesswork belongs to the Stone Age of human understanding. We need reliable rocket-age judgment to evaluate both old causes and new movements at their inception.
With this ambitious thought in mind, I worked out a five-point check (based on the tone scale) that should help you decide the worth of almost any group except possibly the neighborhood coffee-klatch:
1. What is the purpose of the group?
2. How does the group intend to accomplish the purpose?
3. What kind of leadership does it have?
4. What are its actual activities?
5. What are its past accomplishments?
Although all of the individuals in a given group are not going to be at the same tone level, the stated (or unstated) purpose of the group generally falls somewhere on the scale. An upscale purpose is concerned with survival. This may take the form of “halt destruction” (not to be confused with the down-with-everything groups), preserve, rehabilitate, advance, educate or “let’s enjoy ourselves.” The highest tone purposes are more concerned with enhancing the future on a long-term basis than reviving the past or preserving the present.
Group purposes vary greatly in scope. Some clubs exist for the interest, improvement or amusement of the individual members only (bridge clubs, square dance clubs, etc). Others gather for the improvement of families or romantic relationships (PTA, child study groups, La Leche Club—and there are even sexually oriented teams that unite for various unusual activities that I’m not going to discuss here in front of the children). Other organizations exist for the benefit of a whole profession or group of people (unions, guilds, professional associations, ethnic groups, woman’s lib, gay lib, charities, government departments, political parties, civic associations and many more). Some groups unite to preserve or advance mankind (planned parenthood, medical research, etc.). Others have a common interest in plant and animal life (conservationists, SPCA, Audubon). Some are trying to hold the whole planet together before it self-destructs (peace groups, environmentalists, United Nations). Others are exploring or explaining the unknown (flying saucer clubs, astrology, psychic and spiritual groups). Lastly we find groups that unite for the understanding and enhancement of man’s spiritual existence and his relationship to the entire universe (churches and religious philosophies).
A high-tone group with largest scope would be interested in the survival of man and the whole universe—both physically and spiritually. While an upscale person might join that stone skipping club just for the fun of it, he will also belong to groups of larger scope.
HOW DOES THE GROUP INTEND TO ACCOMPLISH ITS PURPOSE?
Frequently we see an upscale purpose riding in tandem with a low-tone solution. A militant group may claim to be saving the nation while its solution is:
destroy people and burn down all the buildings. There Are hundreds of charitable groups whose purpose is to help the unfortunate, but whose solution is Propitiation (rather than rehabilitation). In the long run their “help” is more detrimental than beneficial.
Frequently the function of an organization depends totally on the charisma of one powerful person.
It is important to evaluate the tone level of the leader and whether or not the group is dependent on that leader for survival. Perverted, unethical leadership will destroy the beneficial effects of any endeavor, no matter how upscale the purpose and proposed solutions. If the leadership looks good, but you aren’t sure, look at the next two points.
This is the question that exposes the frauds: What is the group actually doing in relationship to what it is supposed to do? An organization can have the highest possible purpose, an upscale solution and some convincing leadership; but are the activities high-tone?
This question helps us unmask Mortimer Murkey, the glib 1.1 who heads up the Society for the Aid and Betterment of Downtrodden Derelicts. On close examination, we find that the derelicts are still downtrodden; but Mortimer is driving a Ferrari and living in a twenty-room mansion—with no (other) visible means of income.
Is the group accomplishing its goal without destroying more than it is gaining?
Originally labor unions did much to bring about a financial balance between the unscrupulous industrialists and the victimized worker. Today, however, the pendulum often swings the other way and the results are actually harmful (not always the case, of course).
Last year the U.A.W. called an untimely strike which nearly crippled the faltering U.S. economy. They won a base pay of twelve thousand dollars a year for their members; but a few months later they were pleading with management for help in handling two mounting problems: alcoholism and drug use—now considered to be the highest causes for absenteeism on the assembly line. It is no surprise that a greater number of workers are sinking into Apathy when they keep receiving more and more pay for doing less. There is no opportunity to improve one’s individual sense of worth if his paycheck increases while his contribution does not.
THE IDEAL GROUP
The ideal group will be upscale in its purpose, solution, leadership, activities and accomplishments.
I’m not going to attempt any extensive analysis of groups here; but perhaps some comments on the more popular ones will make it easier for you to use the five-point test to make your own evaluations.
Many universities, medical research foundations, churches and clubs are at least partially dependent upon the charity of the public for support. We are bombarded constantly with requests for donations to one cause or another, and thus many people are forced or shamed into Propitiation. I realized one day that if I gave even modestly to every organization seeking my contribution, I’d be on charity myself. So I now use the five handy dandy points before responding to the fervor of any appeal. (With slight modification these points could also be applied to an individual you might wish to assist financially.) When a charitable organization is propitiating without rehabilitating, I don’t support it.
If they’re fun and they raise your tone, why not?
DRUG REHABILITATION PROGRAMS
Today there are countless groups formed for the purpose of handling drug abuse and they vary widely in effectiveness. The U.S. government recently sponsored four drug treatment programs which a later report called “total failures.” According to the report, the plan failed because the solution proposed by leaders of the group was abstinence, whereas the young people participating did not consider all drug use harmful. Since there was no agreement on the exact problem and solution, it’s understandable that the results were a bit fuzzy.
At the other extreme, one of the most successful drug programs in the world was organized several years ago in the Arizona State Prison. Called Narconon, the program was started by a three-time loser with a nineteen-year history of heroin addiction. Using training drills (devised by L. Ron Hubbard) as well as group study of religious and philosophical material written by Ron Hubbard, the program produces more than an 80% cure of hard drug addiction. Rehabilitation efforts based on physical or mental cures alone seldom achieve more than ten or fifteen percent cure.
Now used in several prison systems (for other inmates as well as drug addicts), Narconon, addressing both the spiritual and mental health of the individual, continues to produce enthused, well-oriented citizens who return to society with upscale purposes. Since the group contains only volunteers, there is obviously an agreement as to the purpose, and the results confirm the validity of the solution and the leadership.
I’ve probably been a women’s liberationist without banner most of my life—especially during moments alone in front of a sinkfull of dirty dishes or while listening to some dude with the I.Q. of an amoeba tell me: “You know, you’re pretty smart for a woman.” However, when the women’s liberationists first started their public rampaging, I’ll confess that I was often less than proud of my own sex.
The purpose was certainly valid: women should have equal recognition and opportunity. No upscale person will argue with that. However, the 1.5 leaders—loud, crude, militant and threatening—frequently reached a level of madness that is out of place in any sane negotiations. I objected to the sick “hate men” undertone as well as the implication that a woman must sacrifice charm and grace to earn an equal paycheck.
While the earlier feminists were shouting their loudest, a lady in California wrote a book which started another movement advocating a more “feminine” role in which the woman is helpless, screams at spiders, becomes a fragile dependent and uses tears, pouts, and whines to let her man know that she is a woman.
Surely there’s a solution someplace between the cigar-smoking, raging gut feminist and the moth who flutters helplessly between Grief and Fear. There is. The upscale woman.
Today many top-tone men and women are taking up the cause and working (with much less noise) to level out the imbalances in both home and work situations.
Before we can drop our mop pails entirely, however, we must quit blaming men for the whole thing. After all, we females have done our share of deceiving, conniving and playing downscale games.
The period of natural feminine outrage has won us a few (grudging) brownie points to be sure; but it is now the responsibility of every woman to be as ethical and high-tone as possible to justify the respect she wants.
Meanwhile, I hope the chronic Anger types don’t go too far and ruin everything, because when all the noise is over, I’ll still be willing to bake a batch of cookies once in awhile—in exchange for the luxury of having members of the more muscular sex keep on slaying my dragons, changing my flat tires and lending me a nice, firm shoulder to lean on now and then.
It was never all that bad.
As long as we’re on the subject of men and women, we may as well dispose of the twilight zone. Gay Liberation groups have been popping up like toadstools after a spring rain. They appear to be operating more openly than we generally find with 1.ls. They gain strength by number, of course; but the fact that they are no longer closet queens doesn’t necessarily mean that the hidden and destructive intent is gone. Let’s examine their purpose: they ask for understanding, acceptance, freedom and civil rights. All nice, clean-sounding words. We should notice, however, that they are not asking for any help in curing their abnormalities (in fact, the worst of them will not admit that their behavior is abnormal; they insist it’s just a matter of taste. You know, you prefer peas and I prefer rutabagas).
Their solution is to bring public acceptance down to their level where we would condone their promiscuity and perversions (not to mention their propensity for spreading venereal diseases). They do not propose that society help them come upscale where a man is content to be a man and a woman enjoys being feminine (without being all hung up over the whole thing).
In Science of Survival, L. Ron Hubbard said: man is relatively monogamous. . . it is non-survival not to have a well ordered system for the creation and upbringing of children by families.”
I listened to a pair of Gay Liberationists who were guest speakers before a social club. The end product of their movement, they said, would be total sexual freedom for everybody. They advocated “smashing” (their word, not mine) the roles of the family structure. Their objection to the stereotyped roles (dominant man, submissive woman) contains some element of truth; but when asked what would replace the family structure, one of them merely waved a hand airily and replied that it would work out “somehow.”
A member of the audience asked how they accounted for the fact that most straights considered homosexual activities repugnant. One of the gays promptly replied: “People only react to homosexuality because they are afraid of discovering it in themselves.” (Does this mean that when you are repulsed by seeing a dog eat garbage you really want to eat garbage yourself?) This was a neat (and covert) method of silencing all possible protests from anyone who has all of his hormones in the right place.
To analyze the social value of such a group, you need only observe that there are no high-tone homosexuals.
Tolerance for nationality, race, religious beliefs, etc. is an inherent characteristic of a high-tone society.
Tolerance for a decadent condition, however, contains an apathetic acceptance of the condition as irreversible. Certainly homosexuals should not be abused or ridiculed. But a society bent on survival must recognize any aberration as such and seek to raise people out of the low emotion that produces it.
We can use the tone scale (and the five points) to examine whole professions as well as the individuals in them.
The president of the American Psychological Association recently called for the development and worldwide use of drugs to help prevent the powerful from exploiting the powerless. He said that human survival has become a moral problem and that biochemical intervention may be the best method for overcoming “the animalistic, barbaric and primitive propensities in man . . . We can no longer afford to rely solely upon the traditional, prescientific attempts to contain human cruelty and destructiveness.”
Let’s hope that he was merely trying to provoke some constructive action, because if this mind-boggling statement represents the final product of the field of psychology, perhaps this profession should be placed to rest in history books along with the other primitive remedies (like bloodletting) that didn’t quite make it.
Many groups attract individuals of a certain tone. A Sympathy person may join brotherhood groups and, though he appears noble, he’s actually hiding. Anger and Antagonism people are the first to join protest groups because they love a chance to fight. Many Fear people will be following right behind them because such groups help them become more alive.
Behind the scenes of organized violence we may find the cunning 1 .1 or 1.2 at work. Recently a newspaper columnist reported seeing some secret films of campus riots. The films revealed that the hardcore militants who shouted the loudest for blood, quietly pulled back when the violence actually erupted. As professional agitators, they were quite adept at ducking out on the turmoil they stirred up, thus avoiding arrest and prominence.
The main thing to remember in choosing your group is that it falls on the tone scale somewhere because of its purpose, its solution, its leader, its activities and its final product.
Now that you have all that, you can be gung-ho where it counts.
THE TONE SCALE AND THE ARTS
“For some reason I love this painting, but that one… Ugh!”
“I never could dig most classical music; it’s too depressing.”
“Maybe it isn’t good writing, but I enjoyed the book anyway.”
Whether creative people like it or not, most individuals respond to the arts emotionally because there’s a definite relationship between the tone scale and the arts.
Aesthetics forms a scale of its own going from the gaudiest dime store glitter to the elegance of a masterpiece. This scale moves (perpendicularly) up and down the tone scale. Therefore, we may find flawlessly executed art that is depressing. Conversely, we may see happy, upscale work that is less than perfect aesthetically.
When a person says, “I know it’s supposed to be good, but it doesn’t appeal to me,” he is objecting to the emotional tone of the work; he may prefer something that is sad, schmaltzy, fearful, mysterious, gutsy or unobtrusive, depending on his tone.
There are thousands of songs in the Grief band alone and they range from quickly-forgotten novelty numbers to exquisite classics. Aesthetics has a strong tone-raising value as you will know if certain books, paintings or music fill you with excitement and pleasure.
MUST THE ARTIST BE NEUROTIC?
An artist who expects to interpret life truthfull~ must be able to view all tones from Apathy tc Enthusiasm with an equally detached viewpoint. His own position on the scale needn’t influence his creativ ability. Many of our most talented artists were or ar low-scale. However, it isn’t necessary for the artist to bE neurotic in order to be creative (this is an idea thai seems to get passed along despite the fact that it’s nol valid). Although an artist may be able to produce wher he’s low, he’ll be more robust and adept if he moves upscale, and he needn’t sacrifice his form, style or talent in any way. No person gets worse by goinç up-tone.
“A good poet can cheerfully write a poem gruesome enough to make a strong man cringe, or he can write verses happy enough to make the weeping laugh. An able composer can write music either covert enough to make the sadist wiggle with delight or open enough to rejoice the greatest souls. The artist works with life and with universes. He can deal with any level of communication. He can create any reality. He can enhance or inhibit any affinity.”—L. Ron Hubbard, Science of Survival
The tone scale can be useful to the actor, playwrighl or director. An actress doing a dramatic Grief scene will do it more easily if she understands all the .5 characteristics, many of which can be conveyed without words (expression, posture, movements and communication lag). A Grief person droops; her eyes are downcast. She never gives fast, snappy answers. She sighs heavily. She’s so wrapped up in herself that she finds it difficult to get interested in anything or anyone else.
An actor or actress in training could exercise by taking a few lines and saying them in every tone on the scale.
Countless writers survive (and even prosper) without formally learning the tone scale. The best of them, however, actually do use the material when they accurately observe and describe human nature. If you write about people (whether real or imaginary), using the scale will make your work easier and more believable.
If every political writer and historian knew the tone scale, it would be a simple matter to determine whether any famous person was a great statesman or a conniving scoundrel.
Recently I read about a popular but controversial man. Since he’s quite influential, I was eager to know his tone. Unfortunately, I couldn’t tell whether he was a 1.1 or top-scale because the writer intruded his own emotion so strongly through innuendo and thinly-veiled criticism. Covert Hostility types commonly do this to discredit a high-tone person. When I finished the article
I knew more about the writer than the subject of the article.
Sometimes, out of admiration (or orders from the editor), a writer will endow his subject with a falsely high tone. If enough direct quotations are included, however, you can usually by-pass the author and make an accurate evaluation.
Probably since the first cave man scratched a hieroglyphic symbol on a wall, student writers have been admonished to keep their fictional people “in character,” although they are seldom told exactly how to do this. Today, however, the best interpretation of this ill-defined phrase lies in the use of the tone scale.
Once you select the chronic tone of a fictional person, you can keep him in character by sustaining that emotion until your plot introduces a situation that justifies a rise or drop in tone. Meanwhile, you can predict his reactions: When he’s threatened will he be brave, pig-headed, cowardly, or so low he’s unaware of any threat? Will he be honest when faced with temptation? Will he be generally liked or disliked? Will he boost or depress others by his presence?
You can show the village drunk as easy-going or pugnacious when under the influence. If you sober him up, however, he should be placed in Apathy—morose and brooding.
The Angry prostitute (such as the one portrayed by Barbra Streisand in the movie “The Owl and the Pussycat”) has the same 1 .5 characteristics as the tough army general. The characters can be rich, poor, nauseatingly intellectual, drop-out dumb, prudish, nicely moral, nicely immoral or downright cheap. They can be chic or dowdy. They can be members of an Indian tribe or the New York cocktail circuit. But if the tone is constant, it can be readily recognized by the jet set debutante as well as the frazzled housewife in Hoboken (“I know somebody who’s just like that”).
SOME FAMOUS CHARACTERS
One enjoyable way to practice the tone scale is by spotting people (whether real or fictional) in books, articles, movies and plays. Let’s do a few for a warmup…
That famous, slinky creature, Long John Silver in Treasure Island was definitely a 1.1, as evidenced by his sneaky trickery and his smiling front.
Hamlet seemed to move around the scale; but when he delivered his famous “to be or not to be” he was caught in the indecision of Grief. His uncle (the King) exemplified the suppressive 1.1 by the devious skulduggery which brought about the death of everyone around him.
In the The Love Machine Jacqueline Susann describes a No Sympathy person in Robin Stone.
In the play Pygmalion, George Bernard Shaw also gave us a No Sympathy person, Henry Higgins. Liza Dolittle, spunky and outspoken was mostly Antagonism, with occasional fits of Anger. Higgins’ lack of sympathy shows up in his complete inability to perceive or acknowledge Liza’s feelings, although he sometimes uses the “coaxing cleverness” of the 1.1 or throws a fit of temper. After much exposure to each other, Shaw (believably) settles out the relationship at mid-point (1.5): “She snaps his head off on the slightest provocation, or on none . . . He storms and bullies and rides . .
Thomas Berger in The Little Man sketches a 1.1 practical nurse in a few succinct sentences: “. . . stout, over-curious, and spiteful . . . one of those people who indulge their moral code as a drunkard does his thirst . . . and went so far as to drop certain nasty implications . . . A more sensitive person would have taken my murmur as adequate discouragement, but Mrs. Burr was immune to subtlety.”
In The Godfather by Mario Puzo we have the tone level of organized crime (1.1 to 1.5). The Godfather himself, often unsympathetic, occasionally angry, operated for the most part as a 1.1. “We’re reasonable people. We can arrive at a reasonable agreement,” but underneath the simulated friendliness, there was a mutually shared knowledge that any person who failed to comply would simply be destroyed. His frequent poses of sentimentality and kindness were merely 1.1 devices for gaining control over others. Despite his apparent love for his family, his activities placed them under constant threat from both the law and rival underworld gangs. We also see the exalted ego of the 1.1 as he demands “full respect” from his underlings, constantly asserting his “honor” while indulging in covert treachery, deception and betrayal.
Kurt Vonnegut in Slaughterhouse-Five brilliantly depicts Apathy in the funny, pitiful, non-hero Billy Pilgrim.
The writer can also make excellent (and realistic) use of tone volume. Some characters come on strong while others stay in the background—not intruding too heavily in the story—just as they do in our lives.
We see a 1.1 who’s amusing and likable—a charming, boyish, ladies’ man who’s generally forgivable. Of course he’s still unreliable, unfaithful and unethical. Some of his jokes will have a bit of an edge; he won’t keep agreements; he won’t persist on a job. He’ll carry all the 1.1 characteristics, but his charm makes him socially acceptable (as long as you don’t need to depend on him for much). This is 1.1 on the low side, lightly done. On the other hand, we meet a 1.1 with the volume turned up and, although he still wears the plastic smile, he’s so viciously dedicated to destruction that he leaves nothing but tears and frustration in his wake. The difference between them is volume.
One Apathy person may be practically invisible, while another sits in the corner, saying nothing, but permeating the room with a heavy, suffocating hopelessness.
REALISM VS. ROMANTICISM
For a number of years we have been bombarded with a level of creativeness called realism. To this school, life is a garbage can. “Telling it like it is” means depicting drunkenness, deceitfulness, addiction, prostitution, crime, depravity, murder, unhappiness, sorrow, and every form of spiritual slumming. Honest realism shows us the roses in the garden as well as the refuse in the back alley.
There’s usually somebody around to appreciate every tone of writing. However, it wouldn’t hurt any writer to notice the popularity of the upscale invulnerables: Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, Tarzan, Superman, the Lone Ranger and every hero who can shoot from the hip with his eyes closed and never miss. There’s pleasure in believing in the superhuman and, no matter how mundane his own condition, man never tires of this vicarious invincibility.
High-tone writing needn’t be happy every minute. Erich Segal’s Love Story is an excellent example of an upscale story about a young couple who meet on a mutually antagonistic level and, falling in love, move uptone to a delightfully bantering, but meaningful, relationship. The Grief (introduced in the last one-fifth of the book) depicts the way upscale people would react in such circumstances. Critics of this book fall into two camps: for or against. No one, it seems, is indifferent. Segal plays sharply on the emotional responses, so both high and low-tone readers are deeply moved by this ten-Kleenex book. In the war of the critics, however, the first shot was fired by the 1.2s. No Sympathy doesn’t dare let anyone tug this way at his atrophied heartstrings, so he fights back by sneeringly labeling the work “romanticism.” And the one who laughs when everyone else is weeping is most likely the 1.1 in the audience.
If Mr. Segal were to look closely at those who attacked his book most viciously, he would find them all at 1 .1 or 1 .2 on the scale. They’re saving their kudos for low-tone art that will contribute more to the degradation and destruction of the human race.
THE TURNING POINT
Most fiction plotting requires at least one major turning point to add interest and bring about the desired ending. The poor little waif makes good. The tough criminal decides to go straight. The philandering husband realizes he loves his wife after all.
People do make major decisions which change the course of their lives; but writers go out of character more on this device than any other.
When a person experiences (or causes or witnesses) a big upset, loss or misunderstanding, he’s likely to make a decision that will change the course of his life; but the choice he makes will be a downscale one. When he drops to a low tone, it’s impossible for him to make an upscale decision or determine to be an upscale person. Any decision made in the middle of a low-tone upset will be a low-tone decision designed to keep such circumstances from occurring again.
It is during such extremely depressed moments of life that a person decides to have less affinity for his fellow man (“I’m never gonna love anybody again”), less agreement (“You can’t trust anybody”), less communication (“You won’t catch me shooting off my mouth again”). This is when he will decide to quit school, leave town, get drunk, never trust a woman, never believe anybody, never tell the truth or try to help anyone again.
Let’s say the tough, No Sympathy killer shoots at a cop and injures a little girl instead. He immediately suffers remorse and tries to make it up by lavishing the girl and her family with gifts and money. Society may now consider him a “good” man but the author should realize that this man is at Propitiation and the rest of his behavior should be consistent with his tone. He’ll still be unethical, weak and ineffectual.
If you want the character to go straight, you must plot the circumstances to raise him uptone. After I gave a lecture in California, a young playwright came up to me and said, “I’ve only recently learned about the tone scale. I’m writing a new play that’s nearly finished and I’ve discovered my heroine is a Grief person. I don’t want to end the play with her still at this level; but if I change her tone completely I’d have to rewrite nearly every scene. Is there any believable way I can raise her up before the end of the play?”
“Yes,” I answered, “Show a turning point of wins, not losses. Let her succeed at something she’s trying to do, perhaps by leaving someone who’s holding her down.” A person at the bottom can experience a tremendous upsurge with any minor victory: baking a cake that doesn’t fall or getting a balky car to start. I went on to suggest that he move her up through the tones, stressing some more than others. “She could start by showing a stronger interest in others, then she might become more courageous and willing to fight anything stopping her. Keep giving her wins and you can take her as high as you want.”
This seemed to solve the problem because his face lit up like a launching rocket: “Yes, I can do that. Wow! You’ve saved me six months of rewriting.”
When you show a mean, angry character who experiences a devastating loss and realizes that he should turn into a nice person, remember that his decision was made in the middle of Grief (“I’d better be another. I’m too painful.”). If you insist on endowing him with the stereotyped heart of gold, remember that heart is made of mush at .8 and .9 on the scale.
If you want a character to “realize” on his own that he’s been a coward, or a no-good, and you want him to become an upscale hero, you must devise a way to move him up-tone before this realization takes place. People are incapable of confronting the truth about themselves while in any low tone. Near the bottom of the scale, magnificent realizations tend to be nothing more than pretty delusions.
A low-scale person moving up will go through Anger, and it’s a natural turning point. At this time the former coward will say, “I’ve had enough of this sniveling around. I’m tired of being everybody’s doormat. From now on I’m getting tough.” Once he’s capable of getting angry, he might move on up. It’s at Anger that a person insists on a showdown, a face-to-face confrontation. Don’t try to bypass Anger in taking a person upscale. It’s unreal.
We sometimes read true accounts of people who undergo some “awakening” after enduring the darkest moments of their lives. There are two explanations for this type of phenomenon. Such things can happen to a high-tone person who suffers a loss and bounces back upscale, enriched by the experience.
A Conservatism man experienced a nearly fatal automobile accident. During his long recovery he found himself so weak and helpless that he considered suicide. He managed to cling to some thread of sanity, however, and he gradually regained his strength and moved back upscale. Today he’s higher-tone than before. If he meets a pretty girl he kisses her. When he wakes up and the sun is shining, he considers it a beautiful day. If it’s raining, he still considers it a beautiful day. He’s less inhibited and has more fun: “I found out how good it is to be alive.”
Many of the “breakthroughs” we hear about, however, are nothing more than the person settling into philosophic Apathy. The determining factor is this:
what did he do afterward? Did he go out and become more effective or did he develop a sedentary philosophy about the mystic significance of a blade of grass?
There is an interesting and consistent phenomenon which I frequently notice: when a person abruptly becomes interested in a mystic, occult, or symbolic explanation for everything, this is a certain clue that some ambition of his was shattered. He’s wordlessly slipped into a peaceful Apathy where everything is now explained by stars, numbers, or symbols—all of which are mysteriously preordained and out of his control.
THE ENVIRONMENT OF THE ARTIST
High creativity cannot take place in an atmosphere of downscale criticism. The artist should select his working environment, close friends, instructors and critics with care.
The more successful an artist is, the more low-tone people gravitate toward him. Use a pitchfork if necessary, but get rid of them. The creative person needs a free mind and peaceful surroundings. If you share your dreams with a low-tone person, he’ll crush them. Look around you and you’ll find many friends with stories that were never written and songs that were never sung because they aligned themselves with someone below 2.0 on the scale and soon gave up.
Better to blush awhile unseen than ask the wrong person to criticize your work. The creative impulse is often fragile and the beginning artist is easily discouraged if his embryonic creations are heavily punctured. Even experienced writers are vulnerable.
A well-known author showed an unfinished manuscript to a friend. The friend voiced some criticism and the author abandoned the piece for nearly a year. After he recovered enough to finish the book it became a best seller.
The critic you select may be well-published, heavilydegreed, and wear a stamp of “authority” from some lofty institution; but if you want to survive as an artist, use his tone scale position as the first credential. Although he may know his subject well, his comments come through his tone. If it’s low, his intention will be to stop you. Below 2.0 there is no such thing as constructive criticism.
Over a period of several years, I encountered a variety of writing instructors. In Freshman English it was a Boredom type whose literary criticism consisted of correcting grammar and sentence structure. Neither encouraging nor discouraging any possible talent in the class, she was harmless.
The Antagonism instructor in the Composition Course loved to take a philosophic question, toss it to the class and encourage hot debate. Although we engaged in many stimulating verbal brawls, we learned nothing about writing skill.
The next professor I met was pure Sympathy, who so thoroughly understood artistic fragility that he never entered a single criticism or constructive remark into his teaching. He didn’t even give assignments. His was a “free” class—even free from help.
The most discouraging instructor was a 1.2 who specialized in undermining the confidence of his students. When asked for specific advice on a piece, he curtly replied: “If you want to learn the art of simile, read Georgia Portly Lament.” He often referred to obscure writings, implying that unless we knew them we were beyond hope. Criticizing with blunt generalities, he left the students dissatisfied and discouraged with their work and not knowing exactly how to improve it.
Eventually I found an uptone instructor (there really are some) and the differences were remarkable. With no wish to hurt or discourage his students, he praised as often as possible. On the other hand, integrity to his job (and his own skill in the field) made him able to criticize when needed. The important difference was this: he gave specific criticism, not generalities.
I mentioned this to a friend of mine who is a university art professor and he thanked me profusely. While acutely conscious of his students’ vulnerability, he was never able to work out exactly how to criticize until I mentioned the word specific.
This kind of correction doesn’t hurt (unless the student is on a low-tone vanity trip) because the artist knows exactly how to improve his work; he learns something.
Incidentally, this is the main reason a rejection slip is so discouraging to the writer. It’s a generality. There is no clue why his story didn’t sell. When the author knows the true reason (no matter how gruesome) it is easier to confront than his own low-scale imaginings, and he may be able to remedy the piece. I understand that some publications are now using a rejection slip in the form of a check list, and I’m sure this helps.
Choose your art, your environment, your teachers and your critics by tone. You need low-tone help about as much as you need a case of malaria.
There is every reason for the artist to be upscale and none for being down. Ron Hubbard said that it is “the artists who, through grossness and vulgarity, destroy the mores of a race and so destroy the race.” (Science of Survival)
On the other hand, topscale artists are the most powerful people on earth, for aesthetics is the quickest method of all for lifting large numbers of people up-tone.
HOW TO HANDLE PEOPLE BY TONE MATCHING
How can you inspire discouraged salesmen? What do you do with the 1.1 who’s trying to destroy you? How do you stop the antagonistic interviewer from attacking you? What’s the best way to get the indifferent customer to buy? How do you cheer up a friend? What do you do when someone gets angry at you?
In other words, how do you handle low-tone people? (High-tone people don’t need handling; they are to enjoy.)
If you’re just interested in getting on with your job, and not doing a major overhaul, you can try tone matching.
WHAT IS TONE MATCHING?
Tone matching means knowingly adjusting to the tone level of the other person. We do this by going to the same tone or one notch above.
When you tone match with a person, he’ll like you better and, if he’s regularly higher on the scale, you can lift him back up. If he’s chronically low, you may raise him, but it will be only temporary. In such a case the person may develop a dependency on you—someone who understands and gives him a lift. Unless you like carrying a load of hitchhikers all the time, you will want to know how to bring him chronically upscale so he can move on his own wheels. Naturally this is what we want for those closest to us, so other methods of tone raising are discussed in the next chapter. Meanwhile we need a way to cope effectively with those short-term associates we meet daily.
If you’re not sure where someone is on the scale, you can do a fast conversational test to find out what he likes to hear and talk about. To do this, you start with high-tone creative ideas. If no response, make small talk about the weather, speak with Anger or Antagonism about something, offer a rumor, mention something frightening, discuss some poor, unfortunate souls, remark that things aren’t like they used to be or talk about the hopelessness of it all.
As you work down, the person will respond when you make remarks on his tone level. In fact, it’s seldom necessary to do this much talking, as he’ll usually display his tone in the first words he uses.
With this test, you are finding out what is real to the individual. Once you converse on his tone level for a while, he will decide that you’re a pretty understanding person. He’ll like you. If he moves easily on the scale, you can go up a notch and he’ll come with you. By shifting higher, one tone at a time, you can talk him up the scale. Some people are so rigidly immobile that they cannot move more than one step up from their customary tone. Fortunately, they’re not common.
In this chapter we’ll give some examples of tone matching and, in some cases, of tone raising, at the various emotional levels.
If you’re trying to reach someone who’s in bed in deep Apathy (ill or in shock), you’ll find that verbal communications don’t make it. Thoughts are unreal to him; even the physical universe is somewhat unreal. To get through to him, use a physical communication. Touch his shoulder or take his hand in yours. He’ll be more aware of your hand than anything you say. After awhile, if he’s responding to your touch and acting more alive, start drawing his attention to various objects in the room. You might mention a picture on the wall, a vase of flowers or get him to feel the texture of the bed covers. Anything you can do to make him aware of the environment around him may help to bring him a bit up-tone. Don’t try to communicate an idea or thought. Just cause him to be aware that he’s here.
The ambulatory Apathy person is often difficult to reach (especially if he claims everything is fine). The two aforementioned methods are both helpful—hand contact and getting him to notice and touch objects in the environment. I sometimes break through this false serenity by discussing the broken dream that put the person in Apathy. If you reach him this way, expect tears, because it’s Grief he’s holding off. After he unloads it all, he’ll move on up.
I know one fellow who shook a girl out of Apathy by talking about imminent death. This was so real to her that she responded. When he offered a bit of hope, she moved up to Making Amends saying, “What can I do?” Soon she was sobbing. Interestingly, several people in the environment were perturbed because he “upset” her. On the contrary, he brought her up to caring about her condition. A short time later she was actually upscale enough to get into constructive action.
Most people instinctively go to Propitiation or Sympathy with a case of Grief. When there’s a death, we send flowers or bake a cake for the mourning family. These are natural gestures, and they’re real to the person in Grief. He won’t respond to any tone higher. (Don’t tell a person in Grief that it’s “all for the best.” It could push him into Apathy.)
The response on this tone band is evident in a report from two psychologists running a clinic for alcoholics. As part of the therapy, the psychologists held regular group discussions with the patients. One day one of the former alcoholics commented: “It’s too bad you can’t find a single true friend in this world.”
Someone else responded, apathetically, that it was kind of foolish and hopeless to even look for one. The others joined in the discussion. A few of them said that you might locate one true friend; but most of them agreed there was no such thing. The psychologist suggested they agree on a definition: “What do we mean by the term true friend?”
After a little deliberation, the group agreed on a definition: “A true friend is a person who would give you the shirt off his back.”
Here we see individuals who are in Apathy or Grief and the only kind of a friend who would be real to them is one notch higher on the tone scale: Propitiation.
To tone match with somebody in the sub-subbasement, your conversation must descend to the sub-basement. To bring a Grief person upscale, do things for him, then pour on the Sympathy until he’s satiated: “Oh, you poor thing. I don’t know how you stand it. You certainly get all the bad breaks. I can’t imagine how you endure it all. It amazes me that you’re still going on.” With any luck, he’ll decide you’re very understanding and soon he’ll say, “Oh, it isn’t all that bad.” After that, you should be able to bring him on up to the point where he will receive constructive help.
You don’t always need to go this far of course (pouring it on so thick) but the important point is this: don’t tell him he has no reason to grieve. It won’t work. He’ll only conclude that you don’t really understand him.
Blakely was a house guest with Mr. and Mrs. Porter when he accidentally broke a chair in his room. Deeply apologetic, he asked his hostess to send him the bill for repairs. “Oh, no,” she insisted, “that chair was already cracked. We should have fixed it long ago.”
“I don’t believe that. You’re just trying to make me feel better. Please send me the bill.”
Mrs. Porter never did send him the bill, so Blakely mailed her a check imploring her to fill in the correct amount. She eventually did; but she felt guilty about it.
When two Propitiation people meet, they create a frustrating impasse. Even when your sense of justice is abused, the best way to handle Propitiation is to accept his offering and thank him profusely. Otherwise, he’ll be miserable. You can bring him upscale as you would a Sympathy person, which will be described next.
I was talking to a chronic Sympathy woman one day. She planned to become involved with a drug rehabilitation program because she was sorry for the drug users. She possessed neither the training nor the ability to give them any real assistance (in fact, I knew if she followed her intention, she would soon be wallowing in Grief), so I started talking Fear, warning her of all the possible consequences. Was she prepared to manage this problem and that one? You’d better be careful . . To my relief, she said, “You know, I’m afraid I’m not actually ready to take this on yet.”
We started gossiping about the incompetents now running the group in question. Eventually she reached an antagonistic determination to become better trained so she could join in and “really do something.” This was considerably higher-tone than the compulsion to leap into a situation where she could only lose.
A 1.0 can be reached by discussing all the dreadful things there are to worry about. If you want to lift him up a slot, suggest covert ways of dealing with something that he considers threatening. If he’s afraid his house will be robbed, discuss alarms, booby traps and hidden weapons he could use against intruders.
If you just want him to like you, meet him on tone. Flatter him. After all, he’s putting on a show for your benefit. Why not enjoy it and let him know you do?
High-tone people nearly always get angry in the vicinity of a 1.1 (especially if they’re trying to get something done). It can serve a purpose if you want to get him out of your hair. If he’s mobile at all, he’ll feel that it’s safe to come up-tone and fight back. If he’s a chronic 1.1, however, he’ll retreat because he fears and respects Anger.
George was receiving repeated vicious, underhanded attacks from a business associate. One day, fed up with the Covert attempts to do him in, George confronted his adversary: “Why don’t you just kill me and get it over with?”
The 1.1 laughed, denying the charges; but he quit attacking. In fact, George established a certain low-level rapport with the man by correctly indicating the 1.1’s true intentions.
Since this tone is part of the 1.1 band, it will also handle well with Anger. Instead of a direct fight, however, you can also try aiming the Anger at someone else.
A friend of mine (normally high-tone) was feeling hateful toward a business associate. He was caught in a bottled-up silence so typical of 1.2. Taking his side, I began to talk angrily about his “enemy.” This brought some signs of life, so I continued. Soon we were plotting the painful extinction of the other man; together we dreamed up schemes for outrageous and vicious revenge. In a few minutes he was bored with conventional ideas so our plots became more diabolical and ludicrously funny. My friend was laughing uproariously when he finally said, “Oh, the hell with it. I have more important things to do.”
You’ll never get together with an Anger person by trying to sooth and mollify him. If he’s angry at you, you can tone match. That is, leap in and have a real row. He’ll love you for it. Remember that the person most admired by the hardened commanding general is his opposite number—the tough commanding general of the enemy’s army.
A friend of mine spent years cowering and slinking away from her 1 .5 husband. One day he stormed at her and she yelled back. They flew into battle, raging at each other in the first major fight in their twelve years of marriage. When they ran down, they looked at each other in amazement and burst out laughing together.
There are times when you will need to turn off Anger directed at you by directing it somewhere else. Several years ago when I was in the real estate business, a client called me. He was so mad he was spitting hornets. I had sold him some property; but my broker failed to deliver the final papers. Repeated phone calls to the broker failed to get results, so the client was taking out his mad on me. He blasted away for about five minutes. I let him blast. When he finished, I said, “I don’t blame you for being mad. I’m going to find out what’s going on down there and, believe me, we’ll get action. I’ll call you within twenty-four hours.”
Before the day was over, I raised some dust myself, found the reason for the delay and took care of it The papers were on the way when I phoned him the next morning He responded on the cheerful side of Antagonism and then moved upscale You know I like that” he said somebody who gets action instead of arguing with me
From a commercial viewpoint this tone matching turned out profitably. He so admired my treatment of his affairs that he referred three new buyers to me within the next six months.
Henry, a business executive, used Boredom successfully for turning off an Antagonistic person. A reporter phoned Henry to say, “I’m going to write an article about you. I’m investigating your outht. What’s your answer to the charge that your company. …..?
“Oh, that same old thing again?”
Henry’s attitude dismissed the challenging question as unimportant. You could almost hear the bored yawn in his voice as he chatted amiably about some of his company’s mundane and non-controversial activities. Soon the reporter became bored himself. “Well, I’ll call you if any more questions come up.”
“Sure, you do that. Any time.”
The conversation ended so low-key that the reporter never wrote the article.
Another method for handling Antagonism is to meet his tone, but aim it at another target. A surly plumber came to replace a defective garbage disposal for me. I asked him if he could put the new one in the opposite side of the divided sink. He grumbled that it would involve too much work and expense. Realizing that I shouldn’t get his Antagonism directed at me in this case, I said, “OK. I see what you mean.”
Later I remarked, “You know, these builders are a bunch of idiots. You see, they put the disposal on this side and the switch on that side. The dish cupboards are all over here. . . obviously this was installed by some dumbbell who never went into a kitchen except to eat.”
He was happy to have a ready-made enemy, so he started ranting on about those “stupid builders.” He worked up such a flap that he called the owner of the building, complained about the lame-brained plumbers and obtained permission to move the unit to the opposite sink.
You can also meet 2.0 head-on in direct combat. I once met an Antagonistic attorney at a party. I tried some cheerful conversation with him; but he was sour and rude—constantly contradicting, challenging and interrupting—so I abandoned the niceties to play the game in his arena: “Boy, you sure like to fight, don’t you?”
“What do you mean? I’m a peace loving man.”
“Don’t give me that. You can’t resist an argument.”
“No, it isn’t. You never let anybody say anything without disagreeing.”
“I do too,” he protested.
“See? You even had to disagree with that. You won’t let me say a thing without contradicting it.”
“Hey! You got me all wrong. I’m a lover, not a fighter.”
“Don’t kid me. You’d be bored to death if you couldn’t fight with someone.”
This went on for some time (to the extreme anguish of some lower-tone people in our vicinity), but my friend was getting more alive and stimulated by our verbal exchange. Later, bright and cheerful, he said, “You know, you’re really OK.”
We were both laughing as he said, “Hey! We agreed on something.”
A good salesman uses the tone scale naturally. A new prospect is often apathetic about your product when you first approach him (after all, he’s lived this long without it, so who needs it?) But if you meet him on his tone level and talk him up the chart until he’s interested or enthusiastic, you’ve a good chance for a sale.
Most salesmen use the technique of finding a subject that interests the customer. He may be low-tone about business, but tremendously interested in raising tropical fish, so you inquire about the health of his neon tetras. As he talks of them, he’ll become more enthused. After he’s upscale, you casually ask how many carloads of gidgets he needs today.
If you’re a sales manager, you already know there’s nothing more deadly than the creeping contagion of salesman’s Apathy. Suppose there’s been a long strike in the city; the economy is shaky; everyone’s cautious and waiting; orders are scarce. Your salesmen are thinking of going out on the corner with tin cups. How do you boost their morale? If you call a sales meeting, don’t try to hit those boys with a pitch full of puffed-up enthusiasm. Their thoughts and comments about you would be unprintable. Tone match.
You can raise the tone of a group of dejected people by thoroughly acknowledging just how bad things are:
“Well (sigh) this has been quite a month. I was waiting in line for lunch at the Salvation Army today and I got to talking with the president of General Motors. .
“My wife and I held a garage sale last weekend. We cleared ten dollars, which is twice my commission for last month. We celebrated by going out to the Dairy Queen.”
Take all the coveted grievences and blow them up to the point of gross exaggeration. Misery loves company (that’s what tone matching is all about), and once they realize someone does understand that things are tough, they can let go of the emotion. They’ll soon be laughing and coming upscale. When this occurs, you can outline the new advertising program and start painting a brighter picture for the future.
COMPULSIVE TONE MATCHING
I stress knowingly tone matching, because we unknowingly do so all the time—and it knocks us down. It’s natural to seek communication with others. So we adjust downward until we can find some area of agreement. The trouble is, when we don’t realize we’re doing it we slip down-tone ourselves.
If we admire an individual (or consider him superior in some way) we can get clobbered even more thoroughly (if he’s low-tone), because he’s going to use his expertise to sell us a low-scale attitude. We rush to the brilliant engineer with our great new idea. We’re going to build a supersonic, computerized, better mousetrap with built-in Roquefort. Enthusiastically, we spill it all out; but he fails to respond. Seeking his agreement, we keep dropping downscale. Eventually (after all, he’s an authority, isn’t he?) we concede that it’s hard to come up with anything new these days; nobody’s making a fortune now, and the income tax boys get you first anyway. We slump away wondering how we could have entertained such a stupid dream. We go back to reading our comic books.
To successfully tone match we must be stably upscale. It’s the only way we can adjust to lower tones without losing the high-tone viewpoint. That’s the difference between knowingly tone matching and the compulsive kind—you don’t lose the upscale viewpoint.
HOW DOES THE LOW-TONE PERSON ATTACK?
To successfully deal with tones, we should know the three methods of attack the low-tone person may use:
1) thought, 2) emotion and 3) effort.
A person in Apathy, using thought, will try to convince us that everything is hopeless; we’re failures; we can’t hold a decent job; we’ve wasted our lives and how could anyone love us anyway?
Using Apathy emotion with the volume turned up, he can drive us to the bottom by just emanating the emotion itself. He can sit around feeling that there’s no hope for himself, for anyone or anything. The world is doomed. Without saying a word, he permeates the atmosphere with so much black gloom—that we collapse just from the fall-out.
Apathy efforts are equally devastating. If someone apathetically handles the materials related to our survival, we are influenced. If your wife insults the boss, wrecks the car, lets your home become filthy, fails to feed and dress your children, you’ll be driven down (or to the divorce court). If an employee loses your orders, destroys your goodwill and breaks down your machinery, your survival is threatened and it’s a short trip down to Apathy yourself—unless you fire him.
IF YOU CAN’T HANDLE
If continued attempts to cope with a low-tone person fail and you find yourself coming unglued, break your connections. Why be a hero? Nobody will appreciate it. Laugh and the world laughs with you; cry and you pull in a Sympathy person to “take care of you.’,
Tone matching is only easy with the occasional acquaintance. Otherwise it’s a strain. To deal with people closer to us, let’s find out how to raise tone.
You may have been wondering why people drop down tone in the first place and, even more importantly, what we can do about it.
The following notes will cover the causes for low-tone as well as a few remedies.
There are five major reasons a person goes downscale—temporarily or permanently:
1. His present environment (its tone and volume).
2. His general environmental background.
3. Genetic limitations.
4. His current activities.
5. Experiences of pain and unconsciousness in the past.
THE PRESENT ENVIRONMENT
Turbulent and unhappy surroundings will produce a disturbed individual. You can’t punish, beat, drug, shock or command a person into sanity; but you can take him out of a low-tone area and bring him upscale. Environment includes people, places and general health.
A person’s marriage partner, family, friends, job and neighborhood are all part of his environment. No matter how high he is basically, when someone associates with unsane individuals, he eventually drops tone, at least while in the vicinity of the lower-scale associates. A 3.0 will drop to Anger or act like a 1.1 in a Covert Hostility environment. The 1.1 might improve to a point of Anger in a high-tone environment. In marriage, as we mentioned earlier, one tends to match the emotional level of the partner, with the downscale person coming up somewhat, and the high-tone one coming down considerably.
When a person is in an atmosphere where he does not receive friendship or love, is not talked to and where no one agrees with his ideas, he will go down tone. Friendship, communication and agreement are essential to man.
If someone is living in squalid rooms or neighborhood, he drops downscale. Clean, light, bright and orderly surroundings will boost an individual somewhat (depending on how boostable he is).
The person’s physical condition is another aspect of environment. Proper rest, nutritious food, exercise and good health are all necessary prerequisites to high tone. If someone is trying to subsist on three hours of sleep and black coffee, he will find himself less stable; small incidents can provoke a sharp drop in tone. If he suffers from a physical malfunction, he can go upscale after a visit to the doctor and proper medical treatment. A new pair of glasses can do wonders by restoring a large portion of his communication with the world. It’s low-tone to neglect the care of the body.
The use of sedatives or stimulants (including alcohol) also has a tone lowering effect. Hallucinatory drugs may do so slowly or quickly. I have seen LSD users drop into deeply psychotic Apathy for months or years. Even the so-called “harmless” marijuana lowers tone, especially after prolonged use. The individual sinks into a chronic lethargy, suffers from loss of memory and the inability to concentrate.
Three office girls were smoking marijuana on their lunch hour. When asked why they were doing this, one girl replied: “Two or three joints and we feel good. We don’t care if it might be our last week on the job. We don’t care if the work is stupid. We can stand it then. When we go back, it wears off after awhile and we go down again; but we’ve had it. We’ve been up.”
That’s Apathy speaking, of course, which is why it’s so hard to talk a person out of pot smoking. He’s in an emotion that dictates an indifferent response to danger.
Marijuana is not yet widely recognized as harmful because few people possess the means for measuring the subtle, corroding effects of this drug on emotional behavior. Once you understand the tone scale, however, no one who’s high on grass will ever convince you that he’s high on the tone scale. Drugged euphoria is as phoney as a carnival Kewpie doll compared to the glow and warmth of a 4.0.
I personally discourage the use of any chemical crutches except where prescribed by a physician for treatment or relief of a physical condition. The way to get the most pleasant sensations is to raise tone. It’s the best “high” of all—and the side effects are wonderful.
The tone of a person’s family, education and general background environment may strongly affect his outlook for the rest of his life. He may be suppressed down tone, he may copy tones he sees around him, or he may be taught low-scale ideas.
If a child is punished or overwhelmed every time he loses his temper or speaks his mind, he drops to 1.1 or below and he may stay there. A person goes downscale under the influence of an overbearing boss, parent, older sibling or teacher. If his communication is enforced (“Speak up!”) or repressed (“Don’t say those things”), if viewpoints are forced upon him (“You listen to what I’m telling you”) or his ideas are dismissed (“You don’t know what you’re talking about”), if his natural friendship is inhibited (“Don’t play with Alice”) or enforced (“Go kiss your Auntie, now”)—all these things will lower his tone.
Parents almost automatically teach their children social tone: be polite, nice, kind and generous. Such Boy Scout goodness is fine if the rest of the environment assures high tone. When overlaying a low-scale atmosphere, however, it breeds an ineffectual person who stays below 1 .5. A doctor with twenty years’ experience treating homosexuals says that as children most of his patients were criticized for rough-andtumble behavior with other boys. Furthermore, he says that he has never known a homosexual who came from a family where open communication prevailed.
Mothers could raise the tone of children if they spent less time “taking care of” them and warning of dangers.
Better to let their children eat what they want to eat, sleep when ready and even get their feet wet; the youngsters would be healthier and happier.
A person who operates on low-tone attitudes taught to him in his youth can sometimes improve by merely learning the tone scale. I once acted, briefly, as a business consultant for a man whose company was on the edge of financial collapse. It was soon evident that most of his difficulties stemmed from his own emotional attitude of Sympathy. Although his business was floundering, he still supported the many downscale non-producers on his staff because Father taught him to be kind to those less fortunate than himself. I started teaching him the scale to help him spot the assets and liabilities among his personnel. The moment he realized that his own Sympathy was harmful to his staff, his family and his business, he moved upscale. Most of his employees were sales people, so he immediately changed the salary structure to provide a low base pay but extremely generous commissions. This soon separated the producers from the flunkies, because the downscale people couldn’t earn enough money to subsist, whereas the high-tone people drew more money than ever before. A natural selection took place: the losers left and he was able to replace them with more upscale people.
Low-scale educational systems and teachers are also part of the background which can destroy a person’s confidence for life. Demanding that a student memorize endless amounts of unrelated data, forcing him to study a subject without getting him interested in it first, using low-tone and confusing textbooks, grading on a curve, teaching too much theory without practical experience are only a few of the detrimental practices we see in schools. A person goes downscale to the degree that he cannot solve his problems, so when education fails to provide the student with the ability and confidence he needs to solve the problems of living, we see the foundation for a low-tone life.
Speaking of background environment, a person tends to adopt a social tone from his neighborhood. If he comes from a rough slum where dog-eat-dog means survival, he may develop a tough 1 .2 or 1 .5 attitude which he wears layered over his natural tone for the rest of his life.
A person may acquire a low-tone attitude because he was born into a certain nationality or race, because he’s too short, his eyes are crossed, his nose is too long or he considers himself physically unacceptable in some way. Any person drops down tone when he believes that his physical shortcomings will result in no affection or friendship from others. Around upscale people, who do not discriminate in this manner, he’ll come up, provided he is able to let go of his own ideas on the subject.
How a person spends his time strongly influences his emotional tone. If he is idle, without goal or direction, he will go downscale. A person who is “killing time” dies a little himself in the process.
Criminal actions or any activity that is detrimental to his fellow men keeps a person chronically down-tone. Although he may get a lift occasionally, there is no remedy that will bring him up on a permanent basis (unless he ceases such activities, of course). A person engaged in perverted activities stays down as long as he continues them. A prostitute will have to change her profession to come upscale. A businessman who is cheating his customers or taking advantage of his employees will not move up-tone, no matter how many millions he acquires.
Many activities are detrimental without being illegal. If a person is continually critical and unkind to others, he stays in the lower zones. If a man is going out with someone else’s wife, there’s no chance of raising his tone. If a person is leeching off of friends or taking advantage in some other way, he holds his position at the bottom of the pit.
An individual cannot hang on to a low-tone activity and expect to rise on the scale. By definition this is impossible. High-tone people do not engage in low-tone activities.
To take a person’s attention off of some downscale temptation, direct him to other interests. This could be sports, a hobby, or learning a new skill. Anything that captures his interest and curiosity (and is not detrimental to anyone) is a potential tone raiser. If he’s sitting around in the glums, he’ll perk up if he does any physical job—washes the car, cleans out a closet, plays a game of ball or goes to the mail room and licks stamps. On a temporary basis, doing something is all that matters. He improves even more by developing a skill in some area: learns to fix a car, bake a cake, use a typewriter or play a musical instrument. Best of all, the person will come upscale in any activity which embraces a long-term goal.
Anyone moves up when he achieves an enormous success. A happy marriage may raise him chronically. Acquiring a new job, getting promoted, selling that story, recording that song, inventing something—any achievement which is meaningful to the individual—can raise his tone.
If you assign a person command over more space, more objects or more people, he will go up the scale. The more a person can control, the more up-tone he becomes.
I once knew a man who nearly killed his wife by not allowing her to work outside the home. Her family was grown up, the husband frequently was out of town and she was miserable, tearful and complaining. Her husband mentioned this to me one day, wondering what he could for her. She sometimes expressed a wish to go back to work, he said, but he discouraged this because there was no need for her to work.
I suggested that perhaps this wasn’t a kindness after all, possibly she needed more to manage. Why not encourage her to get a job and see what happened? I didn’t hear how this worked out until several years later when I met the man again at a business meeting. He told me that his wife did find a job, was happily working and getting promotions. She was enthusiastic, more efficient in her housework and a more loving marriage companion as well. Here was a lady who obviously needed more of an area under her control.
It’s also possible to give a person so much to deal with that he comes apart at the seams. If promoted to a position outside of his skills (or one he hasn’t earned), he’ll drop down-tone. If asked to meet impossible standards, a previously upscale person drops down. He may become so overwhelmed that he quits or resorts to lies and cheating in an attempt to cover for his failings.
The greatest stimulation comes from having just enough work that we must stretch a bit to keep getting things done.
Admiration is a great tone raiser. Everyone does something well. Find out what it is, praise him and help him to do it even better.
The more you do for a person, the less he will do for himself. Too much generosity begets Apathy. So always let—no, insist—that a person contribute something. Anything.
EXPERIENCES OF PAIN AND UNCONSCIOUSNESS
Although there are many immediate causes for low tone, all uncontrolled emotions (temporary and chronic) stem from one basic cause: past experiences of physical pain and unconsciousness. Because the content of these experiences is hidden from the person’s view, he is unknowingly influenced by them. Even a bump on the head or a skinned knee produces a moment of shock (a great loss such as a death causes a similar emotional shock). Although he isn’t passed out cold, a person’s awareness is shut down momentarily, at which time all perceptions (sounds, smells, sights, etc.) are unconsciously recorded. These return later, under the stimulus of similar perceptions (or words), and cause low tone and various aberrations.
L. Ron Hubbard spent many years developing processes to help the individual permanently erase the effects of these painful incidents (read Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health for a complete explanation of these experiences and how they influence us). His processes are now administered by pastoral counselors in Scientology churches and missions. Their first purpose is to lift the individual’s tone permanently, by eliminating the source of down-scale emotions.
TONE RAISING IN GENERAL
Anything that raises a person’s tone is a valid action. Going to a movie he wants to see can lift a person up. In fact, using aesthetics is the most effective channel of communication for raising a person without tone matching or professional help. He will respond to beauty when nothing else reaches him. This is why visual aids help in teaching and why artistic advertisements sell products. A vase of flowers or a piece of jewelry can lift a woman who’s in the dumps. A sleek, new car can change a man’s whole outlook.
Primarily what you want to do in raising tone is rehabilitate the person’s ability to communicate. You do this by making it safe for him to say anything he wants to say. If he’s frightened, he should be able to mention this without someone chastising him for it. He must be permitted to shed his Grief. Most important, he must be in an environment where he is free to get Angry. Since we live in a society that condemns Anger and condones Sympathy, this is the most frequently suppressed emotion. When someone is moving up, Anger is a sign of healthy improvement, not that he is going mad. The best way to help an Angry person is to let him rage. When he stops, ask him if there’s anything more he wants to tell you about it. He’ll move upscale after he says it all.
An individual stays in any one of the restrained tones as long as he can’t communicate the emotion above it.
The person who is thoroughly stuck in a low tone will seldom yield to a “Hello, how are you” level of conversation. This requ ries professional counseling (and perhaps considerable time).
There are four valid methods for raising tone:
1. Changing the person’s environment to one which is happier and which improves his chances to survive (this includes nutrition, medical care and recreation).
2. Education that more thoroughly acquaints him with the culture or gives him the skills of survival. A person can be taught more easily as he moves up.
When a classroom situation is fun the student becomes more confident and relays communication more readily and correctly (in this case relaying refers to the application of material in the lectures and texts).
3. Regulating the numbers and kinds of objects (people or duties) under his control.
4. Scientology processing.
All four methods raise a person’s tone by giving him better tools for survival, improved conditions in which to survive and some valid reasons for surviving.
A person who’s progressing doesn’t necessarily jet up to the stars and sit there watching the rest of us inglorious souls flounder around in the muck. He loosens up first. He hits peaks and valleys; but he’s moving. Best of all, he no longer takes the whole thing so seriously (even when he wilts a bit). Gradually his highs get higher, steadier and more frequent.
That’s progress, and it’s worth any price.
YOU AND ME
No matter what grand thing we want to accomplish—from setting up a lemonade stand in the front yard to cleaning up the world—it’s going to be easier and more achievable if we get ourselves as highscale as possible.
Besides it’s more fun.
We can stop wars by making our leaders saner. We can stop environmental destruction by raising the responsibility level of the inhabitants. We can stop discrimination by raising the understanding of the individuals.
Ultimately, the answer to our social ills lies not in developing better systems, bigger programs, ideal philosophies, or in drugging our political leaders into Apathy. The answer lies in lifting the tone level of the individuals. When we make man saner, we make his families, his groups, his races and his nations saner.
We start with you and me.
While reading this book, you’ve probably groaned occasionally: “Oh, I do that sometimes. I must be pretty low-tone.”
It’s a grim experience—seeing and hearing ourselves down there in the pit somewhere. Be assured, however, that you are not alone. We all own the emotional keyboard and we’ve played every note at one time or another.
The best way to get out of any trap is to thoroughly understand the trap. So, having recognized some lowscale manifestations in ourselves, we are already a couple of galaxies ahead of the poor soul who’s caught in a tone and believes it. He’s saying, “Life is this way,” and often he considers the condition permanent and irrevocable.
If you experience one of those days when your wife won’t talk to you; you get a flat tire on the way to the office; you arrive to find that you’ve lost two of your biggest accounts; the production line is shut down with a mechanical failure and the big boss is in town on an unexpected visit—you might heave a huge sigh and say, “I give up.”
When you know the tone scale, however, you may be able to say (gulp) “This is Apathy,” in which case some part of you is not totally submerged. You can take some control and drag yourself back into the day—awful as it is.
In this chapter we’re going to examine some of the things we can do to haul ourselves up and stay there.
Be selfish and industrious about raising your own tone. You owe it to yourself, your future, your family, to your work and to mankind. It is never noble to be less than sane. It is never better survival to continue non-survival actions.
Anything which raises tone is worthwhile. As we mentioned in the last chapter, this can include bettering our health, our environment, our education, and—for permanent improvement—Scientology processing.
Notice your own tone fluctuations: What people, places, or activities drop you down? Which raise your tone? Start orienting your life toward the tone raising people, places and actions.
Pleasure and survival go together. Something that increases your pleasure increases your survival and vice versa. Any activity you thoroughly enjoy will be tone raising. This may sound self-indulgent; but only low-tone people try to convince us there is anything honorable about being serious and self-sacrificing.
The person who takes the necessary actions to improve his emotional outlook becomes more tolerant and understanding, more able to solve problems, more responsible and more persistent. He can live well and freely; but still accomplish ten times as much as the drones who plod heavily along because they “don’t have the time” to enjoy living.
The upscale person doesn’t sit placidly serene while buildings collapse around him. Nor does he leap through life in constant orgasmic ecstasy. He fluctuates. He is not stuck. He responds with the right emotion for
the occasion, and most of the time he experiences a quiet excitement at the simple pleasures of living.
THE SECRET OF POWER
One of the biggest mistakes we can make is assuming that we can associate closely with down-tone people for a long time without sliding down ourselves. Other than at gun point, there are only two ways to deal with someone who is working relentlessly to knock us down:
We handle him (preferably by bringing him upscale) or we disconnect.
Although we needn’t condemn a person for his low position on the scale (who can cast the first stone?) we mustn’t deceive ourselves either. There’s nothing more difficult to face than the destructive evil of a chronic, high-volume low tone. There probably isn’t one of us who wouldn’t rather pretend it isn’t there. It’s so much easier to “think the best of people.” That’s the coward’s way out, however, and it’s a costly mistake.
Most of us err in trying to help someone too long. If a person won’t permit himself to be helped, we must be willing to let go. When we keep trying and failing and still insisting we “should be able to manage it,” we drop downtone ourselves.
If there’s a large hole in the bottom of the ship, you either repair it in a hurry or you get out the life boats. Too many people struggle through life trying to bail out their sinking ships with a teaspoon.
The secret of power is knowing how to handle and when to disconnect.
CHOOSE YOUR PEOPLE
Low-tone people, like poison ivy, are easier to avoid than get rid of.
So from here on you can save yourself much grief by choosing upscale people right from the start. Even pick the highest tone businesses for your patronage. When you choose trustworthy people, life is brighter and you won’t be complaining that “he gypped me” or “I was betrayed.”
I even (I mean, especially) select my auto mechanics by tone. When I find an uptone fellow, I give him all of my business and my trust, knowing that if the motor in my car develops an alarming new plunk (because a bolt needs tightening), he isn’t going to tell me: “The whole flanastran must be overhauled, and that’ll run around three hundred dollars.”
Knowing the high-tone characteristics, we find that there are many times we can actually make a choice toward the higher attitude. It’s more upscale to trust than distrust. This doesn’t mean we should become gullible; but when there’s a borderline decision, we’ll feel better if we permit ourselves to trust. (I’ve even known some low-tone people who actually stretched their ethics upward simply because I let them know I trusted them. This won’t work with everyone; but if a person is mobile, he’ll reach up-tone more readily on trust than distrust. Do this with children.) When we’re debating whether or not to tell the truth, we find that truth is much higher than deceptiveness. Understanding is higher than ignorance; it’s always beneficial to learn more. Causing is saner than being effect, so don’t sit quietly in the back of the room and let the low-tone committee members run things. Speak out. Owning is higher on the scale than considering one shouldn’t own anything. Taking responsibility is more up-tone than avoiding responsibility. It’s higher tone to fall in love than to be a cynical loner. It’s more upscale to communicate than to suppress communication.
We may want to win a Nobel Prize, invent a substitute for food, learn to telepath with chipmunks or merely get the flower bed weeded out this afternoon. No matter what the job, it’s easier to accomplish when we’re upscale. On the other hand, we mustn’t sit around waiting until enthusiasm strikes us before we tackle the breakfast dishes. The person who accomplishes a great deal while still down-tone is of much greater potential worth.
The most important single contributing factor to tone is pursuing one’s own goals. So if you’re not working toward the goal that means most to you, dust the cobwebs off that dream (the one you abandoned because someone convinced you to be sensible and take up engineering instead) and get on with it.
SOME TONE RAISING IDEAS
Someone once said, “Life is the thing that really happens to us while we’re making other plans.”
This is true of the downscale person. Up-tone people enjoy the present as they plan their future. Low-tone people only daydream about it (and some merely wait to “see what happens”). Too often we hear people say, “Some day I’m going to start my own business,” “I’d really like to write a song,” “I intend to go back and finish school,” “I want to take up skiing sometime.”
The difference between upscale planning and lowscale wishful thinking is action. The high-tone person puts his plans into action in the present time. Now. He isn’t just thinking; he’s doing.
We can raise ourselves, temporarily, on the scale by riding on the bubble of wishful thinking. But, if we never act, the bubble soon bursts and we must confront the mundane reality of our existence—and die in little pieces.
When we’re not working toward a major goal (or even a minor one), it’s too easy to “save” ourselves for some purpose important enough for our attention. Saving ourselves is a sure way to drop downscale and stay there. In such circumstances, find anything to do—whether or not it’s important.
Lethargy produces low tone and, tragically, low tone produces lethargy. The longer we put off an action, the more deeply we sink into a pool of inertia, and it’s much more difficult to start up again from a dead stop. Almost everyone must fight lethargy sometimes; but you conquer it by just starting something. Once you’re rolling it’s easier to keep going and you will move upscale.
Finishing jobs can give you a marvellous sense of accomplishment especially those jobs you re likely to postpone from year to year Spend a day or a week finishing any projects you have lying around and you II soar
If your environment is in a state of chaos the disorder grabs your attention (and hangs on to it) every time you walk through the room Disorder itself is low tone Order is high tone So you can bring yourself upscale by simply cleaning and organizing the nest Afterward you’ll have a free mind to address more meaningful projects
Another gambit for raising tone is to get involved We all have choices almost daily “Should I go to the party or stay home?” “Shall I go see what that job is all about or just forget it?” “Shall I attend the meeting or take the evening off?” “Should I join that com mittee or let someone else do It?” “Should I take that judo class or stay home and read? ‘ Assuming that you’re considering an activity that s relatively high tone you will usually find more enjoyment when you take the active choice rather than the passive one It s the person who’s avoiding work avoiding risks avoiding responsibilities avoiding new situations who s miserable Always reserve the freedom to withdraw from a situation that is low tone (when you can’t do anything about it) But get involved.
DON’T SUPPRESS EMOTIONS
If you learn nothing else from this book, you should learn that you never reach high tones until you can experience all of them. To gain mobility you must not suppress emotions.
When you feel like crying, cry or you slip into Apathy. If something is fearful, go ahead and be frightened or you become a weak Sympathy and Propitiation type trying to ward off all dangers and never helping anybody—least of all yourself.
Don’t bottle up Anger; let it go. When someone is doing something objectionable to you, in your space or with your belongings, speak immediately. We only covertly hate that person if we don’t voice our complaints. Simply state flatly and directly: “You did this. I object to it. Don’t do it again.” The more you bottle up such feelings, the more you pin yourself down in 1.1 or 1.2. Some people need to work up a high volume of Anger in order to “tell someone off.” This is undesirable because uncontrolled Anger is usually destructive. It’s the person who’s too cowardly to say something in the beginning who lets his grudges build up until he explodes. State your objections immediately while the volume is low, and they will not stay with you simmering under the surface. Don’t worry about hurting the other fellow’s feelings. If he’s taking advantage of you or doing something harmful, it’s a crime to let him continue. If he’s unable to improve, you’re better off getting him out of your environment anyway.
Of course, none of this justifies a person who is constantly critical and invalidating to others. He’s fixed between 1.1 and 2.0.
The top of the tone scale tells us that the upscale person doesn’t absorb and relay all the bad news. He cuts such communication lines. There are many ways to do this and it will serve us well to use them.
If the newspaper makes you believe there’s no hope for the world, quit reading it. If a book is depressing (who cares how artistic it’s supposed to be?) throw it in the fireplace; it’ll help the kindling along. Find high-scale entertainment. It can bring back a chuckle or a flow of warmth for a long time afterward.
When you’re talking with someone and the conversation drops low, change the subject. Cut that communication line.
If certain people insist on giving you nothing but bad news, lies, gossip, arguments, criticism, hopelessness or covert barbs, stop associating with them. If you wouldn’t tolerate people dumping their trash in the middle of your living room, why let them empty their mental trash cans in your mind?
I was at a party when a woman inquired about my religion. She smiled slyly as she asked: “Oh, are you a convert?”
She leaned so heavily on the last word that I could see she anticipated doing some covert sniping. I decided to cut this communication immediately. Abruptly and firmly I said, “I don’t even know the meaning of the word.”
I turned away from her and started talking with the others at the table. She didn’t speak again and, strangely, none of the other people at our table of six spoke to her. The rest of us carried on an easy, laughing conversation.
Later one of the men said to me: “I don’t know how you managed to shut Nancy up so effectively; but I’m glad you did. It’s the first time I ever enjoyed myself when she was around.”
This may seem cruel treatment if you’re programmed to preserve social graces no matter what. It is actually more cruel to everyone when you permit a 1.1 to direct and control the communication. It always goes down.
GIVE AND TAKE
It is vital that we reach a balance between what we contribute and what we receive. This principle applies to friendships, marriages, jobs, groups, etc. If we’re always helping others and taking nothing in return, we do a disservice to those on the receiving end. We should find a way for others to repay us.
If we are taking a great deal from someone else (care, food, shelter, services, money), we should find ways to return the flow or we drop to the beggar level of Apathy and Grief.
Don’t decide to get married, divorced, quit your job, leave school or enter a convent when you are low-tone. Make your choices when you’re at the top.
If you suffer any kind of body ailments, get medical attention. Pain drives a person down.
Select your associates, jobs, spouse, groups, bosses, employees and allegiances by tone.
When you hit a temporary downscale attitude, don’t take it seriously. It is nothing more than the coat you’re wearing today. It is not you.
Don’t wait for others to give you a pat on the back for something you did. Give yourself the pat and get on with the next job.
Don’t try to arbitrate between two people who insist on playing a low-tone game with each other. This is like trying to balance a canoe in a ninety-mile gale while struggling with an epileptic hippopotamus.
Don’t consign yourself to some constant drudgery that you despise. Direct yourself toward a worthwhile purpose—something that interests you strongly.
“Without goals, hopes, ambitions or dreams, the attainment of pleasure is nearly impossible.”—L. Ron Hubbard, Science of Survival
Trust your own observations and don’t believe low-tone gossip, reporting, teaching, advice or news. Look at the source of the communication before you absorb it or pass it on.
Don’t listen or talk to low-scale people unless you feel able to control the tone of the conversation. Above all, don’t share your ambitions with those at the bottom. They’re leaning toward death and this includes the destruction of dreams.
Watch out for all the clever ways we try to explain away our own low-tone behavior. We’re remarkably inventive about this.
Keep striving for higher levels of self-honesty. ThE more you are able to see things as they really are, the more upscale you will become.
When you find yourself using tremendous effort to get something done, back off and see if it’s really the right action. If it is, do something to raise your tone and the job will be easier.
“It isn’t how hard one wishes (as they teach a child); it’s how lightly one wishes and how interested he is in having that for which he wished.”—L. Ron Hubbard, Philadelphia Doctorate Lectures
Don’t waste your time looking back and wishing things had happened differently. Your future needn’t be molded by the past. You can create it today; you’re the only one who can.
Don’t be a weakling. When something needs to be done, do it. It is higher tone to feel dangerous to your environment than to consider your environment dangerous to you.
Don’t let someone else sell you a goal. Follow your own personal convictions.
Art can move a person out of despondency—provided he selects his own art. So enjoy your kind of music, plays, decorations, paintings, books, movies or whatever form of artistry makes you feel wonderful.
If you work so long that your job starts getting serious, go walk around outside and notice things. Get reacquainted with the universe around you. You will return to the job refreshed.
When you’re spending a great deal of time on paper work or intangibles, balance it up by doing things with your hands in your spare time. Dig a hole in the backyard, build a bird feeder, go bowling.
Cherish each high-tone person you meet.
You can do something about your emotional attitude. Don’t wait for someone else in your environment to change first so you can move up. Take definite, conscious steps to boost yourself. When you’re able to contemplate life in good humor (without being downright giddy about it) you’ll find it easier to tolerate the foibles of others. They’ll want to follow you anyway. So don’t try to push from below; lead from above.
The venture is bound to include some down moments; but no low tone is such a bad place to visit as long as you don’t have to live there.
Just remember where home is: mobile, free, lighthearted, feeling, communicating, understanding, winning, laughing, powerful, loved and loving. Living— to the fullest. That’s the top of the tone scale.
Now you have the road map.
Godspeed, and good traveling.
A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF EMOTIONAL TONES
4.0 ENTHUSIASM (Cheerfulness) A lighthearted soul with a free mind. Flexible.A winner.
3.5 INTEREST (Amusement) Actively interested in subjects related to survival. Doing well.
3.0 CONSERVATISM (Contentment) The conformist. Don’t rock the boat. Resists changes. Not too many problems.
2.5 BOREDOM The spectator. All the world is a stage, and he’s the audience. Neither contented nor discontented. He endures things. Purposeless. Careless. Not threatening; not helpful.
2.0 ANTAGONISM The debater. Loves to argue. Blunt. Honest. Tactless. A poor sport.
1.8 PAIN Touchy. Irritable. Scattered. Striking at source of pain.
1.5 ANGER Chronic distemper. Blames. Holds grudges. Threatens. Demands obedience.
1.2 NO SYMPATHY Cold fish. Unfeeling. Suppressing violent anger. Cruel, calm, resourceful, acidly polite.
1.1 COVERT HOSTILITY The cheerful hypocrite. Gossip. An actor. Often likes puns and practical jokes. Seeks to introvert others. Nervous laughter or constant smile.
1.0 FEAR Coward. Anxious. Suspicious. Worried. Running, defending or caught in indecision.
0.9 SYMPATHY Obsessive agreement. Afraid of hurting others. Collects the downers. Sometimes wobbles between complacent tenderness & tears.
0.8 PROPITIATION (Appeasement) Do-gooder. Doing favors to protect himself from bad effects. Intention is to stop.
0.5 GRIEF The whiner. Collects grievances and old mementos. Dwells in the past. Feels betrayed. Everything painful.
0.375 MAKING AMENDS The “yes” man. Will do anything to get sympathy or help. Blind loyalty. A mop-the-floor-with-me tone.
0.05 APATHY Given up. Turned off. Suicidal. Addict, alcoholic, gambler. Fatalistic. May pretend he’s found “peace.”
It’s great to see Ruth Minshull’s witty and perceptive book available online. It is a classic example of creatively building on principles from L. Ron Hubbard after fully understanding them, and it holds up well 4 decades after its publication.
My only quibble is with a few loose generalisations, in particular her claim that homosexuals are all 1.1: was John McMaster chronically at 1.1?
Some views are based on stigma and in Scientology have devolved into a “Passion for Genocide” , which is sad. A good read with Pierre Ethier”s personal views can be found here:
Also a good reference about the need to guard ourselves into falling in the trap of a stigma can be found in RJ 68:
“Now the real thing we have to guard against is becoming ourselves intolerant of the freedom of others to believe. We do have a parallel in the early Christians and the early Christians had a difficult time because they spoke of human rights, love, spiritual freedom just as we do and we in Scientology are speaking of the same things but in more modern language and with more positive results as far as cases and so on are concerned.The early Christian was banned and harassed by a whole empire, yet he won. And the resistance and challenge strengthened him and made him refine his creed and conduct, the same thing is happening to us.And the early Christian was hated by Governments and adored by the people at large, that’s very true of us, and we are undergoing the same phenomena. Early Christian, er because he was persecuted eventually came into possession of the entire Roman World, and that was the whole world there was. He did not have to conquer it, it was forced on him. So, there are historical parallels, but what I’m trying to say is that the Christian failed the test with his later inquisition,to some degree failed to bring his er, message er, truthfully to civilization all the way through so that people could talk about love thy neighbor and pick up a rifle and shoot him. Our great appeal to mankind, whatever he knows of us is that we stand for truth and for human freedom, and mankind at this stage wher he has heard of us knows only we stand for greater spiritual freedom and greater human rights. He dimly senses we are the foes of inhumanity and brutality. And, actually that would be good enough for him to join us with a whole heart and so every Scientologist should enlarge on this message, we must cease to individuate, we must carry our message broadly to the world. Indeed, we must prepare our own way with an emphasis on greater human rights. And, in doing that we mustn’t start ourselves with witch hunting and raising the devil with our friends. And, it sometimes hurts me when I think of people being upset or knocked about, ah, just because, just because it’s happening to us, is no reason we should do it to others, ever.”