Another key tool that Scientologists regularly use to better their lives, remove barriers that may slow their progress on the Bridge and generally improve conditions is the Third Party Law. This law, defined for the first time by Mr. Hubbard, illuminates the underlying cause of all human conflict – whether in the home, the community or the nation. Precisely stated, the law is this:
“A THIRD PARTY MUST BE PRESENT AND UNKNOWN IN EVERY QUARREL FOR A CONFLICT TO EXIST.
“FOR A QUARREL TO OCCUR, AN UNKNOWN THIRD PARTY MUST BE ACTIVE IN PRODUCING IT BETWEEN TWO POTENTIAL OPPONENTS.
“WHILE IT IS COMMONLY BELIEVED TO TAKE TWO TO MAKE A FIGHT, A THIRD PARTY MUST EXIST AND MUST DEVELOP IT FOR ACTUAL CONFLICT TO OCCUR.”
The jealous business associate who continually slanders one to a boss, the spiteful neighbor who slyly belittles a wife to a husband, the disgruntled ex-employee who bad-mouths a company to customers – all may constitute the hidden third parties in a conflict that is severely injurious to survival. And unless those third parties are detected, that hidden but very real third party can wreak considerable havoc in terms of worsening conditions on any number of dynamics. Thus, it is not uncommon to find the Third Party Law used in conjunction with the conditions formula steps to, say, salvage a marriage or friendship. As with the detection of the antisocial personality, however, Mr. Hubbard was careful to precisely delineate the application of this tool so that it is not unjustly used.