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Coming Soon to the Underground Bunker: PZ Myers!

PZ_MyersNow that “Pharyngula” author PZ Myers has spilled the beans, we can reveal that the University of Minnesota Morris biology professor will be joining us here as we read through L. Ron Hubbard’s epic 1952 work, A History of Man.

As we were nearing the end of our series with Vance Woodward blogging Hubbard’s 1950 masterpiece Dianetics, we looked ahead and thought it might be fun to give A History of Man similar treatment. And who, we wondered, would be best to help us analyze what Myers correctly characterizes as “Scientology’s version of evolution”? Why, an evolutionary biologist, of course! So we reached out to Myers, who was good enough to accept. As soon as we have a firmer idea for when our conversation on the book will appear, we’ll let you know.

We have a feeling this is going to be a lot of fun.

In Hubbard’s first book on the subject, 1950’s Dianetics, there was a strong emphasis on “prenatal engrams” as the science fiction writer encouraged his readers to travel back in time to re-experience their traumatic times in the womb. By 1952, however, Hubbard’s Dianetics movement had gone bankrupt and he’d restarted things in Arizona as “Scientology.” But by then, going back into the womb wasn’t enough for his followers — they wanted to go much farther back in time, re-experiencing events from their past lives.

Hubbard was convinced that with his techniques a Scientologist could go back millions, billions, even trillions of years along his “whole track.” But what should he expect to find there? That was the subject of Hubbard’s 1952 book which originally carried the title What to Audit. Retitled A History of Man, it’s one of the oddest works in the Hubbard library.

Hubbard himself called it “a coldblooded and factual account of your last sixty trillion years.”


Hubbard’s biographer, Russell Miller, called it “possibly the most absurd book ever written.”

Since the book contains a lot of assertions by Hubbard about what sorts of things you’ll remember as you audit back through your experiences during the evolution of life on earth, we’re looking forward to Paul Myers’ thoughts on the book.

His prediction: A History of Man will leave him “curled into a fetal ball, gibbering.”


Jenna Miscavige Hill Figures Her Uncle is Peeved

Jenna_Miscavige_HillAs our commenters have already noticed, Jenna Miscavige Hill has weighed in on the news that Leah Remini has left the Church of Scientology, which is run by her uncle, David Miscavige.

Some of her comments to the UK Daily Mail, which are going to be tough for the church to counter…

— “It’s fantastic that she got out — but to me, the best part is that she has a young daughter and it’s great she won’t have to be brought up in the church.

— “I can imagine it’s been very stressful for Leah. But the Church is struggling — in the past they would smear defectors and say bad things about them, now people know these tactics.”

(We’re not so sure that the church isn’t going to use those kinds of tactics on Leah.)

To People, Jenna made a very good point which explains why Leah would have continued advocating for the church publicly in 2008 and 2009 even after she had been through severe interrogations in 2007…

“What people may not know is that sometimes church members who are in trouble due to stepping out of line, are required to display their advocacy publicly in order to prove their dedication.”

Great point, Jenna. And what a double-whammy, Leah Remini and Jenna Miscavige Hill. It only gets tougher for the church’s PR machine.

But the church is doing what it can. According to a recent update on a Los Angeles Times story

While not commenting on Remini specifically, representatives for the church said in an email Friday that the “allegations of ‘interrogations’ and ‘thought modification’ are absurd and pure nonsense, as are all the statements made about the Church’s leader, Mr. David Miscavige.” The church has also denounced Ortega and his blog.

What, no ire for Page Six?


Good Morning America Gets Into the Act

Imagine how nervous ABC’s lawyers were as this ran this morning.



Posted by Tony Ortega on July 12, 2013 at 18:45

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