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Long before Xenu: Scientology’s actual origin story, as told by a former member


We have a real treat for you today. Derek Bloch noticed that Scientology’s “Xenu” story that was made famous in South Park in 2005 and was given another great treatment in Alex Gibney’s film Going Clear this year (pictured above) is often referred to as Scientology’s “origin story.” This is simply untrue. The Xenu incident, which resulted in so many beings brought to and vaporized on Earth, took place a mere 75 million years ago. But Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard claimed that the universe itself was some 4 quadrillion years old, and that it had been created by “bored” thetans playing some kind of game. Derek, a longtime presence here at the Underground Bunker, submitted this essay to explain how he was taught to believe the universe got here, and the narrative of the cosmos that he learned as a member of the organization. Here, then, is the overall, overarching purpose of Scientology, which rarely gets spelled out in such detail. We hope you find it as fascinating as we did — and we’d really like to hear from other former members of the church how much of this they were aware of as they were working their way up the Bridge to Total Freedom.

Xenu is the most famous figure in Scientology to outsiders. His saga is often touted as the “origin” story of the organization, similar to Genesis in the Bible. However, as it always is with Scientology, things are not as they seem.


Long before Xenu decided to turn Earth into a prison planet for everyone that he thought would rebel against his regime, there were disembodied energies floating throughout a universe of emptiness. In a work called The Factors (1953), Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard describes the inception of “theta” or the energy that creates life itself, according to Scientology’s scriptures. “In the beginning was a decision, and the decision was to be,” he says.

From that point this life energy came into existence with nothing else around. Eventually it wanted something to look at, so it extended a viewpoint, thereby creating dimension. Somehow there were other lifeforms, which also started extending their viewpoints. Once they discovered each other they decided to collaborate as a committee and create a universe called the “Theta Universe.” Out of boredom they created the “MEST Universe,” with MEST standing for Matter, Energy, Space, and Time. The MEST universe is the universe we live in today.

One day this committee started calling people before it and banishing them to the MEST Universe without explanation. Feeling too much shame to fight back, the banished thetans followed orders and left.

In their banishment, however, they became bored. So they started to create life on planets, and they would make the bodies they created go to war with other bodies created by other thetans (Philadelphia Doctorate Course, Lecture 40: Game/Goals). Frustrated by losing, some of the thetans taught their bodies how to capture the other thetan without realizing that they were teaching the bodies how to capture themselves. In some cases the meat bodies revolted, and in other cases both thetans became trapped (History of Man, 1952).

There were various methods used to trap a thetan, but the common denominator was curiosity. The thetan would be attracted to a pole that gave off a kind of energy and he would get stuck to it. Or there was a box which a thetan would get stuck inside while trying to find out what was in it. The traps made use of the energy beams that thetans give off. These beams have specific waves used to interact with objects in the physical universe. (Philadelphia Doctorate Course, Lecture 32: Flows, Dispersals, and Ridges, and Lecture 33: Anatomy of the Genetic Entity.) So while the thetan itself is not something that can be trapped, the energy he uses to interact with the universe can be used to trap it.

Having been defeated, the thetans assumed the identity of the bodies they had created. Whether they were robot, doll, insect, or meat bodies. Doll bodies are the “little grey men” that everyone talks about. Eventually the thetans discovered that the meat bodies had a one-up on all the other types of bodies because they could experience physical pleasures. The physical pleasure is what eventually caused thetans to get stuck to meat bodies because they enjoyed it so much (Philadelphia Doctorate Course, Lecture 9: Anatomy of Processing – Energy, Phenomena/Sensation)

Eventually, in the Milky Way Galaxy, these people created a society. It is much closer to the center of the galaxy than we are. This is the society from which we originate. This solar system first came to the attention of that society when one of their invader forces discovered that there was a planet in our solar system with minerals they needed. They destroyed the planet, which would later become the asteroid belt, so that they could mine it. They also developed a trading outpost on Mars.

Later, Xenu would call forth all the artists and criminals of his society for tax assessments, freeze them, and place them all in the spacecraft shaped like DC-8 airplanes to send them here. He would implant them with memories of various religions, while wiping their knowledge of history completely clean. This implant was created using the help of psychiatrists, who are his key to keeping the society under his control. However, he knew this may not be a permanent solution, as the memories may wear off over time. So he destroyed the atmosphere on Mars and killed everyone on the planet so he could put an implant station there for disembodied souls to return to. He also placed one on Venus, and there is one in Africa (“Role of Earth” lecture, 1952). Then he dropped all the frozen people into volcanoes and detonated them with nukes. He placed a screen around the solar system to prevent anyone from escaping, and also to prevent transmissions outside the solar system from reaching us. There is a system of buoys that will be activated should anyone exit the solar system without permission. Once activated, Xenu will return and destroy the planet again, forcing us to start over.

Thetans who were sent to Venus for implantation were sent back in long tubes to female bodies, and those from Mars were sent to male bodies.

THE BUNKER: Hold on there, Derek. You’re saying Hubbard said that men are from Mars and women are from Venus some forty years before John Gray did in his bestselling pop psychology book of 1992?

DEREK: Well, here’s what Hubbard says in History of Man: “The report area for most has been Mars. Some women report to stations (implant) elsewhere in the Solar System. There are occasional incidents about Earth report stations. The report stations are protected by screens, The last Martian report station on Earth was established in the Pyrenees.” So Hubbard says that “some women” report to another station, and the other one outside of earth is at Venus.

THE BUNKER: Hey, that’s a very fun find! We had certainly never noticed that. OK, well, we can see that interpretation. Hubbard really missed his calling as a pop psychologist. He could have made a mint if he’d just pushed that notion a little farther. Anyway, as you were…

DEREK: It is said that OTs — “operating thetans,” Scientologists who have reached the top level of church courses — can see these tubes extending from the atmosphere into hospitals (Have You Lived Before This Life?, 1960). In the meantime, as our technology has grown, aliens from outside the solar system were sent to interfere with our government to encourage us to become embroiled in an all out nuclear war, which every Scientologist fears. As we approach higher and higher levels of technology, our implants from Xenu eventually will cause us to destroy each other.

At some point after Xenu put us here, an invader force called the Fifth Invader Force came to usurp the mining operation in the asteroid belt, without realizing that this solar system was screened off from the rest of the galaxy. They were defeated and also trapped here on earth with us. In fact the moon is a space station they brought with them.

The meat bodies that we possessed on earth came with a type of mind that was useful to the more primitive form of life that they were. It was called a reactive mind, and it stored traumatic experiences so that if a human found itself in a similarly dangerous situation the reactive mind would take over and tell the human to avoid the situation. When thetans took over these bodies they found the reactive mind a convenient way to prevent them from feeling the full brunt of a painful experience by allowing it to take over. Much too late, they discovered that once words and an understanding of language were introduced into the memories contained the reactive mind, it could cause a lasting, damaging, physical effect on the body the thetan was inhabiting depending on how the words were interpreted by this reactive mind.

Scientologists believe that they are racing to Clear the planet before our technology becomes too advanced and our implants kick in and cause us to destroy ourselves, in which case we would all still be trapped until the earth renewed and bodies evolved for us to possess again. Luckily, we would be able to find the vaults that Scientology’s “Church of Spiritual Technology” has created in California, New Mexico, and Wyoming that contain the scriptures of Scientology. These scriptures contain the only known way to remove the layers of traumatic memories, get rid of the reactive mind, then remove the implants and body thetans, allowing each of us to return to the natural state of existence as one of the thetans who created this universe.

The first step consists of learning the proper way to approach studying the materials that bridge the gap between being a mere human, and total freedom. It is called the “Study Tech.” Then the person must have the drug residues removed from the body he currently inhabits, followed by processes that help free his attention from past events and allow him to comfortably focus on the present day. This is followed by several processes that free a person from the inability to talk about things, from current day problems that consume his world, from past transgressions which make him feel guilty, from disagreements that upset him, and from things that he uses to make others feel guilty, such as a physical disability, or something bad that someone did to him in the past. Following that the reactive mind is removed, then the person moves onto removing implants and body thetans.

These are the only series of steps which will bring a person from their enslavement to the physical universe all the way to being their natural self again. This is what you learn from reading hundreds of books by Hubbard. More importantly, this is what people disconnect from their loved ones to protect. Scientologists believe this is their only chance to escape all of these trillions of years of devolving into the meat bodies that we are today. Their whole world hangs in the balance.

This is what I believed for 20 years of my life and letting go of it was one of the scariest things I ever did.

— Derek Bloch

Thank you, Derek. We just wanted to add one final note about Hubbard’s use of the word “quadrillion.” In some countries, including the US and the UK today, it is a number that contains 15 zeroes. But in other countries — on the continent, and in the UK of old — it is a number that contains 24 zeroes. We’re not exactly sure which one Hubbard was referring to, and we’d love to hear theories on that from the experts in our comment section.

Either way, Hubbard was way off. Cosmologists tell us that the universe is only some 13.8 billion years old, and it’s pretty clear that everything else Hubbard said about the solar system or the universe at large is pure bunkum. — Ed.


San Antonio tonight!


Our thanks to Vic Wang and the Humanists of Houston for putting on such a great event Wednesday night. The photo above captures Vic doing introductions, and you can see what a large and packed room we had at the Fox & Hound.

Tonight at 6 pm we’ll be at San Antonio’s Folc Restaurant and Park Social bar, and we hope you can join us if you’re in the area. Monique Rathbun’s legal team tells us they’re going to be in attendance, and this will be your chance to quiz them a bit about how the lawsuit has been going.

Then, on Saturday afternoon at 3 pm we’ll be at the Cafe Express on Lamar in Austin before we head home from Texas. It may be a while before we can get back, so come on out now!


Bonus photos from our tipsters

Big Being Matt Feshbach shows off his perch at the Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation premiere last night in Vienna. Yeah, Tom Cruise is leaving Scientology, sure.


Muscovite Scientologist Irina Belyaeva takes a trip down memory lane as she celebrates her involvement today with a photo of herself with UK Scientology giant David Gaiman, Neil’s dad, who died in 2009…


Austin’s getting ready for our visit tomorrow — that’s the Sixth Street Cowboy with Miss Lovely!




We didn’t get a chance to include photos in our book, so we’ve posted them at a dedicated page. Reader Sookie put together a complete index and we’re hosting it here on the website. Copies of the paperback version of ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely’ are on sale at Amazon. The Kindle edition is also available, and shipping instantly.

Our upcoming appearances (and check out the interactive map to our ongoing tour)…

July 24: San Antonio, Folc Restaurant/Park Social, 6 pm

July 25: Austin, Cafe Express on Lamar, 3 pm, Center for Inquiry

July 29: Paris, Le Bistrot Landais, 19:00 (with Jonny Jacobsen)

August 4: London, Conway Hall, 19:30, (with John Sweeney)

August 24: Boston, Boston Skeptics in the Pub, 7 pm (with Gregg Housh)

Sept 15: Arizona State University

Sept 23: Cleveland, Parma Heights Library, 7pm sponsored by Center for Inquiry – Northeast Ohio

Sept 24: Minneapolis

Sept 27: Portland

Sept 28: Seattle

Sept 29: Vancouver, BC


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 24, 2015 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of LA attorney and former church member Vance Woodward

UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield



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