VIDEO: Dianetics Day 2012! See People Who Can't Wait to Go "Clear"!

Our tipsters continue to funnel us the best Scientology material at a rapid rate. May 9 was Dianetics Day -- 62 years since the day in 1950 when L. Ron Hubbard first published Scientology's Ur-text, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health -- and already we have in our hot little hands the video that the church forced, er, encouraged its members to watch on that day.

Above, a typically over-the-top intro video put out by the wizards at Golden Era Productions, the A/V drones at Scientology's International Base about 90 miles east of Los Angeles. Former top executives tell us church leader David Miscavige obsesses over every detail in these presentations, and he sure loves the dramatic presentation of lettering sweeping over the planet.

What followed next was another short film, this one going on and on about how copies of Dianetics are sweeping over the planet and reshaping the history of mankind, yadda, yadda, yadda. Trust us, you are happier that we spare you having to sit through it.

But then, the third chapter is all kinds of fun. Because Miscavige has assembled people from all over the place, of all shades and hues and funny accents, to talk about how much Dianetics is the greatest thing ever!

Personally, I really enjoy that there's this erupting volcano behind every single one of these people, and no explanation of why it's there.

But also, hey -- aren't there quite a few healing claims being made here? And isn't that a no-no? (Ha, yeah, like the US government would ever give a crap anyway.)

Once again, I want to thank our tipsters, who so quickly get us this stuff. It's a riot.

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More Hints about the Scientology-Like Content of The Master

News about Paul Thomas Anderson's upcoming film The Master continues to grow, and boy, did I pick a bad week for a vacation. Still, while on the road, I've been keeping one eye on what's going on, and I want to thank reader V for Vacation for spotting the following description of a portion of the film.

In Cannes this week, reports Drew McWeeny, Harvey Weinstein showed an extended clip of the film which is scheduled to open in October. McWeeny took amazingly good notes as he watched the clip. Here's what he saw...

If you saw the trailer earlier today, you have some idea of what we saw, but it was a different assembly. While the soundtrack was the same at the beginning, with that unnerving Jonny Greenwood score and the interview between the Army official and Joaquin Phoenix, the images themselves were different. We saw Phoenix standing in a hallway, writing on a piece of paper affixed to a corkboard. As the interview reached its end, the camera pushed forward so we could read the very short and direct note: "Gone to China," and then his signature.

We saw the same footage of the fight on the beach, the footage of him drinking the alcohol that looks like it's coming from a torpedo, and then the close-up of him sitting across from the guy that's interviewing him. "What happened? Sir?"

"Let's just see if we can't help you remember what happened."

Then began new footage. Joaquin Phoenix running across a field, afraid. Him on a boat, walking along a deck at night. And then his first encounter with Philip Seymour Hoffman. He asks Hoffman, "What do you do?"

"I do many many things. I am a doctor, a writer, a nuclear physicist, a theoretical philosopher. But above all, I am a man."

We see Hoffman onstage, addressing a group. "I'd like to talk to you today about cold feet and narrow minds. People who have cold feet cannot move forward. People who have narrow minds cannot move side to side. They both take courage. This is what I'd like to talk about."

Then Amy Adams is introduced, and she's got a crazy intensity, even in these short clips, that practically radiates off the screen. "This exercise will help you with your concentration. Look at my eyes. I want you to place something in the future for yourself that you would like to have. It's there, waiting for you."

Then it's back to Hoffman and Phoenix, sitting across from each other in some intense encounter, Hoffman challenging him. "Say your name."

Phoenix sounds hesitant in his response. "Freddie Crock."

"Say it again."

Louder this time. "Freddie Crock."

"Might as well say it one more time, just to make sure you know who you are."

"Freddie Crock."

We see a group of people shooting on the beach, Phoenix among them, and then we see Adams confronting Hoffman, almost in tears. "And this is where we are at," she says. "At the lowest level. To have to explain ourselves. For what? For what we do, we have to grovel. The only way to defend ourselves is to attack. If we don't do that, we will lose every battle we are engaged in. We will never dominate our environment the way we should unless we attack."

Now we appear to be jumping scene to scene, moment to moment. It's just impressions. Adams laughing, out of control. "It's a grim joke."

Hoffman groans. "I was thoughtless in my remarks."

As the scenes cut from one to the next, we keep returning to a haunting image of Phoenix, framed in a window, punching himself in the head. Fast.

Hoffman accuses him. "You linger in bus stations for pleasure." Another shot of Phoenix, punching faster now. Back to Hoffman. "Is your life a struggle?" Punching faster and faster. "Is your behavior erratic? Are you unpredictable?" Phoenix, sitting across from Hoffman, farts loudly and begins to laugh as Hoffman recoils. "What a horrible young man you are."

It seems like they're picking at him, breaking him down. "You're a dirty animal who eats its own feces when it's hungry."

We see them meeting, talking about Phoenix. Amy Adams in particular doesn't seem to trust him. "I wonder how he got here and what he's after. Is it really all so easy that he just came across us? He's dangerous and he will be our undoing if we continue to have him here."

Hoffman's not convinced, though. "If we are not helping him, then it is we who have failed him... is it not?"

Adams is the last one to speak as the title comes up. "The Master." Simple white letters on a black background. "Perhaps he's past help. Or insane." And the Greenwood score ends on a lone violin, mournful. It was a dizzying piece of footage, and much of it was just close-ups against stark black backgrounds, these great actors and their faces and nothing else. It certainly made me eager to see what PTA has been up to, and it also pretty much confirms any report that tied the film to the origins of Scientology. While they may not be doing a straight biopic of L. Ron Hubbard, if you're familiar with his life, it would be impossible not to see him and his wife and the early followers in what we saw tonight.

So it sounds like we have a very Hubbard-like Hoffman spouting generalities as wisdom, a manic Mary Sue Hubbard in Amy Adams, and some sort of early convert/burnout played by Phoenix -- our illustrious former Scientologists may have some interesting guesses who he may be a parallel for.

It's killing me to be out of town while this is blowing up, but we'll have plenty of time before its actual opening in October to prepare great material for newbies coming to learn more about Scientology's early days as it's portrayed in the film.

As for (unconfirmed?) reports that Anderson screened the film for Tom Cruise -- that's only to be expected for a director who used Cruise in Magnolia and doesn't want to burn bridges. If Anderson is already showing extended clips of the movie, and with only a few months to go before its opening, it's hard to believe that any fundamental changes would be coming to its script or to its story -- even if Cruise had objections. We'll try to find out more after we get back in a few days.


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Mitt Romney and Battlefield Earth

We've noted before that one of the odder things on presidential candidate Mitt Romney's resume is the surprising inclusion of L. Ron Hubbard's 1982 novel, Battlefield Earth among his favorite reads.

Over at Salon, Daniel Oppenheimer does the best piece about this that we've seen, bringing his own extensive familiarity with the novel to help explain why it might appeal to the former governor of Massachusetts.

Oppenheimer encountered the book for the first time when he was just a lad...

I first read the novel when I was 12 or 13. I didn't quote the above passages from memory, but you'll have to trust me when I say that I knew exactly where to find them in the text when I booted it up on my iPad. "Battlefield Earth" is a ridiculous book, every bit the gargantuan exercise in nerd-boy wish fulfillment you'd expect from someone like Hubbard, who was such a nerd-boy bent on wish fulfillment that he invented a religion to fulfill his dreams of mastery and immortality.

Romney, he points out, didn't discover the book until he was around 36 years of age and parasitizing companies at Bain Capital.

So if Romney wasn't an adolescent sci fi fanboy looking for adventure (even the ridiculous kind), what made him dig the book? Oppenheimer has some very interesting answers to that question.


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Scientology on the High Seas

In November the Voice obtained hundreds of copies of L. Ron Hubbard's previously unpublished "Orders of the Day," which he gave to crew members as he sailed the Atlantic and the Mediterranean on the yacht Apollo. Our documents cover the period from late 1968 through 1971, and this time we're looking at what was happening the week of May 20 through 26 during those years.

This week, the Commodore just wants some peace and quiet, fer crissakes...


1969

May 22: The beatings will continue until morale improves.

Arbitraries

The other evening, on a request, I said members of the company could do part time study on the Dianetics Course. This became an absolute order, an arbitrary which was put in full force and chewed up Div. III. Not only that but nobody would handle it. The 2nd Mate said it had nothing to do with him.

The Purser, and MA, would not handle it, according to the Chief Steward.

Why not?

If anyone of these had bothered to trace the order that "all must study" they would have found it was a false arbitrary.

Almost every outness around is of this breed of arbitrary.

A group that insists on sitting inn the glorious irresponsibility of orders and only orders will never develop into a true group.

If you want to get a real look at what you're doing, ask yourself this question: Where do I get my orders from?

I get them from observation of the situation. And I give instructions based on a prediction of consequences.

Until you can do that you will feel harrassed, ordered around and oppressed.

Not because anybody is interested in oppressing anyone. Just because they try to make a safe environment, bump into people who haven't observed or acted and so issue orders.

I don't think anybody fully understands the antipathy I have to authoritarian rule. The reason you see me get cross is in no small part protest at being forced to cope with a situation which occurs by neglect of others. Why elect me to save the day? This ship, this planet and universe are the concern of others too. I have no monopoly on the ability to observe and act.

The campaign to force into a dictatorship a group which has freedom as its main objective is about as popular with me as a fire in a powder factory.

Freedom depends on ability.

We can and will bring freedom to this planet. But only if and when we cease to demand orders and begin to observe and act on our own predictions.

You sure don't make a safe environment for me when I'm the only one to hear a man overboard and the only one to see that the stewards are allowed to wash dishes.

LRH, COMMODORE



1970

May 20: Truth was, the Commodore loved all the attention of the critical press. It meant he was in the "Big League." Heh.

THE BRITISH

The local passport visa officer is reported as making it very clear to Richard W that he is not antagonistic to Scn or the Apollo and went out of his way to get the message across and was very helpful.

What isn't generally known is that the MI-6 representative in a British Consul or Embassy is called the "Passport Officer". And handles passports part time.

So somebody got the word to pass the word to us to cool it.

The amount of flak we wrap around them in London may be getting felt.

This is an interesting piece of news.

Lends color to a changing UK attitude.

BIG LEAGUE

A lot of SO people do not realize that we play in the Big League. It's not from choice. We are apparently considered a prime threat to those who run things from behind the scenes.

A new estimate based on new data of the money spent to knock us out is at least ₤20,000,000.

Your concept of security and concept of snap and pop on operations and actions should be scaled upward to match the Big League.

We are so tiny in numbers we have to make up for it in brilliance and efficiency.

No other group on the planet gets the simultaneous international attention that we do.

We cave in the pressure against us by highly effective operation of orgs and ships. And it is gradually giving ground.

We will win in 3 years IF we play it with Security, brilliance and efficiency on all our parts.

LRH, COMMODORE



1971

May 23: Damn psychs! They ruin everything!

EUROPEAN FASCISM

The 20th Century has been made horrible by European Fascism. Two violent and catastrophic wars and the many ugly world situations can be traced directly to the growth of European Fascism.

Scientology's role in Europe is to get there with Scientology before Europe is once again embroiling the rest of the world.

You guessed it. Psychology and psychiatry have been traced as the direct authors of Fascism and today propound the Fascist message of violence and death across the world.

This tangled web is being laid out like a carpet from documents being unearthed from the Nuremberg trials of war criminals and other sources.

We always knew they were bad. We did not know Psychologists and Psychiatrists were the men behind Hitler and the gas chambers. By documents unearthed there is no difference whatever between psychiatric doctrine now being voiced in the East and West and Nazi doctrines so abhorred by all the world. "Racial Purity", "eradicated minorities", "genes", the lot.

So it all begins to fit into a pattern. We had to be fought, for the appearance of real mental tech on the planet spelled the end of Fascist usage of false mental tech to politically dominate the world.

Until we came along they were winning very nicely.

So that's one reason its so important to establish Scientology in Europe and England.

And we're making it.

LRH, COMMODORE


May 25: Tinkle somewhere else, ladies.

ORDERS

TO ALL ABOARD: (1) Anyone who makes any shuffle, bang, clatter -- ANY NOISE -- while the Commodore is IN SESSION will get NO AUDITING themselves for 3 months. (2) For FEBC's -- they lose a week's stats. (3) The Commodore's Messengers are keeping a list of these people and will turn the list in to D of P as well as a copy for Dir I&R. If one isn't considerate enough to let the Commodore audit -- one doesn't deserve it himself. (4) If the Port Prom deck is roped off -- it is for a PURPOSE -- don't go walking under the rope. IT IS OUT OF BOUNDS! (5) The radio A & B Deck ladies heads are closed off with a sign saying -- "LRH IN SESSION -- NO ENTRY" you don't walk under the rope -- go somewhere else! (7) If a section of the Port B deck passage and 4 cabins have been roped off it's because LRH is in session RIGHT ABOVE and you may NOT ENTER THIS AREA! (8) REMINDER -- IF ANYBODY BREAKS THESE RULES, THREATENING THE COMMODORE'S SESSION THEY WILL RECEIVE NO AUDITING FOR THREE MONTHS.

Msm Terri Gillham, Commodore's Messenger I/C


Advance34Cover.jpg
Another great cover photo by L. Ron Hubbard! [Click to embiggen!]
More 1970s Awesomeness!

While L. Ron Hubbard was moving HQ from the yacht Apollo to the Florida coast, Advance! magazine was thrilling Scientologists with its tales of "OT Phenomena." Those church members who had reached the higher levels of spiritual training shared their stories of superhuman powers with fellow dupes -- er, enthusiasts. This excerpt is from Issue 34, September-October 1975. (And another cover featuring a photo by the Commodore!)


Tonight, as I ate my dinner, I became aware of a distress call. It emanated from some distance away and seemed quite urgent, involving some life-and-death situation. I pin-pointed the source in the French countryside and went to take a look.

I found a peasant woman tied to a chair in a small building. She was surrounded by a dozen men whose intentions were obviously less then 'bon.' Her tone level was terror and the men appeared to be in sadism, punishing bodies, or something equally unappetizing.

Being without my body, I decided to handle the situation with pictures and emotions. So, I permeated the room with "fear of discovery" and pictures of the police closing in on the villains. Fortunately, at this same time there was a young couple coming down the road. Their noise and physical approach added reality to the pictures I was generating.

The 'bad guys' fell for the description and fled, leaving the heroine alone in the room. Naturally they were caught a short time later when they blundered into the police.

As the woman was still tied and gagged, my job was not yet complete. So, I installed curious feelings in the young man and girl and they wandered obligingly into the cabin where they rescued the woman and helped her back to her family.

All the way home and for some time after she kept stretching her arms to the sky thanking me for saving her life. However, try as I would, I could not convince her that I was not 'God.' She could not grasp the term 'Scientology' and I finally settled for leaving her with the name 'Hubbard.' Perhaps, some day, she will find out for herself the magic I was trying to bestow upon her. I hope so. -- Fred Roeschke, OT


The other night I came home terribly uncomfortable from the heat. I plugged in the fan but it would not work. I moved it to another outlet and it still wouldn't work. Pulling it over I decided to take it apart but decided that was too much work. I looked at it and said, "WORK!". It hasn't stopped yet. -- Amy Gage, OT


Don't you hate when "God" gets credit for stuff the Commodore really made possible? That just drives me batty. And anyone know where Amy Gage is these days? We have a couple of appliances down here that could use her OT skillz.

Please check our Facebook author page for schedules and updates. We may or may not be out of the underground bunker today (ssssshhhh, don't tell OSA), but we're trying to keep up with our regular posts.


**********
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.


My Voice Nation Help
238 comments
Kevin Stevenson
Kevin Stevenson

"David Miscavige obsesses over every detail in these presentations".Jesus, that's enough for me. This little face slapping Hub thinks this slop works, synthetic musical brass sections building to a crescendo of, well words. This is trash.L. Ron Hubbard is the source an originator of this school for psychopaths and David Miscavige is truly "on source", then an now. He is the Boss.

Mr B
Mr B

Scientology is a dangerous cult that promotes hate and makes money off of vulnerable people.  While it brainwashes its adherents, many have abandoned it because of its criminal activities.  In Europe they have been equated with the Nazis.  In the USA the IRS has taken away the tax exempt status of several of its crooked chapters.   If it wasn't for these corrupt Republican judges the government could have forced it to closed down years ago and to stop its crimes. Society would be so much better off without these dangerous suicidal cults.

Too Much
Too Much

Amy Gage ... Wasn't that name used for a while on alt.religion.scientology in the mid 1990s?

Too Much
Too Much

They just can't wait to get rooked and swindled like a bunch of stupid rubes. Love it. Glad to see that the crime syndicate has so few remaining customers, the Internet has really helped stop these insane crooks dead in their tracks.

Meishayuri
Meishayuri

I can't help but think with the video of the Dianetics anniversary thing of the video game Civilization III and it's opening graphics being quite similar.  So I guess Golden Era Productions is scraping the bottom of the barrel for new ideas in their impenetrable bubble of Clears and OTs who probably dream about having the time to play now that their so busy trying to save the planet with B list science fiction dribble.

Jgg
Jgg

  Tony, are you familiar with Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand?  Its now a movie, and is being compared to BE as one of the worst movies ever, but the book is a conservative icon (skim the National Review for a few minutes and you will invariably see it mentioned) and makes the same black/white points BE does (government is bad, taxes should be voluntary, low opinion of human nature on Earth, etc.) but as a novel it is dull. 

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

There's a great article written some years ago by Michael Shermer called "The Unlikeliest Cult in History" concerning Rand's escapades when she was running the objectivist movement. 

Anonymous
Anonymous

 Co$ Mega Raid in Dublin, Press invited.

Jgg
Jgg

Why?  There are only 40 scibots in all of Ireland.

Artoo45
Artoo45

There is no doubt that The Master is strongly based on Hubbard and Scientology from these two quotes: "The only way to defend ourselves is to attack. If we don't do that, we will lose every battle we are engaged in. We will never dominate our environment the way we should unless we attack" and "You linger in bus stations for pleasure" which is just like the Oxford Capacity Test question about "Perusing train schedules for pleasure."

The Entheta Must Flow.

Jonathan W. Hendry
Jonathan W. Hendry

""You linger in bus stations for pleasure" which is just like the Oxford Capacity Test question about "Perusing train schedules for pleasure.""

To me, "perusing train schedules for pleasure" just suggests trainspotting-type behavior or OCD nerdery, while "lingering in bus stations for pleasure" suggests loitering in the bathroom for anonymous gay sex hookups.

The bus station accusation might well be based on the Personality Test question about schedules, but it also captures Hubbard's homophobia.

Chuck Beatty
Chuck Beatty

Thanks for the link to Oppenhemer's Salon comments on Romney and Hubbard's "Battlefield Earth".

I just read Hubbard's pulp short story published April 1950  called "Greed", which came out a month before Dianetics.

Unlike  Jonnie Goodboy Tyler, the hero of "Greed" (George Marquis Lorrilard), is a veteran ex space Navy lieutenant turned exploitative privatized space pirate captain, who succeeds with mercenary military methods against the Asian block, conquering Asian space planets.    In this future  the white race is on one side and the Asian race on the other, and the hero of "Greed" has all the right qualities to undo the impasse and conquer the Asian block.

Let's hope Romney and others don't read "Greed"!

John P.
John P.

For historical background, one should note that Robert A. Heinlein came out with a novel called "The Sixth Column" (sometimes published under the title "The Day After Tomorrow") in 1949.  This dealt with similar issues -- a "PanAsian" empire, which had merged all the Asian countries as well as annexing Russia and India also invaded the US, and the story details the fight of the last surviving pocket of resistance to the occupation.  

I recalled the Heinlein story, but thought it was essentially written as war propaganda, so I was surprised to see the release date coming well after the war was over when I looked it up just now.  However, Wikipedia says that this book was the novelization and expansion of a serial that appeared in Astounding Science Fiction in early 1941. So the original story was perhaps intended as a cautionary tale of Japanese militarization that appeared only months before the attack on Pearl Harbor.  

This suggests that it is possible that Hubbard dusted off the story, which could have been written in the middle of, or just after, all the anti-Japanese hysteria in WWII, but then filed away and later published when he could get some editor to actually buy the thing, never mind that the Japanese were no longer a threat to the US.  

Note that I am not defending Hubbard or this sort of racist work, just pointing out that other, more talented SF writers were publishing racist propaganda of a similar sort well after the war.  It would be interesting to see if the timeline for the creation of "Greed" was similar to the timeline for Heinlein's work.  

It is even possible, given the relatively short publishing cycles of the pulps, that Hubbard wrote "Greed" in late 1949 after reading the 1949 hardback version of "The Sixth Column" and coming up with the idea to do another take on Heinlein's story.

Chuck Beatty
Chuck Beatty

John P,

Nice comments, and what struck me reading your above, is that Hubbard tended to borrow from others in his fiction, it seems, as much as his later borrowings that added up to his "research" and "discoveries" in the  Dianetics/Scientology "serious" work of Hubbard. 

The one big exception, of Hubbard having an original idea, is Hubbard's "serious" Scientology Xenu story.   The Xenu story simply but uniquely explains why 5 of the 8 secret "upper levels" today of Scientology consist of high volume exorcism (exorcism of dead space alien souls from Scientologists' bodies).

I don't think any sci fi story plot consisted of a Xenu story, did it?   

I think no one else came up with a Xenu like story.   And Hubbard came up with the Xenu story in 1967, very late in his sci fi career, and mid his problematic "religion" founder career. 

The Xenu story explains Scientology's high volume exorcism necessity.

I don't know of any other world "religion" or mystical practice came up with this idea that we are all infested with huge amounts of dead space alien souls, like Hubbard came up with.

The Scientology "upper levels" called OT 3, 4, 5,6 and 7 are the secret exorcism levels, where Scientologists exorcise themselves of their mega quantities of dead alien souls that supposedly infest each of us individually.  

Of Scientology's final secret 8 levels, 5 of those secret 8 levels are the exorcism levels, necessary only because of the long ago evil space leader Xenu's bad deeds of causing the surplus of these wandering loose dead space alien souls that float about and stick on everyone's bodies!

Someday a smart writer is going to get this all down to a few soundbite sentences that really summarize Hubbard's career.  

Chuck Beatty
Chuck Beatty like.author.displayName 1 Like

"...Virginia Downsborough, who cared for him after his arrival, was astonished that he was existing almost totally on a diet of drugs.  For three weeks Hubbard was bedridden, while Downsborough weaned him off this diet.   According to her, he was obsessed with removing his "body-thetans."  "   p. 171   "A Piece of Blue Sky", by Jon Atack

Virginia who took care of LRH for a while,  also commented somewhere that in earlier years that finding more and more past lives in the Dianetics/auditing therapy, was a fruitful continuing income source.    Since it was easy to get people to search for more past lives difficulties.

I thought, similarly, body thetans, the new source of a person's difficulties, seemed to be another fruitful  continuing income source for a good stretch of time.

Hubbard's obsession with dust and smells and seeing things others couldn't, I think to his mind, body thetans seemed like the ticket to his own mental troubles, and the Xenu story yes agreed sounds like notes for a half thought out sci fi story, but at least the story does explain the huge surplus of dead souls on earth today.

Good summary you did there.  

Chocolate Velvet
Chocolate Velvet like.author.displayName 1 Like

I bet he's checking out the Eurovision contest. I read that Sweden won, and Russia came in second with a bunch of dancing "Babushkis". What is it about grandmas gettin' their groove on that folks just love?

John P.
John P. like.author.displayName 1 Like

I looked through the OTIII materials, though not recently (and no, I didn't catch pneumonia or die). My impression is that the "space opera" is not really a story per se but is really a couple of vignettes, such as a writer might use to capture the "hooks" in a story idea, but which will be developed later.  

Even by the normal black-and-white character development in pulp science fiction of the 1930s, the universe of Xemu, including his motivations for blowing the population of his empire to smithereens, is raw.  It reeks of a quickie draft that never would have gotten published.  There's no action, no resolution, no character development.  

And even as a scene, the OTIII stuff doesn't really sound all that credible.  The idea that a civilization 75 million years ago capable of interstellar travel would have clothes, language and customs exactly like those of today, is so improbable that it sounds like the vision of the Galactic Confederacy is a half-baked note to be filled in later with the "real" story.  I've read plenty of space opera, and the Xenu story isn't even close to competent space opera much less good space opera.  

My take is that Hubbard wrote the OTIII stuff in a hurry (like he did everything else) and did a relatively crappy job, which is surprising because a much more self-consistent and higher-quality version of the "space opera" wouldn't have taken a writer as fast as he was supposed to be too terribly long to finish -- another week or so.  

I suspect he was dealing reactively with a major flap, probably increasing pressure on the organization because they couldn't deliver any of the super-powers that were promised in the original OT levels.  So he had to move the focus of the higher levels away from heightened abilities that would be observable in the real world by neutral observers to the impossible-to-verify "rid yourself of dead space cooties" cure for a problem that couldn't be detected and whose cure would thus be impossible to disprove.  I believe you suggested this scenario in a post you wrote several weeks ago.  

Regarding a soundbite of Hubbard, I am sometimes a writer, though I will not claim to be all that smart, and certainly not as knowledgeable about the underlying material as you, and many others who have been in for decades might be.  That said, I could start the ball rolling on a short "elevator pitch" (i.e., what you tell a producer you run into in an elevator about your latest script idea) of Hubbard's life with the following quick effort: 

-----

Middling pulp science fiction writer L Ron Hubbard, obsessed with the pursuit of easy money and of power over his fellow men, throws together a melange of ideas from a bunch of different sources ranging from occult magick to popular psychology in a book called Dianetics.  When the book, to his great surprise, sells better than his other works, he begins to create a series of lectures and courses to bring the book to life. Eventually, he finds himself at the helm of a rapidly growing organization that morphs into a "church," partly for tax reasons.  

His wide-eyed followers revere him, so Hubbard indulges his megalomania and narcissism and allows them to believe he's the smartest guy who ever lived, with uncanny powers to succeed at everything he ever tried.  Caught in the classic cult leader's trap of trying to live up to the expectations, Hubbard becomes increasingly despotic, trapped in a web of lies of his own infallibility and genius that he cannot live up to, increasing his drug use and erratic behavior, eventually isolating himself from the world until his untimely death.

As pressure builds to deliver some of the super-power results promised in early Dianetics and in early Scientology, Hubbard changes the focus of the upper levels to move away from improving talents and abilities to the more nebulous program of using the e-meter to exorcise "dead space cooties," where it is much harder to verify actual results.

Members of the organization, who accept on faith that the "tech" works 100% of the time, adopt an increasingly draconian system of rewards (few) and punishments (endless and increasingly severe) to cover up the fact that the tech provides, at best, momentary benefits; they fall into the classic fundamentalist trap of "if it doesn't work, do more of it."

Since the only "real" job Hubbard ever had was as a failed junior naval officer, he models the Scientology organization after the Navy, with byzantine bureaucracy, elaborate and often contradictory policies, and a rigid top-down command structure.  

(I think there's another paragraph to be written talking about how all these issues inevitably come together to create an increasingly paranoid, inward-facing shrinking cult with shrinking membership as the organization remains stuck with 1950s era beliefs and can't evolve to meet changing expectations of potential customers.)

------

It might be fun for our host to put an article out to form a contest to do the best, most concise (and potentially the funniest as long as it's also accurate and relatively complete) elevator pitch of Hubbard and Scientology.  I'd vote for you and Kate Bornstein and a couple of other long-time Ex's as judges.  The summary could then be linked to on the block of Scientology reference links that appear at the bottom of the article.  

Tony, hope you're reading this while you're on vacation in the middle of nowhere, a place so far removed from civilization that you have only logged on once all week!

Artoo45
Artoo45

The Sixth Column must be right after The Fifth Invader Force.

The Entheta Must Flow

Mark
Mark

just saw on Weather Channel's website that FL is going to be hit hard with a subtropical storm... Clearwater is directly in its path (the CoS buildings barely made it through the last tropical storm/hurricane/whatever)

Mark
Mark

so the press is saying that Travolta is hiding out at his Bahamas estate (yes, the same one where Jett died/was murdered) w/ K. Preston, Ella and their "baby". But my bs meter is way up for two reasons:1) the National Enquirer kinda-sorta broke the news that they have split2) if there's no pics, it didn't happen. 

Jgg
Jgg

  Actually, the NE had 3 stories at once (the divorce, JT cross dressing and 7 more masseuses suing) but not surprisingly 2 of those were dropped (after a phone call from JT's lawyer, I assume).  I'm waiting for a story about Kelly giving birth to a cow.

Xenu
Xenu

I don't get it. What's the big deal about a 62nd anniversary?

Does it have some Xenuesque significance?

jensting
jensting like.author.displayName 1 Like

 Nope. They make one every year.

jensting
jensting like.author.displayName 1 Like

 I like to think that my day dreams as an eight year old were a little more grandiose than this.

Oh, and I grew out of them, too

Martin
Martin

Awesome video, want to see more!  

MarkStark
MarkStark like.author.displayName 1 Like

"Dianetic is the study of life. It help you understand life." It just doesn't help him understand the "s" at the end of some words. Maybe that's in OT IX? 

"I feel like a different person up there." On Venus? That guy is terribly cute in his testimony, but when he first opens his mouth it's like woeeeeeee. He's there for the battered wives market. Get your hubbo into Sciloontology so he'll treat you como una flor -- maybe pour water on you while you stand in el basurero.

"Every time you touch a chapter, you feel that WOW!" Was he reading himself while doing that? If so, he has a wicked case of synesthesia -- sight/touch reversal -- that I don't think Dianutty can handle.

Theoracle
Theoracle like.author.displayName 1 Like

"I don't think anybody fully understands the antipathy I have to authoritarian rule. The campaign to force into a dictatorship a group which has freedom as its main objective is about as popular with me as a fire in a powder factory."  L.R.H.

In other words, he feels nothing but antipathy towards David Miscavige.

Theoracle
Theoracle like.author.displayName 1 Like

And perhaps a few others prone to authoritarian rule.

Claude
Claude like.author.displayName 1 Like

New Tampa Bay Times article up!   Scientology school in Florida scores are worse than any other!

V for Vacation
V for Vacation

Great tip -- thought I'd add a link.  :)   

http://www.tampabay.Kom/news/education/testing/article1232114.ece

California
California

Those teachers that taught after Islam and her "management company" were run off from "The Life Force Academy" deserve the "Teachers of the Year" award for Florida.  They stayed, they taught and they persevered.  Those Life Academy students will be getting the help that they need from excellent teachers when they go to summer school and/or return to school in the fall.

And if Ms. Islam is dumb enough to come to California, please know that we are experienced and successful with dealing with Scientology and its front groups in public education. I almost hope that she tries......

V for Vacation
V for Vacation

This is a great article -- thanks Claude!  Here are some highlights:

"Life Force third-graders had Tampa Bay's second lowest passing rate, with only Pepin Elementary, a Tampa charter school for children with learning disabilities, scoring lower.Life Force fourth-graders had Tampa Bay's lowest passing rate by far. The second lowest, from students in Pinellas' dropout prevention program, was 13 percent higher.For those results, Life Force paid Islam's companies — her charter school management firm, Art of Management, and a study-tech promotional group, the World Literacy Crusade — more than $100,000 in public funds over a span of five months, bankruptcy records show.""Teachers blamed the poor performance on Islam's forced instruction of Hubbard's study tech as well as the school's lack of funding for basic classroom materials like paper, pencils and textbooks.Fifth-grade teacher Jason Lowe, who was fired by Islam but rehired after she left, said teachers "were definitely set up for failure.Some blamed students' poor marks on instability due to Islam's repeated firings of, as third-grade teacher Lynne Kittredge said, "good, certified teachers, because they wouldn't accept her Scientology stuff.""On its last day, June 7, Life Force will become the first Pinellas school to be forcefully closed by a revoked charter. The approximately 50 remaining students, down from nearly 100 in August, will move to nearby public and charter schools.But for some students, their low marks at Life Force could haunt them for years. Several will need summer school to keep up with their peers, while others, including kindergarten students, may need to repeat the grade."- - -IMO, one of the most outrageous points in this article is that $100k of PUBLIC funds were wasted on this.

jensting
jensting

 IMO this is the most outrageous point

"But for some students, their low marks at Life Force could haunt them for years. Several will need summer school to keep up with their peers, while others, including kindergarten students, may need to repeat the grade. "

But fleecing the tax payers - that's bad too

Claude
Claude like.author.displayName 1 Like

 "Only one of 14 third-graders at Life Force passed this year's reading test. Eight students scored in the lowest achievement level, leaving them at high risk of being held back. None of the third-graders passed math."

jensting
jensting like.author.displayName 1 Like

 "Life Force's third- and fourth-graders scored the lowest or second-lowest passing rates in math, reading and writing of more than 300 elementary schools across Tampa Bay. "

Ouch!

Ivy Mapother
Ivy Mapother like.author.displayName 1 Like

Big deal. Did the third graders sign their billion year contract or not?

Noah Miller
Noah Miller like.author.displayName 1 Like

That'll happen when you just put a bit of clay in the shape of the number 3 in their hands and walk away.

Kate Bornstein
Kate Bornstein

I'm... like... wow, y'know? watching the um, 2nd like video? And stuff? And like, wow... I'm getting dizzy from the fucking volcano flipping back and forth, like left to right, and like then back again? And I'm all, wow, when is it gonna blow up? Y'know?

jensting
jensting like.author.displayName 1 Like

 the volcano blowing up - it gives me a powerful urge to, to .. To laugh, that's it! to LOL

Mark
Mark

I'm hearing rumors that OSA is planning an attack against Nick Xenophon? is this true? I'm pretty sure Xenophon will dig up some more dirt to put the cult back in their places

jensting
jensting

 that would be nice - they've been out of the news down under.

magikcarrot
magikcarrot like.author.displayName 1 Like

 The cult is messing with an educated man who already has his sights on them.

RadioPaul1
RadioPaul1

When is the cult not doing cult stuff like Fair Game? It is what makes the a cult. After all look how well it turned out for them when they went after Parker and Stone. If OSA had any brains left they would STFU and play dead.

Jgg
Jgg like.author.displayName 1 Like

My comments on the Dianetics video:

"a chain reaction" Yes, a ball and chain.  "I feel like a different person"  Yeah, a person who is $300,000 poorer.  "I'm not going to stop until I go clear" well, you better have hundreds of thousands of dollars.  "I want to go clear"  Lisa McPherson went clear, then shortly thereafter had a psychotic episode.  Fortunately, the people at FLAG knew what to do...

By the way, I still have not seen a perfect clear.

MarkStark
MarkStark like.author.displayName 1 Like

The first time I heard the word 'clear,' it was like, I wanna be clear! Then I became clear, and it was like WOW.

Then I was told I wasn't clear anymore and would have to do clear over again and I was like, "This is a scam, I want my money back!"

MarkStark
MarkStark

From almost crippled to heels. Yup, that's Dianutty. It's being part of a group and knowing you're the only ones who can save the planet.

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