I called Bridge and asked them a number of questions they didn’t have posted on their Mark VIII Ultra E-meter site.
It’s funny that the first “answer” on that page is “Many of your questions may be answered in your Mark Ultra VIII Owner’s Manual.” It’s typical of the “church” these days that they don’t actually answer your questions. In the case of the Mark Ultra VIII: they’re expecting you to buy it first, then get your questions answered. How else can you get your hands on an owner’s manual?
Apparently this is a Miscavige-era application of the HCOB 18 June 1957 PEOPLE’S QUESTIONS, which used to say:
A congress MUST
An organization MUST
Answer people’s questions.
This is the primary public complaint — that Scientologists in the organization or out won’t answer directly questions asked about this or that.
Understand it, answer it, make friends.
Anyway, I asked Bridge how long I had to buy a Mark Ultra VIII meter, based on the experience I had when the Mark Super VII Quantum was released. When the Mark Super VII Quantum was released and the whole world had to upgrade from their Mark Super VII and get their meter “Quantumized”, there was a grace period of about three to six months before you wouldn’t be allowed to use a non Quantumized meter on course or in an org for auditing.
Bridge said that every org in the world was requiring the use of only Mark Ultra VIII meters on an immediate basis. There was no “grace period” as before. This is what apparently makes Ideal Orgs so “Ideal”: it allows arbitrary draconian enforcement of rules that will suppress training and field auditing to be enforced with a baseball bat. It’s not a bridge to freedom any longer, is it?
I double-checked this point: so, you’re telling me that if I was on the Pro Metering course on November 16, I cannot go back into the courseroom without a Mark Ultra VIII meter? The Bridge representative hemmed and hawed and didn’t really answer the question, since he realized that I was asking if the church set up the Mark Ultra VIII release to facilitate arbitrarily kicking people out of courserooms for indefinite periods all around the world.
So I changed the topic: I have friends at Flag who are telling me that I have to come up with cash to buy a Mark Ultra VIII meter; I cannot buy the meter off account. Is that true? Bridge answer: Yes. The orgs don’t have enough money to buy Mark Ultra VIIIs and keep them in stock, so the parishioner is required to pay the cash up front for their meter, so that Bridge can deliver it.
Nothing is a clearer indicator of the “lack of expansion” than you release a new meter that the orgs can’t afford to stock.
And nothing will be a bigger block on the future expansion of Scientology than requiring cash up-front for new materials when the person has already put that amount of money on account and can’t use it!
I asked about the legal documents that must be signed. The Bridge rep told me that after I pay the money, only then do I get subjected to the “Okay to buy a meter” check required to obtain a Mark Ultra VIII meter. When I get “Okayed”, only then does Bridge send me the documents via surface mail in order to sign.
This is pretty tricky, in my mind. I have to first pay, so I’m out $5400. Then I get “okayed”, which is a check to see if I’m in good standing. If I’m not “okayed”, do I get an immediate refund of my money without having to go through A-E steps in the future?
The number of arbitraries added to the process of getting a Mark Ultra VIII meter is much more than any previous meter.
If I’m “okayed”, then Bridge sends me the Mark Ultra VIII e-meter agreement to sign, which apparently I wouldn’t be allowed to read in advance of paying the money to the church.
I had to pay the money, get okayed, then I get to see the documents. So I asked, “What if there’s something in the documents I can’t agree to? Like forcing my first-born male child to join the Sea Org?” The Bridge rep assured me it was all commonsense stuff, like not using my Mark Ultra VIII meter to squirrel with, and to keep my IAS membership current at all time.
I asked if I could see the legal documents before forking over $5400, and the Bridge rep said “no”.
But I made a mental note: what’s commonsense to me is not what is commonsense to the church, or to David Miscavige. In fact, by this point in the conversation, I had already accumulated a half-dozen items that were definitely not commonsense. Like paying first, then signing a legal contract, then taking delivery of a meter.
I double-checked: there is no additional cost for the yearly internet re-activation. The basic way it works is that you hook your Mark Ultra VIII up to an internet-connected computer, log in to the Bridge Mark Ultra VIII re-activation site using the login you got when you bought the Mark Ultra VIII and your meter’s serial number, and the re-activation sequence and any needed software updates would be automatically beamed into your Mark Ultra VIII meter.
The countdown timer in your Mark Ultra VIII would be re-set for a year’s worth of use.
The digital display in your Mark Ultra VIII flashes a message starting when you have 14 days or less on your current activation cycle, reminding you to re-activate your Mark Ultra VIII.
Of course, if somebody conveniently false-reported you to OSA in the past year, you won’t be considered “in good standing”, and your meter won’t reactivate.
Fuck your pcs, delivering what you promised, and not allowing a frequent change of auditors.
I asked if I was training as an auditor, did I still have to buy two meters. The answer was “That’s what HCOB 4 December 1977R CHECKLIST FOR SETTING UP SESSIONS AND AN E-METER says to do.
I reminded the Bridge rep that when that bulletin was issued the only approved meter was the Mark V, which had a nickel-cadmium rechargeable battery in it. LRH said that NiCad batteries had the annoying habit of going flat without warning, so having two meters was the only way to keep a suddenly flat battery from interrupting a session. He repeated: “That’s what the bulletin says.”
I pointed out that HCOB 24 October 1971 RA III FALSE TA says that “A cadmium-cell meter discharges very suddenly when it goes flat.” and asked what kind of battery was in a Mark Ultra VIII meter and he said “Lithium rechargeable”. I asked if the meter had a “remaining battery life” indicator on it, and he said yes, it counts down from 8 hours to 0 hours depending on how much charge was left (It requires 10 hours to fully charge a Mark Ultra VIII )
I pointed out that with a remaining battery life indicator and a non-cadmium cell battery in the Mark Ultra VIII, the technical requirement for having two E-meters was gone.
The Bridge rep stuck to the mantra of “that’s what the bulletin says”.
I remembered that in the ’90s when the “new cans” came out for the Mark Super VII Quantum, that the briefing given at the event told us that the cans were made of a copper-beryllium alloy with a thin tin plating. “Yes” agreed the Bridge rep. Then I said that HCOB 21 January 1977RB FALSE TA CHECKLIST says “Cans, of course, should be steel with a thin tin plating”, and when I KR’d the fact that the cans had been changed from LRH’s specifications, nothing was done to fix it.
So, I asked, is there LRH that says when LRH can be ignored in the face of a technological advance but when LRH must be enforced in the face of a technological advance?
Obviously, the Bridge rep was in a bind and couldn’t give an honest or straightforward answer. The answer, of course, is there is no such LRH, and that the policy, all verbal from the COB, is that when you’re on staff you make decisions that will cost the parishioner the most and keep him from auditing as much as possible.
So I veered off the topic since I knew the guy couldn’t answer it without getting face-shredded.
I asked how the reads from the Mark Ultra VIII could be 50,000 times clearer than those of previous meters.
The guy told me I should have seen the event. I told him I’d love to, but the word on the street is that the event was not recorded for orgs and missions, so I’ll never get a chance to see it now.
So he read me a 2-page piece about how the awful old meters had circuitry that distorted reads by 50,000 times and that awful distorting circuitry had all been eliminated, allowing the carrier wave passing through the pc’s body to directly affect the needle. So the reads were clearer. I asked what the measurement instrumentation was that proved the reads were 50,000x clearer (which is a very specific number) and he said he didn’t know. I asked if there was documentation, like oscilloscope traces, showing the carrier wave and what the Mark Super VII Quantum displayed versus the carrier wave and what the Mark Ultra VIII displayed. He said “no”.
He went on to explain that the computer in the Mark Ultra VIII sampled the carrier wave 240 times per second, and the computer compared those samples against the past 5 seconds worth of samples and the needle displayed the difference. (240 times per second is a way, way lower sampling rate than that used for CD audio, which is normally 44,100 samples per second.)
He didn’t realize, of course, that he had just given me contradictory information: the needle directly reads the carrier signal and displays the difference on the needle, and what displays on the needle is the difference between 240 samples of the carrier wave and 5 previous 240-slice samples of the carrier wave. I don’t claim to fully understand this, but it sounds like “50,000x clearer reads” was achieved only in someone’s mind: by eliminating the bad old distorting circuitry and adding in new all-digital distorting circuitry.
He went on to explain how the Mark Ultra VIII has an optical tone arm, eliminating the bad evil old wire-wound potentiometer that could get dirty and contributed to the 50,000x distortion. The tone arm on the meter’s face is connected to a clear disc divided into 600 slices by a black pattern printed on the disc. A laser beam, like in a CD player, shoots through the disk and the on-and-off sequences are turned into TA motion by the Mark Ultra VIII’s built-in computer. This gives you 1/1000 of a division of tone arm precision. (I decided not to challenge his arithmetic on this.) He said that the meter’s digital displays all report in 1/1000 division units of TA, like that will somehow improve auditing results. (“These go to eleven” — Spinal Tap)
I immediately thought of auditing NED, where if the TA is higher you demand an earlier similar incident. Is that rule still applied with the 1/1000 division precision of the Mark Ultra VIII? How many NED pcs will overgrind on NED incidents because of that?
(I also thought of the problem that optical devices have in dirty and dusty and smoky environments: after a few hundred or thousand hours’ use, DVD and CD readers and writers often need to have their lenses cleaned. Is there a way to clean your optical Tone Arm without sending it in to Hubbard Electrometer Manufacturing? Or do you have to run your HGC and metering course like a NASA cleanroom?)
I asked if I could buy the highly-touted reads-recorder, and the answer was “no, that’s for orgs only”. I reminded myself that that was the same situation for the reads simulators in the ’90s: only orgs could have those too, restricting GAT drills and auditor correction to orgs, and removing the possibility of drilling and correcting field auditors and mission auditors without sending them to an org.
I guess that’s more of what what an Ideal Org means: it’s the Ideal scene for the church getting more money and crushing the spirit and production of field auditors and mission auditors. It certainly translates into hobbled expansion for Scientology.
The Bridge rep kept telling me how wonderful it was that the Mark Ultra VIII comes with five pairs of cans and a remote tone arm, so owning a Mark Ultra VIII was actually cheaper than owning a Mark Super VII Quantum. Every time he mentioned “five pairs of cans” I insisted on pointing out that the Quantum came with seven pairs of cans and Solo can dividers. So at one point I asked if the Quantum came with Solo can dividers and he said “No, you go to the AO bookstore officer, get fitted for a custom pair of Solo cans, and those come with a matching set of Solo dividers”. So those are free? “No, those cost $60.”
I reminded him that LRH recommended the use of cans with Solo dividers for objective processes where one points out things and assists…whoops! Caught flat-footed again! He had no rational response for how to get Solo dividers in those circumstances. (Use of one-handed electrodes for non-Solo auditing is in the book E-meter Essentials and lecture 6503C30 ARC BREAKS AND GENERALITIES (SHSBC 419) and HCOB 21 July 1969 II ONE-HAND ELECTRODES).
Anyway, I’ve decided to finish of my current field pcs with my Mark Super VII Quantums, let my IAS membership lapse, and move to using a virtual meter (like a Theta-meter) that doesn’t need an overarching suppressive church to grant me permission to use it.
I just want to add that the Mark VIII Ultra is Miscavige’s latest attempt to use force and threats to keep the parishioner base in line. You’ll pay $5000 for a meter that you then can’t sell to anyone at any time without the permission of the church.
It’s a good thing that Ford doesn’t sell motor cars that way: you pay piles more money for a car that you could buy a few years ago for less.
You’d be forced to buy the more expensive car, because Ford told you they wouldn’t service your old car any longer. They would accept your old car when you buy your new car but you wouldn’t get a trade-in allowance for it.
You’d have to subject yourself to an “OK to buy” check and heaven forbid that Ford decided arbitrarily that you didn’t “qualify” for purchasing a Ford motor vehicle.
Ford would insist that you have a one-year or lifetime Ford Owner’s Association membership for you to qualify for owning the car. And if you wanted to sell the car, the purchaser would have to “qualify” to purchase it, too.
Every year, you’d get a notice on the dashboard telling you have to renew your manufacturer-issued ownership license which would download new snoopware into your car.
The car would be keeping track of how many miles were driven, and upload that back to the manufacturer, ostensibly to prevent people from tampering with odometers, but actually to make sure that the number of miles driven could only be driven by a single driver: no sharing of cars would be allowed!
Your Ford renewal information would be enough for Ford to report you to the ICE for trafficking illegal aliens or dope across the Mexican border, wouldn’t it?
And if you can’t get your money back from selling the car, it’s basically like begging Ford that they “grant permission” to sell the car.
That’s not the ethnics of how buying and selling machinery in the world works. You bought it? It’s yours to dispose of as you wish.
This Miscavige-based control mechanism is right out of the “coffee grinder” incident in History of Man.
The Mark VIII Ultra e-meter is the anchor that is dragging the “church” of Scientology Inc to the bottom of the Challenger Deep.
No one will be able to recover it from there.
— report posted by Plain Old ThetanNumber of views:1125