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How L. Ron Hubbard used ‘past lives’ to set a trap for Scientologists

On Tuesday, we told you about a very disturbing 1952 L. Ron Hubbard lecture where he described, in strange Scientology jargon, the sexual abuse and killing of young boys that a Scientologist might be hiding in his past.

We explained that we found the lecture because we have been more vigilant about Scientology’s treatment of children since Leah Remini made it a feature of Scientology and the Aftermath‘s second season. We have followed up with victims featured in the show, like Mirriam Francis. We’ve started a new occasional series with the help of Sunny Pereira and Mark Plummer about the way kids were treated in the Sea Org. We have been using social media to make people aware of a very disturbing statement about how a 7-year-old girl should react to being kissed by a man which appears in Scientology’s most important book, Dianetics. And then, we ran into that 1952 lecture.

We didn’t know what to expect when we started listening to it, but when Hubbard said, near the very beginning, “If there are any minors present they will have to leave,” we got pretty interested.

And then, about halfway into the lecture, Hubbard began talking about the sexual abuse of young boys. It was filled with Scientology jargon, and we really didn’t know what to make of it. So we turned for help to Sunny Pereira.


For years, Sunny has provided her technical expertise at this website. Her qualifications: “I was a Flag trained Golden Age of Tech Class VI Case Supervisor (and trained before Golden age of Tech). I also trained as a professional word clearer and a Flag trained Course Supervisor. I also audited up to OT V,” she tells us.

Monday morning, we sent Sunny an email that read, “Please help me understand what the hell Hubbard is saying in these three paragraphs.”

After looking at the material, about an hour later Sunny sent us back this message: “Tony, this is so sick.”

We then carefully went over every line in that passage with her, and the result was our story on Tuesday. With Sunny’s help, we explained that Hubbard is making the point that anyone who expresses disgust at the thought of sex with young boys is hiding one or more horrific acts of sexually abusing and killing young boys, which might have taken place trillions of years ago on their “whole track of existence.” And the way that Hubbard describes those acts, the sound of his voice, is chillingly creepy.

We wanted to follow up on that story for a couple of reasons. First, there was something else Sunny told us in that first email that we didn’t get around to asking her about.

After reading Hubbard’s lecture, she said, “What a trap Hubbard laid!”

We asked her to expand on that, which will lead to the next part of our follow up. Here’s what Sunny said about the trap that Hubbard laid when he talked about trillion-year-old sexual abuse.

“I am saying that if you complain or protest about anything or about anyone else, the immediate reaction is to find what you yourself did. You must be guilty of the thing you are complaining about. It is a trap Hubbard laid because there is no way to complain about wrongdoing and get it corrected in Scientology. It’s always turned into something about you and something you did that makes you feel this way. It also ties in with the Scientology idea that ‘you pulled it in,’ such as a child getting molested. You pulled that in. You deserved it. That’s the attitude.”

We also learned about a real-world example of this from a former Scientologist named Robyn Capella.

Here’s the comment that Robyn left at the Bunker on Tuesday:

Yeah, this mentality was absolutely used against me when I was trying to get a pedophile kicked out of SF org and turned over to the police. I was told that I needed to look at why I was so upset about it and what I was doing or had done that was wrong. At one point, when the guy was recruited onto staff, I was asked why I was determined to keep bringing the issue up and trying to “do the guy in,” as he “had made amends” and was “fixed.” I was also told, repeatedly, that “we’ve all done terrible things on the whole track,” with the implication that I had probably abused kids at some point. Over and over, I was pounded with the message that there was something wrong with me because I wanted that guy in jail. Ugh is right. Because I was ex-Sea Org with a freeloader debt, I was considered more “out-ethics” than that guy and was kicked out of the org.


[Robyn Capella]

In 2014, Robyn first went public with her experience at the SF Org, talking to Mike Rinder at his blog about it. She explained that in 2001, she had stumbled across a report sitting on a desk at the org, which contained a confession from a Scientologist that he had molested his girlfriend’s four-year-old child. But when Robyn tried to get the Org to do something about it, she was met with accusations.

And after we reached out to her, here’s a more lengthy response Robyn sent us.

Reading the post and Sunny’s explanation of the gibberish Hubbard espoused immediately made me think about how this mentality was used to manipulate me to keep me silent for years about a pedophile the SF Org both covered for and then hired for staff — and how those around me seemed to be OK with what was happening. It’s something I never fully examined earlier for some reason.

At the time I first found out about the incident, I was asked repeatedly (in a quite accusatory manner, I might add) why I wanted that man in jail. The people “handling” me said that jail would just make him worse, and that only Scientology could fix him. It was actually said that there was something wrong with me for being so focused on wanting him punished, wanting him turned over to the police. I was told that we have all done terrible things “on the whole track,” implying that I also probably had abused kids at some point in the long history of my previous lives. I even recall being told that essentially it was just luck on my part that “this lifetime” I wasn’t “dramatizing evil.” Nearly every “handling” I was subjected to on this turned to me and what I had done wrong or what was wrong with me. It was also definitely brought up that I was ex-Sea Org and had a freeloader debt, like that made me someone who was “not in a position to talk.”

One commenter on the post mentioned how Hubbard relayed these sick and twisted concepts so casually, and another mentioned how Hubbard would talk about such unspeakable things almost flippantly. I had also read a comment recently by a person who couldn’t understand how former Scientologists could talk about the terrible things they did without sounding remorseful. I chalked that up initially to us having literally been trained through TRs to not show emotion. But all of these statements got me thinking and, while I consider that TRs do contribute to this problem, there is something much worse behind it, something that also relates to how Hubbard talks so casually about such disturbing topics.

Scientologists are beset with this terrible idea that we have all done unspeakable things in the supposedly trillions of years we’ve been around. They are told that everyone has lived every possible life and done every possible thing, including murder and rape. In my experience, this sort of thing was always said matter-of-fact, with no emotion — and often with the same sort of casual flippancy Hubbard used to describe horrific abuse in his lecture. Of course this is an outrageous lie, but it is also a trap. It’s a trap to make Scientologists feel ashamed and to believe that everyone has been these horrible people in the past, and that everyone needs Scientology to be free of all that. And, as we have seen, this then gets used to justify protecting pedophiles, with OSA mostly wanting to protect the church from “bad PR,” and true believers thinking Scientology is the only answer.

Scientologists have to somehow try to “agree” with this emotionally traumatic idea — that deep down they and everyone else is just a murderer or rapist or pedophile. Combine this with the concept of “overts and withholds” taught by Hubbard and it gets worse. If you don’t agree with this idea, you must be trying to hide something, right? It’s an extremely damaging mentality.

We really appreciate that Robyn took the time to help explain how “past lives” and the “whole track” is used this way in Scientology. It brought home how insidious that 1952 lecture really is, beyond its obvious creep factor.

Once again, however, we were attacked from certain quarters for even bringing up the idea that L. Ron Hubbard had disturbing things to say about children and sex.

When we pointed out what appears to be a pretty obvious endorsement of pedophilia in Dianetics, we were told that we didn’t understand its “context,” and that we were obnoxious for trying to tell Scientologists about Scientology when we had no qualifications to do so.

But then, someone highly trained in Dianetics, Nora Crest, left no doubt that Hubbard’s quote about seven-year-old girls being at fault for rejecting a man’s kiss was just as vile as it appeared.

“Yes, this is LRH giving a green light to sexual predators,” she wrote, settling the matter with finality.

After our story on Tuesday, we heard once again from Hubbard apologists who felt we were being unfair to him, and that we didn’t understand the proper “context” of the 1952 lecture — even though our story made it pretty plain that we were relying on the technical skills of Sunny Pereira to read Hubbard’s words.

Was that the problem? Had we actually erred in relying on Sunny to tell us what Hubbard meant when he talked about little boys and sexual pleasure?

We went again to an expert. We asked Nora Crest to read Tuesday’s story and tell us what she thought of it.

“I don’t disagree with Sunny anywhere,” Nora told us.

One final point we want to make in this follow-up. One of the people who attacked us for ignoring the “context” of the 1952 lecture also complained that Hubbard is being unfairly examined because there was no evidence that he had ever “committed pedophilia.”

That phrase just betrays that this critic has no idea what the word means. A pedophile is someone who sexually desires children. There is no act implied. A pedophile might molest children, but they also might not.

The lack of evidence that L. Ron Hubbard ever touched a child has nothing to do with the fact that he left a record of saying disturbing things about children and sex, and how, as we’ve seen in this article, those disturbing statements led directly to a mindset in Scientology which condoned behavior that should have been related to authorities.

Sadly, the trap that Hubbard laid for Scientologists appears to be very difficult for some to throw off, even years after they leave the organization.


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,950 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 96 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,159 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 1,933 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,707 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,053 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,547 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,587 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,299 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 825 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,914 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,054 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,374 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,349 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 705 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,007 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,113 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,516 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,389 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 970 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,475 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,719 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,828 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on December 1, 2017 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, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2016 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2016), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

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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