Ethics and Justice

In considering criminality, LRH tells us we are ultimately considering the larger questions of right and wrong, good and evil. And when we, in turn, consider such questions, we are touching upon the basis of all philosophy: ethics, justice and our optimum survival along every avenue of existence. With that in mind, it is only appropriate that we now further consider what Ron himself brought to this matter of ethics and justice, and what he very literally maintained as the only means to guarantee "the future of this culture as a whole."

Although both ethics and justice are generally treated in several earlier papers (and fairly extensively throughout "Excalibur"), his first practical discussion of the matter came in 1944. The circumstances, as one might imagine, were war-related and the setting was Princeton University where Ron had been attending the United States Navy School of Military Government in preparation for command in occupied territories. Although eventual combat wounds would finally preclude him from serving with American occupation forces, how those forces were to best conduct themselves with respect to ethics and justice was very carefully considered.

Broadly, he addressed the subject along two avenues: First, the employment of military justice on an occupied people irrespective of local traditions. And second, the indigenous tradition into which occupational justice must be leveled. To properly consider the latter, however, it is necessary to briefly backtrack and consider Ron’s experience as a youth in those Asian lands his nation was about to occupy.

As noted, and as part of the greater trail of discovery to Dianetics and Scientology, Ron actually spent the better part of his teenage years in Asia — particularly China and the various South Pacific Islands eventually wrested from Japanese control. Through the course of these travels, he was able to observe both Japanese and Chinese judicial procedures and thus able to write from Princeton: "In my own experience, I have never heard of anything equal to the power and cruelty of Chinese justice unless it were that of Gomez [tyrannical dictator Gen. Juan Vicente Gomez] in Venezuela. The individual’s apparent lack of rights before the bar of justice in Chefoo, Peking, Nagasaki or other Oriental cities has never failed to astonish me." Not mentioned, but worth noting here for emphasis, is the fact he had personally witnessed a Chinese execution — apparently it had taken place in the streets of Shanghai, and would seem to have been a fairly impromptu beheading of a political offender.

Nevertheless, he points out with some vehemence, Asian conceptions of justice, and particularly the Chinese, are not devoid of liberalism. In fact, specifically drawing from the Tao, the Chinese could boast a profoundly enlightened tradition wherein each citizen was said to possess his own innate sense of right and wrong. Hence, Ron’s admonishment to future Western military governors: For all the infamy of Oriental justice, with its emphasis on terrible physical punishment, no US military commission or provost court should imagine Western judicial methods and standards to be "special items, grandly conceived by Western pens and functioning only in our hemisphere." Rather, "Persistently, constantly, for nearly three thousand years their identities and similarities have occurred in the thought of the Orient."


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