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Scientology Mythbusting with Jon Atack: Original Spin

Jon_Atack_Blue_SkyIn 1990, author Jon Atack published what is still one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology, A Piece of Blue Sky. Atack now has a new edition of the book out, and it reminded us what an encyclopedic resource he is. So we had an idea. In the world of Scientology watching, we noticed that there seem to be some legends, myths, and contested facts that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet. With Atack’s help, we’re going to tackle these issues one by one, drawing on Jon’s deep knowledge.

This week, we try to clear up Scientology’s origin, which journalists sometimes disagree on.

Jon, there was a fascinating story in Newsweek/The Daily Beast recently about a trove of L. Ron Hubbard documents at New York’s Explorers Club. The article had some new information that tended to corroborate what you and other Hubbard historians have written over the years.

However, there was one line that I wanted to bring to your attention. About halfway through the article, there’s this assertion: “In 1954 Hubbard founded the Church of Scientology, opening his first congregation in Los Angeles.”

“Congregation” is a funny word for Scientology, but we’re also curious about the assertion that Hubbard first founded a “church” of Scientology in Los Angeles in 1954. That fact is often presented by people who write about Scientology, and even Lawrence Wright said as much in his book Going Clear.

But it was in 1952 that Scientology rose from the ashes of the Dianetics movement, after Hubbard’s first round of “foundations” and other organizations had flamed out. And in his 2011 scholarly treatment of Scientology history, Ohio State University professor Hugh Urban pointed out that Hubbard wrote to a friend that he was going to try “the religion angle” and then founded a “church” of Scientology in Camden, New Jersey in 1953.

So which is it? When should we date the formation of the “Church of Scientology?” 1952, 1953, or 1954?

ATACK: Scientology came into being in February 1952 after the original Dianetics movement had fallen apart. Hubbard had resigned from the Wichita Foundation, believing that the bankruptcy of the first foundation and a New Jersey Medical Association lawsuit would impact on him. So he sold all rights to Dianetics to Kansas millionaire Don Purcell for a dollar. Purcell managed to buy it all back from the bankruptcy court, but by this time, as he tended to do, The Hub had fallen out with Purcell, so he had to come up with something new for the few remaining true believers — and thus, Scientology was born.

With Scientology, The Hub was finally able to introduce the material he’d long been interested in — entities and past lives. He needed to make Scientology new and avoid anything he’d already done, so he relied mainly on his old occult mentor, Aleister Crowley. When I came to write about The Hub’s plagiarism, of 120 proveable examples — where he had not only used an idea, but also referred to the source of that idea — fully half came from Crowley’s Magick in Theory and Practice. This is undoubtedly the book The Hub was referring to in the December 1952 Philadelphia ‘Doctorate’ Course lecture, which he calls The Master Therion (Crowley’s ‘magickal’ name, and not the title of a book). Even though 150,000 copies of Dianetics had been sold by that point, there were only 38 people on the PDC, an indication of how much the original 1950 Dianetics craze had died down.

The notorious ‘religion angle’ letter was written on April 10, 1953 — to the organizer of the PDC, Hubbard’s then deputy, Helen O’Brien (whose book will break any heart, she was so shabbily treated by The Hub). Here’s what Hubbard wrote to her:

We don’t want a clinic. We want one in operation, but not in name. Perhaps we could call it a Spiritual Guidance Center. Think up its name, will you? And we could put in nice desks and our boys in neat blue with diplomas on the walls and one, knock psychotherapy into history and, two, make enough money to shine up my operating scope, and, three, keep the HAS [Hubbard Association of Scientologists] solvent. It is a problem in practical business.

­­I await your reaction on the religion angle. In my opinion, we couldn’t get worse public opinion than we have had or have less customers with what we’ve got to sell. A religious charter would be necessary in Pennsylvania or N.J. to make it stick. But I sure could make it stick. ­­If we were to return there [to Phoenix] we’d be able to count 10 to 15 preclears per week at $500 for 24 hours processing. That is real money. I have seen it happen before. We get more preclears at $850 per week [counseling] intensive. Charge enough and we’d be swamped. We need that money. We should not long plan to have it siphoned away.

Bless him. Ever the philanthropist. Hubbard registered his three ‘churches’ in December 1953, in Camden, New Jersey, calling them the Church of Scientology, the Church of American Science, and the Church of Spiritual Engineering. His use of the word ‘church’ was deliberate. At the time, it meant a Christian organization. He wrote elsewhere that the Church of American Science was intended to recruit Christians and move them over into Scientology.

To distance himself, The Hub had Burton Farber register the “Church of Scientology of California” in Los Angeles a few months later, in February 1954, and subsequently claimed that it was not his idea (though the letter to O’Brien, which has been authenticated by the cult, shows that this was yet another fraud). Lawrence Wright accepts the claims in Science of Survival that others persuaded The Hub about reincarnation and the nature of the spirit. A quick study of Crowley (and perhaps my paper on plagiarism) shows that The Hub was actually waiting for his chance to introduce these ideas. Losing Dianetics was that chance. Purcell foolishly gave it back to him, later. It would have been better to lock it up and throw away the key.

Around 1968, the Minister’s Course was introduced. People who were on the first one — and it was required for all staff — told me that it was to prevent staff from being drafted into the Vietnam War. This is when the Ceremonies book was published (which has some of the best Vogon poetry ever written) and the dog collars and silver crosses were first worn. In nine years, I only attended one ‘church service’ — a wedding. When I was at Saint Hill in about 1975 I asked about the Sunday service and was told that no one attended it, but it was necessary to the repeated applications for charitable status. I never for a moment thought I was part of a ‘religion.’ Scientology is a mystery cult in the proper and original meaning of the word ‘mystery’ — a series of initiations that supposedly reveal profound truths. And, as with the Greek mystes, the Mithras cult which greatly influenced early Christianity, or the gnostic sects with their passwords for the planets — as with all of these, Scientology is bogus.

As to the ultimate question, is Scientology a religion? I think the question is rather, is there such a thing as a bad religion? If an anti-social group that encourages hatred, intolerance, and vengeful spite can be a religion, then Scientology is a religion. But it is a Suppressive Religion. It is a bad religion. And governments that increase its destructive power are bad governments. Janet Reitman tried to persuade me that it is a religion because the IRS says it is. That, and the fact that members believe it is, was sufficient for her. But the US government cannot make any determination about the religious nature of any group. It is bound by the Constitution. So, while the IRS can say that they believe Scientology exists for the benefit of society (!) and should have non-profit status, it can’t say a single word about its religion status. And just because someone worships their pet rock doesn’t mean that I have to accept they’ve fulfilled the criteria for religion. I also take issue with Frank Flinn’s statements during the Gerry Armstrong trial, which Lawrence Wright uses as his whole basis for affording religious status to the cult.

And that’s all I have to say about that. At least for now.

THE BUNKER: Let us throw another complication into the mix. In 1955, Hubbard started a church in Washington DC that is, to this day, referred to by Scientology itself as “the original founding church of Scientology.” How does that fit into the picture?

ATACK: Because he feared that the ‘religion angle’ would turn out to be unpopular, Hubbard distanced himself from it by keeping his original 1953 New Jersey registrations secret. I don’t think anyone noticed them until Roy Wallis did in the 1970s.

Hubbard then had Burton Farber register the Church of Scientology of California a few months later, in 1954, to see what the reaction would be. To assert his control, once he knew that he wouldn’t be drawn and quartered for launching a new religion, Hubbard then created the Founding Church in DC, and at the same time made himself The Founder. The idea was to oversee the religious outlets, while the Hubbard Association of Scientologists existed alongside, in case the material had to be quickly moved under that shell.

When I worked out the corporate structure for the US courts, I was surprised to find that there were some 400 separately registered corporations, and really no such legal entity as ‘The Church of Scientology.’ This complex network was initiated by Hubbard to create different vessels, in case one should sink (as the orginal Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation had, under pressure from the New Jersey Medical Association). When Lawrence Wollersheim broke the last obstacle to claiming his millions, he was told that the Church of Scientology of California — the ‘mother church’ — had insufficient funds to meet the claim. My corporate monolith argument was wheeled in, and the judge accepted that the many ‘churches’ were simply compartments of the same organization, with signed and undated resignations held by the leadership to maintain control. The Founding Church seems to have been an early attempt at keeping the assets safe.

THE BUNKER: Well, that’s quite a litany of foundings. But if you had to provide a single date for the formation of the “Church of Scientology,” would you say February 1952 in Phoenix, December 1953 in New Jersey, February 1954 in Los Angeles, or July 4, 1955 in Washington DC?

ATACK: The first incorporated Church of Scientology was registered, by Hubbard, in Camden, New Jersey in December, 1953.

THE BUNKER: Well there you have it. And this December, we’ll give a hip, hip, hooray for 60 years.


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 8, 2013 at 07:00


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  • sugarplumfairy

    I’ve appreciated ‘A Piece of Blue Sky’ since I read it in 2000.. Now I am beginning to appreciate the heart, intelligence, strength and tenaciousnous of the author.. Bravo, Jon Atack..

    • Ziontologist

      Thank you, sugarplum fairy!
      Jon Atack tells it like it is, and I am happy to see to see you happy that he’s joined the discussion.
      BTW, my first auditor back in the 70’s was an older guy who was just getting into Scientology, even though he’d been an early Dianeticist back in the early 50’s. He told me that when Dianetics became a “religion,” that turned him off and he left.

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        Yes, there were many engineers, some medical professionals, some researchers (scientific) back then. Once all the scientific minded realized it was a Con and left, Hubbard seemed to have abandoned the Church of American Science and Church of Spiritual Engineering. I mean, what the hell is spiritual engineering anyway? lol

        • Ze Moo

          I know of 3 ‘Assemblies of God’ in my area. They are called the ‘First Assembly of God’, the ‘Second Assembly of God’ and the ‘Assembly of God’. When I drive by the ‘second assembly’, I ask myself, ‘did they build god right the second time and were any parts left over?’

          Actually the Assemblies of God are a rather conservative pentecostal christian group with their own Sea Arrrggghhh, called the ‘Royal Rangers’. I know of no reason to belittle them, except for their name.

          • TheHoleDoesNotExist

            Royal Rangers? ha. I’ve heard of loyal Rangers fans, but not this. I’ve known many spectacular minds in my time, and some of them were not particularly endowed with common sense or that balancing good judgment thing. And those were the ones that were also right wing in politics and unhinged religions. I have a feeling science is winning.

          • richelieu jr


            (some assembly required)

          • I think the differences in such cases aren’t so much about God, but about whether it’s okay for women to wear pants, or shorts, that sort of thing.

            The blog “Stuff Fundies Like” is educational on this sort of thing.

          • coonellie

            The name just means, “Church” of God, as the word used for ‘church’ comes from the Greek (????????), meaning a gathering or assembly.

            • “ekklesia” really means “out-calling”; the word for “assembly” in Greek is “synagogos” (together-led)

            • coonellie

              Actually, ??????? (ekklesi) is “calling forth” and ???????? (ekklesia) is gathering or assembly, coming from the word that was used in ancient Greece for political assemblies or gatherings.

              Check ?????? ??? ???? ????????? ???????, ???? (Dictionary of Modern Greek) by Georgios Babiniotis. You could also try Liddell and Scott’s, “Greek-English Lexicon”.

        • Ciru

          “what the hell is spiritual engineering anyway?”

          It involves making bridges of some kind I think.

          • BuryTheNuts2

            and your dumb ass can fall off them

  • EnthralledObserver

    More and more tidbits and history… I’m loving it! Thanks Tony and Jon. 😀

  • Can’t wait to fill this void in my Scientology reading list.

  • Mr. Atack belongs in the pantheon of true “suppressive” heroes that took risks by exposing Hubbardism. Those of us “experts” that followed, do not deserve any credit at all. There will always be a finite number of “Paulette Coopers” to look to for inspiration.

  • Vistaril

    The Hub

    ^^^ Perfect.

  • Thank you, Jon Atack! Your book was very helpful to me in figuring out what L Ron Hubbard was actually doing with Scientology.

    And thank you Tony for providing a place for Jon Atack to communicate his wealth of information!

    Just for the Scientologists who are playing the home game, and who may be reading here, it is my understanding that Jon Atack is OT 5, and was in Scientology for 9 years.

    Am I correct about that?

    Also, was Jon ever on staff and was he ever trained as an auditor? To what levels did Jon reach in tech and admin training?

    The reason I ask is because this is important for still-in Scientologists, whether Indie or Churchie, and I want them to have this information as part of their data series evaluations of Jon’s statements, and of Scientology.



    • Alanzo, I’m still in disbelief about that comment on Rathbun’s blog from the other day. I had to go there this morning myself to re-read it. I’m beginning to cautiously wonder if he’s finally starting to come out of his Scientology fog.

      • There’s a great interview that Gerry Armstrong gave to Radio Paul on February 4, 2013 where Gerry detailed some of the things that Rathbun could do to really demonstrate a break from his old past actions. Once Marty starts to do things like that, then I will begin to cautiously wonder, too.

        Here’s the link to the interview:

        • I have seen this already, thanks. I really wish that someone would take up his cause to Rinder and Rathbun because their silence on the matter makes me think that they are still hiding something or are afraid for some reason. It really makes no sense that they won’t help him.

          • Yes. It could be classified as an “outpoint”, if they really are who they say they are.

            It could be a “pluspoint”, if they were really not who they say they are.


            • blissfulldreams

              dam i understood that

              it’s that saying that always floats around here “whats true for you is true for you” i think

              is that what you mean when you said that they did not think that they was lying, that believed that what in what they was saying or doing so it was true for them ?

            • Yes. Exactly.

              His lies were an outpoint for others, but a pluspoint for him.

              There are a lot of things in Scientology that simply will not resolve for the Scientologist until you begin to look at them this way.

            • I don’t know if I understand what you’re saying. Does it translate to: there must be reasons for people to do what they do, some way in which it rewards them, that other people can’t necessarily see?

            • When you are a Scientologist, you believe that because you were helped by Scientology, then L Ron Hubbard must have been operating on the same purposes as you are in Scientology.

              You do not want to see that he was operating on different purposes than you were. And as long as you think this way, there are aspect of Hubbard’s behavior and personality that just do not make sense. Why he would enslave people with indentured servitude contracts, make free speech a suppressive act and fair game people who spoke out about Scientology, or steal money from Scn organizations, if he wanted big strong orgs and to free mankind like I do?

              None of those things make any sense if you don’t simply allow for the fact that Hubbard did not want to free mankind, and he did not want big strong orgs unless he had all the money. You have to accept that Hubbard was operating on different purposes – trying to achieve different ideal scenes – than the ones he gave Scientologists to achieve.

              This is easy for a non-Scientologist to see. It’s not so easy for a Scientologist to see.

              Because a Scientologist has had wins, and he reasons that because he had wins, then the person who gave him those wins must have been just like him.


            • (Sorry if this does not make much sense to some people here. I am writing mostly to Scientologists, using terms and reasoning that they would understand from the Data Series and other Hubbard writings).

            • BuryTheNuts2

              Alanzo, lets go for a mind freeing romp in those corn fields….Just to clear our heads and make our hearts pump. come on…lets run….

            • Yeah. That’s probably what I need! It’s hard to explain this. I have been trying to explain this for 13 years – ever since I got out.

            • BuryTheNuts2

              And you are doing a great job….but sometimes it is just good to run until you feel as if your heart or head will explode….until,you want to fall face first into the earth

            • blissfulldreams

              someday’s coming on here is like being back in the classroom and i learn so much its like taking sociology class again and i need notes for the exam that alanzo has at the end of all this :)) so yes alanzo go run clear your head then come back and teach some MOAR

            • I think I understand what you’re saying. A student of Scientology won’t analyze Hubbard’s motivations critically because he’s focused on the gains he’s made personally. That makes sense and it fits in with the program designed by Hubbard which appears designed to make the practitioner less able to apply critical reasoning skills.

  • pronoia

    Fascinating interview. Of courser Hubbard who sought to emulate Aleister Crowley in so many ways would attempt to structure Scientology like a mystery school with layers and levels if incomprehensible initiation stages. And of course the who point of all of it has always been power – power available only to the truly enlightened and properly initiated. An old old old con. Perhaps the original con of cons.

    • richelieu jr

      He is of course perfectly correct in his use of the term ‘Mystery School’, though I prefer ‘Shell Game’.

  • Trustmeonthis

    I KNEW IT! The Hub (LOL) is another Crowley knockoff. It figures!
    I so cannot wait to get A Piece of Blue Sky on the kindle! In the meantime I’m grabbing a book on Crowley.

  • I knew a person who was on the original PDC course. He was an early Dianeticsist and an actor on the soap opera “The Secret Storm” when it first came to TV. His name was Lyle Sudrow.

    Lyle told me that on the first day of the PDC course, Ron was late. There were people milling around getting impatient. He made the point to tell me that a lot of the people who paid to be on the PDC course were not in Dianetics, and were very “green”.

    So, loving a crowd, Lyle stood up and went to the lectern to “take responsibility” for Ron being late and to apologise to the small gathered crowd there. He looked down at the lectern and saw a pre-published, typewritten manuscript titled “What to Audit”.

    Thinking quickly, in order to stall for time, he picked up the manuscript and launched in to a cold reading. In his most deep and dramatic voice, Lyle read, “This is a cold-blooded account of your last 76 trillion years…”

    Just then Ron appeared and took the book out of Lyle’s hands. “Thank you, Lyle.” he said, and the Philadelphia Doctorate Course was begun.


    • richelieu jr

      LOVE it!!!

    • Great story. I wonder if the raw original tape recordings are in the Archives vault up at Twin Peaks, where the mother Archives (CST) facility for the Hubbard archives are kept today?

      (Behind the scenes, my guess is Shelly Miscavige is tending to the most sensitive problems concerning the Hubbard “archives”, which includes all those original tapes, and all the other thousands of Hubbard’s lectures, and original manuscripts, etc. )

      It would be interesting to hear all those moments when the early members interacted and were caught on tape!

    • Vistaril

      The PDC lecture series . . . is that the one where L Ron Hubbard was taken away by the police to sort out his divorce arrangements with “Skipper”? Not long after, he scarpered to England.

  • LongNeckGoose

    I’m asking for a minor point of clarification: I’ve always understood that Purcell bought the trademarks and copyrights of Dianetics from the bankruptcy court in 1952 and sold them back to Hubbard for a dollar in late 1954. In this excellent interview, we have a dollar going from Purcell to Hubbard in 1952 just before the bankruptcy of the Foundation. Why? Was Purcell volunteering to take on all of Hubbard’s possible debts and obligations before they were adjudicated? Very generous of him.

    • whingeybingey

      I thought Purcell was fair gamed into giving them back for that “mafia” style dollar.

      • Hey Tony, maybe ask Jon Atack next Saturday exactly what happened to the original Dianetics society?

      • BuryTheNuts2

        There is an interesting account of this on Wiki, but I am not sure it is entirely accurate.

        I would also like to know this story…A-Z.

        That is a fairly important point to have historical accuracy on.

        BTW , How is OZ.
        That IAS Video was wicked bad!

        • whingeybingey

          Yes, I just had a vague idea that Nibs may have said something about them roughing up people for what they wanted. But it would be interesting indeed to know the full story. Oz is quite hot and sunny at the moment. I’ve just been mooching around listening to The Pogues. That IAS video … omg! I am embarrassed for Melbourne!!

    • grundoon

      “Jachs” researched the Don Purcell history and posted it at

      In 1952 L. Ron Hubbard was the majority shareholder of The Dianetics Foundation in Wichita. Don Purcell had already rescued the Foundation from receivership once, when more creditors turned up. When Purcell informed Hubbard that there was no longer any alternative but to declare bankruptcy, Hubbard “suggested that he be allowed to turn in all his stock to the Foundation and resign. In this way he could preserve Dianetics regardless of what happened to the Foundation. ‘I’ll take Dianetics out under the label of Scientology’ said he, ‘while you stay here and let them blunt their arrows on this old hulk.’…. After Ron signed his stock back to the treasury we… voted to go back into bankruptcy immediately.” Ron and Mary Sue snuck in to the Foundation offices after dark, gathered up a truckload of office equipment and departed to Phoenix.

      Purcell bought the foundation’s assets, including the Dianetics books, trademarks, and copyrights, out of bankruptcy for $6000. “All my liquid assets have already been spent during the past year trying to build the Foundation, in spite of Ron Hubbard’s talent for spending money on wild schemes. I paid the court approximately $6,000 for the Foundation and all its assets, copyrights, etc., in order to protect the investment of cash and work that had been previously put into these things.”

      Although Purcell doesn’t say, it is possible that the foundation paid Hubbard some amount in exchange for his stock. It could have been $1. The stock could hardly have been worth even that much, the foundation was so deeply in the hole. Purcell’s $6000 would have gone to pay the creditors, at pennies on the dollar, not to Hubbard.

      The Dianetics Foundation struggled on bravely, in the red, for a couple of years. Hubbard sued Purcell for $1M and vice-versa, to no effect.

      Finally in October 1954, Purcell informed his associates: “I am going to dissolve the Dianetic Foundation, Inc., and transfer all assets an copyrights re dianetics now owned by me back to L. Ron Hubbard. I am going to disassociate myself from the science of dianetics and actively associate myself with the science of synergetics [another splinter group, started by Art Coulter]. I am going to withdraw my financial support from the Dianetic Research Foundation, resign from the Board of Governors, and transfer all my efforts to synergetics…. I wrote to Mr. Hubbard, offered him everything I owned bearing the label ‘dianetics.’ I received a friendly letter of acceptane in return.” No mention of money changing hands, $1 or otherwise.

  • Observer

    It doesn’t matter which aspect of Scientology is being examined, the one thing that crops up over and over is LRH’s intent to deceive, particularly in respect to apply a “religious” veneer to his scam in order to rope in followers and fraudulently obtain legal and tax benefits bestowed on actual churches.

    I really thought I couldn’t disdain LRH any more than I do, but the more that comes out about him, the more wrong I find I am about that. What a pathetic excuse for a human being!

  • Ms. B. Haven

    First off, Thank You Mr. Atack, for your incredible work. It was one of the first books I read that revealed the facts behind my suspicions of what was really going on behind the scenes in Scientology. It is one thing to put this information together and get it published, but your courage and persistence thru the years of harassment (understatement) cannot be commended enough.

    I listened to several of PDC lectures that were available on cassette in the early 80’s. I don’t remember too many specifics, but the thing I do remember was the undertones of ‘vast amounts of research being conducted’ to arrive at the conclusions presented in this material. Just like Dianetics, there was no research. It’s no where to be found. It was just promises of something that didn’t exist. There are no ‘clears’, ‘theta clears’, or ‘clear theta clears’, etc. In hindsight, most of what was presented was a bunch of anecdotes and tall tales. I have to admit that they were fascinating to listen to at the time, but I can also be as easily entertained by reading a novel or watching a movie for fractions of the cost (zero cost if I go to the library) and get the same or better results. An added bonus is that there is no one in the bookstore or box office trying to ‘reg’ me for the next product.

    • Ziontologist

      I listened to all of the PDC lectures. Each one only cost a dollar to listen to at CC back in the 70’s, and I think they came the closest to revealing Hubbard’s true personality.
      If they’re still being taught, I would imagine they’ve been heavily edited, no?

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      I remember being on the PDC course and a couple of celebs were on it too at the time. Most of us were there to pass the time during our OT auditing, OT 5 at the time. I look back at it now and realize how frantically but confidently Insane we all were at the time, and damn proud of it somehow. I should make a statement T-Shirt that says: “Former Resident of 1984”. I wonder if today’s kids wouldn’t even know what that means.

      For anyone even remotely thinking about buying these lectures, save yourself thousands of $$ by going downtown, preferrably under a bridge, and record the crazy you hear there. It will also probably make more sense.

  • BuryTheNuts2

    Oh man, I am loving this stuff with Atack. So many tiny and accurate details. This guy is the Golden Goose!
    120 proveable examples of plagiarism and fully half of those came directly from “Magick in Theory and Practice”.
    Hubbard picked himself quite the role model and mentor.
    Of course this was a grown man who was afraid there were snakes under his bed

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      BTN: I am still reading bits of: Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century: Volume 1 (1907-1948): Learning Curve
      by Patterson Jr., William H. (amazon, kindle version)

      All the sci fi writers and all their friends really round out the details of Hubbard, what his social appeal was when they first meet him and what their eventual Repel reasons were. It goes into fascinating details about the sci fi authors work with the govt in war time, as well as Ron’s con methods, including “lifting” others’ research or ideas. Also, his wicked ways with wimmin.

      • BuryTheNuts2

        I will get it!

      • BuryTheNuts2

        By the way Hole…ditto if you read books about John Whitesides Parsons…the ones who are devoted to him (Parsons) and his solid rocket fuel contributions (which are HUGE)….There is always the part about Hubbard in these books, but it’s not ‘about’ Hubbard….so the take on him (LRH) seems pretty honest and forthright. They call him as a con artist and the worse thing that ever happened to Parsons.
        These author’s see that Hubbard…is a simple grifter.

        Parsons had a Moon crater named after him, which is actually pretty damned impressive.

        Of course, It is located on the “Dark side of the Moon”.
        How Poetic.

      • Poison Ivy

        Yes, as said above, he fell out with all of thema s well.

  • Such good information. Thank you both. Jon, do you know how much the PDC cost per person?

  • I suppose the whole religion argument becomes academic if your main criteria for tax-exemption includes a requirement that the organisation applying contributes to the public good. As I understand it, Scientology fell at that hurdle in England and Wales because the Charity Commission wanted to establish not just that it was a religion, but that it actually did some good (though in fact it failed on both counts). So Jon is asking the right question: is there such a thing as a bad religion? I suppose you could argue that every major religion has its dark side. If the Catholic Church goes back to burning witches, we might want to reconsider their charitable status (mind you, if they keep covering up child abuse…).

    • PetriDish

      Organizations, like individuals (because they’re compromised of individuals), can do both immense good and harm in the world. While I in no way am an apologist for the Catholic Church’s crimes, I also personally know several nuns who have been arrested (and one who served jail time) protesting the School of the Americas. When Clinton was bombing Iraq, nuns and a few retired priests were among the handful of people protesting. There are many more examples of direct action/service that I know about.

      One of the issues I have with Scientology as a religion is that I don’t see a record of service-to-the-poor. Perhaps I am missing it because I’ve never known any Scientologists. Or perhaps I am coming at the view of religion from a Western notion. But it is very hard to think of any organization (church, non-profit, government, corporation, NGO) that does no harm–even with the best of intentions, organizations are prone to abuses of power. They question is how they view the world fundamentally (are people without power equally/more deserving of being served?), what they do to make the world a better place, and how they respond when they have done harm.

      In regards to child abuse, I think the church hasn’t done enough to stop it or quickly enough. But I don’t see any organization that has. I see Hollywood protecting Roman Polanski, I see non-profits talking about rape as if it only happens to women, I see politicians and actors talking about “real” rape, I see parents terrified of their kids being alone with strangers but unquestioning about the same with people they know. I see kids being sold sexuality by corporations, I see Anonymous defending Julian Assange, I see Paterno protecting Sandusky and the BBC covering for Savile. Somehow we view rapists (especially of children) as so vile that they can’t possibly have good attributes, therefore if they have good attributes in our eyes, they must not be rapists and those who would suggest otherwise are making it up. I’m not sure how we undo that, except by standing with the victims.

      • PetriDish, sorry for the delay replying: I was busy being suppressive elsewhere.

        I don’t think I disagree with any of that (though I confess the Paterno-Sandusky reference, I had to look up). I am not condemning the Catholic Church out of hand: just its leadership.. Similarly, I do not for one minute doubt the good faith of many practising Scientologists: just that of its leadership. The higher up you go in the hierarchy however, the harder it is to keep your hands clean, as many former senior members have had the decency to acknowledge (but not all).

        I take your point too about Scientology’s non-existent track record in real — as opposed to imaginary — good works. Here again though, I’m sure some of the volunteer teams sent to Ground Zero or New Orleans, sincerely thought they were doing vital work that mere mortals could not manage.

        You are right about the fundamentally flawed way they view the world, the deserving/undeserving, the essential elitism at the heart of their superman/wog world vision. I grant you that this sits uneasily with what I said about the good faith of many members. But I suspect many of them haven’t really worked through the full implications of their world view — there is a kind of moral cognitive dissonance that has set in. It is reinforced, of course, by the thought-stopping mechanisms that Hubbard built into the system: the demonisation of SPs, the belief that exposing yourself to material critical of Scientology — entheta — is bad for your spiritual progress. But you could also say that this kind of double-think is typical of true believers across many ideologies.

        The point you made in your final paragraph, which I think is generally one about shades of grey — that a hero in one domain can still have feet of clay in another — is also well taken.

        • PetriDish

          Thanks for the reply. 🙂

          In my experience with Catholics, it’s not simply a line of more corruption the higher up the ladder you go. Frankly, I’ve found that lay people are much more likely to be self-serving/hypocritical, with at least the first level of ordained religious (priests, brothers, nuns) being much more curious, open-minded, ecumenical, and interested in ethics/morality. But it seems pretty clear that things start getting more political (and therefore easier to forget the people) at the next level. I don’t know how this compares to other organizations/religions. I imagine it’s not uncommon, but probably somewhat different for Scientology where one isn’t ever really “culturally” a Scientologist (so there’s probably not the same intellectual laziness from the “lay” people). Scientology also lacks the safeties of other organizations in how DM was able to seize power.

          And Scientology seems to be very self/individual-focused. I’ve spent time in counseling/therapy, and I found this aspect of it to be initially helpful, but eventually rather counter-productive. At the end of the day, humans are social animals. We need each other, we feel for each other, we want to help each other, and it takes something to break us of empathy. Our direct connection to people might sometimes cause us pain, but it also is protective against all sorts of health problems, both mental and physical. Not sure where I’m going with this, but in my mind it’s somehow tied to the elitism of the Scientology view (because people are so individually responsible and asked to turn each other in).

          I am not terribly familiar with the volunteers Scientology sent (sends?) to disaster areas. In my understanding, one advantage religious groups have (along with any organization of people) in those situations is that they already have these networks in place and can mobilize to take advantage of them very quickly. Granted Scientology has so few people it doesn’t seem that they’d be able to take advantage of that, but I don’t really see a way that they’re harnessing the power of however many people they do have to be more than just the sum.

          The cognitive dissonance built into Scientology is a problem, and we don’t give enough weight to the ways in which language can be used to trap us against our will. I don’t think that this kind of resistance to internal criticism/external research is really that common for other ideologies (I could be an idealist). I do see it in Mormonism (setting your religion up to be both literal and falsifiable is really problematic!) and some very conservative Christian groups and is clearly a cult warning sign. But I also wonder what leaves people more vulnerable to this. It’s pretty evident that intelligence doesn’t provide much protection in and of itself. I come from a very strong “devil’s advocate” culture (which is not without its problems) and that might help. And it seems like many who end up in Scientology find some pain eased, at least initially. I hope that even after the CO$ has falled, we continue to discuss it for prevention and support in the future.

  • TheHoleDoesNotExist

    The mention of Burton had me diving into Professor Stephen Kent’s article, “The Creation of ‘Religious’ Scientology”. Hubbard’s mind truly was a spidee web of con. I just love the names of the Parent “church”: Church of American Science, with it’s two subordinates: Church of Scientology and Church of Spiritual Engineering. lol Thank you Professor And Jon Atack! And I remember reading a relative’s Aberree newsletters and the complaints about this whole religious angle. Most were agin’ it, I tell ya! And here I am today rudely shouting the same: Not. A. Religion! lol again

    “Apparently propelled by secular reasons to develop in a religious context the past life material that had emerged within Dianetics, and having provided a creation story of sorts to his followers in the doctrinal
    list called “The Factors,” Hubbard, in December 1953, incorporated in New Jersey three new churches. They were the Church of American Science (which was the parent organization of the other two), the
    Church of Scientology, and the Church of Spiritual Engineering. Soon afterward (February 18, 1954), Dr. J. Burton Farber incorporated the Church of Scientology of California (Aberee, 1954: 1, 4; Miller, 1987: 220). After early March, 1954, Scientology auditors began receiving ordination in the Church of American Science (see Aberee, 1954: 4), which had within its chartered creed its intention “[t]o practice the teachings and beliefs and to propagate in accordance with its tenets healing of the sick and suffering by prayer or other spiritual means
    without the use of drugs or material remedy” (Certificate of Incorporation, 1953: 3). In August, 1954 Hubbard acknowledged that to some people his recent efforts to connect Scientology with religion “seems [like] mere
    opportunism, to some it would seem that Scientology is simply making itself bulletproof in the eyes of the law, and to some it might appear that any association with religion is a reduction of the ethics and purposes of
    Scientology itself” (Hubbard, 1954b: 1). He, of course, denied the validity of these charges, and asserted the connections between Scientology, the Vedas, and Buddhism (Hubbard, 1954b). Nevertheless, amidst a growing number of religious assertions, Hubbard still insisted (in a January 31, 1954 publication), “Scientology has opened the gates to a better World. It is not a psycho-therapy nor a religion. It is a body of knowledge which, when properly used, gives freedom and truth to the individual” (Hubbard, 1954e: 5).”

    Oh wait, what was that again you said, Old Man?
    “It is not a psycho-therapy nor a religion.” Thank you L Ron Hubbard. I’m sure your fans will keep your secret.

  • Captain Howdy

    Thank you Jon and Tony. The main reason I come here is to learn stuff I didn’t know before which you both provide in spades.

    A silly aside, does Jon know anything about Robert Plant writing “Stairway To Heaven” about a scientologist woman he dated from the Incredible String Band ?

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      Have you seen this link and then thread about Licorice McKechnie? Her story sounds as wild and crazy as any scientology whopper.

    • Susy Watson Taylor, used to be a band manager for “Incredible String Band,” and Susy later joined CMO Int, and later she was in Author Services Inc. Susy was an old friend of Robert Plant’s.

      She told me (I worked 1992 to 1995 in ASI where Susy Watson Taylor also worked) and I asked her about the speculation that those lyrics, “…she’s buying a stairway to heaven…” refered to Yvonne Jentzsch who was the President of CC LA when Plant was brought in for a dissemination tour. The “..she…” could also possibly have applied to Susy Watson Taylor, who was long term friend of Robert Plant, and he even came to ASI once or twice for a quick visit with Susy Watson Taylor.

      Susy thought the “…she…” could also have meant any number of women Plant interacted with in that era, who might have also been then buying their Bridges.

      I got the impression that it was just cultural osmosis.

      Plant absolutely knew Susy was a long term dedicated believer, and staffer, but so were so many other women in that era I wonder what Plant’s said about this though.

      • Captain Howdy

        Thank you Chuck. I would have responded sooner but I had this storm of the century thing to deal with.

        • BuryTheNuts2

          How is it going weatherwise?

          • Captain Howdy

            Like a goose getting gang raped

            • BuryTheNuts2
            • Captain Howdy

              You are my negative being !

            • BuryTheNuts2

              Muah! CAptn!

              I could never be showered with a more validating assessment than this.

              Kiss me Capt oh Capt!!

              I am giggling so much I must go pee.

            • Captain Howdy
            • BuryTheNuts2

              I was a twelve year old girl when I heard this song for the first time and it was an instant favorite.
              I remember how subversive this shit was then. Of course I lived in Southern Utah at the time (nuff said).
              I also remember trying to tune into the FM stations late at night so I could hear real music…ahhhh.

              It was beautiful. One of those songs I remember. Thank you Capt. I loved that memory.

  • HeatherGraceful

    Sensational. I’m looking forward to reading the new book. I would love to read Jon Atack’s affidavit or witness statement about the corporate monolity. That would be a terrific resource for people internationally who are considering suing and for tax authorities. How about it, Jon?

  • Dear Jon Atack, I read your book in the 80s, and it helped so much to get rid of my ties to the lies. I’ve ordered the updated version on Kindle, and I so look forward to the read. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the read here. You and Tony are a great match of mind sets. And… LRH holy text as Vogon poetry? Brilliant! Okey dokey, good to get a chance to thank you. xoxo Kate

    • BuryTheNuts2

      That Vogon poetry thing is a pretty damn fine description, isn’t it?
      That was a howler.

  • villagedianne

    Many of Hubbard’s ideas are found in other spiritual/new age/self-help philosophies and groups, both good groups and bad. For this reason I was not entirely convinced that Hubbard stole mainly from Crowley. However the reference to “The Master Therion” certainly suggests that Crowley was the main source behind “Source”.

    • Trustmeonthis

      Have you read Wright’s book yet? That’s what convinced me. In fact, I figured it out right before reading about it here! There is also a story on this on io9:
      I’ve been aware of Crowley forever but never saw an appeal. Now I can see why. But yeah, a lot of it appears to be warmed-over Crowley. LRH, what a wanker!

    • FistOfXenu

      I don’t think that’s because he got them from those other spiritual/new age/self-help things. I think a lot of them got that stuff from LRH. Check out the timeline. Ron was spewing that stuff out a decade before a lot of the biggest new age woowoo even started. And I saw a list once of some groups $cientology considers squirrels and they’re on there. I bet a lot of new age techniques were ripped off from $cientology.

      Isn’t irony sweet?

      • Trustmeonthis

        I doubt that the new age people were ripping off $cientology; more likely they were ripping off the same sources as Elron was. Mysticism is nothing new.

        • Ze Moo

          The ‘Devils Bible’ was written around 1890, most modern ‘mystical’ movements have their roots or modern inspiration around that time. Fortune telling, tarot, mediums talking to the dead were very popular around 1900-1920. Harry Houdini spent a lot of time debunking ‘talking to the dead’ and other spiritual scams. James Randi continues the debunking tradition. Randi despises Lron.

      • villagedianne

        These ideas were out there before Hubbard, just less well known.

        • DeElizabethan

          Absolutely, A little research will help find this out. Not that it’s important but Lron does not get the credit. He didn’t even make up the word engram, only changed the meaning.

  • “Spiritual Guidance Center”, today all orgs and missions have “Hubbard Guidance Center” sub departments.

    Pastoral counseling was a non Hubbard, I think it was a Guardian’s Office late 1960s phrase. Wish some of those old Guardian’s Office associates and wordsmiths would fill in the history of what wordsmithing they did, and why. The answers are in public domain writings of Hubbard, to promote the religion angle in the late 1960s, in the green volumes and in the Guardian’s Office despatches from Hubbard.

    But to me, I think the subject of Scientology is what would someone take with them, if they wished to explore their past lives, explore their infestations of dead alien souls that infest them, and how to do the soul exercises of Hubbard’s to supposedly give us, the souls that we individually are, the supposed spiritual gains Hubbard claims we can get.

    The guts of Scientology, to me, are the processes, the tens of thousands of commands, and the sequences of asking those commands, the therapy and exorcism commands, in all the hundreds, likely thousands in total, of Hubbard “auditing” spiritual therapy processes.

    This quote above is a very good one.

    Hubbard calls his organizational pattern a “clinic”, that is perfect! Because the churches of Scientology are absolutely still today mostly clinics, of Hubbard’s “spiritual” therapy (the tens of thousands of therapy commands and the sequences of those commands, and including the exorcism spiritual de-infestation commands to get rid of the ‘body thetans” that infest us all, and Wright’s book, the final pages, tells of Hubbard’s own spiritual battle dealing with one particularly troublesome ‘body thetan” for which Sarge Stephan Pfauth build Hubbard the souped up Emeter to blast that troublesome “body thetan” off of Hubbard’s body).

    And Hubbard telling Pfauth that Hubbard was going out to make big soul loops (as a disembodied soul) around that star, once Hubbard died, that ties in exactly with what LRH says in the “Running Program” advices, where LRH says that there existed long ago, millions of years ago, the OT therapy process, of making big looping elipses around hugely large spaces, just like Hubbard told Pfauth he was planning to do.

    There’s no book that gives the sense, of what Hubbard’s viewpoint is about his whole legacy of Tech.

    The church has horrible wordsmiths, and no Scientologists nor outside observers have correctly nailed Hubbard yet, for what Hubbard believed were the biggest most important spiritual empediments to regaining the souls true powers.

    I think Hugh Urban, was the closest, since Hugh brought in Hubbard’s science fiction stories.

    But Hugh didn’t mention the Hubbard “tech training films”, in particular two filmes, one that Jason Beghe was in, we nicknamed it the “Chaplain’s Film”, because in it, on a space cruiser, the job of the space cruiser’s “Chaplain”, a cruise that has the Sea Org emblem on the side of the cruise, the Chaplain delivers the “rudiments” to Beghe (Beghe is the troubled space man).

    The “Session” of rudiments given to Beghe, by the Chaplain, ties together, probably better than any other Hubbard lifetime “product”, the science fiction of Hubbard (which he believed was real, it was our past lives’ remembrances and it is our future lives when we come back in our millions of lives to come). The Chaplain movie shows the “pastoral counseling” trying to alleviate the soul traumas of Beghe, the troubled space man. It shows some money transfer, Beghe after his cathartic session gives his bonus to furthering Scientology, in the training film. The film implies a long future use of the fundamental most important products of Scientology, the pastoral therapy session, alleviating a tiny fraction of a person’s spiritual troubles.

    Hubbard’s other most important, in my opinion, tech training film stars Isaac Hayes, and the dead young actor.

    The “Isaac Hayes” tech training film is named “Why TRs” and shows life way into the future, when Scientologists from earth, might find themselves on other planets, and the degree to which they can recall Hubbard’s tech in their minds, in their future lives, to that degree they will be able to get “auditing” going on other planets, first starting by running a TR course, where the principles of why two people, are needed, to address one of those two person’s “case.”

    The all important formula, is pc plus auditor is greater than pc’s bank. Therapist working with patient, are greater and the correct ratio to tackle the patient’s “case,” in otherwords.

    Hubbard’s biggest legacy, is the two person pastoral counseling practice. The “church” is an add on.

    I’d agree the “add-on” church isn’t necessary. The “church” is really a bureaucracy hierarchy of clinics.

    With Flag Service Org in Clearwater, being the largest spiritual therapy clinic.

    That Scientology churches are clinics, is really an excellent concept to keep in mind, when anyone thinks in general what Scientology is.

    “We don’t want a clinic. We want one in operation, but not in name.” L. Ron Hubbard

    this above is a very helpful self admission of Hubbard’s that he kept as a central organizational pattern from then till now.

  • richelieu jr

    ‘Congregation’ is a strange word for Scientology indeed, believe the technical term is ‘Klusterfuktoid’, Tony…

  • SP ‘Onage

    Off topic. I just read Megan and Grace Phelps left the Westboro Baptist Church. I’m stunned and overjoyed!

    Pray Tell: Jenna Miscavige Hill And Megan Phelps-Roper Escape Scientology And the Westboro Baptist Church

    This week, two women who escaped from extreme religious sects told their stories. One escaped from Scientology, the other from the Westboro Baptist Church. Although a small number of people grow up inside groups like these in America, it’s as important as it is startling to hear from these women and hear how, even in this modern world, there are still people who want to oppress women, control their bodies, and prevent them from getting educated.

    Wow! What a week!

  • 0tessa

    Also a bit off topic: I read in my newspaper that in the USA the leader of an Amish group has been sentenced to 15 years of prison because of cutting some beards from an opposing Amish group. Fifteen years prison!! for cutting beards (which can grow back rather quickly I assume).
    While the child abuse, the enforced abortions, the separating of familiy members, the money scam of Scientology are left unpunished.
    Are some ‘religions’ above the law? Do they have their own shariah?

    • I still cannot get over the fact that there were Amish hair crimes committed by a Mullet.

      • SP ‘Onage

        Sam Mullet, Lester Mullet, Johnny Mullet. The Hair Cutting Amish.

        The part of my brain that generates comedy just received to much input at once and just froze up.

    • That particular Amish group was a cult, with all the trappings: rape, child abuse, imprisonment, etc. Cutting off beards was the least of it.

      • SP ‘Onage

        Sounds exactly like the cult of scientology. Why doesn’t the FBI raid them?

  • as he tended to do, The Hub had fallen out with Purcell

    All the misogyny, racism, ableism, and plain horrible stuff Hubbard wrote — but really, this is all that needs to be said. Hubbard fell out with everyone. He treated those closest to him worst. He was a nasty piece of work.

    • Poison Ivy

      That is because he was initially able to charm just about everyone….as soon as they began seeing him for who he really was, the trouble began.

  • mook

    NOI showed up at the funeral of Chicago teen Hadiya Pendleton… w/ Michelle Obama, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, etc. in attendance. just disgusting,0,1390947.story

    • Espiando

      Not disgusting. I lived near there when I went to the University of Chicago. NOI was a big presence there in the mid-80s, and they’re still big now. They’re part of the neighborhood fabric of Hyde Park and Woodlawn, and I’d expect them to have a rep at the funeral. They’re not acting as shills for Scientology in this instance. They’re acting as a concerned major presence in the area. The shootings in my hometown are affecting them as much or more than others.

      • Yeah, it doesn’t seem that they tried to hog limelight, or anything.

      • mook

        being a Chicagoan, I see your point.

  • DeElizabethan

    The except ” ‘religion angle’ letter was written on April 10, 1953″ was so nice to read and so telling. He was only in it for the money to start. Thanks Tony and Jon.

  • “signed and undated resignations held by the leadership to maintain control”

    ….. nothing like telegraphing that you do actually intend to commit fraud!

  • dwayners13

    Looking back on the early days of the church & even up to the the mid 1980’s I can understand how some people would be drawn into Scientology. That’s not to say I personally would’ve joined, but considering the times & the way the church portrayed itself as actually helping people with respect to their various outreach programs, it’s not hard to see the initail appeal. Furthermore, a lot of ex scientologists have said, that they found certain aspects of Scientology beneficial, especially the initial courses & auditing sessions. They often talk about the sense of family or community they initially felt upon joining.
    That being said, now that the public has been exposed to the realities of the church’s activities, I wonder how anyone could be persuaded into handing over thousand of dollars to this organization. With the exception of second or third generation scientologist who have never known anything else, what would compel a person to become a member of this church. Now that the media is no longer afraid to report on the churches activities (as they were 15-20 years ago) it’s reputation has taken a considerable amount of hits, especially because of the Internet. The creation of the web has allowed anyone with access to it, the opportunity to learn a considerable amount about the church. The people who I would really like to talk to then, is those who, despite knowing the history of the church still voluntarily join Scientology, especially those who sign billion year contract to join the Sea Organization.

    • BuryTheNuts2

      Good post dwayners13.
      Scientology was cool for a while. At least it “seemed” so.
      It DID appeal to the exact same type of person who it would later (as a Scientologist) suppress!
      The oxymoronic reality of Hubbards bloviations cannot be overstated.

      I know opinions are like assholes…but my opinion of Hubbard is he just wanted to be validated so badly that he bled words as weapons hoping somebody somewhere would feel his pain and give him a big ol soul (thetan) hug.

      If you can’t make them love you….make them your slaves…And then make them pay for not loving you! -BTN

      • Chocolate Velvet

        “If you can’t make them love you….make them your slaves…And then make them pay for not loving you!”

        Hey! That’s my New Year’s resolution! 😉

    • I first became involved with Scientology while I was living in a remote area of Australia. I did not at that time have the same kind of access to the internet and information (or even communication) sources that the typical person in the US would have. By the time I returned to the States my mindset was already one that was configured to block out external attacks against Scientology and the Church.

      I left the Church because of what was happening in the Church and in my life and my relationship with the Church, primarily the Rex Fowler murder and the collapse of my own life shortly following it.

      • BuryTheNuts2

        I am just glad you are OUT!

      • HeatherGraceful

        I’m glad you are out, John. How did you discover Scientology in remote Australia? (She writes from urban Australia.)

        The murder of Thomas Ciancio by Rex Fowler was a tragedy for all concerned. I’m sorry you suffered too.

        • The Volunteer Minister’s Outback Goodwill Tour. I’d been reading Dianetics, got in touch with someone from the Church and was put in contact with someone on the GWT. There were no orgs or anything around that area but there actually were Scientologists operating—either passing through or operating there independent of the Church, on account of the distance to the nearest org.
          I did visit the Sydney org and AO as I was leaving Australia, that was actually quite cool.

      • EnthralledObserver

        I was just wondering the same as HeatherGraceful… how on earth did you run into Scientology in ‘remote Australia’. Blessedly, no sign at all of Scientology here in Central Queensland in a relatively small, coastal town (nor the neighbouring bigger cities).

      • i-Betty

        I am sorry that you’ve suffered, John. And I really hope that your life is now much happier 🙂

      • dwayners13

        Hey John, I just received 3 replies from you regarding some comments I made a few months ago. Initially it said they were made about 4 hours ago, however when I clicked on them it indicates they were written at the same time I posted them (which was about 3-4 months ago). Since my knowledge of anything related to computers/Internet is very limited I’m not sure when they were made. Regardless, I appreciate your compliments & feedback as I often read your postings.

    • DeElizabethan

      Talking to those who joined after they knew the history will be extremely hard to find.

  • I run a blog of sorts on which I post quotations and articles from L. Ron Hubbard. Some time ago I posted a clip from the Life Continuum lectures, which have (supposedly) not been available until the “Golden Age of Knowledge” release in 2007. Before that time, if you were to sift through available Scientology materials looking for the first occurrence of the word “Scientology” the first print appearance would have been in Handbook for Preclears. The first lecture appearance would have been the Milestone One lectures.

    The Life Continuum lecture series contains an earlier use of the word, and I believe this is the first time Hubbard began to use the word. The lecture is dated 28 Dec. ’51.

    Just thought that was relevant and some of you would like to know 🙂

    • BuryTheNuts2

      Thank you John and many of us want to know. I for one am hung up on details.
      As they say…the devil is in the details…:)

      • DeElizabethan

        Yes, details are important!

  • BuryTheNuts2


    • I’m not sure I understand…

      • BuryTheNuts2

        Nobody understands me John. After a certain hour I start speaking in tongues…you will get used to it.

        • sugarplumfairy

          Lol.. Why we love you..

          • BuryTheNuts2

            muah, my sista!

          • BuryTheNuts2

            SPF… I reread ” FEAR” today….

            LRH’s 1940 novel.

            I knew how it ended. But it was so interesting to re-read something I read 30 years ago … I NEVER would have noticed the Scientology references then,,,but holey moley…I sure did today!

            It is interesting to read a book when you are covertly auditing the author.

            • “Of all L. Ron Hubbard’s stories, this one is my favorite.” – Isaac Asimov, on Fear

              I was surprised to find that blurb on the dust jacket for Fear, knowing as I do the friction between Asimov and LRH. It is a good book though, I liked it.

            • BuryTheNuts2

              You have read it John?
              Read Fear?

            • Indeed. 4 hours, a hat. It’s all in his head. Stephen King’s Secret Window seemed to borrow from it.

            • BuryTheNuts2

              Stephen King was a huge fan of Fear!

            • When people ask me whether or not I find Hubbard’s fiction enjoyable, I usually cite Fear or Final Blackout as being notable works of literary merit. And they are. Probably those are his two most well-recognized novels. And they didn’t have to be gargantuan like Battlefield Earth or Mission Earth. It seemed like in his later years he was substituting quantity for quality.

            • BuryTheNuts2

              I never read his later stuff. And have not read final blackout. I am impressed you read some of his fiction though. Nice window into the author.

            • Battlefield Earth was pretty good, Mission Earth is a little harder to digest—but it probably says more about its author than any of the other stories he wrote.

            • Battlefield Earth is AWFUL. He is not consistent in how his world is supposed to work from one chapter to another because he just sat down at a typewriter and spewed, never going back to edit or revise. None of his characters make sense, and the casual racism gets unbearable. It is, to be sure, not nearly as bad as Mission Earth, in which we can see the author’s mind degenerating as it proceeds.

            • LOL! The first time I read Battlefield Earth I was 16(ish) and I loved it. I tried to reread it, along with some other SciFi I loved when I was younger. Ender’s Game still rocks (cannot wait for the movie,) but I couldn’t make it through the first chapter of Battlefield Earth.

            • sugarplumfairy

              I can’t read him.. I’m not a risk taker and I’d be afraid he figured out brainwashing via fiction..

            • BuryTheNuts2

              SFP. If you want to really know the enemy…read his fiction. OK, I am A RISK TAKER…but his fiction is not that scary. He really OUTS himself in his own writings.
              Honestly, he is a con. You can help but laugh at him…but you will also have a grudging respect for his writings.

        • DeElizabethan

          Gee, I finally caught up. Time for laughs. Bury, I understand you enough to thoroughly enjoy your posts, especially after happy hour where I speak in one tongue or another too.

  • nessness

    I will post this with the explanation that I had an uncle, now deceased, who played piano beautifully, completed law school, published a paper and yet battled mental illness his whole adult life. I wonder about ‘the hub’ and while his life’s impact has been awful, a man who ends up with rotten teeth, a litter of broken marriages and broken children, a boil on his head and a paranoid recluse at the end of his life (great amount of biography omitted here), how did no one ever pierce his protective layer and get him some help? Was he surrounded by sycophants entirely? Can no one stand up to a mentally ill bully? My family all struggled with how much to ‘help’ my uncle who was financially ok, did not interact too weirdly with the rest of the world most of the time and who we loved – well most of us. Anyone have a POV?

    • BuryTheNuts2

      .Yeah, love is blind when you are blinded by love,

      • nessness

        not at all blinded myself, yet growing up with an obviously otherworldly uncle, I certainly didn’t know what to do with that. I was lucky that he didn’t start his own religion. 🙂 I am not sure I would have been as resilient as Jenna.. gives me chills.

        • BuryTheNuts2


          • nessness

            relatives, the gift that keeps on giving….

            He used to feed the birds, and talk with them, and then send 22 page letters to the privy council. A varied career. And he sent me lovely Christmas presents and 22 page letters. I hope his gift to me was a more compassionate nature. He was in all a good guy.

            • BuryTheNuts2

              You said it. Mental illness.
              A broken mind is a conduit to demons and gods.
              I am still trying to figure out if it is us or them who are truly flawed.

              Or who are the lucky ones.

            • nessness

              Sadness was at once and always a part of my uncle’s life, one of the reasons I look for joy and funny every day. A trait I totally enjoy in your posts! Thank you so much.. I have shared your Descartes joke to great acclaim and I point to you. You may have a new following across north america.. I may be very partially responsible… xoxo

            • BuryTheNuts2

              Ahhh. Thank you. I live for laughter.
              But all my jokes are stolen. I just google all of the Smarter people and then surf in their jet wash .

    • These are my thoughts, I will be disagreed with, but that’s ok.

      When I look at a picture of L. Ron Hubbard, this is what I see:

      I see a man who treated people badly, and he felt bad about it, and so he told other people to be nice to each other.
      I see a man who wanted to be loved, so he put his best foot forward each time he gave a lecture.
      I see a man who wanted to be remembered, and so he wanted people to think of his work as helping Mankind.

      Dianetics and Scientology, from its very earliest days until Hubbard’s last breath, was a self-help system created by a man who was trying to be better than he was.

      Not many people know this. If you read Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, Book Two, Chapter 6: Emotion and the Dynamics – beginning with the paragraph that starts, “Let us make this an example:” Hubbard begins to talk about his own life as if he is somebody else. “The poor patient” is himself (and this is where his dental troubles began—with impacted wisdom teeth). What I see is a man who recognizes his aberrant behavior, perhaps cannot control it and wants to know why he is doing it. He’s desperate for answers, terrified of psychiatry, and that’s what Dianetics and Scientology are. They are Hubbard’s philosophical and spiritual journey from 1950 to 1986 on a road to fix himself and others around him.

      Everyone has problems. I have problems. Hubbard had problems. I can’t relate to a perfect messiah who can do no wrong. I can relate to a fallible human—both the good and the bad. Hubbard knew he was mean. He knew he had problems. When he lied about not having a second wife, do you think he told that lie because it might affect the sales of a book? Or do you think he told the lie because those were hurtful memories, and he desperately wished that the past hadn’t happened? Would you want to share your hurtful memories of past relationships with the world through a television camera?

      When I read a Scientology book, I’m not reading the blessed words of some divine messenger or the miracle work of a gift to Mankind. I’m reading the work of someone like me. Someone who looks inside himself and doesn’t want to be who he is, he wants to be better, he knows he can be better and this is the trail he walks.

      I’m not defending L. Ron Hubbard. I’m just telling you what I see.

      “Let someone love you just the way you are – as flawed as you might be, as unattractive as you sometimes feel, and as unaccomplished as you think you are. To believe that you must hide all the parts of you that are broken, out of fear that someone else is incapable of loving what is less than perfect, is to believe that sunlight is incapable of entering a broken window and illuminating a dark room.”—Marc Hack

      • nessness

        ‘doesn’t want to be who he is’… have to start where you are. Not make it up…. then a person might be worth paying attention to. A basis in reality might have been a reasonable start for a hub and for my uncle, however both seemed to have been incapable.

      • sugarplumfairy

        Jeez.. You think too much.. Take off the rose colored glasses and get a good night’s sleep.. And eat more protein..

      • whingeybingey

        That’s a very lyrical post, but ignores certain glaring realities such as he was not trying to protect others from himself by going into hiding, but protect himself from the authorities – just to name but one of many issues you have conveniently glossed over.

      • Chocolate Velvet

        No backlash here, so relax. You are very eloquent in expressing the thoughts of someone who has rejected the practices of scientology, and is seeking to understand why it appealed to you as a philosophy in the first place. This is a helpful contribution to the general discussion. Thanks for putting it in the mix.

        Many folks in this community react strongly to pro-LRH (or LRH-neutral) comments, it’s true. But it is kinda like seeing someone about to eat something poisoned. The instinctive response is to smack that garbage out of their hand, with a sharp word of warning.

        Exes, indies, never-beens, observers, lurkers — we have all witnessed in some way just how terribly toxic scientology can be, and has been; from beginning to end, top to bottom. That sometimes translates into intensity and vehemence in the comments here. But my experience is that it all comes from concern and compassion.

        Keep putting in your two cents, and if someone comes at you too hard, just put ’em in check! Your input is welcome; we’re all just human here… 🙂

        • sugarplumfairy

          That’s exactly what I meant to say.. thanks, CV

  • J. Swift

    There is a post on called “Requiem, Church of Scientology of California, 1954–2004”

    This is an excellent post with must read history for researchers.

  • RMycroft

    During the Wikipedia Wars, the Scientology editors would always try to eliminate all mention of the 1953 founding date in favor of 1954, and then other editors would have to put it (and its references) back in. Now I think that they’ve given up and are trying to use the initial mention in 1952 as the start date.

    That date is a useful tool when reading an article: When it mentions a founding date, it tells you if the writer has been paying attention or just blind copying without checking. 1954, then they’re definitely not paying attention.

  • Thankyou Jon Atack for the reading recommendations! I ordered the Mircia Eliade books.

  • disqus_DyKswkJSY3

    Hubbard Association of Scientologists, Articles of Incorporation filed September 1952. President L. Ron Hubbard; Mary Sue Hubbard, Secretary; Alphia Hart, Treasurer. All with various Phoenix, Arizona addresses. Hubbard’s parents reportedly lived in Phoenix. Headquartered at 806 North Third Street. They published a newsletter (The Aberree) from 1850 East Van Buren.