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Inside the therapy subculture

Title: Inside the therapy subculture
Date: Monday, 12 August 1974
Publisher: New York Magazine
Author: Ted Morgan
Main source:

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Bernard Green was born 39 years ago in Dublin, Ireland, the son of a Lithuanian father and a Polish mother. As a child, he suffered from such severe stammering that, he says, "I lived in a silent world." When he took the bus he had to hand the driver a note telling the stop he wanted. At school he was mute. When he was eighteen he was cured of his stammering by a therapist using dianetics. a system developed by Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, the founder of scientology. It was his cure that inspired him to go into therapy, and he believes that all therapists have proceeded in a similar manner — from trying to solve their own problems to treating others, the wounded healing the wounded.


In 1958, Green met L. Ron Hubbard and helped him found a school of scientology in Dublin. Things soured when Hubbard ran up bills, Green said. "He only smoked Kools and imported them from America at $3 a pack. He brought his Jaguar from London and rented an expensive house on Dublin Bay. He bought $5,000 worth of camera equipment. He bled us white, and left me holding the bag."

Despite this initial experience, Green rejoined the scientology fold in 1966 and came to New York in 1967 to open a center. He soon broke away. "I refused to bow to their fascistic demands. I refused to turn the center into a church, which was just a tax dodge. Now I'm their public enemy number one." Dr. Green opened his own International Awareness Center and set up a private practice.

He is what scientologists call a "squirrel," someone who has studied their methods and then strikes out on his own, a Hubbardite schismatic. One of Dr. Green's patients told me: "Everything he knows he got from Hubbard. Without Hubbard he'd be zero. There isn't one word that he hasn't gotten from Hubbard. The question is, how does he use it? He has a certain power; he can do things; he can take miserable neurotics and three weeks later they'll go out on their toes dancing. He can achieve those results. Some of his patients swear by him."

Dr. Green does use the jargon of scientology. Listening to a patient is called "auditing." A patient whose problem has not been resolved is called "pre-clear." But he does not consider his debt to scientology to be overwhelming. "I draw on the various strands and harmonics of therapy." he says, "particularly Eastern esoteric psychology."