From: [email protected] (Martin Ottmann)
Subject: Flag Order 3408 - Hubbard's state of mind in late '73 (My DPF/RPF forerunner series)
Date: 2 Feb 2003 13:04:52 -0800
Message-ID: <[email protected]>
12 November 1973
FLAG ORDER 3408
Command Hats ETHICS
An officer is responsible for the conduct and activity of those under him on the chain of command.
When officers are irresponsible for the conduct of their juniors, situations not only arise but magnify and the responsibility flies up to very high seniors who then, to handle situations now grown dangerous to the safety of all, have to act to restrict conduct in general.
This is what a "Heavy Ethics Trip" is made of - the irresponsibility of lower officers for their own people becoming a threat to the survival of the group.
The society punishes the high senior for the misconduct or irresponsibility of his juniors.
Therefore an officer at whatever level in a chain of command must take responsibility for his juniors and their ethics.
When it comes to such a pass that a crew or even officers can say "You can get away with anything here unless the Old Man catches you", two things are wrong: (a) The Survival of the group is threatened by many bad situations unhandled, (b) An overt act of magnitude is being played on the top senior who then is forced to act in all ethics actions to save the group.
Such a state of mind probably comes about from an arrested childhood where papa and mama (in this aberrated society) are the only ones there to keep idiot junior from murdering his dear little sister. Immature irresponsibility usually has its root in juniors being stuck at some childhood age. Interested only in play and "don't let mama catch us burning the house down".
As such a state of mind can exist the earmarks of it should be known.
When a high senior begins to have hitherto hidden situations leap out at him, he knows the immediate officers over those situations have been irresponsible and have "wanted to be caught" like naughty children.
The cure for this group disease of hidden situations appearing is to put into effect an "accessory to the fact" rule in which others who knew of bad situations and did not handle are held guilty with those who created the situation.
The senior must issue the following order in such cases:
"IF A CREW (OR STAFF) MEMBER IS DISCOVERED TO BE PERPETRATING CRIMES OF COMMISSION OR OMMISSION, AND IS BROUGHT TO COURT OR GIVEN A CONDITION, HIS IMMEDIATE SENIOR OFFICER WILL BE HELD RESPONSIBLE AS WELL AND WILL BE TRIED WITH THE CREW (OR STAFF MEMBER) ON THE SAME CHARGE AND WILL SUFFER THE SAME PENALTY OR CONDITION IMPOSED. AND THIS WILL BE IN EFFECT AND BE DONE WHETHER THE IMMEDIATE SENIOR OF THE OFFENDER KNEW OF THE SITUATION OR ANY NEGLECT OR NOT; THEREFORE A PLEA OF IGNORANCE BY THE IMMEDIATE SENIOR IS NO DEFENSE AND MAY NOT BE PLEADED.
"Should it ever be found that the officer and junior connive to hide the situation, then the Officer is to be Comm Eved on a charge of aiding and abetting mutiny with a minimum sentence of reduction to Swamper and the next immediate senior shall be tried as well for the original offence or omission found."
In this way it will get through to any irresponsible officers that the misconduct or omissions of their juniors is dangerous to them personally (which it is in fact).
Such irresponsible officers may find it expedient to refuse appointments or resign or demote themselves to escape such a penalty. Let them. If a person is that afraid or responsibility he is not an officer.
At this situation of officer irresponsibility currently exists the above rule is invoked. Any condition or charge leveled at a crew (or staff) member must be (as above) also leveled at his immediate senior who will then suffer the same penalty or punishment on the charge being proven, as he should have handled his junior long since.
Officer responsibility is the building block of a well run survival type organization.
L. RON HUBBARD COMMODORE