What is Scientology?

Categories: Scientology

LRHStandard.jpg
L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology's founder
Although we've written hundreds of articles about Scientology over the years, and other news organizations have contributed hundreds more -- not to mention the numerous books, television programs, and countless websites dedicated to the subject -- without fail we regularly run into people who ask us, "Yeah, but what is Scientology?"

We can't blame them. One of Scientology's appeals is its complexity and secrecy, and it can take years to fully absorb some of its arcane concepts. So for those coming to the subject for the first time, as well as those who want a deeper understanding, we're starting off the new year with this handy guide to L. Ron Hubbard's creation. We'll introduce concepts at a basic level, and provide links to further reading. With the help of our amazing commenting community -- which includes former Scientology executives with decades of experience -- we'll all learn more about an enigmatic organization that begins another crucial year of transition.

After the jump: a science fiction writer unlocks the secrets of the human mind...


What is Scientology?

Scientology is a philosophy of the human mind that, shortly after its founding in the early 1950s, began calling itself a religion.

Today, the Church of Scientology claims upwards of 10 million members around the globe, enjoys the tax-exempt status of a religion in the United States, is opening large new facilities around the world, and is known for attracting numerous celebrities to its ranks, including Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Kirstie Alley. Scientology offers self-improvement to new members through study courses and counseling, and claims to be improving society as a whole with its outreach organizations, which include drug abuse counseling (Narconon), prison counseling (Criminon), education aids (Applied Scholastics), anti-psychiatry reform (Citizens Commission on Human Rights), and disaster relief (Scientology Volunteer Ministers).

On the other hand, several lines of evidence suggest that Scientology is actually dwindling and has probably fewer than 100,000 active members. It is fighting with numerous governments that refuse to consider it a bona fide religion, especially because its counseling and self-improvement courses -- combined with a pressure to donate even more -- end up costing members exorbitant amounts of money. Much of that cash goes to Scientology's real estate boom, which includes numerous buildings that now stand empty. Its front groups have been criticized for focusing more on recruiting for Scientology than doing good works, and even some celebrities have been jumping ship lately.

And so we arrive at one of the most basic truths in understanding Scientology: nearly every single thing about it is contested bitterly by the church and its many critics, which include former longtime members.

That disagreement also surrounds Scientology's founder, a man named L. Ron Hubbard. To the church, he is a man of mythic proportions, a larger-than-life adventurer, explorer, writer, and researcher who is responsible for the greatest scientific breakthroughs since the discovery of fire. Or there's the less romantic view of a man who exaggerated nearly everything about himself, and who was actually undistinguished in his college and military careers, and was briefly a bigamist.

Lafayette Ronald Hubbard was born in Tilden, Nebraska on March 13, 1911. In the 1930s and 1940s, he became well known as a science fiction writer for the pulps. And it was in such a magazine, Astounding Science Fiction, that he first published, in 1950, a version of Dianetics before releasing it in book form. That year, Dianetics briefly became a fad as groups around the country gathered to try out Hubbard's claims of discovering a new way of understanding the mind, a sort of talking cure to rival psychoanalysis. A few years later, after the fad had died down and Dianetics had been roundly criticized by scientists and the press, Hubbard regrouped and started over, this time calling his new enterprise "Scientology."

But after initially announcing that in Dianetics he had discovered a new "science" of the mind which promised to cure illnesses, such claims brought Hubbard under the scrutiny of the Food and Drug Administration. So in the mid-1950s Hubbard began instructing his followers to refer to Scientology as a religion, and the organization began to take on the trappings of a church.

Hubbard also gave Scientology some of the trappings of his own personal navy, as he took some of his most ardent followers to sea in the late 1960s, having found the governments of both the United States and Great Britain to be hostile. In a small armada of ships, and calling himself "Commodore," Hubbard ran Scientology's global operation from a ship in the Mediterranean, and continued to research ever more esoteric levels of spiritual insight. In 1975, Hubbard's navy invaded Florida as it moved ashore to establish a base in Clearwater, its spiritual headquarters to this day. Hubbard himself became more and more a recluse as Scientology ran into troubles with the FBI. Still fearing prosecution and in hiding, Hubbard finally died in seclusion at a California ranch in January, 1986. He was replaced as church leader by a very young man, David Miscavige, who had grown up in the religion and who runs it to this day.

Scientology reached the height of its popularity in the 1980s, and largely because of one man: Jefferson Hawkins, who oversaw the marketing of Dianetics and created a television advertising campaign which those of us who saw it remember well. Hawkins left Scientology in 2005, but few are more qualified to describe the expansion and then decline of the church's fortunes.

I asked the man who once sold Scientology to the masses to reduce it to a brief definition.

"It's a question that Scientologists themselves find difficult to answer," Hawkins replied. "When I was working on church promotion, we were trying to boil it down to something like 'answers for life' or 'knowledge for life' or 'knowledge to improve life.'

"Currently, I would probably explain it something like this: Scientology is a self-help system developed by L. Ron Hubbard from his earlier subject, Dianetics. Scientology holds that the individual is an immortal, all-powerful spirit (thetan) which is limited by the effects of past trauma, including past life experiences going back millions of years. Scientology has become increasingly controlling and in recent years has been accused of abuse, fraud and human rights violations, which has caused many members to leave the official church. Some still practice the subject as Independent Scientologists."

Further reading: [How many Scientologists are there, anyway?] [Jefferson Hawkins, the man behind the TV volcano]


What do Scientologists Believe?

Hawkins brings us to the next point: what is it that Scientologists believe? In Dianetics, Hubbard claimed that he had discovered a new way of understanding the human mind -- that previous ideas about an "unconscious" were incorrect and really didn't go far enough.

In fact, while we may not be conscious of it, or remember everything in our lives, memories -- particularly the things that we experienced which were traumatic -- are faithfully recorded in minute detail in something Hubbard called the "reactive mind."

Dianetics, Hubbard's 1950 book, focuses particularly on the trauma of childbirth. What we experienced as we developed as fetuses and then as we were delivered had a tendency to harm us for life, recorded faithfully in our reactive minds, akin to scars on our psyche -- scars Hubbard referred to as "engrams." But through the processes he had discovered in Dianetics, Hubbard claimed that his counseling techniques -- called "auditing" -- could help a subject relive those traumas and erase them, ridding the reactive mind of engrams, one after another. Auditing includes talking about these past traumas while holding the sensors of a small device called an "e-meter." The simple mechanism measures skin galvanism, but to Scientologists, the way its needle bounces while a subject talks can indicate many things about engrams and other conditions of the mind. Taken as a whole, Hubbard's processes and philosophies are called "the tech" by his adherents, and they believe that only the tech can help them undo the damage done by past traumas and tap into our true potential and experience wondrous gains in perception and intellect.

If early Dianetics counseling focused on childbirth trauma, soon Hubbard and his adherents were going back even further to find the engrams that had scarred them much earlier -- in fact, we each carry the scars of traumas that happened to us in past lives, going back eons, Scientologists believe.

Over the "whole track" of our real lives, each of us is actually a spirit that has inhabited countless different bodies and in many different places. This spirit -- called a "thetan" -- is incredibly ancient. (Actual scientists may say that our universe is only about 15 billion years old, but Scientologists talk about a universe that is trillions, even quadrillions of years old.)

When the traumas of our current and past lives have finally been swept away from our reactive minds through auditing, then we are truly "clear," and can live to our true potentials. Hubbard made fairly astounding claims for what a "clear" would experience -- total recall, raised IQ, an imperviousness to disease, even the ability to affect matter with only the mind.

But that was only the beginning. Beyond "clear," Hubbard discovered even more advanced techniques that would put a subject in closer touch with his or her thetan. These so-called "Operating Thetan" levels of advancement he developed in the late 1960s while he was sailing the Mediterranean, and are among the most controversial (and embarrassing) secrets of Scientology.

One of the people who brought those secrets to the outside world is an ex-Scientologist named Dennis Erlich.

I asked Erlich to describe for us, very briefly, the whole progression that a church member goes through, from beginner to the highest levels of Operating Thetan as Scientologists move up what they call "The Bridge to Total Freedom":

"The mental reprogramming begins with the basic courses and early one-on-one sessions," Erlich says. "These sessions train the individual to expect to have his communication, attention, and body completely controlled by the practitioner (auditor) without objecting. In later sessions, his attention is directed inwardly to parts of his so-called reactive mind. The auditor's commands guide the individual to areas which, according to the tech, release native abilities trapped in earlier unpleasant experiences that he has failed to completely 'confront.' After going through all the mental training processes, step by step, up the 'bridge' to the state of clear, one has erased the reactive mind and is returned to an 'unaberrated' state of healthy mind and body.

"Continuing up toward higher states than clear one reaches the level of Operating Thetan III, and learns that it has not been one's own reactive mind that has been causing the pain, negative emotions, or inabilities, but rather the reactive minds of the thousands and thousands of other individual spirits who are also inhabiting one's body and thinking one's thoughts. These alien spirits, one is told, were brought to Earth (then named Teegeeack) 76 million years ago by the evil galactic emperor Xenu, placed around volcanoes, blown up with hydrogen bombs and then implanted with 36 days of false memories -- including Christianity, and everything else upon which modern society is based. All human problems allegedly stem from this 'Wall of Fire' incident and the subsequent possession of humans by these 'body thetans.'

"The remainder of the 'Bridge to Total Freedom' consists of various exorcism techniques which address the health and spiritual problems inherent in alien possession."

And these techniques are not cheap. While beginners may be asked for just small amounts to take an initial communications course, upper level teachings like Operating Thetan III costs thousands of dollars per step, and can take months, even years, of auditing to achieve, also costing thousands more.

Which brings us to our next subject: The business of Scientology.

Further reading: [Scientology counseling techniques include talking to ashtrays] [A woman gets stuck on Operating Thetan VII]


Why Does Scientology Have Tax-Exempt Status?

Scientologists continue to begin their spiritual journey with Hubbard's 1950 book, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.

But if Dianetics is a "science" of mental health, and if it charges hefty fees for "technology" (counseling sessions) that it promises will raise your IQ, and if Scientology does not pray to a God or engage in "worship" or even have weekly prayer services, how does it get to call itself a religion and not a business?

In fact, for most of its existence, Scientology was considered a money-making enterprise and did not qualify for tax-exempt status under U.S. law. That changed in 1993, and the reason behind it is a fascinating story. The short version: for years, Scientology wore down the IRS with thousands of nuisance lawsuits until tax authorities simply gave in.

Since the IRS and Scientology came to that 1993 agreement, the church has, quite understandably, pointed to its tax-exempt status as the US government's acknowledgement that it is a bona fide religion. But as Ohio State University professor Hugh Urban recently asked in his excellent history, The Church of Scientology, does it make sense that a tax agency, the IRS, gets to decide what is or isn't a "religion?"

Urban points out that in 1953, as Hubbard was shifting from the early Dianetics craze and was building his new organization of Scientology, he wrote in a letter that he was interested in pursuing "the religion angle." At the time, he was feeling the heat from the FDA and the American Medical Association for his claims that auditing could cure disease. But if critics call Scientology's move from science to religion a cynical one on Hubbard's part, Urban points out that it's not so easy to say what is or isn't a religion, even with the IRS's stamp of approval. And anyway, that designation comes with its own risks:

For the Church of Scientology, the stakes in laying claim to religious status are multiple and have changed significantly over time. These have included not simply the obvious benefit of tax exemption but also protection from FDA scrutiny; control over its copyrighted and highly profitable esoteric materials such as the OT levels; legal defense in a wide array of civil and criminal court cases; recognition from the U.S. State Department; and support overseas in the face of a variety of foreign governments. But at the same time, ironically, the claim to religious status also opens the door for other groups to challenge, contest, and undermine that claim. Thus, the more Scientology insists that it is a "bona fide religion," the more the media, anticult groups, Internet activists, and ex-Scientologists can target and subvert its claim to religious status.

In fact, that's precisely been the case as Scientology's critics continually question its motives, its prices, its control over members, and even its corporate structure.

Under the 1993 agreement with the IRS, Scientology promised to keep separate its non-profit and for-profit entities (which include its publisher for Hubbard's science fiction, for example). But repeatedly, critics have used Scientology's own documents to show that the church is in violation of this agreement and that every part of its far-flung enterprise is under the dictatorial control of church leader David Miscavige.

Scientology's current, byzantine corporate structure is the product of a 1980s reorganization, and one man who helped create that structure is a former Scientologist named Larry Brennan. I asked Larry to describe, briefly, how that structure is supposed to work.

"Scientology maintains a highly complex corporate structure that makes it appear that its activities are controlled by local corporate authorities," Brennan told me. "But the real controls in Scientology often differ from the ones it presents to the public. In part this is done to spread its assets out into as many different legal entities as possible, making it more difficult for individuals or governments to get to those assets through litigation or otherwise. Another reason: it's harder to make liable the people at the top who really do control the organization."

So although Scientology appears to be a collection of many different entities, each supposedly with its own governance -- the alphabet soup gets pretty thick with names like RTC, CST, CSI, ASI, CSRT, SIRT and many, many more -- insiders say Miscavige still sits on top.

"There's no doubt in my mind that Miscavige controls it all," Brennan says. "Even after we launched CSI, RTC, CST, etc. I was at the top on the Watchdog Committee and witnessed Miscavige running things."

Former insiders say the only thing that matters is that money must flow from individual members to local "orgs" and ultimately to the international church. In order to keep that money flowing, members are constantly pressured to keep making their (increasingly expensive) steps up the "bridge," and also to make other donations for Scientology building projects.

We got a rare glimpse recently into just how much pressure is applied to average members in a blockbuster series, "The Money Machine," which appeared this November in the St. Petersburg Times. Journalists Joe Childs and Tom Tobin found that Scientology is fabulously successful at getting large sums from its members:

Scientology rings up astonishing sums: $100 million a year just from services sold in Clearwater, a minimum of $250 million since 2006 for the International Association of Scientologists, tens of millions for new church buildings called Ideal Orgs, and untold millions more from selling new volumes of church scripture.

In their series, Tobin and Childs introduced us to Hy Levy, a former "registrar" whose job was to convince his fellow church members to donate money, even when they protested and said they had no more to give. Over his 16-year career, Levy estimates that he -- on his own -- brought in more than $200 million to the church by convincing Scientologists to max out their credit cards and take additional mortgages on their homes. After finally giving up his 12-hour-a-day job, Levy says he walked away with a $500 severance check.

Which leads us to our next question: where does such dedication come from? For Scientologists, it's not really about their current leader, David Miscavige, but still about their admiration for the man they think discovered the true nature of the universe.

Further reading: [Scientology pays nearly $9 million in cash to keep a challenge to its corporate structure out of court] [An interview with Hugh Urban]



What Was L. Ron Hubbard Like?

Although Hubbard died in 1986, he is still very much in control of Scientology: all of the church's "technology" comes only from Hubbard, who is known as "Source" in church parlance. Even newer (and controversial) books put out by church leader David Miscavige that all Scientologists are expected to purchase are marketed not as the works of Miscavige himself, but as Hubbard's books which have been freed of previously undiscovered errors.

Hubbard's word is still law in Scientology. Policies that he wrote 50 years ago are still adhered to carefully. And his written works are considered so precious, the church has spent millions building special vaults in places like New Mexico, California, and now Wyoming where Hubbard's books and policy letters and lectures are stored on steel plates in titanium capsules so they can survive a nuclear holocaust.

To carry out such work, and to ensure the purity of Hubbard's vision, an inner circle of hardcore Scientologists carries out much of the crucial work that holds the organization together, as well as providing raw human labor for whatever needs to get done, no matter how menial the task. This elite corps, called the Sea Organization, or Sea Org, is made up of church members so dedicated, they are typically the children of Scientologists, recruited as teenagers (or younger), and they sign billion-year contracts, promising to work for Scientology lifetime after lifetime, and are paid about $50 a week, even when they work weeks of up to 100 hours of labor.

What kind of a person could engender that kind of loyalty and veneration, even 26 years after his death?

I decided to ask someone who actually used to work with him. Hana Whitfield sailed with Hubbard as a Sea Org member on the Apollo in the late 1960s as the ship plied the Mediterranean. She sent me these remembrances:

What was LRH like? On the outside he was charming, captivating, and attentive, and exuded a sense of a well educated authority figure who was worth listening to. As I got to know Hubbard beyond his social self, the outermost layer, I got to know a man who was both a great intellect, a fearless leader, a compassionate superior, and a truly gifted manager, as well as someone who was as deeply flawed as every other imperfect human being walking the earth.

To work with? In a word, unpredictable. I was never sure whether he appointed me to the positions I held in Scientology and the Sea Organization because he thought I could do them well, or if he simply had no one else for the job at the time. The times I was able to perform according to his standards, he was fine; if not ready with a round of applause or a commendation, he at least gave me a 'Well Done.' When I could not meet his goal for the job or project, for whatever reason -- whether it was my failure to understand what he wanted in the first place, or my inability to complete his project on time -- he either distanced himself from me or had a shouting and crying temper tantrum. In all honesty, I must say that with me, the last occurred infrequently; many others were far less fortunate. I can see that during the years I worked with Hubbard, I was on constant alert for his next uproar, and constantly in some degree of fear that it would not be about me.

To talk to? Always fascinating and educational. Hubbard had his favorites, and they changed frequently. As one executive or crew member fell out of favor, another would take that spot. It was inevitable; not one of us could have met Hubbard's complex demands all the times, demands that themselves changed with the shifting political and ethical situations Hubbard was constantly creating. In the first year of the Sea Org, Hubbard spoke with me personally and helpfully several times, and I was deeply touched by his focus and interest. It strengthened my belief that he was who he claimed to be, the returned savior of this earth, and that belief held me in the Sea Org later on far beyond the time I should have left. Later on, he spoke to me less frequently, and only about my job. In group settings, though, Hubbard let himself go. He talked expansively and forever, cracking jokes and wandering off into topics that had nothing to do the subject at hand.

What was it like to sail with LRH? In the first year of the Sea Org, sailing with Hubbard was a huge, exciting adventure. He was mostly relaxed and happy, talking openly and joking with crew during or after work hours, and frequently sharing a bottle of wine, or two, in the evenings on deck as he spoke about other races in distant constellations and his awe inspiring goals for the Sea Organization. Yes, he had shouting tantrums during the Avon River refit in Las Palmas, and during the first voyage into the Mediterranean, but they were few and far between, and we, the crew, enjoyed a slice of life that I think few have experienced -- the sheer joy and thrill of traveling in close quarters with someone we revered, and who we knew held us close in a personal way that spanned generations. I know I will not experience anything like that again. It was the glue that held us together as times worsened down the line.

Charismatic, unpredictable, a raconteur, a recluse, a man generous with praise, a tyrant. Hubbard was all of these things.

He was also a product of his time. As Professor Urban showed so well in his recent history of the church, to understand Scientology, it's important to put it in the context of the times in which it was born -- the Cold War, and in an America hopped up on paranoia.

That's reflected in Hubbard's policies regarding the control of members and dealing with critics that, over the decades, have earned Scientology a reputation as a litigious, vengeful, and vindictive organization.

In recent months, we've been paying close attention to how these policies, written half a century ago, are still affecting Scientologists today:

Disconnection: When Scientologists give up the church or fall out of favor in other ways, they may be excommunicated by being declared "suppressive persons" or "SPs." Other Scientologists are then required to cut off all ties from the declared SP, even if that means splitting up families. A mother may literally be instructed to "disconnect" from a child if that child has been declared an SP, or vice versa. Although Scientology executives have denied that this practice goes on, we have recently published an audiotape, secretly recorded, of a high church official explaining to a former member, in danger of being declared, that he will lose all contact with his own mother and brother.

Fair Game: Although Scientology claims that Hubbard cancelled this policy in the 1960s, it's clear that he only canceled the use of the words "Fair Game" to describe the elaborate programs of retaliation that the church visits on its perceived enemies. This summer, we witnessed a fairly astounding case of Fair Game as an intimidation squad descended on the home of ex-Scientology executive Marty Rathbun to "make his life a living hell."

The RPF: Sea Org members who fall out of favor are sent to a kind of prison detail that the church claims is just a sort of religious retreat. But every ex-Scientologist we have talked to who experienced it describes the RPF as anything but voluntary, a miserable exercise in being shunned, forced to do hard labor, and a humiliating experience under extreme physical hardship. Working one's way out of the RPF, which used to take months, now takes years.

And more... 2011 turned out to be an especially difficult one for Scientology, as we learned that the federal government had become interested (for a time, anyway), in allegations of underage, sub-minimum-wage labor and forced abortions in the Sea Org and other complaints about the way Scientology workers are treated. We reported dramatic stories of escape from the organization, and we expect similar revelations to continue in the new year.

If you've kept up with us so far in this introduction, you've been exposed to some of the most bedrock concepts in understanding Scientology:

-- Hubbard as "Source," even 26 years after his death
-- David Miscavige's total control of Scientology's elaborate structure
-- Scientologists progress through levels of training that become increasingly expensive
-- Scientology is consumed with taking money from its members in large amounts
-- Each of us has an ancient "thetan" that has inhabited countless earlier bodies
-- Parasitic "body thetans" that only advanced Scientologists learn about must be removed through exorbitantly expensive processing, something akin to Catholic exorcism
-- The "whole track" is trillions of years and you will live countless times, so you and your current problems are insignificant -- therefore, give up everything you have for the ultimate goal of "clearing the planet"

There are many more facets to Scientology, its technology, its organizations, its history, and its controversies. Here at the Voice, we treat the church as a moving story, and one we try to write about every day.

Use this link to see what we've written about Scientology most recently.

Or keep an eye out for our regular features...

We start off the week with Sunday Funnies, and publish Scientology's most recent fundraising mailers that have been leaked to us.

Every Thursday, we do a roundup of stories from around the world, gathering Scientology's "stats" before the Thursday 2 pm deadline -- just as Scientologists do.

Fridays in 2012, we're posting excerpts from previously unpublished dispatches that L. Ron Hubbard wrote while sailing the Apollo in the Mediterranean between 1968 and 1971.

And every Saturday morning, we gather the week's best comments from our illustrious commenting community.

We also announce every new story at our Twitter account and on our Facebook author page. We hope you can become a part of our ongoing project.



See also:
What Katie is saving Suri from: Scientology interrogation of kids
Scientology's new defections: Hubbard's granddaughter and Miscavige's dad
Tom Cruise's former auditor: "He should let Katie have everything"
Secrets of Scientology marriage counseling: "What have you done to Tom?"
Scientology's disgrace: our open letter to Tom Cruise
Scientology president's son dies; Death of Alex Jentzsch kept from mother



**********
Tony Ortega has been the editor in chief of the Village Voice since March, 2007. He started writing about Scientology in 1995. You can reach him by e-mail at tortega@villagevoice.com, and if you ask nicely he'll put you on his mailing list for notifications of new stories. You can also catch his alerts at Twitter (@VoiceTonyO), at his Facebook author page, on Pinterest, a Tumblr, and even this new Google Plus doohickey.

New readers might want to check out our primer, "What is Scientology?" Another good overview is our series from last summer, "Top 25 People Crippling Scientology." At the top of every story, you'll see the "Scientology" category which, if you click on it, will bring up all of our most recent stories.

As for hot subjects we've covered here, you may have heard about Debbie Cook, the former church official who rebelled and was sued by Scientology. You might have also heard about the Super Power Building, Scientology's "Mecca," whose secrets were revealed here. We also reported how Scientology spied on its own most precious object, Tom Cruise. (We wrote Tom an open letter that he has yet to respond to.) Have you seen a Scientology ad on TV lately? We debunked some of the claims in that 2-minute commercial you might have seen while watching Glee or American Idol.

Other stories have looked at Scientology's policy of "disconnection" that is tearing families apart. You may also have heard something about the Sea Org experiences of the Paris sisters, Valeska and Melissa, and their friend Ramana Dienes-Browning. We've also featured Paulette Cooper, who wrote about Scientology back in the day, and Janet Reitman, Hugh Urban, and the team at the Tampa Bay Times, who write about it today. And there's plenty more coming.


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87 comments
mooser42001
mooser42001

<i>"exorbitantly expensive processing, something akin to Catholic exorcism"</i>

Please be careful. If I am not mistaken, exorcisms are, when determined to be necessary, a free service. At most, a minimal donation is requested to cover expenses. 

mooser42001
mooser42001

Oh for Gawd's sake, I thought we had done with those Hubbard idiots.  I admire him for developing a particularly tasty and long-storing strain of squash, but really, that's about it.

TeegeeackKorgo
TeegeeackKorgo

It would be interesting to know what a peer thought of him, like one of the other SF writers from the 1940's, rather than someone in the organization that considered him a demigod.

Suke Madiq
Suke Madiq

Hubbard was a crazy bastard that died with advance syphilis.

Clam On A Halfshell
Clam On A Halfshell

So did Crowley. Hubbard was Parsons' disciple, as Parsons was Crowley's. A bad tree cannot produce good fruit.

Clam On A Halfshell
Clam On A Halfshell

'Sanity and reason' do not apply to anything where $cientology is concerned. 

Clam On A Halfshell
Clam On A Halfshell

So why the razor wire fence on both sides of Int Base? Why the guard towers? Why the blow drills? We all know they exist.  It's as free as North Korea.

Clam On A Halfshell
Clam On A Halfshell

Ohai, OSAbot! Human rights abuses aren't cool. Using children as slave labor in your 'Cadet Org' is not cool. Forcing families to "disconnect" from one another is NOT COOL.  Unfortunately, I fear that you are too programmed to think that you are 'clearing the planet' to understand a word I'm saying. 

Cara
Cara

Can people really be so stupid as to buy into this shite? Scientology is nothing more than a money making Ponzi scheme for David Miscavage. BTW, Dave... Where did you bury your wife, Sherry?

Jw000
Jw000

What Tony Orega or any others who counter Ron's "Church of the Crossed Out Cross" or "Church of Satanology" if you want to be factual REALLY IS might not know is that THEY WILL PUT A GUY or GIRL on your staff or in the phone company or Gov agency, or cell phone Co and gather data.. no change since GO bust ... Getting caught is the sin only.. but maybe as in the Matrix they are the Saviours or the foolish, tricked and deceived followers of a Classic Evil enemy of humans.. Satan.. (formerly Lucifer .. God's pal). Hubbard explains in Technique 88 that Lying is the only way to Control people and he sure did and might be right. .. requires a multilevel high intellect to get sensitive data and dig it. Yes the multi-dimensional outside Soviet type invasion might soon come as a Second Coming of Christ ..OR those cats might be coming to stop all the violence lying and B.S going on here since we got the Nukes. OR it is a reverse vector of the reverse vectors  and classic religion fears (sans boring old speak and poetic torture and interp on every line ...) might be true. Maybe Hubbard ..like any hippie or messiah HAD to constantly take drugs to keep him in touch with his Red Hair Angel ROAN in times he couldnt .. anything goes to keep the comm line up in the Matrix to NEO eh. OR ABSOLUTE LIE TO TRAP SOULS IN THE MATRIX OF THE" DEVIL" ...the physical universe. Well as Ronnie said it is all a game and if you know the Theta-MEST theory ...CRAP THIS IS ONLY A MOVIE FOR THE GODS MAN AND YOU ARE THE PLAYERS! Limp, limp. they have important bets on this round so be a good actor!

  (and I am continuing to logically looking whether this pretty clear observation is "good" or "bad" for REALLY helping and freeing beings. Mr Hubbard might have had the moxie to tackle in this proven SOLID PHYSICAL UNIVERSE MATRIX. ( Spoke with a Psychic here in London for 60 pounds and it was Dad for sure.. can't fool me.. answers were exact)  SO the question IS are the gods FUCKING WITH US OR WHAT?

parvent
parvent

To be fair to Dennis Erlich, he was the first to post whole copyrighted materials, claimed to be trade secrets, illegally on the Internet. By doing so he also dragged two Internet service providers into the subsequent lawsuit from Scientology, that Erlich later lost. It cost him $69,000.http://www.scribd.com/doc/10096653/Sc..., Gerry Armstrong says that the first to publish the OT3 material was New Yorker Robert Kaufman in 1970, in his book on Scientology. He managed to do it in such a way that it didn't break the law.Then in 1977 the Philadelphia Inquirer posted the Xenu story in its newspaper.In 1984 Robert Welkos and Joel Sappell published the Xenu story again, in the Los Angeles Times.Both of these newspaper articles observed fair use exceptions to the copyright laws.Dennis Erlich was the first to post on the Internet wholesale copyright infringements of the church's secret Scriptures, its intellectual property.Many people feel that the real targets in these actions were the two Internet service providers, that would extend to every ISP under US law; and was an attempt to shape intellectual property laws to the liking of the Scientology cult, and the Hollywood music and movie industries.In this, the attempt failed. We now have a "safe harbor provision" in today's copyright laws, protecting Internet innovation, and enabling user input into such networks as Facebook, search engines like Google, and video services like YouTube. If not for these safe harbor provisions, these services could not have existed today due to the tremendous liability risks without these provisions.

Lionthrax
Lionthrax

Interesting. You've written a long and extensive intro but have learned nothing from the information. How you write it shows that you don't want to know or understand, and yet we both know the problems of the minds' ability to reason well underpin all the ills of society.

Scientology has answers to people's questions and difficulties in life but you denigrate the subject and the founder while 'introducing' it. So, you aren't unbiased and obviously hate the subject.

What happened?

The Scientologist
The Scientologist

Tony, RPF is technically and legally "voluntary". Anyone who claims it isn't, well then, ask them if anyone put a gun to their head.

You realize that if RPF was forced, then people like Rathbun, Rinder, Cook, Hawkins, Scobee, and all the other high level people who left, wouldn't have been able to leave?? And these people were at Int, where they make it incredibly difficult for people to just get up and leave. They will say and do whatever they can to make you stay and do the RPF, but they cannot "force" you to do stay in the Sea Org or do the RPF. Just like nobody can force you to join the Sea Org in the first place.

It works like this. You are charged with some "high crime" and are given a "Committee of Evidence" and are found guilty and everything, rightly or wrongly. So they give you two options: either do the RPF or route out. Most people route out (leave) the Sea Org. That is a cold hard fact. Most people are not stupid or crazy enough to do the RPF, unless they felt they did something wrong and needed to "rehab" themselves, like if someone actually did commit adultery, or something like that. When someone gets RPFed, it's usually either due to adultery or due to the whims of a high level exec (for example, if Miscavige wants you RPFed, doesn't matter if you even did anything to deserve such a fate, you will get RPFed no matter what - it can be a totally arbitrary thing).

Like I said, at Int if you tell them to fuck off and want to leave instead of doing the RPF they will try to stand in your way and guilt you into staying and talk about how huge your freeloader's debt is going to be and so on. The primary tactic they use against you to keep you from routing out of the Sea Org and going through with the RPF is guilt. They assume, of course, that your "eternity" and ability to "go up the Bridge" is still of supreme importance, and they use that as the bait & switch of keeping you in.

But not a lot of people are willing to undergo RPF. When you hear about all these people in "The Hole", if they wanted to leave, they could do so. All these other people I mentioned earlier left (obviously!) and they've even written books about their experiences. Miscavige is crazy, but he's not stupid. Using physical force (like forced imprisonment) to keep someone from leaving the Sea Org would attract a ridiculous amount of attention from law enforcement. Hemet isn't L.A. That's Riverside County, and a whole different ballgame than L.A.. Cops over there don't really take kindly to the coercion tactics employed by Int security.

So, it's true they use psychological warfare to keep you in line and keep you in the Sea Org and to get you to do the RPF, but to say that you have to do it is simply not true. If you want to leave, you leave. If RPF wasn't voluntary, if they were "forcing" people to do it instead of route out of the Sea Org, you wouldn't be reading letters from Cook and reading books by people like Marc Headley and Jefferson Hawkins and all these other people.

Those people escaped, but what they escaped from was not so much a physical prison, but a psychological one. In the Sea Org, you make yourself a prisoner. You make the choice to keep yourself in prison. It all comes down to indoctrination. Some people are able to let go of such indoctrination. People keep asking where is Heber or Shelly or this person or that person? They're all there. They're all still indoctrinated. They're still keeping themselves in prison. And unless they decide to wake up and make the choice to leave the ridiculousness, they're going to die in there.

Jens Tingleff
Jens Tingleff

Lovely article! And some excellent sources - good to hear from Dennis again :)

If this article doesn't get as much attention as it deserves right now, it's just because current events are temporarily fascinating. In time, this article will continue to be a useful guide (and is already being quoted by other media, or so I'm told).

Gerrand
Gerrand

As we know Mr. Hubbard is the only one allowed to be CRITICAL, but let me violate that a little.I have my own insights and cognitions unique to me regarding him and his efforts. Some listed as follows. I am not a bible thumper! Just looking and knowing. YEAH YEAH I know you NYers think any such areas are passe.. but that's his how it is done now... No need for world war conquest  for enslavement!Of course if you are doing his bridge to total enslavement (true.. sorry ..higher you go more trapped and controlled) and you cannot do any real study of the opposition works and sort the truth as you like or be most likely banned from the secret data that will make you the god you wish to be again and so the blinders are fixed and dare not be removed! They are not stupid, just hooked and gullible due to various wins they have experienced. He was shown many things in his communing with "a higher force" let us say. Signed on the dotted line, quite high on his many strange drugs he was taught to use to do this. He was a do as thou wilt kinda guy in the extreme in his black magick beliefs. He sold his soul for this and was assigned to capture more ..ESPECIALLY a S.O. Billion Year Contract with the Devil (Help "Ron" clear the world (CRACK OPEN SOULS.. SEE LRH, Jr exposes)....mostly the innocent, gullible types of all kinds. Typical tricks and lies of the great deceiver... don't worry it was a fake contract .. you did not know! Legally non-binding in the Spirit Courts!

He willfully violated the 7 deadly sins (google um) as part of his daily way most violently. Read the WELL researched history of his Missippi of lies about himself and compare to the 7.1. PRIDE:EXCESSIVE BELIEF IN ONE'S OWN ABILITIES, THAT INTERFERES WITH THE  INDIVIDUAL'S RECOGNITION OF  THE GRACE OF GOD. IT HAS BEEN CALLED THE SIN FROM WHICH ALL OTHERS ARISE! ALL RON ALL DAY MAN!2. ENVY:  IS THE DESIRE FOR OTHER'S TRAITS, STATUS, ABILITIES, OR SITUATION. LIE LIE LIE to put yourself above all! Create evil enemies to account for any complainers or attacks or exposers of PROVEN LIES KIDS! Real HONEST GURUS DO NOT NEED TO INDULGE IN SUCH CONSTANT B.S.!RONNIE was quite jealous of all those writers who didn't write Junk.Anyone starts to make a splash around him.. use him up and Crash .. Overboard into the water! John McMaster made the fatal error of booming ST HILL from 6 to 116 staff with all his preaching .. the Pope of Scientology ..World's First Queer Clear. A serene man I knew a bit. Got all these big writers in and celebs boomed .. got the Beatles to St Hill for a bit I heard while at the London org. Then trapped on a Ship he's degraded and thrown overboard in 5 felony attacks for minor offenses ...like seeing the Commodore's Massive chest of drugs maybe? Ottos Roos reports Rock Slams and nasty needles on Hubbard and OVERBOARD until you blow!3.GLUTTONY: is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requiresBecame quite fat and ugly and rotting lower teeth as seen in the not staged You Tube 1968 Interview with L. Ron Hubbard. Terrible TR 0 ..look away lie .. blink, blink .. then quick into fake valence of his black magick affirmations! ALL THOSE DRUGS AND BOOZE IN EXCESS! The Vodka and Coke, the Wine and Rum and Champange. None for the crew.. but do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law .. FOR YOU ONLY! 4.LUST:See his history ..when he was not impotent here and there. Could put the intoxicants here too more likely.

5.ANGER: is manifested in the person who spurns love and opts for Fury known as Wrath.

He did it and terrorized his close victims and kids . we all know and DM copy-cats it.

6. GREED: .. No need to comment at all.

7. SLOTH: Avoidance of physical work or spiritual work.

Well he never dug any ditches at St Hill like MRinder or swabbed the decks matey but sure worked hard on trapping souls to worship HIM alone as the puppet controlled by Lucifer... in the name of freeing them of course!!!

IF he REALLY was the great messiah he would have stopped this crap LONG ago, but his "God" was the Dark Lord of Light and Enlightenment.. God's old fav. All the embarrassing, easily proven lies proves he was Channeling the Sith Lord, Voldemort kinda stuff. Along with the Destroy and Hate your enemies game he forced his fools/slaves engage in.  These are real games going on in this game man.His flock have these one or more of these 7 flaws going to various degrees or they would not have found him. Most here in the Physical U.  have them or the would not be here in this sort of Purgatory. He put on a face for his admiring flock who saw him as the savior of the universe. (by assembling an army to destroy it and get back at God).  Many would rationalize this as good, to destroy the evil MEST universe "trap", when you get to the top after being stripped of all religion and only worship the only real Scientology 8th Dynamic .. L. Ron Hubbard /ie Lucifer cum Satan's last puppet. (see old OT 8 where the REAL...TRUTH REVEALED was... not some lame crap somebody made up to stop the pissed off levelers from blowing: Reading the goofy History of Man from LRH, Jrs imagination with the hoaxed Piltdown man still in there!  Then checking which past life you believed in auditing was really real... come ON..... The New OT 8 SECRET LEVEL!! Toe the line you will never be allowed to fake some more wins! HEY when I was 21 in 1966 OT 8 on the Grad Chart was TOTAL CAUSE OVER MATTER ENERGE SPACE AND TIME! Now that was GOD man... PRIDE! the first and formost causing all the rest Deadly sin! I am now thinking some of these classic notions in the Bible have merit!

The weak and lying Hubbard was just the latest in the line to be so possessed and controlled. As we know Mr. Hubbard is the only one allowed to be CRITICAL, but let me violate that a little.I have my own insights and cognitions unique to me regarding him and his efforts. Some listed as follows. Of course if you are doing his bridge to total enslavement (true.. sorry ..higher you go more trapped and controlled) and you cannot do any real study of the opposition works and sort the truth as you like or be most likely banned from the secret data that will make you the god you wish to be again and so the blinders are fixed and dare not be removed! They are not stupid, just hooked and gullible due to various wins they have experienced. He was shown many things in his communing with "a higher force" let us say. Signed on the dotted line, quite high on his many strange drugs he was taught to use to do this. He was a do as thou wilt kinda guy in the extreme in his black magick beliefs. He sold his soul for this and was assigned to capture more ..ESPECIALLY a S.O. Billion Year Contract with the Devil (Help "Ron" clear the world (CRACK OPEN SOULS.. SEE LRH, Jr exposes)....mostly the innocent, gullible types of all kinds. Typical tricks and lies of the great deceiver... don't worry it was a fake contract .. you did not know! Legally non-binding in the Spirit Courts!

He willfully violated the 7 deadly sins (google um) as part of his daily way most violently. Read the WELL researched history of his Missippi of lies about himself and compare to the 7.1. PRIDE:EXCESSIVE BELIEF IN ONE'S OWN ABILITIES, THAT INTERFERES WITH THE  INDIVIDUAL'S RECOGNITION OF  THE GRACE OF GOD. IT HAS BEEN CALLED THE SIN FROM WHICH ALL OTHERS ARISE! ALL RON ALL DAY MAN!2. ENVY:  IS THE DESIRE FOR OTHER'S TRAITS, STATUS, ABILITIES, OR SITUATION. LIE LIE LIE to put yourself above all! Create evil enemies to account for any complainers or attacks or exposers of PROVEN LIES KIDS! Real HONEST GURUS DO NOT NEED TO INDULGE IN SUCH CONSTANT B.S.!RONNIE was quite jealous of all those writers who didn't write Junk.Anyone starts to make a splash around him.. use him up and Crash .. Overboard into the water! John McMaster made the fatal error of booming ST HILL from 6 to 116 staff with all his preaching .. the Pope of Scientology ..World's First Queer Clear. A serene man I knew a bit. Got all these big writers in and celebs boomed .. got the Beatles to St Hill for a bit I heard while at the London org. Then trapped on a Ship he's degraded and thrown overboard in 5 felony attacks for minor offenses ...like seeing the Commodore's Massive chest of drugs maybe? Ottos Roos reports Rock Slams and nasty needles on Hubbard and OVERBOARD until you blow!3.GLUTTONY: is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requiresBecame quite fat and ugly and rotting lower teeth as seen in the not staged You Tube 1968 Interview with L. Ron Hubbard. Terrible TR 0 ..look away lie .. blink, blink .. then quick into fake valence of his black magick affirmations! ALL THOSE DRUGS AND BOOZE IN EXCESS! The Vodka and Coke, the Wine and Rum and Champange. None for the crew.. but do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law .. FOR YOU ONLY! 4.LUST:See his history ..when he was not impotent here and there. Could put the intoxicants here too more likely.

5.

IF he REALLY was the great messiah he would have stopped this crap LONG ago, but his "God" was the Dark Lord of Light and Enlightenment.. God's old fav. All the embarrassing, easily proven lies proves he was Channeling the Sith Lord, Voldemort kinda stuff. Along with the Destroy and Hate your enemies game he forced his fools/slaves engage in.  These are real games going on in this game man.His flock have these one or more of these 7 flaws going to various degrees or they would not have found him. Most here in the Physical U.  have them or the would not be here in this sort of Purgatory. He put on a face for his admiring flock who saw him as the savior of the universe. (by assembling an army to destroy it and get back at God).  Many would rationalize this as good, to destroy the evil MEST universe "trap", when you get to the top after being stripped of all religion and only worship the only real Scientology 8th Dynamic .. L. Ron Hubbard /ie Lucifer cum Satan's last puppet. (see old OT 8 where the REAL...TRUTH REVEALED was... not some lame crap somebody made up to stop the pissed off levelers from blowing: Reading the goofy History of Man from LRH, Jrs imagination with the hoaxed Piltdown man still in there!  Then checking which past life you believed in auditing was really real... come ON..... The New OT 8 SECRET LEVEL!! Toe the line you will never be allowed to fake some more wins! HEY when I was 21 in 1966 OT 8 on the Grad Chart was TOTAL CAUSE OVER MATTER ENERGE SPACE AND TIME! Now that was GOD man... PRIDE! the first and formost causing all the rest Deadly sin! I am now thinking some of these classic notions in the Bible have some real merit in the life now.

The weak and lying Hubbard was just the latest in the line to be so possessed and controlled.

Jgg
Jgg

  Has anyone noticed the inconsistency here: our problems are caused by early, traumatic experienes; no, by pre-natal experiences; no, by past-life experiences; no, by thetans of dead aliens which still exist in this life.

  Writers HAVE noticed the unoriginality of the engram and e-meter (Jung called them abreaction and the Wheatstone bridge), auditing and past life recollection (it's called past life regression in psychotherapy), and even the word "scientology" itself ("scientologie" was a term used by Ayan nation supporters).  Hindus believe in reincarnation, as do other religions. 

Yasssa
Yasssa

Thank you. It was very enlightening.

Lan
Lan

my friendis a 27 years old doctor,mature and beautiful. and now she is seeking a good man who can give her real love, so she got a sername Andromeda2002 on  Agedate.СòM, a nice and free place for younger women and older men,or older women and younger men, to interact with each other.Maybe you wanna check out or tell your friends.

TDKS FBT
TDKS FBT

  Abstract: Scientology is a bunch of crap and a dangerous cult which should not have tax-exempt status.

AlexM
AlexM

What is Scientology?

I asked that question many times when I was a member. People would ask me that question and my favourite answer was"It's kind of like a toolbox of knowledge." Really, past Scientologist me, what exactly is a toolbox of knowledge anyway? Not my best work.

Jeff Hawkins' explanation of what Scientology is was pure gold. I'd only addthat since the goals of Dianetics and Scientology can never and will never be achieved,one is only donating to, participating in and working for a bureaucracy, one whichmatches up to the stellar levels of incompetence practiced by many past and presentregimes. Scientology is as frustrating as a Trebant and most days I would have been happiertrying to open a bank account in Communist Poland.

The saddest part about the whole Scientology thing for me is while Ican’t stand her work and am not a follower by any means, Ayn Rand starts tomake a little sense as do I wonder if people can to actually be totally selfless. But oh well, I'm free from the Co$ and that's all that matters.

Happy 2012!

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

This should be really helpful to the general readership of the Village Voice who might not know what Scientlogy is beyond the insanity we know it creates in the lives of its members. 

I don't know where you find the time to be the Editor In Chief and manage to write great works like this and the many others you've put out this past week but its much appreciated.

Kate Bornstein
Kate Bornstein

Fair and balanced, and culled from some awesome sources. Thanks very much, Mister Tony. I plan to point a whole lot of people in the direction of this post of yours. (although I'm even more enamored of touretzky's 5-step reduction in this comments section) 

Jefferson Hawkins
Jefferson Hawkins

Tony, not to nitpick, but my original e-mail to you said "Scientology holds that the individual is an immortal, all-powerful spirit (thetan)" and you quoted me as saying "Scientology holds that the individual contains an immortal, all-powerful spirit (thetan)." I am not a Scientologist any more, but this difference between "is a spirit" and "contains a spirit" is key to Scientology beliefs. One would accurately say that a Scientologist believes that they are an immortal spirit, and that things like body and mind are transitory. Many Eastern philosophies believe something similar.

California
California

One of the challenges that Scientology, as it is currently constructed and operated, presents is its attempts to disseminate into the public education sector, without giving full disclosure to an unsuspecting and (formerly) naive public and getting paid with public education monies to do so.

Beginning with the placement (2001-2005) of Scientologist John Danielson as Chief of Staff to Secretary of Education Rod Paige, under George W. Bush, public education saw a proliferation of Narconon Drug Education in California (and other states) public and charter schools.  The SF Chronicle covered this in 12 articles in 2004-2005.  (You can look it up in the archives section.) As soon as the California Dept. of Education came out with a finding against recommending Narconon Drug Education (go to CDE web-site) in Feb. 2005, those concerned with SCN's proliferation of programs into public education began noting that Applied Scholastics was receiving tax-payer monies from a variety of states through the now discredited Supplemental Educational Services program, under the Bush/Paige/Danielson era NCLB Title 1.  The AS "tutors" (and everyone else "tutoring" under the SES program) were receiving between $30-$80 per student per hour.  This transfer of monies from the public education sector to the private sector amounted to between $600-$800 million per year, according to the current Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who is permitting states to disengage through a waiver program. 

There is no data available to the public, yet, on which programs received how much money and when.

As public educators were discovering and dealing with this Scientology intrusion, several were and still are targeted by SCN and one is still on the RFW.

This is wrong.

Guest
Guest

Great way to start off the new year.  A scientology primer. 

2011 was a year of significant revelations, not exclusive to scientological eruptions.2012 therefore promises to be a year of upheaval and change.  People are getting tired of being merely pissed off.  Scientology likely to get swept up in it all simply because all things economic will be the focal point, the vortex that spits out many harmful laws and rules dreamt up by madmen and greedy aliens. Well, if not aliens,  not humane either.

Now that the  Decade of Scams has been exposed to the light,  I see Hubbard's last straggling pods shriveling up and dying on the vine.  The few  (I have figured more in the 15,000 range) left at this point,  under reported conditions of escalated insanities and financial rape,  in my mind are past the point of any hope of waking up. 

New mommas will now know to teach their pups to look both ways when crossing the street, learn their ABC's,  eat their veggies, read Ortega's Blogs, and  Don't Sleep with Pods. 

 

Chuck Beatty
Chuck Beatty

Outstanding summary.   Particularly Hana Whitfield's comments on Hubbard, which are likely the best staff viewpoint details ever written about Hubbard!   I urge the Wikipedia editors to draw from this article.   thanks again for even taking the time to get the Scientology Hubbard story!Chuck Beatty

dennis l erlich
dennis l erlich

Sweet Jesus, Tony.  What does it take to spell my name right??  Get a friggin proof-reader!

Skwerl King
Skwerl King

Hawkins volcano commercial actually convinced me to purchase a copy of Dianteics in the 1980s. I was in my 20s and interested in psychology, effectiveness and influence. The commercial stated something like "the road map of the human mind." I started reading it with an open mind. Got about 1/4 way through and said to myself: this is bullshit and tossed it into the trash can sitting next to my desk.

Robert Peterson
Robert Peterson

Sometimes we can tell a lot about a person's life by looking at the way they died. Howard Hughes is a good example of this. He had wealth and power yet he died an unkempt recluse. I think a comparison between L. Ron Hubbard and Howard Hughes would be particularly apt as they shared some common traits although I would say that Hughes fared much better in history than Hubbard.

Both men were paranoid to say the least although Hubbard at least could claim some very good reasons as to why he went into hiding and stayed there. The IRS and the attorneys for Tanya Burden, (and others) would have dearly loved to have subpoenaed him. His fear of courts led him to play a very mean and cowardly part in the "Snow White," fiasco. This operation, which he planned and was to benefit only L. Ron Hubbard, led to the arrest of his wife. Where was this "war hero," when his wife was hauled into court for following his orders? He abandoned Mary Sue to an ignominious term in prison.

Throughout his life Hubbard regularly shed his friends, top aids and family At the end only a very few people even knew where he was; some thought him dead. I think that I can say without any serious contradiction that his Christmas card list was rather short. Sure, money poured into his bank accounts until the day that he died. But for all of his millions he had not a single loved one to hold his hand when he gave up the ghost. Is that any way to die? Better yet, was that any way to live?

touretzky
touretzky

Scientology condensed into 5 easy steps:

1. Raw meat level: self help / personal efficiency courses to get you in the door and put you at ease with the "org" and its jargon.2. Dianetics: you need therapy for all the bad things that happened to you in life, starting at conception.3. Scientology: you're an immortal spiritual being, and you need therapy for all the bad things that happened in all your previous lives, too. Higher rates apply.4. Operating thetan levels 3-7: you're possessed by the spirits of murdered space aliens called "body thetans", and they need therapy too. Bad news: they have no money, so YOU have to pay. Secrecy and higher rates apply; magical powers are promised if you persevere.5. Suppressive person declare: you realize you've been scammed. You have no magical powers, no one else does either, and it's time to close your checkbook and get the hell out.

I've used this formulation in a bunch of radio interviews. It's very effective.

mooser42001
mooser42001

<i>"It would be interesting to know what a peer thought of him,"</i>

Obviously, LRon Hubbards greatest skill was in sifting his relationships so he had no "peers".   Every person around him had some sort of dependent relationship.

Pcgirl76
Pcgirl76

The Gods are pretty bored with us...lately... Watching all these amazing WWII documentarys on cable from the BBC IN COLOUR and they sure had fun with THAT ONE MAN .. the man by woman and details REALLY KICKED ASS on those human matrix characters....Hitler and his crew and the Axis Crew put up a pretty great show VWD! Kicked there butts ....Not expected!

Lionthrax
Lionthrax

Well, you and I have had vastly different experiences if you truly were in the SO. The truth is that people stay because they both know Scientology works and believe in the purpose of the organization. It is the ultimate goal which they work towards.

Perhaps you have forgotten, but reading the news each day reminds me how much we need just a bit more sanity and reason in all our lives.

LaniHL5
LaniHL5

Lyrics to Fire :

Yeah as in THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN .. TRUTH REVEALED!

I am the god of hell fire and I bring you: Fire I'll take you to burn. Fire I'll take you to learn. I'll see you burn! You fought hard and you saved and learned but all of it's going to burn. And your mind your tiny mind you know you've really been so blind. Now's your time burn your mind. You're falling far too far behind. Oh no oh no oh no you gonna burn! Fire to destroy all you've done. Fire to end all you've become. I'll feel your burn! You've been living like a little girl in the middle of your little world. and your mind your tiny mind you know you've really been so blind. Nows your time burn your mind you're falling far too far behind. Oohhh Fire I'll take you to burn. Fire I'll take you to learn. You gonna burn ... burn ... burn ...burn ... burn ... burn Fire I'll take you to burn. Fire I'll take you to learn. Fire I'll take you to bed

Leo65
Leo65

Great stuff .. I agree ..but looks like you did some copy and paste errors man... locked browser bug?

TonyOrtega
TonyOrtega

That was a misguided attempt on the part of someone who actually has a fondness for his own meat body and doesn't have any truck for this soul or spirit nonsense to make things understandable to similarly-minded individuals. I have changed that back, JH.

T

Kate Bornstein
Kate Bornstein

Thanks, Jeff. Yep, the "contains" thing had me puzzled. The big hook for me back in 1970, when I was fresh out of college and face to face with my gender quandary was the notion that I was in fact an immortal spiritual being—a thetan, if you will—and as such, I have no gender. Gender is for bodies. I still believe that. Well, not the thetan part, but the rest. Glad you clarified this, Jeff—it was key to my twelve years of service. xox Kate

Chuck Beatty
Chuck Beatty

Agreed.

The Xenu story, embarrassing and science fictionesque as it is,  explains why Hubbard came up with the high volume exorcism procedures Hubbard numbered "upper levels" 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, today.

Since Hubbard left them with their cone of silence, it'll be up to the outside world to keep seeing through that cone and speaking freely about the full spiritual lineup Hubbard's Scientology consists of.

The high volume dead space alien soul exorcism of "upper levels" 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 needs be included in Scientology's definition.    Scientlogists won't be mentioning this, but the public ought know that the high volume exorcism goes on for years, and takes up a major chunk of what Scientologists engage in during their "upper levels". 

Again, it's up to the outside observers and people who define and summarize Scientology to understand this, so as to correctly define Scientology.

 

Kate Bornstein
Kate Bornstein

Chuck, I'm also smitten with Hana Whitfield's narrative. I think Hubbard's charisma can be reduced to the concepts of father and daddy. He was father to the guys, and daddy to the ladies. He played those roles to the hilt. He was never anyone's friend, not that I knew of.

TonyOrtega
TonyOrtega

Ha, wouldn't you know it? I spent hours fact-checking and proofing that thing, but never thought to double-check your name. What a friggin' moron. I oughta be strung up.

However, the nice thing about a blog is that it's easy to fix. And it's fixed!

Thanks again for helping me out with that description.

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

Howard Hughes had brain damage from several plane crashes in which he was the pilot.  There is also a theory that he had tertiary syphilis.  These physical issues exacerbated his obsessive-compulsive disorder.  HH also had bad tennitus and was very hard of hearing, which made him even more reclusive.  In other words, there are definite reasons for his behavior (mostly not of his own doing).

LRH had brain damage from years of drug abuse (and died with a psych drug in his system) and was noted by family members as suffering from several forms of mental illness.  There are theories that he was sexually molested as a young teenager, but that doesn't tend to make one a recluse.  LRH's reasons for his behavior were mostly of his own doing.  

Besides, LRH wasn't nearly as intelligent as HH.  

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Thanks, Dave. People need to know the truth. I was a bit worried that some readers would not realize that Erlich's description was from a Scientology/Scientologist POV of the Bridge only.  Truth is, there are no Clears or OTs. Not per Scientology's own definitions.

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

Dr. T, don't you mean "Operating thetan levels 3-8"?  Does OTVIII not apply to this step?

Le Unc
Le Unc

You have been way too quite Dr. T. Come out to play moar often

Chuck Beatty
Chuck Beatty

Thankyou!   Wish those who were legally gagged, or otherwise lost interest in repeating themselves publicly, would at least take note of Tony's long series this past year, and take note of recent developments, and add to the history, even if they are repeating what they've told to the great critical book authors in the 1980s.

I'd love to hear Kima Douglas, Laurel Sullivan Watson, Paulette Ausley, and others' hindsight takes on Hubbard also.      Can't thank you enough also, Kate, Happy New Years.

My guess is eventually Pat Broeker will find his voice, and find an opening, and venture to comment.    Would be nice if Pat came along.

I heard Annie Broeker (Tidman) has failing health and might lose the opportunity to speak. 

Otto Roos is someone who I hope takes some time to talk publicly someday.

bobx
bobx

Your spell-check still needs work:  should be "What a friggin' maroon"

flipwilson
flipwilson

don't confuse Denis Erlich with Scientology "Charity Scammer to the Stars" Sara Ehrlich

dennis l erlich
dennis l erlich

No sweat, Tony.  I'm more than used to being dissed.  Keep up the great work!  Happy new year.

Xenu
Xenu

Personally, I found the explanations of Dennis and Dr. T to be completely compatible and consistent with each other.  Dr. T just added the punch line.

dennis l erlich
dennis l erlich

Scieno POV my ass!  What friggin rubbish.  Obviously Mary is out of her gourd and has never heard of the concept "locus of control."  (see wiki for def)  The whole idea of tek is to move the mark's locus of control over to the cult, the reactive mind and then to body thetans.  These are not scieno concepts.  

touretzky
touretzky

My understanding is that OT VIII does not involve body thetans. They're all gone by time you finish OT VII.  OT VIII is about finding out "who you really are". But people who complete OT III think the BTs are gone; then they find out on OT IV that they missed a bunch. So maybe some more BTs will show up  on OT IX, if it's ever released. But that seems increasingly unlikely.

Schockenawd
Schockenawd

...and Dennis continues to earn his Grumpiest Commenter award.  Love ya, Dennis. 

dennis l erlich
dennis l erlich

I almost mist the "loose cannon" comment!  Like I'm someone's weapon.  What a friggin ditz.  You bet I'm loose. 

dennis l erlich
dennis l erlich

Duh!   And no wonder I see this as another attempt of her to put stink on me.  This same anonymous Mary has been following me around lying about and slieming me for a few years.  Falsely labeling my comments as from a scieno POV is just one more example.  

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Only you would see my comment as an attack. Thanks for another amusing 'Erlich is a loose cannon' comment. 

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