lets sell these people a piece of blue sky hubbard dianetics and scientology

 

 

Let’s
sell these people

A Piece
of Blue Sky

Hubbard,
Dianetics and Scientology

 

Jon Atack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2013 by
Trentvalley ltd

Published by Richard
Woods

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This book is
dedicated to the memory of

my mother, Dora,
who left Scientology

on the day she was
asked if she

would disconnect
from me.

Contents

NB – chapter numbers have been revised from the first
edition to run in sequence from 1-43. These are divided into the same parts as
that edition.

 

Praise for A Piece of Blue Sky
 
ix

Before the
Beginning
 
xv

Introduction
 
xvi

Preface
 
xix

What Is
Scientology?
 
1

PART 1:
 
INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY
1974-1983

     
1.
 
My Beginnings
 
9

     
2.
 
Saint Hill
19

     
3.
 
On to OT
 
26

     
4.
 
The Seeds of Dissent
36

PART 2:
 
BEFORE DIANETICS
1911-1949

     
5.
 
Hubbard’s Beginnings
 
45

     
6.
 
Hubbard in the East
53

     
7.
 
Hubbard the Explorer
63

     
8.
 
Hubbard as Hero
 
75

     
9.
 
His Miraculous Recovery
 
89

  
10.
 
His Magickal Career
96

PART 3:
 
THE BRIDGE TO
TOTAL FREEDOM 1949-1966

  
11.
 
Building the Bridge
 
115

  
12.
 
The Dianetic Foundations
 
125

  
13.
 
Wichita
 
134

  
14.
 
Knowing How to Know
  
142

  
15.
 
The Religion Angle
 
152

  
16.
 
The Lord of the Manor
163

  
17.
 
The World's First Real Clear
171

PART 4:
 
THE SEA
ORGANIZATION 1966-1976

  
18.
 
Scientology at Sea
 
185

  
19.
 
Heavy Ethics
 
194

  
20.
 
The Empire Strikes Back
 
205

  
21.
 
The Death of Susan Meister
223

  
22.
 
Hubbard’s Travels
 
231

  
23.
 
The Flag Land Base
 
239

PART 5:
 
THE GUARDIAN’S
OFFICE 1974-1980

  
24.
 
The Guardian Unguarded
 
251

  
25.
 
Infiltration
 
262

  
26.
 
Operation Meisner
273

PART 6:
 
THE COMMODORE’S
MESSENGERS 1977-1982

  
27.
 
Making Movies
 
281

  
28.
 
The Rise of the Messengers
 
292

  
29.
 
The Young Rulers
 
303

  
30.
 
The Clearwater Hearings
 
313

PART 7:
 
THE INDEPENDENTS

  
31.
 
The Mission Holders’ Conference
 
327

  
32.
 
The Scientology War
334

  
33.
 
Splintering
 
343

  
34.
 
Stamp Out the Squirrels!
352

PART 8:
 
JUDGMENTS

  
35.
 
Scientology at Law
  
363

  
36.
 
The Child Custody Case
 
371

  
37.
 
Signing the Pledge
 
380

  
38.
 
Dropping the Body
 
388

  
39.
 
After Hubbard
 
394

PART 9:
 
SUMMING UP

  
40.
 
The Founder
405

  
41.
 
The Scientologist
418

  
42.
 
Fair Game, Ethics and the
Scriptures
 
430

Bibliography
 
438

List of
Abbreviations
 
446

Acknowledgments
from the First Edition
 
448

Acknowledgments
for the 2013 Edition
 
450

Praise for A Piece of Blue
Sky

“If you only have time to read one book about L. Ron
Hubbard and Scientology, this landmark work is the one. It continues to stand
out as the authoritative history on both subjects, which is why so much of
Blue
Sky
is re-hashed in subsequent books.”

—Miles C.
Ferguson, 2013

 

“Before there was the net, and before there was
safety in numbers, there was Jon Atack.”

—Arnaldo Lerma,
Scientology critic,
lermanet.com

 

“This is the best book I have read about
Scientology. Jon Atack combines personal experience with meticulous research to
courageously expose the lies and abuses at the heart of the Church of
Scientology.”

—Steve Cannane,
ABC Lateline
, Australia

 

“Definitive”

—Robert Vaughn
Young, Scientology senior PR for 20 years

 

“Many people find it difficult to understand how
intelligent people can fall for the con games that cults play. Atack’s personal
account is both powerful and frightening as it shows how others could be drawn
in. Atack’s concise writing style and dry sense of humor make for enjoyable
reading”

—Miles
Ferguson,
The Cult Observer
, 1991

 

“One of the very first insider looks at the Church
of Scientology – and invaluable today for its history and insight into the
character of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard.”

—Lawrence
Wright,
Going Clear: Scientology,

Hollywood, &
the Prison of Belief

 

“When the original edition of Jon Atack’s A Piece of
Blue Sky was published, it proved to be a lucidly structured, penetrating and
meticulously documented exposition of the true nature of Scientology and its
founder, L. Ron Hubbard. It quickly became a standard reference among serious
students of authoritarian belief systems, particularly Scientology, and
remains so to the present day. In more recent years other, newer books about
Scientology have been released. A few of these have been especially good, but
none reproduce the detail and narrative clarity of Atack’s book. This revised
version of
A Piece of Blue Sky
promises to reveal even more fully the
intricate machinery of fantasy, hypocrisy, lies, manipulation and abuse that
are at the heart of Scientology.”

—Christian
Szurko, DialogCentre UK

 

“Since 1976, I have met, interviewed and counseled
countless former officials and ex-members of Scientology. Of everyone I have
ever met, and every book I have ever read, Jon Atack is the definitive resource
of all things “Hubbard.” I’m delighted to see this updated version of his
masterful work,
A Piece of Blue Sky
. Read this book for the factual, accurate
details about Scientology’s founder.”

—Steven Hassan,
cult expert and author of
Freedom of Mind
and

Combatting
Cult Mind Control
– freedomofmind.com

 

“When I first read Jon Atack's amazing book
A
Piece of Blue Sky
it was a series of revelations, one after another, in a
fascinating succession of truths from behind the scenes in Scientology. I had
experienced being on the receiving end of the false promises, heavy ethics
pressures and greed-motivated financial stresses of being a Scientologist for
decades without being able to reconcile how those things could possibly be happening
given Hubbard's writings. Jon's book gave me considerable relief as to what was
really going on behind the facade, I had no idea! Thanks Jon!”

—Michael
Pattinson, artist, (ex)-OT 8.

 

“As someone who has been at the top of organized
scientology, and seen much of what really went on there, I would like to
express my appreciation for what Jon Atack has done to get out the truth when
it was not safe to do it. Before Project Chanology Anonymous very few were
speaking out and scientology went after most of us. Jon suffered greatly at the
hands of organized scientology who tried to destroy him for getting out the
truth they have been trying to hide from the public. I highly recommend that
people read what Jon has to say. He has my great respect for what he has done
and when he did it.”

—Denise
Brennan, former Watchdog Committee Member

 

“Throughout my professional life, I have seen so
many victims of poisonous ideologies from communism and scientology to Saddam
Hussein’s “return to faith” and Al Qaeda’s “martyrdom”. In my attempts to help
those sufferers, I applied a lesson learned from Jon Atack’s writings that
freedom cannot be delivered, granted, or enforced. The true and complete
freedom comes only with the freedom of mind and Jon Atack’s book is the best
guide for all who want to achieve that freedom.”

—Professor
Khapta Akhmedova, expert on terrorism

 

“I have had a long and rare relationship with
A
Piece of Blue Sky
– with its author, subject, content and its knockers. I
even relate significantly to its distribution, because I’ve bought copies,
given them away, referred hundreds of people to it, dealt with questions about
it, and used it countless times in my defense against the predations of the
Scientologists and their collaborators. It is an excellent resource for anyone
Hubbard or his followers or agents have ever touched. Jon did a very good
thing, which has stood the test of Scientology. Honestly written, amazingly
accurate, and beautifully assembled, which is why it stood the test. And it
doesn’t rely on stolen materials!”

—Gerry
Armstrong, former Hubbard aide,

creator of the
Hubbard Archive

 

“This incredible book made me want to track down the
author, Jon Atack, in person – and so I did, and interviewed him for my latest
documentary project. His incredible breadth and knowledge of religions and
belief systems turned my three-hour interrogation into one of the most
fascinating discussions I've ever had. I recommend you find Jon Atack and buy
him a drink and get him talking, but in the meantime, start with this book”

—Roger Nygard, Director,
The Nature of Existence

 

“This book is fascinating.... & fresh. There's
something interesting on every page. I've read every expose and this one is on
the top of my list.”

—Paulette
Cooper, author
The Scandal of Scientology

 


A Piece of Blue Sky
was my first
introduction to the real truth about L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. And some
15 years after I first read it, it's still the most reliable of the many books
on the subject, as far as I'm concerned. No one seems to have worked harder to
get things right by relying so carefully on rare and crucial documents that
spell out the history of Scientology's abuses. As much attention as there is
for more recent attempts to expose the church, I find myself repeatedly wishing
that Jon Atack's book was in the hands of anyone curious about this subject.”

—Tony Ortega,
former editor,
Village Voice
– tonyortega.org

“I appreciate the staggering amount of research
material that Mr. Atack had to assimilate and present. He demonstrated
impeccable judgment concerning his sources, and similarly he showed artistic
skill in his ability to present complex … material in graceful and clear prose.
Had his book been offered by a doctoral candidate … it would far exceed
necessary standards … an unrivalled piece of superb scholarship. Quickly his
book has become one of the classic studies of sectarianism and deviant belief
systems. All future scholarship on Scientology will build upon his
contribution.”

—Professor
Stephen Kent, Sociology and History of Religion, University of Alberta

 

“It is rare that a book can have such far-reaching
effects for such a long time. When I first read
A Piece of Blue Sky
, it
became more than instrumental in helping me to understand my experiences as a
former member and put them into a meaningful context that changed my life. I
know from my own painful experiences the courage and the cost it took to write
it. In the years that followed, my husband, Richard, and I have recommended the
book to hundreds of families seeking the same understanding. For many years, it
has been difficult to find a copy of the book.
A Piece of Blue Sky
needs
to be easy to find, so that everyone can discover the truth about Scientology
for themselves and for those they love.”

—Bonnie Woods,
ex-OT3, Escape UK

 

“In writing
A Piece of Blue Sky
, Jon Atack
has gone beyond chronology to produce the most comprehensive history of
Scientology available.”

—Christian
Szurko, Dialog Centre UK

 

“I was greatly impressed with the thoroughness of
his research, the quality of his writing, and the timeliness of his exposition.
His book is now the definitive text on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology.”

—Professor
Louis Jolyon West, late Chairman of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA
School of Medicine

 

“Jon Atack took his life in his hands when he wrote
A
Piece of Blue Sky
. His compellingly readable account of the life and times
of L Ron Hubbard and his Scientologists tells things that they would rather
keep secret. Atack risked everything to set the record straight and I look forward
to reading the unexpurgated version.”

—Ivan Pope,
author and entrepreneur

 

 

“Atack’s book displays mastery of his material and
subtlety of analysis and discussion that would be praised at the typical final
doctoral examination.”

—Richard de
Mille, ghost author of Hubbard’s
Science of Survival
,

former
professor of psychology at UCSB and author of

Castenada’s
Journey: The Power and the Allegory

 

“Jon Atack has written a fascinating and rather
damning biography of L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. All the material that Jon
delved up and diligently delivered in
A Piece of Blue Sky
, was properly
researched and duly backed up. Scientology managed to sue the author into
bankruptcy after the publication, disputing a myriad of minor details in
various courts. But even the cult itself never challenged the main points of
Atack's book: Scientology is a scam, Hubbard is a plagiarist, and the organization
has turned the violation of basic human rights into a daily practice.”

—Karin Spaink,
writer, persecuted by Scientology for

ten years, in
the courts and beyond – spaink.net

 

“At a time when any criticism of Scientology
resulted in a predictable onslaught of surveillance and harassment campaigns
against the critic, designed to force them to their knees, Jon Atack, himself a
former Scientologist, wrote and published his seminal Scientology expose,
A
Piece of Blue Sky
. True to its nature, the Office of Special Affairs, still
to this day Scientology’s ‘Gestapo’ arm, launched a massive campaign against
Atack that destroyed his livelihood, his marriage, his home, and almost wrecked
his health. This book delivers like none other. We used it extensively during
the fifteen years we helped families retrieve their loved ones from the cult of
Scientology, and we still recommend it today to those who want to know the
truth about Scientology. Thank you, Jon, for all you have done to expose the
true nature of this manipulative and vindictive group. We look forward to Jon’s
unexpurgated version!”

—Jerry
Whitfield and Hana Eltringham Whitfield

 

“Nobody explains more clearly how a normal, rational
person can succumb to the power of group thought and control. Luckily, Jon
Atack also explains how to spot undue influence and escape from its clutches,
wherever it may come from.”

—Jill Robinson,
producer & director,
The Secret Life of L. Ron Hubbard

 

“I have just finished your book, and must
congratulate you on such a clear and readable account of such a complex and
complicated group. Being a non-intellectual I find most books of that type
overwhelming, but once I had got well into yours, I was pleased to find I could
cope with a minimum of strain! I am quite sure that many people will be glad
that you persisted through the years of hassle and frustration and I hope the
book gets into the hands of influential people in every sphere of our society.
With heartfelt congratulations.”

—Joy Caton, Deo
Gloria Outreach

 

“Many times over the years while serving as a
director at Factnet.org I have referred former Scientology members to
A
Piece of Blue Sky
as their first recommended post-Scientology reading. It
is one of the best written and researched books on Scientology that I have ever
seen.”

—Lawrence
Wollersheim, who received $9.1 million

in
court-ordered damages from the cult

 

“This is a great book because it’s a cautionary
tale. It shows how easily we can be seduced into following teachings that draw
from other disciplines and do have some truth to them. But don’t believe any
organization that says it has all the answers. Jon went back and investigated
the real intentions of Scientology. It’s about power and money, not a compassionate
quest to free mankind. What I love about Jon’s book is that he went back and
reflected upon his experience and investigated. They market their story very
well, but Jon exposed what’s really happening behind that image.”

—Carlos A.
Cornier, member 1974 to 1982, New York Org; Sea Org Member, Clearwater; trained
at Guardians Office UK;

award winning
documentary film-maker

 

“The public is fortunate some Brit Scientologists
are writers. For over two decades, Jon's
A Piece of Blue Sky
has been on
the short list of best books written on Scientology. It's less of an ex member
book, and instead is one of the best early history research books on the
movement. From my expert eye, Jon gets an A+, and special credit and
recognition, for daring to use the “e” word, exorcism, when discussing OT 3
(the Scientology level where the members learn about the “4th Dynamic Engram”
and the “Wall of Fire” and the horrendous impact the space alien Xenu caused
all of us earthlings). This book will always be a classic must read for would
be Scientology experts.”

—Chuck Beatty,
member 1975-2003

Contrary to
The New Yorker
, no stolen materials were
used in the preparation of this book.

Before the Beginning

It was 1950, in the early, heady days of Dianetics, soon
after L. Ron Hubbard opened the doors of his first organization to the clamoring
crowd. Up until then, Hubbard was known only to readers of pulp fiction, but
now he had an instant best-seller with a book which promised to solve every
problem of the human mind, and the cash was pouring in. Hubbard found it easy
to create new schemes to part his new following from their money.

One of the first tasks was to arrange ‘grades’ of
membership, offering supposedly greater rewards, at increasingly higher prices.
Over thirty years later, an associate wryly remembered Hubbard turning to him
and confiding, no doubt with a smile, “Let’s sell these people a piece of blue sky.”

 

“Truth blows the lies away.”

—Lafayette Ronald Hubbard.

 

“Believe nothing on the faith of traditions, even though
they have been held in honor for many generations, in many places. Do not believe
a thing because many people speak it. Do not believe on the faith of the sages
of the past. Do not believe what you yourself have imagined, persuading
yourself that some god inspires you. Believe nothing on the sole authority of
your masters or priests. After examination, believe what you yourself have
tested and found to be rational, and conform your conduct thereto.”

—The Buddha,
Kalama
Sutta
.

 

 

Introduction

Must read! This book is the definitive, factual,
all-inclusive exposé on the real L. Ron Hubbard and the true story behind
Scientology. If you read one book on Scientology, make it this one.

Jon Atack has an extraordinary, razor-like mind and
indefatigable memory. In my opinion, he is by far the greatest expert on L. Ron
Hubbard, having digested every idea Hubbard ever had and everything written
about Hubbard, as well as his countless interviews of former officials. He is
my “go-to” man when I have a factual question concerning anything Scientology.

Jon is truly a rare human being. Yes, he was in Scientology
nine years and was OT-5. Unlike most former members, he went on to research in
such extraordinary depth and detail that he became the resource for governments
around the world wanting to understand what Hubbard and Scientology were all
about. He was mercilessly harassed for sixteen years harming his personal life
tremendously to the point that he “retired” from speaking publicly about
Scientology, and spent the next sixteen years developing his exceptional
talents as an artist, drummer and novelist.

In 2012, I visited Jon and we talked in great depth about
all of the positive developments around Scientology, the flood of top officials
and other long-term operatives writing books and exposés, and I urged him to
consider coming out of retirement. I was delighted to find that he had
reconstructed the unexpurgated, never before published original Piece of Blue
Sky. We sat down and did a video interview together in the hope that he might
re-release
A Piece of Blue Sky
.

 Scientology did everything within its power to stop the
publication of
A Piece of Blue Sky
the first time, making it only the
second book to be banned in the US. The manuscript was published without
alteration, because it was factually accurate. This new release includes 60
direct Hubbard quotations that are the essential heart of Scientology. These
statements from Hubbard’s journals and letters, and his secret orders to his
intelligence agency, the Guardian’s Office reveal Hubbard’s true intentions and
his insane delusions.

 Scientology is the quintessential destructive mind-control
cult. It’s an authoritarian, pyramid-structured group that uses deception and
mind control to make its followers dependent and obedient. I define mind
control as four overlapping components known as the BITE model which stands for
control of behavior, information, thoughts and emotions. Hubbard was a master
manipulator who employed all four components to reduce followers to an almost
childlike devotion.

Hubbard was a stage hypnotist, and in my professional
opinion, Hubbard’s “technology” is a series of hypnotic methods. Hubbard openly
called his system “indoctrination”. Even though Scientologists are taught to
believe that the
technology
de-hypnotizes people, the opposite is true.
Critical faculties are dismantled, thought-stopping techniques taught, phobias
installed. Indeed, the whole “study technology” is designed to install the
Scientology belief system of Hubbard, the self-styled “commodore” of this
paramilitary organization.

 Since leaving the Moonies in 1976, I have worked with
numerous people from hundreds of different cults. I can confidently say that Scientology
ranks as one of the worst of the worst. I remember talking with Paulette Cooper
who wrote the book,
The Scandal of Scientology
. Paulette was harassed
herself, falsely accused of a terrorist bomb plot and spied on by a
scientologist “best friend”. She was indicted by a grand jury. Then the largest
FBI raid in history revealed internal documents, vindicating Paulette
completely and sending eleven senior scientology officials, including Hubbard’s
wife, to prison.

I have frequently been subjected to scientology harassment.
For expressing my considered opinion of the group, I have become “fair game”,
to use Hubbard’s expression. Under this doctrine, Scientologists are encouraged
to harass opponents. I have been followed. I have been threatened. I have been
sued. I have had complaints against my license filed by Scientology. They have
gone through my trash. They have told neighbors that I am a criminal. They have
picketed my office in Nazi uniforms inviting people to “Join Steve Hassan’s
crusade against religions”. In all of these decades, it is so heartening to
read book after book and exposé after exposé of former officials who either
ordered these dirty tricks or have performed them and who now wish to expose
the organization.

Douglas Frantz wrote a two-part story in the
New York
Times
about how Scientology hired private investigators to dig up dirt on
IRS Commissioners and through back-door legal wranglings was able to end a
25-year fight with the IRS to gain tax exemption, which they have used ever
since to claim that they are now a
religion
. Scientology even lobbied
the U.S. Government to censure Germany for not recognizing it as a religion but
labeling it as a dangerous “psycho-sect”. Scientologists cannot work in
government organizations in Germany, because they have many times infiltrated
governments for the purpose of spying.

There are many who leave the Church of Scientology who
continue to believe in Hubbard and the “technology.” There is a whole independent
Scientology movement with tens of thousands of former Scientologists who
continue, in my opinion, to be detrimentally affected by their indoctrination. Many
believe they have benefited greatly, but I would strongly advise them to read
this book and break the taboo on discussing Hubbard’s ideas. Because close
scrutiny reveals fatal contradictions, the common denominator of dangerous
cultic ideologies. Be honest about any benefit you received, but understand
Hubbard’s intentions. Jon Atack’s papers are very useful for this purpose. No
one can continue to believe in Hubbard after reading
Never Believe a
Hypnotist!

The recent movie
The Master
, attempted to give
insight into Hubbard during the early days. I thought it was way too kind, even
with its portrayal of Hubbard as a grandiose, narcissistic sociopath. In
A
Piece of Blue Sky
, Atack has captured the true essence of Scientology,
using Hubbard’s real words.

Every good book about Scientology starts with this as its
foundation. None have yet equaled this exacting examination of the history of
scientology and its creator, because it leaves little to say. This is the first
objective history of the group, because Jon’s own previous membership never
gets in the way of his objectivity. As I said at the beginning: a must read!

—Steven Hassan, January
2013

Preface

Several years ago, when I began making inquiries into the
life and times of L Ron Hubbard, almost the first name that was mentioned to me
was that of Jon Atack. Subsequently it was a name that would crop up time and
time again. Almost anyone who knew anything about Hubbard invariably suggested
that I should talk to Jon Atack.

Of course by then I
had
talked to Jon and discovered
him to be one of the world’s foremost unofficial archivists of the Church of
Scientology. In the attic of his house in East Grinstead, he had collected
literally thousands of documents, letters, pamphlets, books and pictures, all
of it indexed and cross-referenced on computer. For anyone interested in the
history and development of Scientology, it is a treasure trove of reliable
information on a subject positively riddled with deeply unreliable information.
At some time in the future, the Atack archive will be lodged with an academic
institution in order that it will be forever available to future researchers.

Jon was extremely generous with his time, knowledge and help
while I was working on my biography of Hubbard and I am therefore delighted to
write this brief preface to his own, much more comprehensive and wide-ranging
book. It is, in essence, a distillation of his extraordinary attic archive and
thus provides the reader with a dispassionate, thoroughly documented, account
of how Scientology was created and nourished by a struggling science-fiction
writer, how it grew into a worldwide organization and how it has managed to
dominate (and damage) so many thousands of lives.

Because this book recounts the stark truth about
Scientology, it is certain to provoke the ferocious hostility of practicing
Scientologists around the world. Anyone who dares to publicly criticize the
Church of Scientology or its founder is liable to be vilified and hounded
through the courts, as I can personally testify. (Although it is a mystery to
me that Scientologists continue to believe that their founder was a man with
the highest regard for the truth, whereas the records consistently indicate
that he was a charlatan and a congenital liar.)

Jon Atack is a former member of the Church of Scientology
and I have no doubt that he will be attacked as a turncoat and traitor seeking
to cause damage to his former church. All I can say is that over the months and
years of our association I never doubted that his motives were decent and
honest; I never felt for a moment that he was spurred by malice or any unworthy
desire to settle old scores.

It is my firm conviction that Jon began to assemble his
archive because he had become aware that he had been fed untruths for years and
he simply wanted the truth to be known about the antecedents and antics of his
former church and its founder. It is for this reason that he willingly cooperated
with me when I was writing my book, never offering opinions or information
without comprehensive documentation to back it up.

Jon Atack believes that people have the right to know the
truth about Scientology. That belief is the laudable genesis of this book.

—Russell Miller, Author
of
BareFaced Messiah
,

August, 1988.

 

“Scientology is both immoral and socially obnoxious
... it is corrupt, sinister and dangerous. It is corrupt because it is based
upon lies and deceit and has as its real objective money and power for Mr.
Hubbard, his wife and those close to him at the top. It is sinister because it
indulges in infamous practices both to its adherents who do not toe the line
unquestioningly and to those who criticize or oppose it. It is dangerous because
it is out to capture people, especially children and impressionable young
people, and indoctrinate and brainwash them so that they become the
unquestioning captives and tools of the cult, withdrawn from ordinary thought,
living and relationships with others.”

—Justice Latey,
ruling in the High Court in London in 1984

 

 

“As soon as one’s convictions become unshakeable,
evidence ceases to be relevant - except as a means to convert the unbelievers.
Factual inaccuracies ... are excusable in the light of the Higher Truth.”

—P.H. Hoebens

 

 

“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, not merely formulated, but imparted
through the medium of symbols and mysterious rites in degrees of initiation.
The hierarchical organization and the initiation through symbolic rites, that
is to say without bothering the brains by working on the imagination through the
magic and symbols of a cult.”

—Adolf Hitler,
speaking of Freemasonry

 

 

What Is Scientology?

“Man is made by belief. As he believes,
so he is.”


Bhagavad
Gita

Scientology is among the oldest, largest, richest, and most
powerful of contemporary cults. The “Church” of Scientology, first incorporated
in 1953, claims to have seven million members, and reserves of a thousand
million dollars. There are nearly 200 Scientology “Missions” and “Churches”
spread across the globe.

During the 1970’s, cults became big business and big news.
Yet in the welter of books published about these “new religious movements,”
there has been no real history of Scientology. This is rather surprising,
because the history of Scientology is at turns outrageous, sinister and
hilarious. Accurate information about Scientology is scarce because it is both
secretive and highly committed to silencing its critics.

A few sociologists have argued that involvement in any cult
is usually short-lived and sometimes beneficial. However, after four years of
research, including interviews with over a thousand former cult members,
researchers Conway and Siegelman came to very different conclusions about
Scientology: “The reports we have seen and heard in the course of our research
... are replete with allegations of psychological devastation, economic
exploitation, and personal and legal harassment of former members and
journalists who speak out against the cult.”
1

Making a comparison with the tens of other cults in their
study, they said: “Scientology’s may be the most debilitating set of rituals of
any cult in America.”
2

Scientology, a peculiar force in our society, escapes tidy
definition. The “Church” of Scientology claims religious status; yet at times
Scientology represents itself as a psychotherapy, a set of business techniques,
an educational system for children or a drug rehabilitation program. Officers
of the Church belong to the largely landbound “Sea Organization,” and wear
pseudo-Naval uniforms, complete with campaign ribbons, colored lanyards, and
badges of rank, giving Scientology a paramilitary air. Although Scientology has
no teachings about God, Scientologists sometimes don the garb of Christian
ministers. The teachings of Scientology are held out not only as scientifically
proven, but also as scriptural, and therefore beyond question. Scientology was
also the first cult to establish itself as a multinational business with
marketing, public relations, legal and even intelligence departments.

Scientology is also unusual because it is not an extension
of a particular traditional religion. It is a complex and apparently complete
set of beliefs, techniques and rituals assembled by one man: L. Ron Hubbard.
During the 36 years between the publication of his first psychotherapeutic text
and his death in 1986, Hubbard constructed what appears to be one of the most
elaborate belief systems of all time. The sheer volume of material daunts most
investigators. Several thousand Hubbard lectures were tape-recorded, and his
books, pamphlets and directives run to tens of thousands of pages.

In 1984, judges in England and America condemned both
Hubbard and Scientology. Justice Latey, in a child custody case in London,
said: “Deprival of property, injury by any means, trickery, suing, lying or
destruction have been pursued [by the Scientologists] throughout and to this
day with the fullest vigor,” and further: “Mr. Hubbard is a charlatan and worse
as are his wife Mary Sue Hubbard ... and the clique at the top privy to the
Cult’s activities.”
3

In America, dismissing a case brought against a former
member by the Scientologists, Judge Breckenridge said: “In addition to
violating and abusing its own members’ civil rights, the organization over the
years ... has harassed and abused those persons not within the Church whom it
perceives as enemies. The organization clearly is schizophrenic and paranoid,
and this bizarre combination seems to be a reflection of its founder LRH [L.
Ron Hubbard] The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a pathological
liar when it comes to his history, background, and achievements. The writings
and documents in evidence additionally reflect his egoism, greed, avarice, lust
for power, and vindictiveness and aggressiveness against persons perceived by
him to be disloyal or hostile.”
4

The evidence cited by Judge Breckenridge consisted of some
10,000 pages of material forming part of Hubbard’s personal archive including
his teenage diaries, a black magic ceremony called the “Blood Ritual,” and
hundreds of personal letters to and from his three wives. Some of these
documents were read into the record, and others released as exhibits. The
picture they reveal is very different from Hubbard’s representations about his
life.

Nevertheless, Hubbard’s personal history is one of the great
adventure stories of the 20th century. A penny-a-word science-fiction writer
who created an immense and dedicated organization to act out his grandiose
ideas on a global scale, Hubbard commanded the devotion of his followers, who
revere him as the greatest man who has ever lived. At the height of his power,
Hubbard controlled a personal intelligence network which successfully
infiltrated newspapers, medical and psychiatric associations throughout the
world, and even a number of United States government agencies.
5
Eleven of Hubbard’s subordinates, including his wife, received prison sentences
for their part in these criminal activities.

There is also something tantalizing in the psychotherapeutic
techniques which are at the core of Scientology. Cult devotees are sometimes
seen as adolescent, half-witted zombies coerced into joining an enslaving group
because of their inadequacy. But Scientology has attracted medical doctors,
lawyers, space scientists and graduates of the finest universities in the
world. One British and two Danish Members of Parliament were members at one
time. Even psychologists, psychiatrists and sociologists have been enthusiastic
practitioners of Hubbard’s techniques. And such people have often parted with
immense sums of money to pay for Scientology counseling which can cost as much
as $1,000 per hour.