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The Tone Scale: How Valid Is It?

Discussion in 'General Scientology Discussion' started by Dulloldfart, May 7, 2017.

  1. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    Let's just take the main levels of the 0-4 bit, and skip the, er, non-human range. So:

    4.0 Enthusiasm
    3.5 Cheerfulness
    3.0 Conservatism
    2.5 Boredom
    2.0 Antagonism
    1.5 Anger
    1.1 Covert Hostility
    1.0 Fear
    0.5 Grief
    0.05 Apathy

    Hubbard said he derived the order from observing the emotions people went through in Dianetic auditing, sometimes so fast that way-stops get missed; someone said he pulled it out of his ass. Its provenance doesn't really matter. He said the numbers are an approximation, and not meant to signify too much.

    He said there's a "volume" quality, sort of at right angles to the scale. So around the 1.0 fear level, a little bit of volume is anxiety, and a lot of volume is terror.

    What do I mean by "how valid is it?" Let's see. I just want to stick to its main characteristics as it, not delve into discussing the merits of everything he ever said about it.

    The sequence, ignoring the supposed observability in processing, is supposed to show increasing aliveness, potential for survival, general desirability. So on an individual level, life would generally look better if one is cheerful than if one is grieving (not so hard to accept); but similarly, life should generally look better if one is bored than being antagonistic (not so easy to accept, especially if one enjoys being antagonistic!). There's also the factor of emotion being applicable to the circumstances, so it's not as if grief is never merited.

    I say individual level because some relatively "low-toned" people seem to accomplish a lot more than some relatively "high-toned" ones.

    Anyway . . . .

    1. Are these emotions?
    2. Are they readily observable in people?
    3. Does the sequence seem correct, in that on a personal level does an emotion higher on this scale seem preferable to one lower down? [This question is complicated by Hubbard's idea that someone chronically above 2.0 is survival-oriented, and someone chronically below 2.0 is death-oriented]
    4. How about the Chart of Human Evaluation?

    I'll give my own answers, just to start the ball rolling.

    1. Yes
    2. Yes.
    Those first two aren't meant to be trick questions. I think the answers are obvious, but I spent so many years in Scn and the tone scale is such a basic Scn thing, who knows?!
    3. I haven't done thousands of hours of auditing and taken careful note of the pcs' emotional tone. I know one was supposed to note it on the worksheets where it changed, but .... Personally, the sequence seems ok.
    4. Heh. That's a vast, open-ended question! To be discussed, shall we say. :)

  2. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    So, maybe the proof that the Tone Scale works is after enough Scientology people come up-tone enough to realize it is a scam and leave?
  3. HelluvaHoax!

    HelluvaHoax! Platinum Meritorious Sponsor with bells on

    That's an excellent start.

    Add to that another essential part of the Hubbard Rhetorical Triangle meant to further muddy the water--so that there is always a convenient explanation for those times when REALITY does not match Hubbard's DELUSIONAL scripture. Example:

    Hey Billy, I've noticed that you have been
    really downtone recently.

    Oh? What makes you think that?

    Well, I was obnosing you on course the past
    five days and you have been really smiley, but at
    the same time you are doing really mean things.
    Isn't that "covert hostility" on the tone scale?

    Oh, my goodness no! I am solidly in exhilaration--that's
    eight-point-zero on the tone scale, ya know! What's confusing
    you is that Ron states that each individual tone level has all of the
    harmonics of every other tone level--within it!

    Wuttttttt? That's really weird!
    Are you sure about that?

    Absolute certainty!
    I'm totally exhilarated,
    but in a 1.1 way.

    I don't know. . .
    that sounds so stupid, LOL.
    You think it might be my study case
    keying in?

    Yeah, definitely. Ron says low-toned people who can't
    perceive and "have" the total uptone-ness of OTs just
    need to work it out in clay until you come up
    the tone scale and feel good about it.

    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  4. Bill

    Bill Gold Meritorious Patron

    1. Meaningless question. Are these specific emotions that are the same for everyone. When they say "Antagonism", does that mean the same "antagonism" of someone else? I doubt it.
    2. Sure, except for the determination, as above, as to how each person experiences each emotion and what it is called. What one "observes" may have absolutely nothing to do with what the other person is experiencing.
    3. No. What on earth gives anyone the idea that there is a "sequence" to emotions -- that you must experience each in turn as you move from one emotion to another. Not to mention the numbers!! Someone please explain what the numbers are based on and how someone else could verify whatever they mean?
    4. Yeah, no thanks.
  5. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    The whole thing kind of falls apart when you see CEO's earning millions of dollars a year by aggressively destroying manufacturing, jobs, companies, employee work benefits, longevity pay, and full-time jobs while they make the stocks go up by buying out other companies to do the same thing again and never actually managing a company.

    Is that Action?
    Covert Hostility?

    I guess even a sociopath can be way uptone and high survival, so that negates the Chart of Human Evaluation, too. Aggressive sociopaths and other vicious predators often rise to the top ranks of companies, but their success and the Tone Scale and Chart of Human Evaluation have nothing to do with each other.
  6. George Layton

    George Layton Silver Meritorious Patron

    I feel a bit covertly hostile asking this but what happened to sympathy?
  7. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    I just did it in 0.5 steps (except for 0.05 instead of 0.0), and added in 1.1 since it gets so much air-play.

    If I hadn't spent so many hours learning the Expanded Tone Scale verbatim, and was asked where to slot "sympathy" in, I don't think I'd have a clue. There are quite a few tones on the expanded scale like that, even between 0-4.

  8. RogerB

    RogerB Crusader

    Ummmm, didn't the Hubbs say something about a psycho can be enthusiastic, even excited about being destructive??
  9. Cat's Squirrel

    Cat's Squirrel Gold Meritorious Patron

    From what I remember about *sociopathy, sociopaths have an emotionally barren inner life, partly because they cannot feel empathy for others; although they can experience states of intense excitement, they do not experience the highly differentiated emotional states that normal people report. Also, their suicide rate is above average (I know, get out the violins), which isn't very pro-survival.

    Having said that, if the Tone Scale is a simplistic way at looking at one's emotional life it's possible that you're right that they can be uptone by that yardstick.

    *I'm assuming that sociopathy = psychopathy here; others may disagree.
  10. RogerB

    RogerB Crusader

    For the sake of "discussion" it seems, Paul posted:

    Anyway . . . .

    1. Are these emotions?
    2. Are they readily observable in people?
    3. Does the sequence seem correct, in that on a personal level does an emotion higher on this scale seem preferable to one lower down? [This question is complicated by Hubbard's idea that someone chronically above 2.0 is survival-oriented, and someone chronically below 2.0 is death-oriented]
    4. How about the Chart of Human Evaluation?

    I'll give my own answers, just to start the ball rolling.

    1. Yes
    2. Yes.
    Those first two aren't meant to be trick questions. I think the answers are obvious, but I spent so many years in Scn and the tone scale is such a basic Scn thing, who knows?!
    3. I haven't done thousands of hours of auditing and taken careful note of the pcs' emotional tone. I know one was supposed to note it on the worksheets where it changed, but .... Personally, the sequence seems ok.
    4. Heh. That's a vast, open-ended question! To be discussed, shall we say.

    My answers:
    1) again Hubbard screwed up by pinching and not understanding that which he pinched from. "Emotion" was a big subject in the day he "researched" psychology . . . so, a better view of it is that they are not purely only "emotions." . . . closer, better investigation reveals they are MOODS and actually a combination of emotion and attitude.

    2) Yes

    3) Yes, relatively correct in the context of how these conditions of relationship to "life" a person expresses relate or align to each other . . . but Hubbard's additives and explanations are erroneous examples of his effort to appear "scientific."

    4) Ummmm, heh indeed.

  11. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    In a policy letter where LRH was discussing relativism of ethics and morality I think he said something to the effect that a thief would consider it an overt not to steal when there was an opportunity and for a murderer an overt not to kill a policeman ...or some such.

    I happen to agree with this, but then the best lies contain an element of truth.
  12. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    I took this chart from Clearbird, and reformatted it for our discussion. It originally appeared in the book Self Analysis.

    He says, "Here are some observable characteristics on the most important levels:"

    [table="width: 1200, class: grid"]

    [td]Tone / Characteristic[/td]
    [td]How literally things are taken[/td]
    [td]Method used to handle others[/td]
    [td]Condition of belongings[/td]


    [td]4.0 Enthusiasm[/td]
    [td]Excellent at executing things (work, plans). Quick reaction (relative to age group).[/td]
    [td]Capable of easily exchanging ideas and beliefs.[/td]
    [td]Can see others' reality. Searches for different view points and a change of reality.[/td]
    [td]Can easily differentiate facts from fiction - as jokes or lies.[/td]
    [td]Gains support by contagious enthusiasm backed by reason.[/td]
    [td]In excellent condition. In excellent repair.[/td]
    [td]3.3 Strong Interest[/td]
    [td]Good at executing things (work, plans), also sports.[/td]
    [td]Will talk about 'deep' beliefs and ideas. Will accept or consider them.[/td]
    [td]Can understand others' reality and change viewpoint. Agreeable.[/td]
    [td]Good grasp of statements. Good sense of humor.[/td]
    [td]Gains support by creative reasoning and communication.[/td]
    [td]In good condition. In good repair.[/td]
    [td]3.0 Conservatism[/td]
    [td]Fair amount of action. Sports[/td]
    [td]Limited number of personal ideas, tentatively presented.[/td]
    [td]Acknowledges the existence of possible other realities. Conservative.[/td]
    [td]Can sort out the real meaning of statements.[/td]
    [td]Gets support by practical reasoning and built up 'connections'.[/td]
    [td]Fairly good.[/td]
    [td]2.5 Indifference, Boredom[/td]
    [td]Somewhat inactive, but capable of action.[/td]
    [td]Easy-going on pointless conversations. Listens only to ordinary affairs.[/td]
    [td]Indifference or refusal to match conflicting realities. Too careless to agree or disagree.[/td]
    [td]Accepts little, literally or not. Tends to take humor literally.[/td]
    [td]Not concerned about support from others.[/td]
    [td]Shows some signs of neglect.[/td]
    [td]2.0 Antagonism, Expressed Resentment[/td]
    [td]Capable of destructive and some constructive actions.[/td]
    [td]Talks in threats; invalidations. Listen to threats. Invalidation of theta.[/td]
    [td]Verbal doubt. Disagrees. Defends own reality and undermines others'.[/td]
    [td]Accepts threats and remarks of tone 2.0 literally.Accepts threats and remarks of tone 2.0 literally.[/td]
    [td]Nags and criticizes bluntly to get compliance and acceptance.Nags and criticizes bluntly to get compliance and acceptance.[/td]
    [td]Very neglected.[/td]
    [td]1.5 Anger[/td]
    [td]Capable of destructive action.[/td]
    [td]Talks mainly of death, destruction and hate.[/td]
    [td]Disagrees with or destroys reality of others. "You are wrong!"[/td]
    [td]Takes alarming statements literally. Brutal sense of humor.[/td]
    [td]Uses threats, punishment and lies to get own way and to dominate.[/td]
    [td]Often broken. In bad repair.[/td]
    [td]1.1-1.0 Unexpressed resentment, Fear[/td]
    [td]Can do minor actions.[/td]
    [td]"Sweet talks" with vicious intent. Bad listener, but likes gossip, doubletalk and lies.[/td]
    [td]Insecure. Doubts own reality. Skeptical of others' realities.[/td]
    [td]Doesn't like to listen to anything. Tends to take things literally, responds with doubletalk.[/td]
    [td]Seeks hidden control; blackmails and nullifies others so they can be used.[/td]
    [td]In poor condition.[/td]
    [td]0.5 Grief to Apathy[/td]
    [td]Can only execute relatively uncontrolled action.[/td]
    [td]Talks little; only speaks in sad or apathetic tone. Listens to apathy or pity.[/td]
    [td]Easily overwhelmed by others. Doubts own reality. Shame, anxiety.[/td]
    [td]Literal acceptance of any remark of this tone (0.5).[/td]
    [td]Cries for pity. Wild lying and 'scenes' to gain sympathy.[/td]
    [td]Usually in very bad condition.[/td]
    [td]0.1 Deepest Apathy[/td]
    [td]Alive as a body, but almost no action.[/td]
    [td]Does not talk. Does not listen.[/td]
    [td]No reality. Complete withdrawal from others' reality.[/td]
    [td]Accepts anything literally.[/td]
    [td]Pretends death to avoid others and dangers.[/td]
    [td]Does not care for belongings or realize ownership.[/td]

    So without being too nitpicky, in general terms does this seem accurate? Inaccurate? Off the wall?

  13. WildKat

    WildKat Gold Meritorious Patron

    New converts to Scn seem to really get a kick out of learning about the tone scale and judging their friends and family and strangers with it. Apparently it's fun to slap labels on people.

    The more one stays in Scn, however, the more pernicious it becomes. You have the datum that Scn is supposed to raise people on the tone scale, you also have the datum that if you aren't getting more uptone with Scn then there's something wrong with you like PTSness or SPness.

    So you eventually have "senior Scientologists" who've spent years in the cult "going OT" but not feeling very OT and they're trying to artificially appear uptone to keep the illusions alive.

    In other words, lying to themselves and others about how great and happy they feel after spending years in an indoctrination cult, being near bankruptcy, losing friends and family due to disconnection, etc. But you better LOOK and ACT uptone or risk an expensive trip to ethics to find your overts!

    Isn't that something to be enthusiastic about! How theta! How uptone!
  14. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    Right on!

    It's called BIs (Bad Indicators). And it is virtually a crime. Dressing somebody down to further Command Intention is OK. That is being Tone 40, pure theta intention, but going around burned out, hangdog, after your life has been reduced to slavery will land you in ethics. So here you have all these people trained in the Tone Scale, they have all read and drilled Science of Survival to know what is and isn't considered a politically correct attitude - masking the way they really feel.

    If the Tone Scale is a workable technology then the Scientology community should be the ultimate visible living example of it's benefits. Can we honestly step back and observe anywhere where this is the case? The most recent kerfuffle over the land deal with the City of Clearwater is choice. By all accounts, Clearwater should be a blossoming oasis of up-toneness by now where everyone understands the true value of Scientology to the community. It should be an OSA dream gig where you just get invited to official functions to eat the best smoked salmon and glad hand pols.

    Emotions exist, therefore it is reasonable to define an emotion. We can define any emotion down to it's most intricate details - but, that is a completely different thing from saying that it is a scale that follows some inviolable universal law which can be predicted and controlled. This is where it cultivates stereotyping and bigotry.

    As long as I'm mentioning the Clearwater deal which now seems to have resulted in some unspoken embargo of downtown by SO crew, uniforms have always been a problem in Clearwater. Especially around meal time when staff only have 30 minutes or less to eat. If you are at the end of the chow line then by the time you get your plate you might only have a few minutes to actually eat. So they had this reoccurring image of a frantic rush of uniformed people sweating in the Florida humidity heading to the mess hall. In the "Intro to the Sea Org" tapes, LRH explains that the uniform is used because it subconsciously reminds people of earlier whole track efforts by people to do what Scientology is attempting to do and therefore instills ethics presence, respect and compliance in the wog world. LRH would have us think that a disregard for the Sea Org uniform is based on a whole track fixed idea, a service facsimile, that causes us to resist all and any control - but the reality is that people naturally recognize irrationality and feel revulsion when it is used to manipulate them. What is it about LRH's understanding of the Tone Scale that caused him to inflict a fake military occupation on Clearwater?
  15. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    I'd go with RogerB on this one. I don't know of any actual data (versus opinions) that would confirm that sociopaths and psychopaths don't feel the full range of human emotions, they just feel their emotions for selfish and destructive reasons. An inability to empathize with others doesn't affect that, and empathy isn't even on the Tone Scale, anyway, so L Ron considered it unnecessary. That says a lot.

    The assumption that people feel good emotions for good reasons and then behave in a good way is false. It's not even related.

    A man can cheat on his wife in action or enthusiasm. A kleptomaniac shoplifter can feel complete and at peace only after a success stealing binge. A scammer will feel powerful, in control and energetic when he knows he's winning at fooling a group and is about to bilk them out of a lot of money. There are endless examples. Any correlation between upbeat emotions and good behavior only exists when good people are already behaving, but since everyone has the capacity for mischief, the emotions are unrelated to the behavior. A person can feel good about mischief or even "hurting another in a just cause" which can actually be unjust, vicious and cruel.

    The entire Speech and Reality columns and a few others on the Chart are attitudes unrelated to emotions. Someone in grief over animal pain can be a spectacular supporter of anti-cruelty groups. Sure, generally, people function better when they are more uptone. That's not always true, though. Some people need to get angry to get past the inertia of boredom to get anything done.
  16. Wilbur

    Wilbur Patron Meritorious

    Yah. I always had issues with the tone scale in this regard. The line in the org was that if someone is in enthusiasm, then they are going to be making pro-survival decisions along the dynamics, and are trustworthy. That wasn't always my experience. I have met many people who come across as "high toned", and who simply couldn't be trusted. In some cases, they were almost guaranteed to betray you when they had the chance. I've also met many people who were quite powerful as personalities, or had very high IQs, and again, COULDN'T BE TRUSTED. They would use their personal dynamism and/or IQ to dominate the people around them. That made me discard the tone scale as a tool for picking friends. Tone level doesn't seem to be a reliable criterion for choosing people who won't betray you. IQ doesn't either. Which I found inconsistent with Scientology theory. After all, high toned people should generally be able to think more quickly (and hence have higher IQs on average), and people with high IQs should, on average, have fewer withholds (since O/Ws were supposed to reduce a person's IQ). So I don't think Hubbard's tone scale and the related Science of Survival charts can be completely right.

    I also had reservations about the lower tone scale, and the tone scale above exhilaration. Given how important it is, I found it bizarre that there was no real explanation given as to how he derived it? How does one know that hiding comes below needing bodies (or whatever it comes below)? Or that games is higher than action? or that these are even the higher tone levels. Plucked out of his ass, as far as I could see. Same with the conditions formulas. Plucked out of his ass, and in some cases (some of the lower conditions) the meaning of the formula steps wasn't even clear (does "find out who I am" mean find out who I am being that I shouldn't be being, or does it mean find out who I am fundamentally (but am not being at the moment)? Nobody in the orgs where I was knew. Everybody had a different interpretation. Supposing for a moment that Scientology is the true route out, Hubbard did a piss-poor job of explaining these important points, in my opinion.

    I choose people I can trust as friends. People who aren't trying to dominate you/control you/use you/betray you. That doesn't seem to be correlated with "tone level".

  17. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    These are the 20 traits from Hare (PCL-R) that are used clinically to assess psychopathy:

    • glib and superficial charm
    • grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of self
    • need for stimulation
    • pathological lying
    • cunning and manipulativeness
      [*]lack of remorse or guilt
      [*]shallow affect (superficial emotional responsiveness)
      [*]callousness and lack of empathy
    • parasitic lifestyle
    • poor behavioral controls
    • sexual promiscuity
    • early behavior problems
    • lack of realistic long-term goals
    • impulsivity
    • irresponsibility
    • failure to accept responsibility for own actions
    • many short-term marital relationships
    • juvenile delinquency
    • revocation of conditional release
    • criminal versatility

    Read more:

    The ones I highlighted would seem to me to indicate an incomplete full range of human emotions.

  18. HelluvaHoax!

    HelluvaHoax! Platinum Meritorious Sponsor with bells on


    What tone level was it when Dr. Hubbard:

    --lied about Dianetics being a "science" with real research and clinical case studies?

    --promoted and sold the non-existent state and abilities of a "clear"?

    --pretended he was an advanced spiritual being with supernatural powers?

    --claimed that he was the authority on "exteriorization"--something he was unable to do?

    --bragged that he alone had discovered and solved mankind's tragic ruin--Xenu's BTs?

    --imprisoned a hysterically crying 4 year old into a chain locker for days?

    --went on the run from authorities and civil lawsuits by hiding in a motorhome?

    --treacherously conspired to falsely imprison, drive insane and/or murder Paulette Cooper?

    --chronically "stole valor" by claiming to be a doctor, nuclear physicist, war hero and galactic savior?

    I guess that's enough tone-level spotting for one post.

    Any other questions about Hubbard's high-toned lying, fraud and sociopathically sadistic treachery?
  19. F.Bullbait

    F.Bullbait Oh, a wise guy,eh?

    Sounds like the current US president.

  20. Operating DB

    Operating DB Truman Show Dropout

    Damn! Same thing I was noticing while scanning down that list.