The Truth about Scientology and “Fair Game”
“Fair Game” is a term that was intentionally misinterpreted by individuals opposed to Scientology in order to fuel prejudice through false and derogatory rumor.
Everything critics claim about “Fair Game” is false. No “Fair Game” policy exists in Scientology. In truth, the term “Fair Game” only existed in the Church of Scientology for three years and was cancelled in 1968—nearly five decades ago—expressly because it was intentionally being misinterpreted and misused by opponents of the Church, even though it never had the meaning they tried to assign to it.
“Fair Game” in Scientology simply meant that apostates who chose to leave or were expelled from the Church could no longer seek protection or refuge within the Church of Scientology ethics and justice system…
The use of the term “Fair Game” in Scientology simply meant that apostates who chose to leave or were expelled from the Church could no longer seek protection or refuge within the Church of Scientology ethics and justice system to resolve disputes, as they were no longer entitled to the rights and privileges of a Scientologist.
Instead, these individuals would have to make their own way unaided by the highly developed and equitable ecclesiastical ethics and justice system of the Church, with the legal procedures of secular society as their only recourse.
This concept is as old as religion itself. Many faiths reserve the right to bar expelled or excommunicated individuals from the benefits of church procedures and policies.
Scientology Ethics and Justice System
Church of Scientology officials and Scientologists would never tolerate a “Fair Game” policy condoning illegal or unethical actions. Scientology Scripture is replete with admonitions to its adherents to build their lives on foundations of honesty, impeccable ethics and integrity. These are the values upon which Scientologists build their lives and upon which all individuals must so build if they are to live happily and in harmony with others. Scientology beliefs firmly hold that the commission of crimes, dishonesties or harmful acts against others represents the road to ruin, personal misery and destruction of positive interpersonal relationships.
The man who lies, the woman who cheats on her husband, the teenager who takes drugs, the politician who is involved in dishonest dealings, all are cutting their own throats. They are harming their own survival by having their dynamics out of communication and not applying ethics to their lives.
It may come as a surprise to you, but a clean heart and clean hands are the only way to achieve happiness and survival. The criminal will never make it unless he reforms; the liar will never be happy or satisfied with himself until he begins dealing in truth.
L. Ron Hubbard developed a highly refined system of ethics and justice, described in Introduction to Scientology Ethics. The Scientology system of ethics and justice flows from a fundamental belief that Man is basically good. The foundation of this system springs from the concept that honesty and integrity represent essential elements of happiness and survival.
Scientologists readily avail themselves of the Scientology ethics and justice system in which a fact-finding body of peers focuses solely on impartially identifying the truth regarding any serious violation of Scientology ethics or moral codes. The use of the Scientology ethics and justice system is a privilege and benefit for Scientologists, allowing for equitable and speedy resolution of any matter.
The True Meaning of “Fair Game”
L. Ron Hubbard described the concept of “Fair Game” in the original writing on the subject in 1965:
If a group member rejects the group, he rejects everything about the group and no further question about that. Certainly there is no question in his or her mind of salvaging or helping the group. Why should the group then seek to extend its protection over him unless it wants to defy its first right: that of survival.
So, in Scientology, anyone who rejects Scientology also rejects, knowingly or unknowingly, the protection and benefits of Scientology and the companionship of Scientologists.
That is all the term “Fair Game” ever meant—that those expelled from the Church of Scientology could no longer seek to use the internal ecclesiastical justice procedures of the Church.
1968 Cancellation of “Fair Game”
Notwithstanding the true religious meaning of the term “Fair Game” in Scientology, apostates and their attorneys distorted the meaning and intent of the term in a grossly negative fashion to falsely claim that it authorized acts of retribution against former members attempting to attack the Scientology religion and its adherents. These false allegations were invented strictly to advance monetary claims in legal actions.
Therefore, in 1968, three years after the term “Fair Game” was first used, L. Ron Hubbard cancelled the use of the term, to set the record straight and to cease having the true meaning of his writings purposely misinterpreted by those with their own agenda. The term immediately ceased to have any meaning or use in the Scientology religion. Since then, the term and its invented meaning have been used only by anti-Scientologists attempting to stir up prejudice against the Scientology religion and further their own agenda.
[“Fair Game”] and its invented meaning have been used only by anti-Scientologists attempting to stir up prejudice against the Scientology religion.…”
Because of continued harassment by such unscrupulous individuals, in 1976 Mr. Hubbard reaffirmed under oath that this was the only intention and meaning of “Fair Game” in his original writings and that he cancelled the issues he had written which mentioned “Fair Game,” due to deliberate misinterpretation by others. He explained that the policy had never “authorized illegal or harassment type acts against anyone” and he cancelled it “as soon as it became apparent to me that the concept of ‘Fair Game’ as described above was being misinterpreted by the uninformed.”
The concept of “Fair Game” as falsely characterized by anti-Scientologists is anathema to Scientologists. Ask any Scientologist and they will tell you that Scientology teaches, and Scientologists know for themselves, that spiritual progress, survival and happiness require the attainment of high moral and ethical standards.