Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Why does Scientology have no sense of humor? Because seriousness is a sacrament


We’re in transit again, and so we’re grateful that frequent contributor Jeffrey Augustine came through with another fun look at Scientology’s underlying policies. This one really needs no more explanation than that…

L. Ron Hubbard had absolutely no sense of humor and hated what he called “Joking and Degrading.” Hubbard formalized this into a policy outlawing Joking and Degrading (J&D’ing) in the Church of Scientology.

One of the first things Scientology does to a person is to outlaw and destroy their sense of humor. As Hubbard wrote in the Keeping Scientology Working (KSW) policy:

The whole agonized future of this planet, every man, woman and child on it, and your own destiny for the next endless trillions of years depend on what you do here and now with and in Scientology.

This is a deadly serious activity. And if we miss getting out of the trap now, we may never again have another chance.


Remember, this is our first chance to do so in all the endless trillions of years of the past.

In 1977, Hubbard wrote his infamous Jokers and Degraders HCO Policy Letter…


These four types of persons, these Jokers and Degraders, were verified as being deadly stat-crashers…


Yes, Hubbard asserted that some joker was physically driving students from an Org and so all hilarity was out the window.

Hubbard further denounced “wit and humor” as serious crimes that destroyed Orgs…


How did Hubbard instruct Scientologists to handle the Jokers and Degraders in their midst?


Confessionals — in other words, brutal face-ripping interrogations, also known as “Sec Checks” — are one of the ways to handled J&D’ers. Finally, Hubbard tells Scientology execs…


Hubbard and his successor David Miscavige have numerous ways to handle Jokers and Degraders. For example. the J&D’er could get a Court of Ethics or a “Comm Ev” (Committee of Evidence, something like a court martial). Even Scientology’s auditors are subjected to questions about Joking and Degrading…


And finally, the most serious of all questions…


Former Church execs have told me that modern Sec Checks ask the same essential questions about Miscavige himself: “HAVE YOU EVER MADE FUN OF OR JOKED ABOUT COB RTC DAVID MISCAVIGE?”

Lawrence Wright related an example of a joke gone wrong in his 2011 article “The Apostate” in The New Yorker, the article that became the basis for Wright’s book Going Clear:

Tommy Davis, at Cruise’s request, was allowed to erect a tent on the set of Spielberg’s War of the Worlds, where Scientology materials were distributed. That raised eyebrows in Hollywood. [Director Paul] Haggis says that when he appeared on the set Spielberg pulled him aside. “It’s really remarkable to me that I’ve met all these Scientologists, and they seem like the nicest people,” Spielberg said. Haggis replied, “Yeah, we keep all the evil ones in a closet.” (Spielberg’s publicist says that Spielberg doesn’t recall the conversation.)

A few days later, Haggis says, he was summoned to the Celebrity Centre, where officials told him that Cruise was very upset. “It was a joke,” Haggis explained. Davis offers a different account. He says that Cruise mentioned the incident to him only “in passing,” but that he himself found the remark offensive. He confronted Haggis, who apologized profusely, asking that his contrition be relayed to “anyone who might have been offended.”

Given Hubbard’s absolute ban on Joking & Degrading, we are left to ask about the lack of requisite deadly seriousness in Scientology fundraisers…


— Jeffrey Augustine


Interesting eBay item from family of LRH lover

Perry Leynor found this interesting eBay offering, a leather case that once contained L. Ron Hubbard’s “journal.” It’s being offered by the family of Barbara Klowden for a minimum bid of $999. We can’t help wondering if Scientology’s decline is helping or hurting the Hubbardiana market.


To be honest, we’re less interested in a 1950 leather case that Hubbard once owned than the excuse to re-post the fascinating interview of Barbara that we wrote about, and included some new details about her family and fate.



3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on July 25, 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


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email