Recently, we were putting together a new “Best of the Bunker” page that we thought would be helpful for all the new readers joining us. And in order to assemble it, we spent some time rummaging through our old Village Voice archives.
While we were there, searching through Voice stories about Scientology, we stumbled upon one we’d nearly forgotten about, a really terrific story written by an old friend, the Voice’s current film editor Alan Scherstuhl.
We first met Alan in Kansas City, where we both worked at what was once a sister publication to the Voice known as The Pitch. Your proprietor was the newspaper’s managing editor, and Alan was its theater critic. We became fast friends after our arrival there in 2003. Your proprietor soon moved on, and in 2007 ended up at the Voice in New York. By then Alan had started up a great web feature at The Pitch he called “Studies in Crap.” We liked it so much we began running it at the Voice website as well.
For the column, Alan made trips to thrift stores and estate sales and reported on some of the bizarre stuff he found. (And if you’re a digger or an antiquer, Kansas City is pretty much heaven.) In 2010, while on one of his forays, Alan ran across a 1965 paperback by L. Ron Hubbard. Its title was A New Slant On Life, and it was a collection of short essays Hubbard had written as he was developing Dianetics and Scientology in its early days. Alan did a little checking online, and realized not only that the book had some astounding stuff in it, but it was material that Scientology had done its best to make disappear. The book is still sold by Scientology today, but the current edition is very different, missing numerous chapters that were in the 1965 edition.
UPDATE: And after we put this story up, our eagle-eyed Scientology experts realized that this passage might be missing from current editions of A New Slant on Life, but it’s still very much a part of the current edition of Science of Survival, Hubbard’s 1951 book that was the original source of the material.
So it turns out that Scientology does stand by these words of L. Ron Hubbard. Fascinating. Here’s Alan’s 2010 story, and then we’ll show you the most current edition of the material.
The Church of Scientology does not want you to see L. Ron Hubbard’s woman-hatin’ book chapter
By Alan Scherstuhl
The trouble with having a religion founded by a crazy writer is that crazy writers tend to write crazy shit. Traditionally, the Church of Scientology has handled this by making access to the craziest of L. Ron Hubbard’s jabberings a reward you might earn in exchange for having blown thousands of hours and dollars. (Scientology is to religion what Farmville is to games.)
But what do you do when your founder drops this in a cheap-o paperback?
A society in which women are taught anything but the management of a family, the care of men, and the creation of the future generation is a society which is on its way out.
That’s from “A Woman’s Creativity,” a chapter omitted from reprints of Hubbard’s 1965 book Scientology: A New Slant on Life. In “A Woman’s Creativity,” Hubbard also observes,
The historian can peg the point where a society begins its sharpest decline at the instant when women begin to take part, on an equal footing with men, in political and business affairs, since this means that the men are decadent and the women are no longer women. This is not a sermon on the role or position of women; it is a statement of bald and basic fact.
If man is to rise to greater heights, then women must rise with him or even before him. But she must rise as woman and not as, today, she is being misled into rising – as a man. It is the hideous joke of frustrated, unvirile men to make women over into the travesty of men, which men themselves have become.
Scientologists reprinted A New Slant on Life in 1988, two years after Hubbard’s death. “A Woman’s Creativity” and seven other chapters went missing in the new edition. This demonstrates rare sensitivity on the part of a church that once published photos of a guy dressed as the prophet Mohammad standing in a subservient position to a Scientology auditor.
The 2007 edition, which retails for $30, leaves out 17 of Hubbard’s original chapters, including paranoid gems “Records of the Mind are Permanent,” “Confronting,” and “Freedom vs. Entrapment.” These have been replaced by more conventional self-help claptrap (“How to Handle the Confusions of the Workaday World”) allegedly found in Hubbard’s papers.
Still, the reprint is good enough that it has received 34 5-star Amazon reviews, including five anonymous (and amusingly similar) raves on a single day in 1997.
Since all those happy readers are being denied the full L. Ron experience, your Crap Archivist is pleased to present the chapter “A Woman’s Creativity” in its entirety.
UPDATE: The great thing about the Bunker is the hivemind here of amazing Scientology knowledge. One of our readers realized that this same passage may have been removed from A New Slant On Life, but it originally appeared in Hubbard’s 1951 book Science of Survival. Sure enough, the same passage does show up in our 1968 edition of SoS on pages 119-120, in Book One, Chapter Eighteen, “Sexual Behaviour, Attitude Toward Children.”
And that sent us looking for the latest edition of Science of Survival, which was issued as part of “The Basics” package in 2007. And get a look at this. The same passage, still in the most current edition of a book sold by Scientology to Scientologists! (Thanks to our reader in Italy who got us these scans in minutes!)
And thanks to Fly for getting us a scan of the 1951 first edition, which has the same passage. And the 1951 first edition also has this dedication…
Oh, El Ron.
Go here to start making your plans.
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Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.
The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2016 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2016), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)
Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…
BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts
Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ
Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield