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It’s not hard to figure out where L. Ron Hubbard came up with Scientology’s space cooties

[A couple of Burks covers]

After Ron Hubbard had sold the rights to Dianetics to Don Purcell in 1952, he had to create a new subject from whole cloth. Much of the “new” material that he now called “Scientology” came from Aleister Crowley — including the notion of “entities.” But entities proved unpopular, and would only re-emerge in 1967 with the release of the secret Section Three of the Operating Thetan Course (more commonly known as OT III).

In OT III, Hubbard would call the entities “body thetans,” but a much earlier encounter with this material is recorded in Monitors, the biography of Hubbard’s mentor Major Arthur J Burks. Thirteen years Hubbard’s senior, Burks was hailed by The New Yorker as “the King of Pulps.” He had resigned from the US Marines in 1928, because he was making a living from his pulp fiction. But, even at 200,000 words a month, it was a scant living.

Burks first met Hubbard before the US entry into WWII, when he offered to publish Hubbard’s Excalibur. His associates, however, refused to publish this “squirmy, self-revealing book,” which “seemed to open queer windows in the bodies of everyone one thereafter met.”

Burks was a minor mystic; a Spiritualist who believed (just as Hubbard did) that he had a personal spiritual guardian, a “guide” or “monitor” (for Hubbard’s “Holy Guardian Angel” — Crowley’s expression — see Hubbard and the Occult).

In Monitors, Burks refers to Hubbard as “the Redhead.” He says that they were together when news broke of the Pearl Harbor attack, in December 1941. Burks re-enlisted in the US Marines, and stayed on after the war ended. Hubbard and his second wife, Sara, joined Burks in Savannah, Georgia, at the end of 1948. It was here that Hubbard began to work on the first Dianetics manuscript.


Hubbard mentions the sojourn in Savannah in lecture 43 of the Philadelphia Doctorate Course. He also wrote to his agent about the “selling angles” of his new work, and its potential use to sexually molest women without their knowledge.

But, back to those body thetans: in his biography, Burks devotes a chapter to the “Little Its.” There he says: “Do the wee Folk exist? They do. There are brownies, gremlins … fairies, sprites, kobalds, leprechauns and anybody’s guess what else … I know.”

He goes on to describe what are commonly known as poltergeist phenomena — in the middle of the night, he heard, “a ball bouncing … big shoes being dragged about the floor,” which stopped when he went into the room from which he believed they emanated.

Burks called these gremlins the “Little Its.” At a meeting in New York, he was surprised that Hubbard claimed to see these invisible entities: “What are they?’ asked the Redhead. ‘Little men?’ We started to explain, but he wasn’t listening. He was holding out his two forefingers, pointing at each other, but a foot or two apart. We gathered from him that the ‘little men’ were using forefingers as parallel bars. Redhead chuckled over The Little Its with great delight, and since he could ‘understand’ them, they sometimes served as his messengers to us…” The Little Its, Burks said, could “think of a place
and instantly be there.”

Many of those who believe in magic do not simply use “spells”, but believe that they are gathering entities that can be used to harass their enemies. I don’t believe in such things, but, if I did, I would wonder where all the billions of body thetans shed by Scientologists in their pursuit of super-powers have congregated. Maybe Hubbard thought he was gathering Little Its to harass his enemies.

In my case, the harassment failed. Maybe I’m just body thetan proof. Despite the super-powers of Scientology’s “Operating Thetans”, I have somehow survived. But it would have been far easier if none of the hundreds of good people who have harassed me had never been tricked into believing that “fair game” is in any way fair or ethically
acceptable. To paraphrase Voltaire, people who believe absurdities will readily commit atrocities. The best we can do is to immunize them against accepting such anti-social beliefs.

These last four years, I’ve focused on spreading simple information that can safeguard people — and especially younger people — from the wiles of predators and their unwitting agents. It can take decades to recover from an authoritarian group or relationship, but it needs only minutes to proof someone against their tactics — and their imaginary entities.

In my last piece at this illustrious site, I promised a new video about my teenage son’s Unification Church of Saminanity. Readers will be delighted to know that our first video is at last available, and that we’re working on a series explaining how to start your own cult — or see how to spot cult-makers.


Please watch, subscribe and use your twittering machine to spread the news. And please join the discussion at our Opening Minds Facebook page.

— Jon Atack


Scientology’s celebrities, ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and more!

[The Big Three: Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Kirstie Alley]

We’ve been building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them. Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments.

Scientology’s celebrities, from A to Z! Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Scientology’s ‘Ideal Orgs,’ from one end of the planet to the other! Help us build up pages about each these worldwide locations!

Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society!

Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in our weekly series. How many have you read?



[ONE year ago] Saturday on L. Ron Hubbard Way — Scientology rolled out its sneaky focus on minorities
[TWO years ago] Scientology’s ‘Drug-Free’ influence-peddling plans for New York on August 1, in detail
[THREE years ago] Scientology’s appeal denied, trial date to be set in forced-abortion lawsuit
[FOUR years ago] Leah Remini’s ex-Scientology friends rock TLC — and our interview with one of them
[FIVE years ago] Camilla Andersson goes public after 29 years in Scientology’s inner elite
[SIX years ago] Claire Headley Wonders, Was Kirstie Alley Doing Scientology’s “Doubt Formula?”
[SEVEN years ago] Breaking Away from the Church of Scientology: Reading Marty Rathbun’s Manifesto
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology Is Not Happy With “Inside Scientology”


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,509 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,638 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,142 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,662 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 682 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 573 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,880 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,748 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,522 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,296 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,642 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,208 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,127 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,295 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,876 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,137 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,176 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,888 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,414 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,503 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,643 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,963 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,819 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,938 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,293 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,596 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,702 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,104 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,976 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,559 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,054 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,308 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,417 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 16, 2019 at 07:00

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Our new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, 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, 1995-2018 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2018), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | 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 | 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 | 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

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates, or join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele


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