Creative Learning by Silcox and Maynard

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Creative Learning by Silcox and Maynard
Topic Scientology books
Type of Article Category:Books about Scientology

This is an early Scientology book which was not written by L. Ron Hubbard

Published 1955 by Hubbard Association of Scientologists Int. Price 15 shillings. It doe not contain a bibliography but does have footnotes, about half of which refer to things outside of Scientology (amongst other things, Senator McCarthy[1]).

CreativeLearning Newfront.JPG

Victor Silcox and Lennard J Maynard were two English teachers who were also Scientologists and wrote about their use of Scientology in their classes.

The book is 12 cms by 18 cms, blue hard cover with a yellow dust jacket, 222 pages.

There is a foreword (2½ pages) which includes a statement that it is ongoing work. where further changes could be expected. Thanks were given to Dennis O'Connel, a well known London Scientologist at the time, for reading the original manuscript and "correcting much that was wrong". Then there are three sections.

Review[edit | edit source]

The following is a review by "Robin" of the book.

A Scientological Experiment
In Schools


CHAPTER I. Introduction I
CHAPTER 2. Dianetics-A New Approach ... 9
CHAPTER 3. Diagnosis-The Tone Scale, Dynamics and the E-meter ... 29
CHAPTER 4. Loss of Self-Determinism ... 47
CHAPTER 5. Affinity, Reality, Communication ... 59
CHAPTER 6. Mind and Matter ... 71
CHAPTER 7. The Three Universes 87
CHAPTER 8. Creative Processing... 99
CHAPTER 9. Self and Group Processing ... 118
CHAPTER 10. Experiment in the Classroom ... 130
CHAPTER 11. The Experiment in Retrospect ... 144
CHAPTER 12. Intelligence Tests ... 154
CHAPTER 13. The Two Factors ... 163
CHAPTER 14. Freedom and Learning ... 176
CHAPTER 15. The Difficult Child ... 193

Silcox and Maynard put Dianetics and early Scientology into education and wrote about it from a teacher's viewpoint. But not this was not all. Particularly interesting is their explanation of the mechanics of the Scale of Attitudes (Tone Scale) in interaction between a teacher and the group (class room) and the dilemma ensuing from granting freedom to the pupils while still having to maintain some kind of order and discipline. Further, the aberrating role of language and the stimulus-response mechanism is given due attention. Ample use of examples is made. The authors manage to cover Dianetics and Scientology basics like the emotional scale, engrams, secondaries, locks, holders, bouncers, circuits, the time-track, the Dynamics, mechanism of restimulation, the e-meter and many more.

The commonly used mechanisms of suppressing the recalcitrant members of the class is explained in terms of the tone scale (p43). As well the aberrant effects of low toned individuals in the class room on high toned pupils, the restimulative effect on the teacher is described.

The authors recount Dr. Hubbard's methods and theories in relation to their own experiences as teachers.

A reference to Richard deMille's book Introduction to Scientology can be found in chapter 4:

"... Literally, then, the word Scientology means 'knowing how to know'. We shall have much to say about this aspect of Scientology in this book, but primarily we are concerned about the alignment and interpretation of the discoveries of Scientology in the field of education. By far the best account of its historical development is to be found in Introduction to Scientology by Richard deMille, an American auditor and close associate of Dr. Hubbard. For a better understanding of the theory of Scientology we recommend Dr. Hubbard's own treatise Scientology 8-8008."

The authors base their views on Hubbard's theories. But they often come to surprising conclusions by putting the parts of Dianetic and Scientology together in an original and uncommon way. Thus they create some added value for the reader.

(p49f) "Such computations are known as Postulates. Some postulates are very easy to find-even in yourself. They stick out on other people like quills on a porcupine. But they are difficult to change, for we are unable to recall the occasion on which they were made. These computational phrases are in constant use and will be familiar to most of us. 'I can't do' is perhaps the most common in schools, but think of these:-'I haven't got time', 'I can't think' or 'Let me think', 'I can't remember', 'It's always the same', 'I can't eat .. .', 'I always get a cold if .. .', 'I never feel well', 'I mustn't give way', 'I can't sleep', 'I'm always tired' ... etc....." "By reason of their constant use on every and any occasion, these phrases not infrequently find their way into the reactive engram bank-there to work destruction on the organism."

This is the reverse side of those affirmative conditioning methods aka positive thinking, auto suggestion and others to make one's postulates stick, so well known from various self help books. Silcox's and Maynard's book can be understood as a bridge between Hubbard's works and those of other authors whose writings are in the tradition of e.g. Napoleon Hill[2]. As such the book may be of interest for those who are sceptic, if not unfavourable, towards Dianetics and Scientology.

We all know that invalidation is a bad thing, don't we? Silcox and Maynard go further than to just make this statement. They describe precisely what happens in a person's mind (reactive and analytical). Their conclusions are remarkably sharp and occasionally go beyond what you can find in Hubbard's writings. Nevertheless a reader who is not at least superficially acquainted with Scientology will probably not get the full benefit out of that book. It is not an entry level book. In order to get the most out of the text it should be studied with due care.

(p54) "It is to these two factors self- and other-invalidation- that humanity probably owes its propensity for warfare."

"The process of evaluation is more subtly depressing but is probably more widespread in its overall effect."

"Not infrequently these evaluations are passed on during exchanges of invalidation; postulates are bandied freely back and forth, and whereas our own postulates are postulates, other people's postulates become evaluations to us. Where these exchanges have resulted in reduction of tone, evaluations-often in the form of criticism and advice-are absorbed as postulates and the person involved who reactively supposes himself to be the loser (and this may be both) absorbs not only the postulate but an associated facet of the other's personality."

Where Ron Hubbard just makes a statement or presents a piece of data and leaves the reader to swallow that piece, misunderstand it or abandon it, Silcox and Maynard provide the logical connections for a deeper understanding. They do that in a sober, almost humble style resisting any temptation to force things down the reader's throat. Nevertheless there is enough room left for anyone to come up with their own conclusions or to be motivated to look into experiences or examples from one's own life.

(p56f) Here is a sample which may give some insight - and may serve as a teaser - how Silcox and Maynard spice up the text with fine irony:

"To consider an imaginary incident to illustrate, rather crudely, how evaluation can take place:
We are visited by a friend whose opinions we value and from whom we have sought advice in the past; a person, that is, who is in a position to evaluate for us. His opening remark may be quite conventional: "How are you?" Before we can give the conventional answer he replies to his own question: "You're not looking too well". We are, perhaps, surprised by this information but adopt the attitude of a man whose doctor has just given him a week to live but is facing death with heroic fortitude. Our act is wasted, or is badly performed, for it is interpreted as dejection. "You'll have to buck yourself up, old chap," he says. We are a little shaken. We had not realised we were looking so poorly, though now he mentions it. . . . ! Our friend hastens on to remind us of poor old Smith who died only last week, and how he too had been looking off colour for some time previous to his death. This sort of thing can be shattering, especially if at the time when the homily is delivered we are not feeling in the best of health. A slump in tone is inevitable. The 'sinking feeling' which accompanies it is only too familiar. We are indeed sinking-right down the Tone Scale."

In that chapter the authors remind us:

"Hubbard considered tone to be a reflection of the state of an individual's relationship with all dynamics in respect of three things: Affinity, Reality, Communication. In Scientology these three form what is known as the ARC triangle and its importance to the theory and practice of the science cannot be over-estimated."

"Note also that abstract nouns tend to go in pairs, the one being a low-toned caricature of the other: admiration-flattery, firmness-stubbornness, courage-rashness. One is inclined to accept or offer interpretations of these words according to one's own tone. Finally, it must be realised that all social intercourse is a species of auditing, much of it chaotic and disorganized, and much of it regrettably 'down scale'."


"Nevertheless, few of us are content merely to see the wheels go round; we like to know why they go round. We should be doing a singular injustice to this natural inquisitiveness if we were to omit any reference to the theoretical basis of Scientology. But before undertaking this task we must again emphasise that whilst the conclusions we reach closely parallel those of Hubbard, our method of approach probably deviates considerably from that adopted by him in his research. Also, it should be clearly understood that without a knowledge of the matter to be discussed in this chapter, our later chapters on Creative Processing would be almost totally incomprehensible."


The relation between body - mind (genetic entity) - thetan is examined under common philosophical aspects (another gradient scale spanning the gap between materialism and idealism is postulated) and their practical implications (as derived from Scientological hypothesis).

"Ideally, the body acts in response to mental images-that is, energy-patterns-created by the thetan and not in response to facsimiles from the reactive engram bank. It is clear from this that any disability on the part of the thetan to create these mental images leaves the way open for stimulus-response behaviour. There is a gradient scale from optimum ability in the creation of mental images to which the body can react, to no ability-in which case the body is at the mercy of its engram bank."

Silcox and Maynard have a sober look at Hubbard's work, just like scientists, and they do not worship him like some dedicated followers do. They pick out those things that make sense to them and which they found workable. They add their own ideas and draw conclusions which go sometimes beyond what Hubbard had said. However Hubbard would most likely have agreed with them.

"Hubbard, much more than many of his followers, was interested in restoring self-determinism. He had already suggested that an engram became effective only when a decision to use it was made. This idea caused a good deal of confusion and consternation among the early enthusiasts who, it might be said, were 'sold' on the engram."

The above is an interesting assessment. It was apparently not only true in the times when the book was written (1955), but is still true today when this write-up is created (2017) especially by people who are part of the free-zone movement and who are not "old-timers".

It's a delight to see that Silcox and Maynard exhibit that rare attitude to not buy into any extreme positions and thus put themselves in opposition to others. They do not need to convince the reader because for them everything has a place on a gradient scale. Therefore for them it's never a question of either or, but rather this and that. They do not fight for any reality. Instead they make it a habit to synthesise something new from dichotomies without invalidation of one reality. The reader is won by the way they resolve apparent conflicts with logic instead of arguing.

They say: "Scientology is brief and blunt. There can be no argument about it. Any human activity, whether it works or not, is ethically good if it produces a rise up the appropriate gradient scale: if it leaves the position on the gradient scale unchanged it is ethically neutral; if it is a depressant it is ethically bad."


"Hardly anyone expected anything untoward to happen, so no one would be too unkind if the experiment failed. The odd thing was that when a marked change in personality did occur in one boy shortly after the beginning of the session no one noticed it until I pointed it out, then wonder was expressed as to the cause. This is a curious but almost inevitable response to results achieved by Scientology."

A thorough analysis of problems associated with intelligence testing, their validity, accuracy or inaccuracy.

Two kinds of learning ('Theta Learning', 'Stimulus-Response Learning') are discussed and related to Scientology theory in terms of tone scale and mental machinery (automatism and circuits). In other words: the difference between intuition ('Theta Thinking') and thinking (figuring) as a search amongst circuits for a suitable response is examined.

"Interest is knowing, and knowing is understanding. You can present a child with data, but you cannot make him understand."

How the authors compare psychology with Scientology:

"Orthodox psychology, on the other hand, accepts it as something unalterable and asks for a modification of teaching methods accordingly. In effect this is to say: "Here is a child who cannot create a visual or an auditory mock-up; he is, therefore, backward. Let us teach him with methods suitable to his disability". This is surely a counsel of despair. The Scientologist says: "Here is a child who cannot read because his mocking-up is poor. Let us endeavour to improve his mocking-up.""

This is the practical section. 15 group sessions, easy to learn and to do, not exclusively applicable to children only. They had been written down by L. RON HUBBARD, JNR., D.Scn. ["Nibs", Ron's eldest son]


All in all Silcox and Maynard wrote a book which starts a bit slow paced. Certainly this 220 pages volume is not meant to be scanned through in a couple of hours. It's a work which deservers to be studied and pondered thoroughly. This book is a strongly recommended reading for teachers, therapists, auditors, social workers and alike. Actually it would be of great benefit if anyone on earth would absorb and understand the knowledge presented by Silcox and Maynard. They may have meant to write a book for their teacher colleagues but this book has a much wider scope for application than educating children.

Small side note by Antony

This book came out in 1955 and, with the Murial Pain book Creative Education[3] in 1958, it began to give us Scientologists the feeling that we were not a little group ignored by the world. Also about that period an Archbishop (either orthodox or a small offshoot of Roman Catholicism) started coming to meetings and his title was exploited (in promotion). These things enabled us to feel that we were going places.

Creative Learning - inside.jpg

A few years later there was a reverse effect. About 1965, a Scientologist who was a teacher working in the East Grinstead area used some Scientology group auditing on a class. Sounded a bit like session 7 above (mocking up failing in exams etc.). At any rate the local East Grinstead paper came forward with an article about "Death Lessons", and raised a small fury over how Scientology was indoctrinating innocent young children with brain washing on death (sort of thing). Antony A Phillips (talk) 11:02, March 16, 2015 (UTC)Antony A PhillipsAntony A Phillips

Reference[edit | edit source]

There is a PDF of the first (and probably only) edition of the book at the following link: [1]. Scroll down to "Creative Learning – A Scientological Experiment in Schools (15.9 MB)" and click on it. It may take a few moments to download in full.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ an American senator of the 1950s who was against communists and created a "witchhunt" atmosphere in the USA at that time [2]
  2. ^ American self-help author[[3]]
  3. ^ See Books – Scientology – excluding LRH books and scroll down to 1958.