This article/chapter is excerpted from Stripping the Gurus by
Geoffrey D. Falk.
Scientology is the one and only road to total freedom and total power (L. Ron Hubbard, in [Burroughs, 1995]).
Werner Erhard, of est fame, called L. Ron Hubbard the “greatest philosopher of the twentieth century”
(Corydon and Hubbard, 1998).
Among the many affirmations that Hubbard was known to have used was the following:
All men shall be my slaves! All women shall succumb to my charms! All mankind shall grovel at my feet and not know why!
As religious zealots, Scientologists exceed any that have gone before. They have not simply a deep faith that theirs is The Way. They can present a comprehensible whole; an all-embracing answer to many of the problems that beset humanity
[Scientology is] the sole agency in existence today that can forestall the erasure of all civilization or bring a new better one (L. Ron Hubbard, in [Wallis, 1976]).
SCIENTOLOGY (LIKE ITS PRECURSOR, DIANETICS) was founded in the 1950s
by pulp/science fiction writer Lafayette Ron Hubbard,
who (dubiously) traced his religion’s origins to the sacred Hindu Vedas, and further claimed to be the reincarnation of the Buddha.
Hubbard has been presented, in publications for advanced students, as the Maitreya Buddha supposedly prophesied to appear by Gautama Buddha (Wallis, 1976).
Most of Hubbard’s thousands of followers regarded him as more brilliant than Einstein, more enlightened than Buddha, and quite as capable of miracles as Christ
L. Ron was correspondingly viewed by his devoted disciples as being the only one who could “save the world”
But save the world ... from what?
Evidently, from the high-level Scientology teaching that seventy million years ago, our Earthcalled Teegeeack, thenwas featured in a galaxy-wide federation oppressed by one Xenu (or Xemu), an evil titan
(played by the strictly heterosexual
Faced with the problem of overpopulation, Xenu had gathered up the ne’er-do-wells from his
empireamong them Jenna Elfman, Narconon spokesperson Kirstie Alley
(see Ross [2004b];
Penny ), and the late Sonny Bono.
He next confined those individuals in terrestrial volcanoes, and utilized nuclear bombs to explode the latter (and the former). The spirits (“thetans”) of those formerly intact beings were then collected, imprisoned in frozen alcohol, and implanted into human beings.
And that, as even Tom Cruise could plainly see and understand, is the cause of all human suffering.
Such deeply rooted pain, however, can thankfully
be alleviated through Scientology’s “auditing” proceduresthose being aided by a simplified lie detector called an E-meter. Indeed, through that expensive practice, Scientology “promises to heal the psychic scars caused by traumas in present or past lives”
The claimed seven million worldwide followers of Scientology have reportedly included jazz pianist Chick Corea, jazz singer Al Jarreau, pop star Beck, Priscilla Presley, and the voice of Bart Simpson, Nancy Cartwright. (Ironically, Bart’s sister is Lisa Marie, named after Priscilla’s daughter; and the real Lisa Marie is herself, along with Priscilla, active in Scientology.) Also, Travolta’s wife Kelly Preston, Cruise’s ex-wife Mimi Rogers, the late Aldous Huxleywho received auditing from Hubbard himselfand Richard de Mille (son of director Cecil). Jerry Seinfeld, Patrick Swayze and Brad Pitt have also “drifted through” Scientology
as have Mikhail Baryshnikov, Van Morrison, Emilio Estevez, Rock Hudson, Demi Moore, Candice Bergen, Isaac Hayes, Mensa member Sharon Stone and O. J. Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark.
Plus, as of 1970, it was claimed that Tennessee Williams, Leonard Cohen, Mama Cass Elliot, Jim Morrison “and possibly the Beatles” were Scientologists
(Cooper, 1971). The great jazz pianist Dave Brubeck, too, believed that Scientology’s processing had aided his musical career (Evans, 1973).
Charles Manson likewise apparently undertook around 150
hours of auditing while in prison (Atack, 1990). There, he reportedly reached the celebrated level of “Clear,” prior to his mass-murdering phase
The imprisoned Manson was actually later doused with gasoline and set on fire by a fellow inmate, an ex-Hare Krishnawho himself had been convicted of killing his own abortion-performing fatherfollowing Manson’s endless taunting of him for his in-jail chanting and prayers
In more recent years, Dustin Hoffman and Goldie Hawn both signed an open letter to the chancellor of Germany, protesting discrimination against Scientologists there and hyperbolically comparing their treatment to that of Jews during World War II
Be that as it may, the cravat-wearing Hubbard himself suffered no such imagined Holocaust, instead
maintaining his own set of privileged, teenaged female
“messengers.” Those cheerleader-beautiful blond girls, vying for the geriatric Hubbard’s attention, had designed their own uniform, consisting of hot pants, halter tops, bobbysox and platform sandals. Their envied duties reportedly included washing Hubbard’s hair, giving him massages, and helping him dress and undress
“A man could get religion.”
Yet, the life of a messenger was not all fun and estrogen-fuelled games:
[Hubbard] got mad at a messenger once ... because she overspent some money on an errand, so they took away everyone’s supply of toilet paper for ten days
(in Corydon and Hubbard, 1998).
Nor was LRH’s interest in the financial and anal activities of others limited to pulse-quickening teenage girls:
Homosexuality is outlawed; Hubbard insisted that the Emotional Tone Level of a homosexual is “covert hostility”: they are backstabbers, each and every one
“Ron’s” tolerance for equality in other areas seems to have been no higher:
I don’t see that popular measures ... and democracy have done anything for Man but push him further into the mud ... democracy has given us inflation and income tax
(in Corydon and Hubbard, 1998).
In spite of such demeaning from above, the reported attitude of devoted members toward their source of salvation is exactly as one would expect:
Scientologists believe that their survival as spiritual beings is totally dependent upon remaining in good graces with the Church
(Corydon and Hubbard, 1998).
[I]t was well rumored in Scientology that to leave with an incomplete level of auditing could result in death within twelve days
In earlier times, Hubbard’s dabbling in black magick with renowned chemist Jack Parsons had caused no less than Aleister Crowleythe self-proclaimed “Beast 666”to remark:
Apparently Parsons and Hubbard or somebody is producing a moonchild. I get fairly frantic when I contemplate the idiocy of these louts
(in Corydon and Hubbard, 1998).
Bringing a welcomed level head to all of that, however, “Superman” Christopher Reeve described
(2002) his own experiences within Scientology, including his common-sense method of evaluating their auditing procedures:
[M]y growing skepticism about Scientology and my training as an actor took over. With my eyes closed, I gradually began to remember details from a devastating past life experience that had happened in ancient Greece....
I could tell that my auditor was deeply moved by my story and trying hard to maintain her professional demeanor. I sensed that she was making a profound connection between guilt over the death of my father when I was a Greek warrior in a past life and my relationship with my father in the present.
And that was the end of my training as a Scientologist. My story was actually a slightly modified account of an ancient Greek myth.... I didn’t expect my auditor to be familiar with Greek mythology; I was simply relying on her ability, assisted by the E-meter, to discern the truth. The fact that I got away with a blatant fabrication completely devalued my belief in the process.
Others have come to even less complimentary evaluations of Scientology. Indeed, years earlier, in 1965, the Australian Board of Inquiry into Scientology had produced a report opining that “Scientology is evil; its techniques evil; its practice a serious threat to the community, medically, morally and socially; and its adherents sadly deluded and
often mentally ill” (in
The same report criticized the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International, created by Ron in London in 1952, as being allegedly “the world’s largest organization of unqualified persons engaged in the practice of dangerous techniques which masquerade as mental therapy”
(in Miller, 1987).
(Fellow science fiction writer Isaac Asimov had earlier dismissed Hubbard’s
Dianetics as being “gibberish” [in
Miller, 1987]. The “science of the mind” received no better reviews from Martin Gardner, in his  Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science.)
In a May, 1991, cover story
magazine further described Scientology as allegedly being “a hugely profitable global racket that survives by intimidating members and critics in a Mafia-like manner.”
The following books have given much additional disturbing detail as to the alleged nature of life within and around Scientology:
Jon Atack (1990), A Piece of Blue Sky
(1971), The Scandal of Scientology. Also see her
After having been sued eighteen times by the Church, to get a settlement Cooper reportedly “promised she would not republish the [former, Scandal] book and signed a statement saying fifty-two passages in it were ‘misleading’” (Rudin and Rudin, 1980)
(1987), Bare-Faced Messiah
(1995), Inside Scientology/Dianetics
(1997), The Mind-Benders
(1970), Scientology: The Now Religion.
Malko’s book was reportedly later “withdrawn by its publishers who also paid a legal settlement” (Wallis, 1976)
(1989), My Nine Lives in Scientology
Bent Corydon and L. Ron Hubbard, Jr.
(1998), L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman?
(1991), Understanding Scientology;
(1993), The Road to Xenu; and her
(1996) autobiography, Testimony
(1993), Social Control in Scientology
For more, see the
The aforementioned Behar
One of Hubbard’s policies was that all perceived enemies are “fair game” and subject to being “tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.” Those who criticize the churchjournalists, doctors, lawyers and even judgesoften find themselves engulfed in litigation, stalked by private eyes, framed for fictional crimes, beaten up or threatened with death.
Others have made similar claims:
The Church of Scientology is not known for its willingness to take what it construes as criticism without recourse. Indeed its record of litigation must surely be without parallel in the modern world (Wallis, 1976).
Hubbard has stated, as if invoking a Voodoo curse, that anyone rash enough to take action against Scientology is guaranteeing unto himself an incurable insanity followed by a painful death
After her first article on Scientology, in 1968, [Paulette] Cooper received a flood of death threats and smear letters; her phone was bugged; lawsuits were filed against her; attempts were made to break into her apartment; and she was framed for a bomb threat
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Paul G. Breckenridge disclosed his own disturbing impressions of the group in the mid-1980s:
The [Scientology] organization clearly is schizophrenic and paranoid, and this bizarre combination seems to be a reflection of its founder. The evidence portrays a man [i.e., Hubbard] 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
(in Miller, 1987).
Justice Latey’s opinion of the organization, as expressed in his 1984 London High Court ruling, was no higher:
Scientology is both immoral and socially obnoxious ... it is corrupt, sinister and dangerous
(in Atack, 1990).
Likewise for Conway and Siegelman’s
According to those who responded to our survey ... Scientology’s may be the most debilitating set of rituals of any [alleged] cult in America.
After a survey of forty-eight groups, Conway and Siegelman reported that former Scientologists had the highest rate of violent outbursts, hallucinations, sexual dysfunction and suicidal tendencies. They estimated that full recovery from Scientology averaged at [nearly] 12.5 years
More recently, a wrongful-death lawsuit was brought (and settled out of court in
2004) by the estate of former member
Lisa McPherson against the Church of Scientology. For details, see Ross
For the alleged negative effects of participation in Scientology’s activities on other devoted followers, see Chapter 21 of Paulette Cooper’s
(1971) The Scandal of Scientology,
and Chapter 14 of Corydon and Hubbard
(1998) for Cooper’s own story.
Also, Chapter 22 of the same latter book for Scientology’s alleged treatment of lawyer Michael Flynnwho has since frequently represented Paramahansa Yogananda’s Self-Realization Fellowship in their own legal concerns
Hubbard himself died in the mid-’80s. By the end, he had become a rather unhappy man, living in a rather unhappy, Howard Hughes-like fashionreportedly believing, at various times, that his cooks were trying to poison him; and demanding that his dirty clothes be washed thirteen times, in thirteen different buckets of clean spring water, before he would wear them.
Psychiatrist Frank Gerbode, who practiced Scientology for many years, feels that Hubbard was not schizophrenic, but rather “manic with paranoid tendencies”.... However, Gerbode suggests that the best description is the lay diagnosis “loony”
[T]he FBI did not take Hubbard seriously, at one point making the notation “appears mental” in his file
And yet, Bent Corydon and L. Ron Hubbard, Jr.
have equally claimed:
To be a critic of the Church or its Founder is to be insane. Simple as that....
Labeling any dissident “psychotic” is commonplace in Scientology. This is mandated by Hubbard’s written policies.
Good advice, however, comes fromof all placesmultiply rehabbed actor and pornography aficionado Charlie Sheen, a former boyfriend of Kelly Preston. (Also, an aspiring poet. “Luckily most of it was written on smack, or it would all be religious fluffy stuff.”) For, when asked about reported attempts by Scientologists to recruit him for their cause, Sheenwho would surely have fully appreciated the hot pants and halter tops of Hubbard’s blossoming “messengers”is said to have replied:
“I have no involvement in that form of silliness.”