Hugh Urban: An Interview With the Professor Who Took on Scientology

HughUrbanFamily.jpg
Urban, with Nancy Jesser, their daughter Maya Urban-Jesser, and Shiva the dog
In June, we reviewed a remarkable new book about Scientology. A review copy of Hugh Urban's The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion, put out by the Princeton University Press, had arrived at our desk almost the same day as Janet Reitman's highly anticipated book about the church, Inside Scientology.

We were impressed by the way Urban, in only 216 pages, not only laid out a robust history of Scientology in a highly readable narrative, but also did what others really hadn't before: put L. Ron Hubbard's creation in the cultural and political context of its time -- Scientology is a Cold War product, and absorbed all of that era's paranoia and desire for secrecy.

Urban's book was also impressive for its depth of research -- here in one volume were citations of many of the most significant court decisions that have rocked Scientology over the decades, as well as concise rundowns of many other church controversies. The book makes for a great companion to Reitman's journalistic approach: both books have come out at about the same time, and both with common goals of looking at a controversial subject from an objective, scholarly point of view.

I really only had one question after I was finished with the book: who the heck is Hugh B. Urban?

Thumbnail image for HughUrbanBook.jpg
With his book now in stores, I called up Professor Urban to talk to him about his background and his goals now that he's put out such an impressive volume.

The Ohio State University professor tells me that he's the son of a psychologist, and comes from a religious Episcopal family, which may help explain why he's been interested in particular in the way secrecy is used in religion.

"I work mostly on the religions of India, and I have more recently been working on the new religious movements of America and Europe," he says. "I guess questions about knowledge and power and what it means to keep information hidden from others has always fascinated me."

Looking into the way secrecy is used in Indian religions, he turned to the way secrecy is used in new religious movements here, and naturally, that brought him to Scientology: "It's the most interesting case," he points out, and he'll get no argument here.

"The first real thing I did on Scientolody was the 'Fair Game' article, which eventually became the core of Chapter 3 in the book," he says, referring to his 2006 article in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, "Fair Game: Secrecy, Security, and the Church of Scientology in Cold War America."

"That was driven by my interest in secrecy and religion. It's not the best thing I've written, but it was well received," he says -- and more importantly, it's the article that sold the Princeton University Press on Urban writing a full book about the subject.

To me, that in itself is significant. It's been many years since we've had books about Scientology, and now two come out nearly at the same time, and from a major, mainstream publisher and a university press. What's changed that has made publishers suddenly more interested in the subject?

Urban says publishers may be more comfortable now that Scientology has stopped automatically filing lawsuits against newspapers and publishers. "Since the lawsuit with Time magazine [a $416 million monster in 1991 that was dismissed, costing both sides millions in legal costs], they've changed strategies. It's dropped off significantly," he says. "Look at South Park and the episode that revealed the Xenu story -- they didn't do anything, really, to them...It seems like they've realized that the 'sue everybody' strategy isn't working, and it has the opposite effect of making them look more defensive and reactionary."

And besides, he points out, Scientology has its hands full with other problems. "I think they have so many things to deal with, especially since Rathbun and Rinder came out, they don't have time to go after publishers," he says, referring to Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder, two high-level church executives who defected in recent years and are now speaking out about abuses in Scientology.

Instead of experiencing harassment, he says, he's found the church to be uncharacteristically benign. "I think they are trying to present a friendlier face. After your review of my book showed up, [Scientology spokesman] Bob Adams called me and we had a pretty lengthy conversation about this. He seems to be taking a different strategy of being more open."

Of course, he points out, it's still an odd approach -- the church ignored him and only contacted him after his book was published. Still, he says, he can't complain about the treatment he's been getting lately. "In general my interactions with the church have been pretty cordial," he says.

Scientology hasn't blasted his book the way it did Reitman's -- at least not yet. Urban admits that he didn't know her book was coming out at nearly the same time as his.

"It's a happy coincidence that the two books came out at the same time. I think they do make a nice pair. Hers does the more journalistic expose kind of of thing, and mine is a more academic approach." Both strive to give Hubbard his due for creating such a long-lasting enterprise.

"Even people who leave Scientology acknowledge that he had charisma. And his literary output is astonishing," Urban says, referring to sheer amount of words the man put to paper. "That's one reason the movement has declined, is the absence of Hubbard. David Miscavige just doesn't have the same charisma to run the show."

Urban's book also wrestles with the definition of religion itself. "Scientology has been central to our view of how religion has changed in the post-war era," he says, and that changing definition is part of a larger conversation that involves academics, the government, and the press. Both Urban and Reitman seemed to arrive at the same conclusion about this: whether Scientology is really a "religion" is less interesting than how it behaves.

"The behavior is really what hasn't been looked at closely enough, and that's because the religious status gives it a hand's off attitude for some people," he says. But increasingly, allegations of abuse are coming to the surface about the way Scientology staff is treated. "If those allegations have any basis to them, that needs to be investigated, I think." (Lawrence Wright's New Yorker story in February revealed that the FBI has been looking into claims of abuse in Scientology, but there's been no indication since whether anything will come of it.)

Urban sounds eager to plunge into more writing about Hubbard's organization. "It's not a long book. I could have written five times as much based on my notes and interviews," he says, and we spent some time discussing what areas in the field could still use a book treatment.

I said there will surely be material for a book that simply traces what's currently happening as Scientology seems to be splitting apart.

"I think we could be witnessing a reformation," Urban says, in agreement. "The survival of Scientology may depend on it. If they keep fighting wars on the Internet, it's not a very productive thing for their future. What Rathbun is doing seems like it might have more life to it."

For now, Urban says he's busy with a new project: "One thing I'm trying to do now is create a Church of Scientology archive at our special collections here at Ohio State," he says. He's received material from Nancy Many, who appears prominently in his book, and Chef Xenu, a member of Anonymous who appears in it has also been helping to amass material.

He's also keeping an eye on what Scientology is up to in Columbus, Ohio. "They're building a new Ideal Org in a former Time Warner building. It has capacity for 800 people, which seems a stretch. They told me downtown [at the current 'org'], there are only about 100 families involved."

It does seem exceedingly strange that Miscavige is pushing for new buildings around the world as every reliable source we can draw from indicates that church membership is actually very small and declining. Why new buildings when they don't have the bodies to fill them?

"I can only speculate. One obvious strategy is that 'if you build it they will come.' The other is that it's an investment. And third, buying nice old buildings can give you some kind of historical weight," he says.

"The other mystery I'm interested in is this link between the Nation of Islam and Scientology. I don't really understand it at all," he says. But that mystery may have to wait for another day. For now, Urban says, he's next going to tackle "the testimonies of ex-Scientologists and how to use them."

Some in the academic religious studies field argue that talking to defectors is unreliable for getting an accurate picture of how a new religion is evolving. But Urban and I both agreed that such a concern is no reason to discount entirely the testimonies of so many people who have left Scientology and are speaking out about it -- not when they tell the same exact stories, over and over.

Well, I'll be very interested to see what Urban comes up with about that question.



The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology
#8: Mike Rinder
#9: Jason Beghe
#10: Lisa McPherson
#11: Nick Xenophon (and other public servants)
#12: Tommy Davis (and other hapless church executives)
#13: Janet Reitman (and other journalists)
#14: Tory Christman (and other noisy ex-Scientologists)
#15: Andreas Heldal-Lund (and other old time church critics)
#16: Marc and Claire Headley, escapees of the church's HQ
#17: Jefferson Hawkins, the man behind the TV volcano
#18: Amy Scobee, former Sea Org executive
#19: The Squirrel Busters (and the church's other thugs and goons)
#20: Trey Parker and Matt Stone (and other media figures)
#21: Kendrick Moxon, attorney for the church
#22: Jamie DeWolf (and other L. Ron Hubbard family members)
#23: Ken Dandar (and other attorneys who litigate against the church)
#24: David Touretzky (and other academics)
#25: Xenu, galactic overlord


tortega@villagevoice.com | @VoiceTonyO | Facebook: Tony Ortega

See all of our recent Scientology coverage at the Voice

Keep up on all of our New York news coverage at this blog, Runnin' Scared

Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he's been writing about Scientology at several publications. Among his other stories about L. Ron Hubbard's organization:

The Larry Wollersheim Saga -- Scientology Finally Pays For Its Fraud
The Tory Bezazian (Christman) Story -- How the Internet Saved A Scientologist From Herself
The Jason Beghe Defection -- A Scientology Celebrity Goes Rogue
The Robert Cipriano Case -- A Hellacious Example of Fair Game
The Paul Haggis Ultimatum -- The 'Crash' Director Tells Scientology to Shove It
The Marc Headley Escape -- 'Tom Cruise Told Me to Talk to a Bottle'
The Aaron Saxton Accusation -- Australia turns up the heat on Scientology
The Jefferson Hawkins Stipulation -- Scientology's former PR genius comes clean
The Daniel Montalvo Double-Cross -- Scientology lures a young defector into a trap
A Church Myth Debunked -- Scientology and Proposition 8
Daniel Montalvo Strikes Back -- Scientology Hit with Stunning Child-Labor Lawsuits
When Scientologists Attack -- The Marty Rathbun Intimidation
A Scientologist Excommunicated -- The Michael Fairman SP Declaration
The Richard Leiby Operation -- Investigating a reporter's divorce to shut him up
The Hugh Urban Investigation -- An academic takes a harsh look at Scientology's past
Giovanni Ribisi as David Koresh -- A precedent for a Scientology-Branch Davidian link
Janet Reitman's Inside Scientology -- A masterful telling of Scientology's history
The Western Spy Network Revealed? -- Marty Rathbun ups the ante on David Miscavige
Scientology's Enemies List -- Are You On It?
Inside Inside Scientology -- An interview with author Janet Reitman
Scientology and the Nation of Islam -- Holy Doctrinal Mashup, Batman!
Scientologists -- How Many of Them Are There, Anyway?
Roger Weller's Wild Ride -- Scientology When it was Hip
The Marc Headley Infiltration -- A Scientology Spying Operation Revealed
Placido Domingo Jr: Scientology's Retaliation is "Scary and Pathetic"
An Interview with Nancy Many, Former Scientology Spy
The Paulien Lombard Confession -- A Scientology Spy Comes Clean
The Deputy Benjamin Ring Hard Sell -- Scientology wants your 401K
The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology -- the whole series!
The Squirrel Busters Busted -- Unmasking the Scientology PI in Charge
Tommy Davis, Scientology spokesman, secretly recorded discussing 'disconnection'
Scientology internal document says its Office of Special Affairs will 'handle' the Village Voice


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109 comments
Endscientology
Endscientology

Dear Indies,

You may dislike, disagree, or be disturbed by all that you read in the comments.  I only ask that you do one thing.....

Please continue to ask questions and continue to read all sides, as distasteful and as against it may be against all that you believe.  Criticism is not the enemy, it is the very foundation of personal growth and change, and frankly being critical is the reason why you left the Church.  

Ask yourself this, if you can; why does Marty only react with kindness to those that agree with him?  In other words, why does he react with venom to those that disagree with his beliefs?  Why do his critics exist?  Why do they persist in asking for justice?

Not all of us are here to attack what you believe.  We are here in the hopes that you ask yourself these questions and seek the truth to come to your own conclusions.  In my opinion, there are too many ex-Scientologists that come to the conclusions the rest of us have, but you are on your own journey and I can only hope that you see the cycles of abuse going on in your own life.

Thanks.

Grey Anderson
Grey Anderson

While I enjoyed both Reitman's and Urban's book I feel Dr. Urban was a bit lenient on Scientology. He even does this in the interview:

It does seem exceedingly strange that Miscavige is pushing for new buildings around the world as every reliable source we can draw from indicates that church membership is actually very small and declining. Why new buildings when they don't have the bodies to fill them?"I can only speculate. One obvious strategy is that 'if you build it they will come.' The other is that it's an investment. And third, buying nice old buildings can give you some kind of historical weight," he says.

But he doesn't offer the fourth possibility that MisCavige is buying up building to give the appearance to the public that Scientology is expanding as they claim.

Objectivity is great, but not when it causes you to ignore detrimental possibilities.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

The other shoe was finally dropped in Australia today:

" . . . The Church of Scientology says it will take on board the recommendations of the Fair Work Ombudsman after it found the church needs to ensure it is complying with the Fair Work Act.

The Ombudsman has also ordered the church to make sure it is paying its workers properly. . ."

This struck me as probably particularly important:

"The Ombudsman says it will now treat many of the Church's entities as corporations."

The rest of the story [for the moment]:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/201...

Update:

" . . .The Church of Scientology has released a statement saying it is stunned by the media release issued by the Fair Work Ombudsman about the findings.

Church legal counsel Louise McBride said the Ombudsman's media release was "misleading in the extreme".

"The central finding was positive for the church: that none of the complainants are employees and were in fact volunteers," she said.

"We have contacted the FWO and asked they amend their media release." . . ."

http://www.abc.net.au/news/201...

Le Stat
Le Stat

Thank you, Hugh! And Tony.

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

There's always Keith Henson, Grady Ward, Pope Charles, Tarla Star, Wgert, Gene Ingram, Ron Newman, Tillman Hausherr etc. 

Not really any *shortage* of memorable characters, some, like Keith deserving of novels in their own right.

In fact, although mentioned, but giants deserving of special note; Robert Vaughn Young, Jesse Prince and Gerry Armstrong, who were all instrumental in exposing Scientology to an extent that made the current destruction possible.

Not even Anonymous can spud-cannon the Cult without potatoes :)

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

Here's hoping Hugh shows up to converse with us :)

(go buckeyes? :) )

Optimus
Optimus

1. L Ron Hubbard2. The Internet3. Anonymous4. David Miscavige5. St. Petersburg Times6. Marty Rathburn7. Tom Cruise

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Good story, Tony!

Thank you Hugh Urban. Your book is a gem and much appreciated.

However, beware of 'nice scientologists' like Bob Adams, who work for the church's OSA, .

One of my favorite critics of Scientology is Chef Xenu, who is not really anonymous at all, as the church knows who he is and he does not try to hide who he is. The reason they know him is that he is former victim of Scientology fair game harrassment tactics because he dared to have a website critical of scientology, which they had taken down long before Anonymous arrived. 

Chef Xenu joined in protest with Anonymous in Ohio when the 'movement' started but his posts on alt.religion.scientology and the other forums are  what caught my eye early on. This is a man with a mission and it's great to see that his studies in religion lead him to Hugh Urban and what may have been part of the genesis of Urban's book. We need a Chef Xenu in every state, lol!   

Theoracle
Theoracle

More! More!  Who is number 7?  I can't stand the suspense!

Old OT7
Old OT7

"...talking to defectors is unreliable for getting an accurate picture of how a new religion is evolving."

First of all, scientology is the furthest thing from a religion.  Second, years ago, if you left, you kept your head down for fear this cult would come after you and your family.  Most people were just thankful to get their lives back and didn't speak out.  That has all changed and talking to defectors now, as I see, is THE most important thing.  Tony is right when he says their stories are all the same no matter where they were at the time.  The lies will come from the cult, but the truth will come from the defectors like myself. 

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone

Doubles Wows -  Bob Adams was cordial, after the fact... and Professor Urban isnt done yet! This book is a concise yet informative little goldmine. I can barely imagine what awesomeness is in store for when he tackles former member testimonials!!!

/SALUTE Hugh (and all those helping him amass his library) - you rock!

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

It's a far cry from the 'draft report'.  Who was it who was being so 'helpful' in the background again... ?

Chuck Beatty
Chuck Beatty

Don't forget Hana Eltringham Whitfield and David Mayo, who's postings are still on ARS to view.     Agreed on Gerry, and Arnie too I'd have to add.   Dave Touretzky.   I believe had Robert Vaughn Young lived, that he'd have greatly impacted the current scene.   He worked with Marty and Larry Brennan, and Gerry, back in the early 1980s.   Vaughn was at ASI, and he was an old GO PR man researcher writer.   

The writings of Kima Douglas on Hubbard, to me were so critical to seeing Hubbard as a very flawed man, in his later years.   Google Kima Douglas on Hubbard!

Ron
Ron

If he does, having given us a book, I'd like to recommend one to him for recreational reading: Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light, on the unlikely chance that he hasn't read it yet. (I feel that anyone who names the dog for Shiva the Destroyer would enjoy this one.)

Chuck Beatty
Chuck Beatty

I'm really glad Hugh got Jim Dincalci to talk with Hugh!    That is really important, since Jim spent those months in 1973-1974 when Hubbard was off the Apollo and in New York City!    Jim's stories OUGHT TO BE a separate Mark Bunker film, of just talks with people telling L. Ron Hubbard stores.   Unvarnished L. Ron Hubbard stories.

Le Stat
Le Stat

I think, this is it.

Theoracle
Theoracle

These would be my picks:

1. The Sea Organization  (David Miscavige is wholly enabled by them.) fanatics.2. David Misvavige3. The Members of the Church that keep paying to keep him there despite every reason not to.  (fanatics)4. Hate groups. (fanatics too) (Usually flipped from 1. above)5. The fact that the copyrights expired (New ones control all the new basics) The CofS     does not own the original tech anymore.6. The Internet7. Time:

A) They cannot reinvent themselves.

B) DM wiped out the mission network and charged anyone wanting to open a mission a 40,000.00 penalty fee.  That was 30 years ago. The feeder from the streets to the Orgs has been shut down 30 years now.  They don't have enough time to establish those lines again and stay in business.  And the P.R. is so bad now opening a mission isn't something people do now.

C) DM made it a crime to bear children / disseminate there is no second generations being made.  Not enough time to fix that either.

D)  The crimes are catching up to them faster than they can sort them out.

E) Although Sea Org Members sign billion year contracts the average "stick it out " time is two years only. ( I only lasted six years myself) No new people coming in = no new staff.  They don't have time to fix that either. More are leaving than coming in, I think that is intentional to drive them out (obviously)  to curb liability should the Corporation actually be forced to put in fair exchange with them.

F)  The property tax burdens on the new real estate is adding up faster than the revenue.

G) It's only a matter of time until DM is charged with some of the many crimes he has managed to get away with.

candace6
candace6

You forgot Mark Bunker.  No way he's not on this list :)

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

This may have to go to minus numbers, since:

ReasonLogicSanity

all deserve their own listing.

Oh, and 'honesty'.  That's a big one

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

I don't think the order is or has been in any particular order of 'importance', but, without a doubt, L. Ron Hubbard will have to be '#1'

As they used to say back in WWII; 'without whom this trip would not have been necessary'

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

Oh, and before I forget to say it (again), the hackneyed chestnut about 'defectors' and 'apostates' being unreliable is pure crap.  It's a 'thought stopping' exercise that Scientology has specialized in selling to 'religious scholars'. 

Because, according to Scientology,  you're 'unreliable' if you've been in and left, but, also if you've *never* been in.

So, according to that theory, the *only* 'reliable' witnesses to a 'religion' are people who are *still in*, and, in Scientology terminology 'in good standing'.

It's stupid and, any 'scholar' with the lack of perscipacity to quote it is indeed, in *my* opinion, 'unreliable'.

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

I don't think I'll argue about whether Scientology is a religion.  The question itself is silly, since it seems to assume that a 'religion' is somehow a 'good' thing per se.  Few would argue that Thuggee isn't a 'religion', nor that it's hardly one that we view as 'benign'.

Scientology is especially complicated by the *fact* that L. Ron Hubbard Himself called 'the religion angle' a scam 'only of interest to solicitors' and that many of the most informed and even dedicated Scientologists themselves hold that opinion, even though they're willing to present a correct 'shore story' to 'wogs'.

The 'religion angle' is about *tactics*.  For Scientology, which is a *political* movement, it's about adopting the most convenient guise to push its product, which is Scientology.  Scientology for all.  Whether they want it or not.  Because it's the only Hope For Mankind.

And, although they *think* they're lying, the Scientologists who are on that bus *are* pushing a 'religion'.

It's a 'belief system'; which they would also disagree with, since they don't *believe*; they *Know*.  Like any other 'revealed truth'. 

If Scientology is not *obviously* Mankind's Only Hope to *you*, it's because you haven't been trained to *know* that it is.  Which means that you are not yourself, but, your reactive mind, which was deliberately implanted by transtemporal intergalactic 'Psychs' before the beginnings of our universe.

Once you *are* trained, you will recognize the 'truth'.  So, it's a bit of a tautology; 'know' what Scientology says or *need* some Scientology in order to 'know' :)

Anyway, Ron and many Scientologists don't really think Scientology is a religion.  They think it's a *fact* that you are too stupid to recognize, so, they'll tell you that it's a religion, because they want Scientology for *all*.  For your own good.

In my experiece, Scientology *is* a religion.  The more 'believing' (or 'knowing') a Scientologist is, the more of a 'religion' it is.  Even when the person claiming it thinks he's lying.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

Mike Rindar, yeah . . .

Wonder what family members he's got in the CO$ hoosegow?

Just wild speculation, mind you . . .

sizzle8
sizzle8

And Jon Zegel, Dane Tops, Peter Greene, Ken Urquhardt, etc.

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

That's a good one if you like your hindu gods/godesses as cartoon superheroes :)

Even better though might be Norman Spinrad's 'The Mind Game'.  Check the Amazon listing.  Or, maybe C.S. Lewis' 'That Hideous Strength', for a fictionalized version of 'Planet Clearing' in action...

Optimus
Optimus

I thought he was already included, my mistake:)

 

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

He's already been mentioned.  Multiple times even :)  Good work Mark.

Optimus
Optimus

 Good point! Those are important, and completely absent within the cult.  

Theoracle
Theoracle

Scientology was in boom mode up to Hubbard's death.  I realize there is an entire culture now blaming the man (who has been dead for over two decades, 99% of the people never came into contact with him) for every problem they have ever had.  And that has been convenient.  But to blame him for what Scientology has become under David Miscavige, well, that could be convenient too I guess.

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

I don't think that is what she wanted to hear, LOL

MarkStark
MarkStark

The son-of-a-psych should call his book about ex-members: Scientology's Lying Psycho Apostates, using the unofficial ecclesiastical term the "church" uses for Rathbun, and pretty much anyone who leaves and speaks out.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

If you aren't a Scientologist, then you are a heretic.

And if you find yourself thinking within Scientology, you will find yourself declared a heretic.

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

As Ron said, 'Reactive minds don't have human rights'  :)

This means you

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

Actually, Mike has his parents and family in Scn in Australia, to go by his last attempt to visit his father, when he did his interview with Bryan Seymour.

However, possibly more of a problem would be, which Australian Scientology Opponents consider Mike Rinder a 'helpful and trustworthy' accomplice.

I doubt that Mike Rinder is being extorted into assisting the 'Church'.  It's his 'hat'.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

If it's weird Gods/Goddesses you're after, try Pynchon's "Against the Day." You'll hear British Imperial resistance against the "Pan Shamanic Empire" and watch the O.T.O. transformed into T.W.I.T.s.

Margaret
Margaret

JJ, I have to give you an LOL for that.  I always thought of his writing as very conversational ... and sometimes odious as well.  It certainly was prolific.

JumpigJak
JumpigJak

He really does have a distinctive, odious style of writing.  It's bad enough to spot a mile away.

Margaret
Margaret

"like everything else Hubbard wrote."

Thanks for making my point for me.

Dave
Dave

"Axioms and Logics" is utter trash, like everything else Hubbard wrote.  If "Axioms and Logics" was published under a different name, I would instantly recognize it as Hubbard because of his inability to think or write coherently.  It's just like his train wreck "All About Radiation," an incoherent book filled with uneducated and erroneous observations.

Dave
Dave

"Axioms and Logics" is utter trash, like everything else Hubbard wrote.  If "Axioms and Logics" was published under a different name, I would instantly recognize it as Hubbard because of his inability to think or write coherently.  It's just like his train wreck "All About Radiation," an incoherent book filled with uneducated and erroneous observations. 

Margaret
Margaret

danlocke wrote: "The logics make sense (to me) and I think that they would to others here, if they were offered up under a name other than Hubbard's."

I think that's a great observation dan, and a perfect example of "thought stopping".   It really works in both directions too.  The basic materials of Scientology (Logics, Axioms) do indeed stand on their own merit, and really can only be absorbed once one has dropped all the "thought stopping" mechanisms associated with them -- whether it's an aversion to Hubbard or a "must agree with it" because it was Hubbard.

Of course it's really true of any subject -- but its especially obvious with "taboo subjects" like psi research or Hubbard's core writings such as the Logics.

danlocke
danlocke

These particular materials stand on their own as sensical information of value, whether or not you have "swallowed" any other aspect of Scientology. This is an educated and articulate audience that Tony speaks to, Joe, and I doubt that any of this data is over their heads. 

In the Axioms and Logics, Ron Hubbard writes succinctly about the basic fundamentals of Scientology auditing. They are not difficult to understand. 

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

I couldn't agree more Dan.  People certainly should Google that.  But, thanks to it being 'out-gradient', I suspect their reaction to them may be different than you might expect.

Because, to swallow Scientology,  you first hve to be *trained* to swallow Scientology.

danlocke
danlocke

The logics make sense (to me) and I think that they would to others here, if they were offered up under a name other than Hubbard's. 

But, I think, most of the commenters here are too caught up in their rancor to look at anything with a Scientology label on it and see it clearly. 

I also liked one of his definitions of sanity: "The ability to recognize differences, similarities and identities."

But google to check out LRH's Scientology Axioms and Logics and check them out for yourselves. Any Scn nomenclature necessary to understanding them is defined within them.  

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

And, the lack of them is what's *really* crippling Scientology, which went so far as to invent its *own* 'logics' and condemn 'reason' as theety weety and redefine 'sanity' to mean someone who's a Scientologist :)

Honesty? Dont' get me started. Shore Story? Acceptable Truth? True For You? Reality is Agreement? ARC????

Marcobian V
Marcobian V

Stop trying to muddy the waters.  What we're saying is that some poorly understood geniuses, like Newton, have brilliant works and potentially flawed works.  You take the good with the bad. 

Hubbard, however, didn't have any brilliant works.  He wasn't a genius.  And he wasn't poorly understood... we know for a fact that he was a pathologic liar and this tainted ALL of his works.  There IS no good to take with the bad.  

Margaret
Margaret

"Thanks to Dr. Hubtard, we all understand that Hitler did what he did..."

And thanks to Newton, we all understand that alchemy is right on the money.

After all, anything Newton said or thought was of equal value and veracity as everything else.  Just like Hubbard.

Do I have that logic down right, MS?  (And no, I don't expect you to actually address the issue ... I'm sure the ad homs and weasel words will spew forth as usual, in hopes of clouding the point.)

MarkStark
MarkStark

Thanks to Dr. Hubtard, we all understand that Hitler did what he did, only because of his Body Thetan clusters, and probably several attempted coat-hanger abortions. So why study the National Socialist system and what went down in his time? He's dead, and besides the people who now condemn him and the system he created never came in contact with him.

Never mind that most of the people who came in the closest contact with Ron, later claimed he was a fraud and a con man.

Get over it! Scientology is always going to be interesting to people, because it was and is such a freak show! Can't you see the irony in Marty with his real super powerz facing off against the official OT super powerz of the Squirrel Busters? All that oppression-shattering that goes on as they each use "the tech." All the ARC they are able to establish, or the handling they do. It is a farce, and really quite fascinating.

Even if it were to crumble into a memory, people will still talk about and learn from the fraud of Scientology, much as they do Jonestown.

Let's look at the fundamentals of Scientology: Charge high prices to clear engrams and BT clusters from people, rinse and repeat until the planet is clear. Build the Space Org, and clear the Universe.

However, if Scientology itself is so riddled with corruption, deceit, over-worked/ underpaid people, dysfunction, chain-smoking, early death etc. something is terribly wrong here. I don't think it's going to work.

The planet is not going to be free of crime, poverty, illness etc by KSWing and making everyone a Scilon, getting them in for auditing. Dispose of the opposition quietly without sorrow.

That is far-fetched and insane.

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