Journalism: Scientology - L. Ron Hubbard's Brainchild

The impulse to believe the absurd when presented with the unknowable is called religion. Whether this is wise or unwise is the domain of doctrine. Once you understand someone's doctrine, you understand their rationale for believing the absurd. At that point, it may no longer seem absurd. You can get to both sides of this conondrum from here.

Re: Journalism: Scientology - L. Ron Hubbard's Brainchild

Postby admin » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:02 am

Hubbard and the Occult
by Jon Atack

I stand before you having been accused in print by L. Ron Hubbard's followers of having an avid interest in black magic. I would like to put firmly on record that whatever interest I have is related entirely to achieving a better understanding of the creator of Dianetics and Scientology. Hubbard's followers have the right to be made aware that he had not only an avid interest, but that he was also a practitioner of black magic. Today I shall discuss these matters in depth, but I shall not repeat all of the proofs which already exist in my book A Piece of Blue Sky (1).

Scientology is a twisting together of many threads. Ron Hubbard's first system, Dianetics, which emerged in 1950, owes much to early Freudian ideas (2). For example, Hubbard's "Reactive Mind" obviously derives from Freud's "Unconscious". The notion that this mind thinks in identities comes from Korzybski's General Semantics. Initially, before deciding that he was the sole source of Dianetics and Scientology (3), Hubbard acknowledged his debt to these thinkers (4). Dianetics bears marked similarities to work reported by American psychiatrists Grinker and Speigel (5) and English psychiatrist William Sargant (6). The first edition of Hubbard's 1950 text Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (7) carried an advertisement for a book published a year earlier (8). Psychiatrist Nandor Fodor had been writing about his belief in the residual effects of the birth trauma for some years, following in the footsteps of Otto Rank. In lectures given in 1950, Hubbard also referred to works on hypnosis which had obviously influenced his techniques (9). The very name "Dianetics" probably owes something to the, at the time, highly popular subject of Cybernetics. (10).

By 1952, Hubbard had lost the rights to Dianetics, having bailed out just before the bankruptcy of the original Hubbard Research Foundation. He had also managed to avoid the charges brought against that Foundation by the New Jersey Medical Association for teaching medicine without a license (11). In a matter of days in the early spring of 1952, Hubbard moved from his purported "science of mental health" into the territory of reincarnation and spirit possession. He called his new subject Scientology, claiming that the name derived for "scio" and "logos" and meant "knowing how to know". However, Hubbard was notorious for his sly humour and "scio" might also refer to the Greek word for a "shade" or "ghost". Scientology itself had already been used at the turn of the century to mean "pseudo-science" and in something close to Hubbard's meaning in 1934 by one of the proponents of Aryan racial theory (12). Other possible links between Hubbard's thought and that of the Nazis will be made clear later in this paper.

Scientology seems to be a hybrid of science-fiction and magic. Hubbard's reflection on philosophy seem to derive largely from Will Durant's Story of Philosophy (13) and the works of Aleister Crowley. Aleister Crowley is surely the most famous black magician of the twentieth-century. It is impossible to arrive at an understanding of Scientology without taking into account its creator's extensive involvement with magic. The trail has been so well obscured in the past that even such a scholar as Professor Gordon Melton has been deceived into the opinion that Hubbard was not a practitioner of ritual magic and that Scientology is not related to magical beliefs and practices. In the book A Piece of Blue Sky, I explored these connections in detail. The revelations surrounding Hubbard's private papers in the 1984 Armstrong case in California makes any denial of the connections fatuous. The significances of these connections is of course open to discussion.

The chapter in A Piece of Blue Sky that describes Hubbard's involvement with the ideas of magic is called His Magickal Career. I hope I shall be excused for relying upon it. I shall also here describe further research, and comment particularly upon Hubbard's use of magical symbols, and the inescapable view that many of the beliefs and practices of Scientology are a reformation of ritual magic (14).

In 1984, a former close colleague of Hubbard's told me that thirty years before when asked how he had managed to write Dianetics: The Modern Science Of Mental Health in just three weeks, Hubbard had replied that it had been automatic writing. He said that the book had been dictated by "the Empress". At the time, I had no idea who or what "the Empress" might be. Later, I noticed that in an article printed immediately prior to the book Dianetics, Hubbard had openly admitted to his use of "automatic writing, speaking and clairvoyance" (15). However, it took several years to understand this tantalising reference to the Empress.

In the 1930's, Hubbard became friendly with fellow adventure writer Arthur J. Burks. Burks described an encounter with "the Redhead" in his book Monitors. The text makes it clear that "the Redhead" is none other than Ron Hubbard. Burk said that when the Redhead had been flying gliders he would be saved from trouble by a "smiling woman" who would appear on the aircraft's wing (16). Burk put forward the view that this was the Redhead's "monitor" or guardian angel.

In 1945, Hubbard became involved with Crowley's acolyte, Jack Parsons. Parsons wrote to Crowley that Hubbard had "described his angel as a beautiful winged woman with red hair, whom he calls the Empress, and who had guided him through his life and saved him many times." In the Crowleyite system, adherents seek contact with their "Holy Guardian Angel".

John Whiteside Parsons, usually known as Jack, first met Hubbard at a party in August 1945. When his terminal leave from the US Navy began, on Dec 6th, 1945, Hubbard went straight to Parsons' house in Pasadena, and took up residence in a trailer in the yard. Parsons was a young chemist who had helped set up Jet Propulsion Laboratories and was one of the innovators of solid fuel for rockets. Parsons was besotted with Crowley's Sex Magick, and had recently become head of the Agape Lodge of the Church of Thelema in Los Angeles. The Agape Lodge was an aspect of the Ordo Templi Orientis, the small international group headed by Aleister Crowley.

Parsons' girlfriend soon transferred her affection to Hubbard. With her, Hubbard and Parsons formed a business partnership, as a consequence of which Parsons lost most of his money to Hubbard. However, before Hubbard ran away with the loot, he and Parsons participated in magical rituals which have received great attention among contemporary practitioners.

Parsons and Hubbard together performed their own version of the secret eighth degree ritual (17) of the Ordo Templi Orientis in January 1946. The ritual is called "concerning the secret marriage of gods with men" or "the magical masturbation" and is usually a homosexual ritual. The purpose of this ritual was to attract a woman willing to participate in the next stage of Hubbard and Parsons' Sex Magick.

Hubbard and Parsons were attempting the most daring magical feat imaginable. They were trying to incarnate the Scarlet Woman described in the Book of Revelation as "Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlot and Abominations of the Earth...drunken with the blood of saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus."(18). During the rituals, Parsons described Babalon as "mother of anarchy and abominations". The women who they believed had answered their call, Majorie Cameron, joined in with their sexual rituals in March 1946.

Parsons used a recording machine to keep a record of his ceremonies. He also kept Crowley informed by letter. The correspondence still exists. Crowley wrote to his deputy in New York "I get fairly frantic when I contemplate the idiocy of these louts".

Crowley was being disingenuous. His own novel The Moonchild describes a ritual with a similar purpose. Further, the secret IXth degree ritual of the Ordo Templi Orientis (19) contains "Of the Homunculus" in which the adept seeks to create a human embodiment of one of the energies of nature - a god or goddess. The ritual says "to it thou are Sole God and Lord, and it must serve thee."

In fact, Hubbard and Parsons were committing sacrilege in Crowley's terms. Crowley respelled "Babylon" as he respelled "magic". His magick was entirely dedicated to Babalon, the Scarlet Woman. Crowley believed himself the servant and slave of Babalon, the antichrist, styling himself "The Beast, 666". For anyone to try to incarnate and control the goddess must have been an impossible blasphemy to him. Crowley, after all, called Babalon "Our Lady".

Hubbard and Parsons attempt did not end with the conception of a human child. However, just as Crowley said that "Gods are but names for the forces of Nature themselves" (21), so it might be speculated that Hubbard embodied Babalon not in human form, but through his organization.

Parsons sued Hubbard in Florida in July 1946, managing to regain a little of his money. The record of their rituals was later transcribed and has since been published as The Babalon Working (22). Parsons made a return to Magick, writing The Book of The Antichrist in 1949 (23). Parsons pronounced himself the Antichrist. In a scientology text, Hubbard spoke favourably of Parsons, making no mention of their magical liaison (24). A Piece of Blue Sky covers Hubbard's involvement with Parsons in much greater detail than I have given here.

Hubbard's interest in the occult was kindled long before he met Parsons. It dates back at least to his membership of the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis or AMORC, in 1940. Hubbard had completed the first two neophyte degrees before his membership lapsed, and later there were private complaints that he had incorporated some of the teaching he had promised to keep secret into Scientology (25).

Having stolen Parsons' girl and his money, Hubbard carried on with magical practices of his own devising. Scientology attempted to reclaim documents which recorded these practices in its case against former Hubbard archivist Gerald Armstrong. Some $280,000 was paid to publishers Ralston Pilot to prevent publication of Omar Garrison's authorised biography of Hubbard. However, Garrison retained copies of thousands of Hubbard's documents and showed me one which had been referred to in the Armstrong trial. The Blood Ritual is an invocation of the Egyptian goddess Hathor, performed by Hubbard during the late 1940's. As the name suggests, the ritual involved the use of blood. Hubbard mingled his own blood with that of his then wife (the girlfriend he had stolen from Parsons and with whom Hubbard contracted a bigamous marriage.)

In a 1952 Scientology lecture, Hubbard referred to "Aleister Crowley, my very good friend" (26). In fact, the two black magicians never met, and Crowley expressed a very low opinion of the man who he saw had tricked his disciple Jack Parsons. Even so, Hubbard had a very positive regard for Crowley, calling his work "fascinating" (27) and recommending one of his books to Scientologists. Having referred to Crowley as "The Beast 666", Hubbard said that he had "picked a level of religious worship which is very interesting." (28). He also made it clear that he had read the fundamental text of the Crowley teaching, The Book of the Law (29).

In his 1952 lectures, Hubbard also referred to the Tarot cards, saying that they were not simply a system of divination but a "philosophical machine". He gave particular mention to the Fool card, saying "The Fool of course is the wisest of all. The Fool who goes down the road with the alligators at his heels, and the dogs yapping at him, blindfolded on his way, he knows all there is and does nothing about it...nothing could touch him" (30).

The only Tarot pack which has a alligator on the Fool Card is Crowley's (31). When I interviewed Gerald Armstrong, Hubbard's archivist, in 1984, he told me of a Hubbard scale dating from the 1940's. At the base of the scale was the word "animals". It then ascended through "labourers, farmers, financiers, fanatics" and "the Fool" to "God". Hubbard seemed to have seen himself as the Fool and was perhaps trying to create a trampoline of fanatics through whom he could achieve divinity. Indeed, if Scientology could live up to its claims, then Hubbard would be a "godmaker".

Of course, the Tarot pack also contains the Empress card and knowing this it is finally possible to understand what Hubbard believed his Guardian Angel to be.

Crowley examined the Tarot in The Book of Thoth (32). Of the Empress card he said "She combines the highest spiritual with the lowest material qualities" (33). Crowley identifies the Empress as the "Great Mother" and indeed on her robe are bees (34), the traditional symbol of Cybele. Crowley is not alone in the belief that different cultures give different names to the same deities. The worship of Cybele goes back to at least 3,000 B.C. She entered Greek culture as Artemis and to the Romans was Diana, the huntress. Crowley also identified the Empress with the Hindu goddess Shakti (35), and the Egyptian goddess Isis and Hathor. Crowley directly identified Isis with Diana (36). More usually, Crowley called the Empress by the name Babalon (37).

Contemporary New Age groups see the Great Mother in the aspect of Gaia the Earth Mother. This is far from Crowley's view. Diana, the patroness of witchcraft (38) was seen by Hubbard rather through the eyes of Crowley than as a benevolent, loving mother. Hubbard made no reference for example to Robert Graves' White Goddess, but only to Crowley and peripherally to Frazer's Golden Bough and Gibbon's Decline and Fall, both or which give reference to the cult of Diana. To Crowley, the Great Mother, Babalon, is, of course, also the antichrist.

While Crowley's path was submission to the Empress, Hubbard seems to have tried to dominate the same force, bringing it into being as a servile homunculus. Hubbard's eldest son, although a questionable witness, was insistent that his father taught him magic and privately referred to the goddess as Hathor. The Blood Ritual confirms this assertion if nothing else.

Publicly, Hubbard was taken with the Roman name of the goddess, Diana, giving it to one of his daughters and also to one of his Scientology Sea Organization boats. Curiously this boat had been renamed The Enchanter and before Scientology he had owned another called The Magician. Hubbard had also used Jack Parsons' money to buy a yacht called Diane (39). "Dianetics" may also be a reference to Diana. Shortly before its inception, another former US Navy Officer and practitioner of the VIIIth degree of the Ordo Templi Orientis had formed a group called Dianism (40).

When The Blood Ritual was mentioned during the Armstrong trial in 1984, Scientology's lawyer asserted that it was an invocation of an Egyptian goddess of love (41). Hathor is indeed popularly seen as a winged and spotted cow which feeds humanity. However, there is an important lesson about Scientology in the practice of magicians. The teachings of magic are considered by many practitioners to be powerful and potentially dangerous and therefore have to be kept secret. One of the easiest ways to conceal the true meaning of a teaching is to reverse it. By magicians Hathor is also seen as an aspect of Sekmet, the avenging lioness. One authority on ritual magic has revealed the identity of Hathor as "the destroyer of man" (42). The important lesson is that Scientology has both a public and a hidden agenda. Publicly it is a Church, privately as the record of convictions shows, it is an Intelligence agency. Many public Hubbard works speak of helping people. In his largely secret Fair Game teachings, however, Hubbard is outspoken in his attack upon either critics of himself or his works. For example, in What is Greatness? Hubbard says "The hardest task one can have is to continue to love one's fellows despite all reasons he should not. And the true sign of sanity and greatness is so to continue." In one statement of the Fair Game Law, however, Hubbard said that opponents "May be tricked, sued or lied or destroyed" (43). Of practitioners unlicensed by him Hubbard said "Harass these persons in any possible way" (44). Nor did he exclude the possibility of murder against those who opposed him (45). The harassment of critics, may explain the dearth of academic research into Scientology. Hubbard's use of contradiction to captivate and redirect his followers is worthy of a separate study (46) but it has its roots in his study of magic. Perhaps he related his "Dianetics" also to Janus, the two-faced god whose name is sometimes called "Dianus".

While Hubbard was supposedly researching his Dianetics in the late 1940s, he was in fact engaging in magical rituals, and trying out hypnosis both on himself and others. During the 1984 Armstrong trial, extracts from Hubbard's voluminous self-hypnotic affirmations were read into the record. The statements, hundreds of pages of them, are written in red ink and Hubbard frequently drew pictures of the male genitalia alongside the text (47). Amongst his suggestions to himself we find, "Men are my slaves", "Elemental Spirits are my slaves" and "You can be merciless whenever your will is crossed and you have every right to be merciless" (48).

Black magic is distinguished from white in the desire of the practitioner to bring harm. "Maleficium" is the traditional word for such magic. The "Suppressive Person declare" and the "Fair Game Law" speak reams in terms of Hubbard's intent.

Scientology is a neo-gnostic system, which is to say that it teaches the attainment of insight through a series of stages. These stages are called by Scientologists "the Bridge to Total Freedom". The Bridge currently consists of some 27 levels. These levels might be compared to the initiations of magical systems. While the stages appear dissimilar to those of Crowley's Ordo Templi Orientis, it is worth noting that both systems consist of stages, that both have secret levels and that both are numbered with Roman numerals. Hubbard also shared with Crowley a numbering system which begins at 0 rather than 1.

The Scientology Bridge has as its end the creation of an "Operating Thetan". Hubbard used the word "thetan" to identify the self, the spirit which is the person. He claimed that the word derived from an earlier Greek usage of the letter theta for "spirit" (49). I have been unable to find such a usage, but can comment that the theta symbol is central to the Crowley system where it is found as an aspect of the sign used for Babalon. To Crowley, the theta sign represented the essential principles of his system - thelema or the will. (50)

By "Operating Thetan", Hubbard meant and individual or "thetan" able to "operate" freely from the physical body, able to cause effects at a distance by will alone. In Hubbard's words "a thetan exterior who can have but doesn't have to have a body in order to control or operate thought, life, matter, energy, space and time" (51). Hubbard used the term "intention" rather than "will" (52), but the goal of Scientology is clearly the same as that of the Crowley system. The Scientologist wishes to be able to control events and the minds of others by intention. This seems to be exactly what Crowley called "thelema". In a 1952 lecture, Hubbard recommended a book which he called "The Master Therion" (53). This was in fact one of Crowley's "magical" names. I have been advised by an officer of one of the Ordo Templi Orientis groups that the reference is most likely to Crowley's magnum opus Magick in Theory and Practice. In that work, Crowley gave this definition "Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will" (54). So the aim of both Crowley and Hubbard seems to have been the same.

As a recovering Scientologist, I must raise an ethical objection to the desire to control the minds of others without their consent. This is the purpose of many Scientology procedures (55), and can be seen either as deliberate "mind control" or as the black magician's contempt of others. Scientology is a curious hybrid of magic and psychology. After all, Hubbard boasted "we can brainwash faster than the Russians - 20 seconds to total amnesia" (56).

At the centre of Crowley's teaching is the notion that we can control our own destiny: "Postulate: Any required Change may be effected by the application of the proper kind and degree of Force in the proper manner through the proper medium of the proper object" (57); further "Every intentional act is a Magical Act" (58); "Every failure proves that one or more requirements of the postulate have not been fulfilled" (59). Hubbard taught that everything is down to the intention of the individual. He called such intentions "postulates". The victim of any negative event is said to have "pulled it in". Hubbard taught a contempt for "victims" and regarded sympathy as a low emotional condition (60). As Crowley put it "Man is ignorant of the nature of his own being and powers ... he may thus subjugate the whole Universe of which he is conscious to his individual Will" (61).

Hubbard was to employ or parallel so many of Crowley's ideas and approaches that it is impossible, especially with Hubbard's references to Crowley, to avoid comparison. For example, in his Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health, Hubbard laid much emphasis on the recollection of birth. Crowley had earlier insisted that the magician must recall his birth (62). Crowley spoke of "A equals" (63), where Hubbard, again in Dianetics spoke of "A equals A equals A". Both men were noisy in their contempt for pyschotherapists (64). Both Hubbard and Crowley spoke of "past lives" rather than "reincarnation" (65). Indeed, the notion of past lives and their recollection is essential to both systems, as Crowley wrote "There is no more important task than the exploration of one's previous incarnations" (66). Scientology and Dianetics also rely upon the supposed recollection of previous incarnations. Crowley called this the "magical memory" (67).

Hubbard gave as the fundamental axiom of his system "Life is basically a static. A Life static has no mass, no motion, no wavelength, no location in space or in time." (68). Crowley was more succinct, called the self "nothing" (69). Hubbard was to say that even an "Operating Thetan" could not "operate" alone, and Crowley said "Even in Magick we cannot get on without the help of others" (70).

The first essential teaching of Scientology is that "reality is basically agreement" (71) or "reality is the agreed-upon apparency of existence" (72), which Crowley expressed as "The universe is a projection of ourselves; an image as unreal as that of our faces in the mirror...not to be altered save as we alter ourselves" (73). The controlling power of thought, or will, is evident in both systems, Crowley has it "we can never affect anything outside ourselves save only as it is also within us."(74).

Both men believed that truth is unobtainable in the material world. Crowley expressed it thus "There is no such thing as truth in the perceptible universe (75). Hubbard said "The ultimate truth...has no mass, meaning, mobility, no wavelength, no location in space, no space." (76)

Hubbard's concept of the "thetan exterior" - operating apart from the body - is found in Crowley's "interior body of the Magician" which can "pass through matter" (77). Both systems seek to get the spirit "out of the body" (78).

Crowley said "Evil is only an appearance...like good" (79), where Hubbard said that "goodness and badness...are considerations, and no other basis than opinion" (80).

Each spoke of a personal "universe" (81). Hubbard also followed in Crowley's footsteps with the insistence that the meaning of words should be clarified or "cleared" (82).

Crowley announced that Christ was "concocted" (83) which tallies with Hubbard's assertion that Christ was a hypnotic "implant" (84). Here the major difference between Crowley and Hubbard becomes apparent: Crowley was publicly outspoken about his views, Hubbard was careful to keep negative material secret. Scientology claims to be eclectic and non-denominational. Only in secret teachings is Hubbard's contempt for Christianity apparent (85).

The long series of lectures in which Hubbard called Crowley his "very good friend" and recommended his writings, centres on a technique called "creative processing" by Hubbard. It is unsurprising that this technique is common to magicians. Nowadays it is more usually known as "visualisation."

Scientology surely has the distinction of containing the largest collection of teachings produced by one man. There are more than a hundred books and over 2,500 recorded lectures. But there are also thousands of registered trademarks, including many symbols.

Many of these symbols have magical significance. It seems highly unlikely given his study of the occult that Hubbard was unaware of the earlier use of these symbols. The Scientology cross which Hubbard claimed to have seen in an old Spanish church in Arizona (86) is markedly similar to the Rosicrucian cross (87) and also to Aleister Crowley's OTO cross. Hubbard had been a member of the Rosicrucians. He had also commented on Crowley's Tarot which carries the OTO cross on the back of every card. Hubbard cannot have been ignorant of these uses.

The Scientology cross could also be seen as a crossed out cross, with potentially Satanic implications. It seems strange that Hubbard who called Scientology a "better" activity than Christianity (88) called Christ an invention (89) and said that the "Creator of Heaven" would be found "with beetles under the rocks" (90), should have adopted the exclusive Christian word "church", the garb of Christian ministers and the use of the cross as a symbol. But Scientology is based upon deception and contradictions.

The Rosicrucians and the Freemasons share a ritual called the "grave of fire" (91). A senior Rosicrucian who had also studied Scientology told me that the initiate lies on a carpet within a pattern of lapping flames. He claimed that Scientology's Religious Technology Center - or RTC - symbol was very similar.

The RTC symbol contains the Dianetics triangle, which is a common magical symbol, representing the door of the Cabala, the letter Daleth. Hubbard indeed assigned it to the Greek equivalent of Daleth, Delta. The triangle on its base is also the symbol of Set, the Egyptian god called by some "the destroyer of man", the male equivalent of Babalon. Indeed Crowley equates Set with Satan (93). The triangle is universally recognised as a sign of malign power. Alexandra David-Neel commented upon its use as such among the Tibetans. Her best-selling books of the 1930's contain many other possible comparisons with Hubbard's work.

The "S and double triangle" is a major symbol found throughout Scientology. The "S" supposedly represents "Scientology" and the two triangles Affinity-Reality- communication and Knowledge-Responsibility-Control. There is another possible interpretation. The "S" seen on its own can easily be seen as a snake. To Crowley, indeed, the "S" represented the tempting serpent, Satan. Perhaps Hubbard's "thetan" is pronounced to match with a lisped "satan"? He was after all wry in his humour. The two triangles can be assembled differently to form the Star of David, called the Seal of Solomon by magicians (94). This symbol allegedly represents "tetragrammaton" the holy name of God which must never be spoken. Perhaps breaking it apart is similar to hanging the Christian cross upside down.

Next we see the Sea Organization symbol. The five pointed star, or pentacle is the most commonly known symbol of magical power. It is held between two thirteen-leaved laurels. Armstrong told me in 1984 that judging by the papers in Hubbard's archive the creator of Scientology was more interested in numerology than any other aspect of magic.

Among the more seemingly fanciful claims of Hubbard's oldest son, L. Ron, junior, was that his father was the successor to the magicians who created Nazism. Nazism was certainly an authoritarian group, a protypical destructive cult. Recent revelations about leading Scientologist Thomas Marcellus' long-running direction of the Institute for Historical Review can only add to speculation (95). Dusty Sklar has said that had she known about Hubbard she would have used him in the last chapter of The Nazis and the Occult rather than Sun Myung Moon (96). L. Ron, junior, was sure that the teachings of the Germanen Orden and the Thule Society had passed directly to his father by courier. In this light, the white circle on a red square of Scientology's International Management Organization (97) can be readily compared to the Nazi flag. The four lightning flashes or "sig runes" are also common to Nazism. No explanation is given for these sig runes by Scientology. They also appear on the RTC symbol. At the time that both of these symbols were introduced, Hubbard also created the International Finance Police, headed by the International Finance Dictator. An unusual choice of words.

Image

Hitler too had been aware of the power of occult symbols and rituals. Speaking of Freemasons, he said "All the supposed abominations, the skeletons and death's head, the coffins and the mysteries, are mere bogeys for children. But there is one dangerous element and that is the element I have copied from them. They form a sort of priestly nobility. They have developed an esoteric doctrine more merely formulated, but imparted through the symbols and mysteries in degrees of initiation. The hierarchical organization and the initiation through symbolic rites, that is to say, without bothering the brain by working on the imagination through magic and the symbols of a cult, all this has a dangerous element, and the element I have taken over. Don't you see that our party must be of this character...? An Order, the hierarchical Order of a secular priesthood." (98)

Having shown many comparisons between Crowley's work and Hubbard's, and having shown the common intent of both systems, I shall now move on to the secret rituals of Scientology. The attempt to obtain magical powers is certainly not unique to Hubbard and Crowley. Every culture seems to have its own approach.

One common element to most cultures is the belief in disembodied spirits. Disembodied spirits can be found in the teachings of all the major religions (99). Crowley shared with many the belief that such spirits can be used in the practice of magic (100). Most of the secret teachings of Scientology concern such disembodied spirits.

Toward the end of his life, Hubbard wrote some chirpy pop songs which were recorded under his direction (101). One of these songs, The Evil Purpose, begins "in olden days the populace was much afraid of demons and paid an awful sky high price to buy some priestly begones". The song goes on to explain that there are no demons, "just the easily erased evil purpose". In fact, the Operating Thetan levels are concerned almost entirely with "body thetans" or indwelling spirits or demons.

Hubbard first floated the idea to his adherents in spring 1952, during his first Scientology lectures (102). He spoke of "theta" as the life-force and went on to describe "theta beings" and "theta bodies". Mention was made again that June in the book What to Audit, which is still in print, minus a chapter - as Scientology: A History of Man. Here Hubbard said that we are all inhabited by seven foreign spirits, the leader of which he called the "crew chief". The idea did not find favour, so it was abandoned for fourteen years.

In December 1966, in North Africa, Hubbard undertook "research" into an incident which he claimed had occurred 75 million years ago. In a tape recorded lecture given in September, 1967, Hubbard announced his revelation to Scientologists. On the same tape he boasted about his wife Mary Sue Hubbard's use of "Professional Intelligence Agents" to steal files. His wife, the controller of all Scientology organizations subsequently went to prison. Scientology continues to claim that its creator knew nothing of the events that put his wife into prison, but also continues to sell the tape. Armstrong, Hubbard's former archivist has said that the Hubbard archive contains letters written while he was creating Operating Thetan level three. In his lecture, Hubbard claimed to have broken his back while researching. Armstrong told me in 1984 that Hubbard had in fact got very drunk and fallen down in the gutter. A doctor had been called out to him to deal with a sprain. Hubbard also detailed his drug use in this correspondence. In February, 1967, Hubbard flew to Los Palmas and the woman who attended him there has told me that he was taking enormous quantities of drugs and was in a very debilitated state.

The result of Hubbard's "research" was a mixture of science-fiction and old-fashioned magic. According to Hubbard, 75 million years ago, Xenu, the overlord of 76 planets, rounded up most of the people of his empire, some 178 billion per planet - and brought them to Earth. Here they were exploded in volcanoes using hydrogen bombs and the spirits or thetans collected on "electronic ribbons". Disoriented from the massacre, the disembodied thetans were subjected to some 36 days of hypnotic "implanting" and clustered together. From seven indwelling spirits per person Hubbard's estimate had gone into the thousands. The "implants" supposedly contained the blueprint for future civilizations, including the Christian teaching, 75 million years before Christ. Operating Thetan level three had to be kept secret, according to Hubbard, because the unprepared will die within two days of discovering its contents. The story has in fact been published in many newspapers without noticeable loss of life. Hubbard was so taken with his science fiction, that he finally wrote a screenplay called Revolt in the Stars about the "OT3" incident, ignoring his own warnings.

It is often the case with Hubbard's work that he has simply taken other ideas and dressed them up in new expressions. Careful study shows that Dianetics included such words as "operator", "reverie", and "regression" common to hypnotic practitioners at the time. On leaving Scientology, most people cannot see that the "body thetans" of Operating Thetan levels three to seven are in fact the demons of Christian belief. The "OT levels" are factually the most expensive form of exorcism known to man. Unfortunately, such beliefs and practices can have a severe effect upon practitioners, who take Hubbard's warning to heart and come to believe themselves multiple personalities. I have been called to help in several times in such instances.

Indeed, the whole process of "auditing" can be seen as an update of magical ritual. Scientology is a mixture of occult ritual and 1950s style psychotherapy. The adherents travel through increasingly expensive initiations with the hope of attaining supernatural powers. There are badges, symbols and titles for almost every stage of the way.

Other links with ritual magic have emerged. A peculiar event occurred aboard Hubbard's flagship, the Apollo, in 1973. Those aboard ship responsible for overseeing the management of Scientology organizations were involved in a ceremony called thee Kali ceremony after the Hindu goddess of destruction. The whole was staged very seriously, and the managers were led into a dimly lit hold of the ship and ordered to destroy models of their organizations. A few years before, a high-ranking Sea Organization Officer claims to have been ordered to Los Angeles where he was meant to mount an armed attack on a magician's sabat. He did not mount the attack but claims that the meeting happened exactly where Hubbard had told him it would.

In 1976, Hubbard ordered a secret research project into the teachings of gnostic groups. He had already carried out a project to determine which of his ship's crew members were "soldiers of light" and which "soldiers of darkness". The latter group were apparently promoted. Jeff Jacobsen has provided insight into a possible connection between Hubbard's OT levels and gnostic teachings (103). Jacobsen quotes from the third century Christian gnostic Valentinus: "For many spirits dwell in it (the body) and do not permit it to be pure; each of them brings to fruition its own works, and they treat it abusively by means of unseemly desires". Jacobsen goes on to cite the gnostic Basildes, man "preserves the appearance of a wooden horse, according to the poetic myth, embracing as he does in one body a host of such different spirits." Jacobsen points out that multiple possession seems to have been considered normal by these gnostics. Possession equates to madness in orthodox Christianity, and example of multiple possession are rare [the Gadarene swine for example]. Jacobsen draws other interesting parallels between gnosticism and Scientology.

Another former Sea Organization member affidavited a meeting in the 1970's with an old man whose description fitted Hubbard's. She claimed to have been taken to the top floor of a Scientology building by high-ranking officials and left there with this man, who performed the sexual act with her, but very slowly (104). Indeed, in the way advocated by Crowley and called karezzo. No outside witness has corroborated this statement.

I have already said that the public and private faces of Scientology are very different. The vast majority of Hubbard's followers are good people who genuinely believe that the techniques of Scientology can help the world. Most are ignorant of the hidden Fair Game teachings. Hubbard presented himself as a messiah, as Maitreya the last Buddha, but in fact he was privately a highly disturbed and frequently ill man. There are a number of reports of his drug abuse. He advocated the use of amphetamines (105). He admitted to barbiturate addiction (106) and was also at times a heavy drinker. His treatment of those around him was often deplorable. Although holding himself out as an authority on child-rearing, his relationship with his children was genuinely dreadful. He disowned his first son, barely saw his first daughter, and Quentin, the oldest son of his third marriage, committed suicide. Quentin had reached the highest level of Scientology twice. He was a Class XII auditor and a "cleared theta clear", but he was also a homosexual. Hubbard was publicly homophobic - saying that all homosexuals are "covertly hostile" or backstabbers. I have received alarming reports of his sexual behaviour. I must emphasise that these reports are not corroborated, so can only stand as allegations.. One Sea Organization officer claims to have witnessed a sexual encounter between Hubbard and a young boy in North Africa. Another claims that Hubbard admitted to a sexual relationship with one of his own children. It is impossible to substantiate such reports. But such behaviour would be in keeping with an extreme devotee of Aleister Crowley who said that in the training of a magician "Acts which are essentially dishonourable must be done." (107).

In conclusion, I believe that Hubbard was a classic psychopath. Some trauma in infancy separated him from the world and made him untrusting of other people. This developed into a paranoia, a need to control others. He created a dissociated world, inhabited by the Empress. Bear in mind that he actually saw the Empress in full colour, and that she spoke to him (108). From his comments about automatic writing and speaking, it could be averred that Hubbard was in fact "channeling" the Empress. Hubbard separated off a compartment of himself calling it the Empress and gave in to its urging. He lived a life of dreadful contradiction. He claimed expertise in all things, but factually was a failure at most. Some will see him as having a psychiatric complaint, others will believe that he invoked the very devil, or Babalon, and was possessed. Hubbard's own belief lives on with all of its contradictions in his teaching. Ultimately, as Fritz Haack put it, Scientology is twentieth-century magic.

References:

(1) Atack, Jon, Lyle Stuart Books, New Jersey 1990

(2) Sigmund Freud, Clarke Lectures 1-3, in Two Short Accounts of Psycho-Analysis, Penguin Books, London, 1962, Cf Hubbard "Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health" and "The Dianetic Auditors Course"

(3) Hubbard HCO Policy letter "Keeping Scientology Working", 7 February 1965

(4) e.g. acknowledgements lists in Hubbard's "Science of Survival", 1951, and "Scientology 8-8008, 1952, Phoenix Lectures, p. 264

(5) Grinker and Speigel, "Men Under Stress", McGraw-Hill, New York, 1945

(6) Sargant, "Battle for the Mind", Heinemann, London, 1957. Hubbard had a copy of this book on his library shelf in Washington, D.C. in 1958. It also has relevance to other aspects of Scientology.

(7) Hermitage House, 1950

(8) Fodor, "The Search for the Beloved - a clinical investigation of birth and the trauma of prenatal conditioning", Hermitage House, 1949

(9) Wolfe & Rosenthal, Hypnotism Comes of Age, Blue Ribbon, NY, 1949, Young Twenty-Five Lessons in Hypnotism, Padell, NY, 1944. Both recommended by Hubbard in Research & Discovery, volume 2, p. 12, 1st edition.

(10) Jeff Jacobsen has written two interesting papers relevant to any discussion of the origins of Scientology. Dianetics: From Out of the Blue, the Skeptic, UK, March/April 1992, which discusses the origins of Dianetics and The Hubbard is Bare, 1992, a more general discussion including comments about Crowley and gnosticism. I have worked for some time on a set of papers which discuss Hubbard's plagiarism, as yet these are unavailable.

(11) A Piece of Blue Sky, pp. 119 & 125-126.

(12) A Piece of Blue Sky, pg. 128

(13) See particularly the chapters on Bergson and Spencer.

(14) See also Jacobsen's The Hubbard is Bare and Bent Corydon's L. Ron Hubbard, Messiah or Madman? Corydon relied upon excellent research by Brian Ambry but also upon L. Ron Hubbard jnr, whose credibility is questionable. See also L. Ron Hubbard, jnr, A Look Into Scientology or 1/10 of 1% of Scientology, manuscript, 1972.

(15) Hubbard, "Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science" originally printed in Astounding Science Fiction, May 1950. Republished by AOSH DK Publications Department, 1972, quotation from p. 56, see also p. 59.

(16) Burks, "Monitors" CSA Press, Lakemount, Georgia, 1967.

(17) King, Francis, The Secret Rituals of the OTO, C.W. Daniel, London, 1973.

(18) Revelation, chapter 17.

(19) Secret Rituals of the OTO

(20) Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, Castle Books, New York, p. 88

(21) Magick in Theory and Practice, p. 120

(22) There is contention between the various OTO groups about the Book of Babalon. Its existence is sometimes denied, and the OTO New York have claimed that only a fragment exists (published in Parsons, Freedom is a Two-Edged Sword, Falcon, Las Vegas, 1989) I have read three versions of the manuscript, one is the Yorke transcript, another is un-named. The third was published in vol.1, issue 3 of Starfire, London, 1989.

(23) Published by Isis Research, Edmonton, Alberta, 1980, ed Plawiuk

(24) Professional Auditors Bulletin, no. 110, 15 April 1957.

(25) Author's interview with 15th degree Rosicrucian, 1984.

(26) Hubbard, Philadelphia Doctorate Course, lecture 18 "Conditions of Space-Time- Energy".

(27) Philadelphia Doctorate Course, lecture 18

(28) Philadelphia Doctorate Course, lecture 35

(29) Philadelphia Doctorate Course, lecture 40

(30) Hubbard, Philadelphia Doctorate Course, lecture 1, "Opening, What is to be done in the Course".

(31) Thoth Tarot Deck, US Games Systems, NY, ISBN 0-913866-15-6.

(32) Crowley, The Book of Thoth, Samuel Weiser, Maine, 1984. First edition 1944.

(33) Book of Thoth, p. 75

(34) Book of Thoth, p. 76

(35) Francis King, The Magical World of Aleister Crowley, Arrow Books, p. 56

(36) Crowley, Confessions, Bantam, New York, 1971, p. 693.

(37) e.g, Book of Thoth, pp. 136

(38) Cavendish, The Magical Arts, Arkana, London, 1984, p. 304

(39) A Piece of Blue Sky, p. 99

(40) Francis King, Ritual Magic in England, Spearman, London, 1970, p. 161

(41) Litt, in Church of Scientology v Armstrong, vol. 26, p. 4607

(42) Hope, Practical Egyptian Magic, Aquaarian, Northants, 1984, pp. 39 & 47. (43) HCO Policy

(43) HCO Policy letter, Penalities for Lower Conditions, 18 October 1967, Issue IV.

(44) HCO Executive Letter, Ampriministics, 27 September IV.

(44) HCO Executive letter, Amprinistics, 27 September 1975.

(45) e.g. HCO Policy Letter, Ethics, Suppressive Acts, Suppression of Scientologists, the Fair Game Law, 1 March 1965. The offending part of the text was read into an English court judgment (Hubbard v Vosper, November, 1971, Court of Appeal). In USA v Jame Kember and Morris Budlong, in 1980, Scientology lawyers admitted that despite public representations Fair Game has never truly been "abrogated" (sentencing memorandum, District Court, Washington, D.C. criminal no. 78.401 (2) & (3), p. 16, footnote). The Policy Letter which did eventually cancel it, off 22 July 1980, was itself withdrawn on 8 September 1983. Unknown to MOST of its adherents, Fair game is still a scripture, and according to Hubbard's Standard Tech principle binding upon Scientologists. Hubbard issued a murder order in 1978 under the name "R2-45" (The Auditor issue 35). Thankfully, this order was not complied with.

(46) See for example the technique called False Data Stripping and Hubbard's comments on controlling people through contradictory instructions.

(47) Interview with Robert Vaughan Young, former Hubbard archivist, Corona Del Mar, April 1993.

(48) Affirmations, exhibits 500-4D, E, F & G, See Church of Scientology v Armstrong, transcript volume 11, p. 1886

(49) Hubbard, Dianetics and Scientology Dictionary, Church of Scientology of California, L.A., 1975, "theta" definition 6.

(50) The Babalon sign with a theta at the centre of a 7-pointed star is found in many of Crowley's works, e.g. The Book of Thoth. The winged sign of the OTO and the use of the theta sign can be found in various place, e.g. Equinox - Sex and Religion, Thelema Publishing Co., Nashville, 1981.

(51) Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary, definition of "Operating Thetan".

(52) e.g., PAB 91, The Anatomy of Failure, 3 July 1956. See also definition of "Tone 40" in the Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary, "giving a command and just knowing that it will be executed despite any contrary appearances"..

(53) Philadelphia Doctorate Course, lecture 18

(54) Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. xii

(55) e.g., Dissemination Drill, CCHS, Opening Procedure by Duplication, Mood TRS & Tone Scale Drills, TRS 6-8, TR-8Q, the FSM TR "How to control a conversation". On the OTVII practised up to 1982, the student was expected to telepathically implant thoughts into others.

(56) Technical Bulletin of 22 July 1956.

(57) Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. xiii

(58) ibid, p. xiii

(59) ibid. p. xiv.

(60) e.g. The Tone Scale. For a discussion of Scientology beliefs, see A Piece of Blue Sky, pp. 378.

(61) Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. xvi-xvii.

(62) ibid, p. 419

(63) ibid, p. 9

(64) e.g., Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. xxiv.

(65) e.g. Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. 228. Hubbard Have You Lived Before this Life?, Church of Scientology of California, L.A., 1977, p. 3

(66) Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. 50

(67) ibid. pp. 50 & 228

(68) Hubbard, Phoenix Lectures, Church of Scientology of California, Edinburgh, 1968, Scxientology Axiom 1, p. 146

(69) Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. 30

(70) ibid. p. 63

(71) Phoenix Lectures, p. 175

(72) Phoenix Lectures, p. 173, Scientology Axioms 26 & 27.

(73) Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. 110

(74) ibid. p. 121.

(75) ibid. p. 143-144

(76) Phoenix Lectures, p. 180, Scientology Axiom 35

(77) Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. 144.

(78) e.g., ibid, p. 147

(79) ibid, p. 153

(80) Phoenix Lectures, p. 180, Scientology Axiom 31.

(81) Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. 251. Hubbard, PAB 1, General Comments, 10 May 1953.

(82) Crowley, Magick Without Tears, Falcon Press, Phoenix, AZ, 1983, pp. xii, 26, 407 & 440. Hubbard, Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary, definition of "word clearing". Korzybski also advocated understanding of words.

(83) Crowley, Magick Without Tears, p. 11

(84) HCO Bulletin, Confidential - Resistive Cases - Former Therapies, 23 September 1978.

(85) e.g. Hubbard, HCO Policy Letter Routine Three - Heaven, 11 May 1963 and the original preface to the Phoenix Lectures, Hubbard South Africa Association of Scientologists, Johannesburg, 1954 "God just happens to be the trick of this universe", p. 5. In HCO Bulletin Technically Speaking, of 8 July 1959, Hubbard said "The whole Christian movement is based on the victim...Christianity succeeded by making people into victims. We can succeed by making victims into people."

(86) What is Scientology?" Church of Scientology of California, first edition, 1978, p. 301

(87) H. Spencer Lewis, Rosicrucian Manual, AMORC , San Jose, 1982.

(88) Modern Management Technology Defined, definition of Church of American Science

(89) HCO Policy Letter, Former practices, 1968

(90) HCO Policy Letter, Heaven, 1963

(91) cf Hubbard's use of "wall of fire" to describe OT III & OT V. These may also be compared to gnostic ideas.

(92) The RTC symbol is frequently used, e.g., What is Scientology, 2nd edition, 1992, p. 92

(93) Magick Without Tears, p. 259

(94) Cavendish, p. 243

(95) Paul Bracchi, The Cult and a Right-Winger, Evening Argus, Brighton, England, 4 April 1995.

(96) Letter to the author. Sklar's book was published by Crowell, NY, 1977. It was originally released as Gods and Beasts. See also Gerald Suster Hitler and the Age of Horus, Sphere, London, 1981.

(97) This symbol is frequently used, e.g., What is Scientology, 2nd edition, 1992, p. 358

(98) Suster, Hitler and the Age of Horus, p. 138

(99) Francoise Stachan, Casting out the Devils, Aquarian Press, London, 1972. See also Alexandra David-Neel Initiates and Initiations in Tibet, pp. 168-169.

(100) Magick in Theory and Practice, p. 16

(101) The Road to Total Freedom, BPI records, L.A., 1986

(102) The Hubbard College Lectures

(103) The Hubbard is Bare

(104) Affidavit of Ann Bailey, p. 34

(105) e.g. Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, Bridge, L.A.m 1985, p. 389 or AOSHDK, Denmark, 1973, p. 363. See also the Research and Discovery series.

(106) The Research and Discovery Series, vol. 1, 1st edition 1980, Scientology Publications Org, p. 124

(107) Magick in Theory and Practice, p. 339

(108) Hubbard ordered that new dust sleeves should be put onto his books after he'd released OT3, in 1967. These book covers are supposedly meant to depict images from the 36 days of implanting and will supposedly compel people to buy the books. The cover for Hubbard's Scientology 8-80, Publications Department, AOSH Denmark, 1973, shows a winged couple. The woman could well be the Empress. A similar design was used on the dust sleeve of Hubbard's Scientology 8-8008 in the 1990 Bridge, L.A., edition.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 29163
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Journalism: Scientology - L. Ron Hubbard's Brainchild

Postby admin » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:05 am

Hubbard Used Black Magic
by George-Wayne Shelor
Sun staff writer
Clearwater SunWitness
Sunday May 16, 1984

LOS ANGELES - Bigamy and black magic were a part of the life of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, according to documents introduced Tuesday as exhibits in Superior Court.

And according to a former high-ranking Scientologist, Hubbard wrote a series of "Admissions" in which he acknowledged to himself his systematic manipulation of the US Navy and the Veterans Administration to increase his disability pension.

Basing his testimony on 11 years of firsthand knowledge and thousands of documents under court seal, Gerald Armstrong said the handwritten papers prove the 73-year-old founder of the worldwide Church of Scientology "has lied from his earliest youth."

If the court documents are true and authentic records of Hubbard's past, they apparently indicate a dark and decadent side of a man revered by six million devotees worldwide as an author, scientist and religious leader.

Armstrong is the subject of a sect suit charging him with taking 10,000 papers, recordings and pictures when he fled his position as Hubbard's personal archivist in December 1981. The Scientologists, and Hubbard's wife, Mary Sue, claim ownership of the contested material and are demanding the return of the documents - unsealed - and unspecified damages.

Armstrong's attorney, Michael Flynn, was discussing the papers under seal when he made mention of the documents called "Admissions," bringing sect attorney Barrett Litt to his feet. Litt was adamant in his argument that those particular documents not be discussed in open court. He said the papers, reportedly in Hubbard's own hand, have not been authenticated and are protected from introduction by the California evidence code.

Nonetheless, Superior Court Judge Paul G. Breckenridge allowed Flynn to proceed, stipulating that he restrict his inquiry to certain areas of the "Admissions" described an a list of sealed documents as:

* Hubbard handwriting RE: Feigning injuries and illness.

* Hubbard handwriting admissions RE: Control over all mankind and naval records.

* Hubbard handwriting RE: Psychoses.

* Hubbard handwriting admissions RE: Hubbard's control over others.

The information in those candid, introspective papers, Armstrong testified, "shocked me. And I knew at that point - (Hubbard) was opportunistic and had lied with impunity."

Armstrong also said the documents indicate an "imbalanced state of mind" from Hubbard's use of opium and, added Flynn, sulfathiazole:

Although not allowed to go into any great detail, Flynn and Armstrong discussed a number of documents allegedly indicating that in the 1940s Hubbard was married to two women at the same time, denied paternity of his daughter, experimented with drugs and dabbled in black magic.

Armstrong said Hubbard had claimed he once worked for U.S. Naval Intelligence and, in the line, of duty, infiltrated a black magic group to rescue a young woman. Holding papers called "The Blood Ritual," Armstrong said it is "a magical rite which Mr. Hubbard has written and invokes the powers of various Egyptian gods."

"I found that Mr. Hubbard was not connected with Naval Intelligence (and) was part of the black magic group," Armstrong said. That revelation shocked him, said Armstrong, formerly one of Hubbard's most trusted lieutenants.

But attorney Litt, again arguing the documents not be discussed in open court, said: "These particular documents do not lend themselves ... for one to conclude ... that the statements are statements of fact.

"They are (being interpreted by Armstrong) completely out of context."

Breckenridge agreed in part, saying Hubbard's writings "may be totally allegorical" or even evidence of "deficiencies" Hubbard saw, saw within himself.

Breckenridge would not allow Flynn to talk in any context about alleged references to Hubbard's use of opium. But the judge himself acknowledged "the reference is here" as he read from a document often referred to as "the most sensitive" of those under seal.

After the 37-year-old Armstrong's testimony Tuesday, Scientology spokesman Sandy Block compared him with presidential assassin John W. Hinckley Jr. "(Armstrong) is the John Hinckley of character, assassination," Block said. "He's trying to make a" big name for himself by attacking a famous man." The trial, now entering its third week, continues today with the completion of Armstrong's testimony. Scientology lawyers said they expect the cross-examination of Armstrong will take 10 days.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 29163
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Journalism: Scientology - L. Ron Hubbard's Brainchild

Postby admin » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:06 am

Part 1 of 2

Inside Scientology
by Janet Reitman
February 23, 2006

The faded little downtown area of Clearwater, Florida, has a beauty salon, a pizza parlor and one or two run-down bars, as well as a bunch of withered bungalows and some old storefronts that look as if they haven't seen customers in years. There are few cars and almost no pedestrians. There are, however, buses — a fleet of gleaming white and blue ones that slowly crawl through town, stopping at regular intervals to discharge a small army of tightly organized, young, almost exclusively white men and women, all clad in uniform preppy attire: khaki, black or navy-blue trousers and crisp white, blue or yellow dress shirts. Some wear pagers on their belts; others carry briefcases. The men have short hair, and the women keep theirs pulled back or tucked under headbands that match their outfits. No one crosses against the light, and everybody calls everybody else "sir" — even when the "sir" is a woman. They move throughout the center of Clearwater in tight clusters, from corner to corner, building to building.

This regimented mass represents the "Sea Organization," the most dedicated and elite members of the Church of Scientology. For the past thirty years, Scientology has made the city of Clearwater its worldwide spiritual headquarters — its Mecca, or its Temple Square. There are 8,300 or so Scientologists living and working in Clearwater — more than in any other city in the world outside of Los Angeles. Scientologists own more than 200 businesses in Clearwater. Members of the church run schools and private tutoring programs, day-care centers and a drug-rehab clinic. They sit on the boards of the Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce and the Boy Scouts.

In July 2004, The St. Petersburg Times dubbed Clearwater, a community of 108,000 people, "Scientology's Town." On the newspaper's front page was a photograph of Scientology's newest building, a vast, white, Mediterranean Revival-style edifice known within Scientology circles as the "Super Power" building. Occupying a full square block of downtown, this structure, which has been under construction since 1998, is billed as the single largest Scientology church in the world. When it is finally completed — presumably in late 2006, at an estimated final cost of $50 million — it will have 889 rooms on six floors, an indoor sculpture garden and a large Scientology museum. The crowning touch will be a two-story, illuminated Scientology cross that, perched atop the building's highest tower, will shine over the city of Clearwater like a beacon.

* * * *

Scientology — the term means "the study of truth," in the words of its founder and spiritual messiah, the late science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard — calls itself "the world's fastest-growing religion." Born in 1954, the group now claims 10 million members in 159 countries and more than 6,000 Scientology churches, missions and outreach groups across the globe. Its holdings, which include real estate on several continents, are widely assumed to value in the billions of dollars. Its missionaries — known as "volunteer ministers" — take part in "cavalcades" throughout the developing world and have been found, en masse, at the site of disasters ranging from 9/11 to the Asian tsunami to Hurricane Katrina. Within the field of comparative religions, some academics see Scientology as one of the most significant new religious movements of the past century.

Scientology is also America's most controversial religion: widely derided, but little understood. It is rooted in elements of Buddhism, Hinduism and a number of Western philosophies, including aspects of Christianity. The French sociologist Regis Dericquebourg, an expert in comparative religions, explains Scientology's belief system as one of "regressive utopia," in which man seeks to return to a once-perfect state through a variety of meticulous, and rigorous, processes intended to put him in touch with his primordial spirit. These processes are highly controlled, and, at the advanced levels, highly secretive. Critics of the church point out that Scientology, unique among religions, withholds key aspects of its central theology from all but its most exalted followers. To those in the mainstream, this would be akin to the Catholic Church refusing to tell all but a select number of the faithful that Jesus Christ died for their sins.
In June of last year, I set out to discover Scientology, an undertaking that would take nearly nine months. A closed faith that has often been hostile to journalistic inquiry, the church initially offered no help on this story; most of my research was done without its assistance and involved dozens of interviews with both current and former Scientologists, as well as academic researchers who have studied the group. Ultimately, however, the church decided to cooperate and gave me unprecedented access to its officials, social programs and key religious headquarters. What I found was a faith that is at once mainstream and marginal — a religious community known for its Hollywood members but run by a uniformed sect of believers who rarely, if ever, appear in the public eye. It is an insular society — one that exists, to a large degree, as something of a parallel universe to the secular world, with its own nomenclature and ethical code, and, most daunting to those who break its rules, its own rigorously enforced justice system.

Scientologists, much like Mormons or Christian evangelicals, consider themselves to be on a mission. They frequently speak of "helping people," and this mission is stressed in a number of church testaments. "Scientologists see themselves as possessors of doctrines and skills that can save the world, if not the galaxy," says Stephen Kent, a professor of sociology at the University of Alberta, in Canada, who has extensively studied the group.

Church officials boast that Scientology has grown more in the past five years than in the previous fifty. Some evidence, however, suggests otherwise. In 2001, a survey conducted by the City University of New York found only 55,000 people in the United States who claimed to be Scientologists. Worldwide, some observers believe a reasonable estimate of Scientology's core practicing membership ranges between 100,000 and 200,000, mostly in the U.S., Europe, South Africa and Australia. According to the church's own course-completion lists — many of which are available in a church publication and on the Internet — only 6,126 people signed up for religious services at the Clearwater organization in 2004, down from a peak of 11,210 in 1989. According to Kristi Wachter, a San Francisco activist who maintains an online database devoted to Scientology's numbers, this pattern is replicated at nearly all of Scientology's key organizations and churches. To some observers, this suggests that Scientology may, in fact, be shrinking.

But discerning what is true about the Church of Scientology is no easy task. Tax-exempt since 1993 (status granted by the IRS after a long legal battle), Scientology releases no information about its membership or its finances. Nor does it welcome analysis of its writings or practices. The church has a storied reputation for squelching its critics through litigation, and according to some reports, intimidation (a trait that may explain why the creators of South Park jokingly attributed every credit on its November 2005 sendup of Scientology to the fictional John and Jane Smith; Paramount, reportedly under pressure, has agreed not to rerun the episode here or to air it in England). Nevertheless, Scientology's critics comprise a sizable network of ex-members (or "apostates," in church parlance), academics and independent free-speech and human-rights activists like Wachter, who have declared war on the group by posting a significant amount of previously unknown information on the Internet. This includes scans of controversial memos, photographs and legal briefs, as well as testimonials from disillusioned former members, including some high-ranking members of its Sea Organization. All paint the church in a negative, even abusive, light.

When asked what, if anything, posted by the apostates is true, Mike Rinder, the fifty-year-old director of the Church of Scientology International's legal and public-relations wing, known as the Office of Special Affairs, says bluntly, "It's all bullshit, pretty much."

But he admits that Scientology has been on a campaign to raise its public profile. More than 23 million people visited the Scientology Web site last year, says Rinder, one of the highest-ranking officials in the church. In addition, the church claims that Scientology received 289,000 minutes of radio and TV coverage in 2005, many of them devoted to the actions of Tom Cruise, the most famous Scientologist in the world, who spent much of the spring and summer of 2005 promoting Scientology and its beliefs to interviewers ranging from Oprah Winfrey to Matt Lauer.

Shortly after Rolling Stone decided to embark on this story, Cruise called our offices to say that he would not participate. Several weeks later, the magazine was visited by Cruise's sister, Lee Anne DeVette, an upper-level Scientologist who until recently also served as Cruise's publicist, along with Mike Rinder. Both expressed their dissatisfaction with previous coverage of Scientology by major media outlets, and they warned against what they perceived to be the unreliability of the faith's critics — "the wackos," as Rinder described them. He then invited Rolling Stone to Los Angeles to show us "the real Scientology" — a trip that took five months to set up.

A number of people who have spoken for the purposes of this article have done so for the very first time. Several, in speaking of their lives spent in the church, requested that their identities be protected through the change of names and other characteristics. Others insisted that not even a gender be attached to their comments.

There will always be schisms in any religious group, as well as people who, upon leaving their faith, decide to "purge" themselves of their experiences. This is particularly true in the case of members of so-called new religions, which often demand total commitment from their members. Scientology is one of these religions. "We're not playing some minor game in Scientology," Hubbard wrote in a policy paper titled "Keeping Scientology Working," which is required reading for every member. "The whole agonized future of this planet, every man, woman and child on it, and your own destiny for the next endless trillions of years depend on what you do here and now with and in Scientology. This is a deadly serious activity."

* * * *

It is impossible to go anywhere in downtown Clearwater without being watched by security cameras. There are about 100 of them, set up on all of Scientology's properties, which include several hotels, a former bank and a number of administrative buildings. Cameras face in, toward the buildings themselves, as well as out at the street.

While some might find this disconcerting, Natalie Walet, 17, thinks it's normal. "It's just a point of security," she says over coffee one evening at the downtown Starbucks. She notes that Scientology's buildings have been marred with graffiti and are routinely picketed, which she sees as a sign of religious bigotry. "You have a church that a lot of people don't like, and some people are assholes," she says. That said, Natalie adds, most people in Clearwater have "very high standards and morals — they're ethical people."

A pretty girl with a long black ponytail, Natalie was born and raised in Scientology. Both of her parents and her grandmother are church members, and her involvement in Scientology centers around Clearwater. But the church has other far-flung hubs, including the organizational headquarters in Los Angeles, home to the powerful Church of Scientology International; and Freewinds, the 440-foot cruise ship that docks in Curacao and is used as a training facility, meeting hall and vacation destination for elite Scientologists, including Cruise and John Travolta. There is also "Gold Base," the exclusive desert compound housing the Religious Technology Center, or RTC, the financial hub of the church, located about eighty miles southeast of Los Angeles, home to David Miscavige, the charismatic forty-five-year-old who heads up the international church.

Natalie's everyday reality is one of total immersion in all things Hubbard. Scientology kids are raised in a very different manner than mainstream kids. Most of them, like Natalie, have been educated by special tutors, and enrolled, as Natalie was when she was younger, in private schools run by Scientologists that use a Hubbard-approved study technique. Most kids are also put "on course" — enrolled in classes at the church that teach both children and adults self-control, focus and communication skills. Natalie was put on course, upon her own insistence, when she was seven or eight years old. Between school and church, life was "kind of a bubble," she says.

It is a steamy night, and Natalie is dressed in a sleeveless black Empire-waist blouse and tight jeans; her short, bitten nails are painted red. She lights a Marlboro Menthol. Smoking is Natalie's only vice. She neither drinks nor takes drugs of any sort — "once in a grand while I'll take a Tylenol," she says. "But only if my headache is really bad." She admits this with embarrassment because Scientologists consider many illnesses to be psychosomatic and don't believe in treating them with medicine, even aspirin.

Like all Scientologists, Natalie considers her body to be simply a temporary vessel. She thinks of herself as an immortal being, or "thetan," which means that she has lived trillions of years, and will continue to be reborn, again and again. Many Eastern religions have similar beliefs, and Natalie is quick to note that Scientology is "actually a very basic religion. It has a lot of the same moral beliefs as others." What's special about Scientology, Natalie says, is that it "bears a workable applied technology that you can use in your everyday life."

"Technology," or "tech," is what Scientologists call the theories, methods and principles espoused by L. Ron Hubbard — "LRH," as Natalie calls him. To the devout, he is part prophet, part teacher, part savior — some Scientologists rank Hubbard's importance as greater than Christ's — and Hubbard's word is considered the word. Hubbard was a prolific writer all his life; there are millions of words credited to him, roughly a quarter-million of them contained within Dianetics, the best-selling quasiscientific self-help book that is the most famous Scientology text.

Published in 1950, Dianetics maintained that the source of mental and physical illness could be traced back to psychic scars called "engrams" that were rooted in early, even prenatal, experiences, and remained locked in a person's subconscious, or "reactive mind." To rid oneself of the reactive mind, a process known as going "Clear," Dianetics, and later Scientology, preached a regressive-therapy technique called auditing, which involves re-experiencing incidents in one's past life in order to erase their engrams.

Natalie is a fan of auditing, something she's been doing since she was a small child. Most auditing is done with a device called the electropsychometer, or E-meter. Often compared to lie detectors, E-meters measure the changes in small electrical currents in the body, in response to questions posed by an auditor. Scientologists believe the meter registers thoughts of the reactive mind and can root out unconscious lies. As Natalie explains it, the E-meter is "like a guide that helps the auditor to know what questions to ask." Sometimes, she says, you might not remember certain events, and you might not know what is causing your problems. "But they'll just dig it up until you go, 'Holy shit, was that what was going on?'" She smiles. "And afterward, you feel so much better."

Natalie has just begun her path to Scientology enlightenment, known as the Bridge to Total Freedom. There are specific stages, or "grades," of the Bridge, and the key to progressing "upward" is auditing: hundreds, if not thousands, of sessions that Scientologists believe can not only help them resolve their problems but also fix their ethical breaches, much as Catholics might do in confessing their sins. The ultimate goal in every auditing session is to have a "win," or moment of revelation, which can take a few minutes, hours or even weeks — Scientologists are not allowed to leave an auditing session until their auditor is satisfied.

So far, Natalie has gotten much of her auditing for free, through her parents, who have both worked for the church. But many Scientologists pay dearly for the service. Unique among religious faiths, Scientology charges for virtually all of its religious services. Auditing is purchased in 12.5-hour blocks, known as "intensives." Each intensive can cost anywhere from $750 for introductory sessions to between $8,000 and $9,000 for advanced sessions. When asked about money, church officials can become defensive. "Do you want to know the real answer? If we could offer everything for free, we would do it," says Rinder. Another official offers, "We don't have 2,000 years of acquired wealth to fall back on." But Scientology isn't alone, church leaders insist. Mormons, for example, expect members to tithe a tenth of their earnings.

Still, religious scholars note that this is an untraditional approach. "Among the things that have made this movement so controversial," says S. Scott Bartchy, director of the Center for the Study of Religion at UCLA, "are its claims that its forms of therapy are 'scientific' and that the 'truth' will only be revealed to those who have the money to purchase advancement to the various levels leading to 'being clear.' It is this unvarnished demand for money that has led many observers to opine that the entire operation looks more like a business than a religion." Clearing the stages along the Bridge to Total Freedom is a process that can take years and cost tens and often hundreds of thousands of dollars — one veteran Scientologist told me she "donated" $250,000 in a twenty-year period. Other Scientologists can wind up spending family inheritances and mortgaging homes to pay the fees. Many, like Natalie's parents, work for their local church so they can receive auditing and courses for free.

Both of Natalie's parents are Clear, she says. Her grandmother is what's called an "Operating Thetan," or "OT." So is Tom Cruise, who is near the top of Scientology's Bridge, at a level known as OT VII. OTs are Scientology's elite — enlightened beings who are said to have total "control" over themselves and their environment. OTs can allegedly move inanimate objects with their minds, leave their bodies at will and telepathically communicate with, and control the behavior of, both animals and human beings. At the highest levels, they are allegedly liberated from the physical universe, to the point where they can psychically control what Scientologists call MEST: Matter, Energy, Space and Time.

* * * *

The most important, and highly anticipated, of the eight "OT levels" is OT III, also known as the Wall of Fire. It is here that Scientologists are told the secrets of the universe, and, some believe, the creation story behind the entire religion. It is knowledge so dangerous, they are told, any Scientologist learning this material before he is ready could die. When I ask Mike Rinder about this, he casts the warning in less-dire terms, explaining that, before he reached OT III — he is now OT V — he was told that looking at the material early was "spiritually not good for you." But Hubbard, who told followers that he discovered these secrets while on a trip to North Africa in 1967, was more dramatic. "Somehow or other I brought it off, and obtained the material and was able to live through it," he wrote. "I am very sure that I was the first one that ever did live through any attempt to attain that material."

Scientologists must be "invited" to do OT III. Beforehand, they are put through an intensive auditing process to verify that they are ready. They sign a waiver promising never to reveal the secrets of OT III, nor to hold Scientology responsible for any trauma or damage one might endure at this stage of auditing. Finally, they are given a manila folder, which they must read in a private, locked room.

These materials, which the Church of Scientology has long struggled to keep secret, were published online by a former member in 1995 and have been widely circulated in the mainstream media, ranging from The New York Times to last year's South Park episode. They assert that 75 million years ago, an evil galactic warlord named Xenu controlled seventy-six planets in this corner of the galaxy, each of which was severely overpopulated. To solve this problem, Xenu rounded up 13.5 trillion beings and then flew them to Earth, where they were dumped into volcanoes around the globe and vaporized with bombs. This scattered their radioactive souls, or thetans, until they were caught in electronic traps set up around the atmosphere and "implanted" with a number of false ideas — including the concepts of God, Christ and organized religion. Scientologists later learn that many of these entities attached themselves to human beings, where they remain to this day, creating not just the root of all of our emotional and physical problems but the root of all problems of the modern world.

"Hubbard thought it was important to have a story about how things got going, similar to the way both Jews and Christians did in the early chapters of Genesis," says UCLA's Bartchy. "All religion lives from the sense either that something in life is terribly wrong or is profoundly missing. For the most part, Christianity has claimed that people have rebelled against God with the result that they are 'sinners' in need of restoration and that the world is a very unjust place in need of healing. What Hubbard seems to be saying is that human beings are really something else — thetans trapped in bodies in the material world — and that Scientology can both wake them up and save them from this bad situation."

The church considers OT III confidential material. But there are numerous science-fiction references in Scientology texts available to members of all levels. The official "Glossary for Scientology and Dianetics" includes an entry for "space opera," a sci-fi genre that the glossary says "is not fiction and concerns actual incidents." Scientology's "Technical Dictionary" makes reference to a number of extraterrestrial "invader forces," including one, the "Marcab Confederacy," explained as a vast, interplanetary civilization more than 200,000 years old that "looks almost exact duplicate [sic] but is worse off than the current U.S. civilization." Indeed, as even Rinder himself points out, Hubbard presented a rough outline of the Xenu story to his followers in a 1967 taped lecture, "RJ 67," in which he noted that 75 million years ago a cataclysmic event happened in this sector of the galaxy that has caused negative effects for everyone since. This material is available to lower-level Scientologists. But the details of the story remain secret within Scientology.

Rinder has fielded questions on Scientology's beliefs for years. When I ask him whether there is any validity to the Xenu story, he gets red-faced, almost going into a tirade. "It is not a story, it is an auditing level," he says, neither confirming nor denying that this theology exists. He says that OT material — and specifically the material on OT III — comprises "a small percent" of what Scientology is all about. But it is carefully guarded. Scientologists on the OT levels often carry their materials in locked briefcases and are told to store them in special secure locations in their homes. They are also strictly forbidden from discussing any facet of the materials, even with their families. "I'm not explaining it to you, and I could not explain it to you," says Rinder heatedly. "You don't have a hope of understanding it."

Those who have experienced OT III report that getting through it can be a harrowing experience. Tory Christman, a former high-ranking Scientologist who during her tenure in the faith reached the near-pinnacle of enlightenment, OT VII, says it took more than ten years before she was finally invited onto OT III. Once there, Christman was shocked. "You've jumped through all these hoops just to get to it, and then you open that packet, and the first thing you think is, 'Come on,'" she says. "You're surrounded by all these people who're going, 'Wow, isn't it amazing, just getting the data? I can tell it's really changed you.' After a while, enough people say it and you're like, 'Wow. You know, I really feel it.'"

Natalie has a long way to go before she reaches OT III. Although virtually everything about the OT levels is available on the Internet, "I don't look at that stuff," Natalie says. She believes it is mostly "entheta," which are lies, or negative information about Scientology meant to undermine the faith. "You know, sometimes in school, kids would hear I'm a Scientologist and be like, 'No way — are you an alien?'" Natalie says. "I don't get mad about it. I just go, 'OK, let me tell you what it really is.'"

Natalie's view of Scientology is the one church officials promote: that it is not a religion about "space aliens" but simply a set of beliefs that can help a person live a better life. And Natalie appears to be the poster child for Scientology as a formula for a well-adjusted adolescence. Articulate and poised, she is close to her family, has a wide circle of Scientologist and non-Scientologist friends and graduated from high school last spring as a straight-A student. "I'm not saying that everybody must be a Scientologist," she says. "But what I am saying is that I see it work. I've learned so much about myself. LRH says, 'What is true for you is what you observe to be true.' So I'm not here to tell you that Scientology is the way, or that these are the answers. You decide what is true."

* * * *

Truth is a relative concept when discussing the life of Lafayette Ronald Hubbard. He was born in 1911, and, according to his legend, lived a life of heroic acts and great scientific and spiritual accomplishment until his death, in 1986. Photos of Hubbard in robust middle age — often wearing an ascot — hang in every Scientology center. You can read Hubbard's official biography on the Scientology Web site, which portrays the man Scientologists call the "Founder" as a great thinker, teacher, scientist, adventurer, ethnographer, photographer, sailor and war hero.

The reality of Hubbard's life is less exhilarating but in many ways more interesting. The son of a U.S. naval officer, he was by all accounts an unremarkable youth from Tilden, Nebraska, who flunked out of George Washington University after his sophomore year and later found moderate success as a penny-a-word writer of pulp fiction, publishing hundreds of stories in fantasy magazines like Astounding Science Fiction. As a lieutenant in the Navy, Hubbard served, briefly, in World War II, but never saw combat and was relieved of his command. He spent the last months of the war as an outpatient at a naval hospital in Oakland, California, where he received treatment for ulcers. Years later, Hubbard would claim to have been "crippled and blinded" in battle, and that, over a year or so of intense "scientific research," he'd cured himself using techniques that would later become part of Dianetics.

After the war, Hubbard made his way to Pasadena, California, a scientific boomtown of the 1940s, where he met John Whiteside Parsons, a society figure and a founder of CalTech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. A sci-fi buff, Parsons was also a follower of the English occultist Aleister Crowley. Parsons befriended Hubbard and invited him to move onto his estate. In one of the stranger chapters in Hubbard's life, recorded in detail by several biographers, the soon-to-be founder of Dianetics became Parsons' assistant — helping him with a variety of black-magic and sex rituals, including one in which Parsons attempted to conjure a literal "whore of Babalon [sic]," with Hubbard serving as apprentice.

Charming and charismatic, Hubbard succeeded in wooing away Parsons' mistress, Sara Northrup, whom he would later marry. Soon afterward, he fell out with Parsons over a business venture. But having absorbed lessons learned at Parsons' "lodge," Hubbard set out to figure his next step. In his 1983 autobiography, Over My Shoulder: Reflections on a Science Fiction Era, the sci-fi writer Lloyd Eshbach describes meeting Hubbard in the late 1940s. "I'd like to start a religion," Eshbach recalls Hubbard saying. "That's where the money is."

Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health was published in May 1950, and it soon became a runaway hit. Written as sort of a practical pop-psychology book, Dianetics promised that by practicing certain techniques, some of which seemed almost hypnotic, one could be free of sickness, anxiety, aggression and anti-social tendencies, and develop perfect memory and astounding intelligence. Hailed by the newspaper columnist Walter Winchell as a "new science" that "from all indications will prove to be as revolutionary for humanity as the first caveman's discovery and utilization of fire," Dianetics remained on the New York Times best-seller list for twenty-eight consecutive weeks.

But a number of factors, including condemnation from the American Psychological Association, hurt book sales. Public support for Dianetics took a downturn, and by the end of 1952, Hubbard was facing financial ruin.

Rather than admit defeat, Hubbard "improved" Dianetics and unveiled what he claimed was an even more sophisticated path to enlightenment: Scientology. This new technique was designed to restore, or enhance, the abilities of the individual, as opposed to simply getting rid of the reactive mind. In 1954, the first Church of Scientology was born, in Los Angeles. L. Ron Hubbard was now the founder of his own religion.

From there, Hubbard set about spreading Scientology around the world, opening churches in England, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere. In 1955, a policy known as "Project Celebrity" was launched with the aim of recruiting stars in the arts, sports, business and government — those dubbed "Prime Communicators" — who could help disseminate the message. As incentive, these celebrities were given free courses; those who did outstanding work could be "awarded" an OT level, in honor of their service to the organization. Special churches — known as "celebrity centres" — were set up, allowing its members to practice Scientology away from the public eye. The most lavish of these is the neo-Gothic Celebrity Centre International, which is housed in a former chateau on Franklin Avenue, at the foot of the Hollywood Hills.

Among the high-profile types who dabbled in Scientology was the writer William S. Burroughs, who would later attack the organizational structure as suppressive of independent thought. But other artists were less critical. John Travolta became a Scientologist in 1975 after reading Dianetics. "My career immediately took off," he states in a personal "success story" published in the book What Is Scientology? "I landed a leading role on the TV show Welcome Back, Kotter and had a string of successful films." Indeed, Travolta says, "Scientology put me into the big time."

In addition to Travolta, Scientology attracted musicians Chick Corea and Isaac Hayes, actresses Mimi Rogers and Kirstie Alley, and the influential acting coach Milton Katselas, who brought in a number of others, including actresses Anne Archer and Kelly Preston, who later became Travolta's wife. And those celebrities begat others, including Tom Cruise, who was introduced by his then-wife, Rogers, and Jenna Elfman, introduced by her husband, actor Bodhi Elfman. Others, such as Juliette Lewis, Erika Christensen and Beck, were born into Scientology.

But as Scientology raised its profile, so too did it find itself under increased scrutiny by the U.S. government, which raided Scientology's offices a number of times in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In 1963, the Food and Drug Administration confiscated hundreds of E-meters from Scientology's Washington, D.C., offices (the FDA accused the church of making false claims about its healing powers). Soon afterward, Hubbard moved his base of operation from the U.S. to England, but continued to face condemnation from a variety of Western governments. To avoid such scrutiny, Hubbard purchased a small fleet of ships in 1967, and, dubbing himself "Commodore," headed for the high seas, which would serve as Scientology's official home and, some maintain, tax shelter until the mid-1970s.

Serving Hubbard at sea were a small group of devoted followers who comprised a private navy of sorts. They were known, collectively, as the "Sea Organization," and dressed in full naval uniforms. Mike Rinder, who joined the Sea Org when he was eighteen, served on Hubbard's lead ship, the Apollo, as a deckhand. He arrived in 1973, having endured years of discrimination in his native Australia (southeastern Australia banned Scientology from 1965 to 1982). "You couldn't own Scientology books," he says. "If you did, you had to hide them because if the police came and found them, they'd take them away."

On the Apollo, Rinder found Hubbard, a reputed recluse, to be totally accessible. He hosted weekly movie nights and often strolled across the ship talking with the crew. "What was most incredible about being with him was that he made you feel that you were important," Rinder recalls. "He didn't in any way promote himself or his own self-importance. He was very, very loving and had the widest range of knowledge and experience that you could possibly imagine — he'd studied everything." Rinder marvels at Hubbard's abilities: He knew how to cultivate plants, fix cars, shoot movies, mix music, fly an airplane, sail ships.

At sea, Hubbard, who had officially resigned his post as the head of the Church of Scientology (leaving the day-to-day management of the church to lesser officials), worked on his writings and "discoveries." Hubbard also began to obsess over the forces he saw opposing him, including journalists, whom Hubbard long distrusted and even banned from ever becoming Scientologists. Worse still were psychiatrists, a group that, coupled with the pharmaceutical-drug industry — in Hubbard's words, a "front group" — operated "straight out of the terrorist textbooks," as he wrote in a 1969 essay titled "Today's Terrorism." He accused psychiatrists of kidnapping, torturing and murdering with impunity. "A psychiatrist," he wrote, "kills a young girl for sexual kicks, murders a dozen patients with an ice pick, castrates a hundred men."

To attack his enemies, Hubbard issued a policy known as "Fair Game," which maintained that all who opposed Scientology could be "tricked, sued or lied to and destroyed." This policy was enforced by Scientology's quasisecret police force, known as the Guardian's Office. By the 1970s, among its tasks was "Operation Snow White," a series of covert activities that included bugging the Justice Department and stealing documents from the IRS. (Scientology officials say Fair Game was canceled decades ago.)

The plan was discovered in FBI raids on Scientology's Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., offices in 1977, which yielded wiretap equipment, burglary tools and about 90,000 pages of documents. Eleven Scientology officials, including Hubbard's third wife, Mary Sue, went to federal prison for their role in the plot, which led to a 1982 "sweep" of the church's upper management.

By then, Hubbard, who was cited as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in Operation Snow White, had vanished from the public eye. For the next several years, rumors of his whereabouts circulated freely — he was at sea; he was on an island. In fact, Hubbard was on his isolated ranch, Whispering Wind, near the town of Creston, in the California desert. He was attended by a small number of Scientology officials, and his physician, Dr. Eugene Denk, who treated him for a number of conditions, including chronic pancreatitis. On January 17th, 1986, Hubbard suffered a crippling stroke. A week later, he died, in a 1982 Blue Bird motor home on his property. He was seventy-four years old.

Upon Hubbard's death, his ambitious twenty-five-year-old aide, David Miscavige, who would soon succeed him as leader of the church, announced that Scientology's founder had willingly "dropped" his healthy body and moved on to another dimension. In keeping with Hubbard's wishes, his body was cremated within twenty-four hours. There was no autopsy. But the coroner's report described the father of Scientology as in a state of decrepitude: unshaven, with long, thinning whitish-red hair and unkempt fingernails and toenails. In Hubbard's system was the anti-anxiety drug hydroxyzine (Vistaril), which several of his assistants would later attest was only one of many psychiatric and pain medications Hubbard ingested over the years.

These secrets were kept under wraps by Scientology officials. The church would later be named Hubbard's successor in accordance with his will, which had been amended and signed just a day before his death. In it, Hubbard ceded the copyrights to all of his works, as well as a significant portion of his estate, making Scientology, not Hubbard's wife and five children, his primary heir.

Today, every church or Scientology organization has an office reserved for Hubbard. Usually found on the church's ground floor, it is carefully maintained with books, desk, chair, pens, notepads, desk ornaments and other accouterments, as if the Founder might walk in at any moment.

* * * *

The imposing limestone-and-granite Church of Scientology in midtown Manhattan calls itself the "New York Org." A stately building on West 46th Street, northwest of Times Square, it is here that I come, on a hot July afternoon, to experience Scientology for myself.

The first Scientologist I meet here is a kid named Emmett: a clear-eyed and enthusiastic young man in his early twenties whose job is to be a "body-router," which means someone who brings people into the church. "Hi!" he says, accosting me as I stand near the center's entrance. "Do you have a minute?" He waves a postcard-size flier in my face. "We're showing a fifteen-minute film inside," he says. "It's about Dianetics. Ever heard of it?"

He ushers me through a set of glass doors and into the church's lobby, a glossy-marble space with the kind of lighting that bathes everything in a pinkish-golden glow. It is set up as a sort of museum, with a number of video-display panels, one of which offers an earnest testimonial by Tom Cruise. "The Aims of Scientology," a document written by Hubbard, also hangs in the lobby, and it declares Scientology's goals as "simple, but great," including "a civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war; where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights."

The New York Org claims to receive more than 500 phone calls per day, and nearly as many visitors in a week. But aside from its staff, I find the place to be almost entirely empty. Seated alone in a small auditorium, I watch the film, which turns out to be an infomercial featuring a cast of "real" people talking about how Dianetics changed their lives, curing them of ailments ranging from cancer to depression. Scientology is not mentioned once in the film. Nor is Hubbard. And neither are mentioned afterward, during an hour or so conversation I have with a motherly woman in her early fifties named Laurie. She is what is known as a "greeter," and her role is to keep me in the church long enough for me to feel encouraged that, maybe, all of this is worth my time.

Self-betterment is a powerful concept to use as a sales technique, and Laurie begins her pitch in the gentlest of ways. "Tell me about yourself," she says. "What made you interested in Scientology?"

"I guess I was just curious," I tell Laurie.

"Good!" she says with a smile. "We like curious!"
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 29163
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Journalism: Scientology - L. Ron Hubbard's Brainchild

Postby admin » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:06 am

Part 2 of 2

In the next hour or so, Laurie asks me a number of questions: Am I married? Am I happy? What are my goals? Do I feel that I'm living up to my potential?

A failure to live up to potential is one of the things known in Scientology as one's "ruin." In trying to get at mine, Laurie is warm and nonaggressive. And, to my amazement, I begin to open up to her. While we chat, she delivers a soft sell for Scientology's "introductory package": a four-hour seminar and twelve hours of Dianetics auditing, which is done without the E-meter. The cost: just fifty dollars. "You don't have to do it," Laurie says. "It's just something I get the feeling might help you." She pats my arm, squeezes it warmly.

Then she gets down to business and presents me with the $100 Dianetics "starter" kit, which includes a large-type copy of Hubbard's tome, a few CDs and some workbooks to practice the stuff at home. "It's really such a good thing you came in," Laurie adds reassuringly. "You'll see."

On my next visit to the church, the following day, I see Laurie again. She spots me as soon as I walk in and rushes to greet me. "You're back!" She gives me a hug. "I am so glad you decided to give this a try." She then introduces me to a preppy-looking guy in his early thirties named Rurik, who, wasting no time on small talk, leads me to the church's second floor and installs me in a room for my introductory seminar. As with the previous day's film, I'm the only one there. Rurik starts his lecture with the claim that the mind really isn't in the brain. "Close your eyes and think of a picture of a cat," he tells me. I do. "Now, open your eyes and point to where you saw that picture."

I point to my eyes.

Rurik grins. "See? When you're asked to use your mind, you don't point to the brain."

The brain, Rurik says, has absolutely no bearing on our thoughts or feelings. Nor, he adds, does the mind — its chief function is to serve as a memory bank of all we've experienced in trillions of years of lifetimes. Indeed, Scientology holds that the entire field of neurological and mental-health research — from Freud to the study of brain chemistry — is pseudoscience. In Scientology's overview text, What Is Scientology?, psychiatry is described as a "hodgepodge of unproven theories that have never produced any result — except an ability to make the unmanageable and mutinous more docile and quiet, and turn the troubled into apathetic souls beyond the point of caring."

Most of the dedicated Scientologists I meet echo this opinion, including Kirstie Alley, who has been a Scientologist for more than twenty years and is the international spokesperson for Narconon, the church-supported anti-drug program. In an interview with Alley several weeks later, she calls Scientology the "anti-therapy." "Therapy is based on some guy analyzing you, and what he thinks is going on with you," she says. "And when he can't quite figure it out, he makes up a disease and gets a drug for that. If that doesn't work, he shocks you. And then surgery . . ." Scientology employs a holistic detoxification program known as the "purification rundown," which involves heavy doses of vitamin supplements, primarily niacin, used in conjunction with exercise and long hours in a sauna. Though many doctors point out that none of this has ever been scientifically proven, and, indeed, might be harmful, Scientology claims that the "purif" cleanses the body of impurities. "I can get someone off heroin a hell of a lot faster than I can get somebody off a psych drug," says Alley. "The guy on heroin's not being told daily, 'This is what you need for your disease, and you're gonna have to take this the rest of your life.'"

A few days later I arrive for my free Dianetics auditing sessions. I am put in a large, glass-enclosed room with a student auditor named David, who asks me to "relive" a moment of physical pain. "Don't choose something that's too stressful," David suggests.

Try as I might, I cannot relive much of anything — indeed, I can barely focus, given that I am surrounded in the room by a number of other pairs who are all being asked to do the same thing. After fifteen minutes, I give up.

Jane, the registrar who is now handling my "case," then whisks me away and, taking a look at my Oxford Capacity Analysis — a 200-item questionnaire that I filled out on my first day — tells me that she thinks I need something more personal. "I really want you to have a win," she says.

What Jane recommends is called Life Repair, basic Scientology counseling that she explains will "get to the root of what's inhibiting you." It is conducted in a private room, and involves one, but most likely two, 12.5-hour auditing "intensives," using the E-meter, which will cost around $2,000. Coupled with the purif, which is recommended to anyone starting in Scientology, the total cost will be around $4,000. "And then you'll be on the Bridge," Jane says enthusiastically. "You'll see. It'll change your life."

At the intake level, Scientology comes across as good, practical self-help. Rather than playing on themes that might distance a potential member — the concept that I am a "thetan," for example — members hit on topics that have universal appeal. Instead of claiming some heightened degree of enlightenment, they come across as fellow travelers: people who smoke too much, who have had bad marriages, who have had addictions they couldn't handle but have somehow managed to land on their feet. Scientology, they explain, has been a form of "recovery." As one woman I meet puts it, "Scientology works."

There are, however, a few things that seem jarring. Like the cost: $4,000 is a lot to spend for what Jane suggests are "basic" sessions. But perhaps even more alarming is the keen interest they take in my boyfriend. While Laurie inquired sympathetically about the dynamic of our relationship, Jane is suspicious, concerned with his views of the church and his attitude toward my being here. "If he's not open," she says, "that could be a problem."

And then there are Scientology's rules. A fiercely doctrinaire religion, Scientology follows Hubbard's edicts to the letter. Dissent or opposition to any of Hubbard's views isn't tolerated. Nor is debating certain church tenets — a practice Scientologists view as "counterintentioned." Comporting oneself in any way that could be seen as contrary to church goals is considered subversive and is known as a "suppressive act." One text that sheds enlightenment on both the mind-set of the founder and the inner workings of the church is Introduction to Scientology Ethics, which every Scientologist owns. In this book, the list of suppressive acts is six pages long and includes crimes ranging from murder to "squirreling," or altering Hubbard's teachings.

Jane hands me a form and asks me to sign. The document absolves Scientology of liability if I am not wholly satisfied with its services, and also requires me to pledge that neither I nor my family has ever sued, attacked or publicly criticized Scientology. It also asks me to pledge that I will never sue the church myself.

For the next several months, Jane and various other registrars call my cell phone, asking me to come back to the church and have a "win." I never do.

* * * *

Somewhere in the vast California scrubland east of Los Angeles, west of Palm Springs and near the town of Hemet, is Gold Base, the heart of the Scientology empire. It has been described in some news reports as a "top-secret" facility, monitored by security cameras and protected by electric fences. Most Scientologists have never been to Gold. Within church circles, it is often spoken of in whispers: as INT Base, Scientology's management headquarters and hangout for the likes of Tom Cruise and David Miscavige.

Gold, a former resort, was purchased by the church in the mid-Eighties and sits at the foot of the San Jacinto Mountains. A simple metal gate announces its presence, behind which is a long driveway and, beyond that, a golf course. The 500-acre grounds include grassy meadows and a small lake where swans and ducks roam at will. There are no visible security cameras. But there are electric fences. "Of course we have fences," says Tommy Davis, a senior church official who, with Rinder, accompanies me on a tour of the compound. "We have $60 million worth of equipment here."

Gold is the central dissemination facility for the church. It is best known as the home of Golden Era Productions, Scientology's film, video and sound facilities. Scientology produces myriad promotional and training films here, teaching parishioners everything from auditing techniques to what goes on during a marriage-counseling session. It also makes CDs, produces events and prints its own packaging. Even its E-meters are made here, in a building where Scientologists work on a sort of corporate assembly line, producing roughly 200 of the devices per week.

There is a Disney-esque quality to Gold Base. The focal point of the complex is a beige estate house, known as the Castle, which houses the film wing. The Tavern, a nearby stone carriage-house building, is used for visiting VIPs and is decorated in a King Arthur motif, complete with a sizable round table. There are winding paths and walkways made out of what appears to be fake flagstone. All of the buildings, save the Castle, are white, with blue-tiled roofs.

Breaking up the uniformity is a startling sight: a three-mast rudderless clipper ship, the Star of California, built into a hill overlooking the campus. Some former Scientologists say this structure was built for Hubbard — though he'd "dropped his body" before it was finished — but Rinder explains it as just "an idea someone had to build a ship" as a place to house restrooms and a snack bar near the pool. It has a broad wooden deck, mermaid figurines and, at its gangplank, a fishing net adorned with plastic crabs.

Despite these colorful landmarks, Gold is essentially an office park. Its buildings are furnished like a series of corporate suites, complete with bland gray or blue rugs. There's virtually no artwork save a few Scientology posters inscribed with the words of L. Ron Hubbard, and, in the sound studio, framed headshots of various Scientologist celebrities, including Tommy Davis' mother, Anne Archer.

Davis, 33, helps run the Celebrity Centre in Hollywood and is the scion of one of California's real estate dynasties. He freely admits to being a Hollywood rich kid. He dresses in Italian suits, drives a BMW and is addicted to his Blackberry. "I have enough money to never work a day in my life," he says.

But Davis, who calls L. Ron Hubbard "the coolest guy ever," works for the church as a nonuniformed member of the Sea Organization, the Church of Scientology's most powerful entity. Sea Org members staff all of the senior ecclesiastic positions in the church hierarchy, and the top members have exclusive authority over Scientology's funds. In a nod to the group's nautical beginnings, Sea Org members were required to wear naval-style uniforms, complete with epaulets for "officers," until several years ago. Today, for all but those who serve on the Freewinds, the epaulets have been retired. At Gold, whose entire population, save the actors and directors of Scientology films, are Sea Org members, men and women dress in the style of deckhands: short-sleeve dress shirts over dark T-shirts and chinos.

The church describes the Sea Org as a fraternal order — not a legal entity — requiring lifelong commitment. It is, in fact, an eternal commitment: Sea Org members sign contracts pledging 1 billion years of service to the church. Scientology's publicity materials portray the Sea Org as similar to the U.S. Marines: "The toughest, most dedicated team this planet has ever known," according to one recruiting brochure. "Against such a powerful team the opposition hasn't got a chance."

Kim Fries, who works in Gold's audiovisual editing department, has been in the Sea Org since she was fifteen. Now thirty-two, Fries says she couldn't imagine living any other way. "What else are you going to do with your life?" she says, with a flick of her dark, wavy hair.

The Sea Org has often been portrayed as isolated, almost monastic; members are rarely allowed to see films, watch TV or read mainstream magazines. "Are we devoted? Yes. Sequestered? No," says Fries, who married a fellow Sea Org member. "I go out into the world, I talk to people out in the world, I definitely live a very full life. This isn't a priesthood. I mean, if it were a priesthood, do you think I'd work here? It would just be so unhip."

Gold is seen as the place "every Sea Org member aspires to work," says Rinder. There are expansive grounds to wander, a crystal-blue pool in which to swim; the dining hall is large and features low-fat and vegetarian entrees. A tiny shop sells cigarettes, juice, soft drinks and junk food.

In my ten or so hours at Gold, I am aware of being taken on an elaborately orchestrated junket, in which every step of my day has been plotted and planned. I don't blame the group for wanting to present its best face; at least half of my conversations with Rinder and Davis pertain in one way or another to what Scientology perceives as a smear campaign on the part of the mainstream media. A chief complaint is that reporters, eager for a story, take the words of lapsed members as gospel. Davis says Scientology gets little credit for the success of its social-betterment programs, which include Narconon and also literacy and educational programs. "Look around," says Davis. "People are out here busting their butt every day to make a difference. And one guy who leaves because he wants to go to the movies gets to characterize the whole organization? That sucks."

Scientologists do not look kindly on critics, particularly those who were once devout. Apostasy, which in Scientology means speaking out against the church in any public forum, is considered to be the highest form of treason. This is one of the most serious "suppressive acts," and those who apostatize are immediately branded as "Suppressive Persons," or SPs. Scientologists are taught that SPs are evil — Hitler was an SP, says Rinder. Indeed, Hubbard believed that a full 2.5 percent of the population was "suppressive." As he wrote in the Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary, a suppressive person is someone who "goofs up or vilifies any effort to help anybody and particularly knife with violence anything calculated to make human beings more powerful or more intelligent."

Given this viewpoint, I wonder why anyone with connections to Scientology would critique them publicly. "Makes them famous," Rinder says. "They do it for their fifteen minutes."

Scientology has been extremely effective at attacking its defectors, often destroying their credibility entirely, a policy that observers call "dead agenting." Some of the church's highest-profile critics say they have been on the receiving end of this policy. In the past six years, Tory Christman claims, the church has spread lies about her on the Internet, filed suit against her for violating an injunction for picketing on church property and attempted to get her fired from her job. Rinder dismisses Christman as a "wacko" and says her allegations are "absolute bullshit."

When Christman split from the church, her husband and most of her friends — all of them Scientologists — refused to talk to her again. Apostates are not just discredited from the church; they are also excommunicated, isolated from their loved ones who, under Scientology rules, must sever or "disconnect" from them. Scientology defines those associated with Suppressive People as "Potential Trouble Sources," or PTS.

Rinder says disconnection is a policy of last resort. "The first step is always to try to handle the situation," he says. A "handling" generally refers to persuading a wayward member to return to the church in order to maintain contact with his family. The parent of someone who's apostatized might call his child and ask him to "handle" a problem by essentially recanting. "They'll ask them to make some amends, show they can be trusted . . . something to make up the damage," says Davis. Those amends might range from volunteering in a literacy program to taking a public advocacy role — campaigning against psychiatry, for example.

But some people, the officials admit, refuse to be handled. What happens to them? "Then I guess not believing in Scientology means more to them than not seeing their family," Davis says.

Excommunication is nothing new in organized religion. A number of sects have similar policies to Scientology's: the Amish, the Mormon Fundamentalists, the Jehovah's Witnesses. All have a rationale. Scientology's rationale is very simple: "We are protecting the good of the religion and all the parishioners," says Rinder.

"It's for the good of the group," says Davis.

"How are you going to judge what is and isn't the worst tenets and violations of the Church of Scientology?" Rinder asks. "You aren't a Scientologist." Complaints about these policies, he adds, "come from people who aren't Scientologists [anymore]. What do they give a shit for anymore? They left!"

I spend a lot of time talking about the question of apostasy with Rinder and Davis. Both feel the church has been miscast. "Somewhere there is a concept that we hold strings over all these people and control them," says Rinder. But provided you don't denounce Scientology, it's perfectly fine to leave the church, he says. "Whatever. What's true for you is true for you." Nothing will happen to those who lose their faith, he says, unless they "tell bald-faced lies to malign and libel the organization — unless they make it seem like something it isn't."

* * * *

Paul James is not this twenty-two-year-old man's real name. He is the son of established Scientologists, blond and blue-eyed, with the easy smile and chiseled good looks of a young Matt Damon. He has had no contact with the church since he was seventeen. "I honestly don't know how people can live psychotically happy all the time," Paul tells me over coffee one afternoon at his small, tidy house outside Los Angeles. "Or thinking that they're happy," he adds with a grin. "I'm talking about that fake-happiness thing that people make themselves believe."

Like Natalie, Paul was educated by Scientology tutors, sent to Scientologist-run private schools and put "on course" at his church. Unlike her, he hated it. "I never found anything in Scientology that had to do with spiritual enlightenment," he says. "As soon as common sense started hitting me" — around the age of ten — "it creeped me out."

Though there are a significant number of second-generation Scientologists who, like Natalie, are devoted to the church, there are also kids like Paul. This, says the University of Alberta's Stephen Kent, is to be expected. One "unanticipated consequence" of the widespread conversions of young people to sects like Scientology in the 1960s and 1970s, Kent says, has been a "wave" of defections of these members' adult children.

A fundamental element of Scientology is that children are often regarded as small adults — "big thetans in little bodies," as some parents call them. Paul's parents worked eighteen-hour days for the church, he says, and generally left him and his older brother to their own devices. "My brother was baby-sitting me by himself when he was eleven years old," Paul says. When his brother went off with his friends, "I'd get home from school and be wandering around the [apartment] complex."

Paul's school was no more structured, he says. Students were encouraged to work at their own pace on subjects of their choosing, and, according to Paul, received little guidance from teachers, who are called "supervisors." I found this to be true at the Delphi Academy in Lake View Terrace, California, part of a network of elite schools that use Hubbard's study technology. Maggie Reinhart, Delphi's director, says that this technique forces a student to take an active role in his education. A number of Scientology kids have thrived in this environment. Others, like Paul, felt lost. "I just kind of roamed from classroom to classroom and nobody cared," he says. At Delphi, I saw teachers assisting certain students, but there was no generalized "teaching," no class discussions.

Discussion, as some academics like Kent note, isn't encouraged in Scientology, nor in Scientology-oriented schools. It is seen as running counter to the teachings of Scientology, which are absolute. Thus, debate is relegated to those in the world of "Wogs" — what Scientologists call non-Scientologists. Or, as Hubbard described them, "common, ordinary, run-of-the-mill, garden-variety humanoid[s]."

Paul met very few Wogs growing up, and those he did know often didn't understand him. Scientology has its own unique lexicon. "It's kind of like being a French Canadian," Paul explains. "You speak one thing out in the world and another thing at home."

Many kids who've grown up in Scientology describe it as Natalie did: "a bubble" that exists in tandem with the mainstream world. "It's impossible to understand it unless you've lived it," says Paul.

Even when you've lived it, as one young woman notes, it's hard to fully understand. This twenty-two-year-old, whom we'll call Sara, left Scientology in high school. After leaving, she and a friend who quit with her sat down with a dictionary. "We looked up all the words we used [because] we didn't know if we were speaking English or not," she says.

Hubbard created Scientology's language to be unique to its members. It includes words that are interpretations, or variations, of standard terms: "isness," for example, which Scientology's glossaries say, in essence, means "reality." But there are also words that are wholly made up, such as "obnosis," which means "observation of the obvious."

The chaotic world, as one might call it in the mainstream, is, in Scientology, "enturbulated," which means "agitated and disturbed." To correct, or solve, personal or societal problems requires the proper application of "ethics," which in Scientology refers to one's moral choices, as well as to a distinct moral system. Those who conduct themselves correctly have their ethics "in." Those who misbehave are "out-ethics." A person's harmful or negative acts are known as "overts." Covering them up is known as a "withhold."

All of these terms, and many more, are contained in a number of Scientology dictionaries, all written by Hubbard. Scientologists consider word comprehension and vocabulary skills to be essential parts of their faith.

The Hubbard Study Technology is administered in schools through an organization called "Applied Scholastics"; it emphasizes looking up any unknown or "misunderstood" word in a dictionary, and never skipping past a word you don't understand. This same study method is used in church, where adults of all ages and levels of advancement spend hours poring over dictionaries and course manuals.

One key word is "gradient," which is defined in the official Scientology and Dianetics glossary as "a gradual approach to something, taken step by step, level by level, each step or level being, of itself, easily surmountable so that, finally, quite complicated and difficult activities or high states of being can be achieved with relative ease." This principle, the glossary notes, "is applied to both Scientology processing and training."

Another key belief is "communication." One of Scientology's basic courses is "Success Through Communication," taught to young people and adults. It involves a series of drills, known as "training routines," or "TRs." One drill asks students to close their eyes and simply sit, sometimes for hours. Another asks them to stare at a partner, immobile. A third requires students to mock, joke with or otherwise verbally engage their partner. The partner must passively receive these comments without moving or saying a word.

These drills, Scientologists say, help improve what they call their "confront," which in Scientology's lexicon means "the ability to be there comfortably and perceive." A fourth drill requires students to pose a series of questions to one another, such as "Do fish swim?" Their partner may respond in any way they like, with the question being asked repeatedly until the partner answers correctly. Sara's favorite drill involved an ashtray: "You tell it to stand up, sit down, and you 'move' the ashtray for hours. You're supposed to be beaming your intention into the ashtray, and the supervisor is going to tell you if you're intent enough."

At Delphi, students take a course called "Improving Conditions." "Conditions" refers to key Hubbard principles. Charted on a scale, they relate to one's relationship to oneself and to those within one's organization, school or "group." A Scientologist's goal, it's often noted, is to "improve conditions."

From highest to lowest, the Conditions are: Power, Power Change, Affluence, Normal, Emergency, Danger, Non-Existence, Liability, Doubt, Enemy, Treason and Confusion. Together, these conditions form the spine of the practical application of Scientology "ethics," which is, many say, the true heart of the faith. "Ethics," as a Scientological term, is defined as "rationality toward the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics," as well as "reason and the contemplation of optimum survival."

To survive, Scientology applies its philosophy, or "ethics tech," across a broad social and societal scale. They do good works — indeed, as Rinder notes, "Scientologists are driven by a real concern for the well-being of others. They see the world around them and want to do something about it."

But the church's drug-treatment and literacy programs and anti-psychiatry campaigns do more than just evangelize through charity; in fact, they exist largely to help prepare people to become Scientologists. Once a person is drug-free, psychiatrist-free and literate, he is qualified for auditing. And auditing is the centerpiece of Scientology. "It's all about going up the Bridge," says Paul.

Paul began auditing when he was four. Rebellious by nature, he says it did very little for him. By the age of eleven or twelve, he says, "I was so out of control, my parents had no idea what to do with me."

Scientologists run a number of boarding schools around the country, including the prestigious Delphian School, in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, which counts Earthlink founder Sky Dayton among its graduates. Scientologists' kids who caused trouble, or otherwise displeased their parents, have been sent to more restrictive private boarding schools. Paul was sent to Mace-Kingsley Ranch, located on 2,000 acres in New Mexico, which was closed in 2002.

Paul arrived at Mace-Kingsley when he was thirteen, and stayed for three and a half years. As he tells it, he underwent what sounds like a typical "boot camp" experience, complete with hard labor, bad food, tough supervision — all with a high price tag, roughly $30,000 per year. The school enforced a rigid Scientology focus that many former students now say served as both a mechanism of control and a form of religious indoctrination.

The process began for all new students with an IQ test and the Purification Rundown, which Paul says was given to kids as young as eight or nine years old. Then they were administered the Oxford Capacity Analysis, created by Scientologists in 1953. The test was designed to find out the student's "tone," or emotional state, in preparation for auditing. Students were audited daily at the ranch. By the age of sixteen, Paul says, he'd grown so used to the process, he'd figured out how to "trick" the E-meter: By remaining calm enough for no electrical charge to register, he was often able to hide most of his inner feelings from his auditors and his "case supervisor," who oversaw his progress.

But not always. "There are things they wanted to know, and they'd just keep asking until you finally told them," he says. "They'd get me to tell them about lies, or things that were bad, right down to my thoughts — some of which were overts." So were some of his deeds. Masturbation is an overt — strictly forbidden in Scientology, as Hubbard believed that it can slow one's process to enlightenment. "It's not evil, just out-ethics," says Paul. "They'll dig it up in session and tell you to stop because it's slowing you down."

Another overt is homosexuality, which Hubbard believed was a form of sexual "deviance" best treated by therapy, or institutionalization. This view was espoused by many psychiatrists of Hubbard's generation. Mainstream psychiatry has changed its view since the 1950s. Scientology as an institution takes no formal position on issues like gay marriage, but homosexuality, sexual promiscuity or any other form of "perversion" ranks low on Scientology's "tone scale," a register of human behavior Hubbard described in his 1951 book Science of Survival: Prediction of Human Behavior.

This book, according to Mike Rinder, is perhaps the most important Scientology text after Dianetics. In it, Hubbard denounced virtually every sexual practice that doesn't directly relate to marriage and children. "Such people should be taken from the society as rapidly as possible . . . for here is the level of the contagion of immortality and the destruction of ethics," he wrote of homosexuals. "No social order will survive which does not remove these people from its midst."

In auditing, Scientologists are frequently asked about their sexual thoughts or practices, particularly in the special auditing sessions called "security checks." This process requires a church member to write down any break with the ethical code. Security checks are administered to every Scientologist on the Bridge, and particularly to all OTs, who must be checked every six months "to make sure they're using the tech correctly," as church officials explain. In September, I received, through a source, a faxed copy of the standard security-check sheet for adults. Its questions include "Have you ever been involved in an abortion?" "Have you ever practiced sex with animals?" "Have you ever practiced sodomy?" "Have you ever slept with a member of a race of another color?" as well as "Have you ever had any unkind thoughts about L. Ron Hubbard?"

Paul resisted his security checks — he says he sometimes fell asleep during the sessions. But Sara, who says she went through months of "sec checks" after deciding, at age fifteen, that she didn't want to be a Scientologist any longer, says she was highly disturbed by the process. At first, she says, counselors at her church tried to "clear" her. She was forced to repeatedly look up words in the dictionary to make sure she misunderstood nothing about Scientology. Then they gave her a security check. "For months I'm going to the church every night after school, and I'm in this fucking basement for four hours a night, on the E-meter," she says. "They're asking me questions about sex — every personal question known to man." If she tried to leave, Sara adds, the auditors would physically block her path and force her back in her chair. Officials say this forced auditing is for the subjects' own good, as it might be harmful if they were to leave a session before they were ready.

"Scientology has a plausible explanation for everything they do — that's the genius of it," says Sara. "But make no mistakes: Scientology is brainwashing."

* * * *

Jeffrey Aylor was thirteen when he joined the sea Organization. Raised in a Scientology family in Los Angeles, he was at church one day when a Sea Org recruiter approached him. "What are you doing with your life?" he asked the teen.

Jeffrey had no idea what to say. "I'm thirteen, I'm not doing anything with my life," Jeffrey said. The recruiter asked him if he wanted to "help" people. Jeffrey said, "Sure. What kid doesn't want to help people?"

Thus began Jeffrey's immersion into the tightly wound world of the Sea Org, where he would spend the next seven years of his life. In that time, he would see fewer than ten movies, would rarely listen to music and never had sex. Though theoretically reading newspapers and magazines was allowed — USA Today is sold openly on Gold Base — in practice it was discouraged, along with surfing the Internet and watching TV. Indeed, all contact with the world at large was "entheta." "I never considered myself a Scientologist until I joined the Sea Org," Jeffrey says.

Jeffrey's indoctrination began with a boot camp known as the "Estates Project Force," or EPF. There, he learned to march, salute and perform manual labor. Physical work is a key training technique for new recruits. Jeffrey's sister, for instance, went through the EPF when she was twelve and was forced to crawl through ducts that were roach- and rat-infested. Like the TRs, this kind of work, Jeffrey explains, is meant to raise a person's "confront," enabling them to be more in control of their environment.

After the EPF, Jeffrey was given a blue shirt, blue tie and dark-blue trousers, and sent to work as a receptionist at the American Saint Hill Organization for spiritual training, on Scientology's expansive Hollywood campus. He was paid fifty dollars per week and worked an average of fifteen hours per day, including an hour or two of auditing and other training. Home was a large barracks-style room in a building where Jeffrey lived with about twenty other boys and men. In seven years, Jeffrey says, he saw his family just a handful of times. His only free time was the few hours he received on Sunday mornings to do his laundry. Hubbard believed strongly in productivity, which he saw as highly ethical behavior. "We reward production and up-statistics and penalize nonproduction and down-statistics," he wrote in Introduction to Scientology Ethics.

Eventually, Jeffrey found himself on "PTS watch," monitoring Sea Org members who wanted to leave the order. According to church officials, Sea Org members can leave anytime they want. But in practice, the attitude is "the only reason you'd want to leave is because you've done something wrong," says Jeffrey. This would call for a round of "sec checks," which would continue throughout the "route out" process, which can take up to a year. During that time, former Sea Org members have asserted, they are subjected to so much pressure they often decide not to leave after all.

To make sure no one would leave before their route-out was complete, Jeffrey would shadow them: "I've been assigned to go and sleep outside somebody's door — all night, for as many nights as it takes — on the floor, against the door, so I could feel if they opened it. If they went to the bathroom, someone would stand right outside. Someone is always there."

Some wayward members have "disappeared" for long periods of time, sent to special Scientology facilities known as the "Rehabilitation Project Force." Created by Hubbard in 1974, the RPF is described by the church as a voluntary rehabilitation program offering a "second chance" to Sea Org members who have become unproductive or have strayed from the church's codes. It involves intensive physical labor (at church facilities) and auditing and study sessions to address the individual's personal problems. The process is given a positive spin in church writings. "Personnel 'burnout' is not new to organizations," a post on Scientology's official Web site reads, in relation to the RPF, "but the concept of complete rehabilitation is."

Former Sea Org members who've been through the program charge that it is a form of re-indoctrination, in which hard physical labor and intense ideological study are used to break a subject's will. Chuck Beatty, a former Sea Org member, spent seven years in the RPF facilities in Southern California, from 1996 to 2003, after expressing a desire to speak out against the church. For this, he was accused of "disloyalty," a condition calling for rehabilitation. "My idea was to go to the RPF for six or eight months and then route out," says Beatty. "I thought that was the honorable thing to do." In the RPF he was given a "twin," or auditing partner, who was responsible for making sure he didn't escape. "It's a prison system," he says, explaining that all RPFers are watched twenty-four hours per day and prevented from having contact with the outside world. "It's a mind-bending situation where you feel like you're betraying the group if you try to leave."

Quiet and disciplined by nature, Jeffrey never minded the regimentation and order of the Sea Org. "I was wrapped up in work," he says. "And that's what I liked doing. And I thought I was helping people." But when he became ill, his perspective radically changed. For the first six years of his Sea Org service, Jeffrey had kept his asthma and other health issues in check. In the spring of 2004, he began to develop severe chest pains. By the summer, he was unable to work. By fall, he could barely get out of bed.

Scientologists believe that most illnesses are products of a person's own psychic traumas — they are brought upon themselves. Sea Org members are promised medical care for any illness, but Jeffrey says that he received little medical attention or money with which to seek outside medical care. Instead, he was sent to Ethics counseling. When that didn't cure him, it was suggested he return to the EPF to repeat his training.

Even while bedridden, "if I wasn't there pushing somebody to take me to a doctor . . . it didn't happen," he says. Lying in bed one night, Jeffrey listened to a taped lecture given by L. Ron Hubbard, in which he made his famous statement "If it isn't true for you, it isn't true." For Jeffrey, this began a questioning process that would eventually lead to his leaving Scientology altogether. "Nobody can force Scientology upon you, but that is exactly what was happening to me," he says.

And so, one day last February, he asked for some time off to see a doctor. Then he called his mother and asked her to come get him. When she arrived the next morning, Jeffrey left his keys and his Sea Organization ID card behind on his bed. Then, taking only his clothes, he left.

Now twenty-three, Jeffrey lives in a small mountain town more than four hours from Los Angeles. Since his "escape," as he calls it, from the Sea Org, he has not returned to the church. He has never spoken out about his experiences, which he still insists "weren't all that bad." But because he left the Sea Org without permission, he has been declared suppressive. Soon, he believes, his family still in the church will have nothing more to do with him.

The order of disconnection, called a "declare," is issued on a piece of gold-colored parchment known as a "goldenrod." This document proclaims the suppressive person's name, as well as his or her "crime." According to one friend of Jeffrey's mother who has read his declare, Jeffrey's crimes are vague, but every Scientologist who sees it will understand its point.

"This declare is a warning to Jeffrey's friends in the Sea Org," this woman, who is still a member of the church, explains. "It's saying to them, 'See this kid, he left without permission. This is what happened to him. Don't you make the same mistake.'"

* * * *

During the time I was researching this piece, I received a number of e-mails from several of the Scientologists I had interviewed. Most were still technically members of the church in good standing; privately they had grown disillusioned and have spoken about their feelings for the first time in this article. All of the young people mentioned in this story, save Natalie, are considered by the church hierarchy to be Potential Trouble Sources. But many have begun to worry they will be declared Suppressive Persons.

Their e-mails expressed their second thoughts and their fears.

"PLEASE, let me know what you will be writing in the story," wrote one young woman. "I just want to make sure that people won't be able to read it and figure out who I am. I know my mom will be reading."

"The church is a big, scary deal," wrote another. "My [initial] attitude was if this information could save just one person the money, heartache and mind-bending control, then all would be worth it. [But] I'm frightened of what could happen."

"I'm about two seconds away from losing my whole family, and if that story comes out with my stuff in it, I will," wrote a third. "I'm terrified. Please, please, please . . . if it's not too late . . . help me keep my family."

One particularly frantic e-mail arrived shortly before this story was published. It came from a young Scientologist with whom I had corresponded several times in the course of three or four months. When we first met, she spoke passionately and angrily about the impact of the church on herself and those close to her.

"Please forgive me," she wrote. "The huge majority of things I told you were lies. Perhaps I don't like Scientology. True. But what I do know is that I was born with the family I was born with, and I love them. Don't ask me to tear down the foundation of their lives." Like almost every young person mentioned in this piece, this woman was given a pseudonym to protect her identity, and her family's. But it wasn't enough, she decided. "This is my life . . . Accept what I tell you now for fact: I will not corroborate or back up a single thing I said.

"I'm so sorry," she concluded. "I hope you understand that everyone I love is terribly important to me, and I am willing to look beyond their beliefs in order to keep them around. I will explain in further detail, perhaps, some other day."
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 29163
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Journalism: Scientology - L. Ron Hubbard's Brainchild

Postby admin » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:07 am

Inside the Church of Scientology: An Exclusive Interview with L. Ron Hubbard, Jr.
by Penthouse
© 1983 Penthouse
June, 1983 Cover Story

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Image

"Scientology and all the other cults are one-dimensional, and we live in a three-dimensional world. Cults are as dangerous as drugs. They commit the highest crime: the rape of the soul." L. Ron Hubbard Jr.

Image

For more than twenty years L. Ron Hubbard, Jr., has been a man on the run. He has changed residences, occupations, and even his name in 1972 to Ron DeWolf to escape what he alleges to be the retribution and wrath of his father and his father's organization-- the Church of Scientology. His father, L. Ron Hubbard. Sr., founder and leader of Scientology, has been a figure of controversy and mystery, as has been his organization, for more than a generation. Its detractors have called it the "granddaddy" and the worst of all the religious cults that have sprung up over the last generation. Its advocates-- and there are thousands--swear that the church is the avenue for human perfection and happiness. Millions of words have been written for and against Scientology. Just what is the truth?

L. Ron Hubbard, Sr., and the very few who have worked at the highest echelons of the organization have never spoken publicly about the workings and finances of the Church of Scientology. Firsthand allegations about coercion, black-mail, and just how billions of dollars the organization is said to possess have been accrued and spent is lacking: that is, until very recently. In an extraordinary petition brought November 10, 1982, in Superior Court in Riverside, Calif., by L. Ron Hubbard, Jr., to prove that his father is dead and that his heirs should receive the tens of millions of dollars being dissipated from his estate, some of the mystery about Scientology has begun to unravel. Some of the details are shocking.

L. Ron Hubbard, Jr., is a survivor. His appearance on earth, May 7, 1934, was the result of failed abortion rituals by his father, and Ron, after only six and a half months in the womb and at 2.2 pounds entered the world. His mother, Margeret ("Polly") Grubb, was to have one more child, Catherine May, before her husband ditched her in 1946 to enter into a bigamous marnage with Sarah Northrup. A half sister, Alexis Valerie, survived that union. Soon after that, the founder of Scientology married Mary Sue Whipp, the current Mrs. L. Ron Hubbard, Sr., who at this writing is serving four years in federal prison for stealing government documents. There were four childrens: Diana and Quentin, who died under mysterious circumstances in 1976; Arthur, who has been missing for several years; and Suzette.

Ron Jr. says that he remembers much of his childhood. He claims to recall, at six years, a vivid scene of his father performing an abortion ritual on his mother with a coat hanger. He remembers that when he was ten years old, his father, in an attempt to get his son in tune with his black-magic worship, laced the young hubbard's bubble gum with phenobarbital. Drugs were an important part of Ron Jr.'s growing up, as his father believed that they were the best way to get closer to Satan --the Antichrist of black magic.

Ron Jr. also recalls a hard-drinking, drug-abusing father who would mistreat his mother and other women, but who, when, under the influence, would delight in telling his son all of his exploits. Finally, Ron Jr. remembers his father as a "broke science-fiction writer" who espoused that the road to riches and glory lay in selling religion to the masses.

Nineteen fifty was a watershed year for the sixteen-year-old Ron Jr., when his father's book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health was published. While in the 1980s self-help books hold little novelty, Dianetics was a pioneer of that genre. Happiness in 1950 could be a reality, if only one practiced the strange amalgam of science fiction and psychoanalysis offered in the senior Hubbard's best-seller. It was an unexpected success for Hubbard, then living in New Jersey, when the mailman would deliver daily sacks of letters from the unhappy and desperate who had read the book and wanted L. Ron Hubbard to take them to the promised land. It was a dream come true --a science-fiction writer who not only created a world of fantasy but packaged it and sold it as reality.

In 1950 L. Ron Hubbard opened a Dianetics clinic, where the hopeful and newly converted could come, for a fee, and their ills --from loneliness to cancer --would be cured. Danetics was the new Scientific Revolution. and L. Ron Hubbard was its prophet.

Scientology is essentially a self-help therapy. It is based on one premise that by recalling negative experiences or "engrams", a person can free himself from repressed feelings that cripple his life. This liberation process is assisted by a counselor called an "auditor" who charges up to hundreds of dollars a session. The auditor's basic aid is the "E-meter", a skin galvanometer that is said to help him ascertain the problems of his client.

Soon the New Jersey authorities and the American Medical Association challenged the veracity of the new faith. L. Ron Hubbard met the challenge by fleeing the state (not the last time this was to happen). A frequent memory of Ron Jr. is his father's packing up shoe boxes with thousands of dollars to move on to greener and safer pastures.

Coming into manhood in the early fifties, Ron Jr. learned the virtues of flimflam and keeping one step ahead of the law and creditors. But he admits that he accepted his father's teachings and example as correct. By the time his father started the modern Church of Scientology in Arizona and New Jersey in 1953, young Hubbard was not only a disciple but a willing organizer in the new movement. He was to be so throughout the 1950s.

While Ron Jr. may never have questioned his father and the mushrooming cult of Scientology, a growing uneasiness began to take hold of him. In 1953 he married Henrietta, whom he never allowed to join the church. They were to have six children --Deborah, Leif, Esther, Eric, Harry and Alex, age twelve, who suffers from Down's Syndrome-- plus six grandchildren, none or whom were ever members of Scientology. The importance of family life, especially in contrast to his own up-bringing, caused Ron Jr. to question his life as a member of Scientology, albeit privately. Other factors also caused Ron Jr. to think about breaking away from the cult that was dominating his life. His father's autocratic and arbitrary control of Scientology often led to violence, and the young Hubbard began to be disturbed by his own participation. Certain questionable transactions involving drug dealing and the transfer of large sums of money abroad by his father was another troubling factor. But, he says, the breaking point came over his father's involvement with the Russians. Finally, in 1959, when his father was in Australia, Ron, his wife, and two children fled the Church of Scientology.

According to Ron Jr., life was to become a nightmarish existence. No matter, where the family went in the United States, it would not take long for a member of the organization to find them. Because he knew too much about Scientology and its founder, Ron says, attempts were made to ensure his silence. For many years L. Ron Hubbard, Jr. kept a low profile.

Image

Keeping silent did not end Ron's terror of what his father and followers might do to him and his family. In 1976 his half brother Quentin died under mysterious circumstances that Ron is certain was murder. Quentin, a son of Scientology's leader, was a drug abuser and an embarrassment to his father. Whether all these questions were signs ot paranoia finally became less important to Ron than discovering, once and for all, the truth about his father. In 1980 Ron became convinced that his father was dead, and that his death was being kept a secret by the Church of Scientology, lest knowledge of his death cause chaos in the organization. He filed his petition and an open war was declared. Should he win the suit by proving that his father is either dead or incompetent, Ron and other family members will receive the millions of dollars believed to be part of L. Ron Hubbard's estate.

For some thirty years, stories, rumors, and innuendo about the Church of Scientology have been whispered, and sometimes reported, internationally. Obviously, the final judgment of L. Ron Hubbard. Jr., and his allegations remains to be made. But because of his high-level involvement for such a long time with this controversial organization, he himself has become a newsworthy figure. To find out what this man at the center of an international firestorm is like. Penthouse sent contributing editor Allan Sonnenschein to Carson City, Nev, where he met Hubbard in the small three-bedroom apartment in which he lives (he manages the apartment complex). "DeWolf." Sonnenschein told us, "is a stocky and ruddy-complexioned man, with thinning red hair. Despite his almost continuous involvement with lawyers of both sides of his case, DeWolf was very relaxed during the several hours. I spent with him. He seemed convinced that his desire to tell his story after all these years was of vital importance ... and he spoke with a firmness and intensity befitting a person who claims to be risking his life by speaking out."

Because of the seriousness of Mr. DeWolf's charges and because his father has affected the lives of thousands, if not millions, of people, Penthouse will be launching an independent investigation of these charges. The results will be published in a forthcoming issue.

Penthouse: Before you filed your lawsuit and began speaking openly about Scientology, there was very little news of it in the media. Why do you think there has been so little investigation of Scientology?

Hubbard: it's very simple. Scientology has always had a "fair-game doctrine"--a policy of doing absolutely anything to stop an investigation or publication of a critical article in a magazine or newspaper. They have run some incredible operations on the several people who have tried to write books about Scientology. It was almost like a terror campaign. First they'd try throwing every possible lawsuit at the reporter or newspaper. We had a team of attorneys to do just that. The goal was to destroy the enemy. So the solution was always to attack, full-bore, with every possible resource, from every angle, instantaneously it can certainly be overwhelming. A guy would get slapped with twenty-seven lawsuits, and our lawyers would start depositioning absolutely anybody who ever knew the man, digging up dirt while at the same time putting together an operation that would get him into further trouble. I know of one case, concerning Paulette Cooper, who wrote a book called The Scandal of Scientology, in which they spent almost $500.000 trying to destroy her.

Penthouse: So you think the press was intimidated?

Hubbard: Oh, absolutely. All the way through, since the fifties. I found this very sad. It seemed very much like Germany in the thirties. The freedom of the press seemed buried. They got scared. They thought. "Well, who wants to go through ten years of lawsuits, just because we printed the name L. Ron Hubbard?" I'm delighted to see that Penthouse has the balls to print this interview.

Penthouse: Why do you think it's so risky?

Hubbard: My father drilled into all of us: Don't go to court thinking to win a lawsuit. You go to court to harass, to delay, to exhaust the enemy financially, physically, mentally. You file every motion you can think of and you just lock them up in court. The courts, for my father, were never used to seek justice or redress, put to destroy the people he thought were enemies, to prevent negative stories from appearing. He just wanted complete control of the press --and got it.

Penthouse: What exactly is Scientology?

Hubbard: Scientology is a power-and-money-and-intelligence-gathering game. To use common, everyday English, Scientology says that you and I and everybody else willed ourselves into being hundreds of trillions of years ago --just by deciding to be. We willed ourselves into being ourselves. Through wild space games, interaction, fights, and wars in the grand science-fiction tradition, we created this universe --all the matter, energy, space, and time of this universe. And so through these trillions of years, we have become the effect of our own cause and we now find ourselves trapped in bodies. So the idea of Scientology "auditing" or "counseling" or "processing" is to free yourself from your body and to return you to the original godlike state or, in Scientology jargon, an operating Thetan -- O.T. We are all fallen gods, according to Scientology, and the goal is to be returned to that state.

Penthouse: And what is the Church of Scientology?

Hubbard: It's one of my father's many organizations. It was formed in 1953, basically to avoid the harassment of my father by the medical profession and the IRS. The idea of Scientology didn't really exist before that point as a religion, but my father hit upon turning it into a church after he started feeling pressured.

Penthouse: Didn't your father have any interest in helping people?

Hubbard: No.

Penthouse: Never?

Hubbard: My father started out as a broke science-fiction writer. He was always broke in the late 1940s. He told me and a lot of other people that the way to make a million was to start a religion. Then he wrote the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health while he was in Bayhead, New Jersey. When we later visited Bayhead, in about 1953, we were walking around and reminiscing --he told me that he had written the book in one month.

Penthouse: There was no church when he wrote the book?

Hubbard: Oh, no, no. You see, his goal was basically to write the book, take the money and run. But in 1950, this was the first major book of do-it-yourself psychotherapy, and it became a runaway best-seller. He kept getting, literally, mail trucks full of mail. And so he and some other people, including J. W. Campbell, the editor of Astounding Science Fiction , started the Dianetics Research Foundation in Elizabeth, New Jersey. And the post office kept backing up and just dumping mail sacks into the building. The foundation had a staff that just ran through the envelopes and threw away anything that didn't have any money in it.

Penthouse: People sent money?

Hubbard: Yeah, they wanted training and further Dianetic auditing, Dianetic processing. It was just an incredible avalanche.

Penthouse: Did he write the book off the top of his head? Did he do any real research?

Hubbard: No research at all. When he has answered that question over the years, his answer has changed according to which biography he was writing. Sometimes he used to write a new biography every week. He usually said that he had put thirty years of research into the book. But no, he did not. What he did, really, was take bits and pieces from other people and put them together in a blender and stir them all up --and out came Dianetics! All the examples in the book --some 200 "real-life experiences" --were just the result of his obsessions with abortions and unconscious states... In fact, the vast majority of those incidents were invented off the top of his head. The rest stem from his own secret life, which was deeply involved in the occult and black-magic. That involvement goes back to when he was sixteen, living in Washington. D.C. He got hold of the book by Alistair Crowley called The Book of Law. He was very interested in several things that were the creation of what some people call the Moon Child. It was basically an attempt to create an immaculate conception --except by Satan rather than by God. Another important idea was the creation of what they call embryo implants --of getting a satanic or demonic spirit to inhabit the body of a fetus. This would come about as a result of black-magic rituals, which included the use of hypnosis, drugs, and other dangerous and destructive practices. One of the important things was to destroy the evidence if you failed at this immaculate conception. That's how my father became obsessed with abortions. I have a memory of this that goes back to when I was six years old. It is certainly a problem for my father and for Scientology that I remember this. It was around 1939, 1940, that I watched my father doing something to my mother. She was lying on the bed and he was sitting on her, facing her feet. He had a coat hanger in his hand. There was blood all over the place. I remember my father shouting at me. "Go back to bed!" A little while later a doctor came and took her off to the hospital. She didn't talk about it for quite a number of years. Neither did my father.

Penthouse: He was trying to perform an abortion?

Hubbard: According to him and my mother, he tried to do it with me. I was born at six and a half months and weighed two pounds, two ounces. I mean, I wasn't born: this is what came out as a result of their attempt to abort me. It happened during a night of partying -- he got involved in trying to do a black-magic number. Also, I've got to complete this by saying that he thought of himself as the Beast 666 incarnate.

Penthouse: The devil?

Hubbard: Yes. The Antichrist. Alastair Crowley thought of himself as such. And when Crowley died in 1947, my father then decided that he should wear the cloak of the beast and become the most powerful being in the universe.

Penthouse: You were sixteen years old at that time. What did you believe in?

Hubbard: I believed in Satanism. There was no other religion in the house! Scientology and black magic. What a lot of people don't realize is that Scientology is black magic that is just spread out over a long time period. To perform black magic generally takes a few hours or, at most, a few weeks. But in Scientology it's stretched out over a lifetime, and so you don't see it. Black magic is the inner core of Scientology --and it is probably the only part of Scientology that really works. Also, you've got to realize that my father did not worship Satan. He thought he was Satan. He was one with Satan. He had a direct pipeline of communication and power with him. My father wouldn't have worshiped anything. I mean, when you think you're the most powerful being in the universe, you have no respect for anything, let alone worship.

Penthouse: Let's get back to how you saw Scientology working on an individual basis. What if someone wrote to your father asking if he could cure their cancer?

Hubbard: He'd say, Oh, yes, he could handle that.

Penthouse: And what would be the charge for curing cancer?

Hubbard: Back in those days it was anywhere from $10 to $25 an hour. Now, it's up to $300 or more an hour.

Penthouse: What exactly did that pay for?

Hubbard: To be audited. In the old days, the patient would lie on a couch and the auditor would sit in a chair and counsel. The words auditing, counseling, and processing are really the same in Scientology.

Penthouse: What would be discussed?

Hubbard: They would say that the cancer and its cure are just incidental to the main problem of one's "spiritual development." And according to Dianetics and Scientology, the explanation for cancer is basically that you have a sex problem?

Penthouse: A sex problem?

Hubbard: Right.

Penthouse: How did he figure that?

Hubbard: Quite simply, according to my father. Cancer is basically cells that are dividing out of control, and so, according to my father, the problem is a sexual thing. Therefore the cancer is rooted in a sexual problem. If you have cancer, you are really screwed up on sex. So what would happen in this auditing --I don't know what it's like now, but it's probably just the same as in the old days --is that they would address a guy's entire sex life. There was certainly an incredible preoccupation. In Dianetics and Scientology, about sex was a great means of control. You have complete control of someone if you have every detail of his sex life and fantasy life on record.

Penthouse: What if someone who went thought the training just wanted to drop out?

Hubbard: There was no way. There were thousands of people, back in the fifties who would come in and receive various levels of training, such as a Hubbard Certified Auditor's Certificate or a Bachelor of Scientology or a Doctorate of Scientology, and if they didn't toe the mark as my father wanted them to, then we would cancel their certificates. And then he would notify the Scientologists in the area where the man lived not to have anything to do with him, to disconnect from him. And if information was available about him, we would spread that information around to his wife, his family, his children, where he worked, everywhere. It was straight blackmail. It was "Stay in the fold or else." Then, later on, they developed what they called an ethics review board. If you didn't toe the mark, you'd be put on trial in front of a kangaroo court and then be sentenced to maybe scrub floors. I heard that you had to walk around with a dirty rag tied around your arm like a badge. You could be made to do anything. You would be locked in a chain locker or handcuffed to a bed. This is in later years. We were simpler in the fifties, more direct. I just went out and beat them up.

(For my father, the courts were used to destroy people he thought were enemies ... I'm delighted to see that Penthouse has the balls to print this interview.)

Image

Penthouse: Physical beatings?

Hubbard: Yeah. We'd strong-arm them. I did it myself. And you had to realize that I weighed around 240 pounds in those days. When I taught Scientology, no students ever blew my courses! I would go out and physically retrieve my students. You know, the Scientologists are now trying to make me out to be the worst person since Attila the Hun. They forget that when I was director of training for the organization, I trained literally thousands of people. I created a lot of the Scientology processes and procedures throughout the fifties. I really helped create and run the organization. I was very deeply involved, very directly, for seven years, during its formulation and building. So I find their attempts to discredit me amusing. I used to have a thing about saying that nobody ever ran out of my courses. If you think est is tough, you ought to have taken courses under me in the fifties!

Penthouse: What would happen if someone went to your class, decided it was bullshit, and never came back?

Hubbard: If you signed up for a course and you came to my class, I'd keep you there or go physically retrieve you if you left.

Penthouse: You'd already gotten the money, so why did you bother?

Hubbard: Because I thought I was all-knowing, all-powerful --totally arrogant and egotistical --for one thing. I was quite insufferable.

Penthouse: Your father knew this was going on?

Hubbard: Well, sure. Nobody did a thing in Scientology without his direct knowledge or consent or without his orders.

Penthouse: Did it ever go beyond these physical beatings?

Hubbard: I remember locking one girl up in a shack out in the desert for at least a couple of weeks.

Penthouse: Why were things like this never publicized?

Hubbard: Because the same reign of terror that occurred under Robespierre and Hitler occurred back then in the fifties, as it occurs now. You must realize that there is very little actual courage in this world. It's pretty easy to bend people around. It doesn't take much to shut people up, it really doesn't. In the fifties all I had to do was call a guy up on the telephone and say, "Well, I think your wife would like to know about your mistress." The response would be a shocked "Oh, my God!" I'd say, "Well, nobody really wants to divulge that kind of information. I think it would be absolutely terrible if your wife found out, so I'm going to make absolutely sure that she doesn't find out. Now, if you just drop in here for a little more auditing ... Now you know in your heart that the critical things you've been saying about Scientology are just vindictive. They're not really true in your heart. You know that, don't you?" And the guy says. "Yeah, sure, I sure do know that!" And then, if Scientologists couldn't blackmail you, they'd create some dirt on you through their "special operations." There were quite a few of those operations. This one, for example, happened recently. I wasn't involved in it, but Scientologists tried to get an assistant attorney general of the state of California embroiled in a fake operation where a Scientologist pretended to be a nun and pretended to get pregnant by him and filed papers against him. Then in another scheme they tried to set up the mayor of Clearwater, Florida, for a fake hit-and-run accident. I could give you operation after operation that they set up like this.

Image

Penthouse: This has been going on since the fifties?

Hubbard: Sure. It was pretty tame back then compared to very sophisticated operations like they have now. When we hid assets, for example --I remember being in Philadelphia when the FBI anc the U.S. Marshall's Office were after my father on a contempt-of-court charge. There I was running across town with my father with our complete mailing list and a suitcase full of money! Heading for the hills!

Penthouse: Where did the money end up?

Hubbard: A lot of it went abroad. But my father always kept a great deal of it around his bedroom so that he could flee at a moment's notice. In shoe boxes. He distrusted banks.

Penthouse: What kind of money are we talking about?

Hubbard: Back then? Hundreds of thousands at least. The last time I saw my father, in 1959, he mentioned that he had at least $20 million salted away.

Penthouse: Did he invest the money?

Hubbard: No. He wanted to stay really liquid. Very fluid, so he could cut and run at any time.

Penthouse: Where did all this money come from? How much did it cost to be audited, in Scientology parlance?

Hubbard: It cost as much as a person had. He had to stay in the organization, getting audited higher and higher, until he paid us as much as he had. People would sell their house, their car, convert their stocks and securities into cash, and turn it all over to Scientology.

Penthouse: What did you promise them for this price?

Hubbard: We promised them the moon and then demonstrated a way to get there. They would sell their soul for that. We were telling someone that they could have the power of a god -- that's what we were telling them.

Penthouse: What kind of people were tempted by this promise?

Hubbard: A whole range of people. People who wanted to raise their IQ, to feel better, to solve their problems. You also got people who wished to lord it over other people in the use of power. Remember, it's a power game, a matter of climbing a pyramidal hierarchy to the top, and it's who you can step on to get more power that counts. It appeals a great deal to neurotics. And to people who are greedy. It appeals a great deal to Americans, I think, because they tend to believe in instant everything, from instant coffee to instant nirvana. By just saying a few magic words or by doing a few assignments, one can become a god. People believe this. You see, Scientology doesn't really address the soul; it addresses the ego. What happens in Scientology is that a person's ego gets pumped up by this science-fiction fantasy helium into universe-sized proportions. And this is very appealing. It is especially appealing to the intelligentsia of this country, who are made to feel that they are the most highly intelligent people, when in actual fact, from an emotional standpoint, they are completely stupid. Fine professors, doctors, scientists, people involved in the arts and sciences, would fall into Scientology like you wouldn't believe. It appealed to their intellectual level and buttressed their emotional weaknesses. You show me a professor and I revert back to the fifties: I just kick him in the head, eat him for breakfast.

Penthouse: Did it attract young people as much as cults today?

Hubbard: Yes. We attracted quite a few hippies but we tried to stay a way from them, because they didn't have any money.

Penthouse: A poor man can't be a Scientologist?

Hubbard: No, oh no.

Penthouse: What do you think of the great popularity of cults in this country?

Hubbard: I think they're very dangerous and destructive. I don't think that anyone should think for you. And that's exactly what cults do. All cults, including Scientology, say, "I am your mind, I am your brain. I've done all the work for you, I've laid the path open for you. All you have to do is turn your mind off and walk down the path I have created." Well, I have learned that there's great strength in diversity, that a clamorous discussion or debate is very healthy and should be encouraged. That's why I like our political setup in the United States: simply because you can fight and argue and jump up and down and shout and scream and have all kinds of viewpoints, regardless of how wrongheaded or ridiculous they might be. People here don't have to give up their right to perceive things the way they believe. Scientology and all the other cults are one-dimensional, and we live in a three-dimensional world. Cults are as dangerous as drugs. They commit the highest crime: the rape of the soul.

Penthouse: You mentioned that Scientology attracted a great many well-known or important people. Can you give us some examples?

Hubbard: Two of the people we were involved with in the late fifties in England were Errol Flynn and a man who was high up in the Labor Party at the time. My father and Errol Flynn were very similar. They were only interested in money, sex, booze, and drugs. At that time, in the late fifties, Flynn was pretty much of a burned-out hulk. But he was involved in smuggling deals with my father: gold from the Mediterranean, and some drugs --mostly cocaine. They were both just a little larger than life. I had to admire my father from one standpoint. As I've said, he was a down-and-out, broke science-fiction writer, and then he writes one book of science-fiction and convinces the world it's true. He sells it to millions of people and gets billions of dollars and everyone thinks he's some sort of deity. He was really bigger than life. Flynn was like that, too. You could say many negative things about the two of them, but they did as they pleased and lived as they pleased. It was always fun to sit there at dinner and listen to these two guys rap. Wild people. Errol Flynn was like my father also in that he would do anything for money. He would take anything to bed --boys, girls, Fifty-year-old women, ten-year-old boys, Flynn and my father had insatiable appetites. Tons of mistresses. They lived very high on the hog.

Penthouse: And what about this Labor Party official?

Hubbard: He was a double agent for the KGB and for the British intelligence agency. He was also a raging homosexual. He wanted my father to use his black-magic, soul-cracking, brainwashing techniques on young boys. He wanted these boys as his own sexual slaves. He wanted to use my father's techniques to crack people's heads open because he was very influential in and around the British government --plus he was selling information to the Russians. And so was my father.

Penthouse: Your father was selling information to the Soviets?

Hubbard: Yes. That's where my father got the money to buy St. Hill Manor in East Grinstead, Sussex, which is the English headquarters of Scientology today.

Penthouse: What information did your father have to sell the Soviet government?

Hubbard: He didn't do any spying himself. What he normally did was allow these strange little people to go into the offices and into his home at odd hours of the night. He told me that he was allowing the KGB to go through our files, and that he was charging £40,000 for it. This was the money he used for the purchase of St. Hill Manor.

Penthouse: Do you know any specific information that the KGB got from your father that might have been harmful to security?

Hubbard: The plans for an infrared heat-seeking missile in the early fifties. They obtained the information by extensive auditing of the guy who was one of the head engineers. There were great infiltrations clear to this day. There has always been an inordinate interest on the part of Scientology in military and government personnel. There's no way for me to prove it sitting here, but I believe that the KGB trained East German agents who came via Denmark to London to the United States who were, supposedly, Scientologists. They made very good Scientologists. They were very well trained.

Penthouse: Did your father do this just for money?

Hubbard: Yes. The more he made, the more he wanted. He became greedy. He was really just interested in the use of money and power, wherever it was or whosoever's it was. Morality and politics made no difference to him at all.

Penthouse: Did the Labor Party official get any of his young men via Scientology?

Hubbard: Yes. The British were ripe for Scientology. The British school system fosters lesbianism and homosexuality, because from the time you're born until you're in your twenties, all you see is the same sex. The schools are so segregated. And you'll notice in Scientology the focus on sex. Sex, sex, sex. The first thing we wanted to know about someone we were auditing was his sexual deviations. You know, in actual fact, very few people exclusively practice missionary-style sex. So all you've got to do is find a person's kinks, whatever they might be. Their dreams and their fantasies. And if you find that central core, their sexual drives and desires and fantasies, then you can fit a ring through their noses and take them anywhere. You promise to fulfill their fantasies or you threaten to expose them --very simple. And People do have outrageous sexual fantasies. Nothing wrong with that --I'm the last guy on earth who should make a value judgment about somebody's sexual practices. But once you find their sexual core, you've got them. And you find this by brainwashing, through auditing, through interrogation, investigations, following them, photographing them, tapping their phones, whatever.

Penthouse: You did all that?

Hubbard: Sure.

Penthouse: Were there any other high level British government people in Scientology?

Hubbard: There was a member of Winston Churchill's medical staff. We had him by the balls.

Penthouse: Did he give you any information about Churchill?

Hubbard: Yes, certainly. You see, these people didn't realize where their information was going. They always thought that in Scientology auditing they had the priest-confessor's confidentiality -- but it was never that way. People just assumed it, and still do. But everybody knew what was in everybody's files.

Penthouse: What was the first example you can remember of your father's espionage activity?

Hubbard: I remember one day in 1944 when he came home from the naval base where he was stationed in Oregon with a big, gray metal box under his arm. He put it in our little attached garage and put a tarp over it. That weekend a couple of funny little guys came over to the house. I remember it was summer and they were wearing heavy woolen overcoats -- dark brown overcoats. It stuck in my mind: what are they doing wearing overcoats when it's hotter than hell? I was only about ten at the time. Anyway, these big, sweating guys take the box and put in in their car and drive off. But before they'd come, I'd snuck a look in the box. It had this strange-looking object in it. I didn't know what the hell it was. Later on, in the fifties, I was walking through a war surplus store and I suddenly saw an object that was just like the one I'd seen in the box. It was the heart of the radar. During the war -- when those men took it from our garage -- it was super-secret, super-valuable, worth thousands of dollars. I remember that people were told to commit suicide if it ever got captured in order to blow it up.

Then, in 1955, I went to work in the Scientology office in London. I noticed a woman in the office doing strange things with strange people in the office, so I investigated her. I found out she was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party. I got very angry at her and broke into her apartment, where I found dozens of little code pads. They looked like little milk pads with a whole mess of letters and numbers on them. I had people follow her to the Russian Embassy. I finally wrote a long report to my father about her. He was furious. He told me not to investigate anymore, not to write anymore, not to tell anyone what I had found out, to destroy all my evidence. I yelled at him, "The goddamn Russians are running around the office and doing God knows what." He yelled back. "I want 'em there!" He told me that she was placed there by the KGB with his knowledge and consent. This really bothered me. My grandfather, who was a lieutenant commander in the navy, had impressed me with his red-white-and-blue honor and integrity. He was an officer of the old school. 180 degrees different from my father, in fact, I credit him a great deal with my ability to get rid of Scientology and get my head straightened out, because his patriotism had gotten through to me and made me sour on what my father was doing in dealing with the Russians.

Penthouse: Was this why you became disenchanted with Scientology?

Hubbard: It was the beginning. I began to see that my father was a sick, sadistic, vicious man. I saw more and more parallels between his behavior and what I read about the way Hitler thought and acted. I was realizing that my father really wanted to destroy his enemies and take over the world. Whoever was perceived as his enemy had to be destroyed, including me. This [was the] "fair game" policy since the beginning. The organization couldn't exist without it. It keeps people very quiet.

Penthouse: Do you mean killed?

Hubbard: Well, he didn't really want people killed, because how could you really destroy them if you just killed them? What he wanted to do was to destroy their lives, their families, their reputations, their jobs, their money, everything. My father was the type of person who, when it came to destruction, wanted to keep you alive for as long as possible, to torture you, punish you. If he chose to destroy you, he would love to see you lying in the gutter, strung out on booze and drugs, rolling in your own vomit, with your wife and children gone forever: no job, no money. He'd enjoy walking by and kicking you and saying to other people, "Look what I did to this man!" He's the kind of man who would pull the wings off flies and watch them stumble around. You see, this fits in with his Scientology beliefs, also. He felt that if you just died, your spirit would go out and get another body to live in. By destroying an enemy that way, you'd be doing him a favor. You were letting him out from under the thumb of L. Ron. Hubbard, you see?

Penthouse: It's been said that many Scientologists have similar philosophies.

Hubbard: Yes. Many are sadistic, just like he was. Very Teutonic, very Gestapo.

Penthouse: Do you think they would stop at murder?

Hubbard: Many wouldn't. The one super-secret sentence that Scientology is built on is: "Do as thou wilt." That is the whole of the law. It also comes from the black magic, from Alistair Crowley. It means that you are a law unto yourself, that you are above the law, that you create your own law. You are above any other human considerations. Since you came into being by an act of will, you can do anything you will. If you decide to go out and kill somebody --bam! --that's it. An act of will. Not connected, to any emotions or feelings, not governed by any ethics or morality or law. They are very vicious people. Totally into attack. Most people think these people are so insane and wild and berserk and unpredictable. Not to me. Insane people are very predictable, because they're trapped on the same mental and spiritual merry-go-round and all they can do is go round and round. For years I've been able to Counter them --to stay alive --simply because I was one of them. I had a helluva good teacher.

Penthouse: Was your father violent in his behavior with his family?

Hubbard: Not to me. But he beat up a lot of women very badly. Blood, black eyes, busted teeth, the whole thing. He beat the holy hell out of women. His rages were incredible. I've read reports of the kinds of rages Hitler used to have, and they sound just like my father's. He was especially touchy about food. He would always have somebody else at the table sample everything on the table before he'd eat it. I've seen him pick up an entire dinner table and throw it against the wall if he didn't like the food or thought it was suspicious. He got very strange in the fifties. He had to have his clothes washed and washed and washed. He would take showers half a dozen times a day. I have often wondered if all of this might have been caused by the massive amounts of drugs and medication he took.

Penthouse: Did your father take a lot of drugs?

Hubbard: Yes. Since he was sixteen. You see, drugs are very important in the application of heavy black magic. The personal use of drugs expands one's conscious ability to break open the doors to the realm of the deep.

Penthouse: What kind of drugs did he generally use?

Hubbard: At various times, just about everything, because he was quite a hypochondriac. Cocaine, peyote, amphetamines, barbiturates. It would be shorter to list what he didn't take.

Penthouse: Did he encourage you to do drugs?

Hubbard: Well, he used them with me. He was a real night person. We used to sit around all night, sit around his office or home, get loaded up, and talk. He had a pretty liquid tongue. He loved to talk. And of course, in the fifties, he decided that I was the heir apparent, so he wanted to teach me everything he knew. He started me out by mixing phenobarbital into my bubble gum, when I was ten years old. This was to induce deeper trances in order to practice the black magic and to get an avenue to power.

Penthouse: How exactly would this work?

Hubbard: The explanation is sort of long and complicated. The basic rationale is that there are some powers in this universe that are pretty strong. As an example, Hitler was involved in the same black magic and the same occult practices that my father was. The identical ones. Which, as I have said, stem clear back to before Egyptian times. It's a very secret thing. Very powerful and very workable and very dangerous. Brainwashing is nothing compared to it. The proper term would be "soul cracking." It's like cracking open the soul, which then opens various doors to the power that exists, the satanic and demonic powers. Simply put, it's like a tunnel or an avenue or a doorway. Pulling that power into yourself through another person --and using women, especially -- is incredibly insidious. It makes Dr. Fu Manchu look like a kindergarten student. It is the ultimate vampirism, the ultimate mind-fuck, instead of going for blood, you're going for their soul. And you take drugs in order to reach that state where you can, quite literally, like a psychic hammer, break their soul, and pull the power through. He designed his Scientology Operating Thetan techniques to do the same thing. But, of course, it takes a couple of hundred hours of auditing and mega-thousands of dollars for the privilege of having your head turned into a glass Humpty Dumpty --shattered into a million pieces. It may sound like incredible gibberish, but it made my father a fortune.

Penthouse: When was the last time your father was seen in public?

Hubbard: Sometime in the sixties he granted an interview to British television. After that he didn't appear in public and just slowly became a recluse. One of the reasons he became a recluse was his own physical and mental condition was deteriorating so badly that he couldn't let the public or the Scientology membership know just what kind of shape he was in. He was a testament to the fact that Scientology didn't work.

Penthouse: Looking over the past twenty-odd years of your life, what would you have done differently?

Hubbard: That's a complex question, guess if I had it to do all over. I would do the same thing. With a father like mine. I don't think I could live it differently. It's been twenty-three years of hell, but sometimes you have to go through hell to get to heaven. It's been a very exciting life. I can say that. We come from a long line of rogues and scoundrels, going back 200 or 300 years, at least. And so I guess we're built for this kind of life. I've said that I am a preacher of adversity and controversy, and I thrive on it. Plus maybe by our example, people will quit trying for god-ship.

Penthouse: What if your father's alive? Would you be able to confront him?

Hubbard: Yes I would love to.

Penthouse: Do you have any fear of him?

Hubbard: No if he is sick, I would make sure he receives the best treatment I could find in the world for him. I consider him a victim of all this as much as I consider myself a victim of his own involvement with black magic, drugs and his own delusions. He became a victim of himself.

Penthouse: Many people would say that your father is guilty of a great many sins and crimes. Do you think he should be punished?

Hubbard: He hasn't escaped punishment. I think at this juncture, dead or alive, he fell into his own insanity, and that's quite sufficient punishment. That is the most terrible jail of all, to be trapped inside his own head. With him it must be like being locked inside an exploding fireworks factory with no way out.

Penthouse: Have you ever wished your father dead?

Hubbard: I don't believe so, no. Regardless of the things he's done to me -- we had a helluva good time!

Penthouse: Ripping the world off?

Hubbard: We did! I enjoyed my life then, and I enjoy it now. And really, as far as crimes go. I think my father has received the ultimate punishment, which is being locked and trapped in his own insanity. There's no way out for him.

Scientology Responds

In order to present both sides of the controversy involving the Church of Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard Sr. to our readers, Penthouse Contributing Editor Allan Sonnenschein conducted a lengthy interview by telephone with the Rev. Heber Jentzsch, president of the church. Excerpts from that interview follow.

Jentzsch: Let me say this: The media have been hyped by a number of people who are criminal - extortionists - perverts - etc. - and they make all these claims, and then you're supposed to respond to them. The credibility of the individual is just out the bottom. And I don't find it instructive for us to just sit and respond to a bunch of allegations.

Penthouse: Is it true, as DeWolf claims, that Scientology is an extremely expensive and time-consuming process?

Jentzsch: It isn't expensive if one is looking at something that works. And Scientology is an extremely workable system. The churches that I know of - and I deal with religious leaders all across the country - some of them have a tithing system, and they pay it for their entire lifetime. That can be quite a bit of money, and it's also worthwhile. But let's move it out of the religious field and look at the psychiatrists, and they're running all this crazy stuff, you know? You've got psychiatrists who are essentially charging an arm and a leg for electric shock psychosurgery, drugging, all kinds of things which really are destructive to the individual. And they're funded by the state for those activities, into the billions. So Scientology comes along. First of all, it can be done from a person picking up a book like Dianetics as I said. And it costs them the price of the book. Or it can be done from the standpoint of the professional counselors and so forth. Mr. DeWolf hasn't been with the church for twenty-four years, so he's hardly an authority on where we are at the present time. But it's like you say - is it expensive or time consuming? Well, long before I joined the staff, I did Scientology extensively. I didn't find it time consuming. I found that I was able to do it and still carry on at a profession and do both.

Penthouse: Can a poor man go through Scientology counseling?

Jentzsch: Sure.

Penthouse: He can?

Jentzsch: Sure. I mean he can go on the staff, and for that he receives his counseling, and he can do the whole thing.

Penthouse: Is it true that the media have been intimidated by church members when they try to report on the organization?

Jentzsch: Ha! Well, I just say, look with your own eyes. If they're intimidated, boy, how do you explain Time magazine, 20/20 on ABC TV, Cable Network News national, ABC TV's World News, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times, reporting all in one day on Scientology? I mean, how do you explain that? I mean, give me a break!

Penthouse: The allegation has been made that the Church of Scientology has hounded ex-members who have spoken out negatively about the church.

Jentzsch: Can you give me the names?

Penthouse: Gerald Armstrong is the first that comes to mind.

Jentzsch: Mr. Armstrong is my step-son-in-law. I know him quite well. He was a clerk, and he also drove a car. And that's all he ever did. When he left, he sort of tried to raise his status. If he thinks he's been hounded by Scientologists, I'll offer this: he says he's getting phone calls? We'll go to the police and put a tap on the phone. You know what a tap is, right? It just traces the phone call. So let's find out where the phone calls are coming from, because it isn't coming from our people. And I want to know. So to every guy who's screaming that, that's the thing I offer.

Penthouse: How do you respond to charges that L. Ron Hubbard, Sr. may no longer be alive?

Jentzsch: Mr. Hubbard wrote me a letter last week. He wrote the court that has the records under seal and is keeping them in safekeeping, per our request. Now, he wrote, and he carboned me, with a very well-documented, extensive kind of forensic background in this letter. What it is is one of the top forensic scientists in this country put together an ink that could have been formulated by the second of February, 1983. He put that ink in a pen, and sent it to Mr. Hubbard. Mr. Hubbard wrote a letter to the court, carboning me, and he also placed his fingerprints on that letter underneath the ink and to the side. And top forensic analysts have proven that, that is the ink that was formulated the second of February 1983. Number two: that is his writing. Number three: those are his fingerprints. End of theme. But this letter establishes, in terms of forensic science and in terms of court-acceptable records, that Hubbard Sr. is very much in control of this whole scene and his own monies, his own life, his own activities...

Penthouse: Is it possible to speak to Mr. Hubbard?

Jentzsch: I...I don't think that Penthouse magazine, given its past activities, would ever do a decent article on Mr. Hubbard. I think they would do everything they could to try to denigrate, to try to impugn the man, to try to destroy any credibility he has... I've read Penthouse and the hate they have for anyone who is opposed to psychiatry, anyone who is opposed to electric shock and psychosurgery, as we have been... I have only to characterize it; that's the only reason they're opposed to it --that Hubbard has instituted an incredible educational capability. They hate it. Absolutely hate anything... [Editor's note: Reverend Jentzsch is not as familiar with the editorial content of Penthouse as he thinks. Among the very many critical articles on psychiatry the magazine has published are " Psychiatric Holocaust" (January 1979), "Psychiatry Kills" (April 1981), and "Electroshock: The Horror Continues" (June 1982)] My current frame of mind is that the media will have to prove to us that they have some sort of modicum of ethics and integrity... At this current point, I have no reason to trust them. None at all. I find them rapacious. I find them to be not interested in anything... Six and a half million people who are living good lives, with a tremendous capability...but I don't find the media wanting to cover any of that...

Penthouse: We feel that Mr. Hubbard has a right to respond to the allegations made by Mr. Hubbard, Jr.

Jentzsch: What you're saying is that you give a man who's a criminal the same right as a man who is not.

Penthouse: We're just trying to determine the truth.

Jentzsch: I've got to tell you, I've heard the same thing from every major media that has talked to me. And every one of them had just not one modicum of integrity.

Penthouse: We would be willing to work out any problems you might have before we meet with Mr. Hubbard.

Jentzsch: Well, I don't know that you could meet him, because I have no idea where he is... I will tell you this: if I were ever asked by Mr Hubbard, I will make sure that all of the media who have currently interviewed him will never, ever, ever, get a personal interview. I mean, I can guarantee you that Time magazine will not... I can guarantee you ABC-TV will not: I can guarantee you that all the others will not. I will promise that, and I will campaign for it if he ever decides that he wants to do a major media event of any kind or an interview of any kind. I will make sure that every one of those gentlemen never, ever, ever, ever, ever, gets an interview with him.

END
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 29163
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Journalism: Scientology - L. Ron Hubbard's Brainchild

Postby admin » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:09 am

Is John Travolta Cracking Up? It's Not Just Grief -- and Guilt -- Over His Dead Son That Are Tearing the Actor Apart
by Paul Scott
Mail Online
July 25, 2009

Dead of night, and on a deserted Florida landing strip, the silence of the oppressively hot early hours is broken by the low whirring of an electric golf cart, driving lazy circuits.

At the wheel is a bulky, lone figure, hunched forward over the controls as he tries to kill time during another long, sleepless night.

It is a sight that has become something of a regular occurrence in recent weeks, as Hollywood star John Travolta acts out his bizarre nocturnal ritual on the private runway that services his Jumbolair estate

Image

Haunted star: A rare sighting of the grief-stricken John Travolta in Miami

'We often see John driving himself around at night,' one of Travolta's neighbours told me this week.

'It's sad to see. You rarely catch sight of him during the day. We used to see him driving around on a buggy with his son. Now it's just John by himself. He's always been a night owl, but now even more so.'

But then Travolta has much on his mind. Six months after the tragic death of his only son, Jett, during a family New Year holiday to the Bahamas, he is said by his closest friends to remain in a state of almost constant distress.

Work has been cancelled, the shutters pulled down, and until a rare appearance in public this week, the actor had been living the life of a virtual recluse.

His friend and fellow actor Denzel Washington, who appears with Travolta in the upcoming thriller The Taking Of Pelham 123 - which was shot before the tragedy - gave an indication of the depth of his co-star's despair: 'One minute he's OK, the next he's in tears. He's such a sweet, sweet person.'

Certainly, those around the Pulp Fiction star are privately concerned about his state of mind.

And Travolta cut a miserable figure when he was spotted for the first time in months on a flying visit to Miami this week.

Image
Heartbroken: John with his son Jett, who died in January

The 55-year-old actor, who was sporting an eccentric handlebar moustache and a shapeless, baggy shirt, looked bloated and puffy. He hid under a black baseball cap as he ate an unhealthy lunch of cheeseburger and chips alone outside a fast-food joint.

Few would blame the formerly lithe Saturday Night Fever and Grease star for over-indulging his long-time love of junk food as he struggles to come to terms with the death of his 16-year- old son, who died after suffering a seizure at his father's holiday villa.

But if rumours buzzing around Hollywood this week are to be believed, it's not just the death of his beloved son that has been torturing Travolta of late.

His distress, say sources close to him, has been compounded by the first cracks in his 34-year relationship with the Church of Scientology, the cult-like religion of which Travolta is a prominent and generous benefactor.

And there are dark mutterings that if he carries out private threats to leave, the organisation will go public with embarrassing details of his private life, including, it is claimed, allegations of past homosexual relationships.

Sources in the U.S. disclosed to me this week that his son's sudden death has 'deeply shaken' Travolta's faith in the strange sect, which makes wild claims about its ability to cure a variety of physical and mental disorders.

The star - who, thanks to his dedication and open cheque book, has risen to the top of the secretive organisation - is said to be angry that the religion was unable to help Jett, who was widely reported to have suffered from autism.

'There have been strong rumours coming out of Scientology that John Travolta is disappointed that the religion was not able to help his son more,' Rick Ross, an American author and lecturer on Scientology, told me this week. 'It's led him to question his faith.'

Image
Speculation: The actor's controversial kiss with Jeff Kathrein in 2006

Travolta is also said to be upset that senior members of the sect have instructed him to undergo intensive sessions with one of Scientology's 'ethics officers', trained to question the actor and other grieving family members to establish whether their 'negative influences' might have contributed to the tragedy.

But there is much more to this than just a questioning of a once rock-solid faith. 'I think it would be very difficult for John Travolta at this stage, given his history with the religion, to extricate himself from the Church of Scientology,' said Mr Ross, who has investigated the sect for almost 30 years.

'It would be a huge move on his part because Scientology keeps files on its celebrity members containing embarrassing personal information about them.

'And Scientology has proven in the past that it has a penchant for releasing that information to embarrass people who have left and who have said things it doesn't like.

'If celebrities leave, they tend to do it quietly and keep their mouths shut, because if they do speak out, they are opening themselves up to attack from Scientology.

'That's why I think Travolta will want to keep his problems with the Church private.'

Travolta's friends have been speculating among themselves for months that he now deeply regrets adhering so strictly to the cult's outlandish instructions over his son's medical treatment.

Image
Committed Scientologist: John at a book signing of Scientology founder Ron Hubbard's best seller Battlefield Earth in 2000

His sense of guilt is said to be compounded by his blind acceptance of the Church's claims that conditions such as autism do not exist, but are merely psychosomatic.

It recommends they are treated by detoxification programmes and vitamins, rather than conventional drugs.

Indeed, Travolta's wife, actress Kelly Preston, campaigns vociferously against psychiatric drugs and the family's lawyers have confirmed that Jett had been taken off the antiseizure-drug Depakote because, they say, it failed to work.

Instead, Preston 46, herself a committed Scientologist, is said to have enrolled her son on a Scientology-led Purification Rundown course.

This involved treating Jett with saunas, food supplements, Vitamin B and vegetable oils which, the sect claims, can dislodge toxins trapped in the body's fatty tissues.

Perhaps because Scientology does not recognise autism as a clinical condition, she and Travolta, who also have a nine-year-old daughter, Ella Bleu, instead claimed that Jett's condition, which rendered him virtually mute and caused up to four epileptic fits a week, was caused by the little-known Kawasaki Syndrome.

They claimed that the illness, which affects the heart and is not usually seen in children over the age of five, was caused by the carpet detergents that Travolta, who is obsessive about cleaning, insisted were used in his son's bedroom when he was a baby.

But now, it seems, the double Oscar nominee is doubting the wisdom of following Scientology's weird prescriptions.

Word of Travolta's loosening ties with Scientology is certainly a blow to the religion. He and fellow movie heart-throb Tom Cruise have been its two most significant Hollywood disciples.

Image
Happier times: John Travolta, his wife Kelly Preston and their children Jett and Ella in an undated family photo

Travolta is also known to have pumped millions of his own fortune into its new Superpower Centre, being built at Scientology headquarters in Clearwater, Florida.

According to insiders, he has reached the rank of Operating Thetan VII, one rung below the most senior position in the Church, which adheres to the teachings of controversial 1950s science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard.

The author bizarrely claimed all humans are descended from Thetans, space aliens who were banished to earth 75 million years ago.

At great expense, Travolta turned another of Hubbard's novels, Battlefield Earth, into a disastrous 2000 film.

But to reach such an exalted level within Scientology, Travolta, insiders say, has had to submit himself to years of so-called 'auditing', during which disciples are connected to primitive lie-detectors and subjected to hours of questioning about their innermost secrets.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given Hollywood's obsession with the secret sect, talk in the smarter salons of gossip-hungry Tinseltown is now all about what Travolta might have divulged during these sessions.

At the centre of this rather frenzied speculation has been his continued relationship with Jeff Kathrein, the fellow Scientologist whom Travolta was photographed kissing on the lips on the steps of a private plane three years ago.

Strangely, 29-year-old Kathrein, who is a wedding photographer from Florida, was described as Jett's nanny when it was revealed that he had discovered the boy's body on the floor of a bathroom in Travolta's £3million beach house in Grand Bahama last January.

It is not the first time that Travolta has been the subject of whispers about his sexuality.

In 2001, he was the subject of lurid claims that he had tried to pick up a business executive in a California health club.

Image
Screen star: The actor with Olivia Newton-John in the classic movie Grease

The allegations came three years after Travolta was named as a homosexual in U.S. Federal court papers, issued by a former member of the Scientology Church, who alleged the sect used the actor as an example of how gays could be 'cured' by the religion.

Earlier, the prestigious Time magazine also reported allegations made by Richard Aznaran, the former security head of Scientology, that the Church's leader, David Miscavige, had repeatedly joked about Travolta's 'promiscuous homosexual behaviour'.

Aznaran's claims came just months after the star was the subject of wild accusations in an American supermarket-tabloid that he had enjoyed a two-year affair with a gay porn star called Paul Barresi, who had a bit part in Travolta's 1985 flop, Perfect.

In the wake of Barresi's claims, Travolta - who at 37 was still a bachelor - announced his sudden engagement to Miss Preston, who was already a committed member of the sect and with whom he starred in the forgettable 1989 comedy The Experts. The couple married two years later.

The actor's only previous serious relationship was in the mid-1970s, with actress Diana Hyland.

She was 18 years his senior, but the couple moved in together after appearing in a U.S. television movie. Tragically, less than a year after they became an item, she died in his arms of breast cancer.

Despite the gossip, his marriage to Preston is one of the most enduring in Hollywood. Their three homes include a state-of-the-art £14 million Florida mansion, which was built to resemble an airport terminal and has parking for trained pilot Travolta's Boeing 707 airliner and two Gulfstream jets.

Despite this, Travolta has admitted that he and Preston have had to resort to years of marriage counselling to keep their relationship on track.

And while Preston has returned to work after the death of their son, Travolta has done much of his grieving in private.

In April, for example, he flew himself to Tahiti to spend time alone over Jett's 17th birthday.

To add to the tension, the couple are said to be dreading returning to the Bahamas at the end of September, for the trial of an ambulance driver called to treat Jett.

The man and his female accomplice are accused of trying to extort £12 million out of Travolta by threatening to go public with embarrassing private details surrounding the teenager's death.

Even so, sources told me this week that the couple are desperate to have another child. His friends can only hope that the prospect of a new life might finally lift Travolta out of his grief.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 29163
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Journalism: Scientology - L. Ron Hubbard's Brainchild

Postby admin » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:14 pm

Letter from John Balusha, Secretary of Hubbard Association of Scientology to the Better Business Bureau of Phoenix, AZ
by John Galusha
June 12, 1954

Image

Image

Image

Image

HUBBARD ASSOCIATION OF SCIENTOLOGISTS INTERNATIONAL

806 North Third Street

Phoenix, Arizona

June 12, 1954

Better Business Bureau
834 North Central Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona

Gentlemen:

For your interest, the Hubbard Association of Scientologists, an Arizona Corporation, has brought about certain changes in Scientology, and of which we would like to acquaint you.

Scientology is described as a science of knowingness. It is actually a modern approach, using mathematics and physics to the philosophic subject of epistemology. The goal of Scientology is to bring about greater capabilities in human beings such as increases in recognition, memory, and reaction time. Such a science would of course address various phenomena such as psychosomatic illness, aberration and behavior.

The subject of Scientology is largely the work of L. Ron Hubbard, author and scientist, who began his work in __ while a student of nuclear physics at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Hubbard was also trained in psycho-analysis, studied personally with Freud and who instituted psycho-analyses in the U.S. Navy for use in flight surgery. Hubbard was also trained by Dr. William Alan White, then superintendent of St. Elizabeth's, the government asylum at Washington.

Hubbard's interest in the mind was from the standpoint of physical energy and, later, anthropology. A member of the Explorer's Club in good standing for eighteen years, Hubbard has led several expeditions and has widely studied, in Asia, Alaska, and Latin America barbaric cultures for what they might reveal concerning the motivations of humanities. In World War II he served with distinction as a naval officer and was selected as Naval Civil Affairs by reason of his knowledge of the Oriental psychology.

In 1947 Hubbard published a book for the Gerontology Society and the American Medical Association called "Scientology & New Science." Politely received, the data yet remained unstudied and so unused and Hubbard eventually followed this original publications with an article in the Explorer's Club professional journal. This article attracted the attention of some people, amongst them members of the Russian government. Hubbard saw a need to release his work in more detailed form, and received an offer from Hermitage House, Inc., one of the better publishers of psychiatric texts, he consented to write a formal book.

Here, if anywhere, Hubbard erred. Hermitage House insisted on a popularized version and a more popular name for the subject (Dianetics) and Hubbard, foreseeing no more than a few thousand copy sale, agreed. Hermitage House, altering the manuscript and writing a new introduction (a fact which became the subject of a suit) unwisely chose to publish an article about "Dianetics" by Hubbard in a pulp magazine. Hubbard, as in the case of almost any nuclear physicist, often wrote for amusement, science fiction. Hermitage House desired to capitalize on this fact to gain a sale amongst those who were familiar with Hubbard's name.

The book, called "Dianetics: Modern Science of Mental Health" startled the publishing world, and Hubbard, by climbing high into the best-seller listing of the New York Times and staying there for months. Such instant popularity found Hubbard prepared for the floods of mail and pleas for help.

Hubbard, interested only in research, financially independent, without such royalties, was glad to listen to a proposal from one C. Parker Morgan and his publisher to let them form a Foundation to service this demand. Seven trustees, of which Hubbard was only one, formed on June 1, 1950 the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation of Elizabeth, New Jersey. Hubbard gave them the book and its royalties and returned to his own pursuits.

This organization, however, pressed heavily upon him for lectures and disturbed his own routine. Yet this corporation insisted on growing, forming other corporations in Illinois, California and Hawaii, each with a duplicate directorate.

In November, 1950 Hubbard became convinced that the corporation was not sound and that it would not attain to its professed goal of helping people. He attempted to withdraw his name from it and was variously inveighed against. He had only one vote in seven. Forced to leave it in possession and continued use of his name, he retired in December to Palm Springs, California where he set up a modest research laboratory. Although he did not seek them, many people began to come to him in Palm Springs. This seriously impaired the business of the Foundation such ___ in Los Angeles for Hubbard charged nothing.

A.E. van Vogt, the principal mover in the Los Angeles Foundation and others were intensely provoked at Hubbard's withdrawal. Hubbard's wife, from whom he had been separated, also became incensed at him. For public appearance she had been a Foundation director. With the obvious coming failure of the Foundations and with it a failure of the income she drew from she threatened Hubbard with a public scandal if he did not support the Foundations.

Hubbard, busy writing a new book, refused to lend any credence to these threats or those of the Elizabeth board and went to Cuba where he completed a 125,000 word book in the next many weeks. As their young child had always been under his, not her mother's care, the child accompanied him.

True to her threats and those of the Foundation trustees a great deal of scandal was stirred up. A receivership was __ in Los Angeles by this woman and the trustees to seize control the Foundations and many statements were made to the press.

Hubbard made no statements of any kind during all this period and when he became aware that they had been made, ordered his separated wife to him, had her sign a confession to perjury (copy enclosed) and applied for and received a divorce from her without alimony to her.

Meanwhile the Elizabeth Foundation over which Hubbard had never had power beyond his personality, sold itself to one Don G. Purcell, an oilman in Kansas.

Purcell moved the Foundation to Wichita, Kansas and Hubbard, having completed his book, went to Kansas to settle various affairs.

Considering that Purcell wished only to make money from Dianetics, Hubbard sought to reform the attitude of the Foundation. To accomplish this he supported himself in Kansas by writing and lecturing and finally, after a few months, unable to bring about a good public presence on the part of the Foundation and Purcell, he resigned from all connections in early 1952 and refused Purcell and others any further permission to use his name or work.

Purcell's answer was to file for bankruptcy within one month conceiving that the Foundations could not continue without Hubbard's support. Purcell bought the Foundations from bankruptcy as his personal property shortly after and continued them in business, but, unable to use Hubbard's name or additional work, the organization The Dianetic Foundation of Kansas came to exist only as a shell, quite inactive today.

After resigning in early 1952, Hubbard came to Phoenix to visit his parents, liked the city and with his wife Mary Sue whom he married early in 1952, settled here. He opened a quiet office which became that fall (1952) the Hubbard Association of Scientologists. He had reverted "Dianetics" back to its original name, Scientology.

This organization was founded by some five hundred people in varoius parts of the world who had long been interested in Hubbard's work. Publishing a few books locally and issuing twice a month, the Journal of Scientology, the HAS has continued a quiet carrer [sic] in Arizona. It has opened up branch offices in Camden, New Jersey and London, England. ___iation exists to publish material related to behavior and to _______________ in Scientology.

The HAS is the first organization in the field of "Dianetics" and Scientology to be controlled by Hubbard. It pays its bills promptly as any Phoenix business firm with which it deals can attest. Although any organization dealing with behaviour can attract hangers-on, there has been no consequences of this in the HAS. Hubbard's policy of quiet, orderly business and investigation is clearly manifested in the general good repute of the HAS in Phoenix.

In so far as possible the HAS has sought to associate itself with steady and reliable people. It does permit its name and the name Scientology to be used by autonomous organizations. Such, called associates or groups, exist in many __. They use HAS materials and pay a membership fee but otherwise have no connection. When they err financially or seem to __ HAS repute, their membership is cancelled. This has happened recently in Los Angeles. The HAS has no other control over such persons.

The addresses of the HAS are 806 North Third Street, Phoenix, Arizona, 507 Market Street, Camden, New Jersey, 15__ Holland Park Avenue, London, England. The Camden and London offices are run by committees.

The HAS, under the management of Hubbard, has a __ year record of good repute and responsibility. It is aware, as is Hubbard, that the 1950 blatant use of Hubbard's name in early Foundations has often reflected against HAS progress. It is aware of the mountains of publicity generated by the sudden and strange popularity of a book. The HAS is also aware that it is the first organization controlled by Hubbard and it enjoys good public reputation as well as good credit. It is content to pay its way, has no great ambition to riches and builds solidly as it goes.

The HAS recently rented quarters at 401-A East Roosevelt and 616 North Third Street. The latter address was also occupied by a psychologist, Dr. Gordon Beckstead, who was in no way connected with the HAS.

Awakening recently to the fact that many of its interested people were ministers, the HAS has assisted them to form churches such as the Church of American Science and the Church of Scientology. Also, when friends of Hubbard in __ pointed out to him that the home organization of psycho-analysis, the Freudian Institute of Vienna, was now in the Russian zone of Austria and desired removal, Hubbard helped finance the organization of the "Freudian Foundation of America" to be offered to those in Vienna should they desire to avail themselves to it. In the latter an din the churches the HAS has no further control or interest.

As Scientology is proving it can do much for disabled veterans and others such as they, the HAS may soon make Scientology available to the disabled as a public service.

The HAS business gross is about $10,000 a month. It has no profits or dividends. It pays Hubbard's expenses in writing and investigation. It finances the processing, with Scientology of indigent and disabled people.

There is no broadly stated medical opinion of Scientology, mainly because it does not in any way intend or pretend to encroach upon medicine. Its field in the study of Knowledge itself and its benefits are more closely allied to philosophy and religion than to medicine or psychology. If one ___ in the process of knowing more about himself or Mankind the benefit derived from knowledge gained, not treatment received.

Aside from offering public services, the firm two-year policy of the HAS will continue to be followed. To neither defend nor attack on the public stage, but to keep _____________house, financially and ethically sound.

Sincerely,
Board of Directors
Hubbard Association of Scientology

by John Galusha, Secretary
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 29163
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Journalism: Scientology - L. Ron Hubbard's Brainchild

Postby admin » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:18 pm

Man Overboard: To Leave Scientology, Don Jason Had to Jump Off a Ship
by Thomas C. Tobin
Times Staff Writer
November 3, 2009

Image
Don Jason says he was locked in his cabin and later was denied repeated requests to leave the Freewinds. “For probably three or four days I refused to work, sat in my room saying over and over again: ‘I want to leave. I want to leave. I want to leave.’ That didn’t get me anywhere.” From scraps around the ship, he fashioned a device like this one to escape down a mooring line.

Parishioners from around the world flocked to Scientology's spiritual headquarters in Clearwater, bringing the church about $1.5 million a week.

A division of some 350 people tended to their needs, providing counseling services considered to be the finest in all of Scientology. For seven years, Chief Officer Don Jason was their boss, the second in command of the "Flag Service Organization."

In a group photo in a 1996 issue of Source, the official magazine of "Flag," Jason stands front and center. Only Capt. Debbie Cook's dress uniform had more ribbons.

That August, a senior officer from a higher division surprised Jason with a reprimand he found absurd. It inflamed the doubts that had nagged him for years about making a career in the church. He'd had enough.

He took off without permission, hid out for six weeks but returned to Clearwater, compelled by feelings of guilt and a desire to leave the church on good terms.

He agreed to a program of counseling and manual labor aboard the Freewinds, the church's cruise ship in the Caribbean. He scraped oily sludge off a collection tank under the ship's engines. For a time, his cabin was locked from the outside, and a security camera was trained on his bunk.

He repeatedly asked to leave; the answer was no. Twice, he tried to walk down the gangway. Twice, church guards blocked him.

The church's account of how Jason left the Freewinds says only: "On 21 November 1996, Jason changed his mind and left, ending up in Milwaukee.''

Jason tells it differently.

That afternoon, right after lunch, he disappeared over the bow.

'WE COME BACK'

Scientologists believe that people are spiritual beings — thetans — who live for eternity and are reborn into new bodies when they die. They are encouraged to think in terms of their "whole track," the endless succession of lifetimes they will lead.

Members of the dedicated work force, known as the Sea Org, sign billion-year contracts to serve Scientology. Their motto: "We come back."

Jason grew up in Milwaukee, a rowdy 20-year-old with a history of drug use when his older sister got him to take a Scientology communication course. He liked it so much he traveled to Clearwater for the next course and never left.

He worked on construction projects and his gung-ho manner got him promoted to the administrative ranks.

"I liked what I was doing. We were helping people. I was really into the cause."

By his early 30s, Jason started looking ahead, not to his eternity but to middle-age. What if he hit 50 and decided to leave Scientology? Who would hire him? Could he survive?

"It was a seed that got planted and it just never went away. And as the years went on it just kind of festered."

Early in his career, in the 1980s, Jason's weekly take-home pay was about $30; sometimes he says he was paid a fraction, or nothing. He worked seven days, typically 9 a.m. until past 11 p.m. For long stretches, the staff in Clearwater were fed only beans and rice.

Mat Pesch, who once headed the crew's treasury department, says he saw food budgets in the 1980s that allotted less than a dollar per person, per meal. He said Sea Org members sometimes picked through ashtrays for cigarette butts or stole necessities from the canteen.

Jason says he was one of them. In the early 1980s, before his pay situation improved, he lifted soap, shampoo and food.

"That's humiliating to me. As a man, I look at that and I feel shame regarding that still today. … But that's on me. I should have left and didn't."

DECISION TIME

In the spring of 1996, a prominent church member traveled to Clearwater for Scientology counseling called "auditing,'' returned home to Los Angeles and six months later caused a flap. Someone in the church hierarchy traced the problem to Jason's staff.

An auditor in Clearwater had missed the underlying personal flaw that caused the parishioner to create the controversy. The church hung the blame on Jason.

Near 11 p.m., the end of another marathon day, church executive Angie Trent broke the news in Jason's office in downtown Clearwater. He would have to complete an "ethics" program requiring that he confess his crimes and vow to make it up.

"My first reaction was to basically say, 'Are you kidding me?' I've got 350 people that work under me and this is my personal screw-up that I'm now in trouble over? I was listening to it and it was just like a light bulb. … I said, You know what? Now is the time. It wasn't preplanned. It was just like that."

His personal life was troubled, as well. His marriage was a mess and he was having an affair with a fellow church executive.

"For a variety of reasons I just got spooked.''

There were two ways to leave the Sea Org: "route out'' (follow protocol, including confessionals and interrogations called "security checks" that could drag on for months). Or "blow" (bolt without permission).

Jason's decision: Run.

AWAY FROM CLEARWATER

After the next-day's morning muster, he didn't go to his office at Cleveland Street and S Fort Harrison Avenue. He went to his bank and withdrew $6,000, part of a small inheritance from his father three years before. He stopped by his room to stuff clothes in a trash bag and pointed his 1991 Jeep Wrangler east.

"I didn't even know where I was going. I was just driving and it was the opposite direction of Clearwater."

He crossed Florida on Interstate 4, the radio off, thinking through the step he had just taken. He figured he had a three- to four-hour head start before they would realize he was gone.

He kept checking his rearview mirror. If they caught up with him, he worried they would take him back. He had seen it happen to others.

Jason left the highway at Daytona Beach and worked his way north on smaller roads, stopping for the night in Fernandina Beach, near the Florida/Georgia border.

He parked a block from a motel, paid cash and allowed himself five hours' sleep. He thought it best to keep moving.

CHOOSE SOMEPLACE RANDOM

In Clearwater, the Sea Org crew launched its "blow drill," a rehearsed operation to catch and return runaways.

Pesch says church security set up a command center. They pulled 15 to 20 staff from their regular duties. Some worked the phones, calling hotels and airlines. Pesch and another staffer drove to bars and other hangouts along Clearwater Beach.

From Fernandina Beach, Jason drove north through Savannah and tried to think of how to elude his chasers. They would start in Milwaukee, his home town.

"I had to go somewhere I had no reason to be … like throw a dart at a map."

He drove to Atlanta and rented a room in a house so his address wouldn't show up so easily in public records. A temp agency found him a job at Equifax, the credit reporting company.

Freedom felt good, but he didn't know a soul in Atlanta. After 13 years of life inside Scientology, life on the outside puzzled him.

"What do people talk about now when they're sitting at a bar and grill having a hamburger? What do they do? … I'm also thinking I've got to start over here."

More important, his sister was still a Scientologist. Leaving without permission meant Jason would be declared an "SP," a suppressive person. The church would push his sister and Scientology friends not to speak with him.

For that reason, Jason considered himself lucky not to have more relatives in the church.

"There are some people that are born into Scientology. Their mother, their father, their brothers, their sisters, their relatives, all their friends — everything is there. You get declared (an SP), it's all gone. Everything that's important to you is gone."

He also felt guilty about the way he left. He missed his colleagues.

"I felt to some degree that I had betrayed people that I had worked for years with that were my friends. … I would have preferred to leave right, in people's good graces."

Six weeks after he fled, he decided to turn himself in. He didn't want to return to the Sea Org; he wanted to make amends, route out properly and leave.

HELD ABOARD SHIP

In October 1996, Jason drove to Clearwater and saw the security chief, who immediately called Marty Rathbun, a top lieutenant to Scientology leader David Miscavige.

"I always liked Marty," Jason said. "He was a straight-shooter.''

They met for two hours at a restaurant on Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard. Rathbun convinced Jason to return to the Sea Org instead of routing out.

Rathbun said he reported back to Miscavige, and the leader wanted Jason sent to the Freewinds.

The church describes the cruise ship as "a safe, aesthetic, distraction-free environment" where Scientologists receive high-level auditing "far from the crossroads of the workaday world."

Rathbun says Miscavige wanted Jason on the ship to control him.

"The idea was you do it while you neutralize him as a threat because you can't blow from the ship," Rathbun said. "You lodge your passport with the port captain, it's put in a safe and you're a virtual prisoner at that point."

Rathbun sold the idea to Jason as an opportunity to get away and get "cleaned up," get his head back to a Scientology frame of mind. It would mean auditing, some training and physical labor.

Jason was wary, but he went for it. Before he flew to the Bahamas to meet the ship, he opened a new bank account in Clearwater and got some temporary checks.

When he boarded, he surrendered his passport but secretly kept the checks and his driver's license, even slept with them at night.

He says his cabin was locked from the outside. A security camera was trained on his bed. To go to the bathroom, he waved at the camera and security guards opened the door remotely. Another camera in the hallway tracked him to the bathroom door.

It struck Jason that when he waved at the cabin camera, the guards immediately opened the door. Were they watching every second?

He asked the Freewinds staff to contact Rathbun, who called back the next day. This was not what he signed up for, Jason told him. "I'm not a prisoner here."

Rathbun says he told the Freewinds staff to remove the lock but not the cameras. They were aboard a ship, he reminded them. Jason had nowhere to run.

Said Jason: "I'm on a ship that goes God knows where. I'm out of the country. I've got no passport. It's a little scary. You have no identity. … That feeling of nothing's under your control is a little eerie."

For two weeks, Jason cleaned sludge from the tanks under the engines and used diesel fuel to rinse the oil off his body. Then the church made things rougher. He said he was assigned to the Rehabilitation Project Force, a church work program.

Jason knew what that meant: more hard labor, daily confessionals and humiliations like running to every assignment and never speaking unless spoken to.

During his early years in Clearwater he had seen those on the RPF living on the third floor of the Fort Harrison Hotel parking garage. Sheets cordoned off their living area. Their clothes and linens were filthy. They ate beans, rice and oatmeal.

It always bothered him, and Jason resolved that he never would submit to the program. When the order came that he do the RPF aboard the Freewinds, he said he wanted off the ship.

No, the guards said. Do the program.

"So you're holding me against my will?"

Jason tried to walk off the ship with parishioners going on a shore excursion. The Freewinds guards stepped in his way. He tried a second time, but they blocked him again.

For three days he protested by refusing to work, but that only got him more restrictions. He needed a new approach.

THE ROLLING PIN

Jason decided to act like a good soldier, the picture of compliance. Behaving got him better work assignments and more freedom to move about the ship.

He ruled out jumping overboard. The 40-foot drop was too dangerous, and the dock walls too high, with no ladders.

The thick, 30-foot cables that moor the ship to the dock seemed his best chance. He thought through the variables.

He would have to move quickly down the cable; the guards would hurry to the dock to head him off. Timing was important. Too many people on the dock and he would create a scene. Then again, he wanted at least a few witnesses.

When the ship docked each day, he watched the cables go taut and slack with the tide. A drooping cable would leave him short of the dock. He would have to time his descent so when he reached bottom, the cable would be taut. He would have to get around the metal plate that kept rats from climbing to the ship.

He scavenged for materials to build a device that would help him quickly get down the cable.

He fashioned something like a rolling pin. Starting with a wooden dowel the thickness of a clothing rod, he sawed off a 16-inch piece. Around it he fit a 7-inch length of PVC pipe. To keep the PVC from moving side to side, he sunk drywall screws into the dowel on either end of the PVC.

For two weeks he observed and thought things through. He would have to hold his body high in case he needed to bring up his legs and slow his descent. He ate lunch on the bow every day so that when the time came, the guards wouldn't think twice about him being there.

Three months before, Jason had a title, an office and authority over hundreds of staff in Clearwater. Now his church was treating him like a prisoner.

"I'm thinking, You know what? Once I pull a stunt like this, I'll never get off this ship on my own terms. So I'm committed. Once I start this, I have to be prepared to take it all the way.

"I'm going to do whatever I have to to get off that ship, which includes fist-fighting people, yelling my head off, whatever it takes. I'm not going back on that ship. Period.''

NOV. 21, 1996

He had been on the ship six weeks when he made his move. Jason can't remember if they docked in Freeport or Nassau, just that the town had a decent-sized airport.

What he does remember was hiding his rolling pin device down his shorts, working his morning shift on a maintenance project and heading to his usual spot for lunch.

The cable came taut.

He crawled over the bow and twisted himself as he had rehearsed in his mind, legs and one arm around the cable to steady himself while he pulled the rolling pin from his shorts. He positioned it over the cable and zip-lined down.

The ride was "pretty damned fast" but under control, and he could see two or three guards running for the dock as he descended. He scrambled around the rat guard, pulled himself to the dock and ran for the road, with a lead of about 30 feet on the guards.

They caught up as he got to a cab. One yelled in his face and held the door so he couldn't get in. Another told the cabbie not to give him a ride because he wasn't allowed to leave the ship.

Jason muscled his way into the front seat, closed the door on a guard's hand and screamed at the driver: "I'm being held against my will! Take me to a g-- d--- airport!''

NEXT STOP, ATLANTA

Jason got out at the airport in shorts and a dirty work shirt. He had his driver's license, the temporary checks, no passport, no luggage and $20.

He bought a ticket from a wary airline clerk and talked his way past a custom's agent. "The whole thing was red-flag city, and I just had to will myself to just try to mentally convey to these people to do it. Just do it."

He called his mother in Milwaukee: "How about having your son over for Thanksgiving? Would that be okay?"

He told her he had a layover in Atlanta and would fly on to Milwaukee. If he didn't walk off the plane, something was wrong.

Jason was waiting at the gate in the Bahamas when Ludwig Alpers, an executive in the church's intelligence branch, showed up with a ticket for the seat next to his. Alpers said the church was considering a call to the U.S. Embassy asserting that the Freewinds had the authority to keep him in the Bahamas.

Jason says Alpers backed off after he threatened to tell the world how he was held against his will. Alpers flew with him to Atlanta.

In Clearwater, Rathbun had gotten the astonishing news that Jason had escaped. It couldn't be, he thought. No one got off the Freewinds without permission. And the church had Jason's passport. He couldn't get out of the Bahamas; it just didn't happen.

Rathbun hustled to Tampa International Airport and caught the first flight to Atlanta. "I think I beat him by a couple of minutes," he said. "I remember running from my gate to his and him coming off."

He let Jason get settled in a smoking lounge before he approached. He told Jason he understood. If you want out, fine. Just come back to Clearwater, so you won't be declared an SP and disconnected from your sister.

Not again, Jason said.

Rathbun kept talking until the Milwaukee flight was announced and Jason headed for the gate with Rathbun trailing behind.

Rathbun said he called Miscavige, and the leader told him to put Jason on the phone. Rathbun held up his cell phone: "Dave wants to talk to you!"

Jason was about to board and called back, "I've got nothing to say.''

The church says Miscavige participated in no such phone call. "Mr. Miscavige never asked to speak to Jason,'' the church states, adding that Rathbun did not mention a call to Miscavige in the report he filed at the time.

On the plane waiting for takeoff, Jason thumbed through a magazine. He looked up and there was Rathbun, coming down the aisle. He had bought a ticket.

"He was shocked," Rathbun says. "He thought he was done with this, that he'd bucked the last hurdle."

CONFESSION IN MILWAUKEE

Temperatures were in the 20s in Milwaukee. Jason's mother and younger sister took him to buy something warmer than shorts.

That night Rathbun came by Jason's mother's home and got Jason to agree to come to his hotel room the next day. He presented Jason a confession to sign.

A few weeks later, in January 1997, Rathbun returned to Milwaukee to have Jason sign a "declaration.'' This time, Rathbun brought a videocamera.

The document talked about Jason using drugs as a teen and said he had not taken advantage of training opportunities in Scientology. It said he had followed the stock market during work hours and lost thousands of dollars of his wife's money in bad investments. He did not measure up to Sea Org standards.

Jason describes it as "one part truth, four parts embellishment and five parts total BS."

He studied the document and told Rathbun, "Come on, man. This is not true."

Rathbun now admits: "We went overboard.'' He let Jason strike some wording, including a passage that said Jason never held an executive position with the church.

Rathbun turned on the videocamera and Jason signed, knowing it would be used against him if he ever spoke out.

The church produced the 12-year-old affidavit after Jason told his story to the Times. The document says he was under no duress when he signed it.

Jason says he was. Having just been held aboard the Freewinds for six weeks, he wanted his church to stop coming after him.

"What was in it for me? To be left alone, not followed, not contacted or pursued. That is what I wanted and would have signed almost anything to get it."

Today he lives in Chicago and works as operations manager for a company that sells roofing products and heating and air conditioning materials. A single dad, his son is 10.

His older sister is no longer a practicing Scientologist.

Jason says his treatment aboard the Freewinds doesn't define his view of Scientology. He has seen the church help people and says it definitely helped him. He joined as a rudderless 20-year-old. In Scientology, he got his act together.

He wishes things were more clear-cut, that he could say the church was all bad. He could write it off and never think about it again.

"Twelve years later, it still sits there,'' he said.

"There's going to be a time where I'll look up one day and I'll go, 'You know what? I realized I haven't thought about Scientology for three years.' And that's going to be a good day for me."
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 29163
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Journalism: Scientology - L. Ron Hubbard's Brainchild

Postby admin » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:20 pm

Don Jason's route out of Scientology
by Times Staff
November 3, 2009

Image

1 August 1996: Working at Scientology's Flag Service Organization in Clearwater, Don Jason is told that the church is going to discipline him for something he felt was unfair. He leaves the next day without permission and drives on I-4 to Daytona Beach. He takes back roads north to Fernandina Beach and spends the night at a motel.

2 The next day: He continues north through Savannah. He assumes the church will look for him in his native Milwaukee, so he randomly chooses to settle in Atlanta.

3 After six weeks: He gets second thoughts about how he left. He returns to Clearwater to follow the church's approved "routing out'' process.

4 October 1996: Jason flies to the Bahamas to board Scientology's cruise ship, the Freewinds, where he becomes a virtual prisoner.

5 Six weeks later: Jason escapes over the bow of the Freewinds and makes it to the airport. He buys a ticket to Milwaukee, with a layover in Atlanta. A Scientology official buys the seat next to Jason on the leg to Atlanta. The layover: Marty Rathbun, a top Scientology executive, intercepts Jason at the Atlanta airport. Rathbun tries to persuade him to return to Clearwater and follow proper procedure to leave the church. Jason refuses, and Rathbun flies with him to Milwaukee.

6 In Milwaukee: Jason's mother and a sister pick him up at the airport. The next day, he comes to Rathbun's hotel and signs confessions to his "crimes."

7 Twelve years later: Jason works in Chicago as an operations manager for a building supply company.

Thomas C. Tobin is a Times staff writer who has covered the Church of Scientology off and on since 1996. He can be reached at tobin@sptimes.com.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 29163
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Journalism: Scientology - L. Ron Hubbard's Brainchild

Postby admin » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:23 pm

Missing in Happy Valley?
produced by Peter Reichelt and Ina Brockmann
A documentary about Scientology's Rehabilitation Project Force (the RPF) from producers Peter Reichelt and Ina Brockmann.
German Documentary
February 25, 1999
Dubbed into English by Ina Brockmann and Peter Reichelt

Transcript

Off-camera commentator: In May 1995, 51-year-old Wiebke H. was suddenly relieved of her post. The investigative authorities in the USA believe she was placed in a Scientology reform camp. The Scientology organization asserts that the missing woman is dedicating herself to spiritual advancement.

Jochen Koerner, brother of Wiebke H.: I called up the Scientologists and said, "where is my sister? I read here in the newspaper.....". I know enough people there, and so I called them up. At first they gave me a little bit of the run-around, then I told them, "out with it, give me the number, otherwise I'll raise a scene here". That is what I did and I called them back, and Wiebke called me back two days later. And after she heard that there was a missing person's complaint out on her, she went to the consulate in Los Angeles and that killed the matter, didn't it? The police never came back here because ... she is not missing. According to the way we gauge things under certain circumstances, she is only at a certain place, as I am told, since I would probably not go there.

Jochen Koerner, brother of Wiebke H.: So when Wiebke doesn't want to do something, then nobody in the world can get her to do it. So she would have left this camp, too. And she would also have been in the position - here in Hamburg, as well as in L.A. - to find a way out. For example, what she said a little while ago, that if she didn't have anything to wear and that if the things she needed for survival were not there, then she wouldn't be going along with them. She would have become very, very furious if something happened which she didn't want. That's the way she's been her whole life; that's also why she was so successful with the Scientologists, because she wants or wanted exactly that.

Off-camera commentator: For ten years, Wiebke H. was the most successful Scientology manager worldwide. Scientology sees itself as the truest religion on earth. Its presumably positive goal is to use its ideology to create a better world. Income in the millions flowed year after year from her organization in Hamburg to the Scientology headquarters in California. When her sales took a turn for the worse, she was removed from her post as president.

Jochen Koerner, brother of Wiebke H.: She had - that was quite funny - a male secretary. She was certainly not a highbrow, but she said since she was a woman, she wanted a male secretary. I still think that's funny. He was a nice guy. In principle, Wiebke had the whole organization, that means she was the one who asked, "What's happening here? What's happening with the courses? How are acquisitions made? How is the inner organization?". Yes, they said that she had lied. I don't believe that. I simply do not believe that.

Off-camera commentator: Change of Location. December 5, 1998. Clearwater, Florida. The Mecca of Scientology. In past years, nine Scientologists have died here under mysterious circumstances, among them 36 year old Lisa McPherson. Charges have been brought against Scientology in her gruesome death. On the third anniversary of her death, relatives of the victim and former Scientologists gathered. We have scheduled a meeting with the former members. Among them they have years of experience in the Scientology reform camps such as where Wiebke H. is said to have spent some time. One of them is Gerry Armstrong. He was a coordinator in the Scientology intelligence service and a confidante of Hubbard, the organization's founder. But even he fell from grace. He spent two and a half years in the camp.

Gerry Armstrong: I was the first prisoner in Clearwater, the very first. The people there are real prisoners. Scientology says that the people are there voluntarily. Absolutely not. I was so confused that for the first 36 hours in camp I could not eat anything. I thought my entire life had been taken from me. I knew Hubbard and I knew what assignment to the RPF meant.

Off-camera commentator: He received this in writing, as shown by this document. Hubbard had charged him with three offenses: disobeying an order, neglect of duty and poor work performance. Scientology has its own penal system, with prosecutors, judges and reform camps. Of course, Scientology does not call them "reform camps"; they call it the "Rehabilitation Project," RPF for short. These camps in the USA and Europe are run exclusively for people who don't fit into the elitist Sea Org. Hubbard determined the personal restrictions and punishments for them by 1974. The camp laborers are re-educated and made tractable by hard labor, compulsory hypnosis and brainwashing. All according to the slogan, "The RPF is what we make it. The RPF is where we make it."

Scientology sells the RPF to its thousands of Sea Org members as their last chance to stay in the elite unit. By order, the camp inmates have no freedom, they are housed separately and may speak with nobody.

Jesse Prince, former second ranking man in the Scientology management team. Even he was put away in the notorious Happy Valley reform camp for refusal to obey orders. That is also where Wiebke H. was presumed to be.

Jesse Prince: It was horrible in Happy Valley. I literally slept on the ground in a chicken coop, rattlesnakes, scorpions and spiders all around, terrible.

Off-camera commentator: That is Stacy Brooks. She was a member of management of the Scientology secret service and "I was a puppet for over 15 years," she said.

Stacy Brooks: You know you really, honestly believe, when you are a Scientologist, that it is the only route to happiness. And when you leave, you have no hope of every being happy. You believe in this idea when you are in there, and I don't know how you can accomplish that belief. All I can do is describe it. Vaughn agreed to go back to the RPF because he truly believed that it was essential to life for him to remain a Scientologist. And this is the only way that they permit you to stay a Scientologist. For this reason people put themselves through the most humiliating, abusive and horrible experiences that you can imagine, for this deceptive and delusional idea.

Off-camera commentator: The reform camp is there, but you don't see it: a splendidly renovated hotel in Clearwater - here is Fort Harrison - with every sort of comfort for its guests. In Los Angeles, a former hospital, done over completely in blue. Near there or under there in garages or in basements are the reformatories for the misfits. Outside of the big city, on the edge of the desert, two hours drive from Los Angeles is Happy Valley, the camp for the elite.

Gerry Armstrong: The RPF has the goal of guaranteeing the power of Scientology over all members of the Sea Org. The reason is to further its control and domination over its people. Right from the beginning, as soon as you enter the door of Scientology, they try to gain more and more control over your life. And the reform camp is the most extreme form of control because you are completely dominated by the organization and by the RPF regulations. They are incredibly restrictive. You had no newspapers, no magazines, no radio, really no contact. You may not speak with anyone unless you are spoken to. You ate whatever was left after everybody else was fed. You always have to work or run, even on breaks.

Clearwater in August 1998. We succeeded for the first time in filming a group of RPF laborers. They were renovating the Scientology Fort Harrison Hotel. Even old women are exploited for this work where it is 110 degrees in the shade. Their daily wage: $1.50.

Change of Location. At the center in Copenhagen. Another hotel. This time it's the Scientology Nordland Hotel, again with an integrated reform camp. Who would be surprised that they don't want us here? We have made an appointment with the Danish woman, Susanne Schernekau. Almost two years of her life was spent here behind this facade. The organization's buildings are all over Copenhagen. All are being renovated in order to bring Scientology's customers in at a fast pace. There is much work that needs to be done. As was the case with Wiebke H., Susanne was also accused of financial manipulation.

Susanne Schernekau: My offense, according to Scientology, was financial fraud, or swindling, and that I had behaved very badly, for example, in Munich I had gone with a normal person to eat. Because I was married, that was not OK.

Off-camera commentator: By November 13, 1989, she had gone too far. She was assigned to the RPF in Copenhagen, as this document shows. Ethics? Morals in Scientology? An offense is severely punished. Scientology's ethics are synonymous with total obedience, suppression and forced re-education. That is where people end up who make mistakes. Forced laborers are produced according to need, sometime more, sometimes less.

Susanne Schernekau: For instance, in Copenhagen there was a building which was a total wreck. And we cleaned it from top to bottom, cleaned all the pigeons off the window ledges, rats and mice and so forth. We began to paint, carpet, renovate, everything. We were always the last to eat. Only breakfast was really OK. Other than that the food was very bad; the beds were very bad. We slept twelve people to a room.

Off-camera commentator: The solidarity of the group is emphasized, especially in the elite Sea Organization, Sea Org for short. Created by Hubbard, it is the heartbeat of Scientology. His private army. They want world domination and that needs an army, and into this one come only the best. Immortality, power, consensus and invincibility. Rattling sabers and then the fall, unexpected and final.

Susanne Schernekau: You live with the conviction that you already have everything under control. And when that does not happen, you realize that you do not have everything under control. And somehow the whole idea that you were part of an elite group plunges headlong into the ground. You begin the RPF with a black arm band. Then, if your ethics go well, you get a white arm band. The difference is: with the black arm band and as a married person in the Sea Org, you may not see your husband. You may not speak to him if he does not speak with you. With the white arm band you may spend three hours per week together with your second dynamic, that means your family, your husband and possibly children. You may still not speak with your husband unless he speaks to you. Then you get more. That means that you can earn a gold arm band. With a gold arm band, you may spend one night a week with your family.

Off-camera commentator: You can picture the structure of the RPF as Susanne drew it up in the camp and learned by heart. Chief of the group - but a co-prisoner at the same time - is the BOSUN. Under him is the EST_O, responsible for the assignment of work, and the MAA, who is responsible for keeping the rules of the camp. Under that is the TECH, responsible for the material and the equipment. QUAL supervises the performance of the work. The rank and file form the individual sections A, B and C. Work groups have up to ten people. These are assigned to the actual renovation work - as is they cas here in Clearwater. The control over each other is omnipresent and thorough. None can escape it.

Susanne Schernekau: You keep all the others under observation and know that all the others are watching you and each other. That is normal. Anybody can get out of line. Those are the people who least want to know themselves. That means that other people bring it to your attention with a knowledge report, that you have made a mistake. That means you have to look at that mistake face on and handle it somehow, in some way. And then show the group that you have made up for it.

Off-camera commentator: Those are the Knowledge Reports with which one shows his true loyalty. Everybody watches everybody else, everybody betrays everybody else and puts this down on paper. Here Susanne turns in another work group to their superiors. The smallest necessity in the RPF camp must be asked for in writing. Susannne requested, "I have only one work suit and no cap. Without a complete uniform I am breaking the regulations, and I have to wash my clothes urgently." Request denied. Instructions: "Wash your work clothes at night and hang them in the boiler room so that they will be dry in the morning."

The European headquarters of Scientology in Copenhagen. Thousands of adherents stream year after year into this building in order to get closer to immortality by taking courses. We wanted to check out Susanne's statements. Together with her we met there with the press spokeswoman of Scientology in Europe. She said she was ready to give information about the rehabilitation camp system. For her it was a unique chance to "ethically" get back into shape.

Mrs. Getanes, CoS: Well, there is a program that is allowed for a person who made some serious wrongs in the course of work for our church. I would like to explain to you how it works. It is certainly somewhat different from what Mrs. Schernekau has told you. Normally, when a person makes a mistake at work, he would be kicked out of there. However, we offer these persons a program for reconciliation, the Rehabilitation Project Force. There one learns exactly what one has done wrong. It is gotten across to a person that these mistakes are not to be made again. That lasts five hours per day, every day. The rest of the time one has to work hard on renovation projects, there where one is needed. Nor we do not hate the people who leave Scientology. My personal feelings do not count with them. They are simply only bothersome. Bothersome, because they simply will not tell the truth of what Scientology really is. They are annoyed about something or another. But that really does not disturb us. Because we'll always be here. No matter what these critics say. Thousands of people are always starting with us and want to find out what Scientology is. In spite of this, life goes on for us.

Off-camera commentator: Their lives go on. Not only tomorrow and the next day. The goal is billions of years. The Sea Org members sign a work contract accordingly:

"THEREFORE, I CONTRACT MYSELF TO THE SEA ORGANIZATION FOR THE NEXT BILLION YEARS."

And that's for $130 a month, as former members tell us. An elite organization for eternity, the only question is whose?

Mrs. Getanes, CoS: I am a Sea Org member and I wear my uniform. It makes me proud to be a member here. Consider that everything I have begun to do here is good and rewarding.

Off-camera commentator: They are surely unbeatable when it comes to one thing in particular: delusions of grandeur and fondness for theatrical drama and fine-tuned propaganda. In the center of the power rush is their current leader, David Miscavige. Since 1986, he has been the successor of L. Ron Hubbard.

David Miscavige: (DM): On October 1, 1993 at 6:37 p.m. we received a letter from the highest tax office of the USA. Since this time none of the Scientology organizations need pay any more taxes. The war is over.

Jesse Prince: He is actually quite a short person himself. He is paranoid. He is afraid that someone is going to hurt him, so, he has to hurt them first.

David Miscavige: (DM): Welcome to church!

Off-camera commentator: A hundred miles east of Los Angeles, two hours drive away. Below us is Gilman Hot Springs, the secret world headquarters of Scientology. This is where David Miscavige pulls the strings of his power. The site resembles a vacation resort. Grand houses, the golf course right next to them. Everything including the California sun. There is room for over a thousand people here, his private army. Only a few Scientologists know of this spot and its meaning. One of them, Jesse Prince, the former representative of David Miscavige, tells us what the picturesque setting conceals.

Peter Reichelt (PR): Is this the world headquarters?

Jesse Prince: Yes.

Peter Reichelt (PR): And David Miscavige lives there?

Jesse Prince: Yes, he lives there, yes.

Peter Reichelt (PR): How would you describe his life style?

Jesse Prince: Very elaborate, very lavish, that I have seen. The houses there all appear very, very beautiful. The countryside, everything is beautiful. Luxurious is the proper description for that. The main reason for that is that they don't have any expenses for their work force. All they have is material costs, because they have their slave camp, their slaves. Those have to work day and night. And even when the slaves are doing well in their work, there is one day, Saturday, on which every staff member in Hot Springs, no matter what position he has, works the entire day on the renovation of buildings the same as the slaves have to do. And it is exactly because of this, when you have no wage expenses, but only costs of material, that you can accomplish quite a bit.

Off-camera commentator: Pure luxury, made possible by the RPF. Zero labor costs and $350 million in donations for a private music studio, wardroom and fitness center. All for the comfort of David Miscavige.

Jesse Prince: You know if he decides that something has to look a certain way, then that's what has to happen, and if he orders that something must be accomplished in a certain style, then it happens that way, because he is the boss.

Off-camera commentator: The magnificent villa behind the wrought iron fence, a life style which includes a swimming pool, guest house, tennis courts and private movie theater. Luxury in a high security area.

Jesse Prince: The security there is quite phenomenal. Motion detectors are mounted on all fences. Even if you just run along side the fence, the alarm goes off. At nights automatic flood lights go on. There are night vision cameras, night vision scopes, and on a small hill is a watchtower, code named "Eagle," with someone who watches the countryside day and night. I know these things because I set up the security there. Talking about reaping what you sow! There is no possibility of escaping from there. From a distance you see a nice looking fence, but when you look at it up close you see the razor sharp metal spikes which will slice your hands if you touch them so that you'll bleed like crazy if you try to climb over it.

Jesse Prince: The headquarters of the Church of Scientology International is here in Gilman. All the income of the organization goes to David Miscavige at Gilman Hot Springs. The organization in Clearwater is micro-managed from here. Everything in Los Angeles is micro-managed by the facility in Gilman. All the organizations in Europe are micro-managed from here. Everybody worldwide. Any area that produces a sufficient amount of income is micro-managed from the Gilman Hot Springs location.

David Miscavige: (DM): Good Night!

Jesse Prince: I was put in the RPF. It was in Happy Valley, just down the road from Gilman it is a 20 minute ride by car. You have to go through the Soboda Indian reservation and then you're there. David Miscavige assigned me ,personally, because I wouldn't go along with his plan to get rid of Pat and Annie Broeker [the couple whom Hubbard had chosen to succeed him]. I refused to carry out his order. I refused to have anything to do with it, so he told me, "OK, then you'll go right to the RPF." They woke me up at 5 o'clock in the morning. They love this element of surprise. They brought me to a room; huddled there on the floor, crying and shaking violently was Vickie Aznaran, who, up to that time, had been David Miscavige's boss. The guards had tossed her in here and yelled at her, she was terribly afraid. Miscavige screamed at me, "It's over. You had your chance. You made the wrong decision. You're going to the RPF!" Then he ordered me, "Call me 'sir'." I will never forget that. I just looked at him and he yelled, "Say it, say it, say it!" And I got up and I said, "fuck you!" And I walked out of the room at which point several men tried to keep me there. But I have karate training and I knocked them down. I ran to my room to get my weapon, a semi-automatic. I still had it from Hubbard. Everybody there had weapons, semi-automatic, full automatic and .45 revolvers. I ran back to Miscavige and yelled at him, "What are you going to do now?"

Jesse Prince: Now David totally changed his character, he said, "Jesse, you know, we've been through so much. Please put the weapon away. Let's talk." He did not take the weapon away from me. I put it willingly on the table. He said to me, "Please accept your assignment to the camp. You are in a high position in the church, your behavior towards me has made an impression on everyone. So that Scientology does not fall apart and its authority is not destroyed, you have to go to the camp. And if you accept it, I will come and personally get you out and put you back in your old position." I didn't believe that, but, at the time, I was convinced that it would be very bad if the entire organization fell apart because of me, so I conceded.

Off-camera commentator: Happy Valley, rehabilitation center for recuperation of inner peace, lies hidden among the mountains, only 20 minutes away from the center of power. Officially the area is called Castille Canyon School. Over a hundred people live here, including Wiebke H., who is said to have been in the camp since 1995.

Jesse Prince: Just like in a prison. Get up, wash, get dressed, all in ten minutes. Then you stand outside and shiver all over. In the early morning it is ice cold, everybody in a row. They count off like in jail, to make sure nobody has taken off. They tell you what your work is for that day. 20 minutes to eat and then off to the bus for work at headquarters.

Off-camera commentator: In the near vicinity of the company's private golf course and the football field in Gilman Hot Sprints is another attraction in the Scientology program: a circular spot. In the middle is a palm tree. That's not meant for harmless games, that spot is for running. Today clockwise and tomorrow counter-clockwise around. The newest edition is said to be a water sprinkling system for overheated souls.

Jesse Prince: He put a big may pole up at his headquarters and his people had to run around it all day long. Further punishment for that part of the elite who have suddenly become a problem for David Miscavige. You run from sunrise until night, until you go to bed, always in circles, day and night, for weeks on end.

Stacy Brooks: Twelve hours a day around the pole, until you realize that you have done something wrong and you can think straight again. That is when you again be a proper Scientologist.

Is that how it worked for Wiebke H.? Did she also spend days on this spot? Wiebke H., the successful manager - what became of her?

Off-camera commentator: Letters to her brother. She wrote the last one June 1998. Her brother showed them to us as a sign that she was still alive. She said things were going splendidly with her and she was having a lot of fun. The lines she wrote give the impression that everything is OK. Supposedly nothing is happening with his older sister which he needs to be concerned about. Yet - where is she exactly and is she doing well?

Jochen Koerner, brother of Wiebke H.: On the one side I know that she has done this voluntarily and on her own. On the other side, of course, it is clear to me that a model of thought is being manipulated. What is the extent of freedom? Where is the part where I can say with certainty that she wants things that way? I have to leave that up to her if I accept her as an equal. On the other hand, one asks if she is manipulated. What happened when she spent three years in this rehabilitation center? Are the trouble and the effort which she has taken upon herself worthwhile? What happens when a monk goes into a cloister and talks with nobody for three months? If one goes to a hermitage? What happens then? Must we permit that? Is it only unpleasant because she is my sister and it happened to us in the middle of Hamburg? It's difficult for me.

Off-camera commentator: Back to Clearwater, to the picket being held by the former Scientologists. This is Frank Oliver. He was an agent of the secret service of Scientology, OSA for short.

Frank Oliver: An agent of the Scientology secret service is still trying to photograph me. I used to be in the Scientology secret service myself.

Off-camera commentator: By 1996, the Munich state attorney had already found out that Scientology used undercover intelligence methods as defense against inner and external enemies, and that it would not stop at criminal actions.

Frank Oliver: The Office for Special Affairs, OSA, has two main missions: propaganda and investigations. Both departments work hand in hand. When enemies of the organization are to be silenced, such as authorities, critics, journalists or psychiatrists, the machinery of the OSA goes into motion. The collected information goes into the propaganda department, which then uses it to denounced alleged enemies in public and to make them absolutely untrustworthy. It's not for the general good of the populace. It's very self-serving.

Off-camera commentator: This document clearly shows what assignments are waiting for OSA agents: infiltration, bribery, buying information, burglary, blackmail.

Frank Oliver: The investigations person, you hardly ever see them. They're the ones in the shadows. They sift through the dirt, look for bodies in the basements of their enemies and critics. They try everything it takes to make things turn out good for Scientology in the end and to make things impossible for the enemy. That's how it works. They work with each other.

Off-camera commentator: Re: phone calls. OSA is also involved in monitoring telephones. We have a list of telephone numbers called from a public telephone booth in Miami. The assignment was to observe these in order to investigate the callers.

Frank Oliver: They had so many projects going on at the time that even during an extensive shadowing operation I had to work other cases. One day I got the original of a private telephone bill. I was supposed to find out all the people who had been called by the target person. I never found out how they managed to get this private telephone bill.

Off-camera commentator: Perhaps by burglary? A training document for Scientology agents which was confiscated by the FBI shows that the organization will not stop at burglary. Along with exact descriptions, how to break through door locks and even safes is covered, "Pull your prepared metal strip from the lower end of the door to the strike plate of the lock and the door pops open. If you have problems inserting it, use your foot to hold the door open a crack.

Frank Oliver: Their top guy is Mike Rinder. He is the director of OSA. He knows everything that goes on. The only one over him is David Miscavige. Everything goes directly to him.

Off-camera commentator: Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles. Work place of Mike Rinder and gathering point for OSA. This is where the information is evaluated and prepared for further action. That not only includes Germany, Scientology's declared arch-enemy, but the federal Ministry for Family, Youth and Health. The method of operation against the enemy and the goal of the OSA agents is that one "learns all his plans for the future and uses the material gathered either to bring him to court or to discredit him so that one no longer believes his statements."

Frank Oliver: OSA is Miscavige's most important department. Without it he would be lost and Scientology would have long since been forgotten.

Roadblocked in Happy Valley
German newsman: You are blocking us. You are arresting us. You are not allowed to block us, you know?

Scientologist: Nobody is blocking you. I am placing you under citizen's arrest right now.

Off-camera commentator: OSA in action. We wanted to go to Happy Valley to Wiebke H. However, our drive was stopped short by a roadblock. We were held up for over two hours on the open road, scolded, yelled at, threatened. There was no way out. What or whom were they concealing there? Many open questions.

Jesse Prince: You're asked to do things that are illegal. You're asked to do criminal deeds on your post, and it quickly becomes clear to you that you have been incriminated, but so has everybody else. It turns into part of your daily work. If you want to stay on your post, you have to take part of this criminal activity, whether you want to or not. Because everybody does it, everybody is guilty and everybody is quiet about it. Nobody talks about it. The leaders of Scientology do not practice Scientology as it is written in some of those bulletins [Hubbard scriptures].

Stacy Brooks: The entire Scientology management is totally corrupt. They think it is hilarious that Sea Org members below the management level and customers believe in this stuff.

Susanne Schernekau: I never wanted to be like the others. I always wanted to be different. Then I met people here who wanted the best of the world. They wanted to help other people.

Mrs. Getanes, CoS: Scientology is the right place for me and I know that we are in possession of the truth.

Off-camera commentator: They are not only in possession of the truth, they have the services of their own, mobile security troops. The Scientology sheriffs dress like police and follow you around step by step. As Hubbard said, "True is what is true for you." He also thought that they were the only people on earth who have the right to punish. According to whose rules? According to Hubbard's rules, which are still rigidly kept today, 13 years after his death. Even children cannot escape these regulations. They are made tractable with psychological methods in their education into Sea Org members. Over and over again they are subjected to the same security questions:

Has someone ordered you not to tell us something?
Do you have a secret?
Have you ever taken something which does not belong to you?
Have you ever hurt yourself to cause others anxiety?
Have you ever not eaten in order to cause others anxiety?
Have you ever refused to carry out an order which someone has given who was justified in giving it?
Have you ever done something which you have had to be ashamed of?
Have you ever done anything criminal?
Have you ever knocked down a smaller child?
Have you ever been ashamed of your parents?
Have you ever betrayed a secret which was entrusted to you?
Have you ever been a coward?
Have you spied on your friends?


Off-camera commentator: Correct answers mean happy faces. But the fun stops for these children with failure and disobedience. By 1976, on instructions from Hubbard, the first children's RPF was established in Los Angeles. No time off for play, but a children's reform camp with absolute obedience as its goal. One of the reasons for the camp for children was stated in this document, "Make it clear to the children that any form of vandalism, theft and any other crime committed by a child will be punished by the RPF under aggravated conditions."

Gerry Armstrong: Scientology pretends to answer to all questions, heal people, give them special abilities and make better humans out of them. In reality Scientology has only one purpose: to exercise absolute control over all people and they pocket their money.

Scientology street sign: "Are you really happy? Find out what Scientology is. Come to us."

Jochen Koerner, brother of Wiebke H.: When you look exactly at what is going on, you see a reactionary, authoritarian mechanism which restricts certain degrees of liberty. When it is understood that something is permissible then it may be done. However, I don't accept that they do that for everybody else. And to make this dependent upon citizenship - there it is explicitly in their index - whether one is a Scientologist and the right to re-educate people in their rehabilitation camps and such... We have had that before and that does not belong here.

Jochen Koerner, brother of Wiebke H.: The question I've asked many times over, because, of course, call up everybody and tell them all, "You're doing quite poorly now and you have to work hard there." I don't doubt that at all. When they do that voluntarily, then that is their business. If I now go in there and get involved, am I helping them? Am I hurting them? Or am I only helping myself?

Off-camera commentator: Four months later. Jochen Koerner flew to Los Angeles to see his sister Wiebke again after almost four years. They met at a small restaurant in Hollywood. Later they went for a walk along the beach. That evening she rode with the Scientology bus back to the world headquarters in Gilman Hot Springs. As of late, she is a producer there for Scientology recruitment films. She said she did not want to talk over her time in the reform camp with her brother. She does not want to go back to Germany any more.

Off-camera commentator: Madrid, February 5, 1999. The Spanish state attorney brought charges against 18 leading members of the Scientology organization. The charges include establishment of a criminal association, fraud, burglary, grievous bodily harm and mistreatment of a Spanish woman in the prison camp in Copenhagen. The trial begins June 1.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 29163
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

PreviousNext

Return to Religion and Cults

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron