OK, so what is Scientology?
Scientology is a cult founded by the science fiction
writer L. Ron Hubbard in the late 1950s. It started with
a book entitled "Dianetics: The New Science of
Mental Health", which promoted use of questionable
techniques to concentrate the mind and increase mental
The "auditing" procedures set out in
"Dianetics" are still the mainstay of the cult
of Scientology, except that they have been extended, and
have been universally condemned by the mainstream
psychiatric profession as extremely harmful. (Of course,
Scientologists condemn the mainstream psychiatric
profession as extremely harmful.)
Why is Scientology a Threat?
On the face of it, Scientology should almost certainly
be just another minority religious cult, but there are a
few features that have really contributed to its
visibility on the net.
The first is the Scientologists' dictum: "Never
defend, always attack". Most active net citizens are
curious individuals, who want to know more about things.
As questionable facts about Scientology emerged, people
started to ask questions. Rather than clamming up, the
Scientologists attacked with a tirade of abuse, threats,
Due to the copious amounts of money paid by their
members for training courses, the Scientologists have
some pretty high-powered lawyers at their disposal. The
most prominent of these is Helena
Kobrin, working out of the US.
In order to protect themselves, Scientologists have
the "fair game" rule. Anyone who opposes
Scientology is fair game for any defamatory tactic,
inside or outside the law. Here is the actual text from
missive HCO P/L 18 October 1967, "PENALTIES FOR
SP Order. Fair Game. May be deprived of
property or injured by any means by any Scientologist
without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be
tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.
Scientologists will reply that, in 1968, Hubbard
"cancelled" Fair Game. The term
"Fair Game" was revoked in another missive from
the HCO, but the final paragraph of the
"cancellation" letter deprives the act of any
This P/L does not cancel any policy on the
treatment or handling of an SP.
As an example of what being "fair game"
are some examples of harassment afforded to writers of
books critical of Scientology.
The same two rules are most ruthlessly applied to
anyone trying to disclose the "church secrets".
Scientology was incorporated as a church mainly to
avoid the attentions of the US Internal Revenue Service.
However, its structure is such that church members at one
"level" are not allowed access to teachings at
the next "level". In fact, the higher level
teachings are said to be harmful to those who have not
been prepared for them. (As far as I can see, the only
harm that can result is from laughing too hard.)
Naturally, the only way to "progress up the
bridge" is to have an extensive (and expensive)
course of training. At current prices, a complete
nothing-to-OT8 course can cost upwards of $300,000. Yes,
that is three hundred thousand dollars. In order
to protect this lucrative progression, church documents
are protected not only by copyright, but by trade secret
Here we have a problem. Remember, the organisation was
incorporated as a church to avoid laws pertaining to
trade, an yet they are requesting the protection of a
trade secret law.
Ordinary copyright law allows for fair use of
documents, in that you may quote passages or extracts for
the purposes of a review, but the trade secret laws cover
any use of all or part of a document. Scientology can,
apparently, sue people for quoting just three lines from
one of these documents, and has done so.
One side effect of this is that in order to prove this
usage, various Scientology documents have had to be
entered into US court records, where they are publicly
accessible documents. So, in a fervent attempt to cover
up their own secrets, they have themselves placed them in
the public domain. No wonder that this process has come
to be known as "Operation Foot-Bullet" by
All of Scientology's belief system was written by
L.Ron Hubbard (LRH), a science fiction writer. He has
been diagnosed in absentia as a schizophrenic
paranoid manic-depressive by psychologists analysing his
writings and reports of his behaviour.
The first set of teachings say that negative aspects
of our life, from poor memory to bad health, are caused
by bad memories or "engrams". These can be
eliminated by a lengthy process of counselling involving
a primitive galvanic skin response device called an
e-meter. (E-meters are usually made from a simple
wheatstone bridge, and two tin cans, and would cost under
5 pounds to construct.)
The methods used to remove engrams are varied, and run
the gamut from basic psychotherapy to simple
brainwashing. For example, subjects are often ordered to
perform a meaningless action hundreds of times.
Questioning is stonewalled.
The first real leap of faith comes when subjects are
required to believe that engrams do not just accrue from
actions in this life, but from previous lives as well.
According to LRH, the Univers is trillions of years
old, and evolution has been continuing through all that
time. Primary causes of engrams came from when we were
clams (they can't decide whether to open or close),
another type of clam called a "weeper", sloths
(they kept falling out of trees), and Piltdown Man (he
had big teeth and kept biting things by accident).
Quite apart from the engrams part, Piltdown man was
exposed as a fake. Scientology's teachings have therefore
been amended recently, to show that LRH was using
"Piltdown" as a label for a particular ancestor
of mankind, not the actual Piltdown man which
was exposed as a fake. This is against one of their own
most sacrosanct edicts, that LRH's writings are 100%
correct, infallible and immutable.
Anyway, once all the engrams, past and present, have
been removed, the subject achieves a state of
"clear". A "clear" should have
perfect memory, perfect health, and live forever.
The fact that the first so-called "clears"
did not attain these ideals lead to a frantic casting
about for additional sources of engrams, and one was duly
found: suppressive persons (SPs). These (usually close
members of family, or friends trying to persuade the
subject to leave) must be "disconnected" - the
subject thus relinquishes all ties with anyone even
mildly critical of Scientology.
OK, so now the subject has audited out all the engrams
imposed by SPs. Are they finished? No. They then have to
contend with the so-called OT levels of teaching. This is
where you start to encounter "dangerous"
material, so don't laugh too hard. Ready?
The most famous of the OT levels, OT III (known
colloquially as "oat tea three") contends that,
millions of years ago, a galactic warlord called Xenu
removed the souls ("thetans") from billions of
people on different planets, freeze-dried them, subjected
them to mental torture and dumped them on Earth (then
called "Teegeeack"). This is referred to as
Incident 2, and happened about 75 million years ago. Xenu
was then overwhelmed and confined in an "electric
mountain trap" in Hawaii, where he remains until
this day. (There seems to be no explanation that the
Hawaiian islands were not formed until the end of the
Cretaceous period, about 10 million years later.) Here's
the actual stuff on incident 2, taken from Geffrey
Filbert's book "Excalibur Revisited":
INCIDENT 2: Dates approx. 75
million years ago, earth years, location, Earth,
named TEEGEEACK at that time (meaning planet of
sorrow), involved 33 planets of this sector, each
with populations of 80 - 200 BILLION PER PLANET.
XENU, the ruler, and -Renegades+ decided to solve
overpopulation as follows, but was halted and XENU
placed in a mountain trap after over 5 years of war.
Incident 2 Patter: DETERMINE IF A LOYAL
OFFICER, RESIDENT OF EARTH. or FROM ANOTHER PLANET.
*If the latter two, start at their being picked up
and shot and if from another planet, frozen in an ice
cube, transported (flying saucer), taken to mountain,
a volcano always, H BOMB EXPLOSION, TERRIFIC WINDS,
EFFORT TO ORIENT, MAGNETIC STRIP UP FROM CENTER OF
VOLCANO OR DOWN FROM AN AIRPLANE, EFFORT TO GET OFF
AND FIND REST OF SELF, PROTEST, BEING PULLED ON
STRIP, VISUAL DISPLAY OF INSTRUCTION BY A -GO TO THE
PILOT+, WHO SAYS -HE+S MOCKING IT UP+. There are 26 -
29 days of implanting (the CC and OT II, God and
Devil material, reasons for this being done,
helicopters, etc.) that need not be run. SOME WERE
PACKAGED INTO CLUSTERS in the HAWAII and LOS PALMAS
ISLANDS (8 to a cluster).
The tortured thetans cluster together, and attach
themselves to people, bringing with them all their
engrams. The further OT levels are mainly about removing
these normally invisible "body thetans" by
contacting them telepathically and auditing them. Body
thetans apparently look like sultanas.
Hubbard also gives accounts of visiting Heaven over 1
billion years ago, suggests that "Star Trek" is
in fact the resurfacing of buried race memory and
actually occurred, and that James Bond's arch-enemies
SMERSH also exist and are out to destroy the world.
Does this sound like trade secret material to you?
All this is simply the "how" of Scientology.
The "why" part is even harder to believe. Once
you are in control of yourself through Scientology
techniques, you stand to gain the following:
- Freedom from disease.
- Freedom from the effects of aging.
- Perfect memory.
- Immunity from radiation.
- The ability to command others (using a speech
form known as Tone 40).
- Infinite reincarnation.
And in the more advanced levels:
- Freedom from the restraints of space and time.
None of these have been satisfactorily demonstrated to
Given all these impressive powers, reputedly held by
hundreds of committed Scientologists worldwide, how is it
that they cannot track down the publisher of one critical
underground newsletter, Scamizdat?
Russell Miller's definitive book "Bare
Faced Messiah: The True Story of L Ron Hubbard"
is now available on the web. If you want to find out
about LRH's real story, this is the book to go for. If
you prefer an old-fashioned paper copy, it's in the
reading list at the bottom of the page.
The Scientologists tried to prevent it being
published, and went to court to order it silenced due to
inaccuracy. However, since they were unable to provide
documentary evidence of their claims, the book was
published after all.
For example, Hubbard claimed to have completed the
first mineralogical survey of Puerto Rico, in the 1930s.
The US Geological Survey have hever heard of him. His
entire life is riddled with deceit, self-contradiction,
and just plain lying.
Scientology in Britain
Scientology is not just an American phenomenon; it is
alive and well in Britain. The Hubbard Dianetics
Foundation (a church front group) regularly distribute
leaflets in Reading town centre, for example. They are
based at East Grinstead, where they have the largest
organisation outside the US.
These people are trained in hard sell and harassment
techniques. Please do not allow them to get your name and
address - they will hound you for years.
In short, just say "no", kids.
"Steve A" sums up the closure of anonymous
remailer anon.penet.fi rather well:
Thank you, Scientology.
Thank you for closing anon.penet.fi.
Now, rape victims can no longer discuss their
Now, people feeling suicidal can no longer get help
via email from the Samaritans, anonymously.
Now, victims of sexual abuse can no longer share
their feelings with, and gain support from, others
who have suffered in a similar manner.
Now, citizens in totalitarian states can no longer
tell the 'net of the evils being done to them without
fear of reprisal.
Now, individuals working in corporations cannot
"blow the whistle" on illegal, unethical,
or just plain wrong activities of their employers.
Now, women who don't want to be pestered at their
email addresses cannot post in the knowledge that
they cannot be identified.
You are no doubt very proud of what you've done. I
have no doubt that there was much crowing and
backslapping when Julf made his announcement.
Scientology wants to make the world a better place?
Perhaps, if you're not a rape victim, woman, child
abuse victim, oppressed minority, or suicidal.
Thanks for nothing, Scientology. The net will exact
an appropriate price, I am sure.
"Julf" referred to above was the guy who set
up and administered the service, which allows people to
send e-mail and post news articles anonymously. He has
been subject to raids by the Finnish police, at
Scientology's insistence, when someone posted some of
their nonsense through his service, and was forced to
reveal the full name of the person who did so. As a
result of this and other threats by the Scientologists,
he has decided to close down the service. As Steve says,
Scientology lawyers have also managed to close down
the Cult Awareness Network (CAN) through
continuous litigation in the US courts. CAN was a group
dedicated to disseminating information about religious
cults, and offered support and advice to relatives of
cult members, and to ex-cult members themselves. CAN is
now bankrupt due to legal costs and its trading identity
has been sold off.
Who to? The Scientologists. Last week its name, logo,
Post Office box and telephone number were finally sold to
the highest bidder: a Los Angeles lawyer named Steven L.
Hayes, who is a Scientologist. Hayes says he is working
with a group of people "united in their distaste for
CAN" who plan to reopen the group so it
"disseminates the truth about all religions."
This is like selling off the trading name of Alcoholics
Anonymous to United Distillers, or the identity of the
Socialist Worker newspaper for use by the National Front.
So it looks like the Cult Awareness Network will now
be a propaganda tool for the Scientologists. Even more
worrying is their successful attempt to buy 270 boxes of
confidential files, containing information about
ex-Scientologists and other cult victims. I am sure they
will use them in the same responsible way as their own
"confidential" auditing transcripts.
Information on the Internet is fairly easy to come by.
Perhaps the best place to start is Ron
Newman's Scientology Critics' page which has current
news and information, as well as links to many other
resources. Two of the best of these are The
Road to Xenu, a first hand account of twelve years in
Scientology by an ex-cult member, and Social
Control in Scientology where the cult's coercion
techniques are analysed in detail. The definitive book on
the subject, Bare
Faced Messiah is now also available on the web.
Of course, have a look at Scientology's own website.
Notice particularly how all the links end up inside the
site or other Scientology affiliated organizations -
there are no links to critical sites at all. The critics
aren't scared about you getting both sides of the story,
but the Scientologists are. I wonder why?
If you have more time, and can handle the volume of
messages, try subscribing to newsgroup alt.religion.scientology.
This is basically an ongoing battleground between
Scientology and various anti-Scientology groups. There's
a lot of personal abuse, much that is funny, and an
enormous amount of noise. The noise is lessened on alt.religion.scientology.xenu,
which is for the most part free of propagandist spam
repeatedly posted by Scientologists.
The following books will also tell you a great deal
about Dianetics, Scientology, and L. Ron Hubbard. I've
actually read the first two, and they are in equal
measure funny and frightening.
Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard.
Henry Holt, New York. 1988.
ISBN: 1-55013-027-7 hardback $24.95 © 1987 Russell
A must-read, one of the big three books on
Scientology. Miller carefully researches and documents
Hubbard's numerous lies and exaggerations.
Harrap, London. 1986.
ISBN: 0-245-54334-1 hardback. © 1986 Stewart Lamont.
Very well written in a clear, lucid and professional
style; Lamont's book is an excellent read. Includes 12
photos, most taken by Lamont while researching
Scientology for the book.
A Piece of Blue Sky - Scientology, Dianetics, and L.
Ron Hubbard Exposed.
Carol Publishing Group, New York. 1990.
ISBN: 0-8184-0499-X hardback $19.95. © 1990 Jon Atack.
The best book on the subject; read this one if no
other. One of the big three, and also written by an
insider. Available in the UK by calling 01342 316129, or
0044 1342 316129 in the rest of Europe.
L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman? - Revised, Updated
and Expanded Edition.
Barricade Books, Fort Lee, New Jersey. 1992.
ISBN: 0-942637-57-7 paperback $12.95. © 1987, 1992 Bent
A look at Scientology from an insider to the cult. One
of the big three, but a bit patchy and disorganized.