Ron was born in 1911, and turned 18 in 1929, the year of the crash. The difficult depression years following can be seen as incubating the philosophy of SURVIVE! in its simplest and most naked form. Making a living as an author is not easy during the best of times, and the 1930s were not the best of times.

The Need to Survive

   One sci-fi author, Frank Gruber, a contemporary of Ron's, relates in his autobiography "The Pulp Jungle" how he managed to eat during those times in New York. He would enter an automat, get some hot-water, ketchup, and crackers, which were all free, and make himself a tasty tomato soup. An excellent example of "Survive!"

   There are several attitudes that a writer must have, which can carry over into auditing. In a very real sense, writing is what "you can get away with," what the reader or pc will accept and enjoy.

Fiction as a Touch Assist

   From the reader's viewpoint the writer is giving him a touch assist, one that mildly restimulates his pain and upset. The hero can be somewhat like him, but not too much. The fictional environment can be dangerous, but not too close to home. Hongkong, perhaps.

   So the author provides a carefully calculated aesthetic distance. As an example of the need for this, I doubt very much if you have read a story which goes into the details of diarrhea.

   In my case, I found I did not enjoy reading Moby Dick while at sea on a tanker. It only made my sea-sickness worse, and I waited until I was on solid ground before finally finishing it.

   The reader wants to view himself as a good and brave hero who is up against the wiles of various villains, including perhaps, even his wife. And he may enjoy help in harmlessly fantasizing some of his 1.1 hostilities. In the old (10 cents!) Detective Fiction Weekly there were many stories in which one spouse ingeniously disposed of his/her partner (or tried to), only to be caught by some simple oversight.

   These painful areas (and aspirations) needing a touch assist must be delicately titillated or restimulated so as to draw the reader into the world which the writer has created. As one article on writing titled it, "The Lure and the Hook." The reader must be lured into the story and then hooked on finding out what happened. Thus the term "a page turner." It could also be called a "mystery sandwich."

   "How is Joe going to get out of this one, when each thing he tries simply makes things worse!"

Common Elements of Writing and Auditing

   These elements are discussed in Jack Woodford's "How to Have a Brain-Child", a manual for the would-be author. He speaks of the amateur's tendency to resolve conflict too quickly without drawing out the drama. A good author (paid by the word) must hold and build the tension as long as possible.

   Auditing parallels are inventing problems of comparable or incomparable magnitude (NOT immediately solving the current problem as the amateur writer does), "Think of something worse than a bad foot," and mocking up "'orrible fates" (terrible futures).

   If one wished a process to parallel a common and popular pulp fiction formula, it might be: "Give me a solution to that problem that will actually make it worse."

   This is similar to Ron's view (a writer's one) that it is better to think "How can I get into things," rather than "How can I get out of things," and is reflected in his proposed epitaph for the earth on one of his tapes: "They wanted to 'stay out of trouble.'"

   I had an opporunity to observe one writer's method of "making something worse" when I attended a talk by Stephen King at the local State Hospital. After the talk, I presented him with a copy of "The Way to Happiness," and he looked at it, then turned to the group and asked in a timid, frightened voice, "Could someone please show me the way out?" This gave me some idea of how he gets his plots. He goes around thinking up ways to frighten himself.

   In the necessary "tolerance of confusion" of scn axiom 54, we have a recognition of the need for an ability to let tension persist and, if desired, make it worse. A question one might ask either an aspiring writer or pc is: "How could you cause that problem to continue, and make it even more of an attention-getter?"

   As an editor builds a stable of writers, so a writer builds up fans. And once he has loyal fans for his particular genre, he knows what they want and will cotinue to want. If they want an endless stairway to some kind of heaven, that, of course, is what they must get if he wishes to be successful.

Handling Taboos or Common Missed Withholds

   Successful writing also must carefully tread on the edge of the socially acceptable, and gently touch commonly held missed withholds. A good and financially successful writer knows what he can get away with in culturally tabooed areas. This is a matter of skill and knowing where restim is pleasureable but not yet painful.

   Ron gives an example of this with his falsely smiling old man (he had false teeth) saying to a girl, "I see you like dogs," on SHSBC tape 206, "The Missed Missed Withhold" (6211C01). You will have noted, I am sure, that the listeners did not respond with a chilly silence, but with laughter. It is the mark of a good writer and auditor that he can so delicately tread on the topic of bestiality.

   To sum up, writing is a creative processing of the reader where the author presents fictional solutions to those difficulties (lovingly and technically augmented) which he shares with the reader.

The Writer as Operating Thetan

   A writer creates a fictional world in which life is what HE makes it, and thus he becomes a high-level OT within the bounds of his own created universe.