Scientology's Recruitment Film: The Version They Don't Want You to See

Categories: Scientology

On Sunday, we wrote about our trip to Scientology's New York "org." We were invited inside to see a short movie about the origin of L. Ron Hubbard's 1950 book, Dianetics.

An alert reader noticed that a film fitting our description could be found on YouTube and brought it to our attention. Yes! This is the opening of the movie we saw, with one very important difference -- this is an older version starring Michael Fairman, who defected from Scientology last year. In the movie we saw, Fairman had been edited out and replaced with another actor, but everything else looked the same. By magic, Fairman had been made an un-person, just like in those old Soviet newspapers!

Fairman in Firefly
We've written about Fairman several times before. He's one of our favorite ex-Scientologists, a well known character actor who's a lot of fun to talk to, and who made a very dramatic exit from the church he had belonged to for decades.

(Fairman is often cited as a long-running member of the soap opera The Young and the Restless. But for me, he'll always be the consummate villain Adelai Niska from the Firefly series. As he pointed out to me earlier, he's also constantly reminded that he was the "Penske File" guy from a memorable episode of Seinfeld.)

I told Michael that I'd seen the movie "The Story of Book One" at the New York org, and that he appeared to have been replaced in it.

"They've replaced me in all the films," he says, and he listed a few that he'd done over the years.

"I did that one about the origin of Dianetics. It used to play on a loop at the big LRH exhibit here in Hollywood," he says.

In the movie, Fairman introduces himself as the narrator of the story.

I'd like to tell you a magnificent story. One in which I played a small part. About a book that became a phenomenon. The book is Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health, by L. Ron Hubbard.

But the part I played began in the dockyards of Greenpoint, in Brooklyn, New York many years ago.

[Picking up an object.] This hook is a longshoreman's hook.

The movie then flashes back to a dock scene from the late 1940s. A man is injured in a work accident, his leg nearly severed on a hook. But then, simply by talking to a red-haired man whose face we never see, he comes to realize that the only thing keeping his leg from healing is his own mind.

After the movie started showing at Scientology orgs a few years ago, Fairman says Scientologists would come up to him, marveling that he was the man whose leg had been saved by Hubbard in the late 1940s.

"Yeah, I'm the guy. I'm 90 years old," he says with a laugh.

(The actor they replaced Fairman with in the version of the movie I saw looks like he can't be 60, making the effect even stranger.)

I have to admit, when I was ushered into the org last week and found myself watching this goofy film, I was tempted to pull out my camera and record it. But I thought it was a good idea to be on my best behavior in case the org workers raised a stink.

Judging by the quality of this YouTube clip, someone else had the same idea, and recorded this on a smartphone. The quality isn't great, but it's good enough to preserve the movie's best effect: Geoffrey Lewis chewing up scenery as one of Ron's pals.

In the best scene, Ron's three buds are marveling over the mail pouring in over Hubbard's yet-to-be-published Dianetics theories (with LRH sitting there, saying nothing, which of course the real Hubbard could never do). We're told that these friends include an "editor, a doctor, and a research engineer."

Make sure you savor the acting chops on the "doctor" as he says the following:

Ron, in all my years of medical practice, I never once realized just how important the mind was for resolving injuries and illnesses. Now it all seems so obvious. Oh, Dianetics,'s fantastic.

And then Geoffrey Lewis chimes in. I guess he's supposed to be the "research engineer"...

Well, I've seen a lot of theories in my business, and I'll tell you, Ron, nothing comes close to this, and it's because your procedures actually work.

Gosh, with friends like that, how could Ron not publish his masterpiece?

For those who must endure more pain, you can see parts two and three as well.


Eric Gorski Exposes Applied Scholastics in Colorado

In June, a few days before the celebrity divorce tsunami hit, the Denver Post's Eric Gorski showed how Scientology had played Denver's police chief Robert White like a violin.

Scientology leader David Miscavige flew into town to open an "Ideal Org" there, and the usual routine calls for some local politicians to show up, gladhand the crowd, and say some flattering things about Scientology -- which they clearly know little or nothing about.

Using public records requests, Gorski showed that White allowed Scientology to write his prepared words, including gushing praise.

Now, Gorski has another eye-opening piece about the way Scientology has played the state of Colorado, as well.

Since 2008, three Colorado public school districts have given more than $150,000 in federal money to Applied Scholastics to provide tutoring to nearly 120 students, a Denver Post review found.

Applied Scholastics is a Scientology front group that pushes its "Study Tech" on unsuspecting school districts (and in this case, an entire state's Education Department), pretending that it has no ties to the church.

In fact, as Carnegie Mellon University president Dave Touretzky explains to Gorski, Study Tech is designed to condition young kids in the ways that Scientologists think:

David Touretzky, a Carnegie Mellon University research professor who has written critically of Scientology, describes study technology as covert religious instruction.

He said terms in the tutoring also are found in Scientology, including "misunderstood words." Hubbard taught that failing to grasp the meaning of one word in a passage can completely upend learning, causing students to feel "blank" or "washed out."

"They are setting the stage for kids to be good little compliant Scientologists," Touretzky said. "The whole point is to get to where they can say, 'Look, the state of Colorado is paying us to use Scientology tech.' It's all about legitimizing Hubbard and the church."

Gorski shows that relatively few students were actually tutored under the program, and Applied Scholastics is already on a sort of probation because an audit found that the kids who used it didn't show improvements in their learning.

Ineffective. Dishonest about its connections to Scientology. A stealth campaign to legitimize Hubbard. Why is it so hard for school districts and education departments to enter the words "Applied Scholastics" in the Google and figure this stuff out before falling for this time and again?


Jonny Jacobsen Takes Apart the Headley Appeal

Last month, the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that Scientology had not violated human trafficking laws in regards to two former church members, Marc and Claire Headley.

We noted the decision at the time, and asked for the opinions of several observers.

But now, one of our favorite Scientology researchers, Jonny Jacobsen, has put together a meticulous and fascinating evaluation of the Headleys' lawsuit and the appellate court's decision.

Jacobsen interviewed the Headleys' original attorney on the case, Barry Van Sickle, and his explanation of its background really helps explain how the case fared as it did.

Van Sickle raises very interesting questions about the appellate court's decision and sympathizes with former Sea Org members who found it to be a "sanitized" version of what the hardcore Scientology corps is really like.

On the other hand, he points out that as sanitized as it is, the description of Sea Org life in the court's opinion isn't going to be something the church can put on billboards.

More and more Scientologists are quitting the movement, many of them are speaking out, and the ugly truth about Scientology is spreading further into the mainstream media.

"Even as bad as it is for plaintiffs, the Headley opinion is hardly a recruiting tool for Scientology," said Van Sickle.

See also:
Scientology's president and the death of his son: our complete coverage
What Katie is saving Suri from: Scientology interrogation of kids
Scientology's new defections: Hubbard's granddaughter and Miscavige's dad
Scientology's disgrace: our open letter to Tom Cruise
Scientology crumbling: An entire mission defects as a group
Scientology leader David Miscavige's vanished wife: Where's Shelly?
Neil Gaiman, 7, Interviewed About Scientology by the BBC in 1968
The Master Screenplay: Scientology History from Several Different Eras
And a post that pulls together the best of our Scientology reporting

Please check out our Facebook author page for updates and schedules.

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, 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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Completely off topic - I saw a couple news stories when the Tom & Katie divorce hit that hinted something "special" or "significant" happens to women in CO$ when they turn 33.  Anyone know what's up with that?


In Scientology, Satanism is "the holistic view."


nexibello 1 Like

completely off topic regarding this article here but... I am, ready to type in the brightest wittiest comment ever to today's Tony Ortega's latest addition about Mimi Faust and then the comment section over there just refuses to open .....


Off topic: I am getting used to Livefyre, therefore it's probably not OSA. lol It seems stable now.


Oh, man, I remember that Origins of Dianetics film...

Good thing I only watched it 3 times, I think.


Unlike TR's film with Dan Koon, directed by LRH, that I had to see at least 40 times.

And I only reached Class V Auditor. Imagine how many times Class XII's had to see it.


No wonder, most of them are blown SP's. 

AussieCase 2 Like

Gerry discusses Rathburn's adoption of Hubbard's Suppressive Doctrine (SP). This is the doctrine that conflates psychopaths with people who speak out against Scientology, and people who leave without authorization. This is the doctrine that leads to the use of fair game policy, and disconnection of family members.  


Does Marty view those who speak out against Scientology, specifically Hubbard's sacred science, as suppressive people (code for psychopaths)?


Gerry reads Marty's book and says he does.

victoriapandora 2 Like


 I am glad Gerry clarified that. I read Marty's book and was really irked that he claimed Hubbard came up with the notion of psychopaths and that modern mental health is only just catching up. It was obviously untrue and twisted the facts beyond recognition.


 @victoriapandora This is what really pisses me off about Marty, and keep in mind I have a lot of sympathy for the indies and am not "against" them in any way, though I think they have a tough road ahead of them given the fact that Scn's founder was a pathological liar and worse.  But now Marty is making a lot of stuff up, just like Hubbard did.  Indies, PLEASE, this is NOT going to help you move what you believe is the useful part of Scientology forward.  You have to clear up that pile of bull if you really want to make it work.  

As for Marty's claims about Hubbard's notion:  "The term psychopath comes to us via way of German researchers who in the 1880s used it to imply that the condition is from an “internal sickness.” In the mid-twentieth century came the new liberal social thought which sought to find external causes for social deviancy. The psychologist G. E. Partridge coined the term “sociopath,” in 1930 to reflect this change of view."






We in RTC watched the Gerry Armstrong video and were startled to see what appeared to be some sort of very large wet rodent on Gerry's head.

joeshmoe 2 Like

Isn't the "Study Tech" just 3 simple principles, 2 of which are already obvious to every student & teacher in the world anyway?


- if you don't understand a word, look it up.

- if the learning curve is too steep, then adjust it.

- use a visual representation of the subject being studied.


Is this really so groundbreaking?


 @joeshmoe Is that why people think the Xenu story is so kooky and funny?


We must have all skipped the lower parts of learning curve. If we would just have followed the curve along appropriately and looked up our misunderstood words, then we get the importance of the Xenu story--exorcism. 


We may need to also see a few excellent movies which may have different actors photoshoped in, and we will have to forget that the Earth's mantel moves.

Remy 2 Like

Aren't we at the tipping point?  Aren't there more ex-scientologists than current paying scientologists? 


Since all the OT-7s are now exes, I'd hazard a guess that more are out than in.

Anonanonsong 1 Like

The Doctor and The Research Engineer were so impressed by LRH's revolutionary tech but were so distraught by the psych's cynicism, they forgot to sign letter of commendation.


Gorski's research is a bunch of bullcrap! I learned the study information when I was in a public high school. Before learning the information I was a D to F student,, with an IQ of 117. The school did the testting not Scientology. My apptitude  test results said I would be a good mechanic. After using the proceedures in study I became a straight A student. My IQ was tested by the school psychiatrist and social workers and was 138. Again this was in a public school system not in a Church of Scientology. That was 38 years ago and I am a successful business person and live a very good life.

SvenBoogie 3 Like

 @makeitgort The study information taught you to use two commas,, spell 'testting' and 'apptitude,' and proceedures. 





testting - fail

proceedures  - fail

Schools had dedicated psychiatrists to test IQs? - fail




 @makeitgort I recommend the following link, and not simply to you, also to people reading what you wrote, and to anyone still reading Hubbard.


Oh! This reminds me of a song I once heard.


Make it go right

That is the way

Make it go right

And save the day!


"I'm drinking lots of rum and popping pinks and greys."



deElizabethan 3 Like

Great write-up. A few picked quotes.


"The spin that Sea Org members are the 'elite' of Scientology or in a 'priesthood' does not accurately reflect reality. Most are laboring grunts with no time or energy for supposedly religious activity.”

"Scientology's lawyers would have criticised such interviews as unprofessional and unreliable. They might even have contended that the very act of interviewing the Headleys had contaminated the psychologist's views on the case – had made his opinion too subjective." "Damned if you and damned if you don't, in other words."

The rejection of Levine's declaration was a fatal blow to the case for human trafficking.


Van Sickle says  “If the truth gets out enough, the cult will lose its power.” 


The link "a meticulous and fascinating evaluation" in above article is a must read, if haven't, also the comments afterwards are good.


Does anyone have, or know where I can find the template for a suppressive person declare?

uncover 2 Like


It apppears, that in recent years some are printed on yellow paper.  Here are a lot of examples:


If they are not enough, do a google-picture search for "sp declare" 


Enjoy to fabricate your own S(ane) P(erson)-certificate.



 @uncover  Holy shit, the SP declare for David Mayo was 11 pages long.



Thank you,@ thehat, for the movie poster link which brought back the vibe.

This movie was made when Scientology was at the peak of its powers!

If only I could sit and watch this incredible piece of Scientology kitsch.

"Standard tech is standard tech." Spoken by the man himself, LRH's auditor, David Mayo. When it comes to Scino cinema, David Mayo is declared .. totally awesome!


David Mayo kicks ass in an old Scn film from the late 70's called "The Secret Of Flag results." He's a Scientology Superfly.

His big line was, "Standard tech is standard tech."

media_lush 3 Like

Interesting to see totally conflicting Katie Holmes stories on the same day.... proof that nefarious behind the scenes PR bots are still doing their damnedest to screw with her



[on a side note re LiveFyre - earlier today typing on my iPad made the screen shoot up to the top and shoot back down again randomly - very difficult to use. On my iMac I still can't post using Firefox..... just now I was logged out when I did a refresh page.... another refresh logged me back in again - Safari 6 on Mountain Lion]

deElizabethan 3 Like

In the Denver Post they say that  Applied Scholastics failed to be effective in increasing the student performance. The program as it's described in it's application does not appear to be religiously driven, but what's actually being implemented is the part we need to investigate, and hopefully they will continue and do more. 

Also about theories ranging from common sense to stranger claims about what happens physiologically when the student is confused, and that's the hook imo.  I agree, it's all about legitimizing Hubbard and the church, and that is it's main goal.


I really agree with David Touretzky on the "covert religious instruction"

Students are indoctrinated to BELIEVE this, to feel "blank" or "washed out." effect. It is not basically true.

Tony, you are so right on... all the cities need to do is look them up and not just take there BS.

the1d 1 Like


 I read the Denver post also on this.It blows my mind at how stupid people that are in charge of education allow this nonsense.No wonder American students are so far behind students in other countries.


I will put this in one box,stupid people that have power,stupid congress that only are concerned with being realected since that is what they spend most of their time doing anyway and an american public that is so apethetic  that their main concern is who are they going to fuck tonight.


With everythng going on in the lives of the majority of americans there is no way that cults like scientology or the polititions that protect them have anything to worry about.


I would love to see Bill Cinton called out on all the support he gave this cult but the media has no balls period.








 @the1d Please read the posts.  The so-called "stupid people" currently in charge of public education have SOLVED THIS Supplemental Educational Services (SES) Applied Scholastic (AS) PROBLEM at the federal, state and local level, especially in Colorado and other states that requested and signed the SES waivers, specifically targeting the option to get rid of SES.  The url to the Colorado .pdf document are listed TWICE in this blog.... thank you, Tony, for not pulling the second one.


I absolutely agree with your exasperation about what took place in NCLB and other parts of public education under Bush/Danielson and SCN'er John Danielson and there are excellent policy makers and public education folk that have worked tirelessly to stop these greedy nonsense.


And we did.



the1d 2 Like

This is no surprise that scientology has made millions of of dollars on the weak minded people that have fallen into their trap but what is a surprise is that the government has done nothing to stop them.Congress has passed some bill to restrict westboro baptist church [inbreeders with only at best 50 members] to limit their ability to stand around funerals of young kids that have died in a war that never should have happenend.{my opinion and I  have a right to that}


Yet when it comes to scientology which has more than 50 members they do nothing.This in my mind thinking  proof positive that every time a politiician opens his mouth he is completly full of shit and could care less about the weak,minded and vulnerable people that they are supposed to represent.


IT is almost like China,they commit so many atrocities yet the u.s. does nothing so  commuism is ok as long as we can borrow money from you and scientology is ok because even though you kill people,enslvave people,take all their money brainwash them and destroy families that's ok because as a government we can only screw the working poor and make them even more poor but we can't touch scientology because they have too much money to fight us and to many polititions in there  pocket.



Anonanonsong 2 Like

 @the1d People who fall prey to cults aren't weak minded, they are people who got caught when they were vulnerable. I challenge you to name one ex-scientologist who posts here as weak-minded. Don't rush, we'll wait.


2nd paragraph.: should be "...I couldN'T care less...." If you could care less, then maybe you would and maybe you wouldn't. Let us know what you decide.

the1d 2 Like


 I will answer it this way,I don't consider any ex scientologist to be weak minded but when they got involved with the cult they were at a point where they needed something and it did not matter what it was and I understand that and I understand how  that in a bad time anyone can fall for anything at any time,tha that is human nature.The ones that got out and spoke out are true heros to society,end of story,the ones that stayed are just to weak to think with their own mind.That is all  I  am saying,


 @PoisonIvy  Interesting... thanks. In scio speak it's called "making amends" to those you harmed. Usually it's with you making amends to them the scios. I'm out of remorse now, but can always apologize.  My amends is speaking out, helping society, to the degree I'm able. Actually I have been doing that for years in many ways, now it's up a big notch.

PoisonIvy 1 Like

 @deElizabethan In 12-step speak it's called a "living amends."  Since none of us can change the past, often it's the best thing to do when we feel remorse...just don't do the bad stuff anymore and do your best to do the opposite and help those you might have harmed. 

the1d 1 Like


 They are heros because they evolved and learned and then spoke out to try to help others from falling for the same nonsense that you fell for and you are one of those heros as you are doing the same thing.You should be proud of that as all the other's that have done it should be.

Remy 2 Like



It's great to have you here, telling your stories

deElizabethan 3 Like

 @Walllicker  @the1d  @Anonanonsong  

Thanks for that :-)  But I can't accept a hero title. I'm just doing what I feel is right to do. Don't forget I helped them exist for many years and I'm sorry about that. Now I am trying to make up by helping expose their evil and destructive ways.

Anonanonsong 2 Like

 @the1d "and I understand how  that in a bad time anyone can fall for anything at any time"


So I gather you concede that the issue isn't about weak-mindedness and has more to do with vulnerability?

Walllicker 1 Like

 @the1d  @Anonanonsong 



I think the1d is saying that the ones that got out of the cult and became activists, like deElizabethan, are heros. I tend to agree.


 @Anonanonsong  @the1d  Dang, missed the "weak-minded people"  Beware it is those who  think they are so strong always in their life and never would ever falter. They are ripe to pitfalls! They used to say the greatest salesman were the easiest to sell or dupe.


 @the1d westboro desecrates the (your) flag, but scientology wraps themselves in it.

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