By Jon Atack more
"Scientology is a religious philosophy in its highest
meaning as it brings man to Total Freedom."
— L. Ron Hubbard, Religious Philosophy and Religious
Practice, 21 June 1960, revised 18 April 1967.
"An endless freedom from is a perfect trap, a fear of all
things ... Fixed on too many barriers, man yearns to be
free. But launched into total freedom he is purposeless and
— L. Ron Hubbard, The Reason Why; 15 May 1956.
The work of L. Ron Hubbard has been surrounded by controversy
since he first announced his "modern science of mental health"
in 1950. His followers assert that he is not only the
reincarnation of Buddha but also Maitreya, who according to
Buddhist legend will lead the world to enlightenment.
To Scientologists, L. Ron Hubbard is quite simply the wisest,
the most compassionate and the most perceptive human being ever
to draw breath.
Yet, Hubbard was dubbed "schizophrenic and paranoid" by a
California Superior Court judge, and Scientology dismissed as
"immoral and socially obnoxious" by a High Court judge in
London. Scientologists have been convicted of criminal offences
in Canada, the USA, Denmark and Italy.
An enormous amount of documented evidence demonstrates that
Hubbard was not what he claimed to be, and that his subject does
not confer the benefits claimed for it.
The Church of Scientology is an enormously wealthy, global
organization, with over 270 churches and missions. Using
profoundly invasive hypnotic techniques, Scientology has managed
to inspire the at times fanatical devotion of tens of thousands
of previously normal and intelligent people.
Most people come to Scientology when their lives are in
crisis. Scientology uses manipulative recruiting techniques to
heighten vulnerability, and falsely promises a solution for
almost any problem. From the beginning, the new recruit is
subjected to techniques which induce euphoria. The desire for
this euphoric state can be likened to a drug addiction, often
rendering members all but incapable of critical thinking with
regard to Scientology.
The Church of Scientology very rapidly comes to dominate the
member, prohibiting contact with anyone hostile to the movement,
and insisting that a huge conspiracy exists which is intent upon
destroying Scientology. The mark of a fanatic is the inability
to even consider evidence. Unfortunately most Scientologists
simply close their eyes and ears to criticism.
"The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a
pathological liar when it comes to his history, background
and achievements. The writings and documents in evidence
additionally reflect his egoism, greed, avarice, lust for
power, and vindictiveness and aggressiveness against persons
perceived by him to be disloyal or hostile."
— California Superior Court Judge Breckenridge, speaking
of L. Ron Hubbard, in a 1984 decision.
Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, creator of Dianetics and
Scientology, was born in the United States, in 191l. Hubbard
claimed he could ride before he could walk, and that he was
riding broncos at the age of three-and-a-half, by which time he
could also allegedly read and write.
He also claimed to have been a bloodbrother of the Blackfoot
Indians by the age of four. However, the Blackfoot Indians
dismiss "bloodbrothers" as a Hollywood fantasy, and there is no
more truth in Hubbard's other boasts. His early life was
undistinguished, and one childhood friend recalls that Hubbard
was actually afraid of horses. Hubbard asserted that his
grandfather was a wealthy cattle-baron. Factually, Lafayette
Waterbury was a small town veterinarian, who ran a series of
Hubbard said that his interest in the human mind was sparked
by a meeting with Commander Thompson, a U.S. Navy doctor, when
he was twelve. However, Hubbard's extensive teenage diaries — used
as evidence in a California court case — show no interest in
psychological or philosophical ideas.
Hubbard told his followers that he spent five years between
the ages of fourteen and nineteen — travelling alone in China,
Mongolia, India and Tibet, and studying with holy men. He did
not actually visit Mongolia, India nor Tibet. His two visits to
China were short excursions in the company of his mother.
Hubbard confessed the brevity of his Chinese stay in an
interview with Adventure magazine in 1935.
Hubbard was nineteen when he entered George Washington
University, where he intended to major in Civil Engineering. He
failed to qualify for the third year of the course, because his
grades were too low. It would later be claimed that Hubbard had
degrees in both civil engineering and mathematics. He graduated
in neither, and his grades in mathematics were very poor. While
at University, Hubbard also failed a short course in "molecular
and atomic physics", which prompted his ludicrous assertion that
he was "one of America's first Nuclear Physicists".
During his last semester at University, Hubbard arranged the
"Caribbean Motion Picture Expedition". It was later asserted
that this expedition provided "invaluable data" to the
University of Michigan and the Hydrographic Office, neither of
which have any record of it. In fact, the trip was announced in
the University newspaper under the heading "L. Ron Hubbard Heads
Movie Cruise Among Old American Piratical Haunts".
In the event, the expedition reached only three of its
sixteen proposed ports of call, failing to take any Film. In a
1950 interview, Hubbard dismissed it as "a two-bit expedition
and a financial bust".
Hubbard's second supposed expedition was described by him as
the "first complete mineralogical survey" of Puerto Rico. Again,
there are no records of such a survey, because Hubbard seems to
have spent most of his time in Puerto Rico prospecting
unsuccessfully for gold. He worked briefly as a civil engineer's
assistant before returning to the U.S.
In February l940, Hubbard talked his way into membership of
the Explorers' Club of New York and was awarded an expedition
flag for his proposed "Alaskan Radio Experimental Expedition".
Hubbard was trying out a new system of radio navigation, and
used the "expedition" to beg equipment to refit his 32-foot
ketch, the Magician. Claims made by the Scientologists that the
expedition was commissioned by the U.S. government are
Writing to the Seattle Star in November 1940, Hubbard
complained that the "expedition" had been hindered by repeated
failures of the Magician's engine. Hubbard and his first wife
spent most of their time stranded in Ketchikan, Alaska, while he
tried to write enough stories to pay for costly engine repairs.
Eventually, he used borrowed money to leave Alaska — money he
failed to repay.
The Scientologists have claimed that upon leaving college
Hubbard "went straight into the world of fiction writing and
before two months were over had established himself in that
field at a pay level which, for those times, was astronomical".
Factually, it took Hubbard several years to make even a
precarious living from his writing. He wrote under such stirring
pen names as Rene Lafayette, Tom Esterbrook, Kurt von Rachen,
Captain B.A. Northrup, and Winchester Remington Colt. Under the
name Legionnaire I48, Hubbard concocted "true" stories about his
supposed exploits in the French Foreign Legion, but mainly he
churned out adventure stories for the cheap "pulp" magazines.
He contributed to many such magazines, including Thrilling
Adventures, The Phantom Detective and Smashing Novels Magazine,
eventually turning to science-fiction and writing chiefly for
Astounding Science Fiction. His pulp stories include "The
Carnival of Death", "King of the Gunmen" and "Man-Killers of the
Air". By the time he created Dianetics, in 1950, he was writing
imaginative, if rather unstylish, science-fiction, and exploring
ideas which he would later incorporate into Scientology.
Hubbard's eyesight had prevented his admission to the U.S.
Naval Academy, prior to his enrolment at University. In 1941, he
was accepted into the Navy Reserve after receiving a waiver for
his inadequate vision.
Many outlandish claims were made by Hubbard about his
achievements while in the U.S. Navy. For instance, he bragged
that he had been the first returned casualty from the Far east.
In fact, he was shipped to Australia in December 1941, and he
sufficiently antagonised his superiors to be returned to the
U.S. after only a few months. After his return, in March 1942,
Hubbard was posted as a mail censor in New York.
The Scientologists have boasted that Hubbard "rose to command
a squadron". Factually, he oversaw the refitting of two small
vessels in U.S. harbours. His second such command was withdrawn
after a cruise down the west coast. During the course of this
journey, Hubbard managed to involve a number of craft in a
55-hour battle against what he believed to be two Japanese
submarines. The incident was reviewed by Admiral Fletcher who
pronounced "an analysis of all reports convinces me that there
was no submarine in the area ...The Commanding Officers of all
ships except the PC-815 (commanded by Hubbard) state they had no
evidence of a submarine and do not think a submarine was in the
Hubbard completed this "shakedown cruise" by firing on a
fortunately uninhabited Mexican island. He was removed from
command, and Rear Admiral Braisted wrote in a fitness report,
"Consider this officer lacking in the essential qualities of
judgment, leadership and cooperation. He acts without
forethought as to probable results ... Not considered qualified
for command or promotion at this time. Recommend duty on a large
vessel where he can be properly supervised."
The advice was followed, and Hubbard served briefly as a
navigation officer aboard the USS Algol, before its departure
from U.S. waters. Hubbard was one of hundreds of officers
transferred to the School of Military Government on the Campus
of Princeton University. This was to lead to Hubbard's later and
completely false boast to have graduated from Princeton. In a
more candid moment, Hubbard said that he "flunked" his overseas
At different times, anywhere from 21 to 27 medals have been
claimed for Hubbard, including a Purple Heart, awarded only to
those wounded in combat. Not only was Hubbard not wounded, but
apart from his imaginary submarine battle, he never saw combat.
He received four routine service medals for his duty in
Australia and the U.S.
In an article called "My Philosophy", Hubbard claimed to have
been "blinded with injured optic nerves, and lame with physical
injuries to hip and back, at the end of World War II ... My
Service record stated ... 'permanently disabled physically'."
Elsewhere, Hubbard said that a few days before the end of the
war, he managed to get the better of three petty officers in a
fight in Hollywood.
In contradictory accounts, Hubbard claimed to have spent
either one or two years at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital, developing
Dianetics and curing his injuries through its use. The origin of
Dianetics is obscured by conflicting Scientology accounts, which
variously assert that his recovery came in 1944, 1947 or 1949.
Factually, Hubbard spent the last months of the war largely
as an outpatient at Oakland Naval Hospital. His chief complaint
was an ulcer, though between his admission to hospital and his
separation from the Navy his eyesight deteriorated markedly.
This visual deterioration became part of his pension claim to
the Veterans Administration.
With his separation from the Navy, Hubbard abandoned his
first wife and their two young children to take up the practice
of "Magick". Hubbard had experienced a peculiar hallucination in
1938, while under nitrous oxide during a dental operation. He
believed that he had died during the operation and while dead
been shown a great wealth of knowledge. Upon his recovery, he
wrote a book called Excalibur, but was unable to find a
Hubbard's interest in the occult also led to a brief
membership in a Rosicrucian group. He told a friend that he
believed himself protected by a guardian spirit whom he called
"the Empress"; and he was to repeat this claim to one of his
followers many years later. In 1945, Hubbard took up with Jack
Parsons, head of the Pasadena lodge of Aleister Crowley's Ordo
Crowley styled himself "the Beast 666", servant of the
Antichrist, and advocated the use of addictive drugs and bizarre
sexual practices. Jack Parsons was a chemist and an early member
of Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, but his passion was
Magick (as Crowley respelled the word). Hubbard and Parsons
performed sexual ceremonies to summon a woman willing to become
the mother of "Babalon", the incarnation of evil.
The affair ended with Hubbard running off not only with
Parsons' girl Sara, but also with his money. Hubbard married
Sara Northrup bigamously, and started to write pathetic letters
applying for a war pension. In October 1947, when according to
later accounts he had "cured" himself through Dianetics, Hubbard
admitted to suicidal tendencies and begged for psychiatric help
in a letter to the Veterans Administration.
Hubbard continued to perform black magic rituals and started
to use self hypnosis, confiding to his notebook such hypnotic
affirmations as "all men are my slaves". His personal papers
also make it clear that he was deliberately pretending
war-related ailments so that he could claim a pension increase.
By this time, Hubbard was already addicted to the barbiturate
drugs originally prescribed for his ulcer. His drug use
continued during his Scientology career, even though he was to
sponsor the Scientology anti-drug group Narconon. Although
Dianetics claims to overcome compulsions with ease, Hubbard was
unable to kick the tobacco habit, and chain-smoked over 80
cigarettes a day.
"Hypnotism was used for research, then abandoned."
— L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental
Hubbard gave stage demonstrations of hypnosis in 1948, and
wrote to his literary agent about a new project with many
selling "angles". Marrying hypnotic technique to research long
abandoned by Freud, Hubbard came up with Dianetics. In 1950, he
modified the hypnotic technique without further "research" to
write the book Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health.
In a 1909 lecture, Freud explained a method for uncovering
traumatic memories. Patients were asked to recall earlier and
earlier life incidents on a "chain" until the emotional "charge"
was released. Hubbard not only took the technique, he even
retrained several of the expressions used by the translator of
these lectures. Freud had abandoned the technique, because it
was laborious and completely failed to uncover key repressions.
In fact, after sometimes providing initial relief, Dianetics all
too often deteriorates into the dangerous conviction that
entirely imaginary incidents are literal truth.
Hubbard took Freud's technique, added a little of the
then-popular General Semantics, and asserted that the "basic" or
original traumatic incidents had occurred in the womb. In this
he was following the work of Otto Rank, Nandor Fodor and J.
Sadger. Hubbard also asserted that it was actually possible to
recall prenatal incidents, right back to conception (the "sperm
dream''). Fodor too had written of prenatal memory.
Hubbard redefined the existing term "engram" as a label for
traumatic incidents where the individual has lost consciousness.
Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health proclaims that by
"erasing" the engrams, the individual is freed from compulsions,
obsessions, neuroses, and such conditions as heart trouble, poor
eyesight, asthma, colour blindness, allergies, stuttering, poor
hearing, sinusitis, high blood pressure, dermatitis, migraine,
ulcers, arthritis, morning sickness, the common cold,
conjunctivitis, alcoholism and tuberculosis. Hubbard soon
claimed cures for cancer and leukaemia.
No scientific evidence for these claims has ever been
Once the first engram (or "basic-basic") has been erased, the
individual is supposedly "Clear", free from all deficiencies,
and possessed of a high IQ. After repeated challenges, Hubbard
eventually put a Clear on show in August 1950, at the Shrine
Auditorium, in Los Angeles. Despite Hubbard's claims that a
Clear would have "a near perfect memory", the woman, a Physics
major, was unable to remember a basic physics formula. She could
not even recall the colour of Hubbard's tie when his back was
Dianetics sold 150,000 copies before being withdrawn from
sale by its publisher. The American Psychological Association
cautioned would-be Dianeticists that no scientific evidence for
the many claims made in Dianetics had been forthcoming. There
can be no doubt that Hubbard had invented both cases and
statistics to write the book.
Hubbard's following diminished as people realised that his
claims were grossly exaggerated, and with the collapse of the
first Dianetic Foundations and Hubbard's second marriage. Sara
Hubbard charged that her husband had tortured her with sleep
deprivation, drugs and physical attacks. She claimed that he had
once strangled her until the eustachian tube to her left ear
ruptured, leaving her hearing impaired. Hubbard fled to Cuba,
after seizing their baby daughter, in what proved to be a
successful attempt to silence Sara.
With the backing of millionaire Don Purcell, Hubbard was able
to return to the United States, where Sara accepted a divorce
settlement. She withdrew her earlier claims, in return for their
infant daughter, whom she had not seen for several months.
|The new Wichita Foundation soon ran into trouble, and Hubbard
abandoned it to its creditors, accusing Don Purcell — who had
earlier saved him — of accepting $500,000 from the American
Medical Association to ruin him. This was far from the last
display of paranoia of Hubbard's part.
"We've got some new ways to make slaves here."
— L. Ron Hubbard, Philadelphia Doctorate Course lecture 20,
February 1952 found Hubbard penniless, and stripped of both
the rights to Dianetics and most of his following. One of his
associates stole the mailing lists of the Wichita Foundation,
and Hubbard started to send out ridiculous attacks upon the
Foundation and increasingly pathetic requests for money.
He also gave the Hubbard College lectures to a tiny audience,
and within six weeks had created a new subject apparently out of
thin air. He was later to admit his admiration for Aleister
Crowley ("my very good friend") and in fact the fundamentals of
Scientology have much in common with Cowley's "magickal"
ideas — mixed in with a large helping of science fiction.
With Scientology, Hubbard asserted that we are all spiritual
beings ("theta beings", and later "thetans"), who have lived for
trillions of years, incarnating again and again. He claimed that
through the use of his new techniques, anyone could achieve
supernatural powers. In 40 years, no scientific evidence has
been provided for these claims.
During the Hubbard College lectures, Hubbard also introduced
the Electrometer, or E-meter, designed by Dianeticist Volney
Mathison. The E-meter is actually a lie detector, closely
related to the machine used in police polygraphs in the US.
In Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health, Hubbard
claimed "Dianetics cures, and cures without, failure". Two years
later, he dismissed these earlier techniques as "slow and
mediocre". He now claimed that with Scientology, "the blind
again see, the lame walk, the ill recover, the insane become
sane and the sane become saner".
"I'd like to start a religion. That's where the money
— L. Ron Hubbard to Lloyd Eshbach, in 1949; quoted by
Eshbach in Over My Shoulder.
In several conversations in the late 1940s, Hubbard had
assured listeners that the best way to get rich was to start a
religion. By the time of his death, in 1986, it is alleged that
Hubbard had amassed a personal fortune of over $640 million
through Scientology (despite claims that he didn't even take a
royalty from his books).
|In April 1953, Hubbard wrote to one of his deputies asking
what she thought of "the religion angle". Later that year, he
incorporated the Church of Scientology, which was licensed by
his Church of American Science. The incorporation was kept
secret, so that Hubbard could distance himself from it.
It was only in the late 1960s, with increasing criticism of
its methods by western governments, that Scientology retreated
behind the trappings of religion. Scientology "ministers" take a
course in comparative religion based upon a single book, and
read the few ceremonies written by Hubbard. Their training takes
a few days. They dress in imitation of Christian ministers,
including a dog collar and a Christian-seeming cross. In fact,
the cross is a Scientology cross, which clearly imitates that of
Hubbard's role model, magician Aleister Crowley. It is actually
a satanic "crossed out" cross.
Scientology recruits most of its followers from the street by
offering a free personality test. The
Oxford Capacity Analysis (OCA)
was written by a Scientologist who was a former merchant seaman,
with no psychological training. It has no connection with Oxford
University, and derives ultimately from the Johnson Temperament
The current 200 question test provides Scientology with
detailed personal information. In the past, the Church of
Scientology has proved more than willing to use supposedly
confidential information against former members.
In 1991, a letter to Scientology recruiters offered a course
teaching "how to tell people the results of their OCA so that
they will reach for Scientology". Another internal document says
that the Test Evaluator "is to point out to the person by means
of a personality test evaluation what is ruining his life, and
to show him how Scientology can save him from that ruin ... when
you point out a low score ... say 'Scientology can handle
that'." The test is designed to ensure that very few people have
an acceptable personality profile.
Scientology sales staff ("registrars") are extensively
trained and drilled in hard-selling techniques. The first stage
of recruitment is to focus the person's attention on the most
distressing areas of his or her life (the "ruin").
Hypnotherapists might call this an "emotional induction". Any
intense emotion tends to overwhelm critical thinking. The
coolness of rational thinking is distinct from the heat of the
emotions. The recruiter then plays upon the person's fear that
the condition will worsen. Then the "solution" of Scientology is
Whatever the problem is, the immediate solution will almost
always be a Communication Course, and indoctrination into
Hubbard's ideas about Suppressive Persons".
"Scientology is evil; its techniques evil; its practice a
serious threat to the community; medically, morally and
— Report of the Board of Inquiry into Scientology for the
state of Victoria, Australia, 1965.
While the basic ideas of Scientology had nearly all been
expressed W by the end of 1952, Hubbard continued to pour out
new techniques that were "guaranteed" to cure all human ills. He
borrowed from many forms of therapy and meditation to create an
elaborate "Bridge" which he claimed led to "total freedom".
Scientology indoctrination usually begins with the
Communication Course Training Routines or "TRs". These are
supposed to enhance the ability to communicate, but have been
called by one expert "the most overt form of hypnosis used by
any destructive cult".
In the first TR, two people sit silently facing each other,
with their eyes closed. In the second, they stare at each other,
sometimes for hours on end, inducing hallucinations and an
In the next stage, TR-0 Bullbait, the student has to sit
motionless, while the "coach" does everything possible to
disturb him or her. The student progresses to reading aloud
disconnected phrases from Alice in Wonderland, and then to
acknowledging statements read out at random from the same text.
Then comes TR-3, where the student repeatedly asks the coach
either "Do fish swim?" or "Do birds fly?". In the last
"Communication Course" Training Routine, the student again asks
one of these questions repeatedly, learning not to be distracted
by anything the coach says or does.
Repetition is another way of inducing an altered or trance
state. Following these procedures definitely makes the
individual more susceptible to direction from Scientology.
From the Communication Course, the new recruit will usually
go onto the "Purification Rundown", after a meeting with a
Scientology salesperson, who convinces the recruit that the
Rundown is well worth the high price demanded for it. Those on
the "Purification Rundown" take extremely high doses of vitamins
and minerals, and combine running and sauna treatment for five
hours each day. Such high doses of vitamins can create various
physiological reactions, including drug-like experiences.
Hubbard attributed these reactions to stored drugs and
pollutants being removed from the body. He even made the
ridiculous claim that LSD lodges in fatty tissue. As LSD is both
highly unstable and water soluble, this is impossible, but it
shows Hubbard's usual scientific ignorance. The heat exhaustion
brought on by the sauna can lead to euphoric experiences, yet
again weakening critical thinking.
The sequence of steps on the Scientology Bridge has changed
from one year to the next. After the "Purification Rundown' — and
another interview with a salesperson — the recruit might well go
on to the "Hubbard Key to Life Course" (at a cost of £4,000
or $8,000). This supposedly undercuts all previous education by
returning the individual to the basics of literacy. Factually,
because it treats all clients as pre-school children, it tends
to cause age regression, making people yet more susceptible to
From the "Hubbard Key to Life Course," the individual moves
on to the "Hubbard Life Orientation Course" and thence to the
There are several hundred Scientology counselling procedures
or "auditing processes". The "Objectives" were first introduced
in the 1950s. Hubbard asserted that it is necessary to show the
individual that reactive impulses can be controlled by being put
under the control of another person (the Scientology "auditor").
This might be more simply termed "mind control". On the
Objective Processes, the individual is given strict orders to
repeat an overwhelmingly tedious cycle of behaviour.
In "Opening Procedure by Duplication", for example, the
auditor and the client or "pre-clear" are alone in a room with a
table at either end. On one table is a book, on the other a
bottle. The preclear will be instructed, with unvarying wording,
to look at the object at the other side of the room, to walk
over to it, to pick it up and to identify its colour, weight and
temperature. Sessions often run to two hours, and cases of 18
such sessions for this single "process" are not unheard of.
Eventually, this arduous ritual leads to a sensation of
floating, believed to be "exteriorisation from the body" in
Scientology — but a common side effect of hypnotic trance. The
Scientology Bridge is laid out in a series of steps, or grades,
each with a purported result. On Grade Zero, for example,
clients are meant to achieve the ability to "communicate freely
with anyone on any subject". A Grade One "release" is supposedly
In 1959, Hubbard introduced "security checking", where
Scientologists are interrogated, having to answer long, prepared
lists of questions about their moral transgressions. The E-meter
is used as a lie detector throughout these "sessions". A careful
record is kept of all confessions, and this has proved to be a
highly effective means of silencing dissidents.
This procedure, renamed "integrity processing", using exactly
the same lists of questions as the earlier "security checks",
finds a place on Grade ' Two, and is frequently repeated beyond
it (at a cost ranging from £130 to £260,
or $250 to $500, per hour). Scientology presumes that any of its
members might become a security risk at any time. There is
justification for this suspicion, as thousands have left the
movement, including many leading lights.
There are two further release grades, before the "preclear'
starts on the current form of Dianetic auditing. In New Era
Dianetics, the preclear is asked to re-experience incidents from
"past lives", which can lead to strange delusions on the part of
Scientologists, compensating for the shortcomings of their real
lives. Through Dianetics, preclears are supposed at last to be
Clear, with the realization that they no longer need their
"Reactive minds", where engrams are supposedly stored.
Once "Clear", they are ready for the Advanced Courses of
Scientology, the "Operating Thetan" or "OT" levels.
In 1952, Hubbard claimed that after Scientology auditing and
indoctrination anyone would become "capable of dismissing
illness and aberration from others at will". Scientologists have
undertaken hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of hours chasing
this illusion and Hubbard's often-repeated promises of
supernatural abilities. In the late 1960s, Hubbard released his
Operating Thetan levels. An Operating Thetan is an individual
supposedly capable of "operating" without need of a body, and
Hubbard made many sugared claims for his extremely expensive OT
The OT levels are kept secret by the Church of Scientology;
however, the contents of most have long since been public
knowledge. The first OT level consists of a series of drills,
such as walking along the street counting people until one feels
euphoric and has some sort of "realization". In 1992 "OT section
1 " was listed at £1,000 or $2,200.
On the second level (costing £2,000 or $4,200) the
"pre-OT" battles with seemingly endless lists of phrases and
their contradictions ("l must exist" and "l mustn't exist", for
example), often having to imagine seeing a light and feeling a
shock at each phrase. At least one victim endured 600 hours of
this mindnumbing ritual.
The pre-OT parts with a "minimum donation" of
£3,400 or $7,200 to traverse the OT 3 "wall of fire".
On OT 3, the recipient is assured that 75 million years ago the
Earth was part of a Galactic Confederation ruled by an evil
prince called Xenu. The Confederation suffered from massive
overpopulation, so Xenu devised a scheme whereby the peoples of
some 76 planets were shipped to earth and annihilated. The
spirits or thetans of these victims were exploded, by putting
H-bombs in volcanoes, and gathered on "electronic ribbons". Then
they were "implanted" for 36 days with images of the future
societies of Earth. According to Hubbard, all cultures and
religions since derive from these hypnotic implants. He said,
for example, that Christ is an illusion implanted at this time.
After implanting, the thetans were packaged together in
clusters, and, according to OT 3 everyone alive is a mass of
such clusters. The levels from OT 4 to 7 also deal entirely with
these clusters and the body
thetans which make them up. Anyone
hearing of this material will supposedly become ill and die
within days. However, towards the end of his life, Hubbard
wanted to release the story (certainly one of his best) as a
movie, to be called "Revolt in the Stars".
The contents of OT 8, released after
Hubbard's death, and the
highest level so far available, have been shrouded in secrecy.
OT 8 is only available aboard Scientology's cruise ship, the Freewinds, after extensive Security Checking has ensured
unquestioning dedication to Hubbard and his teachings. One
former member asserts that the level deals with the individual's
relationship to the divine. Rather than addressing the deity
through prayer, however, the Scientologist is asked to remember
times in former incarnations when he or she encountered God. The
individual is then to remember what problems were solved by
believing in God (the "prior confusion" which made them
vulnerable to belief). In this way, belief in God is undermined.
On OT 8, Scientologists are allegedly taught that they exist
in parallel universes, and are told to disconnect from their
parallel selves. Finally, the Scientologist is to re-experience
moments of his or her own creation, and discover any abandoned
aspects of the self. This supposedly leads to a major
realization about God. Former members who have suffered through
this nonsense assert that the desired realisation is that
Hubbard created all the living beings in the universe. A leaked
OT 8 Bulletin, which may or may not be genuine, claims that
Hubbard is in fact the antichrist.
Hubbard stepped up his control over his followers in the
mid1960s with the introduction of various so called "ethics"
procedures. Anyone who criticises Hubbard or Scientology is
labelled a "Suppressive Person",
"SP" or "anti-social personality".
Scientologists who associate with anyone deemed an SP are
termed "Potential Trouble Sources", and forbidden further
auditing or training. Indeed, Scientologists can be ordered to
cease communication with, or "disconnect" from, anyone
considered unfriendly by the Church of Scientology.
is virtually identical to the "shunning" practised by certain
extreme fundamentalist groups.
Lyon Trial in sidebar in
In the line of fire of Belgian justice, Le Soir
«Here are the facts. On March 24, 1988,
Patrick Vic jumped through a window from his
apartment on the 12th floor. He had joined the
Church of Scientology six months before his death.
The day before his suicide, Jean-Jacques Mazier
tried to convince him to take a loan of 30,000FF
[TR.: US$6,000] for a purification cure [TR.:
Hubbard also introduced "ethics conditions" at this time, and
gave "formulas" which are supposed to elevate one's ethical
state. In the 1960s, Scientology staff put into "lower
conditions" were deprived of sleep (often for several days),
prevented from washing or shaving, forced to wear a black mark
on one cheek, a chain or a dirty rag around the arm, and
confined day and night to organization premises.
Hubbard put to sea with his closest followers in 1967. Aboard
ship, anyone who displeased him was confined to the chain
locker. Here the victim would crouch in bilge water and
excrement in total darkness, surrounded by rats, sometimes for
as much as two weeks without respite. Even children were put
into the chain locker on Hubbard's order. In 1968, the chain
locker punishment was supplemented by "overboarding", where
people, even non-swimmers, were hurled from the decks into the
In 1973, Hubbard replaced these cruel and unusual practices
with a new and profoundly effective form of humiliation — the
Rehabilitation Project Force, or RPF. The RPF is still in use in
Scientology organizations throughout the world. Those who fail
to comply with orders, make mistakes or simply fall short of
their production quotas are put onto the RPF. RPFers can only
speak when spoken to, they are meant to eat table scraps, sleep
even shorter hours than other staff, and comply immediately and
unquestioningly with any order. They work a full day, doing
physical labour, and are then expected to spend five hours
confessing and hearing the confession of their RPF partner.
Only when they completely accept the authority of their
superiors are they allowed to leave the RPF. Taming an
individual in this way can take up to two years.
"Our organizations are friendly. They are only here to help
— L. Ron Hubbard, 'Dianetic Contract', 23 May 1969.
Through the 1950s, Hubbard advocated ever-stricter measures
to deal with critics and defectors. Hubbard's Church has always
campaigned actively against anyone who uses Scientology
techniques without following orders and paying tithes. Speaking
of a hypothetical splinter group in 1955, Hubbard wrote, "if you
discovered that some group calling itself 'precept processing'
had set up ... in your area, you would do all you could to make
things interesting for them ... The law can be used very easily
to harass, and enough harassment ... will generally be
sufficient to cause his [sic] professional decease. If possible,
of course, ruin him utterly."
In 1958, Hubbard institutionalised intelligence gathering in
his secret Manual of Justice, which says, "intelligence is
mostly the collection of data on people...It is done all the
time about everything and everybody." This was the prelude to
the creation of Scientology's secret police force and
intelligence agency, the Guardian's Office. An "ethics file" is
kept on every Scientologist. It contains every embarrassing
admission made during counselling, write ups of transgressions
and "knowledge reports".
All Scientologists are expected to report even the slightest
criticism made by their fellow Scientologists about Hubbard, his
organization or his teachings. A Scientologist who fails to make
such a report is subject to the same penalties as the original
critic. This policy is based upon that used by the Nazis,
turning everyone into an informer, loyal only to Scientology.
After the introduction of "Ethics" policies in 1965, many
people left Scientology to join a splinter group called
Amprinistics. An enraged Hubbard wrote, "Harass these persons in
any Possible way", and urged that their meetings be broken up.
The large amounts of money demanded by Hubbard, and the
severe treatment meted out to his followers, inevitably led to
public concern. Enforced "disconnection" has torn many families
apart. Scientology was castigated by a government inquiry in
Victoria, Australia, in December 1965. In February the following
year, Lord Balniel requested that the British parliament launch
an Inquiry — Hubbard responded by setting up the Guardian s
Office, and reinforcing his policy of "noisy investigation" into
anyone who criticised Scientology. As Hubbard said, "The DEFENSE
of anything is UNTENABLE. The only way to defend anything is to
The Guardian's Office attacked without pause.
The Guardian's Office (GO) existed to promote Scientology, to
attack critics, and to keep members in line. The GO acted as an
intelligence agency, infiltrating newspapers, psychiatric
hospitals and even government agencies; and as an internal
police force, silencing defectors. Very few former
Scientologists have spoken out against the organization, knowing
that every detail of their lives is kept in their Scientology
"ethics files". There is much irrefutable evidence that these
files have been used against former members. The Guardian's
Office grew into a daunting force with 1,100 staff by 1982.
In a secret directive, Hubbard wrote, "we will successfully
bring the following facts into public consciousness ... People
who attack Scientology are criminals ... if one attacks
Scientology he gets investigated for crimes ... If one does not
attack Scientology ... one is safe."
The Intelligence or Information Bureau of the Guardian's
Office, or G0, was modelled on Nazi spy master Gehlen's system.
GO agents stole medical files, sent out anonymous smear letters,
framed critics for criminal acts, blackmailed, bugged and
burgled opponents, and infiltrated government offices stealing
thousands of files (including Interpol files on terrorism, and
files on the interchange of intelligence material between the
U.S. and Canada). Critics were to be driven to breakdown or
harassed into silence.
Eventually, in the early 1980s, eleven GO officials were
imprisoned in the US, including Hubbard's wife, Mary Sue, and
her deputy, the Guardian, Jane Kember. In July 1992, the Church
of Scientology and three Scientologists were found guilty of
criminal acts in Canada ten years before this conviction, the
Office of Special Affairs had replaced the Guardian's Office.
The secret mission of both the Guardian's Office and its
successor has been the discovery and elimination of the
conspiracy which Hubbard believed was operating against him. At
various times, Hubbard blamed Russian communism, neofascism,
bankers, psychiatrists, the Internal Revenue Service and
Christian priests for negative reports concerning Scientology.
His paranoid imagination saw enemies everywhere. As with all
psychopaths, Hubbard was incapable of admitting error. He was
oblivious to the anti-social nature of the practices which quite
rightly provoke criticism of Scientology.
Having been asked to leave Rhodesia in 1966, and fearing
British government action (he was later banned from entry),
Hubbard fled to Las Palmas and created the Sea Organization. For
eight years, from 1967 to 1975, Hubbard and his retinue
(numbering several hundred) plied the Mediterranean and the
Atlantic in a flotilla of unseaworthy vessels. The incompetence
of the crews led to many accidents.
Sea Organization members were put into pseudo-naval uniform,
adopted naval ranks and signed a billion year contract to serve
"command intention". The management of Scientology became a
paramilitary organization, under the direction of "Commodore" L.
Ron Hubbard. All "Sea Org" members are expected to receive
martial arts and weapons training. One executive was later to
boast publicly that management was "tough" and "ruthless".
Compassion is virtually unheard of in Hubbard's voluminous
teachings. Sea Org members work long hours (usually devoting
over 90 hours per week to Scientology), for derisory pay. They
often spend weeks or months restricted to a diet consisting
entirely of rice, beans and porridge. Discipline is harsh, the
withdrawal of pay and proper food preceding banishment from
sleeping quarters (when staff are assigned to "pig's berthing').
Sea Org members have restricted access to their children,
usually only being allowed to see them for an hour or two each
week. Children are kept in the "Cadet Org," with the specified
intention of making them into Sea Org members. Indeed, Sea Org
children can start working for the organization by the age of
twelve, sometimes securing high positions before their fifteenth
birthdays. Children as young as eight have acted as auditors,
taking the confessions of adults.
In 1966, Hubbard wrote, Remember, CHURCHES ARE LOOKED UPON AS
REFORM GROUPS. Therefore we must act like a reform group." Since
that time, tens of front groups have come into being, some to
enhance the public repute of Scientology, others to recruit new
The World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WlSE)
licenses Scientologists to use Hubbard material in their
business training programmes. WISE members offer such programs
with no indication that the material they use is Scientology. In
the U.S., Sterling Management has been criticised for selling
expensive courses to health professionals, who are then
recruited unto Scientology. The Association for Better Living
and Education (ABLE) sponsors "reform" groups such as Criminon
(which indoctrinates prison inmates into Scientology), the
Concerned Businessmen's Association, Cry Out! (which cashes in
on concern for the environment), Applied Scholastics (which
trains people in Hubbard's "Study Technology") and Narconon.
Narconon was started by convict and drug addict William
Benitez, in the mid-1960s. It claims to be a rehabilitation
programme for alcoholics and other drug addicts, and at
different times and in different places has briefly won state
support (withdrawn when the close association of Narconon to
Scientology is revealed, or when the inadequacy of Narconon's
methods is demonstrated). Narconon works alongside Scientology's
"Say No to Drugs Campaign", and is advocated by Scientologist
and former cocaine addict, Kirstie Alley.
For several years, Narconon has tried to establish a large
centre on the Chilocco Indian reservation in Oklahoma in
December 1991, the Oklahoma Mental Health Board denied
certification to this centre, ruling that "there is no credible
scientific evidence that the Narconon program is effective". The
program was also judged "unsafe". The Board complained that not
only was medical supervision inadequate, but that graduates of
the program were immediately taken on as staff. In Narconon,
alcoholics and other addicts are not educated about substance
abuse, but are simply put through the program. The Board also
complained that "the Narconon treatment plan is general in
nature, applies categorically to all students and is not
individualised." The Board reported that Narconon did no follow
up studies (which, of course, dismisses any claim to the
program's efficacy), and had inadequate discharge Planing. There
was also particular concern that Narconon clients, including
alcoholics, are told that if they are not able to drink after
the program, then the program is simply not complete. Hubbard's
"Purification Rundown" is at the heart of the Narconon Program.
The Purification Rundown supposedly rids the body of drug
residues through massive doses of vitamins, and five hours a day
of ruining and sweating in a sauna. The Oklahoma Mental Heath
Board complained of inadequate control of sauna temperature, and
warned of the potential dangers, particularly to heroin addicts,
of sauna use.
The Board had no doubt that "Narconon employs staff
inadequately educated and trained in the care and treatment of
drug and alcohol abuse clients"; and was shocked to find that "Narconon
permits clients under treatment for drug and alcohol abuse to
handle and provide medications to fellow Narconon clients, to
supervise the sauna treatment of fellow Narconon clients, and to
supervise clients with psychiatric disorders." No mental health
professionals are employed by Narconon.
The doses of vitamins are so high on the Purification Rundown
that they become potentially dangerous (several vitamins are
poisonous in high doses; and vitamin B1 can have a disorienting
effect similar to that of certain drugs). The Oklahoma Mental
Health Board was especially concerned about the use of vitamin
B3 in the form of niacin, which in large doses has been
connected with liver failure. "Large doses of niacin are
administered to patients during the Narconon program to rid the
body of radiation. There is no credible scientific evidence that
niacin in any way gets radiation out of the patient's body.
Rather, the more credible medical evidence supports the
existence of potential medical risks to persons receiving high
doses of niacin".
In a surprise move, in August 1992, the Oklahoma Board of
Mental Health granted Narconon exemption from state
certification, without withdrawing its earlier criticisms.
"Reference was made to some unusual features of
membership and to the strong commercial emphasis ...
Regardless of whether the members ... are gullible or misled
or whether the practices of Scientology are harmful or
objectionable, the evidence ... establishes that Scientology
must, for relevant purposes, be accepted as 'a religion' in
— Australian court ruling.
Hubbard claimed that Scientology is non-denominational and
does not clash with any religion. The claim is preposterous. In
his secret writings, Hubbard asserted that Christ is a
fabrication, an implanted hypnotic suggestion. Yoga, and
therefore Hinduism, he dismissed as "booby-trapped"... In one
interview, he said that his favourite book was Twelve Against
the Gods, where author William Bolitho called Mahomet a
psychopath. Of course, the doctrine of reincarnation which is
essential to Scientology, is unacceptable to Judaism, Islam or
Hubbard claimed that Scientology is "twentieth century
Buddhism". However, the essential doctrine of "anatta" or "no
soul" is completely denied in Scientology, which believes in an
immortal and unperishable ego or "thetan". Further, Hubbard
dismissed Buddhism through his statement that "No culture in the
history of the world, save the thoroughly depraved and expiring
ones, has failed to affirm the existence of a Supreme Being."
Scientology contradicts the teachings of all of the major
religions by propounding that great wealth is a virtue, a
measure of spiritual success. Hubbard divided the "urges to
survive" into eight "dynamics". These are survival as or through
self, family and procreation, groups, mankind, life forms, the
material, the spiritual and infinity or the Supreme Being.
Hubbard claimed that to make a sensible decision, it was only
necessary to determine the effect upon these "dynamics", and
choose the route which benefited the greatest number. No special
place is given to the eighth dynamic, or God,, in this scheme,
so it is possible for a decision to be taken because it
advantages the majority of the other seven dynamics. This
practice is unconscionable to all who believe in God.
Hubbard also dismissed the notion of compassion.
Scientologists believe that everything that happens to an
individual is self generated, so the unfortunate are called
"victims'', who have "pulled in'' their misfortune. Sympathy is
frowned upon, and considered to be a "lower" emotional reaction
than fear or anger. All transactions must receive a proper
"exchange", so Scientologists do not tend to work for, or donate
to, charities (other than their own front groups). As Hubbard
put it, "When you let a person give nothing for something you
are factually encouraging crime". Scientology induces contempt
for all non-Scientologists, who are called "wogs" or "raw meat".
"When somebody enrols, consider he or she has joined up
for the duration of the universe — never permit an
'open-minded' approach ... If they enrolled, they're aboard,
and if they're aboard they're here on the same terms as the
rest of us — win or die in the attempt. Never let them be
half minded about being Scientologists ... When Mrs.
Pattycake comes to us to be taught, turn that wandering
doubt in her eye into a fixed, dedicated glare ... The
proper instruction attitude is '... We'd rather have you
dead than incapable.'"
— L. Ron Hubbard, Keeping Scientology Working, 7 February
1965, reissued 27 August 1980.
Hubbard claimed to have studied hypnosis from his teens
onwards. At the outset, he admitted that his Dianetic "research"
was done using deep trance hypnosis. In the early days, he also
admitted that the Dianetic procedure could be trance inducing.
The term "hypnosis" has aroused much controversy. Probably the
most exacting conceptual framework was made by hypnotherapist
Milton Erickson, who asserted that hypnosis is an interaction
between people which accesses altered states of consciousness.
Contemporary psychology accepts that most mental processes
occur below consciousness. A hypnotherapist accesses the
unconscious in an attempt to place beneficial suggestions
therein which will have the same motivating force upon the
individual as his or her own decisions. In hypnotherapy, the
client gives permission for this process to occur. In
Scientology, the process occurs without consent.
Hubbard asserted that everything that exists is a product of
consciousness: Reality is agreement", "the universe is an agreed
upon apparency". From this perspective, Scientology seeks to
change the individual's perception of reality, and replace it
with Hubbard's notions, at the same time pretending that the
individual is becoming more aware, and more "self-determined".
Scientology claims to be scientific, but factually, it is
impossible to undertake "auditing" without submitting to beliefs
which have not been scientifically validated, such as
reincarnation, possession by spirits (or body thetans) and the
existence and influence of "engrams".
Restrictions are put upon Scientologists to prevent them
reaching a critical understanding of Scientology. Explanation of
Hubbard's work is forbidden; the materials must be quoted
exactly. Dissent from the materials is also forbidden then
Scientologist's "realisations" in counselling must align with
Hubbard's pronouncements about the nature of reality. Any
disagreement with Hubbard or his teachings will lead the
individual to the "Ethics Office", a department of Scientology's
internal police force.
The Scientologist may not talk about his "case" or problems
other than to his or her auditor, thus inhibiting close
relationships. The "technology" of Scientology is and always has
been right (even when Hubbard changed it every few months), and
failure to achieve spectacular success (i.e., euphoric states)
is always considered to be the fault of either the auditor or
the preclear, never of the techniques. Scientologists are led to
believe that criticism (unless made by Hubbard) always stems
from guilt about one's own transgressions. The individual's
attention is focused inwards and so deflected from consideration
of Hubbard's or Scientology's faults.
Scientology procedures are comparable with those of
hypnotherapy. In Training Routine 0, two people are supposed to
sit looking at each other "for some hours". Visual fixation has
long been accepted as a means of inducing altered or trance
states. Repetition is another method of induction, and Hubbard
admitted that a number of his procedures are mindnumbingly
monotonous. It is possible in Scientology to sit for several
hours answering the same single line question, the wording never
varied, such as "From where could you communicate to a victim?"
Eventually, the individual's entire perception and belief
system is over-ridden by Scientology. The Scientologist may not
talk about the Operating Thetan levels, so is separated from
most of humanity, believing malevolent spirits to be the real
cause of all disability and conflict. Scientologists do not
accept any other perception of reality than Hubbard's. Hubbard
derided hypnotherapy, psychology, analysis, meditation and
religious counselling, claiming that Scientology is the only
Staff members, especially those in the Sea Organization,
become even more suggestible through long working hours, sleep
deprivation, poor diet and regular doses of the Rehabilitation
"Advanced Courses [in Scientology) are the most
valuable service on the planet. Life insurance,
houses, cars, stocks, bonds, college savings, all
are transitory and impermanent ... There is nothing
to compare with Advanced Courses. They are
infinitely valuable and transcend time itself."
— L. Ron Hubbard speaking of his "Operating Thetan
Courses" Flag Mission Order 375.
25 January 1980:
«On a number of occasions, I
saw people placed in the 'chain lockers' of the
boat on direct orders of Hubbard. These lockers
were small, smelly holes, covered by grates
where the chain for the anchor was stored. I saw
one boy held in there for 30 nights, crying and
begging to be released.»
29 September 1989:
«I also witnessed a fourteen year old boy
being locked up in the chain locker of the ship,
where he was made to spend the night.»
Hard selling techniques are another aspect of the use of
undue influence or destructive persuasion upon members. Clients
of Scientology are harassed with demands for ever increasing
"donations" for auditing and indoctrination Completion of the
Scientology "Bridge" costs in the region of £200,000
or $350,000 (there are Scientologists who have paid even more).
Many Scientologists have found themselves homeless and deeply in
debt as a result of high pressure selling. Sales interviews can
last for as much as 13 hours; and depend upon the sophisticated
manipulation techniques described in Les Dane's Big League Sales
Another alarming aspect of Scientology's greed is the sale of
Hubbard artefacts, called "Special Properties" limited editions
of Hubbard books and anything signed by Hubbard. These artefacts
are pushed onto Scientologists with the insistence that they are
highly marketable commodities with great investment potential.
In reality, they are virtually worthless outside the confines of
the Scientology world.
Outrageous amounts are charged for these items. One former
member was induced to spend some £26,000 (of which
£10,000 was borrowed), with promises that the value
of these "Special Properties" would rocket. Despite making
extensive enquires over a seven year period, the "Special
Properties" have proved unsaleable at anything like the price
originally charged. The former member purchased a single, signed
photograph of Hubbard for over £8,000. This is not an
isolated case, one Scientologist spent an incredible £90,000 on "Special Properties".
The Scientology organization pours out advertising material,
ranging from simple leaflets to full-blown television campaigns.
Although Hubbard was highly critical of psychology, he was
perfectly willing to use the techniques of motivational
research. Careful surveys detainment key words, symbols and
colours to which potential customers will react, without
critical thought. Hubbard bragged about the manipulative effect
of these techniques.
Scientologists are expected to pay out thousands towards
courses, and then have to purchase ridiculously expensive books,
course packs, E-meters, and tapes of Hubbard lectures as a
prerequisite to taking each course. The tapes generally sell for
about £30 each, and Hubbard gave thousands of
lectures. Every Scientologist is expected to buy at least two
E-meters, ranging from £700 to £2,750
each. The components from which an E-meter is constructed make
up only a fraction of this cost.
"Handling truth is a touchy business ... Tell an
— L. Ron Hubbard, The Missing Ingredient, 13 August 1970.
Scientology claims over 7 million members internationally,
yet an internal membership report for 1987 showed only 40,000:
There are also often repeated claims that Hubbard books have
sold millions of copies. In fact, Hubbard books have been
"hyped" onto best seller lists through carefully orchestrated
campaigns. Scientology has probably managed to sell more copies
of Hubbard's books than have been printed, by buying back and
reselling. One book store even received a consignment which
already had its own price labels on.
In the 1960s and 70s, Scientology became notorious for its
willingness to litigate. Such litigation was rarely successful,
but made the media hesitant to report on Scientology, and caused
many critics to withdraw. The pace of litigation slowed
considerably with the decline of the Guardian's Office. Only
major opponents are now sued. However, litigation against
Scientology has increased. It has been reported that at the
beginning of 1992, Scientology faced over 700 suits.
In his 1984 ruling in the California Superior Court, Judge
Breckenridge stated, "In addition to violating and abusing its
own members civil rights, the organization over the years with
its 'Fair Game' doctrine has harassed and abused those persons
not in the Church whom it perceives as enemies."
In the Fair Game law; Hubbard asserted that those ajudged
Suppressive by Scientology "May be deprived of property or
injured by any means ... may be tricked, sued or lied to or
destroyed". The continuing use of Fair Game was also established
in a London child custody case in 1984, and in a California
Appeal Court judgment in 1989.
In this last decision, in the case of
versus the Church of Scientology of California, the court upheld
Wollersheim's allegation that he had been subjected to Fair
Game. Further, the judge ruled:
"...the Church's conduct was manifestly outrageous. Using
its position as his religious leader, the Church and its
agents coerced Wollersheim into continuing 'auditing'
although his sanity was repeatedly threatened by the
practice ... Wollersheim was compelled to abandon his wife
and family through the policy of disconnect. When his mental
illness reached such a level he actively planned his
suicide, he was forbidden to seek professional help."
In July 1992, the Church of Scientology was found guilty of
infiltrating the Toronto, Ontario and Royal Canadian Mounted
Police, along with the offices of Revenue Canada, the Ontario
Attorney General and the state government.
Thousands of files had been stolen by Hubbard's espionage
As the Wollersheim case demonstrated, Scientology "auditing"
can have a profoundly destructive effect After a survey of 48
groups, Conway and Siegelman reported that former Scientologists
had the highest rate of violent outbursts, hallucinations,
sexual dysfunction and suicidal tendencies. They estimated that
full recovery from Scientology averaged at 12.5 years.
Members are entirely saturated with Hubbard's delusional and
unscientific view of the universe. They come to see themselves
as part of a small elite, harassed on all sides by a gigantic
conspiracy. Scientologists speak and think in an elaborate
language created by Hubbard (Scientology dictionaries run to
over 1,000 pages of definitions). They are drilled to present a
calm, cheerful appearance, whatever their real feelings. Most
become "auditing junkies", unable to face life without regular
"sessions". All aspects of the individual's life are invaded, as
Hubbard held forth on almost every subject from business
management to child rearing.
Scientology induces a phobic reaction towards mental health
practitioners, so ex-members are usually unwilling to seek
professional help in untangling themselves. This situation is
compounded by the inability of most mental health practitioners
to understand the cult experience. So most former Scientologists
drift into other cult groups, or derivatives of Scientology such
as est (the Forum or Landmark), Avatar, Dianasis, Re-Evaluation
Co-Counselling, or Idenics.
Mental Health practitioners who have had contact with former
Scientologists have diagnosed their condition as Post-Traumatic
Stress Disorder. One psychiatrist has asserted that Hubbard
reversed therapies used to reduce obsession, so creating
obsessive disorders. Former members report a high incidence of
Chronic Fatigue Disorder a lack of motivation and energy.
However, as yet no research has been undertaken to confirm these
In June 1992, the Church of Scientology was found guilty of
criminal activity by a Canadian jury. Membership in Germany's
leading political party is now denied to Scientologist because
of the policy of infiltration. Scientology is under
investigation in France and Spain. In February 1992, the
European Council endorsed a recommendation that the member
nations of the EEC should fund information groups to educate the
public about New Religious Movements. As yet no action has been
If a friend or relation becomes involved with Scientology, it
is important not to attack their decision. A friendly,
sympathetic attitude and a willingness to listen are very
important. Showing the person material hostile to Scientology
will generally only reinforce their infatuation, and make them
more defensive and less willing to communicate.
Be honest but not aggressive with your concerns about
Allow the person to talk without interruption about the
benefits they feel they have received. In fact, allowing the
person to talk is crucial, because the need to articulate ideas
often clarifies thinking. Don't try to do their thinking for
them. Don't interrupt or make sniping comments.
In a friendly environment, they will discover for themselves
some of the contradictions inherent in Scientology. If prompted
to look for such contradictions they may simply stop listening.
When you are sure that the person does not feel threatened, ask
if they are willing to look at material critical of Scientology,
rather than just presenting them with the material.
Kidnap deprogramming is both morally offensive and illegal.
It is also largely unsuccessful in Scientology cases. There are,
however, a few consultants who will not resort to kidnapping and
have a sufficient awareness of Scientology to be able to help
members reconsider their involvement in a non-coercive
Jon Atack, the author of
this booklet, was a client of Scientology from 1974 to 1983.
Since his resignation from the Church of Scientology, he has
consulted to many leading newspapers and magazines, including
the Sunday Times, Forbes magazine, Time, the Los Angeles Times
and the Reader's Digest. In 1987, he was the main consultant to
BBC TV's Panorama documentary. He has also consulted to TVS,
Central TV, Granada TV, CBC, NBC, CBS and ABC.
Jon Atack's book,
A Piece of Blue Sky (lSBN 0-8184-0499-X), is published by
Lyle Stuart Books in the USA, and by Musson Book Company in
Canada. A Piece of Blue Sky is a 400 page history of Hubbard,
his organisations and his techniques. It is available in the UK
by calling 01342 316129 (0044 1342 316129 in the rest of
For a better understanding of Scientology beliefs and
techniques, see Hubbard's Volunteer Minister's Handbook (lSBN
For a better understanding of the manipulative nature of
Scientology, see Steven Hassan's
Combatting Cult Mind Control (lSBN
0-89281-243-5) and Thomas and Jacqueline Keisers' The Anatomy of
lllusion (lSBN 0-39805295-6).
The Road to Xenu is an excellent first-hand account of
membership, and includes Bob
Penny's thought provoking
Social Control in Scientology. The Road to Xenu is available
via P.0. Box 290402, Tampa, Florida 33687.
|From Robert Vaughn
affidavit of 9 March 1994:
«One of ASI's
functions was to make millions of dollars for Hubbard. One way
was by investments of Hubbard's fortune, which Miscavige
directed, even though Miscavige had no investment background.
Miscavige poured millions of dollars into oil speculation and
lost it without telling Hubbard. (At one point the estimate was
that Miscavige had lost about $50 million of Hubbard's.)
"Special Properties" was Miscavige's idea on how to recoup the
millions before Hubbard (and the IRS) found out. The idea was to
create "leather-bound special editions" and other items that
could be sold at outrageous prices as an "investment". Those who
bought books at thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars
were then told a few months later how their "investment" had
increased. Meanwhile, on the open market, the books were worth
perhaps a hundred dollars, which was why Miscavige prohibited
the open sale of these "Special Properties." (ASI now
denies that there ever was a line of properties for