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Lest we forget: Scientology started out as quack cure-all, selling electronic snake oil

On occasion, we like to remind readers that Scientology’s troubles did not begin with current leader David Miscavige.

One of the reasons that Scientology was in hot water almost from the start was that founder L. Ron Hubbard made a lot of quack health claims for his new talk therapy, which he debuted in 1950. By 1958, the FDA was infiltrating Scientology over these claims, and raided the DC church in 1963, eventually leading to a 1971 settlement, with Scientology promising to stop pretending it could cure anything.

As a reminder of those early days, we ran across this beauty in a 1952 Scientology publication. It’s L. Ron Hubbard explaining how arthritis really works, and how his Dianetic therapy can cure it.

Scientology may have settled with the government and put disclaimers on its E-meters, but as any former Scientologist will tell you, the idea that being a Scientologist can keep you disease-free, including keeping arthritis at bay, is still something members fervently cling to.



The Handling of Arthritis
by L. Ron Hubbard

The disability commonly called arthritis is actually a chronic somatic of the depository type.

Calcium or other minerals become deposited in the joint structures, or on the bones of the body and there impeding circulation and often causing swelling, occasion considerable pain.

Joint limitation of motion is often marked, and quite commonly progresses to a point where the individual must use crutches or a wheel chair. The arthritic may have any joint or area of his bone structure so impeded that the ailment may be manifested by claw hands, or hunched back, or stiffened knees.

Characteristics of the disability is a certain immobility of the body and muscles. This stillness is strongly contrasted to the spastic’s twitching motions.

The sufferer from arthritis generally is subject to endocrine failure. The thyroid is deteriorated, the estrogen or androgen glands are relatively inactive. The glands which monitor the calcium in the body and its solution in the bloodstream are evidently particularly inactive.

Calcium solution in the blood becomes deposited in areas having restricted, or sluggish flow. In Scientology, it can be demonstrated that a restriction of circulation is present in those areas which have suffered previous injury. The injury, although perhaps forgotten, or suppressed, nevertheless can become active, thus placing a mental block over the area to become affected and inhibiting normal mental communication and physical functioning with and in that area.

The damage to joints in any arthritic can be demonstrated easily by testing the individual on an E-Meter where it will be discovered that the area affected indeed has been injured.

Arthritis, then, is structurally a deposit of calcium, or other mineral, in an area which has been restricted by an old injury. The injury is held in suspension and in place in the area by restimulation of the environment which contains some of the factors present when that area was injured. It is a condition of such an injury, in order to be in suspension sufficiently to cause arthritis, that the sufferer himself must have administered a like injury to another person.

The processing of the chronic arthritic may be pleasant or difficult. This depends upon where the indiviual may be found on the tone scale.

Arthritis occurs at three places on the tone scale. The first is .375, an area of extreme apathy where motionlessness in general makes it easy for deposits to occur.

The second is its harmonic, .75, the area of grief, where the suppression of losses of allies or possessions causes a rigidity, a belated effort to hold that which already has departed. The third is the next harmonic, 1.5. This is the band of anger.


The .375 often is easy to process, but the apathetic state of the individual occasionally denies the auditor cooperation, even though it appears to be present. The .75 is best relieved by a discharge of grief, where this can be obtained; but grief in a chronic .75 is quite often occluded. The processing of the 1.5 is best effected by running anger, both the anger of others toward the pre-clear and the pre-clear’s anger toward others.

All three levels of arthritis can be affected interestingly by running sympathy for persons who are in a motionless position, such as the ill, and by running sympathy of others for the pre-clear when he has lain in a motionless position, as in illness. The next most important thing to run is waiting, or enduring, both on the part of the pre-clear, or others, and when they have waited, or endured for him, or on his account. These incidents by themselves have commonly produced an alleviation of arthritis.

The complete and entire reduction of arthritis, so as to inhibit its return at any time in the future, depends on the running of electronic incidents by Technique 80, in particular its famous black and white process.

There are many things which can be done for the arthritic, many processes which can be used. It is impossible in this short space to give one of the many case histories of arthritis, under process, or to give all the techniques, or complications of cases concerning it.

Of all the ills of man which can be successfully processed by Scientology, arthritis ranks near the top. In skilled hands, this ailment, though misunderstood and dreaded in the past, already has begun to become history. Twenty-five hours of Scientology by an auditor who fairly understands how to process arthritis can be said to produce an invariable alleviation of the condition. Some cases, even severe ones, have responded in as little as two hours of processing, according to reports from auditors in the field.


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Source Code

“It is interesting that the Tagalogs weren’t ever told that you were supposed to stop when you were hit by a bullet. So they would get hit with three or four bullets through the heart and one through the head and then run seventy-five yards and take a machete and whack off an American soldier’s head. This was disconcerting to our troops during the Philippine insurrection. So we sent a lot of people in and convinced them that when you were hit by a bullet you were supposed to die. They have never repeated this performance. That is an interesting datum. And yet there were lots of Tagalogs running around getting shot at during World War II and none of them put on this kind of a performance. What actually happened to them was mechanical.” — L. Ron Hubbard, November 12, 1951



Avast, Ye Mateys

“Radical sweeping changes based on the wrong why can crash an org or area. When stats are awful or near zero it doesn’t much matter what you do. But when they’re on a nice steady week after week rise DON’T CHANGE ANYTHING! As one’s pay and morale and Scientology advance depends on this know-how, it is very very important!” — The Commodore, November 12, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Many gods rule the Matrix. They are the same ones since the Egyptians but names were changed for the Greek and Roman gods. There is one head God, many lesser gods, the watcher gods are in the millions and ultimately the ones that are here in charge of the prison planet and take human form.”


Past is Prologue

1998: Jesse Prince described recent efforts by Scientology agents to harass him. “Monday morning, while I cleaned leaves out of my doorway a van pulled up. A rather portly man approached me with a new phone book in his hand. He asked if I had received a copy of the new phone book and that he was there to deliver a copy of the new phone book to the house. I became suspicious as I looked at all the phone books I had already and went back to my door to get a better look at him. As I approached I could see from my window that he was coming from the passenger side of his car headed to the drivers side. He seemed to be in a hurry as he quickly got in and drove away. I got in the car half an hour later to go to the store and by the time I arrived my back right tire was nearly flat. When I inspected the tire I found a well placed razor blade in the tire which was causing the flat tire. At this point I realized what the phone book was all about.”


Random Howdy


“I’m bemused that ex-Scientologists still actively engage in magical thinking, not realizing that the number one reason that they got sucked into Scientology in the first place is because they were already engaged in magical thinking through a belief and interest in the supernatural and the paranormal which had already placed them on the slippery slope to cult hell.”


Full Court Press: What we’re watching at the Underground Bunker

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Next hearing set for February 8. Trial scheduled for August 29, 2022.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff’s sentencing to be scheduled.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Pretrial conference December 17 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for November 19.
Joseph ‘Ben’ Barton, Medicare fraud: Pleaded guilty, awaiting sentencing.

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Eleventh Circuit affirmed ruling granting Scientology’s motion for arbitration. Garcias considering next move.
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ US Supreme Court denied Valerie’s petition Oct 4.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: California Supreme Court granted review on May 26 and asked the Second Appellate Division to direct Judge Steven Kleifield to show cause why he granted Scientology’s motion for arbitration. Oral arguments held November 2, awaiting a ruling.
Matt and Kathy Feschbach tax debt: Eleventh Circuit ruled on Sept 9, 2020 that Feshbachs can’t discharge IRS debt in bankruptcy. Dec 17: Feshbachs sign court judgment obliging them to pay entire $3.674 million tax debt, plus interest from Nov 19.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Third amended complaint filed, trial set for June 28, 2022.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, Cannane victorious, awarded court costs. Case appealed on Dec 23. Appeal hearing held Aug 23-27. Awaiting a ruling.



We first broke the news of the LAPD’s investigation of Scientology celebrity Danny Masterson on rape allegations in 2017, and we’ve been covering the story every step of the way since then. At this page we’ve collected our most important links, including our four days in Los Angeles covering the preliminary hearing and its ruling, which has Danny facing trial and the potential sentence of 45 years to life in prison.


After the success of their double-Emmy-winning, three-season A&E series ‘Scientology and the Aftermath,’ Leah Remini and Mike Rinder continue the conversation on their podcast, ‘Scientology: Fair Game.’ We’ve created a landing page where you can hear all of the episodes so far.


An episode-by-episode guide to Leah Remini’s three-season, double-Emmy winning series that changed everything for Scientology watching. Originally aired from 2016 to 2019 on the A&E network, and now on Netflix.


Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Other links: SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks. Scientology’s Ideal Orgs, from one end of the planet to the other. 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 a weekly series. How many have you read?


[ONE year ago] Valerie Haney takes fight against Scientology ‘arbitration’ to California Supreme Court
[TWO years ago] Woman who fled Scientology after being lured in by Jason Dohring acting class goes public
[THREE years ago] AUDIO: Scientology fundraising throws in a little conspiracy-mongering for effect
[FOUR years ago] Tonight on ‘Leah Remini’: Scientology’s front groups, including Narconon, get a special look
[FIVE years ago] Leah Remini schools us on what motivates Scientologists to toe the line
[SIX years ago] Countdown to Room 174: Remembering, in real time, Scientology’s grimmest scandal
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology Photoshopping: Erasing L. Ron Hubbard’s second wife from ‘The RON Series’
[EIGHT years ago] Bruce Hines Joins Us As Claire Headley Keeps Us Moving Through Scientology’s OT Levels!
[NINE years ago] Scientology Desperately Wants Your Children: The Cruise Ship Come-On
[TEN years ago] Scientology Seasickness: Commenters of the Week!


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley (1952-2019) did not see his daughter Stephanie in his final 5,667 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 2,482 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,987 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,507 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,527 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,418 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,725 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,593 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,367 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,697 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,171 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,487 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,053 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,972 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,140 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,721 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,982 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,018 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,733 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,258 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 613 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,788 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,339 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,488 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,808 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,663 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,782 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,138 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,441 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,547 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,945 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,821 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,404 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,899 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,153 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,262 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on November 12, 2021 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post 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 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, 1995-2020 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2020), 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, 15 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


Tony Ortega at The Daily Beast


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