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Scientology is Obsessed with Getting Books in Libraries — Here Are the Real Stats!

RonEncyclopediaHey, gang. We received a very interesting communication recently from a librarian in Illinois, and we can’t wait for you to read what he sent us.

We’ve heard from librarians several times in the past because of Scientology’s incessant efforts to get the books of L. Ron Hubbard into libraries that generally don’t want them. But that hasn’t stopped the church, particularly in the last year as it made a major push for the new “RON” encyclopedia (pictured, right).

We saw mailer after mailer begging church members to donate money so the L. Ron Hubbard Series could be put in every library on earth — it was presented like a countdown. According to those mailers, by now you’d expect thousands of copies of that encyclopedia to be in every lending book institution from Milan to Minsk.

You remember, we were inundated with images like this as the church madly pushed for donations to put the encyclopedias everywhere…


With that in mind, here’s what we received from “J.W.”…

I am a processor at a public library in Illinois. Our director recently got a free Bridge Publications book and we got into an argument about it. I didn’t want to process the book. I told her if we should have their books, we should also have books critical of Scientology. Her reply was that those books aren’t free but this one was. We are a smaller library so our budget doesn’t let us get the widest selection of books possible, especially books about religion. I decided that I would write to ex-Scientology authors and critics to see if they would help.

So far I have received books from Jefferson Hawkins, Amy Scobee, Nancy Many, Marty Rathbun, and Marc Headley. I was curious about how many books published by Bridge Publications were in libraries compared to the number of books critical of Scientology. WorldCat indexes library catalogs worldwide, so you can see how many libraries have a particular book. I made a list of as many Scientology books and books critical of it and began to calculate the numbers. Worldwide, there were 47,008 Scientology books in libraries and only 10,411 books critical of it. Those numbers don’t include all of the VHS tapes, DVDs, and audiobooks. Because WorldCat is not publicly searchable, these numbers aren’t widely known.

Our librarian friend J.W. supplied the following breakdown for us. First up, Scientology’s own volumes, which of course are all either written by, or about, one man — L. Ron Hubbard. Let’s see what the numbers are.


941 Advanced Procedure and Axioms (November, 1951)
2 The Book of E-Meter Drills (1965)
585 Child Dianetics: Dianetic Processing for Children
1702 Clear Body, Clear Mind: The Effective Purification Program
1081 The Creation of Human Ability (July, 1954)
1529 Dianetics 55! (December, 1954)
2474 Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science (April, 1950)
7115 Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (May, 1950)
1579 Dianetics: The Original Thesis (1948)
23 Group Auditor’s Handbook
988 Handbook for Preclears (December, 1951)
752 Have You Lived Before This Life?
1 How to Live Though an Executive
26 Introducing the E-Meter
1379 Introduction to Scientology Ethics
2 Introductory and Demonstration Processes Handbook
17 Knowingness
4 The Organization Executive Course and Management Series (12 Volumes)
1893 The Problems of Work
49 Purification: An Illustrated Answer to Drugs
1300 Science of Survival (June, 1951)
1237 Scientology 0-8: The Book of Basics
952 Scientology 8-80 (November, 1952)
943 Scientology 8-8008 (December, 1952)
1252 The Scientology Handbook
1057 Scientology: A History of Man (July, 1952)
1424 Scientology: A New Slant on Life
3834 Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought (September, 1956)
2243 Self Analysis (August, 1951)
30 The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology (18 Volumes)
1632 The Way to Happiness
3841 What Is Scientology?

The L. Ron Hubbard Series (RON: The Encyclopedia, 2012)

334 Adventurer Explorer: Daring Deeds & Unknown Realms
329 Dianetics: Letters & Journals
363 Early Years of Adventure: Letters & Journals
184 Freedom Fighter: Articles & Essays
182 Horticulture: For a Greener World
181 Humanitarian: Education, Literacy & Civilization
181 Humanitarian: Rehabilitating a Drugged Society
184 Humanitarian: Restoring Honor & Self-Respect
194 Images of a Lifetime: A Photographic Biography
373 L. Ron Hubbard: A Profile
326 Literary Correspondence: Letters & Journals
181 Master Mariner: At the Helm Across Seven Seas
183 Music Maker: Composer & Performer
206 Philosopher & Founder: Rediscovery of the Human Soul
181 Photographer: Writing with Light
186 Poet/Lyricist: The Aesthetics of Verse
340 Writer: The Shaping of Popular Fiction

Oh, my. After all of the fundraising, less than 400 sets of the RON encyclopedias in libraries around the world? Tsk, tsk. One wonders what all that money paid for.

Now, we turn our attention to the books about Scientology, written by various bitter defrocked apostates and merchants of chaos.


142 Ali’s Smile/Naked Scientology, William Burroughs, 1973
948 Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard, Russell Miller, October 1987
124 Believe What You Like: What Happened Between the Scientologists and the National Association for Mental Health, C.H. Rolph, 1973
1279 Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape, Jenna Miscavige Hill and Lisa Pulitzer, February 2013
56 Blown for Good: Behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology, Marc Headley, 2009
16 The Church of Fear: Inside the Weird World of Scientology, John Sweeney, January 2013
978 The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion, Hugh Urban, 2011
27 The Complex: An Insider Exposes the Covert World of the Church of Scientology, John Duignan, 2008
10 Counterfeit Dreams: One Man’s Journey Into and Out of the World of Scientology, Jefferson Hawkins, 2010
135 A Doctor’s Report on Dianetics, Joseph A. Winter, 1951
1559 Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief, Lawrence Wright, January 2013
196 Inside Scientology: How I Joined Scientology and Became Superhuman, Robert Kaufman, 1972
1819 Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion, Janet Reitman, 2011
903 L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman?, Bent Corydon, 1987
1 Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior, Marty Rathbun, 2013
28 My Billion Year Contract, Memoir of a Former Scientologist, Nancy Many, 2009
504 A Piece of Blue Sky: Scientology, Dianetics and L. Ron Hubbard Exposed, Jon Atack, 1990, 2013
278 A Queer and Pleasant Danger: The true story of a nice Jewish boy who joins the Church of Scientology, and leaves twelve years later to become the lovely lady she is today, Kate Bornstein, 2013
918 The Road to Total Freedom: A Sociological Analysis of Scientology, Roy Wallis, 1976
2 The Road to Xenu: Life Inside Scientology, Margery Wakefield, 2010
1 The Scandal of Scientology: A Chilling Examination of the Nature, Beliefs, and Practices of the “Now Religion”, Paulette Cooper, 1971
43 Scientology: Abuse at the Top, Amy Scobee, 2009
3 Scientology Exposed: The Truth About the World’s Most Controversial Religion, L.A. Klein, 2012
4 The Scientology Reformation: What Every Scientologist Should Know, Marty Rathbun, 2012
442 Scientology: The Now Religion, George Malko, 1970
3 Understanding Scientology: The Demon Cult, Margery Wakefield, 2010
12 What is Wrong with Scientology? Healing Through Understanding, Marty Rathbun, 2012

Some of these books were sued out of existence by the Church of Scientology. But thanks to the Internet, we can read Malko or Cooper or Kaufman even though their works were made unavailable through litigation. Major publishers behind Reitman, Wright, and Jenna Hill have resulted in large numbers for those books.

Dianetics and some of the other key Hubbard books are still widely available, but those Ron Encyclopedia numbers are really shocking. How many people who were hit up for donations to put those volumes in every library on earth will see these numbers? And how many will care?


Posted by Tony Ortega on August 15, 2013 at 07:00

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  • Andrew Robertson

    Metaphorically one could say that Tony’s daily revelations were an earthquake for the Church of Scientology.

    And for me they’re certainly preferable to the real thing.

    ‘Strong quake rocks central New Zealand’

    If I believed in gods I would probably be praying. But I don’t, so first checking that the sun was over the yardarm, I opened a bottle of wine for medicinal reasons and that has reduced my anxiety.

    Curiously in New Zealand, an earthquake is defined as ‘an act of God’ for insurance purposes, which seems faintly libelous though God hasn’t sued yet.


    • ThetaBara

      God is a tightwad and won’t pay for the lawyers. Glad you are OK!

      • Sherbet

        That’s definite proof that God has nothing to do with scientology. The cult always has deep pockets for lawyers and law suits.

    • Sherbet

      Andrew, isn’t that your second quake in about 2 weeks?

    • Spackle Motion

      Another one???!!?

      I’ve spent time in Marlborough.

      Interesting that you should say that about insurance and earthquakes in NZ, Andrew. In the States, it is also an Act of God, but one that usually is covered by a state-run insurance program like floods. In California we are all fucked, insurance-wise. There is a state-run insurance policy but you really have to pay a 35% deductible first, but that’s assuming that the state policy isn’t bankrupt first.

      Let’s hope that NZ is done with major shakes soon (well at least before I move there, that is).

    • DodoTheLaser

      So sorry, Andrew.
      Glad you have some wine.

      I lived through falling furniture as a kid.
      I felt frequencies so low, it gave humans panic attacks and made animals howl.
      I’ve seen tall buildings move back and forth like grass in the wind.
      I stood on rock solid roads that were acting like sea waves.

      All because of the earthquakes. They are never pretty.

      So every time I hear from you going through it, I am right next to you in spirit.

      I hope you will move far and away someplace where it never happens.
      You are in my thoughts and prayers to the universe.


  • DodoTheLaser

    Little anecdote from my life, in relation to this library topic.

    Around 2004, when I was still in pretty deep, buddy of mine at the time and a fellow staff member and I
    were grocery shopping on a rare day off and discovered a library fair right in downtown in Cincinnati.

    So we kind of browsed through it and to our great amazement and excitement, we stumbled upon whole bunch
    of OEC Volumes (Organization Executive Course – Hubbard’s green on white policies) in a brand new condition and only few bucks for each volume! Normally, scientology sells them for at least $75 a piece if not more.

    So we like – hell yeah! Him and I bought every single volume they had, which was about two sets.
    Spent all we had, two happy clams!!!

    So next day, he sets up his vols in HCO as a HAS and I put mine on the shelve in my auditing room.
    Staff and execs started noticing and go – Cool! but WTF? at the same time…
    So we explained to them happily how the whole “lucky” thing went down.

    Needless to say, the top execs had some mixed reactions, you could feel it.
    All of us probably internally reconciled the whole thing by deciding that wog librarians
    are not ready for the brilliance of Hubbard’s Admin yet.

    So yeah, no matter how cool scientology books look like – libraries don’t want them.
    May be it has something to do with the little fact that librarians are not stupid. Far from it.

    Librarians – I salute you!

  • 0tessa

    Scientology Enterprise is not obsessed with books. It has only one obsession: money. All the rest – people, family, children, honesty, compassion, human rights – is of no interest to them. For this is the personal philosophy of its CEO, David Miscavige, alias 21st century Caligula.

  • media_lush

    Just noticed The Sun have put out a two page spread. It’s by John Sweeney. These grabs are from the iPad edition so excuse the quality.

    • Krew13

      Whatever anyone’s personal view of Rupert Murdoch, there’s no denying he’s one of the few people, if not the only person, who can actually take on these motherfuckers without any fear. He’s a billionaire, he has a multimedia empire. Even the Sciloons know they can’t fuck with Murdoch. If they even tried any kind of stalking shenanigans, he’d tear them a new asshole inside of 20 seconds. I hope this spread is just the beginning. Go on, Rupert! You can do it!

    • Cheryl

      Poor old John Sweeney I don’t know how he keeps going. I hope he can get more coverage in the broadsheets and mainstream tv because the ‘Church’ is still keeping a relatively low profile over here.
      We have a live broadcast programme on channel 4 called The Last Leg where you can tweet questions which start #iIsItOk. the idea is you ask questions that you would be uncomfortable to ask anywhere else. two of the presenters have prosthetic legs and it started with questions about disability during the paralympics e.g #IsItOk to ask how swimmers with no arms get out of the pool? that sort of thing. I sent the question #IsItOk to ask where is Shelley? , but nothing has happened thus far.

    • SoMissDelicious

      I’m sitting here having a chuckle at how that screen grab makes Kirstie Alley look rather porcine. and John Travolta looks like he got caught on the shitter. Oh the lols

  • Cheryl

    I am a chartered librarian in the UK , when I worked in public libraries a few years ago the policy on book donations was simple. As long as the content didn’t contravene any laws in this country, it would be processed and go onto the library shelves probably with some declaration inside the front cover saying it was a donation and who from. Although many of us would be tempted to put them into the fiction section, they tend to go into Dewey 299.9 something which is the section for religion of other origin and includes things like

    299.93Religions of eclectic and syncretistic origin






    As a librarian i have a huge issue about book censorship, its that whole ‘ I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it’ thing which is often attributed to Voltaire. Most libraries here will have Mein Kampf on the shelf for example. banning things from library shelves can have the effect of making them more mysterious and enticing.
    I think its a great idea to get donations showing the other viewpoints and the excesses of Scientology if you can, In this country certainly with the credit crunch, public services are being cut back and libraries are suffering so donations are actively solicited. Budgets are not going to cover buying them. Many local authorities are not going to turn down gifts from an organisation which is usually, at worst,described in the UK press as a ‘contoversial church’ Lots of libraries are closing altogether so they need to hurry up if they want to spread the word!!!
    I have searched my local authority’s catalogue however and there were only 12 titles that had anything to do with scientology and half of them were things like John Sweeneys book. No sign anywhere of the huge set of encyclopedias..
    I’ll get off my librarian soap box now.

  • Jgg2012

    To put this in perspective, the US has about 9,000 public libraries, so it appears that no Scientology title is in most of them.

  • Librarian

    Okay, I’m not going to read 900+ comments, so perhaps a librarian has mentioned this already. Every year I go to the American Library Association conference. I’ve gone for about the past 8 years. There are about 20k librarians every year. At the “trade show” LRH always has a booth dedicated to getting his science fiction books into libraries. It’s always been a rather bland booth with a couple reps quietly sitting there — until this year! This year the had several reps, standing up and calling people over – one was dressed like a pirate! There were librarians gathered around the booth getting info. I was freaked out by this change and kept my distance. However, later a colleague told me they had an emoter at the booth! What’s up with the change? And why we’re librarians ordering their books??