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L. Ron Hubbard’s magic chalk, and other Scientology miracles at the ’07 Birthday Event

LRHBirthday2007

 
Our video source has come through again, and we have something for you today that hasn’t previously been online. It’s the 2007 LRH Birthday Event, held in Clearwater, Florida, the holiest day on the Scientology calendar (March 13), when church leader David Miscavige throws a celebration of L. Ron Hubbard on the anniversary of his 1911 birth.

Of all the annual Scientology blowouts, we especially enjoy the Birthday Event because it means that Miscavige will trot out the Silver Mullet, Scientology’s official Hubbard biographer and writer of Miscavige’s speeches, the man with creative ideas about English sentence structure and who always tells the biggest whoppers about Hubbard’s history. We’re talking, of course, of Dan Sherman.

Dan is in fine form at this event, and as we watched him recount the early days of Dianetics and Scientology, 1948-1954, we realized we were watching Scientology’s own course in miracles. Scientologists will deny that they consider founder L. Ron Hubbard a god, or that they worship him. But it’s hard to conclude otherwise after watching this vid.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. After the usual overblown opening about how Scientology is taking over the world, Miscavige assures the gathered flock that it’s not just members of the church who think Hubbard is the greatest ever. About 14 minutes in, he presents a parade of shills (unnamed, of course) who for ten minutes go on about how Hubbard was “the smartest man who ever lived,” and other pretty things.

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Sherman finally appears about 27 minutes in, and then things get really good. He reads excerpts from letters that Hubbard wrote to Robert Heinlein and others during 1948-1949 as he was writing Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. (And no, Dan doesn’t quote from the 1949 letter Hubbard wrote to Forrest Ackerman promising his literary agent that with the forthcoming book “you can rape women without their knowing it, communicate suicide messages to your enemies as they sleep…and other handy house hold hints.” Oh, that Hubbard.)

The book was a surprising success, and Hubbard then cashed in by forming foundations where people could come to learn how to do the auditing that was described in the book. Sherman and the folks at Golden Era Productions managed to dig up some old folks who had been around for those heady days in 1950 at the foundation in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and it’s really fun to see them describe what it was like. (Sadly, again, no names are revealed. What’s everyone afraid of?)

Then Dan deals with the fun development that some people who had fallen in love with Dianetics weren’t satisfied only to go back to their “sperm memory” and the things they “remembered” about being a zygote in mom’s womb. They wanted to go back into past lives, but Dan assures us that Hubbard was skeptical and checked things out by doing “research.” Then comes our first miracle, as Hubbard determines that a 16-year-old boy in Los Angeles was being prosecuted for a car theft that he’d actually perpetrated in a past life, which Ron determined based on the action of a polygraph, spookily anticipating the arrival of the Volney Mathison E-meter. Oh, believe us, the ghost stories have only begun.

In 1951, Dan tells us, Hubbard headed off to Cuba because it was well known as a writer’s retreat. How quaint. No mention, of course, that 1951 was a nightmare year for Hubbard as his second marriage fell apart and he absconded to Cuba while kidnapping his own child, Alexis, and then told his wife Sara that he’d cut up Alexis into little pieces. Somehow that all escapes Dan’s attention. Dan also doesn’t mention that a rich Kansas oil man, Don Purcell, saved Hubbard’s bacon as the writer went to Wichita to try and put things back together. Dan digs up another set of folks to talk about the fun times they had with Ron in Kansas. These old folks really are precious.

As Hubbard regroups in Phoenix and pushes on to “Scientology,” embracing past lives, he performs “more verifiable miracles than in the previous 200 years,” Dan Sherman tells us. (And you can see why they keep these videos under wraps. Why doesn’t Karin Pouw make boasts like that to the press?)

Our favorite miracle, and the one that Sherman really tries hard to sell, is that two separate, independent observers saw Hubbard put a broken piece of chalk back together with the powers of his mind. The Great Thetan was giving a lecture during the vaunted December 1952 Philadelphia Doctorate Course when he was writing on a blackboard and his piece of chalk snapped in two. But two separate attendees swear they both saw the chalk pieces bounce back up and fuse together in Hubbard’s hand, with no sign of the break.

It’s a miracle!

Hubbard eventually went back to Phoenix in 1954 and gave his ACC lectures, and then one of the great moments — Dan has dug up an eyewitness (again, not named), who was present when Ron stepped out on stage in a western get-up after talking about the R2-44 process of exteriorization. Ron said he now wanted to show them the “R2-45 process,” which involved pulling out a .45 pistol. Ron then fired his pistol into the air, right there on stage. It was loaded with blanks, the man tells us, but Hubbard explained that R2-45 was one way to exteriorize a thetan from a body — except that it was currently frowned upon by society.

That Hubbard! He may have been joking that day, but in the future, he would use the threat of R2-45 to intimidate people who dared to leave the church. That’s also something Dan doesn’t mention.

But we hope you enjoy Dan’s course in miracles, and we look forward to your own observations.

 

 
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3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on January 30, 2016 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

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

 

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