Source: What the Church of Scientology Doesn't Want You To Know, by Jeff Jacobsen, Robert RJ. Day
What religious organization teaches that, 75 million years ago, a tyrannical interstellar ruler named Xenu solved a galactic overpopulation problem by transporting beings to Earth and annihilating them with H-bombs? What religious organization disciplines its own members with measures ranging from suspension of pay and disbarment from premises up to labelling them as "fair game," for which they can be "tricked, sued, lied to or destroyed"? What religious organization follows faithfully the teachings of a pulp science fiction author who claims to have visited Heaven over forty trillion years ago? What religious organization has had its offices raided by government officials in three American states, Canada, Gemany, Italy and France?
Welcome to the church of Scientology.
In 1949, sci-fi author Lafayette Ron Hubbard, the founder of Dianetics and the Church of Scientology, reportedly told an audience at a science fiction gathering, "Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." One year later, Hubbard's book, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, was published and became an instant, runaway best-seller. Hubbard opens the book by referring to some of the great events in history, such as the invention of the wheel and the control of fire, then goes on to state,
"In my opinion DIANETICS is worthy of being called a New Idea, and is destined to take its place alongside of these other milestones of progress. It might even be considered to be more important than any of these, for it is a science which for the first time gives us an understanding of the tool with which these other inventions were created -- the human mind."
In the book, Hubbard claimed to have developed a new scientifically proven technique, discovered through "many years of exact search and careful testing," for the improvement of mental health through the eradication of "engrams" -- stored memories that cause aberration in humans. According to Hubbard, engrams begin accumulating "in the cells of the zygote, which is to say, conception," many of these engrams being caused by abortion attempts, and that between 20 and 30 such attempts are an average number for a typical mother. Engrams are removed through a process called "auditing," which can produce "tears and wailings," "somatics enough to make the patient roll around on the floor," and a "patient...that bounces about, all unconscious of the action." Once all the engrams are removed, the person becomes a "Clear" and never again has colds or accidents, has improved IQ, total call, a longer life, and is perhaps even cured of cancer. Or such are the claims.
Shortly after the publication of Dianetics, auditing was taken up with great enthusiasm in California, and in 1950, Hubbard booked the 6,500 seat Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium for a momentous occasion -- the unveiling of what he claimed was the world's first Clear, a college student named Sonia Bianca. The result was nothing short of a disaster. Miss Bianca not only could not recall elementary formulae from physics, which was her major at the time; she could not remember the color of Hubbard's tie after he had turned his back.
This setback seemed to be a minor one and, within a year, the Wichita Dianetic Foundation was doing a booming business, charging over $500 for 36 hours of Dianetic auditing. In the meantime, Hubbard had put the Bianca fiasco behind him and was producing a stream of new and even more amazing facts regarding engrams. According to Hubbard, further research showed that, behind the analytical and reactire minds, there lay entities known as "Thetans." These Thetans are non-physical and immortal, somewhat analogous to the human soul; they inhabit human bodies, moving them around like puppets. Because of their immortality, when their current human host dies, they are forced to vacate and must find another host. Apparently, these Thetans come equipped with all of the engrams they have collected in all of their previous lifetimes. Hubbard taught it was possible, although extremely expensive, to clear even these ancient engrams. This necessitated a change in terminology, and what used to be a Clear now became a MEST-Clear, MEST standing for "matter, energy, space, time," while those who managed to eradicate all engrams from all previous lives would have bestowed upon them the title of "Operating Thetan." While the Clear state is the main goal of Dianetics, Scientology continues the process with eight OT (Operating Thetan) levels above this that are available as well, which quire more classes.
In both Dianetics and Scientology, the object is to eliminate the causes of our aberrant behavior by the eradication of engrams through the process of Dianetic auditing. The person being audited holds two tin cans which are wired to an "E-meter" that registers when an engram is discovered. The E-meter (also called a "pastoral counselling device") is basically a skin-response galvanometer which the church sells for from $900 to $2500. When an engram is discovered, the event that created the engram is relived until the needle "floats," meaning the engram is gone. Strangely enough, Hubbard himself admits that the E-meter "...is a religious arfifact used in the Church Confessional. It, in itself, does nothing."
Actually, the doctrine is considerably more involved than the above, with the mind divided into its analytical and reactire sides, with "demon circuits," "chains "--in fact, a 476-page "technical dictionary" lists all the specialized concepts and terminology. Many of the definitions in the dictionary seem inspired by Hubbard's career as an author of pulp science fiction. One such listing is for something called the "Marcab Confederacy," described as an organization of several planets which have united in the last 200,000 years. According to the dictionary, "In the last 10,000 years they have gone on with a sort of decadent kicked-in-the-head civilization that contains automobiles, business suits, fedora hats, telephones, spaceships."
L. Ron Hubbard had been a science fiction writer both before and after his work on Dianetics and Scientology, and there is overwhelming evidence that biographical Scientology literature on Hubbard is just as much a work of fiction. According to Church literature, Hubbard's exploits were nothing short of legendary and his lifetime accomplishments would have put a dozen ordinary men to shame. Closer examination, however, reveals a very different picture. Rather than being, as he had claimed, a war hero, a famous Hollywood screenwriter, a U.S. intelligence officer, a record setting pilot, a Princeton graduate and a rocket engineer, Hubbard was in fact a mediocre-to-poor student at George Washington University who dropped out after two years and failed the one course in nuclear physics in which he was enrolled. His Navy fitness record states that he was "lacking in the essential qualities of judgment, leadership and cooperation" and was "not considered qualified for command or promotion." The most notable incident of his military career appears to have been, when in command of a submarine chaser, he fought a prolonged, two-day battle against what proved to be a magnetic deposit on the ocean floor. In a 1984 British custody battle involving Scientologists, Mr. Justice Latey, a high court judge in England, also concluded that Hubbard was not a war hero, a squadron leader, an atomic physicist, nor an intelligence officer for the U.S. In fact, the Scientology counsel in the case did not even attempt to refute the charges against Hubbard. According to Latey, "There is no dispute about any of this. The evidence is unchallenged." Still another judge, Paul A. Breckenridge of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, presided over a lawsuit against the church in 1984. Of Hubbard, he said, "The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background and achievements."
One former Scientologist, Gerry Armstrong, left the church after being assigned to write a biography of Hubbard. The documents he was given showed that L. Ron Hubbard had seriously misrepresented his past. Armstrong went to court to keep these documents, fearing that without them he would be vulnerable to attack from the church. Armstrong had good reason to fear. In a 1967 memo that came to be known as the Fair Game Policy, Hubbard described penalties for lower conditions, including, "Enemy--SP (Suppressire Person) Order. Fair Game. May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist with- out any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued, lied to or destroyed." Hubbard's attitude to potential criticism of the church was that, "If there will be a longterm threat, you are to immediately evaluate and originate a black PR campaign to destroy the person's repute and to discredit them so thoroughly that they will be ostracized."
A chilling example of the above involves Paulette Cooper, the author of the Scandal of Scientology. The Church's response to Cooper's book is detailed in a document describing "Operation Freakout," which was designed to "get PC incarcerated in a mental institution or jail, or at least to hit her so hard that she drops her attacks." Cooper, who says she was served with 18 lawsuits against her by the church, had a nervous breakdown after someone sent Scientology a bomb threat on her stationery. She was cleared of the charges after a 1977 raid on a church office where documents outlining Operation Freakout were discovered. In a section entitled "VITAL TARGETS," the document "Operation Freakout" gives specific details of the harrassment program against Cooper. Such actions include an obvi- ous attempt to impersonate Cooper, with directions like "To recruit an FSM (Field Staff Member) that looks like PC...," "to get familiar with PC to find out some of the clothes she wears particularly what sort of coat she usually wears...," "To get a cheap coat that is very similar to PC's," "To have someone available to steak (sic) out PC when she leaves her place the day of the caper, to ascertain when she leaves, what she's wearing, etc," "Obtain wig that looks like PC, so that FSM PC can wear it during caper," etc. Further details of "Operation Freakout" describe framing Cooper on a bomb threat charge against two Arab consulates in New York City. A further memo dated 13 April 1967 regarding "PC Op Freakout" states, "The FBI already think she really did do the bomb threats on the C of S."
Someone else who incurred the Church's wrath is Dr. John Clark, an American psychiatrist and outspoken critic of Scientology. According to the Latey decision, "Beginning in 1977 the Church of Scientology has conducted a campaign of persecution against Dr. Clark. They wrote letters to the Dean at the Harvard Medical School and to the director of the Massachusetts General Hospital. They refused to gag him. Scientology agents tracked down and telephoned several of his patients and interviewed his neighbors looking for evidence to impugn his private or personal actions. They submitted a critical report to a Committee of the Massachusetts State Senate. On three occasions during the last five years a Scientology "front" called the Citizens' Commission on Human Rights has brought complaints against him to the Massachusetts Board of Registration alleging improper professional conduct. In 1980 he was declared a "Number One Enemy" and in 1981 they brought two law suits against him (summarily dismissed, but costly and worrying). They distributed leaflets at the Massachusetts General Hospital offering a $25,000 reward to employees for evidence which would lead to his conviction on any charge of criminal activity. They stole his employment record from another Boston hospital. They convened press conferences calculated to ruin his professional reputation." Scientologists use many tactics in carrying out their Fair Game Policy. The church's "Operation Snow White," which had many covert agents looking for dirt on enemies and possible enemies of Scientology, landed Mary Sue Hubbard (L. Ron's third wife) in jail for a year. She and 11 other members were sent to jail for covert acts against several federal agencies. Specific plans of action, detailed in a March 9, 1970 letter, include "Invent letterhead of some organiza- tion that is spurious," "using a phony News Agency," "Infiltrating an enemy group with the end to getting documents," and "Direct theft of documents."
Another example of these tactics involves ex-Scientologists Robert Dardano and Warren Friske who testified to some of the activities they and others were involved with on behalfofthe Church. These activities in- clude the burglary of the Belmont office of a psychiatrist in order to steal files, the theft of documents from a Boston law firm, the systematic theft and destruction of books critical of the Church from libraries throughout New England, and the planting of a church member as a volunteer inside the state attorney general's office to intercept consumer complaints about Scientology.
While the church claims that the Fair Game Policy is no longer in effect, a Hubbard letter of October 21, 1968 allegedly revoking this policy concludes, "This P/L does not cancel any policy on the treatment or handling of an SP (Suppresive Person).
The Church is in a perpetual legal war. It has filed countless lawsuits against its supposed enemies, including the Clearwater (Florida) Sun, the San Diego Union, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner of Scotland, and authors Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman. The Church has also been sued countless times, and it has lost several of these. In July, 1986, former Church member Larry Wollersheim won a 30 million dollar award against the church for aggravating his mental problems and ruining his business (this award was recently reduced to 5 million dollars). Scientology settled out of court with former Clearwater, Florida, mayor Gabe Cazares, who sued the church for invasion of privacy. Over 500 disgruntled ex-Scientologists and current Scientologists have filed a 500 million dollar class-action suit against the Church's "fraudulent business practices." The six plaintiffs named on the lawsuit were all highly placed Scientologists with many years in the Church. In 1988, Heber Jentzsch, president of the Church, was arrested along with 71 other church members on various criminal charges including fraud and tax evasion. Seventy five members of the Church's Italian operation went before a Milan court on March 29, 1989 to face "a long list of charges ranging from fraud, extortion and tax evasion to the illegal practice of medicine and taking advantage of incapacitated people."
If you are still interested in giving Scientology a try, you should first consider the price. Most people are introduced through a book or the communications courses that are free or quite cheap. Once you express an interest in following up on their pitch for higher courses, you are no longer "raw meat," but a PC" (preclear). The average cost of the 82 courses listed in the Catalogue of Services is $1600. In the 1988 catalog 12 1/2 hours of auditing costs $3224 with a free 6-month membership in IAS (International Association of Scientologists). The bills can pile up fast. It is estimated that the average cost to become a Clear today is around $400,000. The Church also operates under a variety of names and businesses. According to a British BBC expose, organizations that are associated with the Church or are fronts for Church operations include All-Party Freedom of Information Center, Author Services, Inc., Bridge Publications, Inc., Campaign Against Psychiatric Atrocities, Citizens Commission on Human Rights (mentioned earlier), Concerned Businessman's Association of the UK, Criminon, Dianetics Information Center, Dignity for the Aged, Dr. Pillpusher Campaigu, Effective Education Association, Foundation of Advanced Abilities, Institute of Advanced Philosophy, International Biographical Center, Narconon (a drug abuse group), New Era Publications, Rehab, Religious Research Foundation, Religious Technology Center, Saint Hill Foundation, Set a Good Example Campaign, Society for Safety in Mental Illness, Task Force on Mental Retardation, UK Police Reform Group, and Way to Happiness Campaign.
Justice Latey's description of Scientology in the 1984 custody trial is absolutely scathing, and is worth reproducing in some detail:
"Scientology is both immoral and socially obnoxious... In my opinion, it is corrupt, sinister and dangerous. It is corrupt because it is based on 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 outside 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."
When an organization calls itself a religion, this should not negate the need to critically evaluate the group before deciding if it is legitimate and beneficial. The over 900 deaths in Jonestown, Guyana have shown that sinister, demented people can hide behind the cloak of religion to prey on unsuspecting, well-meaning people.