Upper management of the “Church of Scientology is fully aware of the magical foundation of Scientology. One only needs to inspect the occult symbolism embedded within current and ongoing promotional icons to realize there is no arbitrary or accidental use. If anything, the symbolism is getting more overtly obvious.
However, the Scientology symbol is not new. Hubbard defined it for Scientologists as follows:
SCIENTOLOGY SYMBOL, the S and double triangle. There, are two triangles over which the S is imposed. The S simply stands for Scn which is derived from “Scio” (knowing in the fullest sense). The lower triangle is the A-R-C triangle–its points being affinity, reality and communication. These are the three elements which combined give understanding. The upper triangle is the K-R-C triangle. The points are K for knowledge, R for responsibility and C for control. (HCO PL 18 Feb 72)
— L. Ron Hubbard
Modern Management Technology Defined
SCIENTOLOGY SYMBOL, 1. The S and double triangle. The S stands for scio (knowing in the fullest sense). The lower triangle is the ARC triangle, its points being affinity, reality, communication which combined give understanding. The upper triangle is the KRC triangle. The points are K for knowledge, R for responsibility and C for control. (6001C03)
— L. Ron Hubbard
Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary
The serpent is the gnostic serpent of knowledge, and is also a symbol for Satan, or Set.
Whereas the Christian concept of Satan is “The Devil”, some occult orders of the “Left Hand Path” (black magicians) have a different concept—they view the god Set as “Space-Energy-Time.” Hubbard talked about space-energy-time in this context during the Philadelphia Doctorate Course. Plainly Hubbard was talking about the Egyptian god “Set”, but he further made the connection between the Setian definition of the term as well. (“Cat” was a contemporary expression for “person, or male entity”—Hubbard again tried to obfuscate his real meaning by implying it was a feline cat.)
Now, I want you to get clearly, there, that if you have some sort of a rat race like this, it adds up to space, energy and time and that stands for S-E-T and that is SET. And Set was the most incredible-to-read of all Egyptian cats, and it was night itself. Now, actually, when you’ve said–when you’ve said this, you actually have a slightly wider range of comparison. We’ve said, “What is space, energy and time? Well, space, energy and time adds up to SET, and Set is a cat and that is an Egyptian cat, and it was a black cat.
— L. Ron Hubbard.
Lecture 04 December 1952: Spacation: Engergy Particles and Time
Hubbard used a similar (questionably humorous) method to open his Philadelphia Course lectures; the following joke hints as to his true sentiments regarding Setian philosophy:
I just got a wonderful wire–just got a wonderful wire from somebody day or so ago, and they were going to send me a registered letter that had to be very secret about this whole thing; and of course I’m expected and John and Helen are expected to sort of hang on the ropes waiting for this letter to appear, and it just came just now. And that’s why I look so pale and frightened.
Somebody has just run into one of the standard manifestations. They pick a pc off the street, you see, and they start running them, and this pc gets the idea that he is practically the Prince of Darkness or something of the sort and that it’s all a big plot and they just start asking this person this. This person up to this moment has appeared perfectly a Homo sapiens. And they’re the Prince of Darkness from Venus or someplace, you see, and that there’s a terrible plot out against everybody in Scientology. And everybody had better be very, very careful to put up force screens so that nothing like this can get in. And so I’m going to send him back a letter, “So you say you have some connection with the Prince of Darkness out there and you’re very worried about this. Who do you think I am?”
— L. Ron Hubbard
Lecture 01 December 1952: Opening: What is to be done on Course
SET is cleverly represented on the face of Scientology’s “religious artifact.” The word “SET” first appeared appeared with the release of the American Blue e-meter in January 1958. The face markings have remained virtually the same since 1961.
View Hubbard’s first patent diagram: 3290589
In Scientology auditing, the needle represents the preclear. During auditing sessions, the auditor adjusts the preclear’s needle to “SET” as needed to keep the needle on the dial. The SET position is “home base.” E-meter symbolism has become more blatant since the advent of the Golden Age of Tech.
SERPENT Everywhere the serpent is a glyph for occult knowledge (magic and healing) and occult sexuality (the hidden phallus). It is also linked to the underground and darkness, hence “evil.” Standing, as it does, midway between the lower and the higher forms of life, it is a perfect symbol of evolutionary transformation and metamorphosis. In the Scorpio symbolism, it stands between the lowly scorpion and the exalted eagle. In the very first Arcanum we observe that The Magician is using a serpent as a belt around his middle — thus he is himself the link between heaven and earth. Hermes meets the ophidious problem of ambiguity head on by frankly supporting two serpents, assigning one of them to the light and the other to the darkness.
— OMNIBUS ov thee OCCULT
Knowledge is often symbolized in the occult with a serpent. Hubbard clearly wanted the snake figure to represent this concept.
Triangles on their side mean “invests with.”
— Carroll “Poke” Runyon
Secrets of the Golden Dawn Cypher Manuscript © 1997
The top triangle, the KRC triangle stands for Knowledge, Responsibility, Control. This is Scientology’s interpretation and justification for Hubbard’s “Will.” It corresponds with Aleister Crowley’s “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.”
The bottom triangle is the ARC triangle, for Affinity, Reality and Communication, which three factors are the components of Understanding.
Hubbard taught how to manipulate “love under will” in his teachings on the use of ARC. The ARC triangle is probably the most basic doctrine in Scientology. Its various applications represent a fundamental operating basis for all aspects of the Scientologist’s life, including interpersonal relationships, administrative technology, ethics technology and Scientology’s auditing technology.
Unlike the ARC triangle, Hubbard did not provide a collateral definition for the use of Knowledge, Responsibility and Control. However, the higher position of this triangle in the symbol above establishes its seniority relative to the ARC triangle; it accurately reflects the hierarchal relationship of these concepts in Scientology application and practice.
“Do What Hubbard wilt shall be the whole of the law…Love is the law, love under Hubbard’s will.” This is the hidden meaning of the Scientology symbol.
© 2001 Caroline Letkeman