All of them, those in power, and those who want the power, would pamper us, if we agreed to overlook their crookedness by wilfully restricting our activities.
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There can be no doubt Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard believes in heaven.
He says he has been there—twice.
In a 1963 bulletin, Hubbard wrote that although he had once been skeptical, his travels had convinced him heaven was real.
"For a long while, some people have been cross with me for my lack of cooperation in believing in a Christian Heaven. God and Christ," he wrote. "I have never said I didn't disbelieve in a Big Thetan (Scientology's 'soul') but there was certainly something very corny about Heaven et al. Now I have to apologize. There was a Heaven.
"It was complete with gates, angels and plaster saints."
Hubbard knows exactly when he was first there, "43,891,832,611,177 years, 344 days, 10 hours, 20 minutes and 40 seconds from 10: 02½
PM Daylight Greenwich Time May 9, 1963."
The second trip was several hundred billion years later on the same date, and much had happened between the two visits.
The first time, the gates were majestic.
"An avenue of statues of saints leads up to them. The gate pillars are surmounted by marble angels. The entering grounds are very well kept, laid out like Bush Gardens in Pasadena, so often seen in the movies."
But by the second trip, heaven had become shabby.
"The vegetation is gone," he wrote. "The pillars are scruffy. The saints have vanished. So have the angels."
Hubbard also found an old bank building in heaven much like the one the Scientologists recently purchased in downtown Clearwater.
"This bank building was on-the-corner old-fashioned granite-like construction, two or three stories high, with the door in the rounded front—even a revolving type door," he wrote.
To leave heaven, the visitor goes through the bank, down the stairs "and eventually out of the Pearly gates."
In his account, described by Scientology officials as an allegory, Hubbard wrote that "the symbol of the crucified Christ is very apt indeed."
He also wrote that his two trips to heaven had strengthened his belief in the goodness of Scientology.
"New religions always overthrow the false gods of the old," he wrote. "They do something to better man. We can improve man. We can show the old gods false. And we can open as a happier place in which the spirit may dwell. What more can you expect?"