Among the Scientologists: History, Theology, and Praxis (Oxford Studies in Western Esotericism) 9780190664978, 0190664975

The Church of Scientology is one of the most recognizable American-born new religions, but perhaps the least understood.

138 98 7MB

English Pages 352 [353] Year 2018

Report DMCA / Copyright

DOWNLOAD FILE

Polecaj historie

Among the Scientologists: History, Theology, and Praxis (Oxford Studies in Western Esotericism)
 9780190664978, 0190664975

Table of contents :
Cover
Series
Among the Scientologists
Copyright
Dedication
Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Methods and Means of Researching Scientology and Scientologists
1. Preliminary Conclusions from Interviews and Fieldwork
2. Before the Religion: Episodes from the Advent of Dianetics and Scientology
3. “Keeping Scientology Working”: Features of Systematic Theology
4. “We Come Back”: Past and Present of the Sea Organization
5. “Build a Better Bridge!”: From LRH to COB and Beyond
Conclusion: Reflections on the Future of Scientology and Its Academic Study
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Citation preview

i

Among the Scientologists

ii

OXFORD STUDIES IN WESTERN ESOTERICISM Series Editor Henrik Bogdan, University of Gothenburg Editorial Board Jean-Pierre Brach, École Pratique des Jeffrey Kripal, Rice University Hautes Études James R. Lewis, University of Tromsø Carole Cusack, University of Sydney Michael Stausberg, University of Bergen Christine Ferguson, University of Egil Asprem, University of Stockholm Stirling Dylan Burns, Freie Universität Berlin Olav Hammer, University of Southern Gordan Djurdjevic, Simon Fraser Denmark University Wouter Hanegraaff, University of Peter Forshaw, University of Amsterdam Amsterdam Jesper Aa. Petersen, Norwegian Ronald Hutton, University of Bristol University of Science and Technology CHILDREN OF LUCIFER The Origins of Modern Religious Satanism Ruben van Luijk SATANIC FEMINISM Lucifer as the Liberator of Woman in Nineteenth-Century Culture Per Faxneld THE SIBLYS OF LONDON A Family on the Esoteric Fringes of Gregorian England Susan Sommers WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE DEAD? Near-Death Experiences, Christianity, and the Occult Jens Schlieter AMONG THE SCIENTOLOGISTS History, Theology, and Praxis Donald A. Westbrook

iii

Among the  Scientologists History, Theology, and Praxis DONALD A. WESTBROOK

1

iv

3 Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and certain other countries. Published in the United States of America by Oxford University Press 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, United States of America. © Oxford University Press 2019 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, by license, or under terms agreed with the appropriate reproduction rights organization. Inquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above. You must not circulate this work in any other form and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer. CIP data is on file at the Library of Congress ISBN 978–0–19–066497–8 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Printed by Sheridan Books, Inc., United States of America

v

For Noah

vi

What is true for you is what you have observed yourself. And when you lose that, you have lost everything. —L. RON HUBBARD,

“Personal Integrity” (1961)

vi

Contents

Acknowledgments

ix

Introduction: Methods and Means of Researching Scientology and Scientologists 1. Preliminary Conclusions from Interviews and Fieldwork

1 16

2. Before the Religion: Episodes from the Advent of Dianetics and Scientology 3. “Keeping Scientology Working”: Features of Systematic Theology

59 95

4. “We Come Back”: Past and Present of the Sea Organization

125

5. “Build a Better Bridge!”: From LRH to COB and Beyond

158

Conclusion: Reflections on the Future of Scientology and Its Academic Study Notes

204 211

Bibliography

293

Index

319

vi

ix

Acknowledgments

I am grateful to the Scientologists who spoke with me at length in ways that directly and indirectly shaped this book. Soon after I envisioned this project, more than one scholar cautioned that members of the Church of Scientology might be guarded and at best provide short and “scripted” PR-style responses to my questions (assuming, of course, that anyone would speak in the first place). However, I happily found quite the opposite to be true: by and large, Scientologists were quite eager to talk— in many cases for two or more hours—about the history, theology, practices, controversies, and complexities surrounding Dianetics, Scientology, and their church. They entrusted me with their stories as I  crisscrossed the United States and visited Scientology churches and centers. Logistically, I am indebted to the Church of Scientology International, in particular its Office of Special Affairs, for coordination of local visits and tours and the initial connections that allowed me to collect a snowball sample. Special thanks are due to Lynn Farny and Janet Weiland, both of whom supported the project from its nascent phase. Notable others along the way include Bill and Sharyn Runyon, Susanna Furios, Lissa Uvizl, Jason Medeiros, Ben Shaw, Joni Labaqui, Lauri Webster, Bruce Roger, Linda Wieland, Eden Stein, Caralyn Percy, Margaret Marmolejo, Sandra Lucas, Ben and Betsy Davis, Dege and Rosemary Didear, Gerard Renna, Kevin Hall, Maureen Bird, Darlene Bright, Elaine Manley, and Eric Roux. Thank you all—and anyone I may have missed! In addition to in-depth interviews, I  conducted ethnographic research from 2011 to 2014 that totaled several hundred hours as I  studied much of L. Ron Hubbard’s canon, trained in basic Dianetics auditing techniques, took introductory courses, and even completed the first two steps of Scientology’s “Bridge to Total Freedom”:  the Purification Rundown and Objectives Processing. As informative and communicative as informants were, it was these experiences that most powerfully shaped a deeper understanding of Dianetics and Scientology from the “inside out” and allowed the unique F I R S T A N D F O R E M O S T,

x

x

Acknowledgments

opportunity to apprehend the content, purpose, and appeal of auditing (Scientology counseling) and auditor training. As others can attest, one blessing and curse of work on Scientology is the challenge of wading through the enormous amount of material written by and about L. Ron Hubbard and his creations. For my part, I accumulated some forty banker boxes of primary and secondary documents, much of which was donated to the Honnold-Mudd Library of the Claremont Colleges. There are now a number of sizable Scientology collections housed in universities across North America, and I encourage would-be researchers of Scientology to seek them out—whether in Edmonton, Berkeley, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, San Diego, Claremont, or Columbus. There are many more articles, dissertations, and monographs to be written. I benefited from numerous public and private archival collections and owe a debt to the librarians and staff at UCLA Special Collections; the Edward E.  Marsh Library, whose eponymous curator has amassed what must be the single largest independent collection of original and rare Dianetics and Scientology materials; Robert Ray and Adam Burkhart at San Diego State University Special Collections; Edward Fields and David Gartrell at UC Santa Barbara Special Research Collections; Lacey Flint at the Explorers Club in New York; Patricia Prestinary and Nicholas Seider at Cal State Fullerton Special Collections; David J. Stiver at Graduate Theological Union Special Collections; and Kathy Lafferty and Karen Cook at the Kenneth Spencer Research Library of the University of Kansas. I am of course thankful to many supportive players within the academy. First is Patrick Q. Mason, my advisor at Claremont Graduate University, who continues to offer support in the postdoctoral and professional phases of life. I am also grateful to Phil Zuckerman of Pitzer College. He encouraged the project in its early stages and motivated me to approach the subject sociologically. Erika Dyson of Harvey Mudd College was instrumental in situating Scientology in social and linguistic contexts. Other researchers provided valuable assistance and feedback along the way, including J. Gordon Melton (who was kind enough to serve as a reader for my dissertation), James R. Lewis, Bernard Doherty, Hugh B. Urban, Eileen Barker, Stefano Bigliardi, Régis Dericquebourg, Frank K.  Flinn, Massimo Introvigne, Rebecca Moore, George Chryssides, Bernadette Rigal-Cellard, Aled J.  Ll. Thomas, and Chris Vonck. The American Academy of Religion, British Association for the Study of Religion, British Sociological Association, Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), Information Network Focus on Religious Movements (INFORM), and Faculty for the Comparative Study of Religion and Humanism (FVG, Antwerp) sponsored conferences, symposia,

xi

Acknowledgments

xi

and panels that allowed me to test hypotheses and meet many of these friends and colleagues. Students at UCLA helped sharpen my thinking about some of the methodological issues surrounding the study of new and controversial religions. In particular, I  am grateful for the excellent discussions generated during my spring 2017 course “New Religious Movements in America” and the contributions of my research assistant Megan Larson, who helped search through thousands of pages of archival documents. The inimitable Alethiea C.  Taylor transcribed the majority of the interviews and along the way helped me fathom the evolution of Dianetics and Scientology terminology. I would be remiss not to mention the formative influence of my parents, Don and Yvette. My mother always made herself available and served faithfully as an editor, proofreader, and transcriptionist. She likes to take credit, and I am more than happy to give it to her, for the open-mindedness that led to this project and book. I am indebted to my editors at Oxford University Press, Cynthia Read and Henrik Bogdan, for support and encouragement of this project. Thanks are due to my old friend from seminary, Wayne Katayama, for regularly lending his ear to ruminations about Scientology and a host of other topics—always over a good cigar. Finally, deepest appreciation is due to my loving and patient wife, Rachel, who has been supportive beyond belief, unabated by the birth of our son Noah. She keeps me on track, and always has the right answers.

xi

xi

Among the Scientologists

xvi

1

Introduction Methods and Means of ReseaRching scientology and scientologists Much of the journalistic, academic, and popular literature on Scientology, it seems to me, is highly polarized and tends to fall into one of two rather extreme views. On the one hand, we find numerous exposés by ex-members, journalists, and critics, who attack the church as either a cynical, money-driven business or a dangerous cult of mind control and power. . . . On the other hand, many academics writing about Scientology (particularly in the United States) have gone almost to the other extreme, by trying so hard to counter the sensationalistic popular attacks that they at times seem to bend over backward to present the church in a positive light. —URBAN,

The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion (2011)1

Scientologists everywhere, when an organization of force and purpose was, to a large extent, lacking, were victimized and brought into disrepute by persons who could express vast opinions about Scientology, yet who knew nothing about Scientology; by vested interests in the society which were bent upon the suppression of anything which might be seen to have the potential of supplanting their peculiarity. —HUBBARD,

The Scientologist: A Manual on the Dissemination of Material (1955)2

the word “Scientology,” a number of names, ideas, and preconceptions may spring to mind:  L. Ron Hubbard, celebrities, science fiction, Dianetics, popular psychology, E-Meter, Sea Organization, David Miscavige, lawsuits, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), religion, business, surveillance, secrecy, and, perhaps above all else, controversy. Many books have already been written about Scientology and surely more will follow. Academic and especially popular interest is clearly on the rise.3 However, what distinguishes this volume from the rest is that it is not so much a book about the Church of Scientology, its leaders, or its controversies as it is a compilation of narratives and histories that invokes the largely unheard or ignored perspectives of Scientologists themselves. More precisely, this book is a modest attempt to understand the larger story of the creation, WHEN ONE HEARS

2

2

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

institutionalization, and present state of the Church of Scientology from the vantage point of Scientologists as uncovered over the course of six years of interviews and fieldwork. As such, this work offers an ethnographically informed historical and theological narrative of how and why Scientology functions as a religion in the lives of practicing members, who have often found themselves marginalized in discussions about their own church.4 At the outset, I should state that I take for granted that Scientology is a religion, not for any particularly technical or sophisticated academic reason, though this work certainly explores some of those dynamics, but simply because in nearly every instance the Scientologists I  encountered understood and described Scientology in spiritual and religious terms. This overriding selfidentification is sufficient for me,5 though in these pages I do concern myself with the ways in which the creations of Scientology’s founder L. Ron Hubbard (1911–1986) have been encountered and apprehended in both nonreligious and religious terms dating to the times of his Dianetics students and Scientology followers in the 1950s. This presumption and approach is perhaps quite controversial in and of itself, given that much ink has been spilled debating the nature of religion and whether Scientology counts as a bona fide religion or as a “cult.”6 In the end, I agree with sociologist Phil Zuckerman that “one person’s religion is another person’s cult” in a manner that showcases the subjective and rather arbitrary nature of these labels but also, and paradoxically, highlights the very real power and potential for legitimacy that such concepts hold for a group as it navigates itself in society.7 To be sure, there are sophisticated sociological and typological reasons, stretching back to luminaries such as Max Weber and Ernst Troeltsch, for categorizing and assessing the evolution from “cult” to “sect” to “church.” Indeed, this publication follows the fortieth anniversary of Roy Wallis’s The Road to Total Freedom: A Sociological Analysis of Scientology (1977), which examined the transition, as he put it, from the “epistemological individualism” of the 1950s Dianetics movement to the “epistemological authoritarianism” of the far more centralized Scientology church.8 In an article published two years before his book, Wallis described the Dianetics-to-Scientology development as an evolution from “therapeutic cult” to “religious sect.”9 In the decades since Wallis’s landmark monograph, academic work has largely taken for granted Scientology’s religious status and focused on the ways in which that religiosity has been constructed, challenged, and legitimated in and outside the United States.10 Of course, the Church of Scientology has legal and practical reasons, in addition to sociological and theological ones, for defending its status as a religion, particularly in countries where that claim remains contested.11 From an

3

Introduction

3

ecclesiastical perspective, affirmation of religiosity is bound up with the defense of religious freedom and human rights. In other words, this is where the theoretical and theological rubber meets the legal road. Arguably the church’s greatest legal victory came in 1993 when the IRS granted all Scientology organizations tax-exempt status in the United States under section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code.12 In the church’s effort to shape public opinion in the United States and abroad, it has been quite eager to legitimate itself through the accumulation of positive testimonials, including from scholars of religion. One of its newer websites, ScientologyReligion.org, features dozens of articles by the “world’s foremost experts” and triumphantly proclaims:  “EXPERTS CONCLUDE SCIENTOLOGY IS A TRUE WORLD RELIGION.”13 While I  certainly agree that most scholars in religious studies and sociology would affirm or at least not take much issue with Scientology’s religious status, this is of course not a universal position.14 Many of the critical ex-member and journalistic accounts presume that the Church of Scientology is, in fact, nothing more than a harmful, even evil, cult. Usually, this claim is bound up with the idea that Scientologists engage in forms of “mind control” or “brainwashing.” Even though most researchers now dismiss such notions as misleading, exaggerated, or outright pseudoscientific,15 this has not prevented the concepts from embedding themselves in popular culture, where they are free to run rampant and, at times, dangerously so. Perhaps the most infamous examples were the kidnappings in the 1970s and 1980s termed “deprogrammings” and, more recently, instances of violence and harassment against Scientologists inspired by television and film.16 To be sure, this is a problem that affects other minority religions as well. With the rise of the Internet and the development of social media platforms in the twenty-first century, the issue has been compounded by online bullying, cyberstalking, and “trolling” in which traditions such as Scientology, Judaism, Islam, and Mormonism (among others) are subject to routine and merciless ridicule, often from anonymous antagonists.17 However, I want to advance the thesis that the authenticity of Scientology’s religious nature—and for that matter the religious status of any group—is ultimately not dependent on how it is defined, categorized, and debated by scholars, journalists, or critics. These parties are certainly entitled to their own views on the subject and, again, there no doubt exists rich scholarship on what counts as a religion and why; and, in some cases, those discussions have everyday social and legal implications. However, in this book I seek to empower the religious agents—Scientologists themselves—to voice their own perspectives, especially where personal histories fruitfully intersect with the larger narrative of the development of the present-day church. For me, this is a

4

4

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

matter of respect as much as it is a matter of methodology, and my hope is that this approach will embody and encourage a new perspective on Scientology scholarship that is both critical and empathetic.18

The Method In my own study of Scientology, it did not take long to come to the conclusion that the missing perspective has been that of the church’s own members. New religions scholar J. Gordon Melton summed up the situation well in his short volume on the subject:  “Overwhelmingly, books on Scientology have been either publications by the church expounding and defending its position or attacks by its critics.”19 Indeed, the vast majority of the secondary literature is composed of exposés written by former members or investigative journalists who rely entirely or disproportionately on them and other critics as informants.20 In fact, even some academic work has presumed a negative and incredulous attitude about the beliefs and practices of the Church of Scientology and the sincerity and influence of L. Ron Hubbard.21 This is not very surprising, though, since some academic research has out of necessity relied on testimonials from hostile former members.22 I must admit that, before undertaking the research that led to this book, the controversial aspects of Scientology were the ones that dominated my thinking. In fact, before 2010, the year I started my PhD, my knowledge of Scientology was more or less reducible to what I saw on television: the religion of Tom Cruise and a few other Hollywood celebrities that was mocked in programs such as South Park’s scathing 2005 episode “Trapped in the Closet.” Since most publications on Scientology come from ex-members, critics, and the media, the result has been an abundance of material whose focus is almost never the group’s philosophy, theology, and practices, but instead controversial topics. These include details about Hubbard’s life, stormy relationships with critics, allegations of abuse, esoteric and confidential scriptures, and celebrity Scientologists. Of course, none of this is to suggest that these topics are somehow unimportant or closed to academic discussion. For instance, Hugh B. Urban’s recent history of the church covered many of these areas,23 as have other sources,24 and some of these subjects are addressed throughout the present volume. While academics have begun to pay more attention to Scientology, the subject has received remarkably little qualitative attention from scholars of religion.25 Indeed, no work has comprehensively addressed the questions: What do Scientologists themselves have to say about Scientology? When Scientology

5

Introduction

5

is viewed from the standpoint of its own members, how might that perspective inform and expand existing scholarship? What broader methodological issues in religious studies are broached in the process? Another way of stating the problem is that there has been little work to penetrate and understand the lived religious experiences of Scientologists. What does “lived religion”26 look like for a Scientologist? How might research in this area contribute to a scholarly view of Scientology that reassesses our understanding of the category of “religion”? The Church of Scientology represents an excellent case study because its birth and evolution are perhaps better documented than any other tradition in religious history.27 This is one advantage to studying a modern religion and, for my purposes, allowed for a socio-religious approach in which first- and second-generation members provided data during their own lifetimes. Many first-generation members from the 1950s and 1960s, sometimes known as “Founding Scientologists” or simply “old-timers,” have already passed away as second-, third-, and even fourth-generation Scientologists emerge to perpetuate Hubbard’s legacy into the twenty-first century. Fortunately, the church has carried out an impressive oral history project to document the recollections of Scientologists (and outsiders) who knew and worked with Hubbard;28 some members of the church have also taken it upon themselves to record oral histories.29 This book relies on the following sociological, historical, and religious studies methods: formal interviews, participant observation, and analysis of Hubbard’s canon, internal documents, and other secondary materials. I was fortunate to have the consent and cooperation of the Church of Scientology International, which provided access and logistical support in setting up tours, interviews, and opportunities for fieldwork. The title Among the Scientologists was chosen because there are, in fact, two distinct but related senses in which I conducted research “among” church members. The first, and most obvious, refers to my role as a participant observer, including my own limited but informative progress up the soteriological “Bridge to Total Freedom.” The second sense, more centrally on display throughout this volume, concerns my effort to critically assess how Scientology’s history, theology, and practices are viewed among practicing Scientologists. Chapter 1, for instance, surveys key themes and conclusions from the project that in turn offer a window into the nature and function of Scientology as a worldview within the contemporary church. Future research will surely contribute to the broader and constantly evolving project of constructing what we might call “a people’s history” of Scientology, which will depend on the “people” included: members of the

6

6

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

Church of Scientology, former members, disaffiliated but “independent” Scientologists,30 or some other category of historical agents? As the field of Scientology studies continues to grow, it will contribute to the study of new religions, North American religion, and related fields. The cumulative and interdisciplinary result should be a diverse set of perspectives— both complementary and dissonant—in which the global phenomenon of Scientology is better comprehended on its own idiosyncratic terms. My research in this book aims to provide one piece to the puzzle of Scientology’s history, theology, and practices. Naturally, then, this work is intended to fill a gap in the literature more than offer a normative approach or comprehensive account in telling “the story” of Scientology or for that matter of all Scientologists.

The Means I conducted sixty-nine formal interviews with members of the Church of Scientology. Most were conducted during my years as a doctoral student at Claremont Graduate University and with coordination from the Church of Scientology International’s Office of Special Affairs (OSA). The latter is an office responsible, in part, for the oversight of public and legal affairs. It is staffed by the church’s full-time clergy, known as the Sea Organization. OSA reviewed my interview questions and consent form in advance, approving both without reservation. Members of this office assisted in the initial scheduling of interviews at local churches of Scientology and provided contact information for staff members and potentially interested parishioners. My local point of contact was usually the Director of Special Affairs (DSA), the staff member responsible for local public and legal relations.31 Participants were selected in a nonrandom snowball fashion based on networking at Scientology churches across the United States, including in Los Angeles, Pasadena, Inglewood, San Diego, San Jose, Clearwater, Tampa, New York City, Salt Lake City, Boston, Las Vegas, Portland, Phoenix, Washington, DC, and Florence, Kentucky.32 Most interviews were conducted in churches due to convenience and the preference of interviewees. Some interviewees were recommended by staff members at local churches. I met others in the course of touring and invited them to participate in the project. Occasionally, I met or was referred to others who expressed an interest in being interviewed at a later date, which led to six interviews conducted by email. Only four participants had been previously interviewed about their involvement in Scientology (in all cases for newspapers or radio programs).

7

Introduction

7

Though nonrandomly sampled, the interviewees came from a variety of backgrounds and positions on Scientology’s gradient path of spirituality known as the “Bridge to Total Freedom.” I conducted interviews with a broad sample, from Scientologists relatively new to the church who had only taken one or two introductory courses to members who completed the highest of the currently available Operating Thetan (OT) levels. Others were trained at multiple classes as professional auditors (spiritual counselors). Some studied or worked under Hubbard in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, or have worked with the religion’s current leader, David Miscavige. Two individuals, for instance, became involved in the Dianetics movement in 1950 (when Hubbard first published Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health) and have remained committed Scientologists since the incorporation of the first churches in the early 1950s. Second-generation Scientologists were also interviewed. The recorded interviews totaled over two hundred hours and were transcribed. I attended numerous church holiday celebrations in Los Angeles. Most of these commemorated significant dates in the history of Dianetics and Scientology, while others recognized particular members of the organization, such as auditors. In the Greater Los Angeles Area, Scientologists often gather together at the Shrine Auditorium, Dolby Theatre, or other venues such as the church in LA that is located (appropriately enough) on L. Ron Hubbard Way. The major holidays are March 13 (L. Ron Hubbard’s birthday), May 9 (anniversary of the 1950 publication of Dianetics, often referred to as “Book One”), June 6 (anniversary of the Maiden Voyage of the motor vessel Freewinds, which houses the Flag Ship Service Organization and offers the highest level of auditing, OT VIII), August 12 (Sea Org Day), the second Sunday in September (Auditor’s Day), October 7 (anniversary of the founding of the International Association of Scientologists), and December 31 (New Year’s Eve, the only secular holiday in the church). In addition, I  accepted invitations to Friday night “graduations” in Los Angeles and Clearwater (where parishioners were recognized for the completion of courses and auditing on “the Bridge”) and to the opening of two churches (called “Ideal Organizations”) in Inglewood and Santa Ana, California. I also attended two Sunday services at the Church of Scientology of Pasadena, which included sermons and introductory Scientology services based on a liturgical handbook of Hubbard’s writings.33 However, I soon learned that Sunday services are largely intended as introductions for interested nonmembers and that the aforementioned holidays and events are far more theologically and sociologically significant for active members. In Pasadena and other locations, I viewed dozens of films introducing the variety of services offered (courses, auditing, auditor training). Some videos were recordings of past celebrations

8

8

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

and historical events, such as one from 1993 that announced the church’s renewed tax-exempt status from the IRS and another from 2000 known as the “Millennium Event” that surveyed past decades of church history. In the course of research, representatives from OSA generously donated dozens of Hubbard’s books and lectures, which were indispensable in understanding the chronological development of Dianetics and Scientology. Though substantial, the materials represent a relatively small fraction of the enormous scriptural canon of the church, which spans “more than half a million written pages, over 3,000 tape-recorded lectures and some 100 films.”34 The donations included the “Basics”—a collection of sixteen Hubbard texts that begins with his first works on Dianetics and ends with the 1981 nonreligious moral code The Way to Happiness. The church also provided a series of lectures to accompany the reading of these books.35 In fact, I had access to the entirety of Scientology’s publicly available scriptures. Every church includes a bookstore and library collection of Hubbard’s works freely available for review and reading, and most also have media stations to watch films and listen to lectures. To better understand the subject from Hubbard’s materials and as understood by Scientologists themselves, I took a number of introductory courses in Dianetics and Scientology at the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre International in Hollywood (Los Angeles).36 I  then received basic training in the church’s counseling known as auditing, based on techniques from Dianetics (1950). This led to several weeks in early 2012 on the “Dianetics co-audit,” where I delivered and received auditing using Hubbard’s original “Book One” methods, and also audited others with the use of another early Hubbard book, Self Analysis (1951). These forms of auditing do not make use of the electropsychometer (E-Meter) that became essential in later, and more advanced, procedures. Finally, from mid-2012 to early 2013, I completed the first two steps on the Bridge to Total Freedom: the “Purification Rundown” and “Objectives Processing.”37 The former is a sauna-based detoxification program designed to remove drug and toxin residues from the body that hinder mental and spiritual progress. It took twenty-one days to complete the “Purif” program. The latter consisted of first practicing a series of communication drills known as “TRs” (training routines), which form the basis of auditing another person. In Objectives Processing, the auditor delivers a series of commands or questions intended to orient the “preclear” (the one receiving auditing) into his or her present-time physical environment to facilitate subsequent mental and spiritual progress on the Bridge.38 This auditing was done on a “co-audit” basis with a partner (called a “twin”). In my case, Objectives Processing, or “Objectives” as it is commonly called, totaled approximately

9

Introduction

9

three hundred hours between practicing the TRs, co-auditing, and time spent after each session, such as short visits to the “examiner” for an E-Meter check and submission of in-session auditing worksheets.39 This participation and observation offered keen personal insight into the lived religious experiences of Scientologists, especially on the lower half of the Bridge (i.e., up to the state of “Clear” but before the confidential “Operating Thetan” [OT] levels). This background also provided a degree of fluency in the “language” and customs of Scientology and paved the way for more substantive interviewing in which deeper historical, sociological, and theological perspectives emerged. I am sure that these preliminary efforts helped foster a safe space for members to more comfortably express themselves—both in and out of formal interview settings. Of course, one side effect of this in-depth and embedded approach—and frankly a challenge to writing about Scientology in general—is that the interviews were sometimes encumbered by a high degree of jargon. My remedy has been to define and explain terminology along the way to preserve the original expression and not adulterate the insider perspective. The concealing and revealing properties of language in a religious tradition help demarcate boundaries between insiders and outsiders. My ethnographic navigation of this boundary allows for a “bilingual” approach that I hope remains true to the worldview of the informants.

Risks and Rewards I would be remiss not to acknowledge the perception that academic research on Scientology carries with it the risk of legal or extralegal liabilities and repercussions. These worries date at least to the 1970s with Wallis’s The Road to Total Freedom, which noted: “The Church of Scientology is not known for its willingness to take what it construes as criticism without recourse. Indeed its record of litigation must surely be without parallel in the modern world.”40 Numerous lawsuits have been leveled against critics of the Church of Scientology, such as journalists, psychiatrists, and former members, including “independent” Scientologists who practice Dianetics and Scientology outside church sanction and in violation of copyright and trademark law.41 However, based on my positive interactions and the success of other academics in gaining cooperation from the church,42 Wallis’s concerns from forty years ago seem largely unfounded for contemporary researchers. He did claim extralegal interference, in the form of a church member who posed as a student and leveled false and sensational allegations in an unsuccessful attempt to have him fired from a university, but the church denies this.43 In any

01

10

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

event, Wallis’s observation about the church’s litigious nature does find support in Hubbard’s writings on legal affairs,44 which are counted as scripture even though they bear little relation to spirituality or religion for nonmembers. The church’s unique sense of the sacred is often legally protected and enforced in the form of copyrights, trademarks, and service marks, which, as I argue in chapter 2, came partly as the result of a lesson Hubbard learned in the early 1950s when he temporarily lost legal and institutional control of the Dianetics movement when it was based in Wichita, Kansas. Whatever the real and perceived risks of researching Scientology,45 there are encouraging signs that the church is increasingly open to engagement with academics. In the late 1990s, the Church of Scientology International published Scientology: Theology and Practice of a Contemporary Religion,46 a reference work that included articles from theologians, sociologists, and historians and was recently republished and expanded at the website ScientologyReligion. org. Before the present volume, Hugh B. Urban was the most recent scholar to publish a monograph in English on the Church of Scientology (2011),47 which he completed, apparently without incident, with cooperation from exmembers and critics. The church continues to invite scholars to tour facilities and attend local events. More researchers than ever are working on graduatelevel projects that will enrich the secondary literature. This renewed interest is due in part to the church’s apparent willingness to make itself and its members open to critical inquiry. Another reason for this movement toward openness, I suspect, is that good working relations offer the church a means for Scientology to be analyzed and validated in academic circles on its own terms. The relationship is mutually beneficial. On the one hand, it gives researchers the chance to collect, document, and share information about this new religion and, on the other hand, provides the church a possible source of legitimacy and recognition beyond its flock. Relations between scholars and the church are certainly more congenial than in the past, and I hope that this trend continues.

Access Gaining research access to the Church of Scientology is easier said than done. Scientology and Scientologists have rarely been treated well in the media—a subject explored further in chapter 5—so it is not altogether surprising that public relations departments within the church might be initially suspicious of would-be researchers given the innumerable times that the church has been “burned” and disparaged in print, television, film, and social media.

11

Introduction

11

However, this is not to suggest that journalists and academics belong to the same category of “researchers.” In comparison to academics, journalists find themselves at a tremendous disadvantage in terms of gaining trust and access, a predicament that helps explain why Scientology receives so much negative press in the first place. It is, unfortunately, a situation that is unlikely to change anytime soon. Hubbard wrote thousands of policies for Scientology organizations— now counted as scripture—in which journalists are often described in various unflattering and problematic terms. They are regarded as “merchants of chaos” or even “suppressive persons” (SPs), whose journalism only serves to spread misinformation and preconceived notions about Scientology and Scientologists.48 Hubbard put it plainly: In the matter of reporters, etc., it is not worthwhile to give them any time, contrary to popular belief. They are given their story before they leave their editorial rooms and you only strengthen what they have to say by saying anything. They are no public communication line that sways much. Policy is very definite. Ignore.49 This does not imply that Scientologists view all journalists as inherently and necessarily evil or incapable of producing a fair and balanced piece, but it does explain how Hubbard’s stance, now enshrined as scripture and followed by public relations staff, has created a built-in obstacle for journalists and filmmakers who seek access to the church. As Lawrence Wright lamented near the end of Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief: “A reporter can only talk to people who are willing to talk to him; whatever complaints the church may have about my reporting, many limitations can be attributed to its decision to restrict my interactions with people who might have provided more favorable testimony.”50 It is therefore no wonder that the result has been a self-fulfilling prophecy in which journalists so often rely on the “low-hanging fruit” offered by eager critical ex-members and that this, in turn, produces coverage of Scientology that perpetuates a mostly negative meta-narrative. Academics, on the other hand, are less bound to Hubbard’s stricture. Sociologists, historians, and religious studies scholars are not significant features of Scientology’s canon. In fact, Hubbard seems to have had somewhat positive interactions with intellectuals that have carried forward for the latent benefit of researchers in the post-Hubbard church. In fact, one of the few recorded interviews he granted to a non-Scientologist, conducted in 1958 in Washington, DC, went to Berkeley religious historian J. Stillson Judah.51

21

12

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

Another, and perhaps more revealing, academic connection came in the late 1960s with Hubbard’s appreciation of Thomas Szasz, the prolific critic of psychiatry based at the State University of New  York, who in 1969 cofounded the church-affiliated Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR). For Hubbard and the public relations officials who now follow his lead, academics tend to fall within the more favorable category of “opinion leaders” (OLs).52 In their capacity as OLs, academic researchers become possible public relations and legal allies—alongside others such as interfaith leaders, politicians, police officers, judges, business executives, and, yes, Hollywood celebrities—as the church works to legitimate itself and “safe point” sectors of society to handle possible sources of antagonism and facilitate dissemination of Hubbard’s teachings.53 Naturally, one benefit of this preferred starting position is the opportunity to more readily gain access to the church, at least in terms of tours, invitations to events, and gratis copies of Scientology publications. I  should note that I am by no means the first religious studies scholar to benefit from this level of outreach and can think of numerous colleagues—some of whom are not primarily interested in the study of new religions—who have likewise received complimentary (and at times unsolicited) copies of Hubbard’s books and lectures. While this “foot in the door” access was useful in providing a window into the world of Scientology, it was of course superficial and secondary to the depth of understanding obtained in the course of interviews and fieldwork. Before conducting the first interviews, I  was cautioned by colleagues to expect short and “scripted” responses that would limit their use. However, that concern soon vanished as participants were eager to speak both on and off the record—in detail and with a candor on display throughout this volume. As already mentioned, this level of comfort and trust undoubtedly came as the result of the first-hand familiarity I  gained through study and auditing, but it is also attributable to the approval received early on from OSA. These “gatekeepers” helped make it safe for parishioners to speak without concern—or at least mitigated concern—that their conversations might be exploited in preparation for the “next exposé” about the church.

Chapter Summaries Chapter 1 offers eight preliminary and guiding conclusions about the church and popular religion that emerged in the course of interviews, fieldwork, and research. These conclusions survey lived religion from the perspective and worldview of church members and form the basis for elaboration in

13

Introduction

13

subsequent chapters. They are as follows: (1) Scientology is not merely a religion of belief or faith—but self-knowledge; (2) L. Ron Hubbard is not God to Scientologists—but he is the model OT (Operating Thetan); (3) the path to Clear and OT is codified in the Bridge to Total Freedom; (4) materials from the OT levels are confidential and copyrighted; (5) most Scientologists are on the lower half of the Bridge to Total Freedom; (6) movement up the Bridge usually costs money and always costs time; (7) the church is theoretically alldenominational but functionally sectarian—at least most of the time; and (8)  most Scientologists are ordinary people seeking extraordinary potential for themselves and others—not staff members and certainly not Hollywood celebrities. Chapter  2 examines the philosophical, theological, scriptural, and technological foundations of the Scientology religion in the 1950s. This chapter argues that Hubbard self-consciously envisioned the transition from Dianetics to Scientology—that is, the transformation from a relatively grassroots mental health movement to a hierarchical and corporatized religious organization. It was during this period in the early 1950s that Hubbard’s movement faced its first major legitimation crisis when the copyright and rights to use “Dianetics” were temporarily lost to an outside investor in Kansas named Don Purcell. Before reacquiring them—and more centralized control over the movement— Hubbard had already begun to envision “Scientology” as the spiritualized outcome of Dianetics therapy techniques. This evolution offers historical lessons that are displayed in the course of interviews and an analysis of Hubbard’s early writings and lectures. The birth and self-construction of the Scientology religion took place against the backdrop of Cold War America and assimilated influences from Eastern and Western religions, popular psychology, and science fiction. Chapter  3 introduces features of Scientology’s systematic theology as developed in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1959, due to governmental pressures against the church in the United States and the desire to internationalize, Hubbard established a headquarters at Saint Hill Manor in East Grinstead, England. He used this location as a base of operations until founding the church’s clergy, the Sea Organization, in 1967. The Saint Hill period was pivotal to the intellectual development of Scientology because it witnessed the creation of Hubbard’s educational methodology (Study Technology), theology of sin (overts and withholds), theology of evil (suppressive persons), and mandates for orthodoxy and orthopraxy (Keeping Scientology Working). “Keeping Scientology Working,” or KSW, based on a 1965 policy with the same name, is the concept that Hubbard’s “technologies” are workable only insofar as they are uniformly understood, applied, and perpetuated by members. Any

41

14

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

deviation from this self-referential hermeneutic is considered the cause of any perceived failure of “the tech” as it works to deliver the mental and spiritual gains Hubbard promised. Chapter 4 begins with the founding and early years of the Sea Organization, or Sea Org, from 1967 to Hubbard’s return to the United States in 1975, when Scientologists established a new spiritual headquarters in Florida. In between, Hubbard’s naval-themed organization sailed the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Caribbean while he continued to write policies and codify the confidential OT levels beyond Clear. The most public statement about the auditing level OT III, an audio recording titled Ron’s Journal 67, is discussed in this chapter. In it, Hubbard described suppressive, or evil, forces working against the church on an international scale. Auditing at the level of OT III therefore became one important means for Scientologists to help address planetary and apocalyptic challenges facing humanity (also known as the “Fourth Dynamic”). This chapter also analyzes qualitative data provided by the church on Sea Org membership and examines the procedures necessary to leave the Sea Org and remain in good standing. Most of the vocally critical former members in Scientology’s recent history have been ex–Sea Org members, so this approach offers insight into apostasy as a delegitimation tactic and directs scholarly attention back to the purpose, practices, and lifestyle of Scientology’s clergy. Chapter  5 surveys themes from 1976 to 2018, including episodes in Hubbard’s final years that powerfully shaped the contemporary church. It was during this time that the controversial Guardian’s Office (GO) was disbanded—in large part due to the efforts of a rising young Sea Org member named David Miscavige—and several executives were imprisoned, most notably Hubbard’s wife, Mary Sue. The institutional outcome of the GO expulsion was the reorganization of all Scientology organizations, which functioned to legally protect Hubbard’s creations ahead of his death. Miscavige now heads one of these corporations, the Religious Technology Center (RTC), and is also considered the “ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion.”54 Other periods from the post-Hubbard church are considered, including debates over the “brainwashing thesis”; the 1993 tax exemption from the IRS; tensions with the media; theological developments; organizational expansion; and increased engagement with the broader culture through social betterment and humanitarian programs. These programs include The Way to Happiness Foundation, Applied Scholastics, Criminon, Narconon, The Truth About Drugs, United for Human Rights, Citizens Commission on Human Rights, and Volunteer Ministers.

15

Introduction

15

Finally, a conclusion with reflections on the future of Scientology and its academic study is offered. As the Church of Scientology advances further into the twenty-first century, it is likely that scholars of Dianetics and Scientology will include both insiders and outsiders, both members of the church and nonengaged scholars of religion, a pattern that is discernible in other religious traditions. The rise and success of Mormon studies is taken up as one instructive and comparative example. In much the same way, in the coming decades Scientology studies may very well become an independent subject of inquiry on the religious studies landscape, in which case there will be ample room for work along diverse disciplinary lines. Some open areas for research are explored, such as an academic biography of Hubbard, forms of Dianetics and Scientology practiced outside the church, and an even fuller investigation of Scientology’s rich history, theology, and practices.

61

1

Preliminary Conclusions from Interviews and Fieldwork You are beginning an adventure. Treat it as an adventure. And may you never be the same again. —HUBBARD,

Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (1950)1

In this time and in this place—for possibly just a little while—we have this chance. To go free and to make it. Planets and cultures are frail things. They do not endure. I cannot promise you that you will make it. I can only provide the knowledge and give you your chance. The rest is up to you. I strongly advise you to work hard at it—don’t waste this brief breath in eternity. For that is your future—ETERNITY. It will be good for you or bad. And for you, my dearest friend, I’ve done what I could to make it good for you. —HUBBARD,

“From Clear to Eternity” (1982)2

SO WHAT DO Scientologists

have to say about Scientology? Before delving too extensively into the ethnographic and historical narratives taken up later in the book, this chapter puts forth eight preliminary and guiding conclusions that emerged in the course of interviews and fieldwork. These are by no means exhaustive and I do not pretend to encapsulate the fullness and the diversity that can be found within the Church of Scientology. However, they do, I believe, faithfully represent the views within my sample of American Scientologists, as well as attitudes within the larger church. They find support in the writings of L. Ron Hubbard and the philosophy and theology he established, and are supported by the secondary literature. As such, these conclusions introduce contemporary expressions of lived religion found within the church in the early twenty-first century.3

17

Preliminary Conclusions

17

1. Scientology Is Not Merely a Religion of Belief or Faith—But Self-Knowledge When crafting interview questions, I  made sure to design ones that would retrieve a variety of key demographic targets, such as age, gender, educational level, profession, and position on Scientology’s Bridge to Total Freedom. As someone primarily trained in religious studies and theology, I also took great care to ensure that questions were based on what I  hoped was a sufficient degree of literacy about Scientology’s beliefs and practices. As a result, I included “do you believe in God?,” “describe what you believe happens to you after death,” “describe what auditing means to you spiritually,” “describe how the technologies of Dianetics and Scientology are used as an ‘applied religious philosophy’ in your everyday life,” and “LRH [L. Ron Hubbard] writes that human beings are basically good and essentially spiritual. What does being a thetan [spiritual being] mean to you in your everyday life?” While these questions were on the whole productive and precise enough to generate meaningful responses, after the first few interviews I  noticed a trend in the answers. Scientologists eschewed language such as “belief” or “faith” in describing the role of Scientology’s teachings and practices in their lives. In fact, perhaps the most universal theme throughout the interviews was that Scientologists do not merely believe in Scientology or have faith in it; in fact, these terms were seldom employed at all. Rather, members told me they “know” it to be true and “have reality” on the efficacy of the technology, which is how they referred to Scientology and its forerunner Dianetics (based on Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, 1950). “There’s a difference between belief and know,” a professional auditor (counselor) in Las Vegas explained. “Believing is having faith in something that you don’t personally observe—you can’t verify as a fact,” she went on. “Scientology is not a question of faith,” a parishioner in Clearwater, Florida, insisted. “It’s not a question of dogma. It’s a question of subjective personal reality, of self-knowledge.” The emphasis on knowledge over faith is found in publications from the Church of Scientology International as well: “Nothing in Scientology, however, need be taken on faith. Its truths are self-evident, its principles easily demonstrable and its technology can be seen at work in any Church of Scientology. One need only open the door and step through.”4 These articulations make more sense in light of Hubbard’s definition of Scientology as “knowing how to know,” from the Latin scio, “knowing in the fullest meaning of the word,” and the Greek logos, “study of.”5 He also wrote that Scientology is “the study and

81

18

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, universes and other life.”6 And while it is certainly true that Hubbard founded the Scientology religion and played a central role in the assembly and systematization of its theology and practices, he made clear that Dianetics and Scientology are designed to provide spiritual progress gauged by a radically subjective epistemology: “Nothing in Scientology is true for you unless you have observed it and it is true according to your observation.”7 Beginning as early as the 1950s, Hubbard positioned his teachings in both scientific and religious terms. In 1955, he wrote: This science is formed in the tradition of ten thousand years of religious philosophy and considers itself a culmination of the searches which began with the Veda, the Tao, Buddhism, Christianity, and other religions. Scientology is a gnostic faith in that it knows it knows. This is its distinguishing characteristic from most of its predecessors.8 This synthesizing sentiment affirms the original scientific aims Hubbard claimed for Dianetics in 1950, an outlook that carried over into the more squarely spiritual realities of Scientology that took shape as early as late 1951, well before the incorporation of churches in 1953 and 1954 (see chapter 2).9 Perhaps the most obvious symbol of Scientology’s “scientific” claims is the E-Meter, or electropsychometer, which Hubbard developed as an aid in mental and spiritual counseling to pinpoint moments of pain and unconsciousness, in both present and past lifetimes.10 Hubbard’s use of technology is not scientific in the traditional sense, as early independent studies on Dianetics demonstrated,11 but for Scientologists this misses the point that the ultimate purpose of “the Tech” is spiritual awakening and advancement, not peer-reviewed validation.12 “Workability rather than Truth has been consulted,” Hubbard noted in the most recent edition of Dianetics: The Original Thesis.13 Indeed, Scientology has been characterized as an “applied religious philosophy” and “spiritual technology.”14 These phrases, in turn, reinforce the 1955 statement that Scientology is a form of gnosticism realized within a synthesizing and technological worldview that is both ancient and modern, Eastern and Western, in orientation. Due to elements of esotericism in the religion, especially in the form of the confidential Operating Thetan (OT) levels as examined later in this chapter and in chapter 4, many scholars have placed Scientology within the Western esoteric tradition.15 Scientologists’ views on Hubbard’s technology as a pathway to knowledge—including esoteric knowledge and even recollection of past lives—were displayed in a number of revealing ways throughout the interviews:

91

Preliminary Conclusions

19

• “Faith really has a very small part in Scientology. It’s an applied religion.” • Scientology is “not just a belief system or something. It’s really a way of life.” • “For me, it’s not a way of life. It is life.” • “I think that’s probably one of the biggest differences with Scientology is it’s not just something I  do on Sunday for an hour. It’s how I  govern my life.” • “I would say I’m more esoteric, more Eastern in my perception.” • “Scientology is much more of a gnostic philosophy. You know, salvation through knowledge as opposed to good works or faith or other traditions.” • “I think that everybody has a huge amount of innate knowledge and I think that we don’t know how to find it. And to me, auditing is how you find it. I mean, we are talking about a religion, so getting esoteric is okay.” • “I know I have lived before this life. I know that I will live after this life because I’m a spiritual being. I’m immortal. . . . I know what happens. I don’t have to believe anything.” • “We’ve died God knows how many times, uncounted numbers of times and yet we seem to have been in various life forms along the way over and over and over again. So that’s not from stuff I’ve read. That’s from stuff I remember.” • “And just because he [Hubbard] says it, doesn’t mean that it’s like gospel and we all have to believe it. . . . So you don’t take anything on blind faith, but you know that this man has created this technology that’s helped millions of people.” • “The amazing thing to me about Mr. Hubbard’s technology is that it just works. Number one. And at the end what it gives you is you back.” • “Because [of ] what I have experienced in Scientology, there’s no way anybody in the world could come up to me and say, ‘that’s nonsense,’ because I know.” These interviewees, with others in the sample, described Scientology as a religious system that intimately informs their everyday lives. This was particularly true for staff members at local churches and those in the Sea Organization, who dedicate their lives to the management, administration, and delivery of Dianetics and Scientology (see chapter 4). Scientology as a “way of life,” “not just something I do on Sunday for an hour,” and “salvation through knowledge as opposed to good works or faith” showcase how these Scientologists consciously distinguish their religion from other traditions, in particular, and presumably, Abrahamic religions found in the United States. But they are

02

20

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

also a strong affirmation of Scientology on its own terms according to foundational principles codified by Hubbard. One of these is Hubbard’s teaching on the “Eight Dynamics,” which correspond to domains of life that extend beyond the individual and include animate and inanimate life, whether human or nonhuman, material or spiritual, earthly or otherworldly. He introduced the concept of a “dynamic” in early Dianetics writings (1948–1950), where the first four are listed, and expanded them to eight in the 1951 book Science of Survival: First Dynamic: Individual Second Dynamic: Family/Procreation Third Dynamic: Group(s) Fourth Dynamic: Humanity Fifth Dynamic: Environment (Organic Life) Sixth Dynamic: Physical Universe Seventh Dynamic: Spiritual Universe Eighth Dynamic: Infinity/Divinity The Eight Dynamics are “thrusts toward survival” that encompass all of life, though Hubbard admitted that the divisions are ultimately arbitrary and heuristic in nature, designed for the sake of pragmatism. They are often depicted in Scientology literature as concentric circles and mark out areas for which one should be increasingly responsible and ethical as one spiritually advances and increases survival potential and well-being across each of the dynamics.16 In fact, another consistent message in the interviews, also from Hubbard, was the refrain that when making a decision—from choosing one’s friends and selecting a compatible spouse to deciding on a career path and even whether to pursue the study of Scientology itself—the best solution comes from ascertaining whether or not the course of action represents the “greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics.”17 This utilitarian principle is central to an understanding of Scientology ethics for church members, and the Eight Dynamics provide the framework for situating one’s own survival in the face of the symbiotically connected survival potentials of family, groups, humanity, organic life, the physical universe, the spiritual universe, and divinity (God). The result is a breadth and depth so encompassing that all facets of life fall under Scientology’s purview, underscoring Scientologists’ holistic understanding of their religion. As one interviewee put the point: “For me, it’s not a way of life. It is life.” Returning, then, to the original point that Scientology is a religion of selfknowledge, we can now better perceive some of the esoteric and, in particular,

21

Preliminary Conclusions

21

gnostic religious expressions from the interviews. The origins of this theology are taken up in subsequent chapters, but for now it is essential to underscore the primacy of the Scientologist’s identity as a spiritual being—what Hubbard termed a thetan (from the Greek letter theta, denoting thought or life)—in opposition to secondary expressions of identity through the body or mind. He referred to these three “parts of man” (thetan, body, and mind) and emphasized that auditing (counseling) ultimately and intimately addresses the spirit—in other words, one’s true self as a thetan. This spiritual self has lived countless prior lifetimes, and one of the advertised benefits of Scientology auditing is that individuals might recall these past lives and thereby gain a greater knowledge and certainty about one’s self, true nature, and limitless abilities. As the Scientologist earlier put it, “We’ve died God knows how many times. . . . [T]hat’s not from stuff I’ve read. That’s from stuff I remember.” As another stated: “I think that everybody has a huge amount of innate knowledge and I  think that we don’t know how to find it. And to me, auditing is how you find it.” Auditing can take place with or without the E-Meter, dependent on the particular path involved and one’s position on the step-by-step Bridge to Total Freedom, as discussed in more depth later in this chapter. In either case, auditing can lead to one of two particularly impactful experiences that tend to form the basis of a member’s certainty about the efficacy of Scientology. The first has been mentioned: remembrance of past lives. The second, and perhaps even more experientially validating, are out-of-body experiences that Hubbard termed exteriorizations. During an exteriorization, the thetan leaves the body and is no longer encumbered by the physical universe, existing, if only briefly, in its native and pure spiritual state.18 For most members, this was an occasional self-validating experience that came about through auditing or auditor training. However, some in the sample told me that they routinely separate from their bodies. “I’m usually exterior from my body,” said a parishioner in Pasadena. This individual had reached OT VIII (the highest position on the Bridge) and even claimed to be “exterior,” as it is called, during the interview. “You’re looking at my communication terminal. This is what I use to get my thoughts across,” he explained in reference to his body and mind. “I’m exterior almost 100% of the time. Even to a point where it’s not even an event anymore to not be in my body.” Another parishioner in Los Angeles, an OT V, described experiences of exteriorization and extrasensory perception that took place in and out of auditing sessions: “I’ve looked through rooms. I’ve looked through a wall. I  have left the body and seen things exterior. When I go to sleep at night, I leave the body to go to sleep exterior most of the time.” Most Scientologists in the sample, I should note,

2

22

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

did not relay such dramatic and explicit instances of out-of-body experiences, though a few indicated that they had but wished to keep them private, since “they’re more susceptible to attack and scorn,” one parishioner explained. However, in the course of fieldwork, dozens of others described instances in which they temporarily left their bodies, typically during the course of a particularly successful and euphoric auditing session.19 While I  discovered other reasons, both spiritual and secular, to account for Scientologists’ attraction to the religion apart from past lives and exteriorizations (as explored later in this chapter), these sets of experiences perhaps most powerfully illustrate why words such as belief and faith are inadequate descriptions of the religion from a Scientologist’s point of view.20 In fact, from the perspective of many church members, these limiting categories might serve to delegitimize the authenticity and efficacy of auditing. “It’s that personal thing that makes it real,” a member in Los Angeles explained, “and it is that reason that I scoff at scoffers. Who are they to tell me that I didn’t perceive this?”

2. Hubbard Is Not god to Scientologists—But He Is the Model OT (Operating Thetan) If self-knowledge is a fair description of Scientology’s religiosity, then it is of course the founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard (1911–1986), who discovered the knowledge and standardized the “technologies” of Dianetics and Scientology that make such awareness possible. To an outsider visiting a church of Scientology, it may seem as though Hubbard has been deified after his death in 1986, with busts of the man on display and even an honorary Office of LRH found in most centers. However, Scientologists made clear to me that while Hubbard is the founder of Dianetics and Scientology and the systematizer of eons of spiritual wisdom, he is no more divine than any Scientologist can become by fully walking the Bridge he designed, codified, and refined throughout his lifetime. The goals are a state called “Clear” (described later in this chapter and in chapter 2) and then “Operating Thetan” (OT). To be OT is to approach a state of godliness in which the spiritual being (thetan) is entirely “at cause” over the limitations of matter, energy, space, and time (known as “MEST,” or the physical universe, which is also known as the Sixth Dynamic). Scientologists describe the Eighth Dynamic as the urge to survive as infinity or divinity and for that reason it is also referred to in church literature as the “God Dynamic.”21 The exact nature of this dynamic is theoretically left up

23

Preliminary Conclusions

23

to the member. “The general Authorship of the physical universe,” Hubbard wrote, “is only speculated upon, since Scientology does not invade the Eighth Dynamic.”22 However, Hubbard’s own scriptures, especially his lectures, detail the thetan’s native state in godlike terms. In fact, within Scientology’s cosmogony, the universe itself exists because of the continual co-creation of omnipotent thetans who are knowingly and unknowingly responsible for the creative unison (a form of social construction of reality, discussed further in chapter  2).23 To become an OT, then, is to rediscover this true nature and recover unlimited spiritual potential, despite encumbrances of the physical universe that were unwittingly created by thetans in the first place. Soteriologically, this amounts to a hierarchy in which LRH, as Hubbard is known, is both “Source” and the model OT, inviting others to follow his path in ways comparable to a Bodhisattva figure. Because some writings hint in this direction, Hubbard is considered among many Scientologists as a Buddhistic figure and indeed even the Maitreya.24

Figure  1.1 Commissioned Oil Painting of L. Ron Hubbard by Portraitist Peter Green, 16” x 20,” 1999. Courtesy of Peter Green Design.

42

24

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

Despite his undeniable stature, Scientologists often refer to Hubbard (seen in Figure 1.1) with the familial “Ron,” and several interviewees considered him a personal friend. This was most obviously the case for members who knew and worked with him, but I also encountered this intimate use among parishioners who had little or no personal acquaintance whatsoever. Several Scientologists, for instance, fondly remembered writing letters to “Ron” when he was alive and receiving warm and encouraging replies to continue their auditing.25 Others felt a personal connection simply from reading his books or listening to lectures. “I mean, I feel like I know him,” a man in Clearwater said, “because I’ve traveled so far with him through his works.” A woman in Los Angeles echoed: “I sure feel like I know him. I’ve listened to thousands of hours of lectures and read lots of books.”

L. Ron Hubbard: “The Only Tests of a Life” But who was Hubbard and, more important for our purposes, who is he to Scientologists today? The Church of Scientology published a series of magazines, recently re-released in book form, that topically address periods of his life and influence, with titles such as Writer, Philosopher and Founder, Adventurer/Explorer, Master Mariner, Music Maker, Poet/Lyricist, and Humanitarian.26 However, no academic biography has been published in or outside of the church. Some biographical sketches have been made, including those by J. Gordon Melton, Dorthe Refslund Christensen, Hugh B. Urban, and Aldo N. Terrin, and readers are referred to them for further details and methodological insights.27 The closest attempts at a complete biography are found in the journalistic rather than scholarly literature, and these are of varying quality and presume a negative, sensationalistic, and even nefarious view of the man, his life, and his legacy.28 It is not my intention in this chapter, or even this book, to provide a comprehensive biography of Hubbard, a project far too involved and complicated to be adequately completed here, hampered by incomplete access to primary materials and problematized by hotly contested versions.29 Nevertheless, a survey of his early years leading to the publication of Dianetics (1950) is provided in chapter 2 and expanded upon in chapters 4 and 5 to contextualize the historical narrative. For now, I would simply like to introduce some autobiographical glimpses from Hubbard’s writings to help situate how he is perceived by Scientologists within the church today. Hubbard occasionally provided details about his life in the course of the dozens of books and thousands of lectures that followed the publication of Dianetics (1950). But most of this material is not concerned with particulars of biography and instead focuses on descriptions and demonstrations of

25

Preliminary Conclusions

25

auditing techniques. One notable exception is the 1966 article “My Only Defense for Having Lived.”30 In this piece, Hubbard discusses his childhood and education and then describes early, though failed, efforts to promote his theory of the mind to medical and psychological authorities. He mentions, for instance, his disappointment as a college student at George Washington University (1930–1932), where he studied engineering and “assaulted the prejudices of [his] professors  .  .  .  [and] was ridiculed or frowned upon too often for writing or looking for the truth to ever conceive much love for the artificial towers of learning.”31 Reflecting further on university life, Hubbard decided to “fill the gap in Man’s knowledge of himself.” “The answers did not exist in the books of philosophy I studied,” he concluded. “It had to be looked for in the real world.”32 Before the 1950 release of Dianetics, Hubbard sent preliminary findings to both the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Neither was interested:  “I tried to give Dianetics, the entire work . . . and the AMA only said, ‘Why should you?’ and the APA said, ‘If it is important, we will hear of it.’ ” Aside from these introspective glimpses, Hubbard displayed little interest in autobiography and indicated that others should direct attention to the utility of his achievements rather than the details of how he lived. At the outset of the 1966 article Hubbard states: “The only tests of a life well lived are: Did he do what he intended? and Were people glad he lived?”33 “Background for autobiography abounds,” he continues. “But who would read it as an honest tale and so I have not written it and never will. It would sound far, far too incredible.” He further deflects attention from his own life and emphasizes that his purpose has been to facilitate the self-knowledge and enlightenment afforded by Scientology: “My intentions in life did not include making a story of myself. I only wanted to know Man and understand him. I did not really care if he did not understand me so long as he understood himself.”34 Despite Hubbard’s attitude, the Church of Scientology has actively sought to promote details about his life to the general public, parishioners, and staff members. For instance, the bottom floor of the Church of Scientology International building in Los Angeles features an L. Ron Hubbard Exhibition. Interested parties can walk in from Hollywood Boulevard and receive a guided tour from a Sea Org member on the founder’s achievements from the church’s perspective. Hubbard’s birth date, March 13, is an official holiday within the church and is celebrated at an international event that in recent years has featured an “LRH Biographer,” Scientologist Dan Sherman, who offers historical anecdotes. Since 2005, the church has opened several “L. Ron Hubbard Landmark Sites” in the United States, England, and South Africa at sites of biographical and historical significance to the development of Dianetics and

62

26

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

Scientology.35 These are primarily intended for Scientologists to learn more about their religion’s origins and “walk in Ron’s footsteps,” as one piece of promotion puts it.36 They are also open for private tours and to the general public. As with the LRH museum in Hollywood, these sites are staffed by Sea Org members who, appropriately enough, are part of the L. Ron Hubbard Personal Public Relations Office.37 On an everyday level, Scientologists appear far more interested in the practice of Dianetics and Scientology than in the particulars of Hubbard’s biography. Some interviewees even suggested that details about his life are irrelevant or inconsequential to their religious appreciation of Scientology, in sharp contrast to the position of Hubbard’s most hostile critics who view an attack on his life story as a means to delegitimize his creations.38 For the majority in my sample, the attitude was one of gratitude for the years of work he devoted to “research” that now allows for widespread mental and spiritual freedom. The positive perspective that emerged in the interviews was one of Hubbard as both a fallible man and the compassionate founder of the Scientology religion: • “He’s the founder of the church. He’s the one who was smart enough to put it there and who cared . . . cared enough to give us a route to free us, to free my pain.” • “Well, Ron was a man. He wasn’t any kind of god at all, I don’t think.” • “He’s not a religious figure like a god or a messiah or anything like that. He was a man but he was no ordinary guy. . . . I’m not sure I would’ve had the responsibility level to care enough about everybody else to spend the rest of my life working really hard at trying to get other people to get it.” • “He’s like a philosopher. He’s like a normal person. The fact that he had an engineering background and could really unravel the riddle from a tangible point of view is so relieving because there have been so many practices trying to get the same thing done.” • “I think that LRH is the most extraordinary person that we have had on this planet for thousands and thousands and thousands of years because he came. Where he came from, I don’t know. I didn’t ask him. But he saw the confusion we are in as a species.” • “None of us are perfect. LRH wasn’t perfect. . . . But we have good intentions and he had great intentions to really do what he could to put some tools here for man to pick them up and start making this a better place for yourself and for everyone.” • “He somehow someway has found an answer to everything. You just have to know how to apply it.” • “Who cares if he stole from other religions? He was trying to make it so it was more streamlined, so that people could live better.  .  .  . People say

2 7

Preliminary Conclusions

27

L. Ron Hubbard did it for riches or whatever. I’m not here to judge and maybe he did or he didn’t. I don’t know. All I know is that he wanted to help mankind and for that I can’t fault him.” The image of Hubbard here is rather consistent: a man, not a god, prophet, or divine messenger, whose writings and teachings set forward a practical and all-encompassing approach (“tools”) for the mental and spiritual betterment of humanity. It is revealing that the last interviewee rhetorically asks, “Who cares if he stole from other religions?” and observes that “people say L. Ron Hubbard did it for riches.” These, of course, are common criticisms of Hubbard—that he appropriated a variety of religious, spiritual, and psychological sources and propagated Scientology for crassly financial reasons. This perception is usually bound up with incredulity about Hubbard (and Scientology) given his background as a writer and, in particular, a prolific author of science fiction (as explored in chapter 2). For this interviewee, these types of objections are ultimately meaningless in light of Hubbard’s legacy and preeminently noble intentions. The irony is that despite Hubbard’s and Scientologists’ apparent lack of concern with biography and autobiography, his books and lectures provide abundant information about his professional life as he developed, expanded, revised, and promulgated his teachings. In fact, it can be argued that these materials—the scriptures of Scientology—are to a large extent autobiographical statements, and are referenced as such throughout this volume since they are essential to understanding the origin and practice of the religion today. Indeed, Hubbard is himself the product as much as the progenitor of Dianetics and Scientology. One of the best stories from a Scientologist on this point, though not from my own interviews, comes from a senior Sea Org member who worked with Hubbard. In a 1987 briefing to parishioners in Los Angeles, one year after Hubbard’s death, the member recounted a story in which the founder asked him: “You think I’m God, don’t you?” He responded without hesitation, “Yes, sir!,” to which Hubbard replied, “Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you but I’m not. But I’m damned OT.”39

3. The Path to Clear and OT Is Codified in the “Bridge to Total Freedom” In 1965, while working in England, Hubbard released the first version of what would later be known as the Bridge to Total Freedom, Scientology’s stepby-step soteriological map intended to take an individual to higher states of awareness and ability. The shape and even the name of “the Bridge,” as it is

82

28

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

more commonly known today, evolved during and after Hubbard’s lifetime and has gone by different names, including “Bridge to Understanding” and “Bridge to a New World.”40 Nevertheless, the basic theory of the Bridge has remained much the same since the 1960s and serves as a metaphor for the path by which the individual progressively improves on mental and spiritual planes. Hubbard described the Bridge as a way to make his techniques more efficient and attainable for the layperson.41 As such, it is a precise recipe for spiritual gain—a one-size-fits-all model. The steps of the Bridge are found in a chart available in every Church of Scientology. Its full title is the “Scientology Classification, Gradation, and Awareness Chart of Levels and Certificates.”42 For the most part, the Bridge is designed to be followed in the exact sequence shown. One exception comes at the very beginning of the Bridge in the form of numerous “Dianetics and Scientology Introductory Services.” These are typically short courses or seminars based on topics such as Dianetics, communication, study, parenting, motivation, personal integrity, and financial well-being.43 Most of these “introductory routes” tend to be secular in orientation, although the content derives from Hubbard’s broader scriptural canon. After one or more of these introductory courses, one typically advances to the rest of the Bridge, which has two halves, each with its own steps: processing and training.

Processing “Processing” refers to the delivery of auditing or spiritual counseling that one receives by an auditor (from the Latin audire, “to hear or listen”). Each auditing level represents a particular gradation or level of mental and spiritual improvement. “Life is improved on a gradient,” Hubbard described to an audience in 1965. “It’s improved a little and then it’s improved a little more and it’s improved a little more and a little more. . . . You want a gradual grade up. That’s what gradation means in our particular sense.”44 The idea, furthermore, is that the main steps on the Bridge must be followed precisely in the order Hubbard codified or else one will falter and fail to make the proper and maximized spiritual progress. This rationale is also found in gnostic, esoteric, and Buddhist soteriologies, with which he seems to have had at least some familiarity.45 The lower half of the processing side of the Bridge includes the nonconfidential auditing actions or “rundowns.” Each rundown has its own name and auditing subject, which, from the bottom up, includes the Purification Rundown (handling “biochemical factors”), Survival Rundown (“Objective Processes”), Scientology Drug Rundown (“rehabilitation and recall processes

92

Preliminary Conclusions

29

addressing drugs”), Happiness Rundown (“moral precepts”), ARC Straightwire (“recall”), Grade 0 (“communication”), Grade I (“problems”), Grade II (“overts and withholds”46), Grade III (“fixation (past upsets)”), Grade IV (“abilities (service facsimiles)”47), and New Era Dianetics (a series of Dianetics rundowns) that often but not necessarily leads to the state of Clear48—the original goal of Dianetics (1950). In line with Hubbard’s precise and quantifiable design, each step of the Bridge also has a discrete and verifiable concluding point, referred to as the “end phenomenon” (EP).49 The EP signals that the action is complete. The individual may verbalize the EP to his or her auditor while using the E-Meter, assuming the device is used for that level of auditing.50 Then, another staff member, known as the “case supervisor” (C/S), independently verifies the completion. The Bridge includes a list of the EP(s) for each level. For instance, the EP for the sauna-based Purification Rundown program is “freedom from the restimulative effects of drug residuals and other toxins”; the EP for the Survival Rundown is “oriented in the present time of the physical universe”; the EP for Grade 0 is the “ability to communicate freely with anyone on any subject”; the EP for Grade IV is “moving out of fixed conditions and into ability to do new things”; and the EP for New Era Dianetics is listed as “Clear. Or a well and happy preclear.” Once one reaches Clear,51 the next steps are the confidential OT levels—eight of which are currently available—with their own EPs as one progresses into the more esoteric realms of Scientology. The OT levels are taken up later in this chapter.

Training The other side of the Bridge, “training,” refers to auditor certification and classification. There are unclassed and classed auditors. Unclassed auditor training features several preparatory steps, including learning how to study (using Hubbard’s Study Technology), drills (known as TRs, or training routines), and regimented use of the E-Meter.52 Beyond this, there are fourteen classes of auditors—0, I, II, III, IV, V, VA, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, and XII—each with its own training subject and “end result.”53 For instance, a Class V auditor can deliver auditing up to and including New Era Dianetics, the technique that can lead to the state of Clear. Some training levels—Classes IX, X, XI, and XII—are limited to members of the church’s clergy, the Sea Organization, since they involve delivery of confidential OT materials or other specialized rundowns. The highest training level available to Scientology parishioners is Class  VIII. Auditor training can take several months to several years to complete, depending on the level of

03

30

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

classification and where one trains. For instance, a Scientologist may train at a local church or travel to more advanced centers such as the Flag Land Base in Florida. Hubbard codified the auditing and training levels based in part on his own experiences developing the techniques. The two sides of the Bridge allow Scientologists to spiritually “walk in Ron’s footsteps” far more intimately than would be possible by visiting heritage sites or church museums. This observation may imply that the journey up and across the Bridge, which is intended to increase mental and spiritual freedom, is in fact one of increased allegiance, even subservience, to Hubbard’s particularized sense of self and significance in the cosmos. However, at least for the Scientologists I  encountered, precisely the opposite appeared to be true. Indeed, they were thankful to the founder for the discovery of a route to enlightenment that awakens them to their true selves—unadulterated by “past baggage,” as one member put it. “You don’t become more like LRH, you become more like you.”54

Scientology Churches (Organizations) To walk this spiritual path, Scientologists journey to churches (also called organizations, or orgs) that deliver processing and auditor training levels. Not all churches deliver the same types of auditing. “Lower” and “higher” organizations are permitted to deliver specific services. The confidential OT levels, for instance, are only administered at orgs staffed by Sea Org members. Depending on where a Scientologist lives, this might necessitate traveling hundreds and in some cases thousands of miles. Organizations and modes of delivery include field auditing; missions; Class V Organizations (delivery up to Clear); Advanced Organizations (Clearing Course and Solo Auditor Training, up to OT V); the Flag Service Organization in Clearwater, Florida (delivery of the entire Bridge, except for OT VIII); and the motor vessel Freewinds that is usually located in the Caribbean (delivery of OT VIII and many lowerlevel services). As the Church of Scientology continues to expand beyond its American roots, many Scientologists spend extended periods of time in cities with Advanced Organizations—Los Angeles, Copenhagen, Sydney, East Grinstead, and Clearwater—to complete the OT levels. In fact, in recent years, many parishioners have permanently relocated to the Tampa Bay area to join the international community that has grown since the 2013 opening of the Flag Building.55

31

Preliminary Conclusions

31

4. Materials from the OT Levels Are Confidential and Copyrighted Beyond the state of Clear, Hubbard codified a series of confidential OT levels that are only offered at the aforementioned Advanced Organizations. Eight levels are currently available (OT I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, and VIII), though the current edition of the Bridge lists up to OT XV. In 1988, the Church of Scientology outlined individual and organizational benchmarks for the worldwide religion ahead of the release of the next two OT levels. For example, all churches must reach a high level of productivity known as “Old Saint Hill” size, a reference to a period in Scientology’s history when Hubbard directly oversaw the training and delivery of auditing in East Grinstead in the 1960s. Given this and other steep requirements,56 and the fact that the highest level, OT VIII, was released thirty years ago (1988), it remains unknown when more OT levels will come out. However, promotional material from the church indicates that OT IX and X are forthcoming and will be released together.57 Advancement to the OT levels depends on a formal invitation from the Church of Scientology, offered on the basis of spiritual and ethical readiness. Most of these levels are “solo audited,” meaning that the Scientologist takes him- or herself into session and is not audited by another person.58 The preOT, as he or she is called by this point, first trains on proper solo auditing methods. Hubbard designed specialized techniques for the OT levels to expedite the auditing process; the idea is that questions and commands at these auditing levels can be delivered nonverbally and often occur too quickly for two people to efficiently handle. Rather than hold one E-Meter can in each hand, as is done in other forms of metered auditing, the solo auditor holds both cans, bound by a connector, in a single hand. The free hand is used to monitor the meter console and mark session worksheets that are later delivered to a C/S for external review. These auditing worksheets are as confidential as the OT training materials, and the pre-OT is expected to keep them private and secure at all times. If solo auditing takes place on church property, then classified material is returned after each session. The auditing areas at Advanced Organizations are closed behind locked doors and often require keycard access. Scientologists are allowed to travel outside the church with confidential materials but they must keep them in a locked briefcase—a practice I observed at the Sandcastle Hotel in Clearwater, where the upper half of the Bridge to OT VII is administered. Solo auditors can also take themselves

23

32

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

into session at home but are instructed to keep materials in a safe and securely mail worksheets to the Advanced Organization. The OT levels are the intellectual property of the church. In fact, all Dianetics and Scientology materials are copyrighted or trademarked (as discussed further in chapter  5). In 1982, church attorney Lawrence Heller remarked in a meeting with local Scientology leaders that Hubbard’s intellectual-religious creations are analogous to the Coca-Cola brand, with the implication that his precise spiritual paths, especially on the OT levels, count as trade secrets as much as esoteric knowledge.59 Outside the church, the OT levels receive disproportionate attention in media coverage of Scientology. Perhaps the most well-known American example is South Park’s 2005 episode “Trapped in the Closet.” This book does not discuss the specific content of the OT levels, although I  do give sustained attention in chapter  4 to neglected non-confidential sources about OT III from Hubbard in connection with the history and purpose of the Sea Organization. Out of respect to my informants, I have no desire to delve too deeply into Scientology’s OT materials any more than I  care to discuss the esoteric theologies and practices of other traditions, such as Mormon temple ordinances. Moreover, I  do not have direct access to the OT levels beyond the unauthorized versions that have circulated online for many years now. As several OT Scientologists conveyed to me, the narrative contents of the OT levels would in any event only tell part of the story, in the first place because the materials should be received in the proper sequence on the Bridge and, more important, they do not reflect the deeper experiential realities connected to upper-level auditing. “Too many people brush that aside to go after the esoteric bits,” an OT IV member explained to me. According to a parishioner who finished OT V: “Until you feel it yourself, then it’s just words. It only becomes a reality for you, the human being, the spirit, when you see it, perceive it, feel it, and walk away from that session.” An OT VIII in New York put it in similar terms: “The upper level materials are not widely discussable, although I know certain various forms of them have floated around.” These materials are “illuminating as to what’s going on,” he said obliquely, in reference to the spiritual insight gained, “but basically the material is there at a lower level. . . . You don’t really need to know the stories or the underlying what’s-going-on on the upper levels. However, when you are solo auditing at the levels, you greatly increase your personal sense of beingness, of who you are. And who you really could become.” J. Gordon Melton has also made the point that aspects of the OT levels are available, directly and indirectly, in the publicly available scriptures.60 Researchers have examined some of these connections, including the space

3

Preliminary Conclusions

33

opera themes on display in Hubbard’s 1952 History of Man and interspersed throughout his thousands of lectures.61 OT VIII is delivered on the Caribbean-based motor vessel Freewinds and considered the first “real” OT level, with the preceding seven technically termed “pre-OT” levels. This is why the solo auditor at those lower points is referred to as the pre-OT, just as the individual before Clear is called the preclear (PC). An OT VIII in Clearwater described the process of moving from Clear to OT with an analogy: “One way to look at it is if you’re locked in a phone booth with a bunch of rats, let’s say. You’re fighting these rats off and every once in a while, you’re throwing them out as you’re going up the Bridge. . . . All the way through OT VII, you’re still tossing the rats away,” he explained. “When you finish OT VII, there are no more rats. And from OT VIII and on, you’re increasing your perceptions, your awareness, your abilities, your actual horsepower, the ability to change energy from one form to another if you will.” “Ultimately,” said another OT VIII, “our spiritual journey is to arrive at a point where we no longer need a body in order to communicate and operate in the physical universe, as the thetan moves closer to godliness.” An OT VIII in Florida, when asked whether she believed in God, responded: “I believe in a god. I believe in a supreme being. You may be aware that in Scientology we say that we have our own universe. And by universe, you, not Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto. . . . I believe that I’m the god of my own universe. You’re the god of your universe. There may be a bigger god of all of these, yeah?” I discovered these articulations among lower-level members as well. As one Scientologist close to the state of Clear put it: “The Eighth Dynamic is in all of us. Every one of the dynamics is in all of us. . . . The Eighth Dynamic encompasses everything, everything. It encompasses the matter, energy, space and time of the universe.” Another member, who completed Grade IV and retains a Christian background, conveyed the point in classic biblical language: “The kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21).

5. Most Scientologists Are on the Lower Half of the Bridge to Total Freedom Although the OT levels receive inordinate attention in popular culture, my research suggests that the vast majority of church members are on the lower half of the Bridge to Total Freedom. An account of lived religion among Scientologists would therefore be better served by focusing on these and other non-confidential features of religious life within the church. Indeed,

43

34

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

most Scientologists—conservatively at least 90% by my estimate—have not reached the state of Clear, much less the OT levels.62 This finding did not arise from the interviews, however, and instead comes from fieldwork, secondary research, and generic membership data published by the Church of Scientology International. I have not seen an official figure from the church that lists the number of current members who are Clear or above. But we can piece together revealing preliminary data from magazines and promotional materials. The church periodical The Auditor publishes the aggregate number of Clears produced since 1966, when John McMaster became the first officially recognized Clear.63 An issue from 2018 puts the grand total of Clears at 69,657.64 While I do not have the OT VIII completion total, the church does occasionally publicize the number of people who have at least begun the preceding level, OT VII.65 The OT VII tally provides a good sense of how many possible OT VIIIs exist. The total number of Scientologists who have started or completed OT VII is approximately 8,000.66 Finally, while official numbers are again unavailable, the Church of Scientology International claims on its ScientologyReligion.org site that, as of 2018, “Millions of Scientologists around the world sincerely believe in the religious tenets and practices of Scientology. For every one of these individuals, Scientology is their religion and fulfills their deepest spiritual needs.”67 Elsewhere, the church has also estimated its membership in the “millions,” without settling on specific numbers.68 For the sake of argument, let us conservatively assume then that “millions of Scientologists” means “two million” (while acknowledging that the church’s membership statistics are a matter of hot dispute that will not be resolved here).69 Let us also assume, again for the sake of argument, that the Clear and OT VII numbers represent living members in good standing with the church (highly unlikely since we are dealing with aggregate figures dating to the 1960s). This would lead to the tentative conclusion that approximately 3.5% of Scientologists are at least Clear and about 0.4% have at least begun OT VII. However, it is quite possible that the percentage of Clears and OTs is higher when compared to the church’s active membership body, which I would presume is far fewer than “millions.” One way to gauge active membership is to count annual and lifetime membership figures from the International Association of Scientologists (IAS), since affiliation with this body is a requirement for advancement up the Bridge. Of course, since neither the church nor the IAS releases current numbers, the matter is left unresolved for now.70 Even accounting for these open areas, it is clear that the available data supports the conclusion that the majority—and likely the vast majority—of Scientology adherents find themselves on the lower half of the Bridge.

35

Preliminary Conclusions

35

This discovery is a stark contrast to the findings within my sample of sixtynine Scientologists, over half of whom were Clear and above (forty-five). Most in this subset were on the OT levels (forty) or had reached OT VIII (seventeen). The lopsidedness, I suspect, was partly because some of the interviewees were first suggested by my Office of Special Affairs (OSA) contacts. These officials, I presume, were more likely to refer upstanding and long-time Scientologists, who could answer questions more proficiently than neophytes. However, the disparity may have also been the result of the questions themselves. While intended to apply to any church member, the design may have been less appropriate for newer and younger church members, such as items that presumed familiarity with the Sea Org, church management, social betterment programs, misperceptions about Scientology, and acquaintance with Hubbard or Miscavige. This resulted in a predicament in which I interviewed Clears and OTs but conducted fieldwork among a preponderance of preclears. It was on this basis that I  first concluded that most members of the church were likely still in the early stages of spiritual progress. Recognizing the situation early on in the interviews, I requested younger and less advanced members and was referred to several qualified candidates who were subsequently interviewed. I also found suitable Scientologists on my own in the course of fieldwork, which occurred during tours of church buildings in Pasadena, Inglewood, Los Angeles, Boston, and Clearwater. Those interviews were theologically insightful and afforded a deeper ethnographic appreciation of the mechanics of lower-level auditing, further explored in chapter 2 and especially chapter 3, where I analyze aspects of them as part of Scientology’s systematic theology.

6. Movement up the Bridge Usually Costs Money and Always Costs Time One of the most persistent perceptions—indeed, criticisms—of the Church of Scientology is that its path to salvation is commercialized and monetized.71 It is true that the Bridge to Total Freedom is itemized according to a system of “fixed donations.” Exact prices depend on where one receives services. Auditing and training are usually more expensive at the facilities in Clearwater or on the Freewinds, for example, because of the more rigorous standards and assistance available from elite Sea Org auditors.72 Donation rates are not necessarily higher at each new step on the Bridge, but the cumulative cost of Scientology’s pay-as-you-go soteriology does add up. Donations are typically

63

36

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

charged in “intensive” blocks of twelve and a half hours, and it takes longer to complete some of the higher levels, especially from Clear to OT VIII.73 The cost for services also depends on whether one pays for private professional auditing or more economically co-audits with a fellow auditor in training, which is possible on the lower half of the Bridge up to Clear. Hubbard strongly advocated that Scientologists train as auditors to receive maximal spiritual benefits on both sides of the Bridge.74 Along the way, the preclear or pre-OT may be awarded scholarships based on willingness to train full time. Staff members are entitled to free training and auditing at their organizations in exchange for volunteer service.75 Thus, it is possible, and I met several Sea Org members who had this experience, to advance all or most of the Bridge without donating any money, although these staff members of course donate abundantly in terms of time and volunteer service.76 If, however, members leave staff before the end of their contracts (a lifetime commitment for Sea Org members and between two and a half and five years at lower non–Sea Org churches), then they are retroactively liable for the monetary payment of auditing and training received.77 More commonly, parishioners do contribute funds toward their spiritual progress. Of the sixty-nine interviewees, twenty-eight did not provide data on the amount of money donated because the question did not arise during the interview,78 five declined to state for personal or privacy reasons, and six were unsure of the exact number and did not provide an estimate. Five interviewees chose to estimate and said the amount was more or less equivalent to tithing (i.e., about 10% of annual income). One individual (OT V) was awarded complimentary auditing by Hubbard himself, and so only paid for auditor training. One member declined to state, not due to privacy concerns, but because he found it to be an “irrelevant question” (“I have no regrets, wish I gave more”). The remaining seventeen Scientologists provided exact or approximate dollar amounts (USD). Often, the interviewee distinguished between monies donated toward his or her (or perhaps a spouse’s) Bridge progress and funds provided to other causes, such as the IAS, the building of a local church, or the church’s social betterment and humanitarian programs (including The Way to Happiness, Criminon, Narconon, or the Citizens Commission for Human Rights). In some cases, the amount allocated for these other organizations and projects far exceeded what was donated toward one’s personal spiritual progress, reflecting an evident sense of responsibility for the church (Third Dynamic) over self (First Dynamic). For instance, one man (OT VIII) claimed to have donated $1 million to the IAS, in addition to an unspecified but lower amount for his and his spouse’s “entire Bridge.” Another (also OT VIII) donated an estimated $400,000 to social betterment causes and about

37

Preliminary Conclusions

37

$250,000 for his own “personal spiritual advancement.” Not too surprisingly, amounts donated correlated to position on the Bridge. For example, one interviewee (Grade II) donated approximately $30,000, while another (mid–New Era Dianetics auditing, on the way to Clear) estimated that he spent $150,000, in addition to tens of thousands donated to humanitarian campaigns. Of the seventeen interviewees who provided exact or estimated figures, the average figure contributed to any form of ecclesiastical service or program was $207,941 per person. In nearly every instance, donations occurred over a period of many years—in most cases over the course of three and even four decades. However, these numbers are quite likely higher than the average member’s donations since, as mentioned, the sample included a disproportionate number of Clear and OT-level Scientologists. In any event, these numbers support the point that Scientology’s fixed donation system can total hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on Bridge advancement and other investments. Scientologists in my sample, however, did not express reservations about the amount of money donated. In fact, several spoke about their donations in both economic and theological terms, based on Hubbard’s writings on finance and the nature of fair exchange. The idea is that, to advance spiritually, one should remain “in exchange” for what is received and support the church that is providing the service. To do otherwise is to become, as Hubbard put it, “out-exchange.”79 In fact, Hubbard wrote that Scientology could not, as a matter of policy, be given away without charge or without some form of volunteer commitment (e.g., in return for staff service). “Giving away free service deprives the org of its income and the staff of its pay and welfare,” he wrote in 1971.80 “The SURVIVAL of any group depends utterly upon things like PRODUCTION and EXCHANGE,” Hubbard further explained in a 1973 policy letter. “That is the way the universe runs. When these factors are not competently handled the group is in poverty or vanishes.”81 Scientologists reflected on the cost and benefits of Scientology services, as well as other church-sponsored activities, as follows: • “What are you paying for? You’re paying for services. Same with any other religion. . . . Yeah, courses cost what they cost. Intro services aren’t very expensive—40, 50 bucks. Not bad. If you get to OT VIII, sure, you’re going to drop some change. It’s just how it is. But it’s not like investing in a car or house. We’re talking about spiritual freedom and investing in eternity.” • “I’ve never monetized it. But I’ve been doing Scientology since 1975. And I worked my way up to getting my Ph.D. in Scientology. I mean, I consider it my education of life.”

83

38

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

• “We’ve donated a lot of money to the church. And we’ve also paid for a lot of services in the church. But where I  get a lot of my satisfaction in the donations that I’ve made is what kind of effect is that creating on the planet?. . . We’re trying to do as much good as we can on the planet as quick as we can.” • “It’s just energy in money form. It’s not energy in spiritual form. . . . It’s just money. . . . Because I am an OT, I can make a lot of money in a very short period of time.” • “If you want to really measure the cost of Scientology, measure it against a comparable commodity which would be psychiatric or psychologic rates which would then make Scientology seem very cheap.” • “I have to point out that what I’ve learned in Scientology has increased my earning capacity by orders of magnitude, so I  can afford what I’ve spent.” • “Well, the funny thing about donations is it is a lot of money but we just don’t care.” • “I never kept track of it. I don’t care either. I mean, for me, my spiritual freedom cannot have a price tag.” • “That’s actually one of the misperceptions people have [is] that it costs a lot of money. It doesn’t necessarily cost a lot of money. It’s just worth every penny of whatever you spend anyway.” • “Should I pay for my spiritual enhancement?. . . It’s worth its weight in gold to me.” There is much that can be examined here, such as the comparison of Scientology to psychological and psychiatric services, which is addressed in chapter 2, or the urgency to “do as much good as we can on the planet as quick as we can,” which is described later in this chapter to highlight Scientology’s eschatological views. But, focusing on the language of investment, enhancement, and education, a significant theme emerges, one supported in Hubbard’s own writings, namely that progress up the Bridge is ultimately a spiritual rather than financial matter, in terms of what he called incremental “case gain.” In a reference well known to Scientologists entitled “From Clear to Eternity,” Hubbard wrote, “There are six rough divisions of case gain.”82 These refer to (1) beginning members who realize “Scientology works and should be continued,” (2)  the realization that “one will not get worse” and can improve through auditing, (3)  lower “grades” auditing that precedes Dianetics, (4) auditing to the state of Clear, (5) “pre-OT levels” (OT I to VII), and (6) the “actual OT levels” (OT VIII to XV, per the most recent

93

Preliminary Conclusions

39

Bridge). Hubbard then noted that, despite efficiency in our modern technological age, the journey from preclear to full OT may seem like a relatively long process: “In the age of speed, people may conceive it all should happen in a minute. . . . Alas this universe isn’t built this way.” Lest Scientologists be discouraged by the length of time involved, he put the matter into cosmic perspective by reminding readers that the path to OT can be accomplished in one’s lifetime. “It doesn’t take half an eternity. It doesn’t take millennia— though this could be reasonably expected,” he explained, in language that resonates with Scientologists’ affirmation of past (and future) lives. “It doesn’t take centuries. It only takes years.” Hubbard emphasized the urgency to pursue spiritual freedom at the close of his message: “I strongly advise you to work hard at it—and don’t waste this brief breath in eternity. For that is your future—ETERNITY.”83 Scientologists understand that progress on the Bridge is an investment of capital and time, with infinite spiritual returns.84 However, it would be a mistake to assume that the duration of membership in the church necessarily corresponds to one’s processing or training level. In my sample, where the average age was 51.4 years and most were on the OT levels (forty-five), length of membership ranged between fourteen and forty years. Thirty-three females and thirty-six males were formally interviewed, with twenty females and twenty-five males at Clear or on the OT levels, suggesting a relatively even distribution with respect to gender and Bridge progress.85 But I  also discovered parishioners, male and female, who have been active members for many years—even decades—yet remain on the lower half of the Bridge. The most conspicuous example in my group was a middle-aged Boston man who had been a Scientologist for thirty-five years but only completed the auditing level “ARC Straightwire,” the fifth step on the Bridge. However, he admitted spending “more time trying to make changes with the church’s human rights programs than being concerned about how I  am personally doing. I would imagine that’s different than most Scientologists.” On the other side of the spectrum, I  interviewed a twenty-seven-year-old Sea Org member, an OT V and a Class  IX auditor, who supervised staff and parishioners solo auditing on the OT levels. I was also told of second- and third-generation members who have reached OT VII and OT VIII as soon as their late teens and early twenties. As explored in chapter 5, the church boasts that members are now in a position to spiritually advance further and faster than previous generations, due to David Miscavige’s success in streamlining Hubbard’s Bridge per the founder’s original and ultimate intentions.

04

40

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

7. The Church Is Theoretically All-Denominational but Functionally Sectarian—at Least Most of the Time Another way of putting this point is that while Hubbard described Scientology as “all-denominational,” my research suggests that most, though certainly not all, Scientologists in reality belong exclusively to the Church of Scientology. In 1955, Hubbard provided the following inclusive and ecumenical statement about the church: “We are all-denominational rather than nondenominational, and so we should be perfectly willing to include in our ranks a Moslem or a Taoist, as well as any Protestant or Catholic.”86 However, when asked the question “In addition to self-identifying as a Scientologist, do you self-identify with another religious/spiritual tradition?,” a remarkable fifty-five out of sixty-nine interviewees responded with a definite “no” and that he or she only identified as a Scientologist. Of the fourteen who responded “yes,” the other religious affiliations were Jewish (nine), Baptist (two), Catholic (one), Buddhist (one), and Muslim (Nation of Islam) (one). For five of the nine Jewish Scientologists, Judaism was discovered to be more cultural or ethnic in orientation than theological—which easily accounts for the compatibility. As a result, nine in the sample identified as Scientologists and some other religious tradition in terms of both theology and practice: four Jews, two Baptists (including a Baptist minister), one Catholic, one Buddhist, and one member of the Nation of Islam. These findings are not altogether surprising, however, and corroborate research conducted by Roland Chagnon in Canada (1985), Harriet Whitehead in the United States (1987), and Bryan R.  Wilson in the United Kingdom (1999).87 Wilson’s observations in this area are particularly instructive: A distinctive feature of Scientology is that members are not required to abandon other religious beliefs and affiliations on taking up Scientology. . . . I have spoken with senior Church officials as well as individual Scientologists on this aspect of Scientology and their response was that while exclusivity is not required, it comes about as a matter of practice. According to them, as one becomes more involved with Scientology, one inevitably discards one’s prior faith. For example, my experience is that a Jew who becomes a Scientologist might remain affiliated with Judaism for cultural reasons and might celebrate Jewish holidays with family and friends, but he or she would not practise and would not believe in Jewish theology. From my view as a scholar this explanation seems correct. Scientologists regard their faith as a complete religion demanding dedication of its members.88

41

Preliminary Conclusions

41

Building on Wilson’s work from nearly two decades ago, my interview data suggests additional factors that may account for why members would primarily or exclusively belong to the Church of Scientology despite Hubbard’s embrace of all-denominationalism: (1) the large and increasing number of second-, third-, and even fourth-generation Scientologists who have grown up in the church and have no prior religious affiliations (I had fifteen second-generation members in my sample) and (2) the number of parishioners who become Scientologists to satisfy their personal and spiritual needs after disaffiliating from another religious tradition. For instance, nearly one in four from the interview sample were raised in some tradition or denomination of Christianity and expressed frustration and disagreement with subjects such as theism, original sin, the problem of evil, and mainstream Christianity’s lack of gnostic sensibilities. “I’ve never totally bought into the anthropomorphized big guy in the sky,” said one Scientologist, a former evangelical Christian. Another, a former Roman Catholic who was introduced to Scientology in the late 1960s, explained that he was a “card-carrying member of the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll club. But that was rapidly going down, down, down. And I was looking for some help, you know, and wasn’t finding it.” Although he no longer considers himself to be Catholic, he appeared to retain some of its cultural language, noting that “auditors are guardian angels, you see. . . . They’re your spiritual guides. . . . L. Ron Hubbard has given them the actual technology, the workability of how to most optimally guide another spiritual being to greater heights of spiritual awareness.” Returning to Wilson’s observations, it seems to me that there are even deeper theological and sociological reasons that help explain why Scientologists might shed previous religious or spiritual identities as they advance to the higher levels of the Bridge. Theologically, this transition makes good sense because of the incompatibilities that arguably exist between Scientology and most Western religious traditions. These are muted at introductory levels of the Bridge but become more evident as one progresses in auditing, recalls past lives, and encounters space opera theology (as examined in chapter 2). Other theological sources of incompatibility arise in the areas of cosmology, soteriology, and eschatology. Hubbard writes, for instance, that Scientology’s view of the Eighth Dynamic (infinity/divinity) does not include speculations about “the general Authorship of the physical universe,”89 but elsewhere makes clear that the universe is not the creation of a single God, but the co-creation of thetans themselves.90 This is at odds with monotheistic and linear narratives of creation and salvation history. Scientology’s goal to recover the spiritual freedom of the godlike thetan clashes with Abrahamic views of salvation that depend, nonnegotiably, on monotheism, faith, and grace. In

24

42

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

Scientology, the focus is individualistic, rehabilitative, and ultimately gnostic and esoteric. There is thus no theological need for, say, the Christian atonement or obedience to the will of God as understood according to the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, or Qur’an. Moreover, the acceptance of past (and future) lifetimes renders eschatological questions about heaven and hell as both irrelevant and confused on the path to enlightenment up the Bridge.91 Ultimately, however, it is up to the individual Scientologist to decide on his or her theological preferences and identities. To be clear, there is no prohibition on belief in outside cosmologies or eschatologies. But, as far as other religious practices are concerned, the church takes the position that combining Dianetics or Scientology with “a disrelated practice” is antithetical to well-being and spiritual progress. Indeed, it is a “crime” according to its internal justice system.92 This view is also found in the Auditor’s Code: “I promise not to mix the processes of Scientology with other practices except when the preclear is physically ill and only medical means will serve.”93 This passage originally referred to medical or perhaps psychological practices, since Dianetics envisioned itself as a science of the mind to handle psychosomatic illness. But, in the course of church history, the notion of “other practices” has come to include spiritual and religious practices as well.94 This includes meditation, yoga, and Reiki, in addition to psychological and psychiatric treatment.95 Sociologically, movement up the Bridge means that Scientologists are more likely to spend time engaged in church activities and naturally accumulate friends and family members who are also members of the church. In fact, my sample turned out to be a good case study in this regard. Fifty-one of fifty-two married members wed fellow Scientologists.96 The only exception was a member of the Nation of Islam. When asked, on a scale of 1 to 10, “how important is it that your spouse (or prospective spouse, if unmarried, divorced, or widowed) also be a member of the Church of Scientology?,” the average response was 8.8; the number increased to 9 among Scientologists who are Clear or on the OT levels. When I  asked the subset of Clears and OTs what percentage of their friends are Scientologists, the average response was 65% (as opposed to 40% for members on the lower half of the Bridge). However, on the question of what percentage of one’s immediate or close family members are church members, the Clears and OTs averaged 20% (as opposed to an astounding 68% for those below Clear). This last point is relevant for another sociological reason. Scientologists on the lower half of the Bridge, at least in my sample, tended to be younger and were almost exclusively second-generation members. Just as Sea Organization members are often recruited from the children of adult members (as described in chapter  4), my interviews suggest that church growth in the

43

Preliminary Conclusions

43

twenty-first century will depend in no small measure on the extent to which Scientologists continue to have children who remain in the church and carry forward the Scientology traditions. The implication is that the church’s apparent all-denominationalism may become increasingly insignificant—even irrelevant—as a multigenerational membership identifies primarily or exclusively as Scientologists with few, if any, external philosophical or theological incompatibilities. These findings also suggest that the base of the church’s membership may become increasingly sectarian in the years ahead, unless the Church of Scientology is successful in recruiting more new, active, and long-term adherents to the movement. Despite this trajectory, the church promotes interfaith understanding and tolerance, as expressed in Hubbard’s call from The Way to Happiness to “respect the religious beliefs of others.”97 This commitment is on display in community-level programs that invite faith leaders from other traditions to share about their beliefs and practices.98 Scientologists also lead campaigns to promote the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and draw attention to religious freedom violations in the United States and abroad.99 Article 18 of the UN declaration states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”100 Though most of my data supports Wilson’s characterizations, I did come across a handful of exceptions to his observation that “as one becomes more involved with Scientology, one inevitably discards one’s prior faith” (emphasis added). Of the nine interviewees who considered themselves Scientologists and members of another faith tradition, four were on the lower half of the Bridge (and comparably “less” involved as Scientologists), but five were on the OT levels (including three Jews, one Baptist, and one Buddhist). Therefore, while rare, it is possible to advance up the Bridge and retain both ideological and cultural ties to another religious tradition. One of the more remarkable instances was an OT V Sea Org member in Clearwater who retained her Southern Baptist upbringing over the course of a decades-long career in the church. She recounted how her elderly Baptist parents benefited from basic Scientology courses and auditing. “Scientology is a religion of religions,” she explained. Her mother “would sign herself ‘Baptist-Scientologist’ whenever she went in the hospital. . . . She’d read the Bible seven times and she did all these extension courses and listened to Ron. She didn’t see any problem putting the two together.” Her father was less involved with Scientology—“he’s always been pretty robust and he never really

4

44

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

needed anything”—but came to appreciate his daughter’s sense of spirituality after she administered a light-touch auditing technique known as a body comm during a hospital stay for pneumonia.101 Years before joining the Sea Org, she worked as a nurse, so the father did not initially understand that she “was doing a spiritual assist on him.” The next morning, she told me, the pneumonia was gone: “He woke up the next morning. No pneumonia. And he said to me, he says, ‘I could feel your spirit in your hands . . . and I can tell that you’re saved.’ Because you know, in the Baptist tradition you accept Christ and you’re saved. So he correlates it immediately to the fact that he knows that I’m saved. So that’s why I have that power.” Without doubt, the most unexpected finding in relation to Scientology’s all-denominationalism—and one that poses a glaring institutional exception— is the positive relationship that has developed since 2009 between the Church of Scientology and another American-born religious movement, the Nation of Islam (NOI). Over the last decade, and with the endorsement of Louis Farrakhan, thousands of NOI members have received at least introductory training as Dianetic auditors.102 This has principally taken place in the Chicago area, where the NOI is headquartered, but also in Clearwater and at the Celebrity Centre in Hollywood, where Hubbard Dianetics Seminars are delivered alongside more advanced training. The relationship traces to a series of events in Los Angeles in the late 2000s, when Minister Tony Muhammad, who heads the NOI Western Region, was introduced to Dianetics and Scientology by a close friend, Baptist minister and long-time Scientologist Alfreddie Johnson. In our interview, Johnson revealed a remarkable story in which Farrakhan phoned him after deliberating whether to grow a relationship with the Church of Scientology. The positive development came as a surprise to Johnson, who had not heard from Farrakhan, a personal friend, for several years. He described the phone call as follows: The exact date was May 15, 2009. I  got a call. I  hadn’t talked to the Minister in years. But I got a call from him. . . . He says, “Reverend Alfreddie?” I was like, “Minister!” And I jumped out of the bed, stood at attention like in the military. He says, “I’ve been looking for you for quite some time.” I said, “Yes, sir, yes, sir. I didn’t know. Sir, if I had known, I’d have been right there.” I said, “If you need anything, you just let me know, Brother Minister. I  will do what you need.” It was like Jesus called me, right? He says, “Well, brother, I hope you mean that because I need you.” Then he said, “I am convinced, brother, that Scientology auditing is the key to the salvation of the alleviation of

45

Preliminary Conclusions

45

this insanity over the minds of our people.” I  got kind of teary-eyed and I said, “Yes, sir, Brother Minister, yes, sir.” He said, “So brother, I’m going to send for you and I want you to come. I’m going to bring my top minister and we will sit down and figure how we will marry Scientology into the Nation so that we can help set our people free.” Johnson immediately contacted officials from the Church of Scientology in preparation for a meeting at the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater. He led a presentation for Farrakhan designed to last three hours that ended up lasting most of the day due to the enthusiasm on both sides. In the end, Farrakhan pledged to go Clear and OT and train NOI ministers in Dianetics. The goal in Dianetics to erase the “reactive mind” seems to have appealed to Farrakhan and corresponds well to NOI goals to liberate black Americans from the mental and physical oppression experienced since colonial times. Over 8,500 NOI members have trained as Dianetics “Book One” auditors, meaning they can audit others without the E-Meter, using the original Dianetics (1950) procedures.103 At the time of my interview with Johnson in 2012, NOI ministers began to receive E-Meter training as well. As of 2018, these developments have continued, with a handful of members going Clear, including Tony Muhammad. “I don’t know if they realize—I know the Minister does—how powerful they are being able to audit engrams,” Johnson wondered aloud, as he described the relevance of Dianetics and Scientology practices to NOI ideology. “They can actually now cast demons out of people literally because demons of course are just ideas that are locked in or based on pictures or heavy incidents of pain and emotion.” Farrakhan gave Johnson the ironic but appropriate nickname “The Bridge” for his efforts to connect Scientology and the NOI. At present day, Chicago, Inglewood, Hollywood, and Clearwater continue to be significant locations for NOI Dianetics training. The Church of Scientology Community Center building in Inglewood has even doubled as a meeting place for the local Nation of Islam mosque. In addition, Scientologists have collaborated with NOI-spearheaded efforts to reduce crime rates in inner-city Los Angeles and around the country through a program that includes distribution of The Way to Happiness.104 On numerous occasions, Farrakhan has publicly praised Hubbard and Dianetics. “We are Muslims,” he made clear in a 2011 sermon, “but if Scientology will help us be better, then I want the technology of this to help us to be better Muslims. Christians can accept it and be better Christians. I don’t care who gets it. Just get it and be better at who you say you are. I hate spiritual cowards who don’t want to look at things and who feel that because

64

46

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

I have something great I can’t improve what I have by finding something that will make me a better representative of what I represent.”105 From Hubbard’s viewpoint, Farrakhan’s statement epitomizes the complementary and supplementary roles that Dianetics and Scientology can and should play for someone from a different religious tradition. For Farrakhan, Dianetics training does not mean that NOI members have necessarily become Scientologists. Rather, he views Hubbard’s technologies as tools for black empowerment and betterment, which contributes to his particular theological vision for Muslims in America. Farrakhan’s rationalization also helps makes sense of the unlikely ethnic partnership between NOI members and Scientologists. After all, NOI demonization of whites traces to the foundational teachings of Wallace Fard Muhammad (b. 1877)  as passed down by Farrakhan’s mentor, Elijah Muhammad (1897–1975).106 Many Scientologists are white and of European ancestry (85.50% in my sample),107 which would seem to pose a challenge for NOI leadership and members. In practice, however, Johnson has apparently also been quite successful in “bridging” this potential divide. In a 2017 video, one NOI leader in the United Kingdom even voiced the possibility that Wallace Fard Muhammad interacted with the young L. Ron Hubbard during mutual travels in the early decades of the twentieth century.108 The implication is that the church and NOI may in fact have interconnected origins and purposes, a narrative that serves to legitimate Farrakhan’s adoption of Dianetics and Scientology. The NOI’s appropriation of Dianetics represents the most cohesive and significant institutional collaboration between the Church of Scientology and another religious organization. To my knowledge, at least as of early 2018, no NOI members have reached the OT levels. However, when they surely do in the near future, it will be worth investigating whether this movement into the upper and esoteric levels leads members to embrace Scientology as a religious identity. Will some consider themselves equal members of the NOI and the Church of Scientology? Might NOI members someday join the Sea Org? Time will tell.109

8. Most Scientologists Are Ordinary People Seeking Extraordinary Potential for Themselves and Others—Not Staff Members and Certainly Not Hollywood Celebrities In many ways, this last conclusion is the launching point for the remainder of the book, which is, at its core, a series of narratives about how and why

4 7

Preliminary Conclusions

47

individuals became and remained involved in the Dianetics movement and then the Scientology religion out of which it blossomed. The myriad reasons are all the more intriguing given the stigma associated with Scientology, especially in recent years with the rise of negative depictions in the media. In 2008, Gallup found that 52% of those polled had a “total negative” view of Scientologists—the highest of all religious groups surveyed at the time— ahead of Muslims and atheists, respectively. Only 7% of respondents had a “total positive” view of Scientology (the lowest), while 37% polled indicated that they were “neutral” on the subject.110 So, demographically speaking, who is attracted to Scientology—and why? One ready answer in the academic literature is that the Church of Scientology is composed primarily of adherents who are financially capable of paying for auditing and training on the Bridge—in other words, well-educated individuals from middle- and upper-class backgrounds with professional sources of employment sufficient to afford Scientology’s spiritual path. “Scientologists come predominately from the secularized urban stratum of the middle class,” anthropologist Harriet Whitehead noted in her 1987 monograph Renunciation and Reformulation.111 “Scientology establishments appear more like schools or special training institutes than like churches, and Scientology argues that its doctrines are scientific and its methods of proven practical benefit.”112 She then pointed out, “No systematic data exist[s] on the occupations of Scientologists and those attracted to Scientology, but occupations cannot be without significance, since the abilities that Scientology promises to develop in its adherents are primarily those having to do with work performance and achievement, with communication and self-presentation.”113 On the one hand, Whitehead’s statement that Scientologists come from the “secularized urban stratum” makes supply-side and geographical sense since most major Scientology centers are found in or near major metropolitan areas, though smaller centers and opportunities exist outside cities and suburbs in the form of missions, field auditors, and field staff members. As Whitehead discovered—and my findings corroborate—individuals are indeed drawn to Dianetics and Scientology, at least initially, because of the practical benefits advertised. A  fair number in my sample were well educated, as expected, with the following levels indicated:  14.5% completed high school, 39.13% attended some college, 33.33% graduated from four-year institutions, and 13.04% earned graduate degrees.114 However, my research disputes the implication that Scientologists are only, or merely, attracted to Scientology for reasons of secular self-improvement. To be sure, the church offers a number of practical and introductory tools—from personality and IQ tests to courses on communication, marriage, and parenting—but even

84

48

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

these routes can express themselves in surprisingly spiritual ways for the beginner that may form the basis for further coursework, exploration, and ascent up the Bridge. “To me, there’s two kinds of people that have gotten into the church,” explained an OT VIII from Pasadena who was introduced to Scientology in the late 1960s while in law school. “Those that read Dianetics—the first few pages—and went ‘Oh my god,’ and they stayed up all night and they read this thing and they went, ‘Oh, this makes so much sense. Where do I find the center?’ Or there’s people like me who had this spiritual experience.” In his case, the experience came during a communications course where he “went exterior” during a training exercise known as TR Bullbait. When “bullbaiting,” two individuals sit across from one another—one the coach, the other the student. Per Hubbard’s instructions, the student passes the exercise when he or she is no longer distracted by the coach’s provocations—short of physical altercation—such as swearing, personal insults, and attempts to solicit laughter. The purpose of TR Bullbait is to improve one-on-one communication and was originally designed to help prepare future auditors to take preclears in session. This Scientologist’s bullbaiting went as follows: So I’m sitting there being bullbaited for the first time. I’ve been into Scientology now for a day, a day and a half. And this guy is talking to me. Okay, now I’m going to get a little spiritual on you, okay? Okay. So this guy’s talking to me and he’s like, I  don’t know, he’s making fun of my looks or the fact that I’m a law student or whatever. I don’t remember. I’m looking at him and the way I can describe it is, I’m no longer aware of just being behind my eyeballs and inside my head. What I’m aware of is that I, as a being, am filling up the entire room. I  didn’t leave my head. I’m in my head but I’m also out here at the same time, okay. You always think about this term exterior. People go outside their bodies. This wasn’t that. This was very surprising because it was the first time I’ve ever experienced it. But I was like as big as the room, okay. . . . I was filling up every corner and I’m in the room, and I feel like I’m in the room. Not just in my head, okay. I’m going, “Oh, my god, for $50 I feel like this!” It’s a good deal. First of all, this interviewee reiterates the view that Scientology’s benefits far outweigh the financial investment (“Oh, my god, for $50 I feel like this!”). In his case, “exteriorization” was powerful enough, as a spiritual experience, to attract him to take more courses and eventually rise up to OT VIII over a period of forty years of active membership. Others described similar outcomes,

94

Preliminary Conclusions

49

in which they were initially drawn to Scientology for secular reasons, but sometime afterward, typically within the first few weeks, had a profound and unexpected spiritual experience, whether exteriorization, recollection of a past life, or a glimpse of “OT abilities” such as extrasensory perception (ESP). Scientologists are therefore attracted to the subject for a combination of secular and religious reasons, underscoring that Scientology views itself as a holistic subject that is not neatly reducible to categories such as religion, science, or self-help. While Whitehead is quite right that “No systematic data exist[s] on the occupations of Scientologists” in the academic literature, church publications over the years offer some insight, especially two editions of the compendium What Is Scientology? (1978 and 1998). Neither volume provides much information on precisely why members were first attracted to the church, but they do include statistics on how individuals were introduced and what areas of life they sought to improve. These are organized into secular categories, such as improvements with respect to “occupational gains,” “social habits,” and “illness trends” (1978)115 or percentages displayed under headings such as “Scientologists’ Health,” “Exercise Habits of Scientologists,” “Drug Intake of Scientologists,” and “Scientologists’ Involvement in Community Activities” (1998).116 Notably, the 1978 publication is far more sophisticated and detailed in presentation, but in tandem with the 1998 edition, and in combination with findings from my interviews and fieldwork, several themes emerge. This method has the added benefit of offering a window into developments from Scientology’s history in twenty-year intervals—from 1978 to 1998 to the present—covering nearly forty years. First and foremost, despite the church’s work to promote itself to interested outsiders—from “stress test” tables to personality tests and, in more recent years, stylish advertisements broadcast during the Super Bowl117—its own data supports the conclusion that Scientologists are primarily introduced through friends and family or word-of-mouth promotion. In the 1978 volume, of 4,539 respondents, 34.85% reported their “first contact” with the church came via a “friend/relative” and 23.08% from “word of mouth,” in addition to other categories such as “books” (18.06%), “personality test” (10.09%), “lecture” (8.15%), “advertisement” (4.97%), and “Sunday service” (0.77%).118 The 1998 edition reported similar percentages but, unfortunately, does not provide the number of respondents. 52.6% of Scientologists were introduced “through a friend or relative,” followed by “through reading a Dianetics or Scientology book” (20.6%) and “through a personality test” (18.0%), with smaller responses for the categories “through an advertisement” (4.8%), “lecture” (3.1%), and “other” (0.9%).119

05

50

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

During my interviews, the question “When did you first learn about/come into contact with the Church of Scientology or its affiliated organizations?” elicited narrative responses that can be organized into similar groupings and percentages:  “family/friend/significant other” (31.66%), “word of mouth” (especially from business acquaintances) (23.33%), “books” (10%), “personality test” (3.33%), “lecture” (3.33%), and “advertisement” (1.66%). The remainder fell under other categories not present in the 1978 and 1998 church volumes, including “second generation/born into the church/grew up among Scientologists” (21.66%), “church humanitarian programs” (Narconon and Applied Scholastics) (3.33%), and “splinter group”120 (Erhard Seminars Training [est]) (1.66%).121 The role of friends, family, and word of mouth of course makes good sociological sense given relational modes of religious introduction, engagement, and enculturation.122 These influences speak to the complex process by which conversion and religious self-identification form over a period of time in Scientology.123 As the 1998 edition of What Is Scientology? recognizes, “Scientologists want their friends to know about what they find helpful. It is no surprise then that well over half of today’s Church members were first introduced through a friend or relative.” When introducing friends and family, one might assume that a prime method would be a weekly service. However, only 0.77% of those surveyed in 1978 were introduced via a Sunday service (35 out of the 4,539 respondents), and none in my sample indicated so.124 This too makes sense given that membership in the church does not depend on attendance at a liturgical service and is instead gauged by progress up the Bridge, with various levels of auditing and training, pointing again to the relatively long-term process by which religious formation takes place. Rather than bring a nonmember to a Sunday service, it is far more common that word of mouth leads a friend, family member, or colleague to suggest or gift a text, such as Dianetics, The Fundamentals of Thought, or A New Slant on Life. Hubbard believed that books are the most effective means to disseminate Scientology, a point he made in an article entitled “Books Make Booms,”125 though he acknowledged the value of word of mouth to lead people to study his materials in the first place.126 After all, as taken up in chapter 2, the success of the New York Times bestseller Dianetics is what ignited the 1950s movement that evolved into the Church of Scientology. When asked the question “How long after first coming in contact with the church or its affiliated organizations did you begin to self-identify as a Scientologist?,” the most common responses from the interviews were “within a few months after first course/auditing” (28.30%), “one or more years after first course/auditing” (18.87%), and “right away/immediately during first

51

Preliminary Conclusions

51

course/auditing” (15.09%). These were followed by “born into the church but considered myself a Scientologist later in life” (during adolescence or early adulthood) (15.09%), “sometime during first course/auditing but not right away” (9.43%), and “my whole life” (second-generation respondents) (7.5%). Others (5.66%) were introduced to Dianetics in 1950 before the existence of Scientology centers but became church members when that transformation took place (1953–1954).127 Returning to the question of occupations among Scientologists, the 1978 and 1998 texts likewise provide useful data in conjunction with findings from the interviews. Contrary to some public perceptions, most members of the Church of Scientology are not Hollywood celebrities or associated with the entertainment industry, nor are they employed by the church as staff members. As explored in chapter 4, the Sea Organization consists of some seven thousand personnel; full-time staff members in other capacities, for instance at local churches, missions, and field groups, account for up to several thousand more worldwide. Thus, whether we consider that global Scientology membership runs into the “millions,” or in the tens of thousands, or perhaps in the low hundreds of thousands, the result is the same: the vast majority of Scientologists are ordinary people who are attracted to the church for a variety of personal and professional reasons unrelated to celebrity or ecclesiastical employment. Of course, Scientology garners enormous attention due to its famous parishioners. When friends, family, and colleagues first learn about my research, I am invariably asked whether I have met any celebrity members. The answer is no—not yet!—but I did spend several months at Celebrity Centre in Hollywood as I conducted fieldwork in the area for general parishioners. On one level, the celebrity stereotype is well deserved, since some of the church’s most prominent (and active) members are in fact big Hollywood names, including Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Kirstie Alley, and Chick Corea. However, there are surely just as many, if not more, well-known personalities in other spiritual and religious traditions. So why does this perception persist for Scientology? One reason is that, unlike other religious traditions, the church maintains facilities called Celebrity Centres in and outside the United States. These are headquartered in Hollywood, with branches in Dallas, Nashville, Las Vegas, New York City, and Paris. Having toured the churches in Hollywood and Las Vegas, my observation is that the vast majority of parishioners at these locations are not celebrities, entertainers, or public personalities. However, not too surprisingly, the Hollywood location did seem to have more members affiliated with the entertainment industry. I occasionally saw fliers

25

52

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

advertising celebrity guest speakers who were scheduled to speak on topics such as “breaking into the entertainment industry” and benefits from the Purification Rundown. The first Celebrity Centre, in Hollywood, was founded in 1969 by Yvonne Gillham Jentzsch, a Sea Org member who also served with Hubbard aboard the Apollo ship that headquartered international Scientology operations during the late 1960s and early 1970s (see chapter 4). Hubbard earlier supported outreach to the entertainment community in Los Angeles,128 but the Celebrity Centre was Jentzsch’s brainchild. As detailed in chapter 2, the first Scientology churches were founded in 1953 in New Jersey, far from the glitz and glamour of the Southern California acting scene.129 Jentzsch envisioned the Celebrity Centre as a bohemian and countercultural environment rather than as a gateway or “front group” for actors and entertainment professionals. Her project found natural support in Hubbard’s writings, which exalted artists as creative beings who are essential to the peace and well-being of society. “The artist has an enormous role in the enhancement of today’s and the creation of tomorrow’s reality,” he wrote in 1951. “He operates in a rank in advance of science as to the necessities and requirements of Man. . . . The artist, day by day, by postulating the new realities of the future, accomplishes peaceful revolution.”130 Another reason for the Hollywood stereotype, I suspect, is the perception that the church actively recruits celebrity members to legitimize Scientology and attract more members from all walks of life. To be sure, Hubbard acknowledged the manner in which famous or influential individuals—actors, politicians, community leaders, and even academics—serve as opinion leaders (OLs) for the broader society to potentially normalize the church and its activities, at least to some incredulous outsiders.131 While there may indeed be attempts to attract OLs, proselytization in Hollywood appears to be directed at young and entry-level actors rather than A-list celebrities. For example, Celebrity Centre staff members sometimes advertise outside a casting agency in nearby Burbank, where they hand out fliers to promote seminars for aspiring actors. Some interviewees were proud that Hollywood celebrities belong to the church, but famous names did not seem to be a factor in their own attraction to Scientology, which was personal, private, and based on spiritually formative auditing experiences. “I think all celebrities are going to get media attention regardless,” said one parishioner in Clearwater. “At the end of the day,” another in Los Angeles emphasized, “no matter who’s in the church, it comes down to you. The Bridge is designed to be walked by everyone regardless of background or fame.”

53

Preliminary Conclusions

53

The 1978 and 1998 editions of What Is Scientology? shed light on the forms of employment held among ordinary church members. My interviewees offered narrative replies to the question “Are you currently employed and, if so, in what capacity?” (i.e., employed outside of the church). Responses were compiled and organized using the categories from the 1998 edition, as seen in Table 1.1.132 With the exception of a significantly higher percentage of members who own businesses, the sample corresponds to many of the 1998 and 1978 figures. I  uncovered two categories not represented in the 1998 survey:  stayat-home parents (one in my sample) and retirees (one). The inclusion of these groups, and the lack of representation in my sample of, say, students, athletes, and members of the armed forces, again speaks to the relatively older population (average age = 51.4 years old), who were more likely to be established in their careers (which may explain the 60.8% who belong to one of the first three categories). The Church of Scientology International category “Arts, Technical, and Engineering” can, and should, be subdivided further (e.g., “Arts/Entertainment” and “Technical/Engineering”), especially in the

Table 1.1 Occupations of Church Members Occupation Managerial Position Arts, Technical, and Engineering Owner or Part-Time Owner of Company Sales Computers Teaching Medical (including Nursing, Dental, etc.) Construction Student Marketing and Advertising Clerical Secretarial Communications Law Sports Civil Service Armed Forces

Church of Scientology Interview International (1998) Sample (2012) 16.5% 15.6% 14.0% 10.2% 8.1% 6.2% 5.8% 5.5% 4.8% 4.6% 4.5% 4.0% 2.7% 1.3% 0.9% 0.8% 0.5%

7.9% 24% 28.9% 7.9% — 10.5% 2.6% 2.6% — 2.6% 2.6% 2.6% — 2.6% 2.6% 2.6% —

45

54

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

face of the Hollywood stereotype. When done so, it turns out that 13.2% of interviewees were employed in Arts/Entertainment (three actors, one concert pianist, and one novelist) and 10.5% in Technical/Engineering (three engineers and one engineering contractor). Another complication is that some non–Sea Org staff members have multiple sources of employment and income. My sample had one such instance: a full-time staff volunteer who also worked as a hotel caterer. The popular conflation of Scientology with celebrity may also lend itself to the impression that church members are politically liberal and progressive, in line with a perception of Hollywood in these terms. However, this too would be a mistake. Another surprising theme from the interviews was that few considered themselves politically liberal and most identified as some combination of apolitical, Republican, or libertarian. Responses to the questions “How do you self-identify politically? Do you belong to a particular political party or primarily vote for a particular party in elections?” yielded the following categories in order of frequency:  “none/apolitical” (39.34%), “Republican” (29.50%), “Libertarian” (13.11%), “Democrat” (9.84%), “Independent” (6.56%), and “Constitutionalist” (1.63%).133 Regardless of political affiliation, almost every interviewee expressed dissatisfaction with the effectiveness of the American political process. “Now don’t take this the wrong way. I vote for the lesser of the two criminals on the ticket,” a parishioner in Clearwater summed up. Most of the interviews were conducted in 2012—a US presidential election year—and many preferred Republican candidate Ron Paul because of his strong libertarian views and perceived support for some of Scientology’s anti-psychiatric positions. In the 2016 presidential election, judging from social media posts and informal exchanges with Scientologists, there appeared to be strong support for Donald Trump. This may be attributable to Trump’s war against “fake news” and the “mainstream media” or to admiration of his status as a businessman and anti-establishment populist. Another factor was the view, held among many church members, that the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, would have expanded psychiatric and other mental health services as president—an unacceptable outcome for Scientologists.134 Faced with a divisive 2016 election season, the church itself remained politically neutral, and I am told that both of the major party presidential candidates received enthusiastic support from Scientologists. While leaning apolitical, Republican, and libertarian, the 2012 interviewees insisted that they ultimately vote person over party. “It’s not based on political party particularly. It’s just what the person’s views are that seem more aligned to mine,” explained one Scientologist from San

5

Preliminary Conclusions

55

Jose. This parishioner admitted, however, that a candidate’s support of, or opposition to, psychiatry could be the decisive variable. In addition, some Scientologists view the Democratic Party as supportive of the “welfare state” that Hubbard militated against in so many writings.135 In combination with a disdain among church members for government-sponsored mental health services,136 it is no wonder that Scientologists lean toward conservative or libertarian candidates, who are perceived as potential allies, or opinion leaders, to combat the ultimate mental and spiritual cancer in society: psychiatry and psychology. Hubbard supported this single-issue mindset in April 1960 when he urged US mission holders to not vote for Richard Nixon (implicitly endorsing candidate John F.  Kennedy) due to the former’s unfavorable dealings with the Washington church during his time as vice president. “Nixon must be prevented at all costs from becoming president,” he wrote. “I do not believe any man closely connected with psychiatry should hold a high public office since psychiatry has lent its violence to political purposes.”137 Today, however, the church is nonpartisan and supports political processes that preserve democracy and free expression: “Scientology is nonpolitical. Individual Scientologists hold their own political views and tend to support governments or political parties which form democratic systems, honor the dignity and freedom of citizens and protect human rights.”138 I mention Hubbard’s and Scientologists’ views on politics and psychiatry at this stage because they are connected to a guiding historical and theological observation relevant to the religious lives of Scientologists today. It must be remembered that the Dianetics movement and earliest Scientology churches were formed in postwar America and then expanded in and outside the United States against the backdrop of the Cold War. For a variety of reasons explored throughout this book, Scientologists have inherited from Hubbard’s canon a Cold War–inspired mindset that helps explain the eschatological urgency with which nearly all in the interview sample viewed their spiritual advancement, efforts to disseminate Scientology, and support of humanitarian causes. The central idea, traceable to many of Hubbard’s writings and lectures, is that the world is on the brink of self-destruction and the technologies of Dianetics and Scientology offer the only possible antidote. The “apocalypse” in Scientology will not come as the result of any Second Coming but rather from humanity’s inability to overcome self-destructive patterns, aided and abetted by a “reactive mind”139 that inhibits rational thinking and is perpetuated by the suppressive practice of psychiatry and psychology. If left unchecked, these forces are liable to precipitate a nuclear holocaust in the push-button atomic age.

65

56

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

Hubbard’s views along these lines took shape in the 1950s and by the mid-1960s were more fully formed and unequivocal. They were no doubt informed by the vagaries of the Cold War era in which he operated, not to mention the evolution of his conspiratorial views on the media, governments, and mental health, expressed quite plainly throughout the materials now counted as scripture within the church.140 In Hubbard’s 1965 piece entitled “Keeping Scientology Working Series 1”—required reading at the start of every major auditing and training level—Scientologists read that “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 depends on what you do here and now with and in Scientology.”141 Hubbard did not set a date for the imminent self-destruction of humanity and our earthly home, but his writings make clear that the end is near. Scientology represents a call to action—to expand Scientology organizations, eradicate psychiatry, “Clear the planet,” and reverse the “dwindling spiral.” “A handful of us are working our guts out to beat Deadline Earth,” Hubbard wrote to the church in 1967. “On us alone depends whether your kid will ever see sixteen or your people will ever make it at all. A few of us see the world has got a chance if we don’t dawdle along the way. Our chance is a thin chance at best. We are working as hard as we can in Scientology. And, the only slim chance this planet has rests on a few slim shoulders, overworked, underpaid and fought—the Scientologist. Later on, if we make it, what will be your answer to this question? Did you help?”142 Far from being a rhetorical relic of the Cold War, this sense of urgency continues to be inculcated among Scientologists, especially Sea Org members who are at the vanguard of what we might describe as Hubbard’s counter-apocalyptic vision for society. “A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war,” Hubbard grandly wrote in 1965, “where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where Man is free to rise to greater heights, are the aims of Scientology.”143 Although few interviewees expressed support of the church and its programs in Hubbard’s more explicit apocalyptic terms, most did state that their involvement in Dianetics and Scientology was not only a matter of self-improvement but also one of “improving conditions,” “Clearing the planet,” or creating an “OT civilization.” Ideally, many told me, a Scientologist becomes increasingly responsible for others across the Eight Dynamics and displays compassion for the survival of self (First Dynamic), family (Second Dynamic), social groups (Third Dynamic), and humanity at large (Fourth Dynamic). The implication is that, despite high demands

57

Preliminary Conclusions

57

for its members, Scientologists are not insulated from the rest of society and in fact spend large amounts of time promoting the church’s social betterment and humanitarian organizations. As a result, these programs are known as “Fourth Dynamic” or “planetary salvage” campaigns, as analyzed in chapter 5. The themes of imminence, counter-apocalypticism, survival, and responsibility expressed themselves throughout the interviews in various ways: • “As Scientologists, we have a responsibility now to create a safer and better world.” • “I believe that from what I know seeing Scientology and the results that I’ve seen and so forth, it is the only way. . . . I think that we need other religions and we need people doing all the constructive things that they’re doing. . . . But there is no way to erase your reactive mind other than with Dianetics.” • “I don’t know if this civilization is going to survive. I don’t know that. None of us know that. There are signs all around us that things aren’t well. . . . We’re not arrogant enough to say we are the solution. And if anybody is, okay, that’s their opinion. I don’t.” • “Until we get enough sanity into our government, it doesn’t matter tremendously who we put there because it’s kind of set up to fail right now.” • “We are not looking for or expecting to get approval from this society. Not given the track this society is on. These people really expect this to all blow up . . . fifty years, one hundred years, one thousand years—do you think we can go a thousand years without nuking the place?” • “It’s important that we take responsibility for each other and we take responsibility for the planet and we make sure that we don’t screw things up. . . . We are going to come back and inherit this world and we better make a better place now.” • “It becomes about a game plan to basically have a safe environment for everybody. So there’s a commitment. I’m on a crusade.” • “We don’t have an infinite amount of time! I want to have a dirt ball to come back to.” • “What I wanted was a true civilization. This is not a civilized planet. . . . What am I doing here? Why did I spend fifty years in Scientology? Because I really care. That’s it.” • “I suppose I believe in a higher power, but I don’t think there is any god hanging around to make sure we make it. I  mean, look at this planet! I think it’s up to us.”

85

58

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

With these eight conclusions in hand and a contemporary picture of Scientologists in mind, we now turn to episodes from the early history and development of Dianetics and Scientology. This includes narratives from some of the “old-timers” who knew L.  Ron Hubbard well before any mention of Scientology and were drawn to his ideas about the workings of the human mind years before the religion was born, its institutions erected, and its theology and worldview matured.

95

2

Before the Religion episodes fRoM the advent of dianetics and scientology The first contribution of Dianetics is the discovery that the problems of thought and mental function can be resolved within the bounds of the finite universe, which is to say that all data needful to the solution of mental action and Man’s endeavor can be measured, sensed, and experienced as scientific truths independent of mysticism or metaphysics. The various axioms are not assumptions or theories—the case of past ideas about the mind—but are laws which can be subjected to the most vigorous laboratory and clinical tests. —HUBBARD,

Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (1950)1

The only truly therapeutic agent in this universe is the spirit. In Scientology this has been demonstrated with more thoroughness and exists with more certainty than the physical sciences or mathematics. A Scientologist can make an individual well, happy and grant him personal immortality, simply by addressing the human spirit. —HUBBARD,

Scientology: A New Slant on Life (1965)2

Brown3 at his home in Southern California and Joe McCusker at a hotel in downtown Philadelphia. Both men were well into their eighties and had reached the highest points available on Scientology’s Bridge to Total Freedom. In fact, at the time of our interview, Joe still volunteered for the church in Philly. I do not believe Jack and Joe have ever met, but their narratives share much in common, most prominently that they were introduced to Dianetics in 1950, the year it was first published, and soon after became Dianeticists in the emerging movement. As such, and as a sign of respect and affection, they are considered Scientology “old-timers.” Hubbard wrote that these “Founding Scientologists,” as he put it, are entitled to special benefits, most notably auditor training free of charge. Needless to say, fewer and fewer founding members remain as the religion has grown into the twenty-first century. I INTERVIEWED JACK 4

06

60

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

In fact, Jack and Joe became familiar with Hubbard’s techniques even before the publication of the five-hundred-page Dianetics book on May 9, 1950. This was because their first introduction came not through the textbook but from advertisements and an early article Hubbard published in the magazine Astounding Science Fiction (hereafter Astounding). While Dianetics:  The Modern Science of Mental Health was—and to this day remains—the most well known (and best sold) of Hubbard’s many publications, the text published in 1950 by Hermitage House in New  York was the culmination of prior work. These include an unpublished 1938 text entitled “Excalibur,” in which Hubbard claimed to isolate the lowest common denominator of existence as the evolutionary impulse toward survival (a theme we saw in chapter 1 with the Eight Dynamics);5 a 1948 book-length treatise circulated among friends and colleagues as Abnormal Dianetics and later retitled Dianetics: The Original Thesis; a 1949 article “Terra Incognita: The Mind” that appeared in The Explorer’s Journal; and the feature article in the May 1950 issue of Astounding that was later republished as Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science. While not his first word on the subject, the article in Astounding represented the earliest mass exposure of Hubbard’s ideas, and helped plant the seeds for the Dianetics movement (and Scientology religion) to come. In 1950, twenty-one-year-old Joe (seen in Figure 2.1 from 2015) developed an interest in the mind as a psychology student at Temple University. Before long, he dropped out of college—“I soon came to the same conclusion as Ron did:  I didn’t know what the heck they were talking about”—and came across a book on hypnotism. Joe soon became an amateur hypnotist and showed off the techniques in social settings. He “was the hit of the party,” he remembered, until an eye-opening incident in which he hypnotized a friend and later found him staring blankly at the wall, unable to snap out of the posthypnotic influence. “I finally got him back to present time and then I stopped hypnotizing people. Everything Ron says about hypnosis is one hundred percent true,” Joe noted. “You don’t want it. You would rather have a bomb in your living room than that.” Hubbard was a skilled hypnotist and, like Joe, briefly used it for entertainment purposes, as has been pointed out in a number of sources.6 Hubbard acknowledged that hypnotism and other practices such as narcosynthesis informed the creation of Dianetics, but made clear that his techniques are diametrically opposed in purpose. “Dianetics wakes people up,” Hubbard explained. “It is not hypnotism, which puts people to sleep. Dianetic therapy wakes them up. Hypnotism puts them to sleep. Can you ask for a wider difference in polarity?”7 After leaving behind psychology and hypnotism, one of Joe’s friends passed along a copy of Hubbard’s article on Dianetics from Astounding. However, Joe

61

Before the Religion

61

Figure  2.1 Joe McCusker (left) with the author, outside Carpenters’ Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2015.

was incredulous that an approach to the human mind could be based on an engineering perspective. As Hubbard wrote in the Astounding article, “As it stands today, the science of Dianetics and its results—which are as demonstrable as the proposition that water, at 15 pounds per square inch and 212°F, boils—is an engineering science, built heuristically on axioms. It works. That is the only claim for Dianetics or chemistry. They may not be True. But they work and work invariably in the finite world.”8 “I didn’t know how an engineer could do what no one else could do,” Joe recalled, but he was intrigued enough to search for a copy of the newly released Dianetics book. He made his way to a medical bookstore in the area. However, the assistant had never heard of Dianetics and assumed he was looking for a nutritional text on dietetics. Eventually, Joe did receive his copy and soon after began co-auditing with a friend. “I promise you we broke every rule,” he said with a laugh, “but at the end of my first session I was reliving the birth, so I was pretty well convinced.” The book lists precise and normative steps for auditing, which included the practice of recounting, re-experiencing, and thereby reducing, if not fully eliminating, the effect of past negative trauma. The procedure can theoretically target any experience from one’s life—or time track, as Hubbard put it—up to and including birth (as happened for Joe) and prenatal injury, on the assumption that the individual is capable of recording memories from the

26

62

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

moment of conception. Later, Dianetics students traveled back even farther and discovered traumatic incidents from their past lives; as we will see, this reorientation received strong backlash from the medical doctors who initially supported Hubbard’s project, and led to a new explanation that memories were transmitted spiritually between lifetimes. Joe did not report recollections of past lives in 1950, but he did mention using Hubbard’s techniques to extrovert a shy friend and raise his IQ in the process (another one of Hubbard’s claims for Dianetics).9 Joe became an early Dianetics student and relocated to Wichita, Kansas, to take classes directly under Hubbard. He later returned to Philadelphia and attended Hubbard’s lengthy Philadelphia Doctorate Course. At the time of our interview, he had reached the highest point currently available on the Bridge, OT VIII. On the other side of the country, outside Los Angeles, sixteen-year-old Jack Brown also learned about the forthcoming book from the May 1950 issue of Astounding. Jack was fascinated by the prospect of raising his IQ, especially as a high-performing student who was preparing for admission to a top university. Two years earlier, at the age of fourteen, the precocious youth became acquainted with the self-help program general semantics (GS), though he found Alfred Korzybski’s magnum opus Science and Sanity (1933) impenetrable. He explored the writings of other semanticists, however, such as Wendell Johnson and S.  I. Hayakawa, before coming across Hubbard’s Astounding article. “That sounded interesting and intriguing to me, so I sent away for the book by mail order,” Jack remembered. As a result, he obtained “one of the first copies published.” He and his mother read it over carefully. They searched for a professional auditor in the area, to no avail, until his mother noticed a classified ad from an engineer who was looking for a co-auditor. Jack replied and discovered that the engineer had set up a local Dianetics group after receiving “about a hundred responses to his letter.” Jack and his mother became members of the group in June 1950 and co-audited for about one year. He explained that many of those attracted to Dianetics in the Los Angeles area consisted of the “high powered . . . [a] high proportion of highly educated engineers and scientists as well as literary people,” including authors and editors of science fiction. Jack conveyed a sense of excitement and experimentation in 1950 as novice auditors tried out Hubbard’s evolving techniques in Los Angeles (see Figure 2.2) and at centers around the country. Soon after the book’s publication, Hubbard established the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to refine his methods and provide more formal training under the supervision of instructors. Organizations were formed in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Washington, DC, Honolulu, and Wichita, but by and large the Dianetics movement of 1950

6 3

Before the Religion

63

Figure 2.2 Woman taking notes at L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics seminar in Los Angeles, California, 1950. Los Angeles Daily News, UCLA Library Digital Collections.

was loosely affiliated and outside strict institutional control.10 This is not surprising given the book’s marketing as a textbook. The first edition was subtitled A Handbook of Dianetic Therapy. With a copy in hand, theoretically no further instruction was necessary, and the amateur Dianeticist could audit friends and family without belonging to any official organization. Soon after joining local Dianeticists, Jack and the group received “a letter from somebody who had gone back to Elizabeth. . . . He described a little bit about how the tech—it was just published in the Dianetics book—was obsolete already. I couldn’t believe it.” Hubbard’s methodological refinements led to revised auditing techniques and new publications; meanwhile, he crisscrossed the country to deliver lectures and recruit staff for the newly formed centers. In some cases, the demand for Dianetics was so great that instructors at the Elizabeth headquarters could only complete a portion of their training before being sent back home to teach the latest techniques. This happened in

46

64

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

the case of science fiction author A. E. van Vogt, who for many years led the largest Dianetics organization in the Los Angeles area.11 Even in 1950, Dianetics began to spread outside the United States. Another “old-timer” was Mario Feninger,12 a classically trained concert pianist in his late eighties at the time of our interview in Los Angeles. Originally from Egypt, Mario traveled widely and was educated across Europe as well as the United States, where in 1949 he studied for a year under Korzybski until the famed theorist’s death in March 1950. Mario then left for England, where he was given a copy of Dianetics by an American friend. “When I read that book,” Mario recollected, “it was very interesting. I said, ‘This is something new. . . . This is the future of humanity.’ ” Mario soon found himself in Paris, where in 1950 he established the first Dianetics center in France (and, to my knowledge, one of the first in mainland Europe). “I was a pioneer,” he admitted with humility. “I am the founder of the Paris organization.” The Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre in Paris honored Mario as such in a letter read at his 2016 memorial service in Hollywood. Mario came to know Hubbard in his study of Dianetics and Scientology in the late 1950s and 1960s. He attended one of Hubbard’s “Advanced Clinical Courses,” graduated from the “Saint Hill Special Briefing Course” in England, and audited some of the OT levels aboard the Royal Scotman (later the Apollo; see chapter 4). “I met Ron Hubbard personally and he was the most extraordinary person I ever met,” Mario said. “He had a scientific mind and so he applied his scientific mind to exploring this. . . . All of a sudden, what we call the Bridge was being built.” Mario conveyed a deep sense of gratitude for Hubbard’s contributions and the opportunity to benefit from them during the founder’s lifetime. “I have great respect for all his knowledge and his way of saying it and imparting it to us and wanting us to apply it immediately,” he went on. “Ron sometimes asked the question, why are we here? . . . But the only reason why we are here is to help each other.” Mario’s affection was apparently mutual. Hubbard mentioned him in a 1968 audio recording to the church as one of the celebrities who has benefited from Scientology.13

The Appeal of Dianetics Within the Sci-Fi Community It is worth examining why, of all possible publication venues, Hubbard chose a science fiction (sci-fi or SF) magazine as the first major means to publicize his “science of the mind.” What about Astounding resonated with readers like Joe and Jack and helped generate interest that swept the nation and extended internationally to interested parties such as Mario?

6 5

Before the Religion

65

As Hubbard noted in the quasi-autobiographical “My Only Defense for Having Lived” (1966), his submissions about Dianetics to psychological and psychiatric journals were rejected or ignored. Of course, this is perfectly understandable given that Hubbard lacked the academic credentials and clinical resources that would have been necessary for research and publication in peer-reviewed sources. This may suggest a populist reason for the choice of a science fiction magazine; dissemination to such an audience ensured a broad, but scientifically literate, audience who might be receptive to his ideas on their own terms. The motivation, then, may have been one of offering a supply in response to a perceived demand within a particular demographic. This contrasts with a publication strategy based on expressed demand, such as Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936). Carnegie’s work was another popular American self-help book from the first half of the twentieth century, but it was produced in response to years of success as a business and professional coach.14 The climate of postwar America made the science fiction community an ideal target audience for Hubbard in the wake of the advent of atomic weaponry and the escalating tensions of the Cold War. Even before the cataclysms of World War II and the bombings in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, technological advances had opened up the popular imagination to a future in which possibilities such as space travel became more realistic than fanciful. Numerous science fiction writers have remarked that the craft exists not purely for the sake of fantasy but ought to serve as a guide for the scientific future.15 Indeed, the apparent “progress” of modern science in the twentieth century proved far too dangerous and potentially self-destructive for humanity. Some of the most famous dystopian novels of the period—such as Orwell’s 1984 (1949) and Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 (1953)—described the promises and the pitfalls in the language of science fiction. As Bradbury later, and apocalyptically, described his writing method: “I wasn’t trying to predict the future. I was trying to prevent it.”16 Despite his background as a writer, Hubbard viewed his work as scientific and envisioned Dianetics as a panacea for the atomic age. “A science of mind is a goal which has engrossed thousands of generations of Man,” he wrote grandiosely. “Armies, dynasties and whole civilizations have perished for the lack of it.  .  .  . And down in the arsenal is an atom bomb, its hopeful nose full-armed in ignorance of it.”17 “The various axioms are not assumptions or theories—the case of past ideas about the mind,” he claimed, “but are laws which can be subjected to the most vigorous laboratory and clinical tests.”18 The first edition of Dianetics included an introduction from a medical doctor, J. A. Winter—who became a leading figure in the Hubbard Dianetic Research

66

66

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

Foundation—as well as an appendix chapter by philosopher Will Durant. The book’s original publisher, Hermitage House in New York, also produced psychological and psychiatric textbooks. As mentioned, the first edition of Dianetics featured a subtitle that was subsequently dropped:  A Handbook of Dianetic Therapy. Dianetics found support among fellow science fiction authors, some of whom supported and promoted Hubbard’s theories. Most notably, this included John W. Campbell, Jr., editor of Astounding from 1937 until his death in 1971.19 Campbell helped launch the careers of dozens of up-and-coming writers, including luminaries such as Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, H. P. Lovecraft, Lester del Rey, and A. E. van Vogt. As a writer during the “Golden Age of Science Fiction,” Hubbard also published fiction in Astounding, and the famed editor’s enthusiasm for Dianetics explains why the magazine published a preliminary article ahead of the book’s release. In an introductory note to the May 1950 issue of Astounding, Campbell lauded Dianetics and assured subscribers that Hubbard’s article was factual and should be taken seriously on scientific terms. “I want to assure every reader,” he wrote in emphatic tones, “most positively and unequivocally, that this article is not a hoax, joke, or anything but a direct, clear statement of a totally new scientific thesis.” Campbell was aware that publication in a sci-fi magazine might imply that Hubbard’s thesis lacked proper support. In evaluating Dianetics, prestige ought to be subordinated to pragmatism, he argued— whether “the techniques described actually work.” This, for Campbell, was the real test of merit. “In the scientific method, authority is meaningless,” he declared. “That the new theory disagrees with the Great Name, or with previous theory, or with ‘as everybody knows,’ is a statement best classified as meaningless noise, so far as evidential value is concerned.”20 In a lecture from 1952—delivered after the introduction of Scientology— Hubbard reflected on the connection between his writing career, the formulation of Dianetics, and popularity among sci-fi fans. “It’s also interesting the preponderance of people in this field who have been very interested in science fiction,” he observed. “And what is our present drama and conflict in this world right now? The atom bomb, which is a high level on the MEST [matter, energy, space, and time] line, coming into conflict with the humanities. So anybody who has a thought background very thoroughly is quite concerned about the fact that we have no present modus operandi in this society of humanizing Man swiftly.”21 For Hubbard, the propagation of Dianetics was part of a larger and dire contest—similar to H. G. Wells’s apocalyptic point that “civilization is a race between education and catastrophe.”22 From Hubbard’s perspective, and certainly from the standpoint of the earliest Dianetics fans who were aware

6 7

Before the Religion

67

of his writing career, a background in science fiction was not necessarily a liability and may have been an asset. Indeed, it seems that at least some were attracted to the Dianetics movement precisely because of Hubbard’s minor celebrity status.23

L. Ron Hubbard: Before Dianetics Again, it is not my intention to present a complete biography of Hubbard, a project beyond the scope of this work.24 However, in situating the emergence of Dianetics, and subsequently Scientology, a few more details are in order. Lafayette Ronald (“L. Ron”) Hubbard was born on March 13, 1911, in Tilden, Nebraska, to Ledora May Waterbury, a teacher, and Harry Ross Hubbard, a veteran naval officer. The family relocated to Helena, Montana, in 1913. During this period, the young Hubbard learned to live on a ranch but spent most of the time in the city. He claimed to have developed a relationship with a Blackfoot shaman named “Old Tom” at age six, displaying an early interest in Native American spirituality that may have opened his eyes to engagement with non-Western culture in later thinking and writing.25 Hubbard’s family was Methodist. However, it is not known if he or his parents regularly attended church or to what extent the young Hubbard may have been influenced by his Protestant background. A more formative development came when his father rejoined the Navy in 1917 to serve in World War I. This heralded a period of travel for Hubbard, including time abroad. In early 1923, the family traveled from the Panama Canal to Washington, DC, and the twelve-year-old boy was introduced to basic psychological ideas from a student of Freud, Commander Joseph Cheesman “Snake” Thompson (1874–1943). Thompson was a polymath and renaissance man whose eclectic background reflects the way in which Hubbard has been depicted in official biographies.26 However, it remains unclear to what extent Thompson taught the boy. According to a 1950 lecture, Hubbard reflected on the encounter and claimed that Thompson “had just come from Vienna. And his mouth and mind were full of associative words, libido theories, conversion and all the rest of it. . . . The old man had a tremendous influence upon me and I’m sorry that he is not alive today.”27 Thompson may have passed on basic psychoanalytic theory and Freud’s tripartite division of the mind (id, ego, superego), as evidenced by a modified version found in Dianetics, but the extent of influence is unknown.28 Biographical accounts usually mention, accurately, that Hubbard was an active Boy Scout and reached the rank of Eagle Scout at age thirteen. He and

86

68

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

other scouts were honored at an event in 1924 attended by President Calvin Coolidge.29 The scouting narrative underscores Hubbard’s early pursuit of adventure, outdoorsmanship, and practical knowledge. He traveled to Japan, China, and Guam in 1927 at the age of sixteen. In diaries from this period, Hubbard displayed an interest in the religious forms he encountered, such as a romantic description of a Chinese “Confucius Temple” as “a forest of great stone slabs which are erected in commemoration of those men who passed the examination on the ‘Book of Confucius’ which contains 800,000 phrases, all of which were memorized by a student.”30 In 1928–1929, he spent time in China and Guam and developed nautical skills aboard a schooner, which, in combination with his father’s naval career, likely nurtured his lifelong love of the sea. Hubbard served in the Navy during World War II. But the most obvious legacy from his seafaring days came in 1967 when he founded Scientology’s Sea Organization, which operated for several years in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Caribbean, as detailed in chapter 4. In 1930, Hubbard enrolled at George Washington University, where he studied civil engineering and molecular physics. By his own admission, he was a poor student, and apparently more interested in writing and aviation.31 “I think the registrar must have been blind that day or had a sonic shut-off, but he let me in,” Hubbard admitted in self-deprecation to a Dianetics audience twenty years later. “They regretted it from there on because I never seemed to stay with the curriculum. . . . My only measure of excellence was whether or not I  learned anything about what I  wanted to know.”32 He dropped out in 1932 and focused more attention on writing, with secondary and longlasting interests in photography and music, and lived in the DC area where he published in the Washington Herald and The Sportsman Pilot.33 His professional career as a writer of pulp fiction did not formally begin until 1934. In the interim, he often traveled, including a trip to the Caribbean where he collected floral and reptile specimens and took footage for a pirate movie. He also participated in a mineralogical expedition in Puerto Rico.34 Hubbard married for the first time in 1933 to Margaret “Polly” Grubb, whom he met in Maryland during glider pilot training.35 The pair traveled the country and started a family, living in Maryland, New York City, Washington State, Alaska, and Oregon. Hubbard’s budding career as a writer meant that he often worked away from home during these years. Throughout the 1930s, he published across several genres—Western, romance, adventure, fantasy, and science fiction. He wrote hundreds of short stories, often pseudonymously, for magazines such as Thrilling Adventures, Argosy, and of course Astounding.36 Hubbard also published a number of books, including the Western Buckskin Brigades (1937), thriller-horror Fear (1940), science fiction works Typewriter in the

96

Before the Religion

69

Sky (1940) and Final Blackout (1948), and the fantasy collection Triton (1949).37 He continued to sail and, in 1940, received a Master of Steam and Motor Vessels license from the US Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation.38 During World War II, Hubbard enlisted in the Navy Reserve, became a lieutenant (junior grade), commanded several vessels, and received citations for his service.39 By the end of the war, he was sent to Oak Knoll Naval Hospital in Oakland, California, to recover from injuries that included peptic ulcers. This hospital stay is significant in the prehistory of Dianetics and Scientology because it was during this period that Hubbard claimed to begin independent research into the nature of psychosomatic illness. In his view, the patients at Oak Knoll, himself included, suffered from physical ailments that were caused or exacerbated by fundamentally mental problems.40 After the war, Hubbard remained a commissioned officer on active duty. He reignited his career as a pulp writer and continued to theorize about the workings of the mind. In late 1945, Hubbard took residence in Pasadena, California, at a home affiliated with the Western esoteric group Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO). The Pasadena OTO lodge leader, John Whiteside “Jack” Parsons, a renowned explosives expert affiliated with the California Institute of Technology,41 befriended Hubbard and invited him to participate in a series of controversial occult rituals. The Church of Scientology insists that Hubbard was in fact engaged in a covert operation sanctioned by the US government to infiltrate and disband the OTO chapter, a claim disputed by critics. The influence of this period on the theology and practices of Scientology has been debated among academics. Roy Wallis, J. Gordon Melton, and Aldo N.  Terrin, for instance, argue that the OTO period had little to no appreciable impact,42 while others such as Hugh B. Urban and Henrik Bogdan have offered cases for degrees of possible influence.43 Seven years after the events in question, Hubbard mentioned OTO leader Aleister Crowley at a number of points in a lecture series well known to Scientologists, the Philadelphia Doctorate Course (1952–1953). But the full context there seems to suggest a middle-ground position in which Hubbard was familiar with the OTO but dissociated himself from Crowley’s thought—and that of many others mentioned throughout the lectures, such as Kant, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Freud, Plato, Aristotle, Will Durant, Louis Pasteur, and Max Planck—as Scientology’s own gnostic and esoteric sensibilities began to take firmer shape.44 In any event, the OTO episode indicates a discernible point of contact between the Western esoteric tradition and Scientology’s future founder. Following formal discharge from the military, Hubbard spent most of his time writing fiction and engaged in the independent psychological work that would be published four

07

70

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

years later as Dianetics, followed by the incorporation of the first Scientology churches in 1953 and 1954.

Bay Head, New Jersey (1950): “The Birthplace of Dianetics” In 1948, two years before the publication of Dianetics, Hubbard wrote to friend and fellow author Russell Hays about his research into the mind and the results it produced in contrast to Freudian psychotherapy. “[B]een amusing myself making a monkey out of Freud,” he wrote. “I always knew he was nutty but didn’t have a firm case. . . . I seem to have cut psycho-analysis down from a two year job to about two nights.”45 In late 1949, Hubbard rented the summer home of James C.  Kellogg III in Bay Head, New Jersey, where he finished Dianetics and conducted early training sessions. Located on the Jersey Shore, the house had three stories and “eight bedrooms here to wander around and contemplate,” he wrote to Hays in November 1949.46 Hubbard claimed in Dianetics (1950) that his conclusions were based on over 250 case studies, but no records are available for corroboration.47 However, I  was told by the Sea Org members who staff the now-restored “L. Ron Hubbard Landmark Site” in Bay Head that he did supervise early Dianetics students, including John W. Campbell, in some of the bedrooms. During this period, Hubbard hosted other guests, including author Theodore Sturgeon and mathematician Claude Shannon. Remarkably, Hubbard finished the nearly five-hundredpage tome in less than a month on his Remington typewriter. It was published on May 9, 1950—a date now celebrated as a holiday within the Church of Scientology. Dianetics became a New York Times bestseller and remained there for twenty-six weeks.

Dianetics: Basic Theory According to Hubbard (see Figure 2.3), “Dianetics” is a combination of the Greek words dia (through) and nous (mind, or soul), and has been described as “what the mind is doing to the body” or, as it was phrased later in light of Scientology, “what the soul is doing to the body.”48 Thus, Dianetics addresses psychosomatic illness, which is caused by the mind, and in particular the irrational “reactive mind”—an aggregate of painful and traumatic memories called “engrams.” Although nous has been translated as “mind” or “soul,” Hubbard was only concerned with the psychological in 1950. In later writings, he connected rational thought with the immaterial—or “theta”—and eventually

71

Before the Religion

71

Figure  2.3 L. Ron Hubbard meeting with students and staff after lecture and demonstration in Los Angeles, California, 1950. Originally published in “Dianetics: Science or Hoax?,” Look magazine, December 5, 1950. Courtesy of Earl Theisen/Roxann Livingston.

associated the properties of the “analytical mind” (rational mind) with the nature of the soul (thetan).49 Dianetics (1950) made no direct comment on the soul, but occasionally refers to the individual as an “I” with little elaboration.50 Decades later, Hubbard offered a succinct definition of a Clear—the ultimate goal of Dianetics—as someone “who no longer has his own reactive mind.”51 This description is reflected in the early Dianetics writings, although there the state of Clear received less attention than the therapeutic benefits and

27

72

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

effects of being Clear. In addition to Clear, he coined the term Release to refer to someone who has obtained significant, though incomplete, relief from the burden of the reactive mind. The Clear, on the other hand, is the one who has eradicated the reactive mind and receives the full and measurable benefits afforded by Hubbard’s techniques. According to Dianetics (1950): “Dianetically, the optimum individual is called the Clear. . . . A Clear can be tested for any and all psychoses, neuroses, compulsions, and repressions (all aberrations) and can be examined for any autogenic (self-generated) diseases referred to as psychosomatic ills. These tests will confirm the Clear to be entirely without such ills or aberrations.”52 As introduced in chapter 1, Hubbard gave the name auditor (from the Latin audire, “to listen”) to the counselor who aids the preclear (PC) in auditing. Hubbard would later create numerous professional auditor training levels, some of which take years to complete, but in 1950 Dianetics was considered sufficient preparation. The auditor does not counsel in the traditional sense of engaging in conversation (as in psychoanalysis). Instead, the auditor delivers a series of prescribed questions and commands to allow the preclear to recount and, indeed, mentally re-experience targeted past moments of pain or unconsciousness. This process repeats until the PC improves in temperament, which is to say that he or she rises on Hubbard’s “Tone Scale.”53 In 1950, the Tone Scale was a behavioral system labeled from 1 to 4, which corresponded, respectively, to apathy, anger, boredom, and cheerfulness.54 One is supposed to rise on the scale in direct proportion to progress made in session. In the early days of Dianetics, auditing was often carried out with the PC reclining on a couch or bed. Today, “Book One” techniques are carried out with the auditor and PC seated and facing one another. In addition to the reactive mind and the analytical mind, Hubbard wrote about a somatic mind, through which emotion is experienced. On the face of it, this tripartite description corresponds to some degree with Freud’s divisions of id, ego, and superego. However, in Hubbard’s typology, when the analytical mind is unfettered by the reactive mind, its full rational power leads to the sanity attributed to the ego, which itself assures the morality Freud assigned to the superego. Dianetics uses the analogy of a computer to make this point. Just as the computing power of a calculator operates without error, the same is true of the human mind when the analytical mind is in full control. When the reactive mind supplies incorrect or misleading data about the world, this causes the analytical mind to perpetually miscalculate. Hubbard likened this to a calculator with a “held down 7,” which will fail to compute unless one troubleshoots to remove the bug and, as it were, clear the calculator.55 In much

73

Before the Religion

73

the same way, by removing the engrams that compose the reactive mind, one restores full analytical power and produces a Clear.56 Hubbard also described the reactive mind in the Freudian language of consciousness and unconsciousness to describe a curious phenomenon: “The concept of the unconscious mind is replaced in Dianetics by the discovery that the ‘unconscious’ mind is the only mind which is always conscious.”57 Since the reactive mind is irrational, he explained, it simply records data from the environment without discrimination. “It does not ‘remember’: it records and uses the recordings only to produce action,” he wrote. “It does not ‘think’: it selects recordings and impinges them upon the ‘conscious’ mind and the body without the knowledge or consent of the individual.”58 The reactive mind records all sensory input, not merely sights and sounds. This raw data is stored away and can cause distress when some aspect of the present-time environment triggers (“keys-in” or “restimulates”) it in a stimulus-response fashion. As such, the reactive mind “thinks” in conflation rather than differentiation, expressed by Hubbard in the formula A = A = A. “Sanity is the ability to tell differences,” he wrote. “The less one can tell differences and the closer one comes to thinking in identities (A=A), the less sane he is.”59 Dianetics noted that the development of stimulus-response (“fight or flight”) mechanisms contributed to the fitness of human populations.60 At our current point in human evolution, however, the reactive mind does more harm than good; it is an agent of self-destruction in the atomic age, when the fate of nations hang in the balance and at the push of a button. It is remarkable that the early Dianetics writings, especially the piece in Astounding, borrow so freely from behaviorist and materialist methodologies and even presume that the human mind is the product of neuronal processes shaped by blind evolutionary forces—in sharp distinction to Hubbard’s later view of the role of the spirit as the senior therapeutic and creative force.61

Dianetics over the Decades Hubbard continued to refine the techniques in Dianetics for decades to come. As Jack mentioned earlier, this process began almost immediately after publication, a testament to the original intention that Dianetics represented a serious and ongoing research project. This is evidenced in the naming of the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation. The basic goal to produce a Clear has remained the same over the years, but the means by which this was accomplished evolved when Hubbard implemented the E-Meter to more precisely alleviate moments of pain and unconsciousness, including in past lives. Also,

47

74

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

while “going Clear” remains a significant milestone for Scientologists today, there are now several preparatory steps on the Bridge to Total Freedom (see chapter 1). For instance, the Purification Rundown, the first major step on the Bridge, was developed in the late 1970s and standardized for widespread use in the early 1980s. Today, the state of Clear marks approximately the halfway point on one’s journey to Operating Thetan (OT). Hubbard’s theory is that the steps before Clear systematically prepare the preclear to confront and eradicate the reactive mind with auditing.62 However, this is not to suggest that the importance of going Clear has diminished over the past seven decades. On the contrary, even though Hubbard introduced the notion of OT as early as the 1950s and developed numerous auditing techniques to address subjects other than engrams, he continually sought to produce Clears through a variety of procedures and under other names: “Dianetic Clear,” “MEST Clear,” “Theta Clear,” “Cleared Theta Clear,” “Clear OT,” and “Scientology Clear.”63 The motivation for further research was that the 1950 methods were unable to stably and efficiently produce the results described in Dianetics. It soon became apparent that the book was more aspirational in nature. This realization seems to have gradually dawned on Hubbard himself, for instance during an incident from August 1950 in which he presented Sonya Bianca as the “first Clear” to a packed auditorium in Los Angeles.64 Dianetics claimed that “the Clear has vivid and accurate recall for every one of the senses.”65 But when tested by the audience, Bianca could not answer questions that would have been simple for a textbook Clear, such as the color of Hubbard’s tie when his back was turned. The attendees were underwhelmed, even if the “Book One” techniques did deliver appreciable relief from psychosomatic illness and the effects of past trauma. As a senior auditor (Class VIII) explained to me in an interview: “You have to remember they didn’t have meters and in 1950 they would just process all the engrams that could be processed. When there was nothing more to be found and the person was up the Tone Scale [with] no evidence of psychosomatic illness, he was well and happy and healthy. They said, well, ‘this case is Cleared.’ ” The church considers John McMaster the first true Clear, a state he achieved in 1966 based on methods that involved the E-Meter. He is counted as “Clear #1.” In 1969, Hubbard published updated Dianetics techniques for the worldwide church, known as “Standard Dianetics,” and in 1978 he released “New Era Dianetics” (NED), which continues to be one of the two means to reach Clear. The other is a path known as the “Clearing Course,” part of an “alternate route to Clear” displayed on the Bridge. The “Clearing Course” is a solo-audited method that was developed in the 1960s and, Scientologists tell me, allowed Hubbard to go Clear himself.66 NED auditing is delivered at local

75

Before the Religion

75

churches (Class V Organizations), but the Clearing Course is only available at the handful of Advanced Organizations (in Los Angeles, Clearwater, Sydney, Copenhagen, and East Grinstead) since its contents are confidential. The path that leads from NED to Clear also contains confidential elements, namely a “Clear Cognition” that the preclear must communicate to the auditor. At this point, he or she would receive confidential auditing called the Clear Certainty Rundown (CCRD), intended to verify the state of Clear through a series of checks conducted on the E-Meter. If not yet Clear, then the preclear may continue with NED auditing or move to the Clearing Course. Once Clear, then he or she would next prepare for the OT levels. As of 2018, the church has produced nearly seventy thousand Clears.

“Wins” from Dianetics: Testimonials from Sample A “win” in Dianetics and Scientology refers to any benefit received in the course of auditing and training. The concept also refers to success in life in general, usually but not necessarily as a consequence of one’s involvement in the church. At the end of every Scientology course or auditing level, the individual is invited to write a “Success Story.” These success story write-ups are sometimes used in advertisements to generate word-of-mouth interest. Every Friday night, Scientology churches hold a graduation service. Scientologists are invited to the stage, certificates are presented, and inspirational speeches may be delivered by one or more of the graduates, followed by a period of socialization and celebration. In 1980, William Sims Bainbridge and Rodney Stark argued that the state of Clear functioned more as a “social status” among Scientologists than as a manifestation of rational thinking that one would expect in the absence of a reactive mind.67 However, the Clears I  encountered spoke about their accomplishment—and indeed it was that for them, having spent dozens of hours and up to tens of thousands of dollars on counseling68—as an intensely personal “win” and spiritual success. From what I could tell, it was not merely a source of status or prestige within the group, even if that may be one sociological side effect. Clears are certainly respected in the church, but it is understood that the OT levels lie ahead. According to one “Clear Success Story” from 2010: “I no longer feel the need to dramatize anything! . . . I no longer am introverted at all! I know who I am. . . . I can’t wait to move up my Bridge to full OT!!”69 One man, James, “attested,” as it is called, to the state of Clear only a week before our interview and described his wins in the following way:

67

76

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

Yesterday somebody asked me, “Well, what is different about you now that you’re Clear?” And my answer was two-fold. My first answer is I am completely aware of everything that goes on around me in present time and not encumbered by anything that could affect my judgment when faced or proposed with any kind of a situational problem or anything like that. And the other half of that is the world is different. The world is a completely different place because you’re not looking through a mass of bypassed charge. There is none of that. There is none of that. That’s all gone. It’s a feeling and a certainty of knowing yourself and your relationship to basically everything anywhere, of being just totally causative about what will happen with me and my involvement with the rest of the world. This response is revealing and aligns with Hubbard’s broader aims for a Clear. On the one hand, James’s awareness of his “present time” environment is heightened and “not encumbered” by the harmful effects of the reactive mind. With a fresh mental perspective, he claims to perceive the world differently, “because you’re not looking through a mass of bypassed charge,” a reference to the build-up of unaddressed negative mental energy in the mind. As a result, James is now in a position to be “totally causative” in life, in relationship to himself and “the rest of the world.” These kinds of expressions were common among the Clears interviewed. After the interview, James continued on the Bridge and was featured a few years later in the official Freewinds magazine as an OT VIII completion. Numerous other Scientologists, at various points on the Bridge, shared “wins” from Dianetics. These are not all Clear success stories, however, since some had not yet reached that plateau, but the range of testimonials illustrate how members view Dianetics as a tool for mental and spiritual improvement that is not necessarily bound up with Hubbard’s goal from 1950. They also demonstrate that Dianetics is not simply a means toward self-improvement, self-betterment, or for that matter self-aggrandizement. The “wins” are at times described in humanitarian terms, since some Scientologists choose to become auditors to improve the lives of others. In other cases, true to its original purpose, Dianetics is characterized in therapeutic terms and contrasted with modern medicine and psychological/psychiatric courses of treatment: • “My wife had chronic migraines since she [was] 13. They were so bad that she was only able to work maybe two weeks out of a month.  .  .  . They were painful and she had seen psychs [psychiatrists] and they had given her drugs. . . . Inside of a handful of [auditing] sessions, the headaches blew.”

7

Before the Religion

77

• “On a physical level, I  was having the most random stomach aches and I couldn’t figure out what it was. . . . I was taking antibiotics because somebody thought I had a bacterium. . . . It was like, my god, this was going on for six months. I did some Dianetics on it. Never had it since.” • “I had a lifelong allergy to cigarette smoke. And in one session it was gone and never came back.” • “[Going Clear] was just kind of a calmness. . . . [Y]ou grow up reacting in a certain way to things, getting upset if certain things happen or feeling afraid or feeling various reactions or emotions or whatever connected to whatever parts of your life. . . . [I]t’s not that I never get upset. It’s not that I never have problems or whatever. But it’s pretty easy to disentangle myself from them.” • “I was bit by a dog on my face when I was four. I was afraid of dogs. If I  could handle anything with Dianetics, that was the thing I  wanted to handle. . . . I experienced a tremendous amount of resurgence from that. Incredible. It was at that point I decided I wanted to be an auditor. . . . Now I totally love dogs. Dogs can lick my face. I don’t care. I don’t have any adverse reaction to it.” • “When I read Dianetics, I didn’t want to be Clear. I wanted to make Clears. I wanted to be an auditor.” • “So far, attesting to Clear has been the best thing out of all my Bridge. . . . It’s like a lot of background noise stopped. And I found who I was; I found myself. . . . [T]he OT levels are amazing and they are 10,000 times more amazing. They’re indescribable. But a Clear is special. It’s you. It’s your moment.”

From Dianetics to Scientology: Interdisciplinary Perspectives Even though these testimonials come from Scientologists who joined the church in the decades after the 1950s, they provide an excellent entry point to contextualize some of the larger issues at stake, and the driving historical and theological forces at play, in the transition from Dianetics to Scientology. The “wins” relating to mental and physical well-being certainly resonant with the original scientific intentions of the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation. So how and why, then, did Dianetics make way for Scientology? Or, more exactly, what factors accompanied the transition from Hubbard’s interest in the mind to the spirit? Let us consider a number of interdisciplinary approaches and answers—sociologically, legally, institutionally, and psychologically—before

87

78

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

turning more fully to what I believe are compelling, underlying, and largely underexamined theological reasons from Hubbard’s books, lectures, and activities.70 For decades now, a dominant view, taken for granted in many journalistic sources and the popular imagination, is that Hubbard created the Scientology religion for purely personal and financial gain—to make tax-free American dollars and secure benefits afforded to religious organizations under the First Amendment. To skeptics, religious incorporation was motivated less by spiritual promulgation than sheer economic opportunism. This narrative traces to a story retold in multiple sources that sometime in the mid- to late 1940s Hubbard told colleagues that in order to get rich, one should start a religion rather than write science fiction. Depending on the version, the one-liner is usually formulated as “You don’t get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion”71 or “Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wanted to make a million dollars, the best way to do it would be to start his own religion.”72 This basic story has been repeated in numerous journalistic and ex-member accounts as a “prooftexting” way to discredit Scientology by delegitimizing its founder and his intentions, even though most of the sources are second- or third-hand and surfaced decades after the events in question.73 Depending on the source, the quote is attributable either to Hubbard or to a group of authors who joked about writing and religion.74 Hubbard himself denied the attribution in a 1983 interview with Colorado’s Rocky Mountain News: “I’m afraid you’ve gotten me confused with another writer—George Orwell, author of 1984, Animal Farm. It was he that made that remark in 1938. I’ve got a reverse one for you. The other day I heard whole passages from Scientology being attributed to Buddha!”75 In any event, the money theory is an inadequate explanation of Hubbard’s intentions and project for a number of reasons. For one, it does not account for the fact that he originally founded a mental health movement, not a religion. If anything, the benefits of religious tax exemption seem motivated less by economic gain than in protecting Dianetics and Scientology from claims of practicing medicine without a license (in much the same way the First Amendment protects the practice of, say, Christian Science practitioners).76 If Hubbard indeed claimed that the way to get rich is to start a religion, then this may very well have been in jest among friends or a criticism of existing religious institutions. In other words, notwithstanding conflicting accounts, this quite probably off-the-cuff comment remains open to (mis)interpretation and is a weak pivot for understanding his long-term intentions. A more plausible motivation for latching on to the money theory, aside from sensational value, is that it may help contextualize the church’s difficulties with the Internal

97

Before the Religion

79

Revenue Service (IRS) (including accusations of inurement in the 1960s) or bolster a critique of its pay-as-you-go “fixed donation” theology.77 However, as detailed in chapter 1, the Scientologists I met fully understand the financial commitment and view it as a small price for spiritual freedom; as discussed in chapter 5, the church received tax-exempt status from the IRS in 1993 after a lengthy legal struggle and thorough review of its nonprofit practices. Perhaps most fatally, the assumption that Scientology was Hubbard’s “get rich quick” scheme fails to account for his lifelong dedication to the church as founder, leader, and writer. Hubbard developed Dianetics and Scientology and applied them to himself and others, including members of his own family, over a span of more than four decades. Even journalist Lawrence Wright, who is otherwise quite critical of Hubbard, noted that “to label him a pure fraud is to ignore  .  .  .  features of his character that made him so compelling to the many thousands who followed him and the millions who read his work.” “One would also have to ignore,” Wright continued, “his life’s labor in creating the intricately detailed epistemology that has pulled so many into its net—including, most prominently, Hubbard himself.”78 Roy Wallis’s landmark 1977 monograph analyzed Scientology’s origins and practices from a sociological perspective, including the transition, as he put it, from the “cult” of Dianetics to the “sect” of Scientology. For Wallis, because of its relatively “grassroots” makeup, the Dianetics movement represented a form of epistemological individualism that contrasted with the epistemological authoritarianism that characterized Hubbard’s tighter control over Scientology institutions. On this account, while the shift away from a science of the mind was accompanied by other developments, the chief expression came in the form of Hubbard taking singular organizational control in his newfound role as a religious leader. Wallis primarily conducted research in the United Kingdom in the 1960s and 1970s, when Hubbard was still alive and for an extended period lived in East Grinstead (see chapter 3). It is therefore understandable that his work focused on these sociological aspects of Scientology’s origins, since he was in a position to observe some of the key institutional shifts as they occurred. From the perspective of psychological and cultural studies, the work of Danish researcher Dorthe Refslund Christensen deserves special mention. Portions of her 1999 dissertation at Aarhus University, “Rethinking Scientology:  Cognition and Representation in Religion, Therapy, and Soteriology,” have been translated and published in English.79 Christensen is one of the few researchers who has taken seriously Hubbard’s immense scriptural canon, including the thousands of pages of Technical Bulletins that offer a running narrative of the development of Dianetics and Scientology.80 In

08

80

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

particular, she has analyzed the senses in which Hubbard’s creations evolved as distinct therapeutic techniques that are bound together in the soteriology that is codified on the Bridge. She is also, of course, quite right to observe that Dianetics and Scientology name two distinct, but related, expressions on this path to salvation: one for the mind, the other for the spirit. As Christensen observed, Hubbard’s purpose for these two “technologies” evolved due to fractures within the Dianetics movement and the US government’s regulation of medical practices. As noted elsewhere,81 a crisis emerged within Dianetics organizations due to public disagreements between Hubbard and one of his earliest supporters, medical doctor J.  A. Winter. By late 1950, Winter had become became critical of Hubbard’s methods, which in his estimation had abandoned the original model for scientific research. One must remember that Hubbard’s view in 1950 was undoubtedly materialistic. “All data needful to the solution of mental action and Man’s endeavor,” we read in Dianetics, “can be measured, sensed, and experienced as scientific truths independent of mysticism or metaphysics.”82 With the publication of Hubbard’s second major book on Dianetics, Science of Survival (1951), the tone and method shifted into metaphysical territory, most prominently with his distinction between the physical universe (MEST) and the spiritual (theta) universe. “Theta plus MEST equals life,” he declared. “Dianetics works. But Dianetics is not a psychotherapy and it is not psychosomatic medicine. . . . No attempt is made in this volume to be literary or academic. I would happily take off a couple of years and write you something highly polished. But we’re trying to get where we’re going before the atom bomb gets there and navigating the course takes a little time.”83 At the same time, Hubbard’s view of the nature of Clear became far less grandiose than initially proposed and included a possible allusion to the Sonya Bianca incident the year before:  “A Clear does not instantly grow wings or sprout a 10-kilowatt aura. He is not superman, but he has his advantages. . . . The ability to live well and fully and to enjoy that living is the gift of the Clear. Anyone looking for tricks can best find them in vaudeville.”84 In 1951, Winter published a book of his own, A Doctor’s Report on Dianetics:  Theory and Therapy.85 He described, among other episodes, circumstances at the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation that led to his resignation from its board of directors. Winter wrote that he grew skeptical of the claim to produce a Clear when he observed preclears who had received up to two thousand hours of auditing but did not exhibit the traits listed in Dianetics. He remained open to the “theoretical possibility” of the state of Clear, but had other and more pointed disagreements.86 Winter was concerned about the resemblances between Dianetics therapy and hypnosis, the

81

Before the Religion

81

increasingly authoritarian governance of the foundation, and the absence of an authentically scientific methodology within the “Hubbardian method.”87 One of the most controversial instances was the “possible therapeutic benefits of ‘recalling’ the circumstances of deaths in previous incarnations.” Winter had no objection to this unorthodox method “as an exercise in fantasy synthesis (a technique which Jung has long claimed to have therapeutic benefit) or as an approach to a real situation via the imagination route.” But, he insisted, “to give these highly improbable events the evaluation of complete reality was to me an indication of a lack of scientific skepticism.”88 Despite misgivings, Winter remained hopeful that Dianetics could be salvaged for use in the medical community and outlined refinements for its future use. However, he warned that the broader psychological and psychiatric community would not support the therapy unless it adopted an authentic and peerreviewed scientific method and moved beyond anecdotal claims of efficacy. “Furthermore,” he wrote, “any attempts to force the medical profession to accept it solely on the basis of the affirmation, ‘It works!’ and deriding those who request more conclusive proof, is more than likely to jeopardize whatever possible benefits there might be.”89 Despite early success, the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation in Elizabeth went bankrupt in 1951. This was precipitated by a New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners investigation into the practice of medicine without a license.90 Investor and Dianetics enthusiast Don Purcell, based in Wichita, Kansas, arranged for Hubbard to move operations there and provided financial support; in exchange, Purcell assumed temporary stewardship of the Dianetics copyrights.91 In effect, Hubbard exchanged intellectual property rights to ensure the survival of the failing Dianetics project. At the time, the arrangement must have seemed financially and logistically advantageous— a win-win that allowed him to continue his work. In 1951 alone, Hubbard published a number of books, including Science of Survival, Child Dianetics, Advanced Procedure and Axioms, Dianetics: The Original Thesis, and Handbook for Preclears.92 But the funds raised in Wichita through bookselling and courses soon evaporated and this new organization could not sustain itself either.93 It went bankrupt by 1952 and intellectual ownership of Hubbard’s creations became jeopardized. “They obviously do not want my car or my cash,” Hubbard wrote in frustration at the time. “And they obviously want my copyrights, the name HUBBARD, the word DIANETICS and Dianetics processes. . . . And this is obviously no bankruptcy but a scheme to place me in such straits and hurt me so much that I will be forced to give them all they seek.”94 Hubbard was correct. Purcell began to purchase materials and books in preparation for

28

82

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

his own Dianetics center and spent about $6,000 to obtain the copyright for “Dianetics” and the name “L. Ron Hubbard” as well.95 By the summer of 1952, the new Purcell center published a book of its own, based on Hubbard’s writings about the dynamics and Tone Scale, entitled Sex in the Basic Personality. The author was D. L. Sterling, HDA (“Hubbard Dianetic Auditor”).96 As with Dianetics (1950), Sex in the Basic Personality included an introduction from a medical doctor, Paul H. Beaver, who wrote: “let us not neglect to credit Mr. Hubbard for his valuable contributions, tools, the use of which makes these investigations possible. May the research grow.”97 Sterling appealed to Hubbard’s call in Dianetics to “build a better bridge!” as a justification for independent research and expansion by others.98 “While he [Hubbard] continued to improve its construction, many others accepted his challenge and have contributed toward a better bridge’s completion,” Sterling explained. “I should like to help to extend that bridge.” Once Purcell consolidated operations in Wichita and established his independent research center, Hubbard admitted defeat and relocated to Phoenix, Arizona. There, he continued his work with a new name, and under a new organization, that allowed him to regain independence and authority.

Phoenix, Arizona (1952–1955): “The Birthplace of Scientology” The new name was Scientology.99 As a result, Phoenix is considered the “birthplace of Scientology.”100 The name was born in part out of legal necessity and in part to describe Hubbard’s new philosophical and theological practices. His earliest mention of Scientology, however, seems to have come before the move to Arizona. In the December 1951 book Handbook for Preclears101 —before the 1952 move to Phoenix and two to three years before the incorporation of Scientology churches—Hubbard’s use of Scientology was not adopted to inaugurate the birth of a new religion but instead served as a neologism to denote the study of a “route” to knowledge and truth.102 By 1952, however, Scientology and Scientologist became new identity markers for Hubbard and the community of loyal Dianeticists who gathered in Phoenix. In May 1952, he announced what became the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International (HASI). The HASI would remain the primary membership body for Scientologists until the establishment of the International Association of Scientologists (IAS) in 1984. The Wichita saga showcased Hubbard’s versatility and resilience in the face of internal and external pressures. The mistake with Purcell was not

83

Before the Religion

83

repeated, evidenced by Hubbard’s centralized management of Scientology organizations in the coming years and the existence today of a number of corporate structures tasked with ownership or oversight of his technology and its application (as outlined in chapters 4 and 5). In fact, if it were not for the crisis in Kansas, it is quite possible that Hubbard would not have fashioned Scientology the way he did. Indeed, the name Scientology might not have been necessary. In theory, he could have incorporated Scientological theology within a Dianetics-centric framework. In any event, the Purcell legal challenge likely helped push Hubbard’s work into more explicitly religious territory, such as his Arizona lectures on exteriorization. By 1954, Hubbard recovered the intellectual rights to Dianetics and his name, resolving the difficulties inherited from the Wichita period.103 That same year, Hubbard delivered the first of his “Phoenix Lectures”104 in which he envisioned Scientology as a synthesis of Western science and Eastern spirituality, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism—a combination of “the collective wisdom of all those ages with a sufficient impatience and urgency, a sufficiency of scientific methodology.”105 Lessons from the Wichita period may have also shaped Hubbard’s philosophy of engagement with critics and legal adversaries. In 1955, he wrote: “The DEFENSE of anything is UNTENABLE. The only way to defend anything is to ATTACK, and if you ever forget that then you will lose every battle you are ever engaged in, whether it is in terms of personal conversation, public debate, or a court of law.”106 This rhetoric and reality has displayed itself throughout Scientology’s history and may find even earlier roots in Hubbard’s 1950 view on how to confront mental aberration: “We know that there are five methods of handling an engram. Four of them are wrong. To succumb to an engram is apathy, to neglect one is carelessness, but to avoid or flee from one is cowardice. Attack and only attack resolves the problem.”107

A New Angle for a New Religion Although Hubbard established the HASI in Phoenix, by no means did he confine Scientology’s activities to the American Southwest. A London HASI office opened in September 1952 and in December 1952 he delivered dozens of lectures as part of the Philadelphia Doctorate Course. In his examination of the period leading up to the establishment of Scientology churches, Hugh B.  Urban analyzed a letter Hubbard wrote to his secretary Helen O’Brien in which he advised religious incorporation as part of a “religion angle.”108 Written on April 10, 1953, before the incorporation of the first Scientology

48

84

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

churches in December of the same year, the letter is controversial because it was allegedly stolen from the church by a former staffer, Gerry Armstrong. Assuming it is genuine, as it appears to be,109 my view is that the document lends support to the narrative that Hubbard was motivated by a genuine desire to expand Scientology into religious terrain. However one interprets the content, the letter serves as a good reminder that assessment of this complex period does not boil down to a single “prooftext” or “smoking gun” and ought to take into account a range of interdisciplinary sources and perspectives. In the letter, Hubbard told O’Brien that “We don’t want a clinic. We want one in operation but not in name.” “Perhaps we could call it a Spiritual Guidance Center. Think up its name, will you,” he continued. “And we could put in nice desks and our boys in neat blue with diplomas on the walls and 1. knock psychotherapy into history and 2. make enough money to shine up my operating scope and 3. keep the HAS [Hubbard Association of Scientologists] solvent. It is a problem of practical business.” Hubbard then pondered whether or not to organize Scientology in the language of religion. He realized that this move would require legal paperwork, an obstacle he viewed as unproblematic in light of Scientology’s emerging religious themes. “I await your reaction on the religion angle,” he concluded. “In my opinion, we couldn’t get worse public opinion than we have had or have less customers with what we’ve got to sell. A religious charter would be necessary in Pennsylvania or NJ [New Jersey] to make it stick. But I sure could make it stick. We’re treating the present time beingness, psychotherapy treats the past and the brain. And brother, that’s religion, not mental science.” The letter displays some of Hubbard’s early metaphysical sensibilities, in particular the manner in which he distinguished between the materialism of psychotherapy—which “treats the past and the brain”—and Scientology’s focus on the “present time beingness” in evidence of its rightful place in the realm of “religion, not mental science.” At the same time, he seems conflicted. He wants to establish a “clinic . . . in operation but not in name” for the treatment of individuals with Scientology. Perhaps this is an allusion to the earlier legal difficulties that arose from allegations of practicing medicine without a license. In the end, the reorientation is a “problem of practical business,” and Hubbard is confident that religious incorporation will “stick.” It appears as though he was ambivalent about the terminology that should be involved, could not quite think of an existing category for the practice of Scientology, and finally settled on religion because it made the most pragmatic and legal sense. He was convinced that Scientology is not reducible to psychotherapy

85

Before the Religion

85

and therefore not subject to outside regulation. This is a point, incidentally, that was made in Dianetics (1950) as well: “It is a science of mind and needs about as much licensing and regulation as the application of the science of physics.”110 So, if Scientology is not quite a “mental science” or “science of the mind,” yet expresses itself in terms that are both therapeutic and spiritual, the question becomes: well, then, what is it? From Hubbard’s perspective, the best solution to the quandary—legally, institutionally, and theologically—was the one that affirmed the emergent religious sensibilities of his method and his followers: the “religion angle.” The first Church of Scientology was incorporated in December 1953 in Camden, New Jersey, by Hubbard, his new wife Mary Sue, and John Galusha.111 Hubbard supported the founding of two other churches at this time, the Church of American Science and the Church of Spiritual Engineering, also in Camden. It is notable that these other organizations did not carry the name Scientology even though they were designed to advance supporting philosophical and theological objectives. The alternatives “American Science” and “Spiritual Engineering” suggest that neither Hubbard nor his followers had entirely made up their minds as to what label was most appropriate and descriptive of the ecclesiastical turn.112 This naming experiment may have also reflected Hubbard’s desire to maintain good relations with his base of Dianeticists, many of whom were initially attracted to Dianetics precisely because it presented itself as scientific. In 1954, the Church of Scientology of California (CSC) was incorporated in Los Angeles by some of Hubbard’s followers, with his blessing. It served as Scientology’s legal and publications headquarters for the next quarter century.113 At this point, Scientology became the standard title used in churches throughout the United States and abroad. Other churches and centers were soon established, including in Auckland, New Zealand (January 1955); Washington, DC (July 1955); New  York City (November 1955); Dublin, Ireland (early 1956); Johannesburg, South Africa (November 1957); and Paris, France (October 1959). Hubbard’s settling on a name, however, did not imply that the theology of Scientology had fully taken form by the mid- to late 1950s. On the contrary, while Dianetics and Scientology represent the two largest umbrellas under which his myriad efforts fell, he continued to refine and codify their practices until his death in 1986. In the 1950s, Hubbard also adopted religious iconography and rituals, such as the eight-pointed Scientology Cross (representing the Eight Dynamics),114 marriage ceremonies, christenings, priestly collars, and ministerial training.115

68

86

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

“Have You Lived Before This Life?”: Exploration of Past Lives As discussed in chapter 1, out-of-body encounters (exteriorizations) and the recollection of past lives are among two of the most validating sets of experiences for Scientologists and confirm the efficacy of Hubbard’s technology. The subject of past lives is foundational to later theological developments in Scientology since it introduces an extended sense of time—at least trillions of years, according to Hubbard—within which the Scientologist has existed as a thetan and now has the chance to remember his or her past, potential, and power this lifetime. In September 1950—a year before mention of the word Scientology, two years before the HASI, and nearly three years before Scientology churches—Hubbard admitted in a public lecture that he was the one who introduced past life auditing at the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation. Much like J.  A. Winter, he was initially skeptical about the veracity of such recollections. However, it was a violation of the 1950 Auditor’s Code to give “the patient any information whatsoever about his case, including evaluations of data or further estimates of time in therapy.”116 In the end, what mattered was whether the preclear came up the Tone Scale and was unburdened from past traumas on the path to Clear. Hubbard described his first and, at that time, passing attempt to audit “early lives” in 1950: Somebody came along one day and started to run early lives on people. I say somebody, it was me. [laughter] One Sunday morning I was very bored, I hadn’t done anything for several hours. . . . So I sent him back to the time when he died last. I  said, “Now the file clerk117 will give us the last time you died,” wondering what I would get. And I got a death . . . [H]e is lying on a field of battle and the horses step on him and the men-at-arms are screaming around him. . . . This seemed like a real engram. . . . I don’t advise any of you, really, to use this, because it’s very disruptive. I’m not giving it forth here as a valid technique or part of Standard Procedure.118 A year and a half later, however, Hubbard’s viewpoint had changed and he encouraged the exploration of past lives as an exercise for therapeutic benefit. Whether or not an incident in question may have happened, or was even historically plausible, was irrelevant. All that mattered was whether the “case” improved, whether the PC experienced benefits in auditing. However, this rationale soon gave way to a validation of the past lives themselves. After all, the thinking went, if the preclear experiences relief from handling past

8 7

Before the Religion

87

life engrams, then this presumes that the traumatic events in question must have actually occurred—otherwise the preclear would be unable to improve here and now. In a lecture from March 1952, Hubbard demonstrated past life auditing to an audience in a manner that supports this changing attitude. We find not only an affirmation of past lives but also the space opera possibility that they can take place in a time and place “before Earth”: lRh: Have you ever lived before? pc: No. lRh: Have you ever lived before this life? pc: No. lRh: What’s going to happen to you when you die in this life? pc: I don’t know. lRh: Don’t know. You have ideas, though. pc: Yes. lRh: Yeah, what’s the idea? pc: Well, some sort of a continuation. I haven’t quite gotten a conclusion on it yet. lRh: Uh-huh. Have you ever been alive before this? pc: No. lRh: Well, yes or no: were you alive in the year zero? [snaps finger] pc: No. lRh: You don’t know? How about back in the year 1200 B.C.? Were you alive then? pc: No. lRh: Hm? How about clear back before Earth? Were you alive then? pc: No.   . . . . lRh: Uh-huh. And how about your mother? Is she rather timid? pc: Don’t remember. lRh: Oh, she’s dead? pc: Yes. lRh: Oh, how long has she been dead? pc: Twenty-six years. lRh: Uh-huh. What’d you die of the last time? [snaps finger] pc: Disease. That’s what . . .  lRh: Uh-huh. Was it painful? pc: I don’t know. lRh: Wasn’t particularly painful. A year will flash when I count from one to five: one, two, three, four, five. [snaps finger]

8

88

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

pc: 1776. lRh: 1776. Okay. All right, what happened in 1776? pc: War. lRh: War? Did you get shot? pc: No. lRh: Disease? pc: Yes.119 Hubbard is persistent in asking the young man whether he had lived in a previous lifetime, repeating the question in different forms. On the face of it, this hardly seems organic and self-determined, even facilitated by hypnotic-appearing snaps of the finger (a technique omitted from more advanced Dianetic auditing from the 1960s and 1970s). However, Hubbard seemed to offer this lecture as an example of what might be encountered in auditing and not as a model session; informants tell me that “demonstration auditing” sessions like this one were often delivered to students to give a sense of the procedures, even if they may break from standard operating norms. For instance, lines such as “you have ideas, though” in response to the question “What’s going to happen to you when you die in this life?” plainly violate Hubbard’s code to never give “evaluations of data.”120 The most systematic early treatment of former lives—memories on one’s “whole track,” as it would be known—came in 1952 with the publication of a book now titled A History of Man. Originally published as What to Audit, the text purports to survey humanity’s dual evolution along a theta line (spiritual plane of existence) and genetic line (physical plane). In what at first glance appears to be little more than an idiosyncratic combination of psychotherapy and space opera, Hubbard claimed to discover incidents of ancient life on Earth and other planets. For Hubbard, however, these were factual descriptions extending back some seventy-six trillion years. He went so far as to claim that they were researched in a controlled and scientific manner—from “twenty in number, chosen at random from various life strata and suffering from mental and physical ills which were extremely varied.” In contrast to the “mediocre results, partial recoveries, [and] slight betterment of attitude” observed in preclears who merely audited the present lifetime, past life techniques yielded “excellent results.” In most emphatic terms, Hubbard concluded that auditing on the “whole track” is preferred and in the preclear’s best therapeutic interest:  “THE AUDITOR WHO INSISTS ON AUDITING THE CURRENT LIFETIME ONLY, WHEN HE HAS THE WHOLE TRACK TECHNIQUE AVAILABLE, IS WASTING TIME AND EFFORT AND IS, IN FACT, SWINDLING HIS

98

Before the Religion

89

PRECLEAR.”121 Building on the theory contained in A History of Man, in 1958 the HASI published Have You Lived Before This Life? based on forty-one “case histories” that claimed improvement with the new method. They are filled with incredible tales drawn from a mix of human history and space opera— from life as a “Roman soldier in 3 A.D.” to an incident “23,064,000,000 years ago” on “a planet called ‘Nostra’ ” and a time “Seventy-six trillion years ago, being in space, and totally at knowingness.”122 I would now like to return to the interviews to give a sense of how past lives have continued to play an important role among Scientologists, especially as one moves up the Bridge. The recollection in auditing of a past life, I discovered, not only validated the individual’s sense of self as an immortal thetan and explained away the mystery of life after death but also offered the preclear or pre-OT insight into one’s present lifetime. These testimonials provide a window into lived religion in the Church of Scientology today and illustrate the legacy of Scientology’s assimilation of gnostic and space opera themes: • “So it’s not like you’re required to believe that you will live again or that you’ve lived before in order to be in Scientology. But as a general aspect, as you do more Scientology, you come to your own reality on that fact in terms of you’ve lived before and that you will live again, and that you really are an immortal spiritual being.” • “The only thing I  can say is from my experience from previous deaths . . . I saw the body fall down and die. . . . This thing is dead, the body. But I was not dead. . . . And usually I don’t like to talk about these things because they are very personal.” • “I love the analogy of driving a car. . . . So you get another car. You’re still the driver.” • “[After death] you pick up another body. You are an immortal spiritual being. And what is also very important to know is that your ability or capabilities, your knowledge is always there. It’s not something that sits in your body.” • “From my memory, I anticipate I’m going to be coming back. . . . The trick is not forgetting who you are. . . . I’ve re-met enough people to have my own certainty of it. Re-met enough people that also remembered.” • “[Past lives are] the answer to everything. It is the answer to everything. It explains why some people like peas and some don’t; why some will go bungee jumping and some won’t, why some people like rock-n-roll and some like classical; why some people instantaneously don’t like someone they just met. It makes perfect sense out of a lot of life’s mysteries.”

09

90

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

• “It’s really not science fiction at all. It’s something that’s happened in our recordings and we just call it up. That’s why we all get excited about The Matrix and we get excited about science fiction because somewhere on the line, a picture about a past has been restimulated and then we all remember.” • “On my track . . . I was just a conqueror. I was a bad dude. So I destroyed, sent men to death and killed men. I made a lot of orphans and I made a lot of widows. And I spread and it was in another universe I was a conqueror. I’ve been rulers and kings and I was a bad dude.” • “[In auditing] I saw one guy, he went from the couch to the floor and he began speaking another language. . . . He didn’t know the language this lifetime.” • “People say, ‘go to the light.’ The light is like a theta trap that draws you in. They go to the light and they think it’s heaven. And they get sucked in and then they kind of get trapped, and they get implanted with various things and they get shot back, get another body and start a new life. That’s what generally happens.  .  .  . [T]hat’s a big reason why people forget previous lives. . . . And as far as I’m concerned this is not belief but my knowingness. There is no heaven and there is no hell. We create our own hell.” • “The first time I ran a sword fight out in the Middle Ages and actually felt that sword go through my abdomen, I was freaked beyond belief. . . . Holy shit! I don’t know if that really happened or not. That fucking hurt! What do you do with that?” • “You cannot put in words the feeling you get when you suddenly realize you’re immortal or when you realize that you’ve lived before and you’re going to live again, and how that frees you up.” The statements are revealing on a number of fronts. The first Scientologist notes that acceptance of past lives is not a requirement for church membership. “But as a general aspect,” she adds, “as you do more Scientology, you come to your own reality on that fact in terms of you’ve lived before and that you will live again, and that you really are an immortal spiritual being.” For those who affirm past and future lives, there is clear eschatological value:  “There is no heaven and there is no hell. We create our own hell.” This interviewee, an OT VIII and highly trained auditor, also mentioned the concepts of the “theta trap” and implants. In A History of Man, Hubbard wrote that these are part of a “between-lives area,” a period immediately after death when one is usually implanted (in effect hypnotized) before returning to Earth to find a new body.123 This process results in amnesia about past lives. “The trick is not forgetting who you are,” as one Scientologist put it. One of the

91

Before the Religion

91

more esoteric purposes of auditing, especially on the OT levels, is to recover and retain “whole track” memories. The mindset that “we create our own hell” on Earth necessitates faster dissemination of Scientology’s technologies to improve conditions here and now, for the sake of humanitarian survival and sanity as much as spiritual self-knowledge. The testimonials also highlight the relevance of past lives in understanding ordinary human relations and in-born predispositions. “It is the answer to everything. . . . It makes perfect sense out of a lot of life’s mysteries,” including tastes, preferences, and visceral reactions that are attributable to an indefinite spiritual past.

The Factors (1953): “Before the Beginning Was a Cause” The whole track extends back millions, billions, trillions, and even quadrillions of years to a time when thetans existed as pure spirits—before bodies, before Earth, before the creation of the universe, and even before the existence of the physical universe composed of matter, energy, space, and time (MEST). Hubbard made no definite statement about divinity (the Eighth Dynamic) and left open the door for theological interpretations of the Supreme Being, Unmoved Mover, or First Cause; in one source, he suggested a version of panentheism in which supreme divinity may exist, but each thetan reflects and contains its creative and spiritual power:  “when the Seventh Dynamic (spiritual dynamic) is reached in its entirety, one will only then discover the true Eighth Dynamic.”124 Hubbard’s writings also indicate that the universe exists on the basis of mutual agreement among omnipotent thetans who created it in the first place—the result of “postulation” and “mocking up” that continues to this day, whether or not thetans are conscious of the ancient decision.125 This form of philosophical idealism is discernible as early as Science of Survival (1951), where Hubbard wrote, “What we conceive to be reality is actually agreed-upon perception of the physical universe.”126 He connected this premise to one of Scientology’s most fundamental concepts, the “ARC Triangle,” whose component parts—affinity, reality, and, most important, communication—lead to understanding.127 “Our affinity with that reality, our admission that we are a part of that reality and our acceptance of our participation in it is necessary to our communication with it.”128 These gnostic metaphysical leanings are refined in a number of books and lectures from the early 1950s, such as Advanced Procedure and Axioms (1951), Scientology 8-8008 (1952), The Creation of Human Ability (1954), the Philadelphia Doctorate Course (1952–1953), and The Factors (1953). One of the

29

92

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

better-known presentations in all of Scientology scripture came in April 1953, several months before the first Scientology churches, with Hubbard’s presentation of “The Factors,” a set of thirty points in language reminiscent of the first chapter of Genesis. It is perhaps the best early source for Scientology’s “creation story” and touches on topics such as creation, beingness, space, communication, energy, life, time, universes, and death in the nomenclature of Dianetics and Scientology.129 Though modeled after biblical rhetoric, “The Factors” present a view of space and time that appears more cyclical than linear, more gnostic rather than traditionally theistic. “The Factors should be, by and large, self-explanatory. It is not an effort to copy the Book of Genesis,” he insisted in a lecture given one day after writing the thirty points. “It really isn’t an effort to copy that. It happens to be in very simple language. . . . [A]s a writer, that happens to be as simple as I can say something. And if I were saying it scientifically, it would not communicate as well.”130 “The Factors” begin as follows: 1. Before the beginning was a Cause and the entire purpose of the Cause was the creation of effect. 2. In the beginning and forever is the decision and the decision is TO BE. 3. The first action of beingness is to assume a viewpoint. 4. The second action of beingness is to extend from the viewpoint, points to view, which are dimension points. 5. Thus there is space created, for the definition of space is:  viewpoint of dimension. And the purpose of a dimension point is space and a point of view. . . . 8. And thus there is LIGHT. 9. And thus there is energy. 10. And thus there is life. . . . 14. Many dimension points combine into larger gases, fluids or solids: thus there is matter. . . . 18. It is the opinions of the viewpoints that some of these forms should endure. Thus there is survival. 19. And the viewpoint can never perish; but the form can perish. . . . 21. From this comes a consistency of viewpoint of the interaction of dimension points and this, regulated, is TIME. 22. And there are universes. 23. The universes, then, are three in number:  the universe created by one viewpoint, the universe created by every other viewpoint, the universe created by the mutual action of viewpoints which is agreed to be upheld— the physical universe.

9 3

Before the Religion

93

24. And the viewpoints are never seen. . . . And the viewpoints . . . forget that they can create more points and space and forms. Thus comes about scarcity. And the dimension points can perish and so the viewpoints assume they, too, can perish. 25. Thus comes about death. . . . 27. There is beingness, but Man believes there is only becomingness. 28. The resolution of any problem posed hereby is the establishment of viewpoints and dimension points . . . by the rehabilitation of the ability of the viewpoint to assume points of view and create and uncreate, neglect, start, change and stop dimension points of any kind at the determinism of the viewpoint. Certainty in all three universes must be regained, for certainty, not data, is knowledge. . . . 30. And above these things there might be speculation only. And below these things there is the playing of the game. . . . But these things which are written here Man can experience and know . . . to employ them to make individuals and organizations more able and so could give to Earth a culture of which Earth could be proud.131 On this account, the thetan—described as “beingness” in the form of a “viewpoint”—is an active co-participant in the creation of the universe but has succumbed to the self-imposed limitations and encumbrances of the physical universe (MEST). These, as it were, fallen “viewpoints” are responsible for the existence of the material but soon confuse themselves with their creation and thus lose native creative power; they “forget that they can create more points and space and forms. . . . And the dimension points can perish and so the viewpoints assume they, too, can perish.” The result is spiritual amnesia and mortality. “There is beingness, but Man believes there is only becomingness” since humanity has forgotten its true immortal nature and fell victim to cycles of death and rebirth. The remedy—“the rehabilitation of the ability of the viewpoint”—brings certainty and in turn knowledge: “for certainty, not data, is knowledge.” The final point expresses an optimism that “these things which are written here Man can experience and know.” Researchers have begun to more seriously investigate Scientology’s intellectual history, looking to Buddhism, Hinduism, New Thought, Theosophy, General Semantics, popular psychology, science fiction, cybernetics, and the Western esoteric tradition at large as possible influences.132 Whatever the outcome and consensus—and I suspect the sources at play are quite numerous based on Hubbard’s largely unexamined corpus133—the theology implicit in “The Factors” has come to inform Scientologists’ understanding of the

49

94

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

nature of self, creation, and potential on the journey from preclear to Clear to Operating Thetan: • “I don’t know that there’s a creator. But I believe that thetans and spirits have created everything. . . . Everything that’s here on this planet is to some degree or another caused or created by you even by the fact that we agree that it’s there.” • “I don’t believe that there’s a transcendent, omnipotent being controlling life on Earth. I do not believe that. . . . LRH talks about the physical universe being an amalgamation of all these lowest level agreements from all the individual universes of all the thetans, all the spiritual beings in existence.” • “Well, once upon a time many billions of years ago, we were good. We were completely free and we were without a body and wherever we lived. Then we were bored and started screwing up.” • “So it doesn’t matter so much what I believe or what I don’t believe. I think we have a memory problem and, you know, Scientology addresses that memory problem.” • “And I believe that the ability of the thetan to postulate his own universe and to enhance the universes that he’s working with moves that thetan closer to godliness.” “The Factors” was one of Hubbard’s earliest attempts to summarize the philosophy and theology of Scientology as it transitioned away from its secular roots in Dianetics. By late 1952, the adoption of whole track auditing techniques, underpinned by space opera gnosticism, charted a new course for the new religion. As Hubbard put it in a December 1952 lecture, “Now, I tell you, as you look at this galaxy and you look at the Milky Way, the number of engrams which you can run off the Milky Way aren’t anywhere as near as important as getting the fellow in command of the Milky Way.”134 With the institutional and theological roots of Scientology in place, Hubbard spent the next three decades refining his “applied religious philosophy” as the church expanded beyond its origins in Cold War America. Hubbard continued to work in Phoenix and other locations before relocating operations to Washington, DC, in 1955. Many of Hubbard’s next steps took place outside the United States, in East Grinstead, England (1959–1967), where he worked to fine-tune his systematic theology—or “Standard Technology,” as it would be called.

9 5

3

“Keeping Scientology Working” featuRes of systeMatic theology In all the years I  have engaged in research I  have kept my comm[unication] lines wide open for research. I once had the idea that a group could evolve truth. A third of a century has thoroughly disabused me of that idea. Willing as I was to accept suggestions and data, only a handful of suggestions (less than twenty) had long-run value and none were major or basic; and when I did accept major or basic suggestions and used them, we went astray and I repented and eventually had to “eat crow.” —HUBBARD,

“Keeping Scientology Working” (KSW) (1965)1

You know, it’s funny, there’s no real dogma in Scientology outside of KSW [Keeping Scientology Working]. Because the one thing that we can all agree on is what LRH [L. Ron Hubbard] wrote. And as long as it’s pure LRH and it’s not interpreted, it’s not changed, it’s not modified, the material that we study today is the same material that we’ll be rereading when we come back next lifetime. And the lifetime after that and the lifetime after that. . . . Keeping Scientology Working for me is an absolute dogma in terms of our religion. Is the material as LRH wrote it? Is it as he intended it? Is it available for me and other Scientologists down the road when I come back? — I N T E R V I E W W I T H PA R I S H I O N E R ,

Clearwater, Florida (2012)

years old when his mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1959. His father was convinced that the ailment was psychosomatic in origin, the cumulative result of stress, or maybe guilt, about the fact that she safely escaped Czechoslovakia immediately before the Nazi occupation. Many in her family stayed behind and were not so lucky, perishing in the Holocaust. Unsure how to help, Ben’s father traveled to the East Grinstead Public Library, a favorite spot of the family, and began reading works on psychology and psychiatry in search of a possible treatment. Eventually, he came across Dianetics (1950). “It didn’t have a volcano on it,” Ben recalled of the copy his father brought home, in contrast to the versions published since the 1970s that feature this now-iconic image.3 “It was two-toned with, I think, a kind of muddy yellow ovals. And it was not very conspicuous. There were no BEN2 WAS FIFTEEN

69

96

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

marketing campaigns for Dianetics. There was no big word of mouth. It was not being advertised.”4 His father read Dianetics far enough to discover the characteristics of the Clear, and decided that Hubbard’s methods might be helpful for his wife. He noticed that the address on the book listed “Saint Hill Manor”—a destination only “two or three miles away,” Ben remembered. His father bicycled to the location and banged on the front door, “demanding to see Dr. Hubbard.”5 The butler who answered was surprised to find a visitor. The facility had not yet opened to the public, and Hubbard was still moving in and establishing the site as the new international headquarters of Dianetics and Scientology. Telex machines were brought to the English countryside, including one for Hubbard’s personal office, in preparation for streamlined communication to Scientology centers around the globe. Hubbard was not home at the time so a staff member at “Saint Hill,” as it is popularly known, invited Ben’s family to return over the course of the next few days and receive “Dianetic assists” to alleviate, as Ben put it, the “superficial sufferings a person is going through.” Ben described Scientology during these days as more of a philosophy than a religion, and certainly neither of his parents—his Anglican father and Jewish mother—saw a religious conflict in receiving auditing. “We didn’t consider ourselves Scientologists or not Scientologists. That became something important in later years,” he explained. “There were just people that were doing Scientology.” Ben’s mother improved and, despite the gravity of her diagnosis, was relatively unencumbered by symptoms and still alive at the time of our interview. Unlike her son, she still did not consider herself to be a Scientologist—“She’s primarily still a Zionist at heart”—but looks forward to returning in the next lifetime to visit the Promised Land. As for Ben, he lived in East Grinstead through adolescence, became an auditor at Saint Hill, and went on to confidential auditor training in the 1960s aboard Hubbard’s sea vessel, the Apollo (see chapter 4). He was one of the first parishioners in the church to become a Class VIII auditor, the highest training attainable outside the Sea Organization. This certifies him to audit others up to the state of Clear—the same goal that enticed his father in 1959. After a series of relocations, Ben lives in Southern California, where he maintains a field practice and audits full time.

Out of America: Scientology in Sussex Ben’s recollections of Saint Hill Manor are consistent with Hubbard’s policy letters and bulletins written during this period.6 Until March 6, 1959, Hubbard penned his letters from Washington, DC, which became Hubbard’s home and

9 7

Features of Systematic Theology

97

the site of a new Founding Church of Scientology after Hubbard left Phoenix in 1955. By March 10, however, there was a clear switch and new messages were addressed from Hubbard’s London home, Fitzroy House.7 By June, we find one of the first policy letters listing “East Grinstead, Sussex, UK,”8 and soon after Hubbard sent his updated contact information for Scientology mission holders.9 Even by July, he offered little information about the move to church contacts beyond what was required clerically and administratively. “We have just moved a small staff of HCO WW [Hubbard Communications Office Worldwide] down to Saint Hill,” he reported, “and this is the place from which your bulletins will be coming and out of which we will be operating.”10 Further details came on September 14, 1959, in the form of a “News Bulletin” in which Hubbard outlined the importance of the fledgling operation in East Grinstead.11 “Here, on half a hundred acres of lovely grounds in a mansion where we have not yet found all the bedrooms, we are handling the problems of administration and service for the world of Scientology,” the bulletin stated. “We are not very many here and as the sun never sets on Scientology we are very busy thetans.” Hubbard went on to say that there were only nineteen staff members at the time and solicited others to join, noting that “Saint Hill needs all manner of assistance.”12 Missing from these policy letters, however, is a full explanation for the transcontinental move in the first place. For that matter, why did Hubbard move operations from Phoenix to Washington, DC, four years earlier? Why did he leave DC for London in 1959 and take up residence in England? What was the state of Scientology “on the ground” in the United States that led to this migration? What external forces were at play? How did they affect Hubbard’s goals for Scientology and Scientologists? Back in the United States, external pressures came in the form of federal oversight and regulation, in particular from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In the late 1950s, the FDA took issue with misleading or false medical claims associated with a vitamin regimen called Dianazene. Hubbard, or at least the Scientologists who sold it, claimed that it offered protection from radiation poisoning.13 Composed of niacin (B3), iron, other B vitamins, vitamin C, and calcium,14 the concoction had no anti-radiation properties but the marketing strategy attracted FDA attention. In 1958, the agency raided the church-affiliated Distribution Center, Inc. in Silver Spring, Maryland, and took possession of twenty-one thousand Dianazene tablets, which were destroyed.15 Dianazene is still available for sale but has not been advertised as an anti-radiation product since this incident. While the number of pills seized was relatively small (perhaps a few dozen bottles), the message from the FDA to Hubbard was clear: expect federal-level

89

98

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

regulation of any medical claims made by Scientology and Scientologyaffiliated organizations. The move was unprecedented but not necessarily unpredictable. The rise of regulatory bodies was one feature of the postwar, post–New Deal American landscape. The FDA was founded in 1906, but its power was expanded after Franklin Roosevelt signed the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (1938), which banned false medicinal claims and required premarket review to ensure pharmaceutical safety. The FDA’s actions were justified and attest to the liminal sense in which neither Dianetics nor Scientology fit into clear and legally recognizable categories within the broader culture. The most prominent example of this ambiguity, however, is surely the E-Meter, or electropsychometer, which continues to be used in the church and was likewise regulated by the FDA. In the early 1950s, Hubbard experimented with psychometric means to measure spiritual progress. He undertook the project with assistance from chiropractor and inventor Volney Mathison (1897–1965). In fact, it was Mathison who designed the first machines used in auditing that formed the basis of Hubbard’s E-Meter (see Figure 3.1).16 Then, as now, the E-Meter works by measuring electrical resistance, known as galvanic skin response (GSR). The resistance is read on the machine, which runs a small amount of electricity (about 0.5 volts, though sometimes slightly more) through two attached cans. In auditing, the preclear holds these cans, electricity runs through his or her body, and the variable resistance causes a displayed needle to move left or right at varying speeds. More technically, the E-Meter is an ohmmeter, an improved version of a device known as a Wheatstone bridge.17 It has been compared to a police lie detector,18 but, in reality, it is far more rudimentary. As Hubbard described in a 1952 lecture, referring to the model then in use: “The difference between this machine and a police department machine is elementary: a police department machine is just more of it. A  police department machine measures respiration, blood pressure  .  .  .  and electronic impulse.  .  .  . The point is, this machine measures solely the electrical resistance of the body.”19 In another source later that year, he addressed the lie detector comparison more directly: “In the course of auditing, the E-Meter is never read for lies, but only for stress. A surge does not mean the PC [preclear] is lying. It means he has stress connected with the question.”20 As used in auditing, the basic purpose of the E-Meter is to reduce and eliminate the accumulation of “mental mass” or “charge” that Hubbard taught could be gauged in response to specific questions or commands. He trained auditors to read movements of the needle and determine whether or not, and to what extent, negative mental energy remained. Ultimately, and ideally,

99

Features of Systematic Theology

99

Figure 3.1 Hubbard Professional Mark Ultra VIII E-Meter, with Dianetics books on display, Milan, Italy, 2017. 123RF.com

every session should elicit the phenomenon known as a “floating needle” (F/N)—a rhythmic sweeping movement of the needle on the meter’s display panel. This is taken as evidence that the “charge” has indeed been released and, for Scientologists, demonstrates the efficacy of the machine and auditing in general.21 In 1963, four years after Hubbard’s move abroad, the FDA raided the Founding Church of Scientology in Washington, DC, and seized materials that included more than one hundred E-Meters. The federal agency was concerned, once again, about Hubbard’s claim that auditing could cure psychosomatic illness, arguing that it still amounted to the practice of medicine without a license. As addressed in chapter  2, this allegation was likely one factor that motivated Hubbard to pursue religious incorporation as early as 1953 and 1954. However, ongoing tensions with the government reveal that

001

100

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

these First Amendment protections failed to extend as far as Hubbard would have preferred. The church sued the FDA and, a decade later, a ruling required the EMeter to include the disclaimer that it “is not medically or scientifically useful for the diagnosis, treatment or prevention of any disease. It is not medically or scientifically capable of improving the health or bodily function of anyone.”22 The judge in 1973 also mandated that the church should clarify that the meter is for use by Scientology ministers and ministers in training. A modified version of this statement can be found on the bottom of the E-Meter to this day.23 From a regulatory perspective, the label clearly delegitimized the instrument, but the ruling also led the church to embrace the meter as a “religious artifact.”24 In this way, the machine could be used in auditing as Hubbard always intended and even became quasi-legally validated as a theological tool, which ironically bolstered Scientology’s claims of religious status. Hubbard’s interest in science, technology, and spirituality may have also contributed to his eventual move to England. In 1957, he told an audience that the Phoenix church transitioned to Washington, DC, due to the high levels of radiation he and others measured with Geiger counters in the Arizona desert.25 The precautious move reflected the Cold War anxieties found in earlier writings about atomic bombs and a possible World War III. By 1958, Scientology’s presence in DC seems to have done little to gain respect in the nation’s capital. In that same year, the DC church lost its tax-exempt status, a development that was both financially unfortunate and implied that the IRS no longer recognized Scientology as a religion, at least not in the same legal sense as other institutions.26 The exemption was stripped due to concerns about the use of funds for non-religious (i.e., business) purposes, lingering perceptions that Dianetics and Scientology were ultimately mental health practices, and the unorthodox practice of collecting set donations for church services.27 The weight of the IRS decision was complicated by the apparent lack of religious self-identification and self-consciousness among some members during these years. Ben and his family were first introduced to Dianetics, so it is understandable that they did not consider themselves Scientologists. As Ben put it earlier, “We didn’t consider ourselves Scientologists or not Scientologists. That became something important in later years.” Indeed, for many who took courses and underwent auditor training during this period, Scientology was experienced as an “applied religious philosophy” and not necessarily recognized as a church or religion.28 Jenny, a parishioner in New York, articulated this sensibility well during our interview. She became a church volunteer three months after taking introductory courses in 1970. “I guess I still

0 11

Features of Systematic Theology

101

really wasn’t identifying myself as a Scientologist,” she admitted. “But you have to remember back in 1970 that people weren’t thinking of it as much as a religion in a way. It was really a religious philosophy. It was a little bit different, at least from my view.” It is therefore doubtful that the actions of the IRS had much effect on the spiritual, religious, or secular self-consciousness of everyday adherents. On the contrary, these kinds of testimonies help make better sense of the agency’s own confusion about the nature of Scientology, since it cut across multiple disciplines for many Scientologists from this period.29 Another likely motivation for the move to England was the unfriendly political climate in Washington. According to Hubbard, and supported by outside documentation, then-vice president Richard Nixon supported harassment of the DC church. Later as president, Nixon allegedly included Hubbard and the Church of Scientology on his notorious “enemies list.”30 While this point is debatable, the church was certainly included on a Nixon-era list of ninety-nine organizations under investigation by IRS Special Services staff.31 Hubbard also accused Nixon of using the Secret Service to investigate the DC church. In April 1960, well after establishing Saint Hill, Hubbard penned a bulletin in which he urged Scientology mission holders to oppose Nixon’s campaign for president.32 As introduced in chapter  1, Hubbard wrote that “Nixon must be prevented at all costs from becoming president” because of a remarkable and corroborated incident from 1958 in which Secret Service agents entered the DC church, brandished pistols, harassed staff, and threw over desks before leaving. The unwelcome visit, Hubbard concluded, came after Nixon was mentioned in a church publication as a potential supporter for a church-affiliated therapy program.33 According to independent documentation, Nixon’s executive assistant Major Robert Everton Cushman was briefed about the agents’ visit and wrote a memo to the vice president reporting that Hubbard was a “crackpot” and that the “Secret Service went to their office and told them to stop, pronto, using your name.”34 According to Hubbard’s 1960 bulletin, the DC incident revealed Nixon’s opposition to free speech and freedom of religion. He also linked Nixon to the psychiatric profession, but offered no specifics or supporting evidence. Nevertheless, by linking politics, persecution, and psychiatry—a potent combination in the Scientological imagination—Hubbard made no attempt to hide his increased animosity for psychological and psychiatric authorities.35 “I do not believe any man closely connected with psychiatry should hold a high public office since psychiatry has lent its violence to political purposes,” Hubbard concluded. The bulletin ended on a foreboding note, urging Scientologists to oppose Nixon in the face of institutional suppression: “It is better, far better, for us to run the risk of saying this now, while there’s still

021

102

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

a chance, than to fail to tell you of it for fear of reprisals and then be wiped out without defense by the Secret Service or other agency if Nixon became president. He hates us and has used what police force was available to him to say so.”36 Of course, Nixon did not become president in 1960, narrowly losing to John F. Kennedy, but Hubbard’s serious tone here conveyed grave concerns about the political climate in DC, and again helps explain why he left for England the year before. However inhospitable, the move to East Grinstead seems motivated only in part by troubles in the United States. More fundamentally, Hubbard was genuinely interested in disseminating Dianetics and Scientology to a worldwide audience. One example of this expansive—or as Scientologists would say “Fourth Dynamic” (humanitarian)—vision for the church was the scope of his speaking engagements in early 1959. Shortly after purchasing Saint Hill Manor, rather than settle down in the English countrywide, he embarked on a global lecture tour, delivering “Congresses” (introductory lectures) and “Advanced Clinical Courses” (for professional auditors). Most of these have been preserved by the church and continue to be heard by Scientologists who are interested in the chronological development of Hubbard’s work. In October–November 1959 alone, for instance, his itinerary listed anticipated trips to Saint Hill, London, Calcutta, Singapore, Melbourne, Fiji Islands, Honolulu, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC.37 If Hubbard was concerned about the future of Scientology in America, one solution was to establish organizational branches across the globe to ensure the survival and dissemination of his technology.38

“Dukes of the Auditor Elite”: The Saint Hill Special Briefing Course For many Scientologists, including those who lived during Hubbard’s years at Saint Hill (1959–1967) and are aware of its legacy, the most significant achievement of the period was the delivery of what is called the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course (SHSBC). Also known as the “Briefing Course” or “BC,” the original SHSBC was offered from March 1961 to December 1966 and is regarded as the most systematic and rigorous training program for auditors in the church.39 Hubbard nicknamed its graduates “Dukes of the Auditor Elite” (Class VI auditors). It is still delivered at a handful of affiliate organizations outside East Grinstead, in Los Angeles, Clearwater, Copenhagen, and Sydney. Studied on a full-time basis, the Briefing Course can take one or two years to complete (and several more when pursued part time). Graduates

013

Features of Systematic Theology

103

are qualified to audit others up to Clear. Not everyone who took Scientology coursework in the 1960s at Saint Hill intended to become a Class VI auditor, but all students from this period would have been exposed to a “nose to the grindstone” environment dedicated to the perfect, or “standard,” delivery of Hubbard’s techniques. As discussed in chapter 1, auditing is at the core of what Scientology offers. Without the auditing made possible by trained auditors, it is impossible to ascend the Bridge to Total Freedom. Fifty percent of the spiritual “gains” in Scientology, Hubbard wrote, come from such training.40 He also emphasized that “auditors are the most important beings on the planet” because of the spiritual freedom they offer.41 Auditor’s Day, celebrated on the second Sunday in September, is an official church holiday. “I get a lot of people who are just coming into Scientology,” observed a Sea Org member and auditor in Clearwater, “and just having their first auditing and it’s so rewarding when somebody realizes that they can actually improve. They have a session and they realize they can actually get better. That’s the power of being an auditor.” Hubbard’s developments at Saint Hill, then, are historically and sociologically significant. They exhibit ongoing efforts to refine Standard Technology (or “Standard Tech”), including, as we will see, stricter allegiance to his writings and practices as a means to afford preclears greater and more efficient “case gain.” When the Briefing Course was first released, Ben was a teenager and did not attend since the training was too advanced. However, his family hosted a number of international students who flocked to East Grinstead to study under Hubbard. “I was probably the first person outside of Saint Hill to discover that there was going to be a BC [Briefing Course], which I would one day be attending,” he recalled. “We started having lodgers at our house. And once they started arriving from all parts of the world, they would have a general array of people coming and going through our house.  .  .  . [T]hey would be telling us what was going on in the lectures.” In the end, Hubbard delivered over six hundred lectures and personally oversaw the training of new auditors. I gained a sense of the environment for auditors in training when I visited Saint Hill Manor and the adjacent Scientology organizations in February 2014. Buildings have been added or remodeled since the 1960s, but Hubbard’s former home and much of the grounds, including the chapel where the Briefing Course was delivered, are maintained more or less as they existed during the period. Today, Saint Hill Manor is one of the church’s L.  Ron Hubbard Landmark Sites, open for tours to local and pilgrimaging Scientologists and interested others.42 The chapel can seat around one hundred students, and there is abundant room in the manor and nearby housing for auditing and

041

104

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

training. The surroundings are quiet and quaint, including a few small hills and large lush fields, away from the main areas of East Grinstead and a sharp contrast to fast-paced London. For Scientologists, becoming a “Duke of the Auditor Elite” is still a highly respected badge of honor. Some budding auditors travel great distances to complete training at the nearest organization, which may very well be in another state, country, or continent. In Las Vegas, I  met Richard, a part-time student on the Briefing Course in Los Angeles at the American Saint Hill Organization (ASHO). On weekends, he made the eight-hour roundtrip drive to ASHO, and as of our interview had completed about half of the course. As an indication of the rigorous schedule of the original students, Richard reported training on Saturdays from 9:00 aM to 10:00 pM and on Sundays from 9:00 aM to 6:00 pM. This schedule left just enough time to drive four hours back to Vegas in preparation for work the following morning. In the 1960s, the grueling schedule at Saint Hill reflected Hubbard’s own prodigious output since he used the Briefing Course as an opportunity to forge new philosophical and theological directions. These developments are essential in understanding the period and pinpointing aspects of lived religion that serve as reflections of standard features of systematic theology in the Church of Scientology to this day.43 These features include the importance of studying well and according to a precise “Study Technology” that ensures uniform comprehension and application; the evolution of Scientology’s theology to include concepts such as “overts” and “withholds” (theology of sin) and “suppressive persons” (theology of evil); the first delineation of what became the Bridge to Total Freedom; and standards for orthodoxy and orthopraxy in the form of a seminal policy letter entitled “Keeping Scientology Working” (KSW).44

Study Technology: A Secular and Scriptural Hermeneutic Hubbard frequently wrote and spoke on the subject of study during the Briefing Course. This “Study Technology” became the standard method for reading all of the materials of Dianetics and Scientology and later served as the foundation for the secular educational program Applied Scholastics.45 In a series of 1964 lectures known as the Study Tapes,46 Hubbard outlined his philosophy and pedagogy, which can be distilled into “three barriers to study” that prevent understanding and duplication: lack of mass, too steep of a gradient, and misunderstood words.

015

Features of Systematic Theology

105

“Lack of mass” refers to a student’s lack of understanding in the physical universe (MEST, or matter, energy, space, and time) about the meaning of a word, phrase, concept, or situation. For instance, if one were learning the meaning of space shuttle, one might conceptualize a NASA shuttle or find images online. But it would also be helpful to draw, paint, build a model with clay,47 or visit a local air and space museum to more directly perceive, observe, and examine the object in question. The focus on experiential education is arguably similar to the methods of John Dewey or Maria Montessori.48 “Too steep of a gradient” refers to study that is improperly sequenced. For instance, as Hubbard and Scientologists might say, it is “out-gradient” for the student of elementary algebra to next learn multivariable calculus. For Hubbard, the most problematic and pervasive barrier to study, however, was the misunderstood word. He identified it as the root cause and culprit of misunderstanding and misapplication. In the context of the Briefing Course, though applicable to the study of Scientology at large, a misunderstood word (also referred to as an “MU” or “Mis-U”) meant that one failed to understand the proper definition of a particular word, phrase, or idiomatic expression as found in Hubbard’s books, lectures, and other materials. If the Scientologist in training did not properly or fully understand Hubbard’s work, then he or she would be unable to apply the corresponding Dianetics or Scientology technique. The inference is that falling short of Standard Tech—or what is elsewhere termed “out-tech” or “squirreling”49—is very often attributable to not defining, understanding, and applying Hubbard’s materials in their proper contexts. “So the direction and end purpose of study is understanding,” Hubbard told the audience at Saint Hill in July 1964. “And of course, with an unknown word in the middle of it and an unknown phenomenon in the middle of it, you’re not going to get understanding at all.” “You’re going to get disbelief, noncomprehension. You’re going to get mystery,” Hubbard said of the wide-ranging side effects of the misunderstood word. “You’re going to get of course, also, nonapplication.”50 The Scientologist’s handling of these barriers to study, in particular the misunderstood word, plays an essential role in the symbiotic relationship between Hubbard’s canon, church members, and the maintenance of Standard Tech. Ironically, the need for “word clearing,” as it is called, only increased as Hubbard continued to develop his jargon.51 The influences on Hubbard’s educational method have not been fully investigated,52 though he claimed they were in large part informed by his own difficulties in teaching Scientology and lessons learned from a 1961 photography correspondence course.53 Throughout the Study Tapes, he appealed to a variety of philosophical and scientific figures—Hume, Euclid, Freud, Einstein, and Will Durant—whose

061

106

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

work is certainly germane to the areas of perception, experience, and knowledge. Early in the lectures, Hubbard contrasted his method with systems of rote memorization, which are based on the goal to attain “perfect, complete duplication without a grain of sense connected to it.”54 For Hubbard, “study has to do, basic and most formally, with just really one thing:  willingness to know.” This emphasis connects back to a central theme from chapter  1, namely that Scientology aims to raise self-determinism, self-understanding, and ultimately self-knowledge in both secular and spiritual life.55 Hubbard also developed a system to identify when students experience one or more of the study barriers. It is heavily reliant on the Tone Scale, according to which behavioral manifestations are taken as cues about mental and spiritual states. In one lecture, he explained that “study can produce a physiological reaction, and it can produce some pleasant ones and it can produce some confoundedly unpleasant ones.”56 Most of the behaviors are rather commonsensical, such as yawning, drowsiness, headaches, light-headedness, spaciness, boredom, confusion, exasperation, nervousness, fidgeting, feelings of “blankness” or stupidity, and not remembering or comprehending material immediately after reading.57 On an everyday level, Scientologists are reminded to define unclear terms while reading or listening to any of Hubbard’s materials. For instance, the first few pages of Dianetics and Scientology texts invariably contain a version of the following “Important Note,” along with a recommendation to use dictionaries and glossaries:58 In reading this book, be very certain you never go past a word you do not fully understand. The only reason a person gives up a study or becomes confused or unable to learn is because he or she has gone past a word that was not understood. The confusion or inability to grasp or learn comes AFTER a word the person did not have defined and understood. It may not only be the new and unusual words you have to look up. Some commonly used words can often be misdefined and so cause confusion. This datum about not going past an undefined word is the most important fact in the whole subject of study. Every subject you have taken up and abandoned had its words which you failed to get defined. Therefore, in studying this book be very, very certain you never go past a word you do not fully understand. If the material becomes confusing or you can’t seem to grasp it, there will be a word just earlier that you have not understood. Don’t go any further, but go back to BEFORE you got into trouble, find the misunderstood word and get it defined.59

017

Features of Systematic Theology

107

By the early 1970s, Hubbard expanded the Study Tech system to include nine methods—some of which require the E-Meter—for use by “word clearers” to even more precisely spot misunderstood words. There is also a Professional Word Clearer Course. In fact, I  met Sea Org members in Los Angeles and Clearwater who work full time as Word Clearers, assisting fellow staff members and parishioners as needed. In Scientology course rooms, the Course Supervisor plays an important role in implementing Study Tech methods. If a student encounters a misunderstood word and asks the Course Supervisor for help, he or she will almost certainly be directed back to the material to locate and define the MU.60 In this sense, there are no teachers in Scientology course rooms, only supervisors, who are forbidden from interpreting Hubbard’s canon since this would amount to a high crime known as “Verbal Tech.”61 I learned this lesson first-hand during the interviews, when I asked a parishioner in New York to “teach me” more about the Tone Scale. The polite response: “Well, I can’t teach you. . . . I’d have to find policy.” The burden on the Scientologist to define words and redirect queries back to Hubbard’s work has a possible (though by no means inevitable) consequence:  difficulties and disagreements with the canon may become internalized and normalized as the fault of the individual rather than an indication that something is incomplete or unworkable with the technology itself. This logic may lead to a situation in which Scientologists who adhere to the principles of Study Technology engage in self-blame rather than question the veracity of Hubbard’s claims. While doubtful that any educator would find fault with a method as simple and useful as defining unknown words, this hermeneutic has the exegetical effect of immunizing Hubbard’s writings from criticism and debate among church members. Since the work comes from “Source” (i.e., Hubbard), the canon is rendered infallible and inerrant, due in no small measure to Hubbard’s own methods for studying it. The situation is comparable to fundamentalist or literalist views of scripture in Christianity and Islam, in which the Bible and Qur’an, especially in their original languages and forms, allow for the apprehension of theological truths at face value. Some interviewees expressed a similar mindset when praising the 2007 release of new editions of Hubbard’s books. The new versions, I  was informed, corrected typographical and editorial errors that had prevented a pure and unadulterated presentation of Hubbard’s writings. With the re-released books, it is finally possible, I  was repeatedly told, for Scientologists to gain a “full conceptual understanding” of the material.62 The restoration project brings to mind dedicated work to remove translation errors from the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and other scriptures to facilitate the fuller dissemination of divine truth.

081

108

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

One young Scientologist admitted to me that she felt “stupid” when reading a particular section of a pre-2007 book, which she failed to understand despite diligent use of the Study Tech methods. Rather than express frustration with the hermeneutic that placed the burden of misunderstanding on her own miscomprehension, she was simply pleased that the new version fixed the problem and allowed for a clear reading. She was also thankful to “COB”— the common shorthand in the church for David Miscavige, in his capacity as Chairman of the Board of the Religious Technology Center—for his role in restoring the books and maintaining the purity of Hubbard’s technologies, a subject taken up further in chapter 5.

Overts and Withholds: Theology of Sin Another topic on the Briefing Course, more inherently of a theological nature, concerns what Hubbard termed overts and withholds. Roughly corresponding to a theology of sin in other traditions, an overt is “a harmful act or a transgression against the moral code of a group . . . an act of omission or commission which does the least good for the least number of dynamics or the most harm to the greatest number of dynamics,” intentionally or not.63 Closely related, a withhold is in essence a secret—“an unspoken, unannounced transgression against a moral code by which the person is bound”—and comes to exist after committing an overt.64 For example, it would be an overt to inadvertently strike and kill someone with a car. If one failed to immediately disclose this fact to the proper authorities, there would technically be two overts: the crime itself (vehicular manslaughter) and the failure to inform the police (“hit and run”). Assuming there were no witnesses, the failure to pull the car to the side of the road and inform the police forms the basis for a withhold since it follows the overt(s) and remains undisclosed. Hubbard first described the overt act in A History of Man (1952), though it was presented there in a somewhat different context and in nascent form.65 The subject received far more attention in the coming years and overts and withholds—“O/Ws” for short—are now considered a principal cause of mental and spiritual stagnancy. Whether or not the preclear is consciously aware of their influence, they inhibit spiritual readiness and the ability to fully benefit from auditing.66 Also, until O/Ws are discovered and unburdened, it can be difficult to trust one’s auditor, a key prerequisite for authentic progress up the Bridge to Clear and OT. As Hubbard wrote in Dianetics (1950), successful auditing depends on a healthy and open relationship between the preclear and auditor, which he expressed mathematically: the auditor plus the preclear is greater than the reactive mind.67

091

Features of Systematic Theology

109

With this theology in hand, Hubbard (seen in his Saint Hill office in Figure 3.2) made use of the E-Meter as a tool to systematically discover overts and withholds. The meter is considered particularly useful in rooting out O/Ws— including those in past lifetimes—since, much like engrams, they may exist below conscious awareness but not beyond the machine’s capability in the hands of an expert auditor. Toward this end, Hubbard designed a series of procedures that went under various headings, such as “Security Checking” (or “Sec Checking”), “Integrity Processing,” and “Confessionals.”68 As Hubbard reiterated in many Briefing Course lectures,69 the purpose of a Security Check is to address O/Ws and unburden the preclear’s “case” to speed up spiritual advancement. This method is based on the theory that the mental energy of transgressions is held “in suspension” in the physical universe until the full truth—including one’s own role and responsibility—is plainly expressed and the area is “as-ised.” This means that the aberrative “charge” has been released, evidenced by a floating needle on the E-Meter. As Hubbard wrote: “Truth is

Figure  3.2 L.  Ron Hubbard in his office with E-Meter. Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, 1959. Getty Images.

0 1

110

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

the exact time, place, form and event. . . . Lying is an alteration of time, place, event or form.”70 In a lecture delivered in December 1961 during a trip to Washington, DC, Hubbard compared the use of the E-Meter in Security Checks to police lie detectors. The difference, he noted, is that polygraph testing is used to establish an individual’s guilt in the present lifetime. “And it’s not a police instrument at all,” he insisted. “Well, the police wouldn’t know what to do with this instrument. . . . [Y]ou put this in the hands of a cop and he would say, ‘Well, did you ever rob a bank?’ And it would tell him whether or not the guy robbed a bank two trillion years ago, you see?”71 Hubbard then explained that the ultimate purpose of Sec Checking is to maintain “clean hands” and that confessionals are intended exclusively for spiritual rehabilitation. At the same time, he was aware that the practice could be misused to blackmail, control, and coerce, and reassured listeners that this was not the case: The one lovely thing about Scientology is nobody ever holds your past against you. The past is our business and so nobody holds your past against you. That makes us one of the oddest groups that ever existed, because the only reason groups exist here on Earth at the present time is somebody has a record of your past and might be able to hold it against you, so therefore you had better stay in line. That is the single mechanism of keeping people in line used here on Earth today.  .  .  . [Security Checks have] nothing to do with morals. It has everything to do with upward and onward and freedom. If you can just be brave enough to be good enough to get the job done, you will be free.72 This matter-of-fact and non-judgmental attitude is reflected in some of Hubbard’s earlier writings, such as Advanced Procedure and Axioms (1951), where he wrote that “Full Responsibility is not fault, it is recognition of being cause.”73 As he described in the same 1961 lecture, “Now, this machine, this little E-Meter, doesn’t have moral connotations, it has case connotations,” underscoring that the machine is intended to advance spiritual freedom— case gain—not assess goodness, morality, or depravity.74 Hubbard also noted that Scientologists sometimes have overts against the church, including himself: “But let me assure you, if you have lots of overts on me, the horror of the thing is simply that your case doesn’t advance. And I don’t give a damn if you have overts on me! But I do care if your case advances!”75 In the 1959 policy letter “Blow Offs,” Hubbard stated that “People leave because of their own overts and withholds. That is a factual fact and the hard-bound rule. . . . It doesn’t matter whether the person is departing from a town or a

111

Features of Systematic Theology

111

job or a session. The cause is the same.”76 Within the church, Sec Checking therefore serves psychological, theological, and sociological purposes:  it unburdens the Scientologist of O/Ws and ensures that he or she remains in the church, advances up the Bridge, and benefits from Hubbard’s Tech. One corollary of the theology of overts and withholds is that it helps account for the reactionary and defensive stance of the church against some of its vocally critical former members. For many Scientologists, their grievances—indeed, even their apostasy—can be explained away by the idea that undisclosed O/Ws are the true sources of disagreement, antagonism, and disaffiliation. The subject of O/Ws was not addressed directly in the interviews but occasionally came up in the course of conversation, including in relation to apostasy. One of the more articulate and impassioned instances came from Charlotte, a Sea Org member in New York: The people who have left did something that violated the concepts of basic Scientology. They had MU’s. They misapplied a policy or several. Or they had a button on self-importance and then they used that in an overt bad way against someone or whatever. It still saddens me badly. Because you know, when you consider somebody is in, they’re in it for life, like KSW [Keeping Scientology Working]. Then you’re in it. Well, then to not be in it, I find upsetting. On the other hand, I’ve been the adverse effect of some of those people who were doing it wrong. And I’m glad [they are gone]. Good riddance to bad rubbish. There’s that side of it too. I don’t know how else to put it. . . . If somebody is saying, “well they did this to me,” you can guarantee there’s similar overts of their own. The overt doth speak loudly in accusation. There are multiple layers of depth to this statement. She associates disaffiliation with misunderstood words (Study Tech), misapplication of Hubbard’s policy letters (KSW, as discussed later in this chapter), and, last but not least, transgressions against the church (overts). The implication is that these “people who were doing it wrong” might have stayed in the church had they taken responsibility for their own O/Ws. In a lecture given in July 1958, Hubbard, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, made a similar point:  “Can you keep a secret? The one thing you must not tell people is that they are responsible, themselves personally, for all of the difficulties that ever occurred to them. . . . The best trick that a thetan does is to make something and then say, ‘I didn’t do it.’ He starts moving off these responsibility zones.”77 In line with this rhetoric and rationale, the Church of Scientology routinely dismisses the claims of ex-members and critics on the basis that they

2 1

112

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

are “bigots” or “defrocked apostates” out to distort history to suit their own needs and forward an agenda that is reflective of personal ethical lapses rather than legitimate claims.78 Of course, this is not at all to suggest a binary and simplistic narrative pitting church members as honest historians and outspoken apostates and critics as revisionists. It is, however, worth observing that some public relations strategies toward ex-members are rooted in a theology in which O/Ws may be enlisted to psychoanalyze away certain claims and complaints. Of course, despite Hubbard’s explanations, the O/W theology presumes such a robustly individualistic framework that it risks delegitimizing legitimate accusations of wrongdoing. Paradoxically, the O/W theology also seems to suggest that Scientologists do not properly choose to leave the church of their own free will. Instead, it is the karmic accumulation of transgressions that—consciously or not—precipitates the ejection. This phenomenon is similar to the subconscious manner in which the aggregate of engrams in the reactive mind can influence the individual in ways invisible to waking consciousness. The resolution appears to be that the individual is “free” insofar as he or she remains unencumbered by the past. Thus, freedom for a Scientologist includes freedom from, and responsibility for, one’s O/Ws on the path up the Bridge.

Suppressive Persons and Disconnection: Theologies of Evil and Shunning Another contribution from the Saint Hill era—which arguably follows from Hubbard’s theology of sin—are writings about the antisocial personality, also known as the “suppressive person” or SP. Hubbard wrote abundantly about SPs from the 1960s onward and described them in terms most akin to that of the psychopath or sociopath. Suppressive persons bring destruction to those around them and unfortunately have little, if any, chance of rehabilitation since they are not interested in helping others and instead work to squash the survival potential and happiness of their peers. In line with some psychologists’ estimates,79 Hubbard wrote that approximately 2.5% of the human population at any given time is suppressive, with an additional 20% negatively affected by virtue of their connection(s) to the SP(s).80 The fifth of the world in this second category are “Potential Trouble Sources,” or PTS, due to their proximity to at least one SP. In this conception, the SP becomes yet another obstacle on the path to mental and spiritual enlightenment and stands in the way of the “case gain” afforded by Hubbard’s otherwise infallible technologies.

13

Features of Systematic Theology

113

Hubbard listed twelve attributes of the antisocial personality. These include (1) communicating in generalities (“They say . . . ,” “Everybody thinks . . . ,” etc.); (2) disproportionately delivering bad news or critical comments; (3) altering or embellishing the news of others; (4) an inability to respond to “reform or psychotherapy”; (5) being surrounded by ill or unsuccessful individuals (who are in this state due to their proximity to the SP); (6) failure to understand causal relationships (“selects habitually the wrong target”); (7) an inability to finish projects once started; (8) lack of responsibility for one’s actions; (9) support of “destructive groups” that work against “any constructive or betterment group”; (10) approval of “destructive actions and fights against constructive or helpful actions or activities”; (11) unwillingness to help others but willingness to “destroy in the name of help”; and (12) a poor sense of property, since the SP “conceives that the idea that anyone owns anything is a pretense, made up to fool people.”81 If a Scientologist discovers that he or she is connected to someone who displays a majority of these attributes or has committed any number of “suppressive acts,” two remedies are prescribed: one either “handles” the situation or “disconnects” from the SP. Hubbard insisted that, whenever possible, it is better to handle rather than disconnect, since the latter amounts to an individual and institutional form of shunning. Some Scientologists, he admitted, have hastily or opportunistically disconnected from antagonistic individuals because of an inability to confront and communicate. “Many took the easy course,” Hubbard wrote, “and merely disconnected ‘temporarily’ for the time of their training or processing and so did not in actual fact handle the condition in their lives which was upsetting them as Scientologists.”82 His policies on handling and disconnection are intended in part to safeguard Scientology and Scientologists from individuals who might disrupt and discourage progress up the Bridge. It also has the sociological effect of resolving a potential freerider problem by privileging adherence and conformity to the church (Third Dynamic) above criticism and doubt (on the First Dynamic).83 It is therefore not surprising that the practice of disconnection has reinforced perceptions of the Church of Scientology as closed off from society.84 In the 1960s, at an institutional level, the boundaries between insiders and outsiders were exacerbated by legal factors, including pressure from governmental entities and critics, which was especially true in the United States, England, and Australia. Scientology was often considered little more than a commercialized form of pseudoscience and brainwashing and certainly not a normative expression of religion.85 For Hubbard, the acrimony spilled over into a series of infamous policies (1965 and 1967) in which he declared that SPs were “Fair Game”—that is, outside the protection of the church’s internal

4 1

114

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

justice system. One section of the 1967 policy letter stated that former members deemed “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.”86 However, in late 1968, nearly two years after leaving England and founding the Sea Organization, Hubbard canceled the “Fair Game” policy, as it “causes bad public relations.”87 Since the early 1980s, when the church reincorporated itself and expelled staff members involved in legal activities as part of its Guardian’s Office (see chapter 5), responses to critics have instead come predominately in the form of legal responses.88 In late 1968, Hubbard announced the cancellation of the “Fair Game” policy to the church in an annual audio message known as Ron’s Journal 68 (RJ 68). The recording is remarkable because it also announced the cancellation of two other practices—disconnection and Security Checks89—though it is important to clarify that these were later reinstated by the church with his approval.90 Hubbard removed all three as part of a “reform code” for the church and gave his listeners a sense of the negative (though, he claims, improving) treatment of Scientology in the press and his apparent willingness to change policy based on feedback from parishioners: The press in 1968 began in some areas to become favorable to Scientology. Now this was because the public no longer believed enemy lies, and the enemy had gone too far. . . . So increasingly you will see better press. Thanks to Guardian’s Offices [legal and public relations divisions] over the world and the orgs that back them up and to your own efforts. You probably read something about the reform code, the reform code of Scientology . . . in which the Sec Checks were canceled and all old PC [preclear] folders on this have been burned. And disconnection has been canceled as a relief to those suffering family oppression. It’s no longer required on SP orders and the person has to handle. The Fair Game law was canceled and the prohibition against writing down or recording professional materials was made. And this was actually the extent of the reform code; the public at large generally thought we were alright. We didn’t have to do anything more, but these were just the small items that they did say, so we released them as a reform code. Although the Fair Game policy was canceled, the church has defended some of its tamer and extra-legal manifestations, such as the use of private investigators to investigate critics and journalists, as an expression of religious freedom protected by the First Amendment. As one church

15

Features of Systematic Theology

115

spokesperson put it, Scientology is “not a ‘turn the other cheek’ type of religion.”91 Disconnection and Security Checks, on the other hand, remain lived realities for Scientologists, including those in my sample. Security Checks are usually given to staff members, however, especially Sea Org members. Parishioners are most likely to participate in confessionals as they move higher on the Bridge, where they are required at certain points, including Grade II, before the OT levels, and during OT VII.92 Disconnection, on the other hand, is practiced more commonly among both lay and staff Scientologists. None of the interviewees recounted the “family oppression” that Hubbard mentioned in RJ 68. However, when asked “Have you ever ‘disconnected’ from a friend or family member?,” 30.61% of respondents answered yes and 69.39% answered no.93 One example in the affirmative came from a young Sea Org member who, before joining that group, disconnected from a former boyfriend and gang member—an affiliation she decided was not “pro-survival.” Another Scientologist, a business executive, realized in the middle of taking a Scientology course that one of her employees was, in fact, a suppressive person. She immediately took a course break, met with the church’s ethics officer, and later decided to sever all ties after it turned out the employee had mistreated others and drove down corporate productivity. In another instance, the leader of a community organization in Florida described that one of her volunteers had stopped working for the group around the time of our interview. She “was just recently declared suppressive,” I was told. The process for expulsion—being “declared”—is formalized according to the church’s internal justice system; it comes after a process that begins with one or more documented cases of suppressive acts called “high crimes,” which are listed in Hubbard’s Introduction to Scientology Ethics.94 According to church policy, the accused is summoned before a Committee of Evidence (“Comm Ev”) that should be composed of respected members in the community (typically staff members). The committee conducts interviews, calls witnesses as needed, and makes a determination, which must be approved by the International Justice Chief in Los Angeles. Once excommunicated, Scientologists in good standing who are connected to the individual do not properly have Hubbard’s choice to handle or disconnect. In such cases, the practical option is to disconnect or else be tainted as a Potential Trouble Source (PTS), which would put one at risk of excommunication. In other words, connection to an SP, especially an excommunicated one, presents something of a Hobson’s choice for the Scientologist, who can choose between the shunning direction of the group or life outside the church. Such was the case with this woman in Florida, who told me that “now we have to go through our website and make sure she’s not on there. So

6 1

116

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

delete her from our Facebook and our email and that kind of thing,” in order to remove signs of affiliation and connection. These actions align with Hubbard’s policies on the matter: “In such an instance the PTS isn’t going to get anywhere trying to ‘handle’ the person. The answer is to sever the connection. . . . To fail or refuse to disconnect from a Suppressive Person not only denies the PTS case gain, it is also supportive of the Suppressive—in itself a Suppressive Act.”95 When dealing with an SP, there is no method to handle, because at that point it is up to the suppressive individual to reform him- or herself, which first and foremost would consist of no longer committing “present time overts” against the church. As this woman explained, “They’re given every chance to handle themselves. Every chance. They are given reading material. They’re given an opportunity to meet with many different people. They are given every single opportunity possible to try to handle themselves. And it’s only when they refuse that they end up getting declared.” Aside from cases that lead to excommunication, Hubbard wrote that the preferred course of action is to handle with open communication, especially in the case of family members. “When an Ethics Officer finds that a Scientologist is PTS to a family member,” Hubbard urged, “he does not recommend that the person disconnect from the antagonistic source.”96 Even so, the practice of disconnection continues to be a matter of confusion and controversy.97 This is most understandably the case among ex-members who are unable to maintain connections with family members and friends still in the church.98 Many Scientologists spoke rather candidly about the application (and misapplication) of disconnection and their right to communicate (or not) with others: • “I think that, you know, Ron himself was a bit conflicted about disconnection. . . . There was a time when it was a policy of the church, and there was a time when it was not the policy of the church, and then there was a time when it was a policy of the church.” • “Disconnection—we all have a right to it, right? So every day, every single person on this planet makes decisions to disconnect from certain people and not certain people.” • “If you’ve got no balls, you just disconnect.  .  .  . That’s like the easy way out. . . . Handling takes communication, skill, knowledge, work.” • “A being has a right to communicate or not communicate. That’s his right. You cannot enforce on that person a communication that he does not want to have.”

17

Features of Systematic Theology

117

• “[Disconnecting from a family member] was tough but it also was, when you look at making a decision based on the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics, that was our decision.” • “I did disconnect for two years from one person who was causing me a considerable amount of upset. Later, I realized from a Scientology course I was taking that I didn’t have to leave it that way, and realized what I could do to handle the situation. I did call her and handle it (a very emotional scene), and she remained a solid supporter for the last twelve years of her life.” • “Yeah, nobody really much seems to be particularly curious or give a damn [about being a Scientologist]. Everybody’s respectful. There was one relative that gave me some crap about it. He is no longer invited. He does not come to Passover.” • “I had friends who were really antagonistic and I  don’t stay friends very long with them. . . . It’s too difficult. It depends who they are. If I really like them and that’s the only thing, then I’ll handle them on it. But if there’s too many things I don’t like about them, then I’m not going to bother again. They don’t deserve my friendship.” In addition to theologies of sin, evil, and shunning, it should be noted that Hubbard also affirmed the inherent goodness of humanity. The Creed of the Church of Scientology (1954) communicates this in the language of survival and the Eight Dynamics: “And we of the Church believe: That Man is basically good. That he is seeking to Survive. That his survival depends upon himself and upon his fellows and his attainment of brotherhood with the Universe.”99 In numerous sources, Hubbard contrasted Scientology with other religious traditions on this point, including Christianity and the doctrine of original sin.100 The source of humanity’s virtue is the inherent goodness of the thetan. Despite Scientology’s debt to the gnostic tradition, the spirit and flesh—thetan and MEST—are not necessarily in tension or competition.101 Suppressive persons, for instance, are not evil because the body is evil. Instead, they are suppressive due to evil actions and dispositions that negatively affect those around them. Hubbard wrote that even SPs are redeemable and can take steps to eventually regain admission in the church.102 “You must keep the door open only if it’s just a crack,” he wrote. “Expulsion without hope of reinstatement puts people into total hopelessness. . . . Do not practice or permit discipline or expulsion with no hope of amends.”103 The assumption of humanity’s goodness, even in the face of evil, is a theological constant. It forms the basis for spiritual progress, assuming one remains encumbered by the likes of engrams, overts, withholds, and SPs.

8 1

118

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

Early Development of “The Bridge”: Soteriology In 1965, Hubbard released the first version of his “Classification Gradation and Awareness Chart of Levels and Certificates,”104 later known as the Bridge to Total Freedom or simply “the Bridge” (as discussed in chapter 1). Before its release, Scientologists lacked a single and stable source to visualize Hubbard’s constantly evolving map for mental and spiritual improvement. The chart and later editions are based on the premise, found in Study Tech, that education ought to take place in a properly sequenced or gradient fashion. Hubbard’s path to enlightenment provides a democratized path—a one-size-fits-all model—that is both modern and ancient in orientation. It is modern in the sense that it exhibits Hubbard’s precise and mechanistic approach to the mind and spirit. In 1965, most of Hubbard’s nascent “Bridge” was public knowledge among Scientologists and did not contain the confidential OT levels that are now available. However, even then, it was similar to ancient schools of wisdom and reflected Eastern and esoteric attempts to prepare initiates for states such as Nirvana and Moksha. In this sense, the Bridge can be compared with paths to enlightenment in traditions such as Mahayana Buddhism, where Bodhisattvas become free of the reincarnation cycle yet choose to stay behind and guide others out of compassion. As Hubbard put it in a 1966 interview, “my conclusions were that man, regardless of his state of culture and so forth, was essentially the same, that he was a spiritual being that was pulled down to the material—the fleshly interests—to an interplay in life that was in fact too great for him to confront. And I concluded finally that he needed a hand.”105 “From the ’50s to the mid-’60s,” explained a Sea Org member in Los Angeles, “the training of auditors was done through lectures and hands-on instruction, but there was really no systematic guide.” “Before ’65, there was a misunderstanding about a fast and simple way of making a Clear—the goal of a ‘one-shot Clear,’ which he [Hubbard] later got rid of.” The “one-shot Clear” refers to Hubbard’s idea from the 1950s that it may be possible to tame the reactive mind in short order—theoretically within hours—assuming the auditor used just the right questions and commands to remove a preclear’s most basic engrams.106 “The Bridge undercuts that process, and one of the reasons he created it is because a Scientologist is an auditor, so you wouldn’t just have someone going up on one side,” the Sea Org member continued. “You have to have auditors to deliver the processing, which instantly gives you two sides. You’re expected as a Scientologist to be an auditor and ideally take another Scientologist and co-audit up the Bridge together. When you pass the level of co-auditing and get to the OT levels, you audit yourself, so that auditing relationship goes from the bottom to the top.”

9 1

Features of Systematic Theology

119

Advancement up the Bridge was also described as a process that should lead to increased responsibility for one’s self and others. In one interview, the path from preclear to OT was described as a journey that touches upon all of the Eight Dynamics. “A trip up the auditing Bridge, the different levels, is also considered a trip across the dynamics,” explained a parishioner from Pasadena. “It’s a trip up the Tone Scale, too,” he added. “You get in, you’re worried about yourself. As you handle that, you start to be interested more in the Second [ family] and the Third [groups] and Fourth Dynamic [humanity]. . . . A little more auditing, you get the Fifth [organic life], Sixth [physical universe], Seventh [spiritual universe] Dynamics. After a while, you’re in the Infinity Dynamic.”

“Keeping Scientology Working” (1965): Centerpiece of Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy Also in 1965, Hubbard penned what is arguably the single most important document in Scientology’s canon of scripture, as it outlines standards for orthodoxy and orthopraxy in the religion. It is entitled “Keeping Scientology Working Series 1”—abbreviated and widely known as KSW—and required reading at the start of every major course or auditing level. The central message of KSW is to deliver Dianetics and Scientology exactly as Hubbard codified and intended, summarized in the form of ten points or directives to safeguard the efficacy of his technologies. These ten points are often memorized by staff members, especially those in the Sea Org, and it is common to find them hanging on the wall in a Scientology organization: 1. Having the correct technology. 2. Knowing the technology. 3. Knowing it is correct. 4. Teaching correctly the correct technology. 5. Applying the technology. 6. Seeing that the technology is correctly applied. 7. Hammering out of existence incorrect technology. 8. Knocking out incorrect applications. 9. Closing the door on any possibility of incorrect technology. 10. Closing the door on incorrect application.107 As with the Bridge, the ten points are best observed in sequence. The first step is to have the correct technology, of course meaning Dianetics and Scientology.

201

120

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

The following two points are intellectual, individualized, and epistemological: “knowing the technology” but also concretely “knowing it is correct.” The latter is notable because it implies that orthopraxy depends on experiential knowledge, based on study and auditing. The outcome is a self-referential system that, by design, works to eliminate doubt, criticism, and negativity since these are impediments to Scientology’s workability. The internal logic is similar to Christian theologies in which authentic religious understanding depends on the pure and faithful mindset of the adherent. Points four, five, and six more directly concern indoctrination and orthopraxy itself, meaning the outward expression and dissemination of Dianetics and Scientology. In addition to internalizing its efficacy in point three, a Scientologist should see that the technology is correctly taught (four) and then applied—by one’s self (five) and also by others (six). The implicit message of the ten points is that it is the responsibility of Scientologists themselves—no matter title or position—to apply and ensure that others apply Standard Tech. Hubbard was adamant that the organizational and theological survival of Scientology rests on Scientologists alone. “So the ogre which might eat us up is not the government or the High Priests,” he wrote. “It’s our possible failure to retain and practice our technology.”108 A key aspect of lived religion in Scientology, then, is that spiritual freedom comes as the result of the strictest observance of Hubbard’s writings and practices. This leaves little, if any, room for deviance within the church. In contrast to the 1950s vision of Dianetics as a collaborative and peer-reviewed research program, by 1965 Hubbard made clear in KSW that he is the sole arbiter of Scientology’s theology and practices. “In all the years I have engaged in research I  have kept my comm[unication] lines wide open for research. I once had the idea that a group could evolve truth,” Hubbard reflected. “A third of a century has thoroughly disabused me of that idea. Willing as I was to accept suggestions and data, only a handful of suggestions (less than twenty) had long-run value and none were major or basic.”109 When asked “What does Keeping Scientology Working mean to you?,” I  was impressed with the serious and substantive responses from the interviews. One of the most poignant came from Jackson, a parishioner in Clearwater. “You know, it’s funny, there’s no real dogma in Scientology outside of KSW,” he told me. “Because the one thing that we can all agree on is what LRH wrote. And as long as it’s pure LRH and it’s not interpreted, it’s not changed, it’s not modified, the material that we study today is the same material that we’ll be re-reading when we come back next lifetime. . . . Is the material as LRH wrote it? Is it as he intended it? Is it available for me and other Scientologists down the road, when I come back?”

2 11

Features of Systematic Theology

121

Jackson had a long-term view of what we might call salvation history, within which he and others will “come back” lifetime after lifetime, necessitating that Hubbard’s technologies be uniformly available and preserved. He also conveyed an urgency and imminence. He was quite certain that his spiritual future, and that of others, depend on efforts to Keep Scientology Working here and now. Later in the interview, Jackson contrasted Hubbard’s foresight in KSW with the failure of other religious traditions to effectively pass down the teachings as formulated by their founders. Two recurrent examples, referenced by Jackson and others, were the Protestant Reformation and Second Vatican Council. This observation may also be connected to the theologies of restorationist Christian churches, such as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which view themselves as returning to a primitive and pure form of original religion. In the Church of Scientology, allegiance to KSW is as much ecclesiastical as it is practical and soteriological. These and other theological themes were addressed by interviewees as they reflected on the significance of KSW: • “What KSW means to me is it’s keeping everything the same so it doesn’t get altered. It doesn’t get changed and end up, you know, like . . . with the Catholic church—going okay, how come you’re changing that?  .  .  .  Did God come down and tell you to change this? Or is this just somebody’s arbitrary idea?” • “It’s just really, really important that Scientology is applied standardly because you’re dealing with things of monumental proportions. You know, you’re dealing with a being. . . . [T]here’s no room for errors because you’re potentially costing somebody so much gain.” • “It’s like baking a cake. . . . If you want to make a great cake, you follow the recipe. If you want to leave out the flour and the eggs, you’re not going to have the product you’re going for which is really important for a Scientologist to get the result that you’re looking for.” • “That’s why no interpretation is allowed by a supervisor or anybody else. That’s Keeping Scientology Working . . . allowing the person to get it for himself 100% the way Ron says it and then apply it that way and see for themselves that it works. . . . ‘On source’ means that it’s on policy. He’s already figured out how to do it so you don’t need to get creative.” • “If you make a bridge, if you don’t build the bridge properly, the bridge falls. There are very few ways to do a bridge well. There are many ways to do it bad. . . . I think the main understanding from Keeping Scientology Working is if something is working, don’t change it. So that’s a very old engineering rule.”

221

122

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

• “Just keeping the tech the way Ron intended to have it. That’s what it means to me.” • “I used to think that Keeping Scientology Working meant sort of looking up your words and not altering the tech and it does mean that. That’s very, very, very important. But I have a viewpoint of Keeping Scientology Working now which means ARC [affinity, reality, and communication]. It means recognizing the dynamics, it means survival, it means living your own truths. It means communication. It means granting beingness. . . . Scientology is having my manners in, surviving, being clean, applying The Way to Happiness.” • “Scientology is a workable system. There may be a better way to do it but this works and I wouldn’t want to fool with it.” • “It’s like playing telephone. Something changes a little bit and it continues that way and then it changes a little bit and it continues that way. Then what you have at the end is something else. You don’t have the same thing you started with which is what I think has happened with a lot of religions.” The Church of Scientology and its affiliated organizations consider themselves the only bodies authorized to deliver Hubbard’s technologies.110 If other religious traditions had undertaken efforts similar to KSW, the logic goes, they too might have retained and perpetuated their original visions for society. “Could you imagine,” a staff member in Boston wondered, “if every single Christian performed the 10 Commandments in the way we perform Keeping Scientology Working?” This historical perspective is mirrored in the 1965 KSW policy letter, where Hubbard makes clear that he expects an unwavering commitment from Scientologists. This outlook marks a shift from Hubbard’s mentality in the early 1950s, when the Dianetics movement was propelled by somber but comparatively muted Cold War apocalyptic sensibilities. As Hubbard wrote in evidence of increased sectarianism: When somebody enrolls, consider he or she has joined up for the duration of the universe—never permit an “open-minded” approach. If they’re going to quit let them quit fast.  .  .  . Never let them be halfminded about being Scientologists. . . . The proper instruction attitude is, “You’re here so you’re a Scientologist. Now we’re going to make you into an expert auditor no matter what happens. We’d rather have you dead than incapable.”  .  .  .  We’re not playing some minor game in Scientology. It isn’t cute or something to do for lack of something better. The whole agonized future of this planet, every man, woman

213

Features of Systematic Theology

123

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.111 Here we find a heightened apocalyptic and eschatological mentality that demands the full and unequivocal dedication of church members. “Clearing the planet” as an antidote to the nuclear arms race was still a pressing concern in 1965, but in KSW the mission field was extended to the ends of the earth and beyond. Hubbard’s technologies are so potent that they offer the exclusive route to spiritual freedom—“getting out of the trap.” This rhetoric also attests to Hubbard’s view of his own creative power. Without Dianetics and Scientology, “we may never again have another chance” to free ourselves and ensure the “future of this planet.” However, there is a paradox between the level of commitment demanded in KSW and other references where Hubbard encouraged a more “openminded” and subjective approach to Scientology. For instance, if “what is true for you is what you have observed yourself,” as Hubbard put it in “Personal Integrity” (1961), then this seems to allow for interpretation and a diversity of perspectives on the meaning, practice, and future of his work.112 Taking Hubbard’s apparent support of the perspectival nature of truth at face value, how does a Scientologist make sense of the strict hermeneutic inherent in the ten points of Keeping Scientology Working to which all Scientologists are bound? After all, failure to observe any of the ten points is a suppressive act, which could bring about expulsion.113 The solution seems to be that Hubbard intended life as a Scientologist to be a journal of self-discovery in which one gradually and progressively aligns with his sensibilities and systematizations of orthodoxy. In this case, the self-referential logic seems to go as follows: Hubbard discovered workable truths about the spiritual state of humanity, but it is up to the individual to decide whether these technologies are efficacious in the course of auditing and training. As fundamental as KSW is to Scientology, every auditor promises “not to evaluate for the preclear or tell him what he should think about his case in session.”114 Ultimately, the paradox suggests that while the individual is free to accept or reject whatever one encounters in Dianetics or Scientology, the church as an institution has a senior and overriding responsibility to ensure that the founder’s practices are standardly applied as he intended. If there is a tension between the Scientologist and the church—between the First and Third Dynamics—then this would be resolved in favor of the

241

124

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

church, because the individual would be “out-KSW” and might even become a distraction or impediment to others. As such, KSW is the crown jewel of Scientology’s systematic theology and perhaps the most significant and enduring legacy from the Saint Hill period. It is the ultimate mechanism for self-regulation and the means by which individual deviance is selected out and the institutionalized authority of LRH as “Source” remains immunized.115 With the fundamentals of Scientology’s theology and practices in place, Hubbard soon laid the groundwork for a development that is common among religious traditions:  the establishment of a priestly order. The Sea Organization was founded in 1967 at the tail end of Hubbard’s time in England. Its members are unquestionably committed to the mission of the church and the vision of KSW.

215

4

“We Come Back” past and pResent of the sea oRganization You have heard mention of the Sea Org—the Sea Organization—and you are likely to hear other mentions of it as time goes on. This is in reality just another Scientology organization, with the difference that it handles extremely advanced work and materials, and its personnel are OTs. Its mission is to bring Clears through the upper levels safely and certainly and with speed, and it also has the mission of getting in ethics. . . . [In 1966] I went off by myself into southern Africa, to see whether or not an OT would make good, singly and all alone, without any assistance against the environment around him. And I found out that he would not do too much good. That a group of OTs would be entirely irresistible, and are necessary to carry off this type of operation. So OTs do best with OTs. —HUBBARD,

Ron’s Journal 67 (September 20, 1967)1

The Sea Org is not the least bit contemplative. It is a doingness religious order. Your commitment is expressed through your willingness to do—whatever the job that needs doing. And there’s a pride in the Sea Org of operating that way. Almost an insouciance. Like, “Yeah, what’s the job today? You think you could throw something at me? Fine, give me the job today. What do you think?” to the universe at large. . . . So as long as it aligns with the purpose of disseminating Scientology, that’s where the religious motivation is. We’re here to get Scientology used by people to help them. We’re more like the Dominicans that were out there, or the Jesuits that were out there, building civilizations hammer and tongs—as opposed to the more contemplative orders like the Trappists. — I N T E R V I E W W I T H S E A O R g A N I Z AT I O N M E M B E R ,

Los Angeles (2012)

Tracey2 was nineteen years old and lived in Las Vegas with her then husband. He became a Scientologist shortly after he read Dianetics and took introductory courses. Tracey, on the other hand, was lukewarm. It was mostly because of his interest that she went down to the local center and enrolled in what was then called the “Comm Course,” or Communication Course, where students completed a series of exercises to improve interpersonal relations. It included a series of “training routines,” or TRs, that Hubbard developed in the 1950s for his auditors in training.3 However, the IN JANUARY 1971,

261

126

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

Comm Course that was delivered in Scientology churches and missions at this time served as a common, and quite secular, introduction to some of Hubbard’s bedrock techniques. Much like the law student from chapter 1, Tracey shared a “win” from TRBullbait, in which her course “twin” (partner) tried to elicit reactions while she learned to sit comfortably and not be thrown off guard.4 “When I passed that drill,” she recalled, “I realized that there were things about me that needed to be changed and that could change. And I was fascinated with that because of course I  thought I  was perfect. I  thought I  was fine and everybody else was wrong. But suddenly there were things about me I wasn’t even aware of that could be improved and that I needed to find out what they were and get better.” This may seem like a simple psychological realization, but for Tracey it was profound and deeply altered her perception of self and relations with others. It is what Scientologists call a cognition, a form of self-realization or epiphany. It aligns exactly with what Hubbard listed near the bottom of the Bridge as an awareness characteristic: that one is in “need of change” and voices a “demand for improvement.”5 Soon after Tracey’s win, a group of Sea Org members stopped in Vegas on a mission trip to recruit staff to serve aboard the flagship Apollo in and around the Mediterranean, where Hubbard was then working, having left Saint Hill in 1967.6 “That’s when I  found out that there was more to Scientology than just the Comm Course,” she remembered. Her husband was impressed by the Sea Org and Tracey could tell he wanted to join. She supported him despite knowing relatively little about Scientology or its founder at this point. In fact, it was not until watching a Sea Org recruitment slideshow that Tracey discovered that Hubbard was still alive. She presumed that his writings were the basis of the religion and that he had long since passed away, as tends to be the case in established religions that have outlived their founders and firstgeneration base. Her realization also reveals just how distant Hubbard was from the church’s American origin points in the early 1970s. Tracey and her husband decided to join the Sea Org, but what most attracted her to the cause was the prospect of travel and adventure rather than the chance to forward Hubbard’s plan to “Clear the planet”: When they did the slideshow, they said this is where L. Ron Hubbard is. I went, “Oh, he’s alive.” I did not know. I’d seen the books in the mission but I just thought they were books written when he was alive. And I didn’t think they had anything to do with anything we were doing in the mission. I was almost 20 years old by the time I did the Comm

217

Past and Present of the Sea Organization

127

Course. I was very naïve and green. They showed pictures of the Apollo and people working on the Apollo. Someone was on top of one of the masts or something up there. So it looked like a fun, cool place. You know, they worked and you travel around on a ship and I always wanted to travel. So it was to give us an idea of life on the ship. . . . When I got to the Apollo I first heard the expression “Clear the planet.” I thought “Clear the planet” meant get everybody on the Comm Course. But I didn’t hear “Clear the planet” until I got on the Apollo. Tracey also confided that, even after she and her husband arrived at the ship in Morocco, she did not fully consider herself to be a Scientologist. “It was a gradual process for me,” she explained. “I admired, respected and loved my group and what we were striving for. And I grew to love Scientology too for caring so much about others and for the wins I was having.” To be sure, this was an unusual situation, since most recruits to the Sea Org are well informed about the history and purpose of the group and the church. Tracey’s recruitment, however, came during the Sea Org’s formative years and she joined in large part because of her husband’s zeal. Tracey’s first job aboard the Apollo was mimeo typist. She was part of a small group that typed Hubbard’s new writings and directives before they were sent out to Scientology organizations around the world. However, she and her husband were soon transferred to Los Angeles and worked as part of a mission to the area, including service on another ship, the Bolivar, then docked in Los Angeles Harbor. Over time, Tracey’s commitment to the church grew, and she returned to the Apollo, the center of activity for the Sea Org and the expanding church. Eventually, as explored later in this chapter, she would work directly under Hubbard—the Commodore of the Sea Organization— which strengthened her allegiance to Scientology and its founder.

Origins, Early Recruitment, and OT Research The historical forces that brought about the Sea Organization and led individuals such as Tracey to join Hubbard’s religious order have not been well examined in the academic literature.7 As with Hubbard’s move to England in 1959, the motivation seems to be a combination of institutional, legal, sociological, and theological factors. A series of events in 1966 likely precipitated Hubbard’s relocation to international waters. He failed to renew his visa and the British government refused to grant the church charitable status, a reflection of ongoing problems with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In

281

128

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

March 1966, Hubbard transferred ecclesiastical authority from Saint Hill back to the United States, through the authority of the Church of Scientology of California (CSC), which improved tax advantages for operations abroad.8 This maneuver stabilized Scientology’s organizations and finances. Legally, CSC was the senior-most entity in the church until the 1981 founding of the Church of Scientology International (CSI), which exists today as the “Mother Church” of the Scientology religion. From 1954 to 1966, Hubbard served as executive director of all Scientology organizations, which meant that in addition to writing and codifying the technologies, he was the church’s administrative leader. However, in September 1966, he resigned from this position and opted instead for the simple title of Founder. “I have worked long to stabilize and expand orgs and to complete technology and policies and am resigning on a high statistic,” he wrote in a public announcement. “Organizations have now proven they can manage themselves and with mainly Clears and OTs in charge should come to no grief. . . . On specific request, as a writer, I will write books on Scientology, its organization, and will write HCOBs [Hubbard Communications Office Bulletins] and Policy Letters as requested. This is my writer hat.”9 Hubbard’s role transitioned, effectively, from top administrator to full-time theologian and researcher, even if in practice the roles blurred. In any event, Scientologists’ reverence for their founder certainly positioned him as the de facto leader until his passing in 1986.10 In numerous sources, Hubbard reiterated his faith in senior Scientologists to autonomously run churches,11 and of course it was impossible to monitor everyday international affairs single-handedly. By 1967, Hubbard had sold Saint Hill Manor to the Church of Scientology of California12 and began recruitment for what would become the Sea Org. A Sea Org member in London told me that prospective members met in the basement at Saint Hill, in a place unknown to the vast majority of the staff and parishioners. Hubbard handpicked the early recruits and it was presumably wise not to advertise his next moves in light of troubles with the British government. The group’s name underwent its own evolution, including “Sea Project,” before Hubbard settled on “Sea Organization.” The Sea Org was founded on August 12, 1967. Hubbard would acquire a number of vessels, including the Diana, the Athena, the Excalibur, and the flagship where Hubbard resided and worked, the Apollo (formerly the Royal Scotman). These allowed for a moving base of operations until 1975, when the crew landed in Daytona Beach, Florida, established churches around the area, and eventually settled on the other side of the state in Clearwater. Before the transition back to land, the vessels sailed the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Caribbean. The ships docked in foreign

291

Past and Present of the Sea Organization

129

countries to replenish supplies and, for the most part, the group was well received13 and evaded suspicion from foreign spectators.14 Occasionally, Hubbard left to travel on his own, including a trip to the United States in 1972–73. But he spent much of the 1967–75 period on the Apollo, where he maintained a “Research Room,” authored new policy letters and other texts, and systematized several of the Operating Thetan (OT) levels.

“The Wall of Fire” and Fourth Dynamic Vision for the Sea Org Hubbard’s first widespread announcement about the Sea Organization came in the form of a recording taped on September 20, 1967. Known as Ron’s Journal 67, or RJ 67, it is somewhat unique in that it was recorded privately, with no audience, at Las Palmas in the Canary Islands—“an island in the sea,” as he cryptically put it.15 RJ 67 is a publicly available source familiar to Sea Org members and parishioners today. Near the beginning of the recording, one can hear the nearby sound of wind and waves. “The background noise that you hear is not in actual fact tape noise,” Hubbard told listeners. “It is the wind, howling up a cliff, and hitting over the area where I  am sitting.” He explained that the purpose of his message was to detail recent activities for Scientologists who “might have wondered what I was doing” in light of rumors, likely an allusion to his departure from England, which they may have heard was involuntary.16 “You have heard mention of the Sea Org—the Sea Organization—and you are likely to hear other mentions of it as time goes on,” he reported somewhat nonchalantly. “This is in reality just another Scientology organization, with the difference that it handles extremely advanced work and materials, and its personnel are OTs.” Hubbard originally intended that Sea Org members at least be Clear (a goal that has not been realized; today, Sea Org members come from a variety of positions on the Bridge). “Its mission,” he continued, “is to bring Clears through the upper levels safely and certainly and with speed, and it also has the mission of getting in ethics.”17 That is, Sea Org members are tasked with ensuring that church members behave ethically and are thus well prepared to move up the Bridge, including through the OT levels (“upper levels”). The purpose of the Sea Org is therefore connected to the theology of overts and withholds (O/Ws) discussed in chapter 3. Unless one is ethically and spiritually worthy, Hubbard taught, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to make authentic progress up the Bridge. “That’s the whole purpose

301

130

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

of ethics—to get tech in,” he wrote in another source.18 RJ 67 makes clear that this larger mission depends on handling suppressive persons (SPs) who disrupt Scientology’s ecclesiastical and technical operations. “Our enemies on this planet are less than twelve men,” he reported, but these SPs are responsible for suppression that threatens the survival and success of Scientology. They “are members of the Bank of England and other higher financial circles. They own and control newspaper chains, and they are, oddly enough, directors in all the mental health groups in the world which have sprung up.” He identified two by name. One was Cecil Harmsworth King (1901–87), a British newspaper tycoon and director at the Bank of England. The other was William Emsley Carr (1867–1941), also a British newspaper giant and the long-time editor of News of the World. Hubbard singled out negative press about Scientology as one cause of suppression, implying that these men personally opposed the church and directed their newspapers to publish critical articles.19 Hubbard then claimed that this cohort of SPs, by virtue of controlling “the gold supplies of the planet,” has brought “every government to bankruptcy and under their thumb.”20 As a further means of social control, mental health organizations and their associates employed “electric shock and prefrontal lobotomy” to “remove from their path any political dissenters.”21 In the face of suppression from bankers, journalists, psychologists, and psychiatrists, Hubbard credited Scientology organizations for their good work in practicing Scientology purely and with minimal distraction. This success, he noted, came in part from the efforts of his wife, Mary Sue, who was then in charge of a church division called the Guardian’s Office (GO).22 As analyzed in chapter 5, the GO was responsible for legal and public affairs, among other areas, and monitored critics of Hubbard and Scientology. Under Mary Sue’s leadership, the GO maintained a largely separate infrastructure from the rest of the church, although GO staff were Scientologists and usually worked out of local churches.23 Despite external threats, Hubbard remained optimistic about the future of the church. Still, he admitted that he “maintained considerable security— and shall continue to do so—on the activities in which we are engaged.” This bunker mentality reinforced the themes of conspiracy and secrecy in RJ 67. “So long as we are elusive or fabian,” he assured listeners, “we grow strong.” From Hubbard’s viewpoint, these precautions provided a safe space for his research of the confidential OT levels. Before resigning as executive director in 1966, Hubbard released OT I and II.24 RJ 67 announced OT III or, as he put it in the message, “Section III OT”:

131

Past and Present of the Sea Organization

131

The mystery of this universe, and this particular area of the universe has been, as far as its track is concerned, completely occluded. No one has ever been able to make any breakthrough and come off with it and know what happened. As a matter of fact, it is so occluded that if anyone tried to penetrate it as I’m sure many have, they died. The material involved in this sector is so vicious, that it is carefully arranged to kill anyone if he discovers the exact truth of it. So in January and February of this year I  became very ill—almost lost this body—and somehow or another brought it off and obtained the material, and was able to live through it. I am very sure that I was the first one that ever did live through any attempt to attain that material. This material I’m talking about, of course, is very upper level material, and you will forgive me if I don’t describe it to you in very broad detail because it’s very likely to make you sick too.25 Hubbard speaks of “material involved in this sector” in veiled and esoteric terms that are appropriate for a public discussion of his confidential scriptures. The contents of OT III are considered so powerful that they may lead to illness or death for the uninitiated. The materials are potentially lethal—“carefully arranged to kill anyone if he discovers the exact truth of it”—because the past life incident connected to it is highly restimulative, a concept found in early Dianetics writings.26 Just as engrams can be reactivated and cause pain or unconsciousness, the incident associated with OT III is so exceptionally restimulative that it is overwhelming to the point of illness, injury, or death. This description imbues OT III with a mystique for Scientologists, who often refer to it as the “Wall of Fire,” a rite of passage that can be safely entered and survived on the path to OT because of LRH. The discovery takes on nearly sacrificial significance since Hubbard was willing to risk his life to retrieve ancient and esoteric knowledge.27 This is again similar to the role of a Bodhisattva in schools of Buddhism. “It was not enough for I myself to have lived through it—other people would have to do so as well when they reach Clear and tried to move up from that point above,” we find in RJ 67. “In all the eighteen years, this has been the toughest one that I have faced. And I faced it, so that it would not be tough for you to face when you came to it.”28 OT III has received disproportionate attention among ex-member and journalistic accounts of Scientology. It was ridiculed in an episode of the television show South Park,29 and copies of the materials are available on the Internet and have been the subject of copyright lawsuits and censorship.30 Many Scientologists in my interview sample, in particular younger and

321

132

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

second-generation members who were more likely to be familiar with shows like South Park and regularly use the Internet, admitted that they occasionally encountered something in print, on television, or online that purported to be OT-level content. “I was watching 60 Minutes one time years ago and it started to quote some altered version of OT-something,” recalled a Sea Org member in Los Angeles, in apparent reference to OT III. “So I  turned it off.” This member expressed anger and frustration with those who publish and publicize versions of Scientology’s confidential scriptures. Her reaction was to selfcensor, a response discovered elsewhere in the course of the interviews and fieldwork, as discussed in chapter 5. In connection with Hubbard’s theology of evil, she spoke of “the insidiousness and suppressiveness of people who have taken the upper-level data from however they got it and altered it, and then they put it out on the Internet.” “It’s there,” she passionately continued, “to restimulate people, mock us, and make people leave and be upset.” For members of the Church of Scientology, discussion of the specifics of any OT level is a high crime and suppressive act that is worthy of excommunication.31 At an everyday level, OT III and the rest of the confidential scriptures present something of a catch-22. Assuming the vast majority of Scientologists have not reached the state of Clear, much less advanced to the upper levels (see chapter 1), most members have no direct knowledge of any of these materials. Unauthorized documents found online are viewed with suspicion as forgeries, alterations, or at best half-truths. From the perspective of Scientologists, the versions are taken out of context and discussed by critics as a way to denigrate Scientology and Scientologists, in much the same way overt publications about Mormon temple practices would be regarded as gratuitous and irreverent among members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The terms most commonly employed by Scientologists to describe objectionable material were entheta (enturbulated theta), black PR, and false data. Hubbard wrote voluminously on these subjects and instructed Scientologists to free themselves from their negative effects.32 Church members invited to complete the OT levels are required to sign nondisclosure agreements,33 but even without legal forms, it is doubtful that any of the confidential data would be revealed. To do so would be “out-reality,” “out-gradient,” and put others “at effect,” as many OTs explained to me. The irony of OT III’s confidentiality is that its concealed contents are germane to the mission of the Sea Organization, most of whose members then—and now—are not upper-level Scientologists.34 Hubbard revealed in RJ 67 that the OT III incident took place seventy-five million years ago and is elsewhere referred to as the “Fourth Dynamic Engram” since it affects all

313

Past and Present of the Sea Organization

133

of humanity.35 According to the Code of a Sea Org Member (1967), which every recruit pledges to uphold, “I promise to do my part to achieve the Sea Org’s humanitarian objective which is to make a safe environment where the Fourth Dynamic Engram can be audited out.”36 The most explicit public discussion of this engram is also found in RJ 67: [It] concerns the formation of the society itself in which we live. . . . I formed the Sea Organization of OTs in order to have an area where a Scientologist could come, who could safely then walk through this last wall of fire. . . . And it is very true that a great catastrophe occurred on this planet and in the other 75 planets which form this Confederacy, 75 million years ago. . . . We are no longer dealing with the time span of man which is 70 years—we are dealing with the centuries. And we have enough time at the upper levels and within the framework of the society itself, to prevent it from destroying itself before we attain our purposes and goals. It possibly is a bit above your reality to say that we intend to salvage this sector. No one has been able to do it for 75 million years. We are the first. In that period of time, there has been nothing but suffering and misery for its populations. This seventy-five-million-year-old “catastrophe” that affected Earth and nearby planets in “this Confederacy” is couched in apocalyptic and grand cosmological language. The esoteric engram necessitates an urgent response from Scientologists, and especially Sea Org members, to ward off planetary selfdestruction. The rhetoric to “salvage this sector” expands on space opera themes found in earlier Scientology writings and would have resonated in the Cold War era.37 It also fits well into Hubbard’s evolving systematic theology and worldview in which spiritual progress requires increasingly specialized auditing to handle impediments (engrams, SPs, O/Ws, entheta). The Fourth Dynamic Engram became the next encumbrance to confront—so perniciously booby-trapped that its “Wall of Fire” must be bravely solo audited for the benefit of self and society. This counter-apocalyptic theology fosters a mission for the Sea Org that is both “world-rejecting” and “world-affirming.”38 While its members are most immediately concerned for this planet’s salvation and survival, Hubbard taught that the Sea Org was in fact millions of years old, intergalactic in origin, and part of an ongoing space age saga.39 As such, it was not technically founded but reconstituted under his leadership to serve the church and humanity. Its approximately seven thousand members40 vow to return lifetime after lifetime. Thus, its motto is Revenimus, Latin for “We Come Back.”

341

134

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

The dedication of the Sea Org member (see Figure 4.1) is expressed most forcefully in the covenant recruits sign that includes the statement: “I commit myself to the Sea Organization for the next billion years.”41 The wording is emblematic of a loyalty that transcends time and place.42 As J. Gordon Melton put it, the “symbolic commitment of the individual beyond their present earthly existence is appropriate to a community that believes in reincarnation.”43 While one billion years represents a vast and practically eternal length of time, in the Scientological imagination it is a fraction of the trillions of years in which thetans have existed in the universe.44 More important than the time frame is the intensity and wholeheartedness of its members. “It is symbolic of the dedication level,” said a Sea Org member in New York. “A billion years, a million years, a trillion years—it didn’t really matter. It could have even been a thousand years. . . . [Y]ou know, how is anybody going to track me down for a billion years? The point is that we are committed to getting the job done.” In Los Angeles, a thirty-five-year veteran of the Sea Org helped put the order’s humanitarian mission in comparative perspective. “The Sea Org is not the least bit contemplative. It is a doingness religious order,” he explained, contrasting it with “the more contemplative orders like the Trappists.” The

Figure  4.1 Sea Organization member walking near Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, in front of banner that reads “To Join the Sea Org Is the Sensible Thing to Do.” Michael Ochs Archives, 1992. Getty Images.

315

Past and Present of the Sea Organization

135

Sea Org is more akin to the Dominicans or Jesuits, he continued, who “were out there, building civilizations hammer and tongs.” He explained the group’s religious purposes in utilitarian terms: “So as long as it aligns with the purpose of disseminating Scientology, that’s where the religious motivation is. We’re here to get Scientology used by people to help them.” The next three OT levels, OT IV, V, and VI, were originally released aboard the Apollo in January 1968, followed by OT VII in September 1970.45 The highest level currently available, OT VIII, was made public in 1988—two years after Hubbard’s death—since he entrusted senior management (i.e. the Sea Org) to deliver it when they deemed appropriate.46 As we have seen, Hubbard took steps over the years to hand over administration of the church and his tech to others. The founding of the Sea Org in 1967 represented another such attempt, one that requires the support of all Scientologists to fulfill the church’s cosmic goals. “In all the broad universe, there is no other hope for man than ourselves,” he said in RJ 67. “This is a tremendous responsibility. I have borne it too long alone. You share it with me now.”47

“The Commodore’s Back!” By February 1973, Tracey and her husband were back on the Apollo. She was promoted, briefly, to an important management position called Sea Org Programs Chief. “But having no training for it,” Tracey recalled, she was “saved from that” and went back to work as a typist. Hubbard was away from the ship at the time. When he returned, the whole crew went into a state of excitement, and it was her first opportunity to meet the man in person. “Everybody’s saying, ‘The Commodore’s back! The Commodore’s back!’ And it goes through the ship like wildfire.” “He was off in the US doing research,” Tracey explained, including a visit to New York City. That night, Hubbard was scheduled to give a special briefing about his travels and plans for the church. “At the appointed time, we all go down to the big course room. It was the biggest room on the ship that could hold all of us.” At the briefing, Hubbard told the crew he left the Apollo to “keep in touch with society” and was disappointed with the state of immorality and decay he discovered in 1970s America. “It was like looking down a pipe with a flashlight,” as Hubbard described his difficulty in searching for spiritually unpolluted areas of US society. To help remedy the situation, Hubbard decided to begin three new projects. First, according to Tracey, “he said he wanted to re-write Dianetics, DMSMH [Dianetics:  The Modern Science of Mental Health (1950)]. He said he would just get a blue pencil and mark it up to re-do

361

136

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

DMSMH.” Second, he told staff that “we need something like volunteer ministers to go around and help people, like the barefoot doctors in China,” to reach remote regions with Hubbard’s techniques. And third, he wanted to publish “a tech[nical] dictionary of all the Dianetics and Scientology terms so we can make more auditors.” Energized by Hubbard’s plan, Tracey said “a light went off with me and I  thought, ‘I want to work with him on those books.’ ” She prepared a formal proposal, which went through the proper channels. A few days later, she received a reply from the Commodore himself: “I’d be delighted to have you as LRH Books Compilations I/C [In-Charge]. Get yourself replaced in Dissem FB [Dissemination Flag Bureau] and report for duty under LRH Pers Sec [Personal Secretary].” She was ecstatic, a replacement for her position was found, and she assumed the new role. Tracey worked directly outside Hubbard’s “Research Room,” where he spent much of his time. Before long she was promoted to “LRH Personal Secretary,” a position she held from 1974 to 1979, and worked with Hubbard as the Sea Org transitioned to Florida from international waters. As LRH’s personal secretary, Tracey served as an editor for several important books from the period, including the three projects outlined in the 1973 briefing. Hubbard changed his mind and decided not to revise Dianetics (1950). Instead, he wrote a new volume, Dianetics Today, which was published in 1975.48 This book is no longer in print because of later updates to Dianetics techniques, but at the time it was the most significant book-length treatment on the subject since 1950, and even included case studies of auditing supervised by Hubbard. In 1975, Tracey also helped edit the Volunteer Minister’s Handbook, which, true to Hubbard’s vision, became a handy reference guide for the use of basic Scientology tools in everyday life. Today, the Volunteer Ministers (VMs) program is an official initiative within the church, composed of Scientologists who often travel to sites of natural disasters and support first responders.49 The 1975 handbook went through several printings and editions and was replaced by The Scientology Handbook (1994) and other training, including free courses online.50 Tracey’s editorial assistance culminated with the 1975 publication of the Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary.51 It was the first major effort to systematically list and define Hubbard’s neologisms, all the more significant in light of the Study Tech methods introduced in the previous decade. The “Tech Dictionary,” as it is popularly known, spans over five hundred pages and is still in use today. There are apparently plans to publish a revised dictionary in the near future.52 Tracey worked on a number of other books that are well known to Scientologists active in the 1970s and 1980s.53 Eventually, she had a

317

Past and Present of the Sea Organization

137

staff of twenty-seven under her supervision and was put in charge of the “SO 1 Unit.” This was a group within the Sea Org that received and responded to messages from Scientologists around the world who wished to communicate with Hubbard.54 Since Hubbard’s writings on Dianetics and Scientology are now counted as scripture, I asked Tracey whether she attached cosmological significance to her work. “I didn’t think of it as scripture though it certainly is. I just thought of it as putting books together,” she told me. “It was the best time period of my life. I loved it, I enjoyed it. I was at the top of my game. I created and produced the best possible items for this planet during that time.” Tracey’s statement makes more sense in light of the fast-paced culture of the Sea Org and the utilitarian uses of Hubbard’s writings. The books she edited and compiled were intended to be used on an immediate basis by auditors, students, and staff in the name of “Clearing the planet.”

“The Mecca of Technical Perfection”: Establishment of the Flag Land Base In July 1974, the Apollo docked in A Coruña, Spain. While Tracey worked for Hubbard outside the Research Room, another Sea Org member named Erin had recently come aboard. She was soon posted to “External Communications.” “I was handling the mail that would come in and go off the ship,” Erin remembered. When I asked why Hubbard decided to return to land around this time in the Sea Org’s history, she explained that the ship had outgrown its capacity to deliver Scientology services. “LRH figured, well we’re either going to have to go to land or get a lot bigger ship.” Another factor was the high price of fuel in the mid-1970s in the wake of the 1973 oil embargo, which put the Sea Org and its flotilla at risk. “There was a tremendous oil crisis, and that made being on the ship less safe. . . . And so, he [Hubbard] started running projects and missions to the US to find, buy, and build a new base.” Moreover, the Apollo was no longer welcome at many ports due to antiAmerican sentiments and even a rumor that the ship was affiliated with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).55 In the end, Hubbard decided it was best to head to the United States. Hubbard oversaw the project to scout out a new location. Charleston, South Carolina, was selected but soon abandoned when it became clear that US agents were stationed at the port and intended to arrest Hubbard and impound the Apollo.56 The ship continued south. By the fall of 1975, Sea Org members began setting up shop in Florida. A  hotel in Daytona Beach was

381

138

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

selected as a “temporary base,” while management offices were set up in New York City. By the end of 1975 operations had transferred from Daytona Beach to a hotel in Clearwater, located on the opposite side of the state. The relocation to Clearwater included the purchase of the Fort Harrison Hotel and other real estate downtown. Erin admitted that the hotel was purchased without the seller, or the city, aware that the new occupants were affiliated with the Church of Scientology. The Southern Land Development and Leasing Corporation purchased the Fort Harrison Hotel, claiming that its tenant was the ecumenical “United Churches of Florida.” “Our purpose was to find a safe place where we could deliver our services. Granted, you know, it wasn’t with a lot of fanfare,” as she put it, in terms that downplayed the church’s misrepresentation of itself to the community. “I found Clearwater to be a very sleepy town, small town, southern and polite. And we suddenly became this huge real estate owner.” In Erin’s view, downtown Clearwater was sagging economically and it was only a matter of time before an outside investor, whether the church or some other entity, took advantage of an open opportunity. “The downtown area was really ready to be taken over by somebody who wanted it. They were happy for our business. This town was dying because it had no business,” she claimed.57 Even so, the lack of transparency predictably led to hostilities with the City of Clearwater and some residents, who were not pleased that the church had surreptitiously established a presence in the area. The most vocal opponent was Clearwater Mayor Gabriel “Gabe” Cazares, who began his tenure in 1975 and found in Scientology a timely adversary.58 Cazares was highly suspicious of the city’s new occupants and publicly referred to the church as a “cult” and “terrorist group” that planned to imperialistically control Clearwater.59 Relations between the church and city would remain strained in the coming decades, though signs of progress have emerged in recent years.60 The church is now the single largest property holder in the city, with over five dozen buildings, most of which are downtown. Scientologists also own many businesses in Clearwater and throughout the Tampa Bay area.61 As late as mid-1976, some Sea Org members were still aboard the Apollo, which had moved to the Caribbean. Once the Fort Harrison Hotel and other Clearwater locations were ready for them, the ship was prepared for sale, and the remaining crew departed for land. “We cleaned up the ship and got her ready to be mothballed. We got all the MEST [physical leftovers] and data files packed up and sent,” Erin reminisced. “And we went to the Bahamas and waved goodbye. Got on a plane, got on a bus, and pulled into Clearwater, Florida.” For those who had served on the Apollo for nearly a decade, it was the end of an era. As for the ship, I am told it was eventually sold in Brownsville,

391

Past and Present of the Sea Organization

139

Texas, and converted into a restaurant off the Gulf of Mexico. It had served Hubbard’s early purposes for the Sea Org. Seafaring life continues to exert an influence within the church, especially after the 1988 christening of the motor vessel Freewinds (see Figure 4.2), which delivers OT VIII and other courses in the Caribbean.62 The Apollo period was a distinct chapter in Scientology’s history. Maritime culture continues to inform aspects of Sea Org life, such as the use of uniforms. In 2013, a Sea Organization Museum opened as part of the 377,000-square-foot Flag Building in Clearwater to educate Scientologists and the public about the group’s origins.63 The purpose of the church in Clearwater—known as the Flag Land Base, or simply Flag—is to provide a world-class center for the impeccable delivery of auditing and training. Nicknames such as “Mecca of Technical Perfection” and “Pinnacle of Technical Perfection”64 have been used in church promotion to convey this point. Scientologists from around the world pilgrimage—and even permanently relocate—to Florida to receive specialized services in dozens of languages.65 “The essential difference” between auditing at Flag and other locations, Hubbard explained, “is an expectancy that the session will be

Figure 4.2 Motor Vessel Freewinds, Port of Bridgetown, Barbados, January 2012. Wikimedia Commons (Annelis).

401

140

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

flawless and flubless as an operating norm and that it is always this way and that it is never any other way.”66 The Clearwater church, in other words, is expected to Keep Scientology Working and preserve Standard Tech in the most exceptional manner.67

The Sea Org and the Church Today With the exception of the Freewinds, the Sea Org now operates from land-based churches. Today, its approximately seven thousand members serve as the church’s most senior administrators and auditors. The largest concentrations of Sea Org members are located in Clearwater, Los Angeles, Copenhagen, and East Grinstead, with sizable minorities in cities such as Sydney, New  York, Mexico City, and Toronto. Typically, they do not work at local churches, also known as the Class V organizations.68 Instead, they can be found at the Sea Org organizations (Sea Org orgs), staffed exclusively by Sea Org members. These include the churches that parishioners visit for their more specialized auditing and training, such as the Advanced Organizations (Los Angeles, Copenhagen, East Grinstead, Sydney), Celebrity Centre International in Hollywood, and Flag Land Base in Clearwater. Within the Sea Organization, there is an elite subunit called the Commodore’s Messenger Organization (CMO), which dates to Hubbard’s time on the Apollo when he recruited mostly young Scientologists to serve as aides (“Messengers”). CMO continues to play a prominent role within the Sea Org and church. Senior management officials are usually drawn from its ranks, including many of the executives who work at the International Base Hubbard established in Riverside County, California, in the early 1980s. CMO staff are respected by, and are senior to, others in the religious order, even though numerous senior positions are open to all Sea Org members.69 The Sea Org also staffs the administrative “Mother Church” of the religion, the Church of Scientology International (CSI) in Los Angeles. CSI oversees and coordinates the activities of the following:  local Scientology churches (subdivided by continent); missions and field auditing; Sea Org service orgs; the Association for Better Living and Education International (ABLE INT), which manages numerous social betterment and humanitarian groups (see chapter 5); the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises International (WISE INT), which organizes the application of Hubbard’s technologies in businesses; Golden Era Productions, which publishes media materials; Bridge Publications, Inc. (BPI), which produces Hubbard’s nonfiction books and lectures, as well as the E-Meter; the International Landlord Office, which

4 11

Past and Present of the Sea Organization

141

provides signage and other materials for orgs; and the Office of Special Affairs International (OSA INT), which manages global public and legal affairs. Despite its name and influence, two organizations are ecclesiastically senior to CSI and are also composed of Sea Org members. These are the Religious Technology Center (RTC) and Church of Spiritual Technology (CST). RTC was founded in 1982 and, according to Hubbard, is an “independent management body” for the church.70 It controls the trademarks and service marks of Dianetics and Scientology and licenses their usage. RTC is also responsible for “Monitoring and enforcing the purity of technical application”; as such, it performs a role comparable to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.71 CST, founded in 1982, owns the copyrights to Hubbard’s writings— both fiction and nonfiction—and also licenses their use.72 This organization has gone to incredible and expensive lengths to archive Hubbard’s works in “2,300 titanium capsules housed in calamity-proof vaults to ensure timeless preservation and survival of the Scientology scripture.”73 Institutionally, CST is the preeminent protector of the technologies of Dianetics and Scientology. The extensive measures bring to mind Cold War–era fallout shelters. If the sort of nuclear apocalypse predicted in Hubbard’s writings ever does come to pass, his tech will survive for generations to come. RTC can be viewed as the most senior organization in the church today. Its current head is David Miscavige (b. 1960), a former assistant to Hubbard who joined the Sea Org at the age of sixteen and has since held numerous senior positions. CSI describes him as the “ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion.”74 His official position is Chairman of the Board of the Religious Technology Center. As a result, Scientologists commonly refer to him as “COB.” Miscavige is the most senior Scientology official and the most senior Sea Org member. Both in and out of the Sea Organization, Miscavige is recognized as the head of the Scientology religion and a top defender of Hubbard’s Standard Tech.75 On an everyday level, he is recognizable to Scientologists as the master of ceremonies at international events. There are few obvious leaders in the church besides Miscavige, whose role in the contemporary church is examined at greater length in chapter 5. Functionally in the church today, the second-highest ecclesial “position” appears to come in the form of a “Watchdog Committee” (WDC) at CSI. Hubbard intended that the WDC, composed of veteran senior executives,76 assist in the management of the church, while RTC polices orthodoxy and orthopraxy.77 In addition to these organizational hierarchies, Sea Org members hold a rank or rating, evidently inspired by Hubbard’s naval background. Theoretically, the highest is Commodore, but only Hubbard reached this position and it appears reserved for him in perpetuity out of honor and

421

142

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

respect. The highest rank practically attainable is Captain, held by Miscavige and others. The full list of ranks and ratings is as follows, in descending order:78 Captain Commander Lieutenant Commander Lieutenant Lieutenant JG [Junior Grade] Ensign Warrant Officer Midshipman [first officer rank] Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer First Class Petty Officer Second Class Petty Officer Third Class Swamper There are also brevet ranks, held by Sea Org members due to particular positions. For instance, the Captain or Commanding Officer of the Flag Service Organization in Clearwater holds that title by virtue of Flag’s organizational hierarchy, even if he or she otherwise has a lower rank such as Lieutenant or Ensign. In practice, then, a Sea Org member’s earned rank is less important than the nature and title of whichever position he or she holds within a given organization.79 These distinctions also become less significant since Sea Org members routinely collaborate on projects. Nevertheless, one’s earned rank is certainly respected by colleagues as a sign of dedication, commitment, and longevity, since everyone enters as a Swamper. Promotions within the Sea Org are reviewed by an Officer Selection Board, based on the recommendation of a senior or the member’s own application. Every Sea Org member has a full naval uniform that includes the proper ribbons and chevrons. These are not worn on a regular basis, however, and are reserved for special events and celebrations, such as Sea Org Day (August 12) in commemoration of the organization’s founding. It is also possible to be demoted, based on action taken by the church’s internal justice system. This may come after failures to perform one’s duties or violations of the group’s standards, such as those found in the Code of a Sea Org Member.

413

Past and Present of the Sea Organization

143

Findings from Sea Org Sample (2012) I interviewed eleven Sea Org members, all of whom were asked:  “When, where, and why did you join” the Sea Org? While limited by a small sample, a number of insights emerged that shed light on life in the contemporary Sea Organization. Seven women (63.63%) and four men (36.36%) were interviewed, including nine Americans, one Canadian, and one Swede. Four worked in public relations positions (with the Office of Special Affairs and Commodore’s Messenger Organization in Los Angeles and Clearwater). Three were auditors or case supervisors (Los Angeles and Clearwater). Two held positions at a Class V organization (Eastern United States). One worked at the Flag Land Base on behalf of the Freewinds and the other member, also in Clearwater, worked in an administrative capacity with OT VII solo auditors. The mean age was 40.64; the average joined age was 20.91; and the average length of time in the Sea Org was 19.73 years. The following percentages were tallied for highest educational levels attained:  some high school/did not graduate (18.18%), high school graduate (27.27%), some college (27.27%), college graduate (18.18%), and attended graduate school (9.09%). However, this data should be segmented further, since I noticed a generational gap among these Sea Org members. Four were first-generation veteran staffers (two men and two women), with an average age of 61.25 and average joined age of 28.75. The remaining seven (two men and five women) were second-generation Scientologists, whose average age was 28.86 and average joined age was considerably lower at 16.43. Parental consent is usually required to enter the Sea Org before the age of eighteen, which occurred in four of these seven instances. Not surprisingly, when the first and second generations were separated, it was discovered that the first-generation Sea Org members had higher levels of educational attainment. Because they joined relatively later in life, they had the opportunity to attend college. Among the first-generation members, one attended some college, two graduated from four-year colleges, and one attended graduate school (a doctoral program). On the other hand, none of the second-generation members graduated from college:  two attended some high school but did not graduate, three graduated from high school, and two attended some college before joining the Sea Org. Finally, while somewhat obvious due to age, the first-generation Sea Org members had served in the organization for longer periods of time (32.5 years on average) when compared to the second-generation interviewees (12.43 years on average).

441

144

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

First-generation members joined at relatively older ages because they pursued other career paths or were spiritual seekers in the 1960s and 1970s. They reported backgrounds and experimentation with other spiritual or religious traditions, though none reported belonging to another new religious movement before joining the Church of Scientology. One dabbled with Transcendental Meditation (TM), another briefly studied Buddhism, and two served as Christian missionaries. All four expressed some form of dissatisfaction with institutional religion, in particular the Roman Catholic or mainline Protestant denominations in which they were raised. They found their upbringings spiritually unsatisfying because of an emphasis on belief, faith, and other aspects of theology deemed “impractical” in everyday life, as one member put it. “To me, religion was something that should inform your life seven days a week,” said another, who took a non–Sea Org staff position with the church in the 1970s and joined the Sea Org in the early 1980s. “I knew a lot of people from my particular [Baptist] church that were shit six days a week and on the seventh were so pious. This was the ’60s. This was when people were starting to question the status quo and the establishment and how things should be. It didn’t hold up very well to inspection.” It may seem quite contradictory to militate against institutional forms of religion and then join a highly regimented group such as the Sea Org. But, for this interviewee, the desire for a practical religion helps resolve the paradox. This individual found in Scientology, and in particular the Sea Org, the right kind of organization to commit his energies, with authenticity and without concern for moral hypocrisy. It is also worth noting that all four of the firstgeneration members served as Scientology staff members in other capacities (i.e., as volunteers) before joining the Sea Org. These sets of experiences previewed the full-time and lifelong commitment to come in a manner that is less likely in the case of second-generation members who join as teenagers. Regardless of age and background, the eleven Sea Org members offered similar explanations for why they joined. They emphasized the appeal of a strong-willed and dedicated group (Third Dynamic) and the Sea Org’s humanitarian mission (Fourth Dynamic). Many mentioned themes from Hubbard’s “Keeping Scientology Working” (KSW; see chapter  3). For both first- and second-generation recruits, membership in the Sea Org offered the chance to help others and flourish in a way not otherwise possible: • “You don’t become a Sea Org member for any other reason than you are dedicating your life to helping LRH clear the planet and you know he needs the help and he can’t do it by himself. And you’re very aware that this is

415

Past and Present of the Sea Organization

















145

the first opportunity we’ve had to do something about the condition of this world in a long time.” “I want to dedicate my life with a purpose, with a very sane purpose which is to improve the society, to stop the dwindling spiral, to implement Scientology and obviously work my way up the org board in the Sea Org and take more responsibility and more areas of control and just ensure that Scientology is applied to society.” “Even with the limited amount of Scientology that I  had done at that point, I looked at my family and I compared it to like my cousins or you know other people I met at school. And it was just so obvious. It was like Scientology works. I know I don’t know it all yet but I didn’t need to know every bit about it to know that it worked.” “I went out and got a job and I was a waitress. . . . That was one of the jobs I had before I joined the Sea Org. And then I worked in a retail store. . . . [I]t was so boring and so unfulfilling. . . . So I wanted to be an auditor and I wanted to help people and I like being in a close-knit group. I like a tightly disciplined group where everybody is kind of on the same page as me.” “It was suddenly like this whole shift of viewpoint occurred and I stopped just existing on the First and Second Dynamics, and a little bit on my Third.  .  .  . [T]he Fourth Dynamic became very real to me because that’s what being in the Sea Org is about. That’s what being on staff is about. You’re Clearing a planet, and that is the Fourth Dynamic activity. . . . And all these social reform things all are flanking activities to prep the planet for ‘this is the session.’ ” “I would say as a being, the strongest on my Eight Dynamics has always been the Third Dynamic. . . . I wanted actually to feel or live a life where I made a difference. And that was actually why I joined the Sea Org.” “It’s kind of like having a football team that is so intent on winning and there are no considerations whatsoever that it could be anything that could stop them from winning. They will win. So that’s how the Sea Organization operates. You really exceed sometimes—you do things that you didn’t think you could possibly do. . . . You really operate as an Operating Thetan in the Sea Org.” “I joined the Sea Org. Why? Because I wanted people to have what I had. It probably took me 10, 15 years before I really understood all I had and all I could learn, and go beyond the point of explaining to somebody else to have the knowledge I now have. And we were in our formative years.” “Being in the Sea Org. . . . you know, it’s a tough outfit. We have a tough schedule. We’re highly dedicated. Are we doing it on our own free will? Yes. We’re not the first. We’re not the last. You know, it’s kind of like, what is

461

146

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

your life like? Well, it’s kind of like priests, you know. You sign up for life. And you follow the rules.” This last interviewee’s mention of “the rules,” “a tough outfit,” and a “tough schedule” highlight the heavy demands that Hubbard established for the group. He codified expectations for Sea Org life in numerous sources, including the “Flag Orders” (FOs).80 Members live communally, marry within the group, maintain long schedules, and are expected to perform well in their positions. Later in this chapter, a case study of everyday life is presented and other features of lived religion are examined.

Sea Organization Census (CSI, 2010) In 2010, CSI carried out a census of its then 5,514 Sea Org members.81 The results included data on gender, present age, and age at the time of joining the Sea Org. At that time, the average age was 40 (roughly the same as my sample), and the average joined age was 26 (somewhat older than my sample).82 Most recruits joined younger in life, whether as children (7 to 12 years of age), teenagers (13 to 19 years), or young adults (20 to 30 years). Of the 5,341 respondents who provided their age at the time of joining, 124 joined as children, 1,791 as teenagers, and 1,946 as young adults—meaning that 36% joined before the age of 19 and an astounding 72% before 30; 26% of respondents joined between the ages of 31 and 55, and a mere 1.7% between 56 and 79. These figures suggest that most members, at least as of 2010, joined the Sea Org in their younger years, and that retention rates have been sufficient to produce an average current age of 40. Of course, this does not account for the numbers and ages of former Sea Org members, who were naturally excluded from the sample.83 Perhaps the most significant conclusion to draw from the church’s census is that children of Scientologists appear to be a prime source of recruitment for the Sea Organization. This was certainly the case in my own limited sample and makes good sociological sense. Second-generation Scientologists are usually raised within the church, tend to be early and active participants in its religious life, and are familiar with Scientology’s theology and culture. For a Sea Org recruiter, there is no better prospect than the second-generation Scientologist looking for a meaningful career path. Such members likely support the church’s vision for society and, just as important, have the support of their parents to join. I interviewed several parishioners with children in the Sea Org. They all spoke with pride about the work of their sons and daughters,

417

Past and Present of the Sea Organization

147

similar to how a devout Roman Catholic might speak of a family member who joined the priesthood.

Children and the Sea Organization Another factor in support of this finding is a Sea Org policy mandating that its members are not allowed to have children within the organization. While it is possible that some young recruits to the Sea Org discovered Scientology on their own and have no familial connection to the church (none were present in my sample), the vast majority appear to be either children of parishioners or, less frequently, children of former Sea Org members. From 1986 to 1996, Sea Org policy mandated that pregnant Sea Org couples temporarily leave the organization and be transferred to Class  V (lower) organizations until the child reached a certain age (usually sixteen to eighteen years old). At that point, the parents (and the young adult, if he or she wanted) could (re)join the group at a Sea Org–level church.84 This policy went into effect after the church discovered it was too short-staffed to properly care for infants and young children. The rigorous daily schedule simply left Sea Org parents with little time to care for, or even interact with, children while working for the church. “So in ’86, it was ‘that’s it,’ ” recalled one veteran Sea Org member who raised two children in the organization. “Sea Org members that want to have kids, they can, but they do so outside the Sea Org, raise the kids and then come back. It just did not fare for the family situation. It’s kind of a full-time job in and of itself.” However, the change in policy is unique in that it was authored by church executives, not Hubbard, following the founder’s death. It is therefore possible that the prohibition may be lifted at some point in the future if resources permit adequate childrearing and schooling. One member, who grew up in the Sea Org, explained: “The thing is that it’s not a correct environment for that because in Scientology we’re very supportive of a very loving and tight family. . . . I know as a Sea Org kid—a kid born in the Sea Org—it’s like my parents couldn’t spend as much time with me as they wanted.” But she went on to agree that the situation could indeed change: “it’s not like a 100%, nevergoing-to-change-type thing because as the Sea Org’s grown and we become more established and so forth, we may get to where we can have the facilities like that.” In previous years, children of Sea Org members were counted as members of a separate church organization called the “Cadet Org.” Cadet Orgs were located in and around Los Angeles and in Clearwater. Participants worked in an organizational structure similar to the Sea Org and were supervised by Sea

48 1

148

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

Org members, who saw that the children were educated in accordance with local laws. One example was Castile Canyon School, which operated from 1990 to 2000 outside San Jacinto, California, near the church’s International Base. CSI created a website for the now-defunct school with video testimonials from former cadets responding to claims of a former student.85 The last Cadet Org, in Clearwater, evolved into preparatory training for the Sea Org—analogous to a minor seminary sponsored by the Catholic Church. Hubbard wrote that children could be audited as young as five, with “extensive” processing after eight,86 suggesting an age of accountability around this time. This is reinforced within the church by a theology and culture in which children, regardless of age, should be treated with respect and dignity as immortal spiritual beings (thetans). One consequence of this viewpoint is that children ought to be treated more or less as adults, which Hubbard juxtaposed with Scientology’s opposition to psychology, including pedagogies informed by classical conditioning. “Children are not dogs. They can’t be trained as dogs are trained,” he emphasized in contradistinction to Pavlovian behaviorism. “A child is not a special species of animal distinct from Man. A child is a man or a woman who has not attained full growth. . . . The sweetness and love of a child is preserved only so long as he can exert his own self-determinism.”87 This theology, of course, may fail to account for the sociological forces by which a child forms his or her identity, as children of Sea Org members would have spent most, if not all, of their time around fellow Scientologists.88 For instance, this ideology and environment have led some children of Scientologists to dedicate themselves to a lifetime of service to the church, as young as seven years old according to the church’s own 2010 census. The 1996 rule against children in the Sea Org has functioned to rebrand the group as somewhat unique in religious history. Typically, religious orders are composed either of celibate members (e.g., Roman Catholicism, Buddhist traditions) or married members who are allowed to have children (e.g., Protestant Christian traditions). In the Sea Org, members are allowed to marry within the order and are permitted to engage in monogamous sexual relations, but without the expectation of children. It is historically and sociologically anomalous and strikes the observer as inconsistent with Hubbard’s teaching that the Second Dynamic is “the dynamic of survival through sex and children.”89 However, the contradiction may be rationalized in utilitarian terms since the long-term goals of the Sea Org, within the Third Dynamic, are considered “the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics.” Because of this theological clash, and because the Sea Org does not wish to lose members, some pregnant members have chosen to have abortions

491

Past and Present of the Sea Organization

149

rather than leave the group. This situation has led to accusations by some exmembers that the abortions were coerced.90 The church, however, insists that such a decision is ultimately a personal one chosen by the individual Sea Org member. In recent years, a number of pregnant members have left the Sea Org to raise families outside the order, suggesting a shifting culture.

Case Study: Life in the Sea Org for a Los Angeles Auditor First-generation Sea Org perspectives, such as those from Tracey and Erin, are useful entry points into the early history of the organization. However, they are idiosyncratic in the sense that they do not necessarily reflect life in the Sea Org today, especially among second-generation members. The shape of everyday life in the Sea Org depends in large measure on one’s geographical location and role in the organization. In line with a member’s earlier comment that the group is not “contemplative,” it is true that most Sea Org members engage in activities that at first glance may not seem overtly religious, even though they serve the needs of the church. For example, staff at Bridge Publications in Los Angeles may print books, produce CDs, or repair E-Meters. Some members work in public relations, legal affairs, marketing, accounting, or recruitment, while others hold positions on crews that clean, maintain, and renovate buildings around the world. There are a variety of positions available, often depending on the purpose of a particular Scientology organization. And, of course, some Sea Org members are involved in the delivery of Scientology services—most centrally the auditor. Dan91 was a Sea Org auditor at the church’s complex in Los Angeles known as “PAC,” which stands for Pacific Area Command. Located off L. Ron Hubbard Way in Hollywood (see Figure 4.3), PAC serves many Scientologists in Southern California and is located near other organizations, such as CSI, ASI, and Celebrity Centre International. In fact, several important Scientology churches make up the PAC base, including the Church of Scientology of Los Angeles (LA Org), the American Saint Hill Organization (ASHO), the Advanced Organization of Los Angeles (AOLA, which offers the first five OT levels), and the Continental Liaison Office Western United States (CLO WUS)—where this member worked as an auditor and serviced other Sea Org members. As a Class V Graduate Auditor, Dan was trained to use the E-Meter to deliver New Era Dianetics (NED), which can bring a person to Clear. This level of training also allows for the delivery of auditing before NED, with the

501

150

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

Figure  4.3 L.  Ron Hubbard Way street sign, located near several Scientology churches in Los Angeles, California. Hulton Archive, 1997. Getty Images.

exception of the Purification Rundown, the first major step on the Bridge that is delivered in a sauna and exercise area with its own staff and supervisors. A typical daily routine involves waking up around 7:00 or 8:00 aM, breakfast with other Sea Org members, exercise if time, and preparation for the first auditing session by 9:00 aM. Dan usually audits until noon, taking breaks between sessions—which vary in length from “20 minutes to 2 hours or more”—to write daily reports for each of the “PC [preclear] folders” that are maintained. These folders are then sent to a case supervisor (C/S) for review and feedback before the next session. The C/S is well versed in the Hubbard policies that correspond to each auditing procedure and expectations. If the C/S detects an error, or determines that a preclear is not improving in session, a “Cramming Order” may be written for the auditor. This is often an instruction to reread or retrain a particular area or skill so that the auditor can more “standardly” deliver Hubbard’s tech in the following session. In effect, it is a self-correcting and regulatory mechanism toward the goal of Keeping Scientology Working. If no cramming is needed, Dan will take preclears into session in the afternoon as well. After dinner, Dan often takes more preclears into session and ends for the night around 9:00 or 10:00 pM, since Hubbard instructed that counseling not take place after 10:00 pM to ensure enough rest for preclears.92 By the

151

Past and Present of the Sea Organization

151

end of the day, depending on corrections required and the length of sessions, Dan will have taken anywhere from one to five preclears into session, both with and without use of the E-Meter. After turning in final folders to the C/S, which will be returned the following morning, Dan returns to the housing, or “berthing,” area (another naval-inspired holdover), located on the same block in Hollywood. It is sometimes called the “Big Blue Building,” or more commonly the “Main Building,” and formerly was the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital until the church purchased it in 1977. Dan was married and shared what amounted to a small apartment unit with a shared bathroom. (Single Sea Org members share a room with several others, so a private room is one advantage of married life.) The evening is often a time to socialize, take care of errands such as laundry, and prepare for the next day. Sea Org members are usually apportioned two and a half hours per day for personal study or auditing, in what totals twelve and a half hours per week—the minimum time mandated by Hubbard for staff (including non– Sea Org staff) to receive enhancement despite otherwise busy schedules.93 At PAC, there are weekly staff meetings, including one attended by all Sea Org members at the base. These are opportunities for staff to coordinate and prepare for upcoming events, most notably the main series of church holidays.94 These celebrations, or “international events” as they are called, are attended by local parishioners and Sea Org members are expected to help organize and encourage attendance. They also assist in the sale of books and lectures and promote newly released materials and services. One example was a filmed version of Hubbard’s introductory text Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought.95 Like other Sea Org members, Dan received a weekly parsonage allowance (up to $50), since members are legally considered religious workers or volunteers, not employees. Lodging and food are provided, and medical care is coordinated by a fellow Sea Org member called the Medical Liaison Officer (MLO). The MLO is usually not professionally trained (though often has knowledge of basic first aid) and, per the title, liaises and connects the ill member to appropriate medical care, including transportation to appointments. PAC has a Sea Org dentist on staff and Scientologist medical doctors and chiropractors are available, though members can choose to visit any medical professional. Hospitals are conveniently located one block away. Dan receives three weeks of vacation per year. This time is usually spent with his Scientologist parents in Southern California or with non-Scientologist family members on the East Coast. Another break from the routine of working, auditing, studying, and preparing for church events comes in the form of half days on Sunday (or Saturday, depending on the org and location), when staff spend their mornings on “CSP” (Clean Ship Program, a phrase from the

521

152

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

Apollo years). CSP is a time to clean one’s apartment, do laundry, and complete other chores that may have been neglected during the week. Dan then spends the remainder of Sunday auditing, from 1:00 pM to approximately 10:00 pM (with a break at about 5:00 pM for dinner). Occasionally, the local church receives an “org award” for a particularly “up-stat” week, meaning a period in which the organization was exceptionally productive, as measured by auditing hours or funds raised from Scientology services. On these occasions, Sea Org members may attend a movie, go bowling, or visit an amusement park. In one instance, Dan and other staff saw a recent action film. Promotions are available if Dan is interested in increased responsibilities as an auditor. It is relatively common for skilled auditors to continue their training and advance to higher levels, which in many cases would necessitate temporary relocation to Flag in Clearwater. “I’ll probably make it to Class IX this time around,” Dan reflected when considering goals this lifetime. To become a Class  IX auditor would be personally and professionally beneficial since it means first reaching OT V, higher than Dan’s current position on the Bridge (Grade IV).96 In other words, service as an auditor can facilitate one’s own spiritual progress as much as others. Dan has seen friends and colleagues come in and out of the Sea Org over the years—a “dozen or so”—but noted that “most” have remained members over the course of a fifteen-year career. Surrounded by cosmopolitan Los Angeles, Dan was quite socially adjusted and familiar with popular culture, despite a full itinerary that initially gave me the impression of cultural isolationism. This member viewed engagement with the broader society as necessary for the effective delivery of Scientology. “Sea Org members are dedicated,” Dan said. “Especially here in LA, you can’t be detached from the world. It’s impossible anyway.” Despite an intention to remain in the organization for life, Dan maintained a day-by-day outlook about the Sea Org and its mission: “LRH wrote that you have to know life to live life. . . . Especially as auditors, we have to come down and out of the Ivory Tower to do our daily part to better this planet.”

Ex–Sea Org Members and the Question of (Dis)Affiliation Despite the billion-year symbolic pledge, significant numbers of Sea Org staff have left the organization over the years. There has been no quantitative study of ex–Sea Org members.97 However, given that the Sea Org was founded in 1967 and the 2010 CSI census indicates that most members joined before

513

Past and Present of the Sea Organization

153

the age of thirty, this strongly suggests that most members have departed in the intervening years and been replaced by a younger generation. Other factors, such as disease, retirement, and death, presumably account for the loss of some members, but not all. For instance, if all or most original Sea Org members from the 1960s were still in the organization, we would expect higher rates among the elderly.98 On the other hand, the Sea Org has grown in the decades since its founding, so it is somewhat predictable that new (and younger) recruits have become the new majority. Some of the most striking sources for information on this subject come from blogs authored by ex–Sea Org members. In fact, in surveying popular websites, discussion boards, blogs, social media, and videos,99 one soon discovers that many of the most vocal and persistent critics of Scientology are ex–Sea Org members, some of whom belonged to the group for significant portions of their lives. Many have personal histories that intersected with Hubbard or David Miscavige. Their perspectives usually conform well to David G.  Bromley’s typology of an apostate whose exit narrative “is one which documents the quintessentially evil essence of the apostate’s former organization chronicled through the apostate’s personal experience of capture and ultimate escape/rescue.”100 Not surprisingly, sensational ex-Scientology narratives receive more attention in the media and popular culture than other accounts.101 This is not to imply that the claims of apostates are necessarily false, revisionistic, or biased, but vocal critics naturally receive more attention than silent critics, complacent former members, and ex–Sea Org members who wish to become parishioners and remain in good standing.102 In addition to apostates, Bromley mentions two other categories, ordinary leave-takers and defectors. Ordinary leave-takers, as the name suggests, are the most common. They seldom discuss their departure and, even if they have private disagreements, tend to also have positive memories. As a result, there is little, if any, tension between the former member and his or her former organization. Ex-members of this type often leave the group and do not return.103 Because I interviewed active members in the church, including the Sea Org, I did not encounter former members of this kind.104 However, I interviewed and came across ex–Sea Org members who fit Bromley’s characterization of a defector, whose exit narrative may be defined as one in which an organizational participant negotiates exit primarily with organizational authorities, who grant permission for role relinquishment, control the exit process, and facilitate role transition. The jointly constructed narrative assigns primary moral responsibility for role performance problems to the departing member

541

154

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

and interprets organizational permission as commitment to extraordinary moral standards and preservation of public trust.105 Six parishioners in my larger interview sample had previously served in the Sea Organization. They remained in good standing with the church, considered themselves active and dedicated Scientologists, and fit Bromley’s descriptions of defection, since they left the Sea Org through a formal ecclesiastical process.106 In other words, they “defected” or disaffiliated from the Sea Org, but not from the Church of Scientology. In three cases, former Sea Org members left due to pregnancies and the desire to start families; another left to raise a child who was born in the Sea Org; one man discovered after the fact that he no was longer qualified for the Sea Org, but did not provide the exact reason (“if that didn’t occur, I’d still be in the Sea Org. Believe me”);107 and the other was a second-generation member who did not state a reason. There are, of course, other possible reasons for leaving the Sea Org, which may be as simple as incompatibility with the rigorous daily schedule. Some members request to leave the order if they are unsatisfied or have violated the group’s codes. In other cases, underperforming members are offered the chance to complete the Sea Org’s “Rehabilitation Project Force” (RPF), a combination of co-auditing and manual labor, but decline and formally leave the group.108 Whatever the cause, leaving Sea Org members are required to “route out,” an exit process that finds comparison with Roman Catholic religious orders and whose language seems modeled after military discharge. In contrast to the US military model of leaving honorably or dishonorably, however, “routing out” carries an inherently pejorative connotation since it means relinquishing a commitment intended to span multiple lifetimes. In this sense, it parallels the process of laicization in the Catholic and Orthodox Christian traditions. Within the Sea Org, routing out is a form of defection that is tantamount to abandoning the group (Third Dynamic) and its mission. Hubbard emphasized the severity of this disruption by labeling ex–Sea Org members degraded beings, or DBs, a term also used to describe suppressive persons.109 The routing-out procedure consists of a series of steps, including a Security Check designed to unburden the departing staff member of overts and withholds against the organization and others.110 Since Hubbard singled out O/Ws as the sole reason for leaving in the first place, it could be assumed that this “leaving Sec Check,” as it is called, may result in the member deciding to stay.111 However, one Sea Org member, who had audited hundreds of hours of leaving Sec Checks, explained to me that the “end phenomenon is not necessarily a decision to stay as much as leaving the individual with a clear conscience about things that she or he may not necessarily be aware without

515

Past and Present of the Sea Organization

155

auditing.” After completing the Sec Check, which could take months due to a limited supply of auditors, the individual receives formal permission to leave, again similar to a military discharge. The exit process may also include a Committee of Evidence or Fitness Board hearing, in which a leaving member’s ethical lapses are examined (as applicable) and the conditions necessary for possible re-entry into the Sea Org are established.112 The individual signs legal paperwork to the effect that he or she will not sue the church or defame its reputation and is then provided a small severance payment (usually $500). Some ex–Sea Org members receive assistance to locate housing and obtain new employment. Initially, it may be difficult to transition to life outside the church, especially for members who devoted many years to the organization and have scarce resources. As mentioned, Sea Org members receive a weekly stipend (parsonage allowance) of up to $50 a week, with lodging, food, and medical care provided by the church.113 Further steps are necessary for the former Sea Org member to become a parishioner (“public Scientologist”) in good standing with the church. These additional requirements are financial and ethical in nature. A  “freeloader bill” is given for services received in the Sea Org that would have otherwise been charged. The amount of the bill (debt) depends on the forms of auditing and training one received and can run into tens of thousands of dollars, if not more. One ex–Sea Org member reported a debt of $35,000, paid within a year of routing out so that she could return to full standing as soon as possible. The “freeloader bill” is based on the premise that someone who joins the Sea Org and receives free training and auditing ought to be held financially responsible for those services after leaving the organization. According to a Hubbard policy from 1972, the church experienced high turnover because individuals temporarily joined staff to receive services that they could not otherwise afford.114 However, ex–Sea Org members are required to pay for services rendered regardless of their length of service to the organization; as a result, the “freeloader” rationale seems less applicable in the case of former members who have donated years of “in-exchange” volunteer service. Scientologists in my sample reported that discounts are commonly provided, especially around holidays such as Sea Org Day and Christmas, as an incentive to bring lapsed members back into active membership. In addition to payment of the freeloader debt, former Sea Org members must take concrete steps to rise above what Hubbard termed “lower conditions.”115 He codified these as a practical means for all Scientologists, not just Sea Org members, to handle personal problems and regain the trust of others, including church officials, in preparation for advancement up the

561

156

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

Bridge. The lowest condition is “Confusion,” followed by “Treason,” “Enemy,” “Doubt,” and “Liability.”116 The most significant and demanding is the liability step. Hubbard wrote that it includes delivery of “an effective blow to the enemies of the group one has been pretending to be a part of despite personal danger” and making “up the damage one has done by personal contribution far beyond the ordinary demands of a group member.”117 In other words, one must make amends with the group, after which one applies “for reentry to the group by asking the permission of each member of it to rejoin and rejoining only by majority permission.”118 However, despite the need for an “effective blow to the enemies of the group,” no violent or illegal activity is involved or condoned by the church, and I found no evidence of such behavior in the course of interviews or fieldwork. The strong rhetoric may be a by-product of the Cold War milieu in which Scientology was born. It certainly conveys, in line with KSW, the high level of dedication expected among members. This is especially true in the case of former Sea Org members who abdicated a lifetime pledge. Amends come in a variety of forms and bring the offending member back “in exchange” with the church. Former Sea Org members might perform hundreds of hours of community service for a local Scientology church or social betterment program. One individual designed a project to distribute thousands of copies of Hubbard’s The Way to Happiness in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting in 2012. Another volunteered at the church-affiliated Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) in Los Angeles, a center dedicated to exposing psychiatric crime and promoting legislation to protect mental health patients. Given the church’s opposition to psychology and psychiatry,119 this service counted as an “effective blow” against an enemy of the group and allowed the member to move back into good standing. Once out of “lower conditions,” some Scientologists may still feel stigmatized. However, my fieldwork suggests a changing culture in which ex– Sea Org members are increasingly welcomed back to the church, including by former colleagues, without hard feelings. This new attitude may be due to sociological necessity, since it appears that a fair share of former Sea Org members come from the base of second- and even third-generation members that the church will need as it advances into the twenty-first century. “At the end of the day,” one Scientologist explained, “the goal of Scientology is to move up the Bridge and get others to move up the Bridge, plain and simple. . . . It’s not to punish or hold someone back because of the past. . . . Doing amends is hard work, sure, but the result is a shot at spiritual freedom this lifetime. For me anyway, it’s a small price to pay in the grand scheme.”

517

Past and Present of the Sea Organization

157

Future of the Sea Organization as a Religious Order Since 2010, the Sea Organization has grown to an estimated seven thousand members.120 In recent years, new recruits have helped staff the Flag Building in Clearwater (opened in late 2013) and Scientology Media Productions (SMP) campus (opened mid-2016) in Hollywood. However, long-term growth could be impeded by factors such as negative attention in the media, the challenge of recruiting members who are willing to dedicate their lives to the group, and the prohibition on childrearing when many second-generation Scientologists are of childbearing ages. Assuming children of Scientologists are indeed the primary source of recruits, the Sea Org may reach a crisis in which younger members in the church at large are not having enough children (i.e., future third- and fourthgeneration members) who would become prospective recruits once of age. This possibility is compounded by the curious fact that a disproportionate percentage of Sea Org members are female—65.6% female to 44.4% male per the 2010 CSI census—though limited quantitative research outside the United States suggests that most members of the church are male.121 These demographics may necessitate increased proselytization to bring in new members and create a larger pool of potential recruits for the Sea Org as the church expands. Or perhaps the church will witness increased birth rates among parishioners, including ex–Sea Org members who left to start families. Another remedy might be the recruitment of relatively older church members, who have already raised children or are looking for a full-time way to disseminate Scientology. This last strategy might inadvertently contribute to Hubbard’s original vision that the Sea Org be composed of Clears and OTs since, as examined in chapter 1, older Scientologists have often advanced further on the Bridge.

581

5

“Build a Better Bridge!” fRoM lRh to coB and Beyond The detractors of Scientology know full well that it is a proven, effective and workable system for freeing mankind from spiritual bondage. That is why they attack. They fear that they will somehow be threatened by a society which is more ethical, productive and humane through the influence of Scientology and Scientologists. Thus when we expand, to that degree we are attacked. — “ P L E D g E T O M A N K I N D ,”

International Association of Scientologists (1984)

And I’m not saying Scientology is the answer for everybody under the sun, moon, and stars. But we have so much to contribute to the lessening of travail in this world. We’re not trying to make everybody Scientologists. We’re just trying to actually help change conditions. — I N T E R V I E W W I T H PA R I S H I O N E R ,

Pasadena, California (2012)

the final historical arc of the book: the later years of L.  Ron Hubbard and the conditions that led to the rise of the individual who now leads the religion, David Miscavige. For members of the Church of Scientology, Miscavige is regarded as the rightful heir to Hubbard’s legacy and has been a tremendous force for legitimization. As Chairman of the Board (COB) of the Religious Technology Center, he spearheaded efforts that led to the legal recognition of Scientology in the United States, has expanded the church’s presence around the world, and continues to streamline the delivery of Hubbard’s technologies in the twenty-first century. Miscavige’s rise and influence are examined alongside a discussion of several important episodes, themes, and developments from the contemporary American period. These include the demise of the infamous Guardian’s Office; Scientology’s corporate makeover in the early 1980s; debates about the “brainwashing thesis” in the 1970s and 1980s; Scientologists’ evolving relationship with the media; the internationalization of the church; features of theology and praxis after THIS CHAPTER ADDRESSES

591

From LRH to COB and Beyond

159

Hubbard’s passing; and increased engagement with society through a variety of social betterment and humanitarian programs.

The Rise and Fall of the guardian’s Office Soon after the Sea Org centralized operations in Clearwater in 1975, the church came under considerable scrutiny due to the actions of another group, the Guardian’s Office (GO). The GO was established in 1966, one year before Hubbard founded the Sea Org. It is not particularly well known among Scientologists today because of the corruption that brought about its downfall, dissolution, and disgrace by the early 1980s. However, a survey of the rise and fall of the GO is essential in understanding how and why the church restructured itself in ways that eventually led to Miscavige’s leading role. “The Guardian’s Office was facing a lot of external attacks,” as one Sea Org member—and former GO staffer—described to me. “I mean, the reason [Hubbard] founded it was because the church was under major attack at the time and it needed to get on with what it’s supposed to do.” The goal to “get on with what it’s supposed to do” evidently refers to the church’s primary mission to deliver Scientology services in the form of auditing and training. One of the GO’s original purposes was to safeguard the church and its members from the unnecessary influence of negative news that might thwart spiritual progress. In the language of Scientology, this ensured that entheta (enturbulated theta) would not filter into local organizations and disrupt parishioners on their path up the Bridge. As early as the 1950s and 1960s, the church had a fraught relationship with the US federal government, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), as covered in chapter 3. Other challenges emerged in the course of the 1960s, both in and outside the United States, perhaps most notably an ultimately failed attempt to outlaw Scientology in Australia.1 The church continued to be marginalized and was viewed as a commercial enterprise rather than a bona fide religious tradition, exacerbated by negative treatment of Scientology and Hubbard in the press.2 GO staff, including a number of Sea Org members under its purview, operated out of Scientology organizations worldwide, and were headquartered at Saint Hill in East Grinstead. At the same time, and paradoxically, the GO was ecclesiastically autonomous and functioned as an independent management body, eventually under the direct leadership of Hubbard’s wife, Mary Sue, who served as “Guardian” and later “Controller.”3 The Guardian’s Office was tasked with public relations and legal affairs, which is now the domain

601

160

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

of the Office of Special Affairs (OSA), a Sea Org unit headquartered at the Church of Scientology International (CSI). However, the GO’s scope extended to several important areas, including the management of financial affairs and oversight of the church’s social betterment programs (now also the responsibility of CSI, as discussed later in this chapter). Perhaps most remarkably, the GO was responsible for ensuring the orthodoxy of the Scientology religion. According to the former GO staff member, it had the role of “Keeper of the Technology and Policy Knowledge, which is to maintain the standardness of the technology,” a duty that now falls to the Religious Technology Center (RTC) and is supported by other church organizations. Despite this impressive range, the present-day church maintains that the GO became rogue, corrupt, and self-destructive. Its members resorted to illegal or at least highly questionable tactics in attempts to silence church critics. In 1971, journalist Paulette Cooper penned an exposé entitled The Scandal of Scientology.4 In response, GO staff conducted a now-infamous and welldocumented plan termed “Operation Freakout,” in which Cooper was framed for murder and, by her own admission, nearly went insane from covert operations and the series of nineteen lawsuits and fifty days of depositions that followed.5 In another instance, GO members staged a hit-and-run car accident in a failed attempt to have Clearwater Mayor Gabe Cazares (a Scientology critic) arrested and removed from office.6 Cazares and his colleagues opposed the church’s move to Clearwater, especially the manner in which it misrepresented its identity when purchasing property (see chapter 4). These hostilities only served to strain relations between the church and city in the years to come. In 1993, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals even described “a widespread political movement, apparently driven by an upsurge of sectarian fervor, intent on driving Scientology from Clearwater.”7 The most notorious GO operations involved the infiltration of US governmental offices.8 In 1973, in response to the difficulties of the Apollo in gaining access to Mediterranean ports, Hubbard envisioned what became the “Snow White” program to legally discover and expunge “derogatory and false reports” about himself and Scientology in official records, including under the authority of the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).9 However, under the leadership of Mary Sue Hubbard and senior GO official Jane Kember, the “Snow White” project took an illicit turn when a secret program was written to plant individuals at government agencies, especially in the United States.10 It is estimated that dozens and perhaps hundreds of GO volunteers were involved,11 taking clerical and other low-level positions to gain access to desired offices and documents. The goal was to obtain and photocopy documents of interest to the church—especially files on Hubbard—housed by the IRS,

6 11

From LRH to COB and Beyond

161

FDA, District of Columbia Police Department, and other entities. The Sea Org member and former GO staffer in my sample described one of the betterknown cases of infiltration, in which Michael Meisner and volunteer Gerald Wolfe stole and made copies of IRS documents.12 Wolfe was arrested in June 1976. The following year, Meisner became a whistleblower, cooperated with the FBI, and testified against the church.13 “One kid gets hired as a clerk and he manages to break into the [IRS] room where they make the IDs and he makes an ID for his buddy and they come and go at night Xeroxing documents on the church,” as this Sea Org member characterized the break-ins. “It was stupid, childish, immature stuff.” In response, “the government decided to pay us a visit in July 1977.” Indeed, when the FBI became aware of the GO operations, churches in Washington, DC, and Los Angeles were raided on July 8, 1977. Documents confiscated in the course of those raids confirmed the nature and extent of the GO break-ins. However, most Scientologists at those sites were not privy to any of the illegal activities in question. They were taken aback by what they regarded as an unnecessary show of force and an attack on religious freedom. On the morning of July 8, Sarah, then a young staff member, was in Los Angeles for Scientology training. Before leaving for the org, she decided to call her husband, which she did every morning those days since he worked on the other side of the country at the church in Washington, DC. “When no one answered in DC, I knew something was wrong, so I went into the church in LA to tell them something was wrong in DC,” she remembered. “I was about the fourth or fifth person to arrive to the org in LA and the elevators opened to a guy in a suit with a gun!” Like most of the Scientologists there that day, she did not know what prompted the FBI’s investigation and was left stunned and confused. “Talk about being surprised and shocked.” In the Los Angeles raid alone, 136 FBI agents were dispatched to GO offices in Hollywood.14 The raid lasted twenty-one hours and resulted in the filling of a sixteen-ton truck with church files. A  similar scene unfolded in Washington, DC, where Sarah’s husband witnessed armed men pile in and out of the Founding Church, carting away dozens of boxes of documents. The raids were coordinated to take place simultaneously, at 6:00 aM in Los Angeles and 9:00 aM in DC. According to a New York Times article published the next day: “Agents of the [FBI], carrying buzz saws, sledgehammers, crowbars and search warrants, entered offices of the Church of Scientology here [in DC] and in Los Angeles this morning in an attempt to recover hundreds of documents allegedly stolen by church operatives from Government files.”15 In the end, some two hundred thousand documents were taken, in addition to other items such as wiretapping equipment, E-Meters, and church

621

162

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

counseling folders.16 Hugh Urban described the raids as a public display on the FBI’s part, “perhaps responding in kind,” he suggested, “to the incredible audacity of the spying Scientologists with overwhelming force of its own.”17 The church responded by decrying the FBI’s tactics as draconian and unconstitutional, and made comparisons to oppression in Nazi Germany. The “Gestapo police state raid,” according to one statement, was baseless, infringed on religious freedom, and amounted, ironically enough, to unlawful search and seizure.18 The church also published booklets—one entitled The American Inquisition—highlighting injustices that they feared would lead to discrimination against Scientologists and members of other minority religions.19 The church later sued the FBI for $6.5  million in damages and requested the return of materials. A judge ordered that documents taken in the raid be returned, but the ruling was appealed; the case climbed up the courts until the Supreme Court refused to hear it in 1978. Since the vast majority of Scientologists knew nothing about the GO’s clandestine actions, the raids were understandably perceived as unlawful, unjustified, and discriminatory, even though senior GO staff knew the circumstances that justifiably precipitated them. Few Scientologists today, aside from Sea Org members in public and legal relations positions, seem to understand that the GO’s own illegal activities led to the raids in the first place. However, within the GO at the time, it became evident that attempts to protect Hubbard and the church had entered into illegal activity for which they would be held accountable, both legally and ecclesiastically. “That was the beginning of the end for the GO,” a Sea Org member acknowledged in retrospect. In fact, it was the young David Miscavige, a Sea Org member who spent time under Hubbard as a cameraman and soon rose up the ranks, who was in large part responsible for the GO’s dissolution. By 1981, Miscavige was a rising church executive, but he was one of many young Sea Org members who were beginning to come of age and influence. His role in the dismantling and expulsion of the GO became the crucible in which his early leadership was molded and tested. It earned the respect of fellow Sea Org members, and Hubbard himself. In a 1994 legal declaration related to another matter,20 Miscavige described the chaotic state of the church in 1979. At the time, he held the position “Action Chief” within the Commodore’s Messenger Organization (CMO) and observed that the GO had failed to properly handle legal cases in the wake of the 1977 FBI raids. In 1981, Miscavige initiated a review that “included directing Church missionaires conducting the investigation of the GO to determine the reasons for the GO’s ineffectiveness and why the GO had departed from its original purpose.”21 Mary Sue Hubbard, as head of the Guardian’s Office, felt

613

From LRH to COB and Beyond

163

that the internal probe was inappropriate and that the CMO had crossed the line. Miscavige recalled that, in March 1981, “she cut all of our communication lines to the GO, except through herself.” She “believed her position as [GO] Controller and as the ‘Founder’s wife’ to be unassailable and beyond reproach by anyone but Mr. Hubbard—who was not around at the time, a fact that she was well aware of,” Miscavige wrote. “This, plus her absolute control of the GO, made it difficult for the Church missionaires to get anything done.” With L. Ron Hubbard unavailable to arbitrate,22 Miscavige found himself pitched against Hubbard’s wife—presumably an uncomfortable position—but continued in the face of the GO’s isolation and impotence. This situation culminated with Miscavige’s surreptitious investigation of the GO. “In April 1981, in an unprecedented move and without Mary Sue Hubbard’s knowledge,” he admitted, “I sent a mission to the headquarters of the GO in England—GO World Wide (‘GOWW’)—to inspect the Legal Bureau under the guise that it had been authorized by Mary Sue Hubbard. What the mission found confirmed our worst suspicions.” The team uncovered files detailing the GO’s activities and infiltrations, including sources that Miscavige had only read about second-hand due to pending civil suits (since original copies were destroyed by the GO, confiscated by the FBI, or legally sealed).23 “When further investigation proved the documents to be authentic,” he wrote, “it was made clear that we had no choice but to overthrow the GO and dismiss everyone who had violated Church policy or the law.”24 Miscavige “gathered a couple of dozen of the most proven Church executives from around the world” and together “planned a series of missions to take over the GO, investigate it and reform it thoroughly.”25 Around the same time, Mary Sue planned to reorganize the Church of Scientology of California (CSC)—then effectively the “Mother Church” of Scientology—with legal power concentrated among GO executives. For Miscavige, this plan was unacceptable and would have only exacerbated the legal challenges facing the church. He brought the matter to Mary Sue’s attention and eventually, though reluctantly, obtained her resignation. However, she soon reversed her decision, which inspired GO loyalists to rebel and lock themselves in their Los Angeles headquarters. At the time, GO staff numbered in the hundreds, while Miscavige had only fifty or so Sea Org members at his disposal. But the situation soon resolved itself peacefully. “I then confronted the mutineers, and persuaded Mary Sue Hubbard to again resign,” he recalled, “which ended the last vestige of GO resistance.”26 Throughout his account, Miscavige made clear that the ultimate purpose in removing the GO was that its illegal behavior was contrary to the principles and practices of Scientology. “Whatever else the GO was, it was not

641

164

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

Scientology, and it was not adhering to Scientology policy,” he emphasized. The GO’s brazen actions form part of an unprecedented chapter in the history of American religion and demonstrate the extreme measures that some church members took to protect their sense of survival. The infiltrations were conditioned by a culture of secrecy and surveillance that operated against the backdrop of the Cold War and reflected a mistrust of the US government felt in all sectors of American society in the wake of Watergate, Nixon’s resignation in 1974, and the Vietnam War. This milieu, in combination with an allegiance to the “greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics,” seems to have created the perfect social, legal, and theological storm within which the GO operated but ultimately succumbed. From 1980 until his passing in 1986, Hubbard was “off lines” and for the most part in seclusion. In 1983, in a rare public announcement, he claimed to be unaware of the illegal activities of the GO and the fallout from the Washington and Los Angeles raids.27 This detachment, combined with an unawareness among most church members about the GO’s activities, may help account for the delay in cleaning house. By the late 1970s, however, Hubbard likely had at least some data about the situation, given that his wife and ten others were arrested on charges that included burglary and conspiracy. Mary Sue and others appealed their sentences but lost, and she became the most prominent face in the press for the excess and abuse of the GO. She was convicted of burglary and theft and, after a series of legal appeals, began a oneyear prison term in 1983. Even though she is not a particularly well-known personality in the church today, it appears she remained a lifelong Scientologist, living out her final years in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, only a short distance from several Scientology churches. She passed away in 2002.

Corporate Reorganization and Scientology’s Legal-Theological Sensibilities After Mary Sue’s resignation in 1981, Miscavige ordered a series of missions “to remove all GO staff from their positions and put them on estates work and physical labor around the church.”28 Members involved in criminal activities were expelled. Only those with no involvement in the illegal acts were permitted to stay on staff.29 In addition, the GO’s ecclesiastical functions were reassigned or assimilated into corporations that were created in the early 1980s to better foster organizational checks and balances. In fact, the downfall of the GO led to the reorganization and recorporatization of all Scientology organizations, which functioned to legally

615

From LRH to COB and Beyond

165

protect Hubbard’s body of work during his lifetime. In Weberian terms, this in effect routinized Hubbard’s charisma in advance of his death, mitigating the usual burden placed on followers after a religious founder’s passing. Several of these organizations were introduced in chapter  4, including the Church of Scientology International (CSI), Religious Technology Center (RTC, discussed later in this chapter), and the Church of Spiritual Technology (CST). CSI was formed in November 1981, and became the new ecclesiastical “Mother Church,” replacing the Church of Scientology of California. CSI “provides overall planning, direction and general support” to a network of over 11,000 churches, missions, and affiliated groups across 167 nations (as of June 2018),30 in addition to other duties as outlined in chapter  4. Many of the GO’s responsibilities were transferred to CSI. For instance, financial and accounting tasks were reassigned to an International Finance Network. Social betterment and humanitarian programs were placed under the control of a Social Organization Unit that preceded the present-day Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE) International. Some public relations functions were assumed by the L.  Ron Hubbard Personal Public Relations Office. Legal and public affairs for the church at large became housed in what is now the Office of Special Affairs (OSA) International. Today, far from being an autonomous unit as was the case with the GO, OSA International is a part of CSI and answerable to other entities. Senior to CSI, there is a Watchdog Committee (WDC), which was also introduced in chapter 4; this committee includes a WDC OSA member “whose sole job is to see that OSA Int effectively performs its functions and operates according to Church policy.”31 Under CSI, each local church has at least one OSA representative, the Director of Special Affairs (DSA), who is answerable to the local org’s Board of Directors.

International Association of Scientologists In 1984, new senior management founded the International Association of Scientologists (IAS) at Saint Hill in England. The IAS serves as the main membership body for the church and supports its social betterment and humanitarian programs.32 Previous membership groups existed, the most prominent of which was the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International (HASI) founded in 1952 (see chapter 2).33 The IAS represents Scientologists across the world with the following purpose: “To unite, advance, support and protect the Scientology religion and Scientologists in all parts of the world, so as to achieve the aims of Scientology as originated by L. Ron Hubbard.”34 Two key figures in its organization were Miscavige and senior executive Marc

6 61

166

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

Yager. On October 7, 1984, a number of delegates traveled to East Grinstead to commemorate the founding and sign an inaugural “Pledge to Mankind.”35 The “Pledge to Mankind” is revealing because it presents a logic in which external attacks on Scientology are paradoxically perceived as evidence of church growth, a sentiment I encountered among members as well.36 “The detractors of Scientology know full well that it is a proven, effective and workable system for freeing mankind from spiritual bondage. That is why they attack,” the pledge reads. “They fear that they will somehow be threatened by a society which is more ethical, productive and humane through the influence of Scientology and Scientologists. Thus when we expand, to that degree we are attacked.”37 In conjunction with Hubbard’s urge to confront and attack attackers, this mindset presents a circular self-consciousness where external crisis is equated with expansion, and expansion is one byproduct of handling detractors, which in turn allows churches to carry on with business as usual. Appropriating an earlier Dianetics equation,38 the thought process can be expressed in terms of a Fourth Dynamic battle in which the Scientologist and the IAS (a strong Third Dynamic) become greater than the reactive and aberrative forces that might otherwise stymie church growth. Over the years, the IAS has collected donations to support the church’s social betterment and humanitarian organizations.39 These donations have also helped fund the church’s legal battles—including those against former members and the IAS—though individual cases are coordinated by OSA International. The IAS’s first major legal victory came in 1985, less than six months after its founding, when a “Religious Freedom Crusade” was organized in Portland, Oregon, to protest a $39 million court judgment in a fraud suit against the church. The court declared a mistrial and the church later settled out of court for an unspecified amount.40 The prominence of the IAS as a fundraising body in the defense and propagation of Scientology has risen over the years. Today the IAS offers three membership categories: a free sixmonth introductory membership, annual ($250), and lifetime ($5,000). One of these memberships is required to receive auditing or training. There are also “honor statuses” for lifetime members who donate additional amounts, ranging from the thousands to millions.41

Hubbard’s Later Years (1976–1986) In contrast to the notorious Guardian’s Office and the public reorganization of the church, Hubbard remained mostly out of sight from the late 1970s until his death in 1986. He found it desirable to stay “off lines” and continue

617

From LRH to COB and Beyond

167

research on Dianetics and Scientology in safe and private locations, primarily in Central and Southern California. This included the establishment of a headquarters for international management in the California desert at La Quinta, where Hubbard directed Scientology training films (and where a teenage Miscavige served as his cameraman during his early years in the Sea Org). A new base was soon established at Gilman Hot Springs near Hemet, California, and exists to this day. Hubbard’s later years in the 1980s were passed on the road, often in an RV, before he settled down at a ranch outside San Luis Obispo. Technically, Hubbard no longer led the church, having resigned as Executive Director International in 1966. However, he continued to exert a presence through policy letters, bulletins, and, especially in the 1980s, “advices” to church management in his roles as Founder and Source. Some of Hubbard’s most significant theological contributions to Scientology took place in 1978, referred to as the “Year of Technical Breakthroughs” and “Year of Lightning Fast New Tech.”42 The releases affected all levels of the Bridge and introduced nomenclature to distinguish new techniques from old. New Era Dianetics (NED), for instance, provided a more streamlined path to Clear, with updated E-Meter techniques. On the upper half of the Bridge, more than a decade after the release of the first versions of the OT levels New Era Dianetics for OTs (NOTs) became the path to complete OT V, known as the “Second Wall of Fire.”43 In 1979, Hubbard announced the “Purification Program,” the precursor of the present-day Purification Rundown, which utilizes a sauna, exercise, and vitamin regimen to remove drugs and environmental toxins from the body.44 In 1980, a revised OT VI was released. It consists of solo auditor training in preparation for OT VII. A new OT VII was issued at the same time and is one of the most extensive auditing levels in Scientology, often taking several years—and sometimes longer—to complete. The early 1980s also witnessed Hubbard’s return to science fiction after a thirty-year hiatus. He appears to have done this concurrently with Scientology projects. This period produced some of the works for which he is most well known in the genre: Battlefield Earth (1982)45 and the ten-volume Mission Earth series (1985–87).46 In the introduction to the first volume of Mission Earth, subtitled The Invaders Plan, Hubbard described the work as satirical. “This is a work of science fiction, written as satire,” as he put it. “The essence of satire is to examine, comment and give opinion of society and culture, none of which is to be construed as a statement of pure fact.”47 The first volume tells the story of the intergalactic Voltar Confederacy, whose leadership decides to conquer a dystopian Earth that is on the verge of self-destruction due to pollution, enslavement, and the hypnotic effects of drugs. Though satire and fiction, there are clear parallels between the “fictional” Earth of Mission Earth and

681

168

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

Hubbard’s depictions of the planet throughout the Dianetics and Scientology canon.48 On New Year’s Eve 1983, Hubbard published Ron’s Journal 38 (RJ 38), an audio message that updated the church on his work and current events.49 He acknowledged the disbanding of the GO and subsequent creation of a new corporate and administrative structure. “Certain people infiltrated the legal department (the old Guardian Office) and set it up to lose left and right and get people in trouble,” reported Hubbard. Presumably, this was a reference to the GO offenders, his wife included, who had been convicted and would serve jail time. “They also infiltrated top management,” he went on. “Being off lines, I was not involved with any of this as even the government agreed.” He applauded the efforts of “a small hard-core group of Founding Members, devoted on-policy, in-tech Scientologists who suddenly understood what was happening, used their power as Trustees and, just as it looked like the Churches were finished and about to fall into hostile hands, they suddenly isolated the infiltrators and threw them out!” This is a reference to the Trustees of the Religious Technology Center (RTC), which included David Miscavige, among others. Hubbard praised RTC as “very probably . . . the first truly competent independent management Scientology has ever had.” His “earnest advice” is to “only deal with or associate with those organizations licensed by RTC and auditors in good standing with the Church.” This legitimation of RTC is all the more significant because RJ 38 was one of the last audio messages Hubbard delivered to Scientologists.50

“Dropping the Body”: Setting the Stage for the Post-Hubbard Church Hubbard’s death by stroke on January 24, 1986,51 marked the end of an era for the church. When he passed away at his ranch in Creston, California—or, as Scientologists prefer, “dropped the body”—probably fewer than half a dozen church members knew where he was located. His two closest confidants were Sea Org members Pat and Annie Broeker, who also lived at the Creston ranch.52 David Miscavige was in a secondary but close position, tasked with relaying communications between Hubbard and a limited number of senior staff. At the time, in addition to his role as an RTC Trustee, Miscavige was head of Author Services, Inc. (ASI) and named in Hubbard’s last will and testament as an alternate executor.53 Hubbard’s passing was revealed to the church at the Hollywood Palladium Theater in Los Angeles on January 27, 1986. Miscavige took the

6 91

From LRH to COB and Beyond

169

stage and announced the news to hundreds of Scientologists in what turned out to be a cross between a church briefing, memorial service, and celebration of Hubbard’s life. “Approximately two weeks ago, [Hubbard] completed all of his researches he had set out to do,” Miscavige told the crowd to thunderous applause.54 “He is now moved on to his next level of OT research,” he continued. “At this level of OT, the body is nothing more than an impediment and encumbrance to any further gain as an OT. Thus, at 2000 hours, Friday, the 24th of January, AD 36,55 L. Ron Hubbard discarded the body he had used in this lifetime for 74 years, 10 months, and 11 days.” The audience went from elation to stunned silence. Miscavige attempted to comfort those in attendance by reminding them that identity as a spiritual being means continued existence apart from a body. Hubbard’s success in discarding his body was taken as evidence that he had completed his work on Earth and could now pursue higher degrees of OT ability. After the initial announcement, Miscavige led a standing ovation that lasted several minutes as images of Hubbard were displayed in the background. Polite clapping soon gave way to collective catharsis—a commemorative and communal movement back up the Tone Scale. “Thank you for putting this in proper perspective,” Miscavige said in acknowledgment of the improved mood. He then introduced a series of speakers. The first was church attorney Earle Cooley, who described Hubbard’s body as “strong” and insisted that it could have served many more years “if that had suited his purpose.”56 The next speaker was Pat Broeker, whose remarks are significant because he announced Hubbard’s completion of OT levels IX and X. He even held up a worksheet with data from one of the new upper levels, displaying several lines of zeroes that appeared to represent a date from the ancient past. Broeker also told the audience that Hubbard wrote material for OT XI, XII, and XIII that would need to be assembled and codified before release to the church—and that other OT levels would be available. To date, this is the most public announcement about the existence of OT levels beyond OT VIII—which, as noted in chapter 1, have not been released.57 Another speaker was Norman Starkey, the executor of Hubbard’s estate and a senior Sea Org member. He led a memorial service based on the liturgical book used by Scientology ministers.58 Funeral services in the Church of Scientology are more celebratory than mournful. They remind those gathered—including the thetan, if it happens to be in the vicinity—that the death of the body is a natural part of the cycle in which the being “exteriorizes” and finds another body to begin anew. Hubbard’s template for the service includes a poem that Starkey recited for Scientologists:

701

170

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

Goodbye, Ron. Your people thank you for having lived. Earth is better for your having lived. Men, women and children are alive today Because you lived. We thank you for coming to us. We do not contest your Right to go away. Your debts are paid. This chapter of thy life is shut. Go now, dear Ron, and live once more In happier time and place. Thank you, Ron. The concluding section invites the audience to bid farewell, at which point the possibly lingering thetan is supposed to depart from the scene or at least cease regretful or negative attention on the former life: All now here lift up Your eyes and say to Him Goodbye. (Congregation) Goodbye. Goodbye, our dear Ron. Goodbye. We’ll miss you, you know. Let the body now Draw away To be consumed to ashes And to dust In earthly and in cleanly fire To be no more, no more. And that is done. Come friends, He is all right And is gone. We have our work To do. And he has his. He will be welcome there. To Man!

171

From LRH to COB and Beyond

171

For the Scientologists who heard this message, “our work” may have had multiple connotations, including the call to advance up the Bridge, encourage others to do so, and preserve and perpetuate Hubbard’s technology. It is also possible that Hubbard’s own “work” includes a return to Earth in another body. However, this option seems unlikely given Miscavige’s message that Hubbard completed his research. If the canon of Scientology scripture and technology is in fact complete, then there is no obvious theological reason for a return. This view is supported by a 1982 directive in which Hubbard mentioned that he would travel to an undesignated “Target Two” in his next lifetime. This is understood to be a location other than Earth. However, when read in its wider context, the “Target Two” source does not offer an unequivocal statement about Hubbard’s whole track plans as much as it encourages Scientologists to continue with him, in their own future lives, toward the goals of planetary and interplanetary Clearing. “And some day—how many birthdays later?—you’ll give me—and yourselves and all your friends—a CLEARED PLANET!” he declared. “And I’ll go off with you to Target TWO and we’ll clear another one!”59 A  Scientologist in Boston echoed this sentiment: “There’ll be other targets. Once we clear this planet, it’s not going to be the end of the game.” The question of Hubbard’s future is therefore left unanswered and, quite possibly, irrelevant. After all, if Hubbard is not God to Scientologists, and if he has paved a democratized path to enlightenment and divinization, then this fosters a culture in which members are more concerned with going Clear, making Clears, becoming OT, and making OTs. The focus shifts away from Hubbard the man and toward the betterment of self and society in his spiritual wake.

“Nobody gives You Power”: The Rise of COB, RTC After Hubbard’s death, the Church of Scientology was faced with the challenge of perpetuating the founder’s technologies and, perhaps even more significant, legitimating them to outsiders.60 With Miscavige at the helm, the church has managed to mainstream itself in a number of ways, most notably with the IRS’s recognition of tax-exempt status in October 1993. Miscavige’s authority derives from his leadership of the Religious Technology Center (RTC), which monitors the pure application of Hubbard’s technologies. Legally, RTC rests outside the management structures of the church. But functionally, its work is necessary for churches to operate since RTC licenses the trademarks and service marks that are required for the delivery of Scientology services.

721

172

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

“People keep saying, ‘How’d you get power?’ ” Miscavige reflected in a 1998 interview with the St. Petersburg Times. “Nobody gives you power. I’ll tell you what power is. Power in my estimation is if people will listen to you. That’s it.”61 In the over thirty years that he has led the religion, there has been remarkably little pushback to suggest that his claim to authority has been seriously questioned or threatened. As mentioned, Miscavige was an RTC Trustee and senior executive whose rise was years in the making. A 1987 RTC restructuring set in place a system with Miscavige as the undisputed head in his capacity as Chairman of the Board (COB).62 Since that time, his prominence has risen and Scientologists in my sample expressed appreciation and gratitude for his role in protecting and expanding Hubbard’s vision for the church. “He absolutely embodies achieving LRH’s mission, full stop, no matter what,” said a Sea Org member who has worked with and near him over the years in the church’s legal department. “That’s the only factor in the equation and that is the equation. If you’re on some other page, best to get off this one because you’re going to get run over. Very intense but also very compassionate too. . . . You work your ass off when you’re around him, and working with him is an adrenalin rush to be sure.” “From the second I’m awake, I am on,” Miscavige said in the same interview from 1998, suggesting that sheer determination, an indomitable spirit, and fierce loyalty to Hubbard also account for his success.63

Perceptions of David Miscavige in the Church Today Most interviewees did not know Miscavige personally, but several had met COB (see Figure 5.1) and spoke of him as a tireless advocate for LRH and the rightful heir to lead the religion and Keep Scientology Working: • “I’ve known him for 30 years. . . . I wish I could work half that hard. . . . This guy takes that insouciance about willing to take on any job to the galactic level. . . . So yeah, I can’t think of any better [person] to have taken over from LRH.” • “Well, David’s the closest thing to LRH. . . . And very helpful, very communicative, very willing to sit and talk, you know. I’ve met him on several Maiden Voyages [on the Freewinds], and every time he knows who I am. He brings up how’s the family. . . . And if there’s anything that I need help on, I’ll mention it to him and boom, it seems like it gets handled immediately. It’s amazing. He’s an amazing being.” • “This man is actually the head of this movement now. He has to do things in order to expand the movement because the research is finished.”

713

From LRH to COB and Beyond

173

Figure 5.1 David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board, Religious Technology Center, at the dedication of the Church of Scientology of San Diego, November 2016. Getty Images.

• “Completely dedicated, selfless, very pleasant to be around, amazing individual . . . definitely very close, you can say close to Source, close to L. Ron Hubbard, following what he says to do, on-policy. . . . I don’t know where the Church of Scientology would be had he not taken the responsibility he’s taken.” • “David Miscavige and our Management Strata are 100% committed to saving this planet, not ‘in the long run’ but within the foreseeable future, and they expect every Scientologist to participate to the fullest in making that happen.” • “He goes fast, he moves fast, he does big things. But when he’s talking to you, you have all of his attention. He’s not distracted in the least bit, similar to LRH in that regard. He doesn’t hang out and chit chat a long time.” • “He’s the one person on this planet that I admire most next to Ron. I am just so happy to be part of this group. And supporting COB is supporting Ron clearing this planet and beyond.” • “The cool thing about David Miscavige is he’s doing exactly what Ron was doing. No more, no less. He has the will, he has the vision, he has the dedication. He’s competent and trustworthy.”

741

174

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

• “He’s an Operating Thetan . . . and I call him Mr. Miscavige because he deserves the respect for that because [of ] what he’s done. . . . You should be thankful that we have someone that kept us together as a leader and didn’t bend with the disciplines that he had to keep.” • “We know that David Miscavige is just a man. But he’s a very able man and he’s a shining example of the height of efficiency, knowledge and effectiveness that just a man can be. . . . There’s a lot of respect. . . . probably he could run any international corporation on the face of the earth with his knowledge and his drive and his ability.” • “It would be very easy to be so far removed from those of us down here and I just don’t feel that that’s the case. I really don’t. And you will hear, if you were to go to a graduation, you would probably hear every single graduate of any major action thanking RTC for keeping the technology pure the way he [Hubbard] intended.”

“The War Is Over!”: The 1993 IRS Victory Of all the episodes in which the church has sought to legitimate itself, the 1993 IRS legal victory is perhaps the most significant, legally and socially, in the public imagination of Scientologists today. Even for members outside the United States, where Scientology is often not recognized as a religion,64 tax exemption was taken as a “win” for the whole church as it moves from the margins to the mainstream. The recognition followed decades of legal difficulties between the church and IRS. In the years leading up to 1993, over a thousand lawsuits were filed by American Scientologists who alleged that religious discrimination had prevented them from counting donations for services as tax deductible.65 The tactic found precedent in Hubbard’s writings on legal affairs. As he remarked to an audience in 1959: “There are two points of agreement that Scientology has to maintain with the rest of existence. Just two, really. One is finance and the other, unfortunately, is legal.”66 As early as 1955, Hubbard wrote that lawsuits can and should be used to discourage bad press and litigate unauthorized field auditors. “It is destructive of word of mouth to permit the public presses to express their biased and badly reported sensationalism,” Hubbard explained. “Therefore we should be very alert to sue for slander at the slightest chance so as to discourage the public presses from mentioning Scientology.”67 In this way, lawsuits serve strategic as well as confrontational ends: “The purpose of a lawsuit is to harass and discourage rather than win.”68 The church

715

From LRH to COB and Beyond

175

has followed Hubbard’s advice enough to earn it the distinction of being one of the world’s most litigious religious organizations.69 In the late 1980s, however, it was the IRS that investigated Scientologists when it began to audit parishioners who claimed that their donations were tax deductible under section 501(c)(3) of the US federal tax code. This is what led church members to sue en masse. CSI also sued the IRS and, via the Freedom of Information Act, requested documentation to support their case for discrimination.70 Meanwhile, private investigators were hired to look into the backgrounds of IRS officials who were openly hostile to the church. The church’s Freedom magazine published articles critical of the IRS and its methods.71 By the early 1990s, the confrontation became increasingly hostile—and costly. At one point, the church spent about $1.5 million in monthly legal fees. “It was like opening a faucet,” Miscavige recalled in 1998. “And of course internally we’re thinking this is nuts. But on the other hand it looked like if we didn’t do it . . . I don’t think we’d be here right now.”72 Indeed, it is estimated that by 1993, the church may have owed the US government up to $1 billion in back taxes—dating to 1967—which it refused to pay on the grounds that it always was, and continued to be, an eligible tax-exempt religious organization.73 In line with Hubbard’s purpose for lawsuits, the legal and extra-legal strategies did not themselves secure victory. They did, however, pave the way and showcased the undeniable fortitude of the church and its parishioners. Ultimately, the IRS recognition came as a direct result of Miscavige’s own intervention to broker peace. He recounted the story in an October 1993 event at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, where ten thousand Scientologists gathered, along with thousands more remotely, in anticipation of a big announcement. Miscavige described that, in October 1991, he and a colleague made an impromptu visit to IRS headquarters in Washington, DC, after a meeting with church attorneys. Miscavige asked the attending security guards, half-jokingly, to see the commissioner, Fred Goldberg. “ ‘Is he expecting you?’ they asked. ‘No,’ was our response, ‘but if you phone him on the intercom and tell him we are from the Church of Scientology, I am sure he’d love to see us.’ ”74 The commissioner was unavailable, but to their surprise one of his associates came downstairs and set up an appointment for the following week. This set into motion a two-year process in which the church fully cooperated with a review of its finances. In addition to evidence of the church’s nonprofit operating basis—the primary criterion for determining exemption—the IRS requested information about Scientology’s religious nature, practices, and ecclesiology.75 According to Freedom magazine, the IRS asked questions that included:

761

176

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

Does the Church have its own religious creed and form of worship? Does it have its own definite and distinct ecclesiastical government? Is there a formal code of doctrine and discipline? Does Scientology have a distinct religious history? Are there ordained ministers? Does it have a literature of its own? Are there established places of worship and a regular congregation? Are there regular religious services? Is there religious instruction of the young?76 In response, the church provided “more than 11,000 pages of information constituting 12 linear feet of stacked paper.”77 After satisfying investigators, the church and IRS reached a confidential agreement in which both sides would drop lawsuits against one another. In exchange, the church and its affiliated organizations were recognized as fully exempt per the 501(c)(3) code.78 The church also paid millions in back taxes to satisfy outstanding liabilities for the Church of Scientology of California (CSC). When Miscavige revealed the exemption to Scientologists at the LA Sports Arena, he punctuated the financial, legal, and social implications of the breaking news: There will be no billion-dollar tax bill which we can’t pay. There will be no more discrimination. There will be no more 2,500 cases against parishioners across the US. The pipeline of IRS false reports won’t keep flowing across the planet. There will be no more nothing because: on October first, 1993, at 8:37 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, the IRS issued letters recognizing Scientology and every one of its organizations as fully tax-exempt! The war is over! The audience erupted in applause and a standing ovation lasted for several minutes. It is likely that no Scientologist in attendance felt that the IRS’s decision somehow endowed Scientology with the status of a “real” religion, but the legal victory served to validate Scientologists’ religious expressions in the same manner as other traditions in the United States. In addition to individual and institutional financial benefits, the milestone was a success for Miscavige and solidified his role as a church leader among Scientologists. “If it were not for COB and what that event represented for us, we wouldn’t have Scientology today. It’s that simple,” said a secondgeneration Scientologist in Phoenix. At seventeen years of age, he would have been too young to attend and comprehend the 1993 event but watched it years later and came to appreciate its long-term significance. The IRS

717

From LRH to COB and Beyond

177

exemption is arguably Miscavige’s single most important and enduring accomplishment. Although it was chiefly a legal rather than theological win, it allowed the church to re-focus energies on religious preservation and propagation.

Perceptions of “Cult” and “Brainwashing” The year 1993 marked the end of a long struggle in the United States and was followed by legal recognitions abroad in the years to come.79 However, on a popular level, American Scientologists told me that they continue to face discrimination and suspicion on the basis of their religious affiliation. When asked to name (mis)perceptions encountered about Scientology, the two most commonly reported in interviews were that Scientology is a “cult” and that its members are “brainwashed.” These perceptions make historical sense in ways that predate the IRS victory. Scientology came of age along with other new religious movements (e.g. the Unification Church, ISKCON, and Children of God) in a period now known in the secondary literature as the “cult wars” (at its height in the 1970s and extending to the mid-1990s).80 One notable institutional player was the Cult Awareness Network (CAN) (1978–96), whose work gained legitimacy from psychologists and psychiatrists such as Robert Jay Lifton, Louis J. “Jolly” West, and Margaret Singer.81 These individuals argued for the “brainwashing thesis,” one formulation of which is that an individual or organization—such as a new religious group—has the potential to unduly and perniciously influence another’s thoughts and behavior in the absence of informed consent.82 The notion of “brainwashing” most famously traces to Lifton’s 1961 Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism83 and has been challenged by a host of psychologists, social scientists, and new religion scholars.84 One of the most high-profile individuals associated with CAN and the “cult wars,” at least in America, was deprogrammer Ted Patrick. Patrick, a Christian, confessed that he had no professional training in psychology or psychiatry and, in fact, dropped out of high school (in a recent documentary he claimed to hold a “Ph.D.  in common sense”).85 “Deprogramming” efforts such as Patrick’s included the kidnapping of “brainwashed” members—minors but also many adults—who were held against their will as the deprogrammer attempted to re-educate, “un-brainwash,” and “re-program.” The desired goal was to persuade the “cult” member to renounce membership in a particular group as a condition of release. The working assumption was that the “brainwashed” member’s rational faculties had been hijacked and nullified,

781

178

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

especially in the case of young converts, so it took an equal measure of coercion on the part of the deprogrammer to effectively break the hypnotic spell. Patrick does not seem to have deprogrammed many Scientologists, at least relative to other groups, though one notable example was Julie Christofferson, who subsequently left Scientology and sued the church for fraud. The 1985 case resulted in an astounding $39 million judgment in her favor. In peaceful protest, thousands of Scientologists traveled to Portland in an episode known as the “Battle of Portland” (May–July 1985). “The word went out . . . and people just flew there,” remembered one Scientologist who was in attendance. “Some overnight, some within a few days, some within a week, whatever. At any one time, we had 10,000 or more Scientologists in the city. Camping out, staying with friends. We had concerts and rallies.”86 As more Scientologists gathered in Portland, church attorneys filed a motion for a mistrial, which was granted 60 days after the verdict based on a judgment that the jury had been prejudicially tainted. The case was settled in 1986. The idea of “brainwashing” was invoked in other cases from the 1980s, including the well-known suit brought in 1980 by former Scientologist Lawrence Wollersheim.87 However, the practice of “deprogramming” also came under fire in the courts. A far less publicized example in the literature is the case of Paula Dain in San Diego. Dain, who remains an active Scientologist, recounted in court that she was abducted by Patrick and held against her will for thirtyeight days in the summer of 1979 as part of an attempted deprogramming. “I was terrified; I couldn’t get away,” Dain testified. She described how Patrick, with the help of her father, stepmother, and two others, would not allow her to leave. Patrick told her that “Scientology is an evil cult.” “I was shocked,” Dain remembered. “I think I laughed. He just kept saying it. I told him he was welcome to his opinion, but I didn’t want to listen to it. He kept it up.”88 “They wouldn’t let me go,” she continued. “I tried to push my way through, but [two accomplices] grabbed my arms. . . . They grabbed me tightly. I started to pull away, asked them what they were doing. They took me into the bedroom and put me on the bed. I was fighting them, screaming, yelling, trying to get away. . . . They kept saying: ‘You’re a mindless robot. You’re going to stay with us.’ ”89 Unable to escape, Dain yielded and claims she was subjected to relentless ridicule from Patrick, whose first “deprogramming” session lasted twelve hours. “He told me I had to stay with him that day and listen to what he and his associates had to say; then if I  wanted to go back to the church I could leave.” She agreed but it soon became clear that she was trapped: “I said, ‘Show me what you want, so I can leave. He laughed and said: ‘I have four months of materials with me, and more somewhere else.’ I asked: ‘Are you going to make me stay four months?’ and he said, ‘It may not take that

791

From LRH to COB and Beyond

179

long, but yes.’ . . . Patrick said I had been brainwashed. He told me I went to work and was locked in a closet, never fed, that I worked long hours and wasn’t paid. If I looked him in the eye, he accused me of trying to hypnotize him. When I looked away, he accused me of meditating.”90 Dain testified that she was allowed to leave only after she feigned renunciation and signed a form from her father that cleared all involved from wrongdoing.91 In the end, remarkably, Patrick and the others were acquitted of kidnapping charges and the jury deadlocked on a set of other charges, resulting in a mistrial. A civil suit was later filed but the jury awarded Dain a mere $7,000 (Patrick’s deprogramming fee). In 1987, an additional $184,900 was assessed and contributed to Patrick’s bankruptcy.92 Though acquitted of the Dain kidnapping, Patrick was not so lucky in the face of other legal challenges and he spent several periods in prison, the longest stretch lasting for a year in 1980. CAN declared bankruptcy in 1996 in the wake of a case that involved another deprogrammer from the period, Rick Ross. In a stunning move, when CAN attempted to reorganize itself, attorneys for the Church of Scientology purchased its name, 1-800 phone number, copyrights, trademarks, and library in Chicago.93 The New Cult Awareness Network, as it was called, opened in 1997 with support from Scientologists in Los Angeles, although it appears to now be nonoperational. The dismantling and reappropriation of CAN represented an institutional low point for the anti-cult movement from which it has not recovered in the United States.94 Returning to the uses of “cult” and “brainwashing” today, Scientologists insist that allegiance to Hubbard’s technologies is not the result of submission, coercion, manipulation, or blind obedience. One interviewee in Las Vegas, for instance, was adamant that “Scientology is the opposite of brainwashing” and described auditing as a process to remove encumbrances that inhibit free, rational, and critical thinking. “So if some individual has gotten himself into trouble by coming into Scientology and saying, ‘ja vol, mein kommandant,’ repeatedly over and over and over again and doing those things,” he explained, “well then he’s misunderstood Scientology as far as I’m concerned.” As an interviewee in Pasadena put it, “We consider ourselves really the only people who truly aren’t brainwashed. . . . Our brains are cleaner than anyone else’s.” While the Church of Scientology and other new religious traditions, at least in the United States, have moved beyond the reprehensible days of deprogramming,95 prejudice against Scientology and Scientologists remains. This is due in large part to the manner in which Scientology has been sensationalized in the media. But before broaching that subject, it is useful to gain a deeper sense of the stigma still attached to Scientology in the

801

180

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

twenty-first century. These American perspectives offer insight into the continued usage of concepts such as “cult” and “brainwashing” in contemporary culture: • “There seems to be a perception that we are somehow weird or strange, and we’re not. We just have a slightly different belief. So do seven billion other people. . . . You’ll find very smart people in Scientology. We’re not gullible. . . . We’re definitely not brainwashed or taken advantage of.” • “If you read any of the online conspiracy theory stuff about how brainwashing is done, you withhold sleep. You withhold food. You basically put the body in a very susceptible condition to thoughts and other kind of influences. . . . You can’t get auditing if you’re not well fed and well rested.” • “It’s funny since a cult is associated with brainwashing, and the whole idea of Scientology is to get people thinking for themselves! We’re actually trying to ‘unbrainwash’ people.” • “In fact, I’ve been in some situations where people are like, ‘Wow, you’re a Scientologist? What is that?’ And they just want to know. Then there’s some people who are like, ‘Oh really? Do you believe in aliens?’ Or stupid questions. It pisses me off in one way because I feel the prejudice, and I’ve felt the prejudice ever since I was little, even when I went to school. I always felt different.” • “Well, the cult thing usually is what people say. That’s the most general thing.  .  .  . I  would say it’s kind of like calling black people niggers. You wouldn’t say that.” • “And if people would simply care to look up the word and define what is a cult, and then take a look at the huge amount of advertisements we’re doing to inform people about Scientology or what they can do to help themselves. Come in and look. Our open doors, our open houses, our panels, information centers—all these kind of things, all our community work.” • “So we’re talking, talking [with non-Scientologists]. . . . ‘Oh, I’m a minister for the Church of Scientology.’ It was like pause, taken aback.  .  .  . And they’re like ‘hmm.’ Literally, a lady moved her chair away.” • “I had someone rip the Scientology symbol off my car and then glue it back on upside down. . . . We had someone break the window of my son’s car because the kids at the high school knew that he was a Scientologist.” These statements are striking, especially the bold instances of vandalism. The inference that the popular use of “cult” is tantamount to hate speech—a religious slur—came from an African American Scientologist, who also reported prejudice on the basis of race. Fortunately, acts of violence against

8 11

From LRH to COB and Beyond

181

Scientologists appear to be rare, but cases have been reported in the news over the last few years. In December 2015, a woman in Austin, Texas, drove her car through the entrance of the local Scientology church, coming to a stop near a child care center (empty at the time) and causing thousands of dollars in damage but fortunately no injuries. When questioned by police, she explained that Scientology is “evil” and a “terrible organization disguised as a church” and that it was “too bad” no Scientologists were harmed in the incident.96 Earlier that same year, a man in Illinois phoned a church in Los Angeles and threatened to assassinate David Miscavige and “every single” Scientologist. “Tell [Miscavige] that we have a bullet for his forehead. OK? Thank you,” the man reportedly said in one of eight phone calls.97 In both instances, the perpetrators were motivated in part by anti-Scientology documentaries and sources, demonstrating the real-world ramifications of stigma and sensationalism. The Scientologists in my sample were keenly aware of these challenges, but many also pointed out that the church has fared reasonably well compared to other traditions in their formative stages. On the whole, they were optimistic that public relations would improve over time due to the power of Dianetics and Scientology. One interviewee, a Scientologist for nearly fifty years, put it this way: “No one’s been fed to lions. There’s been no Holocaust with Scientologists being put in ovens and burned. No one’s blowing anybody up. We’re not fighting any Crusades anywhere with anything. . . . So there’s plenty of hate stuff going on . . . [but] because of the way that LRH wrote the scriptures, it’s pretty light compared to the other religions and that’s because of the substance of the church itself and the philosophy of Scientology.”

The Art of Public Relations War: Scientologists and the Media Scientology has rarely received favorable treatment in the media. Journalistic coverage in the past tended to relate to Hubbard personally, especially when he was still alive, and much of the focus in the post-Hubbard church has been on Miscavige, though other recurring themes include celebrities, confidential scriptures, money, brainwashing, apostates, and “cultic” practices. In fact, when asked about Scientology’s treatment in the media, nearly all Scientologists in the sample characterized it in negative terms, and most expressed suspicion, if not outright derision, of journalism and journalists. Here is a sample of the range of responses:

821

182

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

• “The media has lost its reputation because of its inability to actually do objective investigative reporting. . . . It’s basically a paid advertisement under the guise of investigative reporting.” • “News reporting has degenerated, if it ever was anything else, into feeding back to people what the media thinks the people want to hear. So you collect fixed ideas and sound bites and that’s what you feed back to them.” • “The media’s fucking bullshit! Just total absurd lies. Totally focusing on disaffected people. There’s no intention to gain any understanding of what Scientology is.” • “Journalists know the church can’t feasibly go after any but the most flagrant lies, so they feel safe in manufacturing scandal through vicious distortions and outright falsehoods.” • “There’s what John Kennedy used to say: ‘where there’s smoke, there’s usually a smoke-making machine.’ ” • “Out of the years I’ve been in Scientology, since 1967 . . . I have read maybe 4 or 5 articles/columns that I thought were fair. . . . But most of them treat it as if it were an enemy to be crushed. . . . [T]hey forget everything they learned in the ethics and journalism classes.” • “It was not easy to be a Scientologist in a family that believed everything they saw on TV.” • “To be honest, I don’t even go online and look at entheta stuff. I don’t because it’s lies really. . . . They are twisted truths.” • “I call it the Bathroom Walls of the Internet.” • “Get informed. Don’t Google Scientology unless it’s Scientology.org. The Internet can be a very deceiving thing.” • “Well, first of all I don’t watch a lot of media. . . . That’s part of OSA’s job is to handle those things. . . . If we all listened and got that entheta and had to worry about it, they would succeed in distracting us from clearing the planet.” • “Some media is better than no media, whether it’s good, bad or indifferent. I mean, personally I think that it could be improved upon by the church itself. . . . The reason that it’s been so poor is because it’s been so hard to get a hold of high-ranking Sea Org members for interviews . . . because there’s no real public head.” • “I’d say [coverage of Scientology is] positive at this point. It wasn’t always like that. Years ago, like in the ’70s, at that time, there was no such thing as a positive article on Scientology. If you look at anything from the ’70s, it’s like 99.9% entheta.”

813

From LRH to COB and Beyond

183

• “I think it is getting better. Just like I will stop reading a bad book or walk out of a bad movie, I will stop reading articles that I know to be false. So I really do not get a chance to see a lot of the ‘bad press’ if it is out there.” • “I think the main problem is that they never publish anything positive about the church . . . especially about the Fourth Dynamic campaigns, the campaigns that help many different groups and so on. They never publish a positive word. It’s like a silence plot.” One of the unifying themes from the interviews was that most Scientologists simply avoid—indeed, self-censor—negative information about Scientology in print, online, television, or radio sources. This mindset has some basis in Scientology’s theology of evil, in particular Hubbard’s teachings about antisocial personalities or “suppressive persons” (SPs), who are believed to be detrimental to one’s physical and spiritual well-being. Sources of information that are critical of Scientology are also to be avoided, as they represent “entheta”— a term used by several interviewees that is a shortened version of the phrase “enturbulated theta”—and are very often the product of SPs who wish to mislead others about the “true” nature of Scientology’s technology. In this way, SPs are “Merchants of Chaos,” which was Hubbard’s label, incidentally, for journalists as well.98 The interplay between Hubbard’s theologizing of the dangerous suppressive Other and persistent negative coverage of Scientology in the media may imply that the church will continue to marginalize itself and Scientologists from greater participation with the broader society. As one parishioner in Clearwater worried, some members of the church already suffer from a “bunker mentality” due to bad publicity and cultural prejudice. In recent years, negative press has increased in ways that may contribute to this self-fulfilling prophecy. The spike is due to a variety of factors, including the influence of antagonistic ex–Sea Org members (many of whom have published exposés), the role of social media and video-sharing websites, the 2008 protests against the church instigated by the “hacktivist” group Anonymous, and the proliferation of anti-Scientology documentaries and television programs.99 In contrast to faith-based and institutional expressions of the counter-cult/anti-cult movement from previous decades, much of the more recent and unfavorable attention operates within a secular anti-cult worldview that is far more grassroots and diffuse in orientation. Anonymous’s use of the Internet to mobilize supporters is probably the best illustration of this shift, though its preoccupation with Scientology has largely dissipated.100 Over the last decade, most of the anti-Scientology material found online can be traced to the efforts of a handful of bloggers and self-published videographers

841

184

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

on YouTube. In fact, in an ironic but not entirely unexpected twist, online anti-Scientology communities have established their own structures, cultures, and insider/outsider boundaries, leading to accusations that they represent a form of anti-cult “cult”—the “Anti-Scientology Cult” or “Anti-Scientology Community” (ASC).101 Many participants in this online subculture are former church members, but some are curious outsiders (“never-ins”) and others are “independent” or “Free Zone” Scientologists who practice Hubbard’s methods outside the church and without its approval. The decades-long “war” with the IRS pitted one institution against another. In the face of adversaries such as bloggers and YouTubers, however, the Church of Scientology is positioned as a Goliath against would-be Davids who no longer feel threatened by legal or extra-legal means of retaliation. This new ideological “war” may spur an entirely new brand of public relations counteroffensive, in which the church becomes less concerned with countering Hydralike enemies than in proselytizing and focusing on positive contributions and campaigns to increase its membership base on its own terms. From a Scientologist’s point of view, this strategy might even have soteriological ramifications. Hubbard’s view on suppressive persons, including “Merchants of Chaos” in the media, is related to a key and often overlooked concept in Scientology:  the relationship between good and evil, or theta and entheta. Hubbard originally described these forces in the 1951 book Science of Survival and in more detail in later years.102 One corollary of this theology is that it is possible to amplify or transmit theta (or for that matter entheta) according to one’s tone level, attitude, and behavior. This notion even shows up in the grammar of some American Scientologists, with phrases such as “that person is so theta” and “that website is just entheta designed to enturbulate others.” One solution to the stalemate of self-censorship, then, and to the unwillingness to dialogue with SPs, might be the proliferation of pro-Scientology websites that work to spiritually infuse the Internet with theta. If enough Scientologists were involved, the idea goes, then theoretically this would help tip the so-called theta/entheta ratios of the Internet, media, and society in favor of theta and help turn the tide in the church’s battles against “black propaganda.”103 This mentality already exists among some Scientologists, including those who support the church’s goal to put ten thousand solo auditors on and through OT VII, on the assumption that doing so will likewise tip the world’s theta/entheta ratios in the direction of “Planetary Clearing.”104 Intriguing examples have emerged in the church over the last few years to suggest that isolationism and sectarianism are not inevitable responses to bad press. Indeed, it seems to me that socially engaged Scientologists, especially those working through church-sponsored community platforms, are

815

From LRH to COB and Beyond

185

growing in numbers and sophistication as they learn to promote their own narratives about Dianetics and Scientology. The church has promoted its own efforts for many years, most notably with the publication of Freedom magazine since 1969. It also maintains official Facebook and Twitter pages, with over 670,000 and 103,000 followers, respectively, as of June 2018. A  more recent and far more collaborative endeavor is the Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination (STAND) League, which sponsors a blogging community and active Twitter page (over 124,000 followers as of June 2018). Parishioners post blog articles that describe their own success with Scientology and counter misperceptions and stereotypes about the church.105 Public relations officials are also increasingly savvy in their use of social media. One example is Eric Roux, a Scientology minister and official spokesperson from Paris, who maintains a personal website (EricRoux.com) and Twitter account that chronicles his interfaith activities, religious freedom activism, and scholarly writings.106 Another project is ScientologyParent.com, a US-based site created by parishioner Tad Reeves that features articles about the myriad uses of Dianetics and Scientology in parenting. This includes the well-known technique of minimizing noise, especially speech, during birth and other traumatic experiences, as outlined in Dianetics (1950).107 In addition to many other topics, the website promotes the benefits of a barley-based formula Hubbard created for infants.108 ScientologyParent.com invites parents to submit stories in the form of guest posts and links to the church’s official website, including free courses on “Having a Happy Baby,” “Successfully Raising Children,” and “Successfully Parenting Teens and Tweens.” More recently, the site has expanded its content to include success stories about Scientology in general and discussion of sensitive topics such as disconnection and brainwashing.109

Scientology Media Productions and the Scientology Network In 2011, the Church of Scientology International purchased a television station in Los Angeles (the former site of KCET, a local public station) and rebranded it Scientology Media Productions (SMP). The facility held a grand opening in May 2016 and began its international broadcast of the Scientology Network (Scientology TV) in March 2018.110 The goal is to offer programming on behalf of the church and community, both in and outside the United States. As Miscavige noted in a speech at SMP’s opening: “We also open our doors to humanitarian organizations, charities and religions of every denomination.

861

186

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

Our facilities will be open for all manner of community events, telethons, religious programming of all faiths, you name it.”111 He also acknowledged the power of SMP to serve as a vehicle for the church to present its history, theology, and practices directly to the public: “Because as the saying goes, if you don’t write your own story, someone else will. So, yes, we’re now going to be writing our story like no other religion in history.” However, it remains to be seen exactly what role this facility and Scientology TV will play in the dissemination and legitimation of Scientology in the digital age. In the end, despite impressive public relations efforts, Scientologists appear most eager to influence society through other means, such as humanitarian work and movement up the Bridge.112

“Build a Better Bridge!”: Technology, Organizations, and Knowledge (1996–Present) Hubbard is the exclusive “Source” of truth in Scientology, but he trusted church management to safeguard and propagate his technologies. This responsibility includes the release of new material, such as OT levels, but also, and paradoxically, includes efforts to perfect the delivery of Dianetics and Scientology according to Hubbard’s intentions. In his role over RTC, Miscavige has upheld the mandate to Keep Scientology Working and has heeded the founder’s call to “build a better bridge!”113 as evidenced by the debut of materials, techniques, E-Meters, and auditing levels that were unreleased during the founder’s lifetime. In a 1973 piece, Hubbard wrote: “There is undoubtedly a considerable amount of neating up that I could do” with respect to his work, presumably a reference to books, policy letters, and lectures.114 The implication is that the church itself is tasked with purifying the body and application of the technology, institutionally through RTC and individually as a matter of self-policing through KSW. This does not mean, however, that Scientologists think of themselves as creating Dianetics or Scientology; rather, they are ensuring that it is perpetuated according to the founder’s wishes—uncorrupted by others and overseen by church management.

Golden Ages of Knowledge and Technology Toward this end, Miscavige has spearheaded several projects to improve the quality and speed of auditing and training. To herald a new age for the church, and in apparent homage to Hubbard’s early science fiction career, most of these developments fall under one of two headings: the “Golden Age of Technology”

817

From LRH to COB and Beyond

187

and the “Golden Age of Knowledge.” In 1996, the “Golden Age of Tech” referred to an effort to further standardize the training of auditors. This included two mechanical releases: the Mark Super VII Quantum E-Meter—the first released in ten years—and a Drills Simulator Machine. When hooked to the E-Meter, students can simulate dozens of reads and meter manifestations, something I  witnessed first-hand in a packed course room in Clearwater, where dozens of trainees prepared for real-life auditing sessions.115 The 1996  “Golden Age of Tech” was also significant because it meant that pre-existing auditors were required to retrain to obtain new and valid certificates. Eleven Scientologists in my sample reported training as auditors “pre-Golden Age of Tech” (i.e., pre-1996). “Prior to the Golden Age of Tech,” explained a Sea Org member in Clearwater, “auditing was as standard as it could be but there was no real standard, no yardstick, and it introduced what LRH calls ‘arbitraries.’ As COB said, it was the blind leading the blind. So what this event did was put every auditor on the same training page, removed any possible doubt. You have to get it 100% perfect—and the product is a certain auditor who has no attention on one’s training and all attention on one’s pc. It’s night and day.”116 In effect, the “Golden Age of Tech” streamlined the training of auditors in a uniform and assembly-line fashion. In several references, Hubbard himself used the rhetoric of mass production—“Clears coming off the line,” for instance117—which reflected his use of statistics to measure productivity.118 In 2005, also under Miscavige’s direction, the scriptures of Scientology were restored and systematized for chronological study in a series of releases known as the “Golden Age of Knowledge.” Prior to this date, Hubbard’s canon, especially hundreds of his lectures, were either unpublished or available only in fragmentary forms. The first to be digitally compiled and announced, in 2005, were Hubbard’s “Congress Lectures,” introductory addresses delivered between 1952 and 1965 that outlined major developments from those years. In 2007, Hubbard’s “Basics”—sixteen books extending from Dianetics:  The Original Thesis (1948) to The Way to Happiness (1981)—were republished along with dozens of lectures delivered near their publication dates. Miscavige explained to church members that some of the books had grammatical and stylistic errors due to mishandling by transcriptionists and editors. Despite Hubbard’s prolific career as an author, the only book he typed was Dianetics (1950); all others were dictated into a voice recorder and transcribed by others. When the original dictations and manuscripts were compared against the first and early editions of the books, a number of discrepancies were uncovered and corrected. The texts were then republished to reflect Hubbard’s original and ultimate intentions for them.119

881

188

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

This was monumental news because it implied that previous “tech” had been lost and corrupted. Among Scientologists, the “Golden Age of Knowledge” supported the narrative that RTC works to preserve Standard Tech and Keep Scientology Working; after all, the first point of KSW is “having the correct technology.”120 It also meant that the pre-2007 scriptures were difficult, if not impossible, to properly study, because the errors would have introduced misunderstood words (MUs or Mis-Us) and blocked full comprehension.121 But Miscavige went one step further and told Scientologists in 2007 that the new books—the pure LRH scriptures—undergirded the Bridge to Total Freedom itself: “For what we release tonight is not something affecting only the ‘lower end’ of the Bridge, or merely the ‘upper end’—but the very pillar upon which, literally, rests the entire Bridge itself.”122 By the end of 2010, five hundred more lectures were published from the “Advanced Clinical Courses” (ACCs) that Hubbard delivered to smaller student audiences in the 1950s. Altogether, the “Congress Lectures,” “Basics Books and Lectures,” and ACCs present an impressive chronology of much, though certainly not all, of Hubbard’s work.123 Within the church, the “Golden Age of Knowledge” was a development that made possible a “full conceptual understanding” of Hubbard’s restored scriptures.124 I  was surprised to discover, however, that the release of these materials had latent proselytizing value. One Sea Org member in Los Angeles told me that she worked in a call center for a portion of her day, with dozens of others, and attempted to “recover” inactive Scientologists by encouraging them to study the newly released books and lectures. She and others also worked to send complimentary DVDs about the 2005, 2007, and 2010 developments.125 “That project of restoring the Basics,” she explained, “was huge in Scientology. That changed Scientology forever. . . . When those Basics became available, it became the task of the Sea Org to make sure that everybody knew about it.” “As a Scientologist, I would say that the expansion that we experience in the Church of Scientology today is because of the Basics,” this Sea Org member continued, “because that’s actually how we as Scientologists became educated about Scientology.” “A lot of those people that we have now going back in Scientology,” she went on, “have joined staff. They are very active in our social betterment programs. They’re very active in the building of our ideal orgs. A lot of those people that are actually joining staff are those people that we by our own hands in this building got back into Scientology.” When I asked why these individuals left or became inactive in the first place, I was offered a simple but straightforward response based on Hubbard’s Study Tech:  they had misunderstood words. “The common denominator,” she elaborated, “of why a person would stop studying Scientology is because

891

From LRH to COB and Beyond

189

he does not understand it. And he of course runs into misunderstood words. Misunderstood words can lead to upsets and other things.” In this Sea Org member’s mind, the method of “recovery” did not involve asking the disaffiliated member why he or she stopped receiving auditing or participating in church life more generally, even though these seem relevant in light of Hubbard’s theology of overts and withholds (O/Ws). Instead, she directed the individual to the founder’s restored books and lectures, whose self-evident truth should help bring him or her back into the fold, or at least resolve some prior misunderstandings. “The handling for upsets is just the Basics. There’s nothing I’m going to do to handle on the phone. I’m just going to make sure they study the Basics.” The approach is similar to the way in which a doubting Christian may be instructed to prayerfully and dutifully read the Bible. In Scientology, though, the intervening force is not an external deity but the correct and full perception of Hubbard’s words. It is also possible that the newly released books and lectures had the psychological effect, intended or not, of validating and even apologizing to former and lapsed members. Their disaffiliation became more explainable, and thus possibly excusable, in light of the linguistic forces outside their knowledge and control.

The “Wake-Up Call” and Ideal Organizations One of the first Scientology events I  attended was the 2011 anniversary of the founding of the IAS, held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The auditorium swarmed with activity beforehand, with an estimated four thousand Scientologists in attendance. In the company of Sea Org members from the Office of Special Affairs, I watched a video that had been recorded a few days earlier at the Saint Hill organization in East Grinstead. Miscavige, as the master of ceremonies, referred several times to something called the “WakeUp Call.” “What’s the Wake-Up Call?” I asked the PR official sitting next to me. Even before I finished my sentence, she seemed ready to respond, perhaps noticing a look of confusion made all the more obvious by training in Study Tech or the Tone Scale. “That was a document written by Mr. Miscavige after 9/11,” she explained, “that called on all of us to really step up our game as Scientologists to get Scientology out in the public and kick-start church growth to calm down some of the problems we’re facing around the world.” In fact, Miscavige’s bulletin for Scientologists, fully entitled “Wake-Up Call: The Urge of Planetary Clearing,” was published on September 11, 2001, immediately after the 9/11 attacks. Its openings lines read: “It is time to get busy. Very busy. Every Scientologist. Everywhere.”

901

190

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

Miscavige wrote that the terrorist attacks were the result of a small group of SPs and took the opportunity to emphasize the urgency of disseminating Dianetics and Scientology in terms reminiscent of KSW. Hubbard’s technologies, he insisted, are necessary to save humanity and prevent future attacks that stem from the reactive mind, the inefficacy of psychology and psychiatry, and a modern materialistic culture that denies the existence of the spirit: If nothing else, [the 9/11 attack] also demonstrates why our mission is so vital and why speed in accomplishing our aims is of paramount importance. Bluntly, we are the only people of Earth who can reverse the decline, and we do not have an endless amount of time to pull it off. . . . No matter what forceful retaliation is exacted against the culprits, it will not make a world at peace or without war. Countless wars have proven that. As long as men have reactive minds, rationality across the dynamics is not possible. Every one of these attacks, and endless world conflicts can be traced to a lack of real technology of the mind and reliance on false mental therapies of psychiatry and psychology. . . . At times, they are hidden by the social veneer of materialism. . . . Across the nation and world, people are saying we must turn this tragedy to good and emerge stronger and better than before. But not one of them can say how. You can. You can do something about it. As Scientologists armed with the technology, you have the power. So this is a wake-up call for every Scientologist.126 Scientologists, Miscavige urged, can help by moving up the Bridge and supporting the “crusade so we do pull off a big win.” In the days and weeks after 9/11, Scientology Volunteer Ministers (VMs) donated thousands of hours at “Ground Zero” in New  York, where they assisted first responders, provided auditing known as assists,127 and set up drug detoxification centers for firefighters and volunteers.128 In the “Wake-Up Call,” Miscavige also called for the expansion of Scientology churches as the long-term solution to societal decay. “Today we do have many large organizations,” he noted. “But ALL of them must expand and be large. No org can ‘wait to do better’ before they get big. The way to do better is to get big.”129 Since 2001, the church has opened dozens of new and renovated “Ideal Organizations” in metropolitan areas. This project, inspired by a Hubbard reference with the same name, seeks to design churches with standardized areas for the full and efficient delivery of training and auditing. The process also requires fundraising for the building and the recruitment of staff to properly service the org, including its course rooms, auditing rooms, bookstore,

9 11

From LRH to COB and Beyond

191

executive areas, and purification center, among other areas. “The ideal org is the image one builds toward,” Hubbard wrote. “It is the product of the causative actions of many. Anything which is short of an ideal org is an outpoint that can be put right. The end product is not just an ideal org but a new civilization already on its way.”130 This new period of expansion attests to the church’s influence within and beyond its American origin points. Miscavige’s leadership is arguably modeled after the founder’s own example, given that Hubbard established sizable facilities at Saint Hill and Flag that were built up over time. The first “Ideal Org” opened in Tampa (2003), followed by dozens more across the United States and abroad (see Figure 5.2).131 The IAS occasionally offers financial assistance, but most of the construction and renovation costs fall on parishioners. For many who have donated to this cause, there is a sense of pride in helping create a professional and well-maintained church setting. I came across several Scientologists who preferred that non-member friends and family members tour an Ideal Org since it provides a more impressive and “on Source” image of the Church of Scientology. As someone in Los Angeles told me: “All the orgs need to be ideal. . . . I wouldn’t feel totally great sending my family in Philadelphia to the Philadelphia org and saying, ‘This is Scientology.’ Not with the various ideas they may have from the media

Figure  5.2 Grand opening of the Church of Scientology of Milan, Italy, October 2015. Andrea Delbo/Shutterstock.com

921

192

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

and whatever. It’s not a perfect representation.” The church plans to convert all Class V churches into Ideal Orgs as part of Miscavige’s strategy, which may also help pave the way for the release of new OT levels.132

The Flag Building and Golden Age of Tech Phase II In late 2013, the church announced a “Golden Age of Tech Phase II.”133 Ten thousand Scientologists from around the world gathered at the Flag Land Base to hear Miscavige speak about new developments in the delivery of services. The most impressive and eagerly awaited event was the grand opening of the 377,000-square-foot Flag Building in Clearwater, sometimes referred to as the “Super Power Building,” which had been under construction since 1998. Miscavige also unveiled a new E-Meter model (Mark Ultra VIII), confidential “Flag-only” auditing levels to be delivered in the new building,134 and an updated Bridge to Total Freedom chart to improve the delivery of auditing and the training of auditors.135 The “Golden Age of Tech Phase II” provided Scientologists with a revised and systematic praxis that was intended to be free of alteration from others. Much of this streamlining and improvement, Miscavige said, was made possible by the discovery of authentic but previously unattributed Hubbard scriptures.136 According to the church, the “Golden Age of Tech Phase II” represents the fulfillment of Hubbard’s ultimate intentions for the religion, brought to fruition by his steward Miscavige. “It was the most monumental weekend in our history,” a church publication stated. “The largest gathering of Scientologists ever assembled.  .  .  . Such was the arrival of the Golden Age of Tech Phase II: the Processing side of the Bridge, the Training side of the Bridge—100% Standard Tech Guaranteed—Done!”137 Scientologists themselves were equally exuberant. “We finally have LRH’s Bridge!” exclaimed one. “The most amazing thing about tonight’s event,” said another, “was the fact that we can move people so fast and efficiently up the Bridge . . . [ f ]or our Ideal Org, and for the future of Scientology.”138 As with the “Golden Age of Tech” release in 1996, Scientologists are required to retrain with the new materials as they move up both sides of the Bridge. However, parishioners appeared grateful to Miscavige for the opportunity because they took it to be part of Hubbard’s own vision. “Chairman of the Board RTC has truly honored and brought to life all of the tools and technology of the greatest friend Man has ever known,” said one Scientologist. “L. Ron Hubbard’s dream has come to fruition and the world will never be the same again.”139 Despite grand statements and exuberant testimonials, the 1996 and 2013 releases may implicitly question Hubbard’s own role in the church,

913

From LRH to COB and Beyond

193

particularly the view that he intentionally “dropped the body” in 1986 after finishing up his spiritual research. If Hubbard’s death was occasioned by the completeness of his technologies, then what necessitated these “Golden Age of Tech” refinements for the contemporary church? Did Hubbard not truly and fully perfect Dianetics and Scientology? The paradoxical answer again seems to be that Hubbard entrusted the church to deliver and disseminate his tech—even release new auditing levels—so long as these efforts remain faithful to the wishes of the founder. This rationalization seems to operate on a dialectic of legitimation in which Hubbard placed his confidence in RTC, Miscavige heads RTC, Scientologists trust COB, and Scientologists experience the benefits of Dianetics and Scientology, which validates COB’s success in staying “on Source” and Keeping Scientology Working.

“How We Help”: Social Betterment and Humanitarian Programs In addition to progress up the Bridge, Scientologists are often heavily involved in one or more church-sponsored volunteer organizations. These programs have not received very much attention in the secondary literature,140 which is unfortunate because many of the Scientologists I interviewed were quite passionate about them and reported donating both time and money to support their operations. This included financial support in the form of donations to the IAS, which sponsors the campaigns. Several interviewees reported serving as volunteers in capacities that ranged from giving guest lectures at schools about the harmful effects of drugs and handing out human rights booklets to responding to natural disasters and protesting annual meetings of the American Psychiatric Association. In 2006, the church made a finer distinction between its humanitarian programs and social betterment campaigns and coalesced them under the purview of the IAS. Both contribute to the aims of Scientology—“A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where Man is free to rise to greater heights”141—but the former are designed to be more secular in application. The humanitarian efforts include the anti-drug program The Truth About Drugs, a campaign to promote the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights called United for Human Rights,142 the Volunteer Ministers (VMs) who respond to emergencies and natural disasters, distribution of Hubbard’s “common sense moral code” The Way to Happiness, and an antipsychiatry advocacy group called the Citizens Commission on Human Rights

941

194

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

(CCHR). The social betterment campaigns include the Criminon organization to rehabilitate prisoners with The Way to Happiness and other materials; Narconon, a drug detoxification program offered in centers around the world; and Applied Scholastics centers and programs that use Hubbard’s Study Tech. Because these humanitarian and social betterment causes are international in scope, they are often referred to as “Fourth Dynamic Programs,” “Fourth Dynamic Salvage Campaigns,” or simply “4D Campaigns.”143 Scientologists’ enthusiasm for “4D Campaigns” was not expressed in the language of proselytization, however, a testament to the church’s aim to engage society in a secularized fashion. But it was obvious in the interviews that these programs are viewed as a means to advance Hubbard’s technology and, at least indirectly, are associated with Scientology’s overarching soteriological objectives, even if the immediate goal is to offer nonsectarian aid: • “When you say the words ‘the Church of Scientology,’ these are only words. They can mean something for me and they can mean something else for somebody else. The point is not so much the Church of Scientology— quote, unquote. It’s really are we helping others? Really, that’s the only thing that matters. Are we helping others?” • “If we have a bunker mentality as a religion, we’re not looking out, we’re looking in, and we’re not creating that space out in the community that allows people to have a proper perspective and understanding of Scientology. So I’m a huge advocate for our membership to be out in the community, engage with the community. . . . Not for the purpose of some momentary public relations product but for the purpose of actually improving the community.” • “ ‘Obligation’ is a word that can be misunderstood. Do I feel obligated because the church says I’m ‘supposed to’? No. Do I feel obligated because as a Scientologist it is my personal obligation to take responsibility for bettering conditions wherever I find that possible? Yes.” • “The betterment programs are amazing and I  think that we as a church have done a good job of getting out there. I think that as a Scientologist and a member of the church, I can probably even do a better job of getting it out there. But the programs are amazing. You don’t have to be a Scientologist.” • “To me ‘Clearing the Planet’ means tipping that entheta/theta ratio so that there’s actually more theta. And that’s why we have like these Way to Happiness programs, the anti-drug programs because we have to put that stuff out there to calm this area and prevent all this crap that’s been happening.”

915

From LRH to COB and Beyond

195

• “So if I had to address one misperception of Scientology, it would be that we mean it, that we’re serious about what we’re doing and this is why we’re doing what we’re doing. The rest, who cares? Believe what you want. You’ll know when you die anyway so flip a coin. Believe what you like. It doesn’t matter. It’s what you do here and now that defines you anyway.” • “I’m really, really proud to be part of this church and proud of this movement because I’m just constantly surrounded by like amazing people. And people that are constantly working so hard to change the world and are doing it and are helping people every day.” • “And I’m not saying Scientology is the answer for everybody under the sun, moon, and stars. But we have so much to contribute to the lessening of travail in this world. We’re not trying to make everybody Scientologists. We’re just trying to actually help change conditions. It’s not an easy religion to be a part of. But it’s sure fun.” I would like to conclude with a closer look at the work associated with two of these programs: CCHR and The Way to Happiness. While secular in outreach, these campaigns are noteworthy because they target two diametrically opposed audiences in ways that appear to find basis in Hubbard’s theology. CCHR, on the one hand, exists to root out abuse in the fields of psychiatry and psychology. In other words, its efforts are directed at a cause of evil or suppression which, as Hubbard wrote, traces to a mere 2.5% of the world’s population. The Way to Happiness, on the other hand, contains a list of twentyone common-sense precepts that are intended to boost one’s survival potential and happiness. Its audience, therefore, is the vast majority of the world: the remaining 97.5% of the population and, in particular, the 20% or so who are “potential trouble sources” (PTS) due to their proximity to SPs. I have not discovered this interpretation of CCHR and The Way to Happiness in any of the church’s literature, but it seems to me that these campaigns uniquely support Scientology’s secular and religious objectives—though it may be possible to view all of the Fourth Dynamic Campaigns as part of a multipronged social and soteriological strategy.

CCHR and Scientology’s Anti-Psychiatric Theology In 1969, the Church of Scientology supported the creation of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, today headquartered in Los Angeles.144 According to its official website, CCHR

9 61

196

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

functions solely as a mental health watchdog, working alongside many medical professionals including doctors, scientists, nurses and those few psychiatrists who have taken a stance against the biological/drug model of “disease” that is continually promoted by the psychiatric/ pharmaceutical industry as a way to sell drugs. It is a nonpolitical, nonreligious, nonprofit organization dedicated solely to eradicating mental health abuse and enacting patient and consumer protections.145 On a secular level, CCHR and its dozens of chapters around the world advance this anti-psychiatric agenda through numerous projects and publications.146 It pursues litigation against alleged psychiatric crimes (including sexual abuse), promotes the civil and human rights of mental health patients, advances legislation to curtail coercive treatments, distributes documentaries and booklets, suggests nonpharmaceutical alternatives for former patients of psychologists and psychiatrists, and challenges the neurochemical imbalance hypothesis of mental illness.147 CCHR’s assault on mainstream mental health is illustrated in the names of some of its documentaries: Making a Killing: The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging (2000); Psychiatry: An Industry of Death (2006); The Marketing of Madness: Are We All Insane? (2009); Dead Wrong: How Psychiatric Drugs Can Kill Your Child (2010); Psychiatry:  No Science, No Cures (2011); Psychiatry’s Prescription for Violence (2012); The Age of Fear: Psychiatry’s Reign of Terror (2012); and Psychiatry, Friend or Foe?: The Untold Story of Australian Psychiatry (2017). One of its most well-known public initiatives is the “Psychiatry: An Industry of Death” museum at the international headquarters in Hollywood, which is within walking distance of several Scientology organizations. CCHR sponsors traveling exhibits and sometimes organizes outside psychological and psychiatric conventions to inform the general public about their position and protest the gatherings.148 Beyond lobbying and raising public awareness, CCHR has successfully exposed large-scale psychiatric abuse and fraud.149 In one of the most publicized instances, the organization called for an investigation of Chelmsford Private Hospital in New South Wales, Australia, that led to the 1985 suicide of its director, psychiatrist Harry Bailey, and the closing of the facility in 1990 after a number of deaths and injuries were linked to its controversial practice of “Deep Sleep Therapy.”150 (Bailey’s suicide note read in part: “Let it be known that the Scientologists and the forces of madness have won.”)151 More recently, CCHR has campaigned against the prescription of psychotropic medications and contends that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is pseudoscientific.152

917

From LRH to COB and Beyond

197

However, these secular initiatives arguably serve a larger and quite grand theological purpose: the eventual eradication of the practice of psychology and psychiatry and their replacement with Hubbard’s technologies of the mind and spirit.153 This undergirding anti-psychiatric theology, as I call it, helps explain why Scientologists so vehemently and categorically oppose psychology and especially psychiatry.154 One of the more public examples came in 2005 with Tom Cruise’s critical response to fellow actor Brooke Shield’s decision to take antidepressants for the treatment of postpartum depression.155 This adversarial mindset is common among Scientologists and reflects the priorities of the church, as illustrated in the activities and promotion of the IAS.156 Every October, the IAS holds an anniversary event in East Grinstead, where Miscavige usually presents the audience with an overview of CCHR’s legal and public relations victories and highlights its role as a player in the war of attrition against psychiatry.157 At the same time, CCHR continues to enlist some support from the mainline mental health community. It also refers individuals to non-Scientologist medical doctors for holistic and nonpsychiatric treatment.158 On the whole, however, its operations, staff, and supporters presuppose that the practice of psychiatry is fundamentally evil and ought to be heavily curtailed, if not banned. Hubbard’s views on psychiatry and psychology evolved over the years, but one revealing source came in 1982. He wrote about the destructive influence of psychiatrists (“the psychs”) and alleged that they have used pain and sex to create an immoral and criminal society in both this and past lifetimes. “Under the false data of the psychs (who have been on the track a long time and are the sole cause of decline in this universe),” Hubbard explained, “both pain and sex are gaining ground in this society and, coupled with robbery which is a hooded companion of both, may very soon make the land a true jungle of crime.”159 In another revealing statement, also from 1982, Hubbard isolated psychiatric treatment as the root cause of crime. “There’s only one remedy for crime—get rid of the psychs! They’re causing it!” he exclaimed. “Oh yes, it’s true. Cases and cases of research on criminals. And what’s it all go back to? The psychs. . . . On crime we have an epidemic running on this planet. The wrong causes [that] psychs assign for crime plus their own ‘treatments’ make them a deadly virus.”160 According to Hubbard, psychiatrists “should be handled like any other criminals,” and at the close of the piece opined: “Why the government funds them I do not know. They are the last ones that should be let loose to handle children.”161 As the “sole cause of decline in this universe” and the most basic cause of criminality, Hubbard demonized mental health professionals, especially psychiatrists, as suppressive beings whose harmful craft extends into the

981

198

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

indefinite past, both on Earth and potentially in other sectors of the universe.162 Given that the modern fields of psychology and psychiatry date to the nineteenth century, the solution to the problem of past life “psychs” is resolved in the Scientological imagination through an understanding that the practices of what we today call “psychiatry” and “psychology” were expressed under different names in different places. The common denominator, said Hubbard, is a materialistic philosophy in which hypnotism, drugs, pain, and sex are employed to control and enslave populations into falsely believing that they are physical beings and not infinitely powerful and causative thetans.163 Scientologists echoed many of these themes in the interviews. They spoke about CCHR’s secular goals but were also candid about the evil, even conspiratorial, influence of psychiatry in society: • “The psychs are really just the hand, just a tool from the suppressives to try to control. Because he will use drugs to control and that’s the main thing. That’s why the drugs are being used.” • “Pay for this, they will drug you and electric shock you and tell you that you won’t smoke anymore. So they are implanting this in the reactive mind. This isn’t a new idea. Psychs have been doing this for trillions of years.” • “And that’s what CCHR’s brilliant with is exposing the lies and exposing the criminality of the industry itself. Both of them. I call them the psychiatric pharmaceutical cartels. . . . Because it’s a way of subduing a population. So between dumbing us down and drugging us up, rending Americans progressively less capable.” • “And CCHR gives me a point where people can come from every sector, including the psychiatric profession itself, and come in and say, ‘I want to clean this up too.’ And they can come together because it’s obviously a secular organization but it resonates with the public; they speak to government, they speak to professionals.” • “You say separation of church and state. How about separation of psych and state?” • “All you have to do is pick up a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and realize it’s all made up.” • “[Scientology] goes against the, I think, psych-influenced irresponsibility— live for yourself, live for the moment, destroy religions so there’s no concept of heaven or hell so there’s no consequence for what you do.” • “And even before I got involved in Scientology, I’ve always had some—call it suspicions, whatever—on the effectiveness of psychiatry and some of the things that are going on there in terms of drugging people and shocking

9 91

From LRH to COB and Beyond

199

and a lot of what I would consider brutal, whatever treatment. . . . They try to call it treatment.” • “When I was in the military none were taking psych drugs. Today 20% of active service are on psych drugs. These soldiers that go out and kill these people—I mean, it should just be listed as a side effect. Because it is. . . . People going out and slaughtering Muslims and shooting kids. You look at every one of these school shooters. It’s criminal.” • “I think some people get into psychology because they want to help people. But I don’t know them all. And that’s the way in our society that if you want to assist people with mental health, that’s what you do. I’m against drugging people and brain operations, shock, torturous things, mental hospitals.” • “That’s my baby [CCHR] because I feel that the world will be a better place if two things happen: one, if we get rid of psychs and psychiatrists and, two, let orgs do their job of presenting Dianetics and Scientology to the ones that want it and let them come get it. If those two things happen, this world will be a better place. That’s it.”

The Way to Happiness from Compton to Cartagena In 1981, Hubbard published The Way to Happiness:  A Common Sense Guide to Better Living. Considered “the first nonreligious moral code based wholly on common sense,” it lists twenty-one precepts to ensure survival and happiness.164 Many of these can be found in other religious traditions, while others are decidedly modern, democratic, and even pluralistic: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

Take Care of Yourself. Be Temperate. Don’t Be Promiscuous. Love and Help Children. Honor and Help Your Parents. Set a Good Example. Seek to Live with the Truth. Do Not Murder. Don’t Do Anything Illegal. Support a Government Designed and Run for All the People. Do Not Harm a Person of Good Will. Safeguard and Improve Your Environment. Do Not Steal. Be Worthy of Trust.

02

200

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

15. 16. 17. 18. 19.

Fulfill Your Obligations. Be Industrious. Be Competent. Respect the Religious Beliefs of Others. Try Not to Do Things to Others That You Would Not Like Them to Do to You. 20. Try to Treat Others as You Would Want Them to Treat You. 21. Flourish and Prosper. The Way to Happiness includes an opening section, “How to Use This Book,” that encourages the reader to pass it on to “someone whose actions, however remotely, may influence your own survival” and to also “give the person several additional copies of this book” so that they may be distributed in turn. “By continuing to do this you will greatly enhance your own survival potential and theirs.”165 “If one does not survive,” Hubbard wrote, “no joy and happiness are obtainable.”166 Each precept is the subject of its own chapter and real-life applications are provided. For example, the chapter for the first precept, “Take Care of Yourself,” advises one to seek out proper treatment when ill, maintain good hygiene, brush one’s teeth, eat well, and receive sufficient rest.167 Dianetics and Scientology are never mentioned in the work. However, one exception to the book’s secular and “nonreligious” presentation comes in its discussion of the otherwise quite laudable precept eighteen, “Respect the Religious Beliefs of Others.” Hubbard appears to denigrate atheists and agnostics and conflates nonbelief with materialism. “Even the ‘mechanist’ and ‘materialist’ of today sound much like the priests of old as they spread their dogma,” the section reads. “Men without faith are a pretty sorry lot. They can even be given something to have faith in. But when they have religious beliefs, respect them.”168 The epilogue to The Way to Happiness offers the reader a pragmatic view of the precepts in the face of adversity and personal lapses:  “Of course one will have occasional losses trying to apply this book and get it applied. One should just learn from these and carry on.”169 The text concludes by emphasizing the importance of sharing the precepts with others as a means to fully realize one’s own happiness: “If you can get others to follow the road, you yourself will be free enough to give yourself a chance to discover what real happiness is. The way to happiness is a high-speed road to those who know where the edges are. You’re the driver. Fare well.”170 The Way to Happiness was written for a mass audience, including nonScientologists. Hubbard described its humanitarian significance in a 1981 message to the church: “All you have to do is keep that booklet flowing in the

201

From LRH to COB and Beyond

201

society. Like gentle oil spreading upon the raging sea, the calm will flow outward and outward.”171 Over one hundred million copies have been distributed and it holds the Guinness World Record for “most translated author, same book” (seventy languages as of 2010).172 The text’s promotion and dissemination are coordinated by The Way to Happiness Foundation International, founded in 1984. In 2003, the foundation moved into a new headquarters in downtown Glendale, California, that is open for tours. It is common for Scientologists to pass out copies of The Way to Happiness within their own communities. Some parishioners work with the Glendale office to personalize the booklets and design custom covers for special events. In some cases, the book is distributed by non-Scientologists and other nonprofit organizations. One example is the United in Peace Foundation, an organization co-founded by Nation of Islam (NOI) minister Tony Muhammad and Baptist-Scientologist Alfreddie Johnson, both of whom were introduced in chapter 1. The foundation views itself as a “multi-ethnic, multi-faith popular movement”173 and since 2012 has sponsored “Peace Walks” and “Peace Rides” in areas affected by gang violence, such as Compton, Carson, Inglewood, Long Beach, Harlem, and East St. Louis (Illinois).174 The rides feature dozens and sometimes hundreds of pedestrians, as well as motorcycle and low-rider clubs, who travel through inner-city areas and distribute The Way to Happiness in high-crime neighborhoods. The work has been recognized by law enforcement officials and politicians across Southern California. In October 2014, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a certificate of recognition that correlated decreases in homicide rates with the efforts of the Peace Riders—“a historic drop in crime—the lowest number of homicides since 1966,” it read in part.175 As of 2018, Peace Rides continue to be held around the United States and receive organizational support from both the Nation of Islam and Church of Scientology, a collaboration that makes sense in light of the Dianetics training that many NOI members have completed over the last decade (see chapter 1). Another community partner is the anti-gang Southern California Cease Fire Committee. In July 2016, Tony Muhammad made use of the Church of Scientology Community Center in Inglewood—which also serves as a regular meeting place for the NOI—to host a peace summit and facilitate conflict resolution among warring gangs in Los Angeles. The meeting was promoted by rappers such as The Game, Will.i.am, and Problem and attended by Mayor Garcetti and Los Angeles Police Chief Charles Beck.176 It reportedly drew a crowd of about 2,500 from the Inglewood area. Perhaps the most widespread, secular, and surprising distribution of The Way to Happiness, however, has been in Colombia. Initially, the campaign was coordinated by the church’s motor vessel Freewinds, which sails the Caribbean

0 2

202

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

and often docks in Cartagena, as part of an effort to promote morality in a country plagued by crime, drugs, and human trafficking. In 2008, Freewinds public affairs director Guillermo Smythe developed a working relationship with local officials, including Colonel Ricardo Prado of the Colombian National Police. As Smythe reported, “[Prado] was trying to figure out how to stop the recruitment of children into the guerrillas, the FARC [the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia]” and saw The Way to Happiness as a possible tool to help reverse the trend and improve Colombian society. Prado found allies, such as comedian Andrés López—the “Seinfeld of Colombia”—and thousands of booklets were passed out at his shows.177 Before long, Colonel Prado put together a seminar to present the twentyone precepts to his police staff. He also orchestrated the distribution of fifty thousand copies of The Way to Happiness outside the presidential palace in Bogotá when it was apparently threatened by protestors in 2008. The partnership between Prado and Smythe grew and Colombian soldiers and police officers eventually came directly to the Freewinds to take courses and attend seminars. These collaborations led to the founding of two organizations, the Colombian Youth for Human Rights Foundation and the Colombian Foundation for a Drug-Free World, in addition to other educational programs. As a result, the church approximates that forty million Colombians have been exposed to The Way to Happiness and other campaigns, such as its human rights and anti-drug literature, in the form of public service announcements and seminars. In March 2014, a representative from the Colombian Ministry of Defense claimed that “we have seen an approximate 96% decrease in the number of complaints and allegations of human rights violations by the national army.”178 In recent years, Colombia has indeed reported declining homicide and overall crime rates,179 which the church attributes to the success of its Fourth Dynamic work—what it refers to as the “Colombia Miracle.”180 The humanitarian campaigns have led to ecclesiastical recognition as well. Colonel Prado received the IAS’s highest honor, the Freedom Medal, from David Miscavige in 2011. The influence of the church in the region has only increased in the decade since Prado and Smythe first met. In July 2015, the church welcomed its first Ideal Org of South America in Bogotá.181

Conclusion With this view of the final years of L. Ron Hubbard and the development of the post-Hubbard church in hand, a number of questions remain: What shape will the Church of Scientology, and Scientology as a subject, take as

0 23

From LRH to COB and Beyond

203

the new religion continues into the rest of the twenty-first century? What role might second- and third-generation members play? What mechanisms are in place for succession and future leadership? And what open areas exist for the next generation of academic researchers of Scientology? These and others matters are addressed in the final section, which offers concluding remarks.

0 42

Conclusion Reflections on the futuRe of scientology and its acadeMic study

the outset, the Church of Scientology seems increasingly open to dialogue and cooperation with researchers. This is probably not apparent to newcomers, given the inordinate negative attention Scientology receives in the media; but others in the study of new religions, some of whom began work as far back as the 1960s, can attest to this shift. Scientology has passed through many of its growing pains and the church has been in the “postHubbard phase” for over thirty years. For reasons described throughout this book, it is not surprising that we have seen a rise in scholarship in recent years, most of it produced independently of the church’s cooperation and without incident. I am quite sure that more monographs will appear on the scene, including work that will also benefit from productive relations with the church and its members. These will serve to further refine historical, theological, and sociological research on this American-born tradition. In fact, I strongly suspect that as the church continues to grow as an institution—and as its first-generation members begin to retire and second- and third- (and even fourth-) generation members take on more prominent roles— we may witness the maturation of Scientology studies as an independent academic discipline. This has certainly happened as other religious traditions have become less “new” and, at least relatively speaking, more  “mainstreamed.” Unification studies, Mormon studies, and Baha’i studies are good examples, with their own academic conferences, journals, and educational institutions. Today, the academic study of Scientology falls most charitably under the study of new religions or new religious movements (NRMs). However, it is possible that this categorization will fade away as Scientology is regarded as a tradition worthy of academic investigation on its own terms. The success of the A S N O T E D AT

0 25

Conclusion

205

First International Conference on the Study of Scientology, held in Antwerp, Belgium, in 2014 represented a step in this direction.1 It also seems to me that, despite insistence to the contrary in anti-cult circles,2 Scientology and Scientologists are here to stay, both in and outside the United States. The church has managed to institutionalize itself in remarkable ways, the most recent examples of which are the “Ideal Organizations” that continue to dot the planet. The resilience of the organization, of course, is a reflection of the dedication and drive of its active and core membership. This devotion is predicated, as I have argued throughout this book, on a kind of counter-apocalypticism embodied in writings such as Hubbard’s “Keeping Scientology Working” and Miscavige’s “Wake-Up Call.” It is safe to say that no apocalypse will come, humanity will survive, and the church will carry on and recalibrate itself for centuries rather than decades from now. Reminiscent of the classic When Prophecy Fails (1956), the rationalization will probably be that the positive outcome was due to the diligent application of Dianetics and Scientology. Perhaps it will be the mass distribution of The Way to Happiness, ten thousand solo auditors through OT VII, or some other measure of “Planetary Clearing” that allows humanity to weather the storm of our own reactive minds. Whatever the cause, once first-generation members depart from the scene, their sons and daughters will inherit an enormous institutional and theological legacy with which to navigate the next chapters of Scientology’s history. In the years that I have spent among Scientologists understanding their culture, theology, and practices, I am continually struck by the sheer amount of time and energy adherents dedicate to their “applied religious philosophy.” It is quite true that being a Scientologist is not reducible to one- or two-hour visits on Sunday mornings. Scientology informs a way of life. Auditing and training require weeks, months, and years of dedication. The church does not have seminaries or four-year educational institutions, but the closest parallel may be the course room and more specifically the “Academy,” as it is called, where Scientology training takes place in every organization. It is an area of intense study in preparation for professional auditing. With the passage of time, I think it is all but inevitable that Scientologists will become not only adept practitioners of Hubbard’s tech but also skilled academic researchers who contribute to the scholarly record alongside sociologists, anthropologists, and religious historians. Within the church, the “priests”—Sea Org members— may be expected to take on  these roles, such as those who could be drawn from the Office of Special Affairs or the LRH Personal Public Relations Office, though nothing precludes lay involvement. For instance, the church’s present “LRH Biographer,” Dan Sherman, is not a Sea Org member and regularly speaks at one of the church’s annual international events.

6 0 2

206

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

The rise and respectability of Mormon studies is a relevant case study. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) found itself on the margins of American society in the nineteenth century but has managed to mainstream itself, especially over the last one hundred years. Contributing factors included legal recognition (admission of the state of Utah), decades of scholarship, theological evolutions, appreciation in the broader culture, and political progress. Mormonism is arguably now a quintessentially American religion. Of course, this transition did not take place overnight. There is a 182-year gap between the founding of the LDS Church (1830) and Mitt Romney’s nomination for president (2012). But internalized forms of progress tend to come more quickly. Brigham Young University was founded a “mere” 45 years after Joseph Smith established his restorationist church. In recent years, endowed chairs in Mormon studies have been created or announced at several nonLDS universities, including Claremont Graduate University, the University of Virginia, and the University of Southern California. As Scientology studies grows and welcomes newcomers, the field will find no shortage of avenues for academic exploration. Perhaps the most obvious lacuna is the need for an academic biography of L.  Ron Hubbard that takes into account the fullness of his life and legacy. The comparison to Mormonism is again instructive. The earliest biographies of Smith came from journalists and disgruntled former members. It was only after several decades of scholarship, both in and outside LDS circles, that more balanced and nuanced work has been produced, such as Joseph Smith:  Rough Stone Rolling (2005) by Richard L.  Bushman, a Columbia University professor emeritus of history and lifelong Mormon.3 How long will it take for academic work on Hubbard to catch up? More research should be conducted on the church’s social betterment and humanitarian programs, in particular Applied Scholastics, Criminon, Narconon, and the Volunteer Ministers. Another area that has received very little academic attention is the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE), which supports the secularized use of Hubbard’s managerial and administrative techniques in the workplace. Although the Church of Scientology does not sponsor a four-year educational institution such as Brigham Young University, it does support the Hubbard College of Administration International, which offers certificate programs and an associate degree in Los Angeles.4 Hubbard’s philosophy of “management by statistics” is found in other systems, but his version offers a window into how productivity is measured in corporate and ecclesiastical settings.5 His “organizing board” (“org board”) is used in both Scientology churches and WISE-affiliated businesses,6 and forms the basis of a Scientology course where it is applied on a personal level.7

0 2 7

Conclusion

207

There are also opportunities to research Dianetics and Scientology as they are practiced outside the Church of Scientology. This does not necessarily mean they are practiced without authorization from the church, it should be noted. For instance, my understanding is that the church has no problem with individuals who use Hubbard’s tech in personal and private settings. After all, Dianetics (1950) was written as a textbook to be used among friends and family. The church’s objection appears to instead be legal as much as theological, even if it of course takes strong issue with deviations from the purity of Hubbard’s tech. That is, while it is unproblematic to practice “Book One” auditing or make use of techniques from Self Analysis and The Scientology Handbook, the church objects to the unauthorized or commercial use of such practices. These expressions infringe on intellectual property rights and may also lead to accusations of “squirreling”—the Scientology term for heresy— which is a high crime in the church. In a short piece from 1958 entitled “Signs of Success,” Hubbard downplayed the significance of “squirrels” and once again showcased the logic that external attack is in fact evidence of expansion:  “Whenever we’re really winning the squirrels start to scream. You can tell if somebody is a squirrel. They howl or make trouble only when we’re winning.” “There’s nothing personal in having squirrels,” he added. “Even heroes can have lice.”8 This dismissive and derogatory attitude came up in a handful of interviews where “independent Scientology” was brought up by church members: • “The point is, Scientology does work and does produce predictable results; no altered version of Scientology has ever lasted, and those who practiced it fell by the wayside.” • “There never has been and never will be a reformed Scientology or independent Scientology or everything but management.” • “Oh, I was just thinking about these idiots that leave the church and they’re attacking him [David Miscavige] and they say, ‘But we’re still Scientologists.’ I’m like, ‘You’re out of your fucking mind! Scientology is the church and you’re not in one.’ ” From the church’s perspective, efforts to practice a “reformed” or “independent” version of Scientology are not only impractical but also fundamentally evil, since they alter the purity of the technologies as Hubbard intended. They are like knockoff cola brands in comparison to the church’s Coke Classic.9 From the standpoint of independent Scientologists, however, it is the church members who are the true “squirrels,” illustrating a subjectivity that brings to mind debates about the nature of a cult versus a religion.

0 82

208

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

By and large, Scientologists in my sample were not familiar with these outside groups—which today go by names such as “independent” (“indy”) Scientology, the “Free Zone,” and “Ron’s Org,” the last of which refers to a network, mostly in Europe, that traces to the early 1980s. In the history of Dianetics and Scientology, there have been dozens of splinter groups, most of which have gone extinct or morphed into other forms—from Synergistics, Idenics, the Process Church, and est (Erhard Seminars Training) to Kenja Communications, the Advanced Ability Center (AAC), the Avatar Course, and TIR (traumatic incident reduction) therapy, among many others. Others, while not properly splinter groups, were inspired at least in part by Scientology, such as Paul Twitchell in the creation of Eckankar. These offshoots are fascinating in their own right but also point to the influence of Scientology on the spiritual and religious landscape. Just as Dianetics and Scientology represent Hubbard’s adoption and synthesis of themes from popular psychology, Western esotericism, science fiction, and Eastern religion, new teachers and movements have likewise benefited from the philosophical and theological milieu that now includes Scientology as a source of inspiration. It is a natural result of the interaction between religion and society and testifies to Scientology’s cultural impact and staying power. I  was introduced to some practitioners of “independent Scientology” in California and Nevada when I worked as an associate producer and consultant for Reza Aslan’s episode on the subject for his CNN show Believer (March 2017). While I agree with a review of the episode from Massimo Introvigne that independent auditors and groups “represent a very tiny percentage of the worldwide Scientology movement,”10 the experience was illuminating and led to a handful of interviews in which I  gained familiarity with the perspective that the philosophy of Scientology is not identical to the Church of Scientology. Several academics have already written on these issues and about specific splinter groups.11 One rather surprising discovery was that at least some within the “indy” community believe that Hubbard was secretly assassinated sometime in the 1970s or early 1980s and that the US government has infiltrated the church’s senior management. This conspiracy narrative exists in a number of variations and, from what I can tell, its purpose is to undermine the legitimacy of current management, Miscavige in particular, and to dispute the authenticity of policies issued during Hubbard’s later years. Attempts to practice Scientology outside the church also raise important questions about intellectual property and the enforcement of orthodoxy and orthopraxy. The Church of Spiritual Technology (CST), as mentioned in chapter 4, owns the copyrights to Hubbard’s work, but they will someday expire—unless the church somehow manages to extend the copyright

9 0 2

Conclusion

209

terms indefinitely. When they do expire, the church will be faced with a new legal and theological crisis and need to discover creative ways to control the use of its scriptures. Author Services (ASI) has published digital copies of some of Hubbard’s fiction, but the church has been slow to release e-books of the Dianetics and Scientology canon, though some material is available on sites such as Google Books. In an increasingly digital world, however, the copyright problem may become irrelevant. The formal introduction of Hubbard’s works to the public domain may not pose much of a threat to the institution, given that unauthorized copies are already available online. One could also make the case that increased access to Hubbard’s tech would generate more rather than less interest in Scientology and possibly result in increased membership and movement up the Bridge within the church.12 One open and controversial area for research is gender, sexuality, and Scientology. Sexuality and gender identity were not directly addressed in the interview questions, but some interviewees volunteered their views on homosexuality due to a perception that the church is homophobic. While Hubbard did place homosexuality on the Tone Scale at the undesirable level of 1.1 (covert hostility),13 he did not necessarily imply that homosexual individuals are chronically at this level, since everyone is said to move up and down the scale throughout life.14 It is also likely that his position in the 1950s was informed by the prevailing culture and prejudice rather than a sense of static and universal truth. In a 1952 lecture, for instance, Hubbard remarked that “homosexuality is about as serious as sneezes.”15 Within the church, I discovered a range of views on the matter that reflect cultural divides in light of the Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) decision that legalized same-sex marriage. But in the end, Scientologists agreed that particulars of sexuality and gender are secondary in importance to improving society, disseminating Dianetics and Scientology, and Clearing the planet. “Why can’t the conservatives shut the hell up about gay marriage?” asked an OT V in Los Angeles during our interview. “To me, it’s a huge non-issue. I mean, a whole lot of brain cells and money are being focused on attacking gay marriage when, I’m sorry, we have a country to save.” Acceptance of LGBTQ parishioners seems to be improving, though obstacles exist. I am not aware of a same-sex marriage ceremony performed at a Church of Scientology, but to my knowledge it is not precluded by Scientology scripture. Membership in the church is open to all regardless of sexual orientation. However, the inclusion of LGBTQ Scientologists seems most problematic in the Sea Organization, where sexual life is regulated and heteronormative values appear dominant. Reflecting on Scientology’s organizational and administrative future, several questions remain. Perhaps the most obvious concerns succession. Without doubt, David Miscavige is the most public face of Scientology today

021

210

AMONg THE SCIENTOLOgISTS

and serves in two capacities—one official, the other unofficial: his de jure role as Chairman of the Board (COB) of the Religious Technology Center (RTC) and his de facto role as the “ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion.”16 As far as I can tell, nowhere in Scientology scriptures or corporate bylaws can one find the title “ecclesiastical leader,” which is evidently a sign of respect for the man within the church and especially among Sea Org members who share in its leadership and management. However, if Miscavige’s precedent is any indication, it seems that after his retirement the next occupant of the position of COB would head that organization and, implicitly, the religion at large. Based on fieldwork and conversations, parishioners would assume as much. But this is not the only or inevitable outcome. It is entirely possible that the issue of succession could become irrelevant. After all, there is no clear evidence that Hubbard chose a successor (though a church official tells me that Miscavige was hand-picked to serve on RTC’s first board of trustees).17 Instead, Hubbard ensured that his legacy became routinized and disseminated via corporate structures with specific functions, as described in chapters 4 and 5. It is therefore possible that there will not be a single ecclesiastical leader of Scientology down the road. The Watchdog Committee (WDC) in the Church of Scientology International, for instance, models a committee-based management style found in other religious traditions such as the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Finally, to reiterate a methodological point made at the start of this book, the future of Scientology studies will depend on scholars working across various disciplines: sociology, history, religious studies, theology, psychology, anthropology, and cultural studies, among others. This volume has put forward an ethnographically informed historical narrative based on my research of the Church of Scientology and its members. As scholars continue to piece together perspectives on Scientology, including those from former members and critics, an even more nuanced and composite picture will emerge that I hope is rigorous, respectful, and moves beyond false, divisive, and unproductive binaries such as apologist/apostate and shill/bigot. Not all Scientologists are saints, and not all ex-Scientologists are sinners. No scholar is an island. Where possible, multiple parties can and should work together to produce scholarship that better understands Scientology, Scientologists, and other parties on their own terms, in their own words, and humanely. “The most valuable asset we have, actually,” as Hubbard said in a 1955 lecture, “is our ability to understand, to do the right thing, to be kind, to be decent.”18

21

Notes

in t Roduc t ion 1. Hugh B. Urban, The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011), 6–7. 2. L. Ron Hubbard, The Scientologist:  A Manual on the Dissemination of Material (1955), in The Organization Executive Course: Dissemination Division, vol. 2 (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1991), 20. 3. In the last few years, we have seen journal issues dedicated to Scientology in Nova Religio (20, no.  4 [2017]), Acta Comparanda (Subsidia IV, FVG, 2017), Numen (63, no. 1 [2016]), and Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review (6, no. 1 [2015]). Recent book-length treatments include Urban’s monograph The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion (2011) and anthologies edited by James R. Lewis and Kjersti Hellesøy (Handbook of Scientology [Leiden: Brill, 2017]) and Stephen A. Kent and Susan Raine (Scientology in Popular Culture: Influences and Struggles for Legitimacy [Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2017]). 4. In a 2011 review of Urban’s monograph, for instance, Seth Perry noted that “no study has yet answered the question of what it means for Scientology to act as a religion for its adherents.” Seth Perry, “Scientology and Its Discontents,” Chronicle of Higher Education, October 2, 2011, accessed June 2018, http://www. chronicle.com/article/ScientologyIts/129177. 5. In this sense, I have been inspired by the religious studies methods of Ninian Smart, among others, not to mention methods of social history. See, for instance, Ninian Smart, The Religious Experience of Mankind (New York: Scriber, 1984). 6. See, for instance, James R. Lewis, “Scientology: Sect, Science, or Scam?,” Numen 62, no. 2–3 (2015):  226–42; Anson Shupe, “The Nature of the New Religious Movements—Anticult ‘Culture War’ in Microcosm: The Church of Scientology Versus the Cult Awareness Network,” in James R. Lewis, ed., Scientology

21

212

7. 8.

9. 10.

11.

12. 13.

14. 15.

Notes (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), 269–81; and Urban, The Church of Scientology, chapter 4. Phil Zuckerman, Invitation to the Sociology of Religion (New  York:  Routledge, 2003), 62–63. Roy Wallis, The Road to Total Freedom:  A Sociological Analysis of Scientology (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977), 14–18. Wallis’s monograph was originally published in 1967 by Heinemann (London). Roy Wallis, “Scientology: Therapeutic Cult to Religious Sect,” Sociology 9, no. 1 (1975): 89–100. See James R. Lewis, Legitimating New Religions (New Brunswick, NJ:  Rutgers University Press, 2003), 91–95; Urban, The Church of Scientology, especially chapter  2; Harriet Whitehead, Renunciation and Reformulation:  A Study of Conversion in an American Sect (Ithaca, NY:  Cornell University Press, 1987), chapter 2; Stephen A. Kent, “The Creation of ‘Religious’ Scientology,” Religious Studies and Theology 18, no. 2 (December 1999):  97–126; and Benjamin BeitHallahmi, “Scientology: Religion or Racket?,” Marburg Journal of Religion 8, no. 1 (2003): 1–56. See, for instance, Stuart A. Wright and Susan J. Palmer, Storming Zion: Government Raids on Religious Communities (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016), chapters  8 and 9, and Susan J. Palmer, The New Heretics of France: Minority Religions, la République, and the Government-Sponsored “War on Sects” (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), chapter 2. See Urban, The Church of Scientology, chapter 5. “Experts Conclude Scientology Is a True World Religion,” Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientologyreligion.org/ religious-expertises. It should be noted that numerous scholars, including Roy Wallis, Hugh B. Urban, James R. Lewis, and Stephen A. Kent, are omitted from the Church of Scientology International’s list of “World’s Foremost Experts,” at least as of June 2018. See Kent, “The Creation of ‘Religious’ Scientology,” and Michael Shermer, “Is Scientology a Cult?,” Skeptic 17, no. 1 (2011): 16–17. For an introduction to this literature, see Jenny Reichert, James T. Richardson, and Rebecca Thomas, “‘Brainwashing’:  Diffusion of a Questionable Concept in Legal Systems,” International Journal for the Study of New Religions 6, no. 1 (2015):  3–26; Dick Anthony and Thomas Robbins, “Conversion and ‘Brainwashing’ in New Religious Movements,” in James R. Lewis, ed., The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements (New  York:  Oxford University Press, 2004), 243–97; W. Michael Ashcraft, A Historical Introduction to the Study of New Religious Movements (New  York:  Routledge, 2018), chapters  5 and 6; Philip Jenkins, Mystics and Messiahs: Cults and New Religions in American History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), chapter 9; James T. Richardson, “A

231

Notes

16.

17.

18.

19. 20.

213

Critique of ‘Brainwashing’ Claims About New Religious Movements,” in Lorne L. Dawson, ed., Cults in Context: Readings in the Study of New Religious Movements (New Brunswick, NJ:  Transaction Publishers, 1996), 217–27; H. Newton Malony, Brainwashing, Coercive Persuasion, Undue Influence, and Mind Control: A Psychologist’s Point of View (Pasadena, CA:  Integration Press, 1988); David G. Bromley and James T. Richardson, eds., The Brainwashing/Deprogramming Controversy: Sociological, Psychological, Legal, and Historical Perspectives (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1983); Massimo Introvigne, “Advocacy, Brainwashing Theories, and New Religious Movements,” Religion (published online February 21, 2014): 303–19; D. L. Anthony, “Brainwashing and Totalitarian Influence: An Exploration of Admissibility Criteria for Testimony in Brainwashing Trials,” PhD dissertation, Graduate Theological Union, 1996; and Massimo Introvigne, “ ‘Liar, Liar’: Brainwashing, CESNUR and APA,” 1999, published on the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR) website, accessed June 2018, http:// www.cesnur.org/testi/gandow_eng.htm. One recent example was an Austin woman named Erin McMurtry, who in December 2015 drove her car through the front entrance of the Church of Scientology of Austin. Also in 2015, an Illinois man, Andre Barkanov, phoned in assassination threats against Scientologists and in particular leader David Miscavige. See “Police:  Woman Drove Car Into ‘Evil’ Church of Scientology,” CBS Austin, December 16, 2015, http://cbsaustin.com/news/local/womanarrested-for-driving-car-into-church-of-scientology-called-church-evil, and Matt Hamilton, “Man Accused of Threatening to Kill David Miscavige, Church of Scientology Members,” Los Angeles Times, January 6, 2016, http://www. latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-death-threats-david-miscavige-scientology20160105-story.html. While scholarship exists on Scientology’s tense relationship with the media, further work ought to be carried out on new religions and cyberbullying. One legal and methodological resource is Danielle Keats Citron, Hate Crimes in Cyberspace (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014). See Erin Prophet, “Deconstructing the Scientology ‘Monster’ of Popular Imagination,” in Lewis, ed., Handbook of Scientology, 227–48; Carole M. Cusack, “Celebrity, the Popular Media, and Scientology:  Making Familiar the Unfamiliar,” in Lewis, ed., Scientology, 389–409; and Bernard Doherty, “Sensational Scientology! The Church of Scientology and Australian Tabloid Television,” Nova Religio 17, no. 3 (2013): 38–63. J. Gordon Melton, The Church of Scientology (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2000), 79. Some examples since the 1960s include Helen O’Brien, Dianetics in Limbo: A Documentary About Immortality (Philadelphia:  Whitmore, 1966); Paulette Cooper, The Scandal of Scientology (New  York:  Belmont-Tower, 1971); Cyril

421

214

21.

22.

23.

24.

25.

Notes Vosper, The Mind Benders (London:  Spearman, 1971); William S. Burroughs, Ali’s Smile:  Naked Scientology (Brighton:  Unicorn Books, 1971); Robert Kaufman, Inside Scientology: How I Joined Scientology and Became Superhuman (New  York:  Olympia, 1972); Bent Corydon, L. Ron Hubbard:  Messiah or Madman? (New York: Lyle Stuart, 1987); Russell Miller, Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1988); Jon Atack, A Piece of Blue Sky:  Scientology, Dianetics, and L.  Ron Hubbard Exposed (New York: Lyle Stuart, 1990); John Sweeney, The Church of Fear: Inside the Weird World of Scientology (London:  Silvertail Books, 2013); and Lawrence Wright, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (New York: Vintage, 2013). There are numerous others, especially self-published accounts. Stephen A.  Kent stands out in this regard, such as his article “The Creation of ‘Religious’ Scientology” and other publications available at his University of Alberta homepage: https://skent.ualberta.ca/contributions/scientology/. Two book-length treatments of Scientology illustrate this point well:  Roy Wallis’s sociological monograph from 1977 (“My respondents are ethnographic informants not randomly sampled survey respondents. That many of them were not practicing Scientologists and were openly hostile to Scientology only tells us that my information may be biased and not that it is”) and Urban’s historical volume from 2011, which relies in part on interviews conducted with Scientologists in Ohio but mostly on assistance from former members, critics (especially the online group Anonymous), and academic colleagues, as he makes clear in the acknowledgments section. See Wallis, The Road to Total Freedom, vii, and Urban, The Church of Scientology, ix–x. Urban, The Church of Scientology, chapter 6; and Hugh B. Urban, “‘The Third Wall of Fire’: Scientology and the Study of Religious Secrecy,” Nova Religio 20, no. 4 (2017): 13–36. See Lewis, ed., Scientology, chapters 19 and 20; Lewis, ed., Handbook of Scientology, chapters 10 and 15; Lewis, “Scientology: Religious Studies Approaches,” Numen 63, no. 1 (2016):  6–11; Susan Raine, “Astounding History:  L. Ron Hubbard’s Scientology Space Opera,” Religion 45, no. 1 (2015):  66–88; and James R. Lewis, “The Dwindling Spiral: The Dror Center Schism, the Cook Letter, and Scientology’s Legitimation Crisis,” Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 4, no. 2 (2013): 55–77. One recent and notable exception is Massimo Introvigne’s work on Scientology and the fine arts, including interviews conducted with Scientologist artists, in Introvigne, “‘The Most Misunderstood Human Endeavor’:  L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology, and Fine Arts,” Journal of CESNUR 2, no. 2 (March– April 2018): 60–92. Another effort is Giselle Velásquez, “Inside the Church of Scientology: An Ethnographic Performance Script,” Qualitative Inquiry 17, no.

251

Notes

26.

27.

28.

29. 30.

31.

215

9 (2011):  824–36. A  handful of graduate students have conducted fieldwork among independent Scientology communities (known as “squirrel” or splinter groups), including Kjersti Hellesøy, “Independent Scientology:  How Ron’s Org and Dror Center Schismed out of the Church of Scientology,” MA thesis, UiT, The Arctic University of Norway, 2015. Recent quantitative contributions include Peter B. Andersen and Rie Wellendorf, “Community in Scientology and Among Scientologists,” in Lewis, ed., Scientology, 143–63; James R. Lewis with Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen, “New Religious Movements and Gender—The Case of Scientology,” in James R. Lewis, ed., Sects and Stats:  Overturning the Conventional Wisdom About Cult Members (Sheffield:  Equinox, 2014), 131–39; and Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen and James R. Lewis, “The Cult of Geeks: Religion, Gender, and Scientology,” in Lewis and Hellesøy, eds., Handbook of Scientology, 399–410. For helpful annotated bibliographies of sources on Scientology, see Marco Frenschkowski, “Researching Scientology,” Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 1, no. 1 (Spring 2010): 5–44, and Dorthe Refslund Christensen, “Sources for the Study of Scientology: Presentations and Reflections,” in Lewis, ed., Scientology, 411–31. See, for instance, David D. Hall, ed., Lived Religion in America: Toward a History of Practice (Princeton, NJ:  Princeton University Press, 1997), and Meredith McGuire, Lived Religion: Faith and Practice in Everyday Life (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998). Despite limited access to church archival material, abundant and underexamined resources are available in the publicly available Scientology literature, including dozens of books and thousands of lectures, periodicals, and other secondary material. See Melton, The Church of Scientology, 79–80, and Frenschkowski, “Researching Scientology.” This project, I am told, has been conducted by Sea Organization members, in particular those from Golden Era Productions in California who work with the L. Ron Hubbard Personal Public Relations Office. Footage from some of these interviews has been shown at international Scientology events; however, the full records remain closed to the public. See LRH Stories and More LRH Stories, “Old-Timers Network,” Two-DVD Set, Self-Published, 1997–2000, accessed June 2018, http://www.lrhstories.org. “Independent Scientology” and “squirrel” (splinter) groups are taken up in the conclusion. The presentation of Scientology in this book refers primarily to its practice and systematization within the Church of Scientology. I should point out that the Church of Scientology did not fund the research for my dissertation or this book. On an organizational note, in Scientology churches the Office of Special Affairs is part of what Hubbard designed as “Department 20” on the “organizing board” (or “org board”), which assigns titles (“posts”) and functions for staff members at each location. For more on this structure

621

216

32.

33. 34. 35.

36.

Notes and administration, see the Church of Scientology International’s What Is Scientology? (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1998), 371–79. Interviews, tours, and ethnographic research were conducted at the following locations: Church of Scientology International (Los Angeles); L. Ron Hubbard Life Exhibition (Los Angeles); Church of Scientology of Los Angeles; American Saint Hill Organization (Los Angeles); Advanced Organization of Los Angeles; Continental Liaison Office Western United States (Los Angeles); Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre International (Hollywood); Citizens Commission on Human Rights (Los Angeles); Association for Better Living and Education (Los Angeles); Author Services, Inc. (Los Angeles); Hubbard College of Administration International (Los Angeles); The Way to Happiness Foundation International (Glendale, California); Church of Scientology of Pasadena; Church of Scientology of Inglewood; Church of Scientology Community Center in Inglewood; Church of Scientology of Orange County; Church of Scientology Mission of Upland (California); Church of Scientology of San Diego; Church of Scientology of Stevens Creek (San Jose); Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization (Clearwater, Florida); Church of Scientology of Tampa; Church of Scientology of New York; Church of Scientology of Salt Lake City; Church of Scientology of Greater Cincinnati (Florence, Kentucky); Church of Scientology of Boston; Church of Scientology and Celebrity Centre in Las Vegas; Church of Scientology of Portland; Church of Scientology of Phoenix; L. Ron Hubbard Landmark Site in Phoenix; L.  Ron Hubbard Landmark Site in Washington, DC (former home and site of the Founding Church); Founding Church of Scientology of Washington, DC; Church of Scientology National Affairs Office (Washington, DC); Church of Scientology of London; Advanced Organization Saint Hill United Kingdom (East Grinstead, United Kingdom); Saint Hill Manor (East Grinstead, United Kingdom); and the L. Ron Hubbard Landmark Site at Fitzroy House in London. The Background, Ministry, Ceremonies, and Sermons of the Scientology Religion (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1999). Scientology: Theology and Practice of a Contemporary Religion (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1999), 45. The purpose of the chronological arrangement is to provide the student of Dianetics and Scientology the fullest possible context in which Hubbard wrote or spoke—a “full conceptual understanding” of the sequence, as discussed in chapter  5. See The Complete Golden Age of Knowledge:  Six Exclusive Video Presentations That Announce and Bring to Life L.  Ron Hubbard’s Congress Lectures, Basics Books and Lectures, and Advanced Clinical Course Lectures (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2010). Course titles included “Personal Efficiency,” “Ups and Downs in Life,” “Success Through Communication,” “Formulas for Living,” “Personal Values and

2 71

Notes

37.

38.

39.

40.

217

Integrity,” and “How to Get Motivated.” These were introductions, respectively, to Hubbard’s more advanced and technical writings on “PTS/SP Technology,” training routines (TRs) in preparation for auditor training, Scientology ethics, “overts and withholds” (sins and secrets), and “cycles of action” (start, change, stop). See chapter 3 for more, especially on suppressive persons (SPs) and the theology of overts and withholds (O/Ws). When I  expressed interest to one of my OSA contacts about pursuing these steps, I  was met with polite skepticism and informed of a church policy that forbids outsiders from taking courses and receiving auditing simply for the sake of observation. I was allowed to participate when I made clear that I was genuinely interested in personal betterment as an outsider and insider (i.e., as a participant observer). While I  have not participated in Scientology services since fieldwork, I  am thankful to the church for letting me in and welcome the opportunity to receive more auditing in the future. The experiences were positive and enriched my ability to empathize with interviewees. According to Hubbard, individuals “who ‘have an open mind’ but no personal hopes or desires for auditing or knowingness” are considered “Sources of Trouble” and therefore ineligible for Scientology services. Such people, he goes on to say, “should be ignored, as they really don’t have an open mind at all, but a lack of ability to decide about things, and are seldom found to be very responsible and waste anyone’s efforts ‘to convince them.’ ” Individuals “attempting to sit in judgement on Scientology in hearings or attempting to investigate Scientology” are also excluded. They should “be given no undue importance. . . . All efforts to be helpful or instructive have done nothing beneficial, as their first idea is a firm ‘I don’t know’ and this usually ends with an equally firm ‘I don’t know.’ ” See L. Ron Hubbard, Introduction to Scientology Ethics (Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2007), 219. Each step on the Bridge has a clearly identified end result (“end phenomenon,” or EP) in line with Hubbard’s understanding of Scientology as a “spiritual technology.” This is discussed further in chapter 1. The purpose of visiting the examiner, which in my case lasted no more than a minute, was to ensure the presence of “good indicators” (positive behavioral clues—smiling, cheerfulness, etc.) and a “floating needle” (F/N), evidence of a successful session. If the F/N and “good indicators” are absent, this would signal that something was not properly or fully handled in the session and should be addressed with further auditing that same day (or within twenty-four hours, per a Hubbard policy). L. Ron Hubbard, “PC Examiner,” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, April 21, 1980, revised October 18, 1986; and L. Ron Hubbard, “Examiner’s 24-Hour Rule,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, September 8, 1970, revised October 24, 1975. Wallis, The Road to Total Freedom, vi.

821

218

Notes

41. For instance, lawsuits were filed against David Mayo’s Advanced Ability Center and former Sea Org member Gerry Armstrong, both in the early 1980s, and against Richard Behar in the 1990s for what the church considered a highly defamatory article in Time magazine published on May 6, 1991. Urban, The Church of Scientology, 9, 147–49; and Terril Park, “From the Church of Scientology to the Freezone,” in Eugene V. Gallagher, ed., “Cult Wars” in Historical Perspective: New and Minority Religions (New York: Routledge, 2017), 156. 42. See Ruth Graham, “Are Academics Afraid to Study Scientology?” (originally published as “The Scholarly Study of Scientology”), JSTOR Daily, November 5, 2014, https://daily.jstor.org/scholars-on-scientology. Despite incremental progress, challenges remain, as voiced by J.  Gordon Melton and Douglas Cowan (both interviewed for the JSTOR Daily piece). However, over the past decade the church has cooperated with a number of new researchers, including some who are now producing work (from the church’s perspective) on quite sensitive topics such as “Independent Scientology” (splinter groups). See Douglas E. Cowan, “Researching Scientology:  Perceptions, Premises, Promises, and Problematics,” in Lewis, ed., Scientology, 53–79, and J. Gordon Melton, “On Doing Research on Scientology:  Prospects and Pitfalls,” Acta Comparanda, Subsidia IV (2017): 11–20. 43. See Roy Wallis, “The Moral Career of a Research Project,” in Colin Bell and Howard Newby, eds., Doing Sociological Research (New  York:  Free Press, 1977), 158. 44. In addition to Hubbard’s aforementioned The Scientologist:  A Manual on the Dissemination of Material (1955), many legal affairs policies exist for church staff. 45. A  more recent complaint came from Douglas Cowan, who expressed concern that church officials were overbearing and intrusive, requesting to see an advance copy of a conference presentation. This has not been a problem encountered in my research. Church officials graciously responded to questions as they arose, but appear to have had a relatively laissez-faire attitude about its actual production. See Cowan, “Researching Scientology,” 71–73. 46. Scientology: Theology and Practice of a Contemporary Religion (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1999). 47. In late 2017, Italian scholar and priest Aldo Natale Terrin published a survey of the doctrines and practices of Dianetics and Scientology. See Terrin, Scientology:  Libertà e immortalità (Scientology:  Freedom and Immortality) (Brescia: Morcelliana, 2017). 48. In addition to mistrusting the methods and motives of journalists, by the 1960s Hubbard made the conspiratorial connection that heads of media around the world were in fact directly or indirectly connected to ill-intentioned medical and psychiatric groups. In Scientology’s history and theology, psychiatrists and psychologists became both earthly competitors and spiritual enemies, as

921

Notes

49.

50. 51.

52. 53. 54.

219

explored in chapters  2 and 5, so their association with journalists became all the more theologically problematic. See L. Ron Hubbard, Ron’s Journal 67 (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2005), and L. Ron Hubbard, “My Philosophy,” in Scientology:  A New Slant on Life (Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2007), 271–75. L. Ron Hubbard, “Policies on Physical Handling:  Insanity and ‘Sources of Trouble,’” in Introduction to Scientology Ethics (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 220. In 1963 Hubbard wrote: “We prefer no press because it slows our word of mouth amongst people” and in 1964 made clear:  “The stable datum is:  The press will not print anything good—only bad. So give them nothing that can be misunderstood.” L.  Ron Hubbard, “Press Policies,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, August 14, 1963, and L.  Ron Hubbard, “Press Relations,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, May 25, 1964. Wright, Going Clear, 372. The church published the Judah interview transcript as “L. Ron Hubbard Discusses the Development of His Philosophy,” in Philosopher and Founder: Rediscovery of the Human Soul (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2012), 87–91. The original audio recording is housed in the Graduate Theological Union Library’s Special Collections. L. Ron Hubbard, “Opinion Leaders,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, May 11, 1971. L.  Ron Hubbard, “The Safe Point,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, April 1, 1982. “David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board, Religious Technology Center & Ecclesiastical Leader of the Scientology Religion,” Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientology.org/david-miscavige.

c h a p t eR   1 1. L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics:  The Modern Science of Mental Health (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 4. 2. L. Ron Hubbard, “From Clear to Eternity,” in Scientology 0-8: The Book of Basics (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 433. 3. Some of these conclusions were first published in Donald A. Westbrook, “Researching Scientology and Scientologists in the United States:  Methods and Conclusions,” in James R. Lewis and Kjersti Hellesøy, eds., Handbook of Scientology (Leiden: Brill, 2017), 19–46. 4. “Scientology Principles:  Introduction,” Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientology.org/what-is-scientology/basicprinciples-of-scientology/a-description-of-scientology.html#slide5.

0 2

220

Notes

5. It is unclear to what extent Hubbard studied Greek or was familiar with the complex historical, philosophical, and theological background associated with the use of logos. 6. L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 5. 7. L. Ron Hubbard, “Personal Integrity,” in Scientology: A New Slant on Life (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 19. This piece was originally published in Ability magazine, issue 125, 1961. 8. L. Ron Hubbard, The Scientologist:  A Manual on the Dissemination of Material (1955), in The Organization Executive Course: Dissemination Division, vol. 2 (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1991), 22. 9. Frank Flinn, for instance, described Scientology as a synthesis of technological and Buddhist sensibilities and methodologies. As he wrote, “Scientology stands out among the new religions as the indigenization of Buddhism within a society that has technology as its cultural base.” Frank Flinn, “Scientology as Technological Buddhism,” in James R. Lewis, ed., Scientology (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), 221. See also Marco Frenschkowski, “Images of Religions and Religious History in the Works of L. Ron Hubbard,” in Lewis and Hellesøy, eds., Handbook of Scientology, 104–40. 10. See William Sims Bainbridge, “Science and Religion: The Case of Scientology,” in David G. Bromley and Phillip E. Hammond, eds., The Future of New Religious Movements (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press), 59–79. 11. See J. A. Winter, A Doctor’s Report on Dianetics (New York: Julian Press, 1951); John Colbert, “An Evaluation of Dianetic Theory,” MSc thesis, City College of New  York, 1951; Harvey Jay Fischer, “Dianetic Therapy:  An Experimental Evaluation. A Statistical Analysis of the Effect of Dianetic Therapy as Measured by Group Tests of Intelligence, Mathematics and Personality,” PhD dissertation, New York University, 1953; and Jack Fox, Alvin E. Davis, and B. Lebovits, “An Experimental Investigation of Hubbard’s Engram Hypothesis (Dianetics),” Psychological Newsletter 10 (1959): 131–34. 12. Dianeticists, however, point to a January 1951 study from the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation:  Dalmyra Ibanez, Gordon Southon, Peggy Southon, and Peggy Benton, Dianetic Processing:  A Brief Survey of Research Projects and Preliminary Results (Elizabeth, NJ:  Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation, 1951). See also Simon Locke, “Charisma and the Iron Cage:  Rationalization, Science and Scientology,” Social Compass 51, no. 1 (2004): 111–31. 13. L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics: The Original Thesis (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 7. 14. Donald Westbrook, “Scientology as ‘Spiritual Technology,’” Cosmologics, December 7, 2014, accessed June 2018, http://cosmologicsmagazine.com/ donald-westbrook-scientology-as-spiritual-technology/.

221

Notes

221

15. J. Gordon Melton, for instance, described the Sea Organization in this way in “A Contemporary Ordered Religious Community: The Sea Organization,” Journal of CESNUR 2, no. 2 (March–April 2018): 21–59; Henrik Bogdan analyzed the controversial postwar period (taken up in chapter  2) involving Hubbard, Jack Parsons, and magical rituals in “The Babalon Working 1946: L. Ron Hubbard, John Whiteside Parsons, and the Practice of Enochian Magic,” Numen 63, no. 1 (2016): 12–32; and Hugh B. Urban examined possible connections between the occult and Scientology in “The Occult Roots of Scientology? L. Ron Hubbard, Aleister Crowley, and the Origins of a Controversial New Religion,” Nova Religio 15, no. 3 (2012): 91–116. See also Dorthe Refslund Christensen, “Scientology,” in Wouter J. Hanegraaff, ed., Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism (Leiden: Brill, 2006), 1046–50, and Dell deChant and Danny L. Jorgensen, “The Church of Scientology:  A Very New American Religion,” in Jacob Neusner, ed., World Religions in America, 4th ed. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009), 298. 16. L. Ron Hubbard, “The Eight Dynamics” and “Ethics, Justice, and the Dynamics,” in Introduction to Scientology Ethics (Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2007), 12–14, 18–32. 17. This is emphasized throughout Hubbard’s writings and lectures, such as, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 44, and Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 18, 57, and 101. 18. As Hubbard described: “Less theoretically, the individual who is processed is, at first, usually ‘in’ the body and perceiving with the body’s eyes. When exteriorized (placed three feet back of his head), he is actually out of the body and still ‘in’ the physical universe space. He can, exteriorized, move about and be in places just as though he had a body, seeing without eyes, hearing without ears and feeling without fingers—ordinarily better than with these ‘aids.’ This is not like ‘astral walking,’ which is done by the individual who ‘sends a body’ or a viewpoint to some other place and perceives with it. A thetan is as much present where he is, as if he were there in the body.” L. Ron Hubbard, The Creation of Human Ability: A Handbook for Scientologists (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 350–51. 19. Within the church, a classic source for testimonials about OT abilities is Advance magazine published by the Advanced Organization of Los Angeles (AOLA), a church that offers the first five OT levels. Each issue contains a section entitled “OT Phenomena: Wild Tales from the Other Side of OT.” In recent years, however, many of the stories reported there have focused on personal and professional success attributed to the OT levels rather than direct reports of paranormal abilities. 20. As Hubbard wrote in 1951, “The mystic, for millennia, has been talking about Faith. He never built a bridge to it. He made a terrible fundamental error in

2

222

21.

22.

23.

24. 25. 26.

27.

28.

29. 30.

31.

Notes converting Faith to Have Faith. When he said Have Faith, he invited understanding, then confusion of understanding because one does not understand Faith. One is Faith. The source, content of and contact with FAITH is YOU.” L. Ron Hubbard, Advanced Procedure and Axioms (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 120. See L. Ron Hubbard, Science of Survival (Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2007), 54; L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology:  The Fundamentals of Thought (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 39; and Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 13. Hubbard, Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought, 76. See also L. Ron Hubbard, “The Factors,” no. 30, in Scientology 0-8: The Book of Basics (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 80. This is discussed in a number of sources, including L. Ron Hubbard, The Free Being (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2009), State of Man Congress (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2009), and Philadelphia Doctorate Course (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2010). See L. Ron Hubbard, Hymn of Asia (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1974). See chapter 4 for more details about Hubbard’s practice of responding to letters. The church published a sixteen-volume set, The L.  Ron Hubbard Series (Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2012), based on a series of similarly titled magazines colloquially known as the “Ron Mags.” J. Gordon Melton, “Birth of a Religion,” in Lewis, ed., Scientology, 17–33; Dorthe Refslund Christensen, “Inventing L.  Ron Hubbard:  On the Construction and Maintenance of the Hagiographic Mythology of Scientology’s Founder,” in James R. Lewis, ed., Controversial New Religions (New  York:  Oxford University Press, 2005), 227–58; Hugh B. Urban, The Church of Scientology (Princeton, NJ:  Princeton University Press, 2011), 26–56; and Aldo Natale Terrin, Scientology: Libertà e immortalità (Scientology: Freedom and Immortality) (Brescia: Morcelliana, 2017), 63–73. See Russell Miller, Bare-Faced Messiah:  The True Story of L.  Ron Hubbard (New  York:  Henry Holt and Company, 1988); Jon Atack, A Piece of Blue Sky:  Scientology, Dianetics, and L.  Ron Hubbard Exposed (New  York:  Carol Publishing Group, 1990); and Bent Corydon, L. Ron Hubbard:  Messiah or Madman? (Fort Lee, NJ: Barricade Books, 1987). See J. Gordon Melton, The Church of Scientology (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2000), 79–80. Originally written August 15, 1966, “My Only Defense for Having Lived” was republished in Philosopher and Founder:  Rediscovery of the Human Soul (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2012), 137–45. In a piece written the year before, entitled “My Philosophy,” Hubbard displayed an even more overt disdain for academia: “Surrounded by protective coatings of impenetrable scholarliness, philosophy has been reserved to the privileged

23

Notes

32. 33. 34. 35.

36.

37.

38.

39. 40.

41. 42. 43.

223

few. . . . I have lived no cloistered life and hold in contempt the wise man who has not lived and the scholar who will not share.” Hubbard, “My Philosophy,” republished in Philosopher and Founder, 147, 149. “My Only Defense for Having Lived,” 137–39. “My Only Defense for Having Lived,” 139. “My Only Defense for Having Lived,” 140. See Donald A. Westbrook, “Walking in Ron’s Footsteps:  ‘Pilgrimage’ Sites of the Church of Scientology,” Numen 63, no. 1 (2016):  71–94; and Donald A. Westbrook, “The L. Ron Hubbard Heritage Site in Bay Head, New Jersey as a Case Study of Scientology’s Intellectual History,” Acta Comparanda, Subsidia IV (2017): 225–42. See also Massimo Introvigne, “The Aesthetic Theory of L. Ron Hubbard and the Freewinds as a Mobile Holy Land,” delivered at Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR) International Conference, Jerusalem, July 2017, http://www.cesnur.org/2017/jerusalem-cyberabstracts.htm. “Walk in Ron’s Footsteps:  L. Ron Hubbard Landmark Sites,” Church of Scientology International, booklet, 2014. The church has published websites with video introductions for each site:  accessed June 2018, http://www. lronhubbard.org/landmark-sites.html. This is a network of the Commodore’s Messenger Organization (CMO), an elite unit within the Sea Organization established during Hubbard’s time as Commodore of the Sea Org aboard the flagship Apollo, as discussed in chapter 4. Hubbard himself was keenly aware of this strategy, writing that “The Chaos Merchant has to inject one of several possible conflicts here: He [Hubbard] is not a philosopher, they have to assert. They are never quite bold enough to say it is not a philosophy. But they can and do go on endlessly, as their purpose compels them, in an effort to invalidate the identity of the person developing it.” L. Ron Hubbard, “The True Story of Scientology,” in Scientology: A New Slant on Life, 261. Greg Wilhere, Briefing on the L Auditing Rundowns, Advanced Organization Los Angeles, 1987. This developmental history is an open area for research. One starting point is to compare the 2013 Bridge with the preceding version and others, such as the one detailed in 1978 in What Is Scientology? (Los Angeles: Church of Scientology of California, 1978), 27–68. The Church of Scientology International published a PDF of the pre-2013 Bridge, accessed June 2018, available at http://www. whatisscientology.org/html/Part02/Chp06/pg0181_1.html. L. Ron Hubbard, “Theory of the New Grade Chart,” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, December 12, 1981. What Is Scientology? (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1998), 179–80. Other exceptions are the so-called Flag-Only Rundowns, such as the L Rundowns, Super Power Rundowns, and Cause Resurgence Rundown, which

4 2

224

44. 45.

46. 47.

48.

49.

50.

Notes are delivered exclusively at church facilities in Clearwater, Florida (Flag Service Organization, also known as the Flag Land Base, or simply “Flag”), and have their own prerequisites. L. Ron Hubbard, Classification and Gradation (Los Angeles:  Golden Era Production, 2008), transcript, 3, 6. See Flinn, “Scientology as Technological Buddhism,” 209–13; Andreas Grünschloß, “Scientology, a ‘New Age’ Religion?,” in Lewis, ed., Scientology, 225– 43; Stephen A. Kent, “The Creation of ‘Religious’ Scientology,” Religious Studies and Theology 18, no. 2 (1999): 97–126; Régis Dericquebourg, “Affinities Between Scientology and Theosophy,” Acta Comparanda, Subsidia IV (2017): 81–103; Aldo N. Terrin, “Scientology and Its Contiguity with Gnostic Religion and Eastern Religions,” Acta Comparanda, Subsidia IV (2017), 185–203; Hugh B. Urban, “The Occult Roots of Scientology? L. Ron Hubbard, Aleister Crowley, and the Origins of a Controversial New Religion,” Nova Religio 15, no. 3 (2012): 91–116; Henrik Bogdan, “The Babalon Working 1946: L. Ron Hubbard, John Whiteside Parsons, and the Practice of Enochian Magic,” Numen 63, no. 1 (2016): 12–32; and Marco Frenschkowski, “Images of Religions and Religious History in the Works of L. Ron Hubbard,” in Lewis and Hellesøy, eds., Handbook of Scientology, 104–40. These roughly correspond to Scientology’s theology of sins and secrets, taken up in chapter 3. “Service facsimile” is defined in one Scientology dictionary as follows:  “The facsimile part is actually a self-installed disability that ‘explains’ how he is not responsible for being able to cope. So he is not wrong for coping. Part of the ‘package’ is to be right by making wrong.” Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary (Los Angeles: Publications Organization United States, 1975), 384. If a person does not “go Clear” with New Era Dianetics, then he or she would take an “alternative route,” which includes the Clearing Course. The Clearing Course is confidential and solo-audited like most of the OT levels. There is also an auditing procedure called Expanded Dianetics, listed on the Bridge after New Era Dianetics, and it is undertaken as needed. Rundowns often have individual rundowns within them, in which case each would have an EP of its own in addition to the final EP for the entire auditing level. The E-Meter is used at some point in every step of auditing, at the very least after a session when one briefly visits the “examiner,” as mentioned in the introduction. The Purification Rundown and Survival Rundown (Objectives Processing) are two examples of “non-metered auditing.” However, there are others, such as “Book One” auditing techniques based on Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (1950).

25

Notes

225

51. The EP for Clear itself is “a being who no longer has his own reactive mind.” The basic theory of Dianetics is introduced in chapter 2. 52. Some of these steps, in particular the theory and practice of Study Technology, are further addressed in chapter 3. 53. Additionally, an internship may be required, as indicated on the Bridge and described in What Is Scientology? (1998 ed.), 265. 54. Hubbard made this point in a 1952 lecture: “Now, if you start running around trying to convince people Scientology works, you’re walking into the biggest trap of all. Of course Scientology works. . . . I said I’d pop anybody if he kept talking about my ideas on this subject, because what we’re talking about is the anatomy of the physical universe. And damned if this physical universe was my idea!” L. Ron Hubbard, “SOP: Assessment (Continued),” lecture on December 13, 1952, Philadelphia Doctorate Course (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), transcript, 186. In a more gnostic vein, Hubbard wrote: “Scientology does not teach you. It only reminds you.” Hubbard, Scientology:  The Fundamentals of Thought, 96. 55. The early history of Scientology in and around Clearwater is addressed in chapter 4. 56. The requirement that churches reach the size of old Saint Hill before the release of OT IX and X was established in 1988 by Guillaume Lesevre. See International Management Bulletin No. 124 of September 28, 1988. In 1993, David Miscavige named these requirements: “1) To get onto New OT IX one must be New OT VIII and must have his case in superlative shape. 2) He must be a graduate of the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course, or the Class V Graduate Course plus certain Technical Specialist Courses. 3) All orgs must reach the size of Old Saint Hill. 4) The external environment must be a safe environment for Scientology.” High Winds, issue 16, 1993. 57. According to a promotional email sent in November 2015 by Los Angeles–based representatives of the Freewinds: “You are invited to hear about the upcoming data of the release of OT IX & X.” Another email, sent November 2016, offered OT VII and OT VIII Scientologists the opportunity to receive “an up-to-date briefing on preparations for OT IX & X and beyond. Meet your new OT VIII, IX & X D of T [Director of Training] and get briefed.” These emails were sent from an official Freewinds email address on November 4, 2015, and November 24, 2016, respectively. 58. Exceptions to this are OT IV and V, delivered by another auditor, and the first portion of OT VI, which requires more specialized solo-auditor training prior to the start of OT VII. 59. “The Flow Up the Bridge: The US Mission Holders Conference, San Francisco 1982,” Sea Organization Executive Directive Number 2104, November 7, 1982.

6 2

226

Notes

60. Melton, “A Contemporary Ordered Religious Community:  The Sea Organization,” 29. See also Terrin, Scientology: Libertà e immortalità, 156–57. 61. See Susan Raine, “Astounding History:  L. Ron Hubbard’s Scientology Space Opera,” Religion 45, no. 1 (2015):  66–88; William Sims Bainbridge, “The Cultural Context of Scientology,” in Lewis, ed., Scientology, 35–46; and Hugh Alan Douglas Spencer, “The Transcendental Engineers: The Fictional Origins of a Modern Religion,” MA thesis, McMaster University, 1981. 62. Further research will allow more exact quantification and analysis, complicated because the church does not release exact membership numbers. Based on 1985 data provided by the church, William Sims Bainbridge estimated that there were between 0.2 and 15.4 Clears per 100,000 residents in the United States, dependent on geographical region, with a national average of 3.8. My estimate that at least 90% of members are on the lower half of the Bridge is based on participant observation, evidence from periodicals, and also my estimate that there may be up to 200,000 self-identifying Scientologists internationally (with up to 100,000 in the United States). For instance, assuming 15 to 20 members for each of the church’s claimed 11,000 churches, missions, and affiliated groups, this would put world membership in the range of 165,000 to 220,000. Once again, further research is necessary to more accurately assess membership figures in and outside the United States. See Bainbridge, “The Cultural Context of Scientology,” 46–47, and Massimo Introvigne, “Scientology: Genesis, Exodus, and Numbers—Fake News About Scientology Statistics,” published on the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR) website, May 6, 2017, accessed June 2018, http://www.cesnur.org/2017/scientology_numbers.htm. 63. The evolution of Dianetics and earlier attempts to produce Clears are discussed in chapter 2. 64. The Auditor, Saint Hill Organizations 54, issue 2, 2018. 65. Incidentally, this number is made known for a revealing theological reason, namely, that the church is actively working toward the goal of having ten thousand Scientologists “on or through” OT VII. It is believed that this number, apparently selected by current church leadership on the basis of an interpretation from Hubbard’s lectures, will speed up the cause of “planetary Clearing” by introducing more amounts of “theta” (positive life energy) into the world than currently existing “entheta” (negative energy). This point is addressed again in chapter 5. 66. This is based on promotional material and informal reporting from staff based at the Flag Service Organization in Clearwater. 67. “A Comprehensive Overview of the Background, Theology and Religious Practice of the Scientology Religion,” Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientologyreligion.org.

2 7

Notes

227

68. In an epilogue to one of Hubbard’s biographical volumes published in 2012, we find that “Scientology has become the fastest-growing religious movement on Earth. To date, some ten thousand new adherents step onto the Scientology Bridge every week, while hundreds of new Scientology organizations open doors to meet their needs.” Philosopher and Founder, 155. In the past, Scientology spokespeople such as Heber Jentzsch have provided more exact figures, but the church now prefers to simply claim “millions.” In a 1991 interview with CNN’s Larry King, Jentzsch mentioned “eight million Scientologists internationally.” In another interview the following year with ABC Nightline’s Forest Sawyer, Jentzsch stated that this number reflects course completions (and presumably other indicators, such as book sales) recorded since 1954 and not necessarily current or active membership totals. “The Church of Scientology: Religion or Business?,” Larry King Live, CNN, May 28, 1991; and ABC Nightline, February 14, 1992, which featured an interview with David Miscavige conducted by Ted Koppel. See also This Is Scientology: An Overview of the World’s Fastest Growing Religion (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2004). 69. Again, further quantitative research is required to more accurately determine the number of Scientologists in the United States and abroad. One methodological difficulty may be that Scientologists are geographically dispersed across the United States but congregate mostly in and around Los Angeles, Tampa, and a handful of other urban areas. One step toward a more quantifiable view of the church would be to conduct surveys in these areas. See Introvigne, “Scientology: Genesis, Exodus, and Numbers.” 70. At least in the 1980s and early 1990s, the International Association of Scientologists published annual reports with membership figures for different categories, such as six-month and lifetime memberships. Some of these reports are available in the American Religions Special Collection at the University of California, Santa Barbara. 71. See, for example, Janet Reitman, Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2011), 96–98; and Urban, The Church of Scientology, 130–40. 72. Donation rates in 2015 at Flag (Clearwater) included the following:  $5,000 ($400/hour) for a twelve-and-a-half-hour intensive of “Flag HGC and AO HGC Auditing,” which is discounted when multiple intensives are purchased together. For instance, a 25% discount is available for twelve or more intensives. Some steps of the Bridge list specific rates, including the Purification Rundown ($3,500), Survival Rundown ($5,000), and Cause Resurgence Rundown ($2,500). “Super Power” lists a $5,000 base donation in addition to however many Flag HGC intensives may be required. “Flag Class  XII Auditing” (namely, the “L Rundowns”) is listed at $10,000 ($800/hour), with discounts provided for multiintensive packages. Auditor training donations are listed by individual level with

8 2

228

73.

74. 75.

76.

77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84.

85.

Notes the following rates: “Auditor Fundamentals Package” ($16,000) for Student Hat Through Method One Co-Audit, “Academy Levels 0-IV Package” ($16,000), and “Class V Auditor Package” ($36,000) for Student Hat Through NED (Class V) Auditor. “Requested Donations:  Dianetics and Scientology Services,” Flag Service Organization, booklet published by Church of Scientology International, 2015. See also Urban, The Church of Scientology, 136. Twelve and a half hours is also the amount of time Hubbard set up each week for staff members, including Sea Org members, to study or receive auditing. According to the Church of Scientology International, “Auditing is best done intensively, at least 12 ½ hours a week (2 ½ hours a day for the five-day week). The more intensively one is audited, the more rapid progress he makes as he is not distracted by day-to-day routines or upsets.” What Is Scientology? (1998 ed.), 662. L. Ron Hubbard, “How You Can Increase the Size and Income of Your Org,” Executive Directive 258–1 International, March 15, 1975. For instance, new staff who sign a five-year contract might receive training and auditing at the organization’s expense (including travel to another organization, such as Flag in Clearwater), on the condition that one’s contract length would formally begin after completion of training. Presumably, most Sea Org members would not have funding to pay for these services anyway since they are full-time volunteers and receive approximately $50 per week in the form of a stipend. Housing, food, and medical/dental care are provided in the Sea Org, as mentioned in chapter 4. This is known as a “freeloader bill” and is discussed in chapter 4. The subject did not come up during these interviews due to the organic direction of conversations, especially early in the interviewing process. L. Ron Hubbard, “Ethics,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, April 4, 1972. L. Ron Hubbard, “Free Service—Free Fall,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, November 27, 1971, revised March 2, 1980. L. Ron Hubbard, “Admin Know-How No. 30,” Hubbard Communications Policy Letter, September 1, 1973. Hubbard, “From Clear to Eternity,” 430–33. This source was originally published as Ron’s Journal 35, May 9, 1982. Hubbard, “From Clear to Eternity,” 433. Here one might compare the rationalization to other theologies, including the Christian “Prosperity Gospel,” in which prayer and financial investments are expected to yield material rewards such as health and wealth. Further research on gender and Scientology should be carried out. As covered in chapter 4, per a 2010 Church of Scientology International census, there are more females than males in the Sea Organization. However, research from others suggests a predominance of men in the church as a whole, at least

9 2

Notes

86. 87.

88. 89. 90.

91.

229

based on quantitative studies conducted in Europe, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. See James R.  Lewis with Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen, “New Religious Movements and Gender—The Case of Scientology,” in James R. Lewis, Sects and Stats: Overturning the Conventional Wisdom About Cult Members (Sheffield:  Equinox, 2014), 131–39; Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen and James R.  Lewis, “The Cult of Geeks:  Religion, Gender, and Scientology,” in Lewis and Hellesøy, eds., Handbook of Scientology, 399–410; and András MátéTóth and Gábor Dániel Nagy, “Not an Extraordinary Group:  Scientologists in Hungary and Germany—Comparative Survey Data,” in Lewis and Hellesøy, eds., Handbook of Scientology, 145–46. Hubbard, The Scientologist: A Manual on the Dissemination of Material, 28. Roland Chagnon, La Scientologie:  une nouvelle religion de la puissance (Villa de LaSalle, Quebec:  Hurtubise HMH, 1985), 85–132; Harriet Whitehead, Renunciation and Reformulation:  A Study of Conversion in an American Sect (Ithaca, NY:  Cornell University Press, 1987), 37–42, 279–81; and Bryan R. Wilson, “Scientology:  An Analysis and Comparison of Its Religious Systems and Doctrines,” originally published February 1995 by Freedom Publishing, republished by the Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientologyreligion.org/religious-expertises/scientology-analysisand-comparison/scientology-and-other-faiths.html. Section on “Scientology and Other Faiths,” in Wilson, “Scientology.” Hubbard, Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought, 76. Again, this traces to Hubbard’s epistemology that realities in the physical universe (MEST, or Sixth Dynamic) are based on the collective agreement of thetans, a subject explored in more depth in chapter 2. As Hubbard wrote, “It is now considered that the origin of MEST lies with the theta itself and that MEST, as we know the physical universe, is a product of theta.” L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology 8-8008 (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 24. See also Urban, The Church of Scientology, 69–70. This subject is described in much more detail in chapter  2, including Hubbard’s gnostic views on what he termed the “between-lives areas” after death. As he wrote in one of the most introductory books on Scientology: “In Para-Scientology there is much discussion about ‘between-lives areas’ and other phenomena which might have passed at one time or another for Heaven or Hell. But it is established completely that a thetan is immortal and that he, himself, cannot actually experience death and counterfeits it by ‘forgetting’. . . . The manifestation that our Hereafter is our ‘next life’ entirely alters the general concept of spiritual destiny. There is no argument whatever with the tenets of any faith, since it is not precisely stated uniformly by all religions that one immediately goes to a Heaven or Hell.” Hubbard, Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought, 77.

0 32

230

Notes

92. “Allying Scientology to a disrelated practice” is listed as a “crime” in Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 306. 93. L. Ron Hubbard, “The Auditor’s Code,” in Scientology 0-8: The Book of Basics, 379. 94. Hubbard, Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 306. 95. Prayer, however, does not seem necessarily problematic. I attended Scientology meetings in Hollywood and Inglewood that opened in prayer from the Baptist minister and Scientologist Alfreddie Johnson. Hubbard even designed a “Prayer for Total Freedom” that is still used in Sunday services. “Prayer for Total Freedom,” Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http:// www.scientology.org/what-is-scientology/scientology-religious-ceremonies/aprayer-for-total-freedom.html#slide2. 96. This excludes the eleven Sea Organization members in the sample since they are required to marry from within the religious order (and thus would naturally seek out a fellow Scientologist). Ten of the eleven Sea Org members were married. See chapter 4 for more about contemporary life in the Sea Org. 97. L. Ron Hubbard, The Way to Happiness: A Common Sense Guide to Better Living (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 151. 98. In the last few years, for example, the Church of Scientology of Los Angeles has sponsored forums for interfaith leaders. 99. One of these campaigns is the nonprofit organization Youth for Human Rights International, founded in 2001 by Scientologist Dr. Mary Shuttleworth. See “Supporting Global Human Rights Awareness,” Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientology.org/how-we-help/ human-rights.html, and “About Us,” Youth for Human Rights, accessed June 2018, http://www.youthforhumanrights.org/about-us.html. 100. “Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Article 18, United Nations, accessed June 2018, http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/. 101. “The Body Communication Process,” as it is formally called, was designed by Hubbard as a form of spiritual assist, to be “used when a person has been chronically out of communication with his body, such as after illness or injury, or when the person has been dormant for a long period of time.  .  .  . [T]his process may be done only after necessary medical attention or other necessary assists have been done.” The Scientology Handbook (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2001), 218. 102. Ashahed M. Muhammad, “Nation of Islam Auditors Graduation Held for Third Saviours’ Day in a Row,” Final Call, February 28, 2013, accessed June 2018, http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/National_News_2/article_ 9651.shtml. See also Charlene Muhammad, “Nation Adopts New Technology to Serve Black Nation, World,” Final Call, April 4, 2011, accessed June 2018, http:// www.finalcall.com/ artman/ publish/ National_ News_ 2/ article_ 7697. shtml.

231

Notes

231

103. Muhammad, “Nation of Islam Auditors Graduation Held for Third Saviours’ Day in a Row.” 104. Tony Muhammad co-founded the United in Peace Foundation in 2012 to organize “Peace Rides” in urban areas devastated by gang violence, as discussed further in chapter  5. In 2017, Muhammad received the Freedom Medal, the highest honor from the International Association of Scientologists, for his work. 105. Muhammad, “Nation Adopts New Technology to Serve Black Nation, World.” 106. See, for instance, Elijah Muhammad, Message to the Blackman in America (Chicago: Final Call, 2012), 17–27, 100–34. 107. In response to the question “How do you self-identify in terms of race/ethnicity?” the following responses were obtained from the sixty-nine interviewees: “white” (85.50%), “black” (5.8%), “Spanish” (1.45%), “Indian” (1.45%), “blackJapanese” (1.45%), “Italian-Egyptian” (1.45%), “Mexican-Lebanese” (1.45%), and “Brazilian” (1.45%). The predominance of Scientologists of white and European ancestry was observed in the course of fieldwork and tours, and is also apparent in browsing church periodicals and watching the church’s “Meet a Scientologist” video series, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientology.org/ videos/meet-a-scientologist.html. 108. According to student minister Leo Muhammad (UK NOI): “What we believe in the Nation of Islam, because of the timeframe of the rise of Mr. L. Ron Hubbard, the time period in which he was operating, we surmise that it wouldn’t be surprising if he had been spoken to [by] Master Fard Muhammad.  .  .  . Master Fard Muhammad, brother, he’s a master teacher, so don’t put it beyond God to give a word here, give a word there, raise a man here. . . . [A]gain, we got to look at the pattern of the way God does things. . . . I read the Dianetics book, which I studied for four months to become a gold seal auditor, which is what the Honorable Louis Farrakhan told all of us to do to the best of our ability. . . . [W]hat we have in Dianetics is a tool that’s in our toolbox, and we can pull it out, we can use it, and we put it back. But we are first and foremost Muslims in the Nation of Islam.” Leo Muhammad, “Leo Muhammad: Auditing, Dianetics & Scientology,” YouTube, published February 28, 2017, in particular 14:30–18:35, accessed June 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNM1azd4UEw. 109. As far as I can tell, there has been little desire on the part of Scientologists to learn about the particulars of NOI theology and practices, though members may be intrigued by some cultural features. For instance, I observed that bean pies produced by an NOI-affiliated vendor were made available in the canteen at the Hollywood Celebrity Centre. 110. Jeffrey M. Jones, “Americans Have Net-Positive View of U.S. Catholics,” Gallup, April 15, 2008, accessed June 2018, http://www.gallup.com/poll/106516/ Americans-NetPositive-View-US-Catholics.aspx.

23

232 111. 112. 113. 114. 115. 116. 117. 118.

119. 120. 121. 122.

123.

124. 125. 126. 127.

Notes Whitehead, Renunciation and Reformulation, 40. Whitehead, Renunciation and Reformulation, 40. Whitehead, Renunciation and Reformulation, 41. All sixty-nine interviewees provided information about their educational levels. What Is Scientology? (1978 ed.), 245, 252–59. What Is Scientology? (1998 ed.), chapter 32. These are available from the church’s official YouTube channel and at Scientology.org. It is revealing that “Sunday Service” accounted for a mere 0.77% of those surveyed (thirty-five respondents) in 1978. One member informed me that Sunday services were reintroduced in 2000 as a regular feature within the church, after the publication of The Background, Ministry, Ceremonies, and Sermons of the Scientology Religion (Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 1999), but also told me that services have become less frequent in recent years. What Is Scientology? (1978 ed.), 239. See also Eugene V. Gallagher, “Scientology’s Sunday Service:  Scripture in Action,” Numen 63, no. 1 (2016):  95–112; and Régis Dericquebourg, “How Should We Regard the Religious Ceremonies of the Church of Scientology?,” in Lewis, ed., Scientology, 167–68. What Is Scientology? (1998 ed.), 566. Scientology “splinter groups” are discussed in the conclusion. This is based on sixty of the sixty-nine respondents who answered this particular question. For an introduction to the dynamics of religion and socialization, see C. Daniel Batson, Patricia Schoenrade, and W. Larry Ventis, Religion and the Individual: A Social-Psychological Perspective (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993); Roger Finke and Rodney Stark, The Churching of America, 1776–2005: Winners and Losers in Our Religious Economy (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2005), chapter  1; Rodney Stark and Roger Finke, Acts of Faith:  Explaining the Human Side of Religion (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000); Phil Zuckerman, Invitation to the Sociology of Religion (New York: Routledge, 2003), chapter 3; and Eileen Barker, “What Are We Studying?,” Nova Religio 18, no. 1 (2004): 88–102. See, for instance, Douglas E. Cowan, “Conversion to New Religious Movements,” in Lewis R. Rambo and Charles E. Farhadian, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Religious Conversion (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), 687–705. Data on this point is not provided in the 1998 What Is Scientology? volume. L. Ron Hubbard, “Books Make Booms,” Executive Directive, July 25, 1974. Hubbard, “The True Story of Scientology,” 259. This is based on fifty-three of sixty-nine respondents who answered this question.

23

Notes

233

128. Hubbard mentioned some celebrity members of the church in a recording to the worldwide church known as Ron’s Journal 68 (RJ 68). See Urban, The Church of Scientology, 139–45; and Stephen A. Kent, “Scientology’s Recruitment Policies Targeting Celebrities,” in Stephen A. Kent and Susan Raine, eds., Scientology in Popular Culture:  Influences and Struggles for Legitimacy (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2017), 81–101. 129. The Church of Scientology International, however, traces its founding to the establishment of a Los Angeles church in 1954. 130. L. Ron Hubbard, Science of Survival (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 480–81. 131. L. Ron Hubbard, “Opinion Leaders,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, May 11, 1971. 132. Unfortunately, the 1978 edition employs somewhat different categories and problematizes joint visual presentation. The Church of Scientology of California (CSC) table from 1978 lists the following categories and percentages, based on 3,208 respondents:  “Arts” (19.82%), “White collar” (15.71%), “Student (nonScientology subjects)” (14.74%), “Blue collar” (13.71%), “Technical (includes all branches of engineering)” (9.25%), “Teaching” (8.38%), “Armed Forces” (5.70%), “Medical (includes nursing and dentistry)” (4.80%), “No occupation” (3.99%), “Sales and marketing” (2.64%), “Law” (0.31%), “Civil Service” (0.21%), “Professional sports” (0.13%), and “Other” (0.59%). What Is Scientology? (1978 ed.), 245. 133. This is based on sixty-one of sixty-nine respondents who provided answers to these questions. 134. The origins of this contentious relationship are explored in chapter  2 and analyzed elsewhere in this book, especially at the end of chapter 5. 135. See, for instance, L. Ron Hubbard, “Rewards and Penalties:  How to Handle Personnel and Ethics Matters,” in Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 240–46. 136. See Donald A. Westbrook, “‘The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend’: Thomas Szasz, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, and Scientology’s AntiPsychiatric Theology,” Nova Religio 20, no. 4 (2017):  37–61; and Matthew Charet, “The Citizens Commission on Human Rights and Scientology’s War Against Psychiatry,” in Lewis and Hellesøy, eds., Handbook of Scientology, 565–84. 137. “Concerning the Campaign for Presidency,” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, April 24, 1960. 138. “What Is the Scientology View of Democracy?,” Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientologynews.org/faq/whatis-the-scientology-view-of-democracy.html.

4 2 3

234

Notes

139. The “reactive mind” (that irrational portion of the mind that Dianetics seeks to remove to “Clear” an individual) is discussed throughout Hubbard’s work and in chapter 2. 140. Examples are introduced throughout the book, including “From Clear to Eternity,” Ron’s Journal 67 (Los Angeles:  Golden Era Productions, 1983), and “The Reason for Orgs,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, January 31, 1983. A  more recent source is David Miscavige’s “Wake-Up Call: The Urgency of Planetary Clearing,” Inspector General Network Bulletin No. 44, September 11, 2001, discussed in chapter 5. For more on Scientology, surveillance, and secrecy in relation to the Cold War, see Urban, The Church of Scientology, chapter  3; Hugh B. Urban, “‘Secrets, Secrets, SECRETS!’ Concealment, Surveillance, and Information-Control in the Church of Scientology,” in Lewis and Hellesøy, eds., Handbook of Scientology, 279–99; Massimo Introvigne, “Did L.  Ron Hubbard Believe in Brainwashing? The Strange Story of the ‘Brain-Washing Manual’ of 1955,” Nova Religio 20, no. 4 (May 2017): 62–79; Terra Manca, “L. Ron Hubbard’s Alternative to the Bomb Shelter:  Scientology’s Emergence as a Pseudo-Science During the 1950s,” Journal of Religion and Popular Culture 24, no. 1 (2012): 80–96; Robert Genter, “Constructing a Plan for Survival:  Scientology as Cold War Psychology,” Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation 27, no. 2 (2017): 159– 90; Susan Raine, “Surveillance in a New Religious Movement: Scientology as a Case Study,” Religious Studies and Theology 28, no. 1 (2009): 63–94; and David G. Robertson, “Hermeneutics of Suspicion: Scientology and Conspiracism,” in Lewis and Hellesøy, eds., Handbook of Scientology, 300–318. 141. L.  Ron Hubbard, “Keeping Scientology Working Series 1,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, February 7, 1965. 142. L. Ron Hubbard, “Five Years,” Auditor, no. 9 (1967). 143. L. Ron Hubbard, “The Aims of Scientology,” originally published September 1965, Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http://www. scientology.org/ what- is- scientology/ the- scientology- creeds- and- codes/ theaims-of-scientology.html#slide7.

c h a p t eR   2 1. L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics:  The Modern Science of Mental Health (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), ii. 2. L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology:  A New Slant on Life (Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2007), 26–7. 3. A  pseudonym. Unless otherwise noted, the names given to interviewees throughout the book are pseudonyms. 4. His real name.

253

Notes

235

5. The church published an excerpt from “Excalibur” in Philosopher and Founder:  Rediscovery of the Human Mind (Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2012), 13–14. 6. Hubbard’s early literary agent, Forest Ackerman, mentioned his practice of hypnotism in an extended 1997 interview from the documentary “Secret Lives—L. Ron Hubbard” (Channel 4, United Kingdom, November 19, 1997). One source from Hubbard on this point can be found on the back cover of Triton, a 1949 collection of his fantasy stories:  “His leisure hours are devoted to the study and practice of hypnotism, photography, fishing and traveling and he is an authority on ancient and medieval navigation.” See also L. Ron Hubbard, “Locks, Secondaries, Engrams—How to Handle Them,” lecture on December 2, 1952, Philadelphia Doctorate Course (Los Angeles:  Golden Era Productions, 2007), transcript, 100–101. 7. Hubbard, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, 246. 8. L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics:  The Evolution of a Science (Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2007), 8. 9. Hubbard, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, 110, 237, 248. 10. For this reason, Wallis referred to this period as the Dianetics “cult” phase in the eventual transition to the “sect” of Scientology. See Roy Wallis, The Road to Total Freedom: A Sociological Analysis of Scientology (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977), 21–76. To this day, however, some Scientology churches mark an area as the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation, and all still deliver “Book One Auditing” based on the 1950 methods. 11. As an aside, van Vogt did not join Hubbard when the Dianetics movement evolved into the Scientology religion. Apparently, he remained a leader of the independent California Association of Dianetic Auditors (CADA) until at least the 1980s. The CADA attempted to scientifically validate Dianetics theory and practice, including through its short-lived Journal of the Dianetic Sciences. See Reflections of A.E.  van Vogt, Oral History Program, UCLA Library Special Collections, published in 1964 based on a taped interview conducted with Elizabeth I. Dixon in 1961. 12. His real name. 13. The recording was Ron’s Journal 68 (RJ 68), which appears to have been broadcast to the worldwide Scientology community in late 1968 or early 1969. 14. It is possible that Hubbard was motivated to publish in Astounding on the basis of his early, if limited, experimental success. Hubbard occasionally referenced Dale Carnegie in his lectures, where he complimented his behaviorist methods while contrasting them with what he took to be his superior techniques. See, for instance, “Cause and Effect,” lecture on November 18, 1951, Thought, Emotion, and Effort (Los Angeles:  Golden Era Productions, 2007), transcript, 52–53.

6 32

236

Notes

15. These themes are explored in Gary Westfahl, Wong Kin Yuen, and Amy Kit-sze Chan, eds., Science Fiction and the Prediction of the Future: Essays on Foresight and Fallacy (London: McFarland and Company, 2011). 16. Quoted in John J. Miller, “Ray Bradbury’s Dystopia:  Fahrenheit 451, 50 Years Later,” Wall Street Journal, May 14, 2003. 17. Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, 7. 18. Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, ii. 19. Astounding Science Fiction was renamed Analog Science Fiction and Fact in 1960 and remains in circulation. 20. John W. Campbell, “Concerning Dianetics,” Astounding Science Fiction, May 1950, 4–5. An editorial note on the first page of Hubbard’s article reads: “A fact article of genuine importance” (emphasis in original). 21. L.  Ron Hubbard, “Whole Track Facsimiles,” lecture on March 5, 1952, Scientology:  Milestone One (Los Angeles:  Golden Era Productions, 2003), transcript, 238–239. In this lecture, Hubbard was aware of attempts to discredit Scientology and Scientologists because of his background as a science fiction writer: “If you want to have lived on Earth and your preclears want to live on Earth, I wouldn’t advise you (you’re my friends, after all)—don’t go start walking around and telling people about space opera ...[T]hey’re going to say, ‘Well, that’s just Hubbard and he’s got a lot of space opera and you’ve got a lot of science fiction readers in your midst and these fellows just got super-restimulated, and all these stories are coming back to life, and all that sort of thing.’ That is the kind of a line that people can throw back at you” (237). 22. In fact, political scientist and Dianetics enthusiast Frederick L. Schuman wrote in a letter to the New York Times: “History has become a race between Dianetics and catastrophe. Dianetics will win, if enough people are challenged in time to understand it.” New York Times, August 6, 1950. 23. Hubbard occasionally devoted time in lectures to speak about his writing career. See, for instance, L. Ron Hubbard, “Whole Track Facsimiles,” and L. Ron Hubbard, “Chart of Attitudes: Rising Scale Processing,” lecture on December 11, 1952, Philadelphia Doctorate Course, transcript, 22–23. 24. The need for an academic biography is necessary in the face of disputes about his life story and whether to use biographical or hagiographical categories. See, for instance, Dorthe Refslund Christensen, “Inventing L. Ron Hubbard: On the Construction and Maintenance of the Hagiographic Mythology of Scientology’s Founder,” in James R. Lewis, ed., Controversial New Religions (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 227–58. 25. In any event, the Blackfoot tribe is featured in Hubbard’s first book, the 1937 western Buckskin Brigades. 26. L. Ron Hubbard: A Profile (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2012), 171.

2 73

Notes

237

27. L. Ron Hubbard, “Introduction to Dianetics,” lecture on September 23, 1950, Dianetics Lectures and Demonstrations (Los Angeles:  Golden Era Productions, 2007), transcript, 3–4. This is corroborated in L. Ron Hubbard, Handbook for Preclears (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 131. 28. Melton contends that Hubbard may have been exposed to other forms of depth psychology as well. J. Gordon Melton, “Birth of a Religion,” in James R. Lewis, ed., Scientology (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), 18. 29. Melton, “Birth of a Religion,” 18. 30. Early Years of Adventure: Letters and Journals (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2012), 25–49, 65–77. 31. L. Ron Hubbard: A Profile, 29. 32. This lecture is also notable because Hubbard admits failing a course in atomic and molecular phenomena. Hubbard is sometimes accused of claiming he was a nuclear physicist. However, at least in this early lecture, Hubbard is clear about his lack of training: “Now, old Professor [Thomas] Brown was teaching, for the first time in the United States, atomic and molecular phenomena. . . . The people were very much impressed with atomic and molecular phenomena. And I took the course and of course flunked it. But the point is that the atomic and molecular phenomena might possibly give us some sort of clue to life energy.” Hubbard, “Introduction to Dianetics,” transcript, 4–5. 33. L. Ron Hubbard: A Profile, 29. 34. Melton, “Birth of a Religion,” 18. 35. Interview conducted by FBI Inspector W. Beale Grove, Philadelphia, February 20, 1963. 36. Hubbard’s pen names included Winchester Remington Colt, John Seabrook, Lt. Jonathan Daly, Capt. Charles Gordon, and Legionnaire 14830, among others. He discussed his tremendous literary output during this period in “By L. Ron Hubbard,” in Writer: The Shaping of Popular Fiction (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2012), 123–27. 37. See Hugh B. Urban, The Church of Scientology (Princeton, NJ:  Princeton University Press, 2011), 33–37; Melton, “Birth of a Religion,” 18; and William Sims Bainbridge, “Science and Religion: The Case of Scientology,” in David G. Bromley and Phillip E. Hammond, eds., The Future of New Religious Movements (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1987), 59–67. 38. L. Ron Hubbard: A Profile, 42; and Melton, The Church of Scientology, 5. 39. As Melton notes, the extent of his military exploits and the number and nature of his medals are a matter of dispute. However, it is clear that Hubbard did command vessels, including a convoy escort (YP 422) in Boston and submarine chaser (PC 815) in the North Pacific, and served as a navigation officer for the USS Algol. Melton, “Birth of a Religion,” 20.

8 2 3

238

Notes

40. See Dianetics Letters and Journals (Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2012), 8–11, 17–45. 41. For more on Parsons’s involvement with the OTO, see John Carter, Sex and Rockets:  The Occult World of Jack Parsons, rev. ed. (Port Townsend, WA:  Feral House, 2004); and George Pendle, Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons (Orlando, FL: Harcourt Books, 2005). 42. See Wallis, The Road to Total Freedom, 111–13; Melton, “Birth of a Religion,” 20– 21; and Aldo Natale Terrin, Scientology: Libertà e immortalità (Scientology: Freedom and Immortality) (Brescia: Morcelliana, 2017), 135–37. 43. Hugh B. Urban, “The Occult Roots of Scientology?: L. Ron Hubbard, Aleister Crowley, and the Origins of a Controversial New Religion,” Nova Religio 15, no. 3 (February 2012): 91–116; and Henrik Bogdan, “The Babalon Working 1946: L. Ron Hubbard, John Whiteside Parsons, and the Practice of Enochian Magic,” Numen 63, no. 1 (2016): 12–32. 44. Hubbard mentions Crowley and disagreements with his ideology in the following places during the Philadelphia Doctorate Course:  “Conditions of Space/Time/Energy,” lecture on December 5, 1952, transcript, 27; “Games/ Goals,” lecture on December 12, 1952, transcript, 95; and “Development of Scientology: Characteristics of a Living Science,” lecture on December 13, 1952, transcript, 196. 45. Letter to Russell Hays, July 15, 1948, excerpt republished in Dianetics Letters and Journals, 17. A full copy of this letter is available in the Russell Randolph Hays Collection at the University of Kansas (box 2, folder 2). Hubbard reiterated much the same point in Dianetics (1950): “Look at it this way: we can get the results of two or three years of psychoanalysis in a score or two of hours of Dianetics and what we accomplish with Dianetics does not have to be done again, which is not true in psychoanalysis.” Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, 468. However, in a 1951 book, he was sympathetic to Freud’s intuitions: “Of all these [Jung, Adler, and Freud], it now seems evident that Freud himself was the only one of them who had even started toward the straight and narrow road to complete physical rehabilitation of the body via the human mind. . . . If the grand old man, Freud, were alive today, he would probably be cracking his heels in glee. He was amongst the first who supposed that it could be done with complete precision.” L. Ron Hubbard, Handbook for Preclears (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 131, 133. See also Sigmund Freud, The Problem of LayAnalysis (New York: Brentano’s, 1927). 46. Letter to Russell Hays, November 14, 1949, excerpt republished in Dianetics Letters and Journals, 22. The full copy of this letter is also available in the Hays Collection at the University of Kansas (box 2, folder 2). 47. According to Dianetics (1950):  “Two hundred and seventy-three individuals have been examined and treated, representing all the various types of inorganic

9 32

Notes

48.

49.

50.

51.

52. 53.

54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61.

239

mental illness and the many varieties of psychosomatic ills. In each one, this reactive mind was found operating, its principles unvaried.” Dianetics:  The Modern Science of Mental Health, 64–65. Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, i, 563. In Greek philosophy, the word dianoetic refers to rational as opposed to intuitive thought, and traces to dianoētikos. In Aristotelian philosophy dianoetic virtue is understood as intellectual virtue. A. E. van Vogt claimed that Dianetics was employed as a psychological term in the late nineteenth century, but did not specify the source and was in any event unsure if it influenced Hubbard: “Somewhere around 1884, somebody proposed the word dianetics as a psychological term. Whether or not Hubbard picked it up from the book on that, I don’t know. It’s been in the dictionary a long time before he ever used it.” Reflections of A.E. van Vogt, 238. Hubbard further described the relationship between the mind, body, and brain in other sources, such as “Outline of Therapy,” lecture on March 3, 1952, Scientology: Milestone One. As he wrote, “No matter how many aberrations a person may have, ‘I’ is always ‘I.’ No matter how ‘Clear’ a person becomes, ‘I’ is still ‘I.’ ‘I’ may be submerged now and then in an aberree, but it is always present.” Dianetics:  The Modern Science of Mental Health, 56. “What Is the State of Clear?,” Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientology.org/faq/clear/what-is-the-state-of-clear.html. See also What Is Scientology? (1998 ed.), 148. Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, 13. One can find similarities here with other methods, namely exposure and abreaction therapy, with which Hubbard may have been familiar during his time in the Navy. Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, 31, 388–91. Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, 407–11. “The Clear,” in Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, 13–24. Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, iv. Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, iv–v. Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, 405. See Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, 175. In Evolution of a Science, for instance, Hubbard wrote that the relationship between the brain and the mind is comparable to the distinction between hardware and software. As discussed later in this chapter, this naturalistic approach shifts by the time of Science of Survival (1951), where Hubbard distinguishes between physical and nonphysical phenomenon—“MEST” (matter, energy, space, and time) and “Theta” (life energy). On a more philosophical level, Hubbard addressed the relationship between the mind and body (and brain) in the lecture “Outline of Therapy,” lecture on March 3, 1952, Scientology: Milestone One.

0 42

240

Notes

62. L. Ron Hubbard, “Theory of the New Grade Chart,” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, December 12, 1981. 63. Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary (Los Angeles:  Publications Organization United States, 1975), 114, 249, 430, 76, 77, 75–77, 370, 75–76. 64. The church published the transcript of this lecture, “Introducing Dianetics— Shrine Auditorium” (August 10, 1950), in the third volume of its Research and Discovery Series (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1982), 1–24. 65. Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, 233. 66. Descriptions of the “Clearing Course” are available in What Is Scientology? (Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2007), 246, and What Is Scientology? (Los Angeles: Publications Organization United States, 1978), 12. 67. William Sims Bainbridge and Rodney Stark, “Scientology:  To Be Perfectly Clear,” Sociological Analysis 41, no. 2 (1980): 128–36. 68. The church’s fixed donation system is discussed in chapter 1. 69. “Clear Success Story,” Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre International, Los Angeles, 2010. 70. Important scholarly sources on the origins of Scientology in postwar America include Wallis, The Road to Total Freedom, chapters 2 and 3; Harriet Whitehead, Renunciation and Reformulation: A Study of Conversion in an American Sect (Ithaca, NY:  Cornell University Press, 1987), 45–77; Dorthe Refslund Christensen, “Rethinking Scientology:  An Analysis of L.  Ron Hubbard’s Formulation of Therapy and Religion in Dianetics and Scientology, 1950–1986,” in James R. Lewis and Kjersti Hellesøy, eds., Handbook of Scientology (Leiden: Brill, 2017), 49–87; Melton, “Birth of a Religion,” 17–33; James R. Lewis, “Scientology: Sect, Science, or Scam?,” Numen 62, no. 2–3 (2015): 226–42; and Urban, The Church of Scientology, 57–88. 71. This was reported as a response, from Hubbard, to a question from the audience present at the November 7, 1948, meeting of the Eastern Science Fiction Association, as quoted in a 1993 affidavit by Sam Moskowitz. However, the church obtained legal statements from others present at this meeting, author David A. Kyle and photographer Jay Kay Klein, who do not recall the remark. As Klein wrote, “The audience of the 1948 meeting was composed of agnostics and atheists and if any such a statement would have been made, it would have been a joke and understood as such by the audience.” Kyle noted that Hubbard spoke “of his thesis ‘Excalibur,’ ” among other topics, indicating that philosophical rather than simply science fiction themes were discussed. The authenticity of the incident is also problematized because it is not listed in the minutes of the November 1948 meeting, which Moskowitz provided to the church. See Affidavit of Sam Moskowitz, April 14, 1993, State of New Jersey, County of Essex; affidavit of David A.  Kyle, May 5, 1993, State of New  York, County of Clinton; affidavit of Jay Kay Klein, May 7, 1993, State of New York, County of

241

Notes

72.

73.

74.

75.

76.

77.

78. 79.

80.

81.

241

Onondaga; and statement of Sam Moskowitz, May 2, 1993, with “Secretary’s Report, Eastern Science Fiction Association, Meeting of November 7, 1948.” As quoted in the Los Angeles Times, August 27, 1978, per Russell Miller, BareFaced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard (London: Silvertail Books, 2014), 149. Miller’s book was originally published in 1987 by Penguin Books. Sam Moskowitz, for instance, made this claim in an affidavit from 1993. Similar claims were made by others, including Lloyd Eshbach, Neison Himmel, Sam Merwin, and Sara Northrup. Harlan Ellison, “The Real Harlan Ellison,” Wings (November–December 1978), 32. See also Michael Shermer, “The Real Science Behind Scientology,” Scientific American, November 1, 2011, accessed June 2018, https://www. scientificamerican.com/article/the-real-science-behind-scientology. “L. Ron Hubbard Speaks Out on ‘Battlefield Earth,’” Rocky Mountain News, February 20, 1983, reprinted in the addendum to L. Ron Hubbard, Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 (Hollywood, CA: Galaxy Press, 2016), 1011. Orwell (Eric Blair) indeed made such a remark in passing—“But I have always thought there might be a lot of cash in starting a new religion”—in a February 16, 1938, letter to Jack Common. See The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell: An Age Like This, 1920–1940 (London: Secker & Warburg, 1968), 304. Hubbard’s organizations conflicted, for instance, with the US Food and Drug Administration, as detailed later in this chapter and in chapter 3. See also Roy Wallis, “Scientology:  Therapeutic Cult to Religious Sect,” Sociology 9, no. 1 (1975): 89–100; and Wallis, The Road to Total Freedom, 190–92. The first version of the Bridge was not published until 1965, more than ten years after the incorporation of the first churches. Chapter 1 includes a more in-depth discussion of Scientology and finances. Lawrence Wright, Going Clear:  Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (New York: Vintage, 2013), 20. See Christensen, “Rethinking Scientology,” 49–87, an expanded version of which is available as Dorthe Refslund Christensen, “Rethinking Scientology: A Thorough Analysis of L. Ron Hubbard’s Formulation of Therapy and Religion in Dianetics and Scientology, 1950–1986,” Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 7, no. 1 (2016): 155–227. According to the church, these volumes represent a “complete chronological study of the written technology of Dianetics and Scientology.” Technical Bulletins, vol. 10, 1976, 725. While massive, there are other expansive (and underexamined) sources such as the multi-volume Research and Discovery Series. See Wallis, The Road to Total Freedom, 78–79; Whitehead, Renunciation and Reformulation, 73; Urban, The Church of Scientology, 60–62; and Donald A. Westbrook, “‘The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend’:  Thomas Szasz, the

2 4

242

82. 83. 84. 85.

86. 87. 88.

89.

90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96.

Notes Citizens Commission on Human Rights, and Scientology’s Anti-Psychiatric Theology,” Nova Religio 20, no. 4 (2017): 45–46. Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, ii. L. Ron Hubbard, Science of Survival (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), iv, viii. Hubbard, Science of Survival, 19. J. A. Winter, A Doctor’s Report on Dianetics (New York: Julian Press, 1951). The following year, Winter moved further away from Dianetics methodology with the publication of Are Your Troubles Psychosomatic? (New York: Messner, 1952). Winter, A Doctor’s Report on Dianetics, 34. Winter, A Doctor’s Report on Dianetics, 39–40, 92. Winter also objected to the practice of running the “sperm-ovum” sequence— that is, the “recollection” of memories from the moment of conception. Winter, A Doctor’s Report on Dianetics, 189. Hubbard acknowledged Winter’s publication and criticized him in an October 1953 lecture: “That’s why Dianetic Processing, every once in a while, falls on its face with some preclear. . . . How long will he be processed? Well, there was one case like this. I won’t mention any names. It was J.W. [J. A.] Winter. And this was a case, strictly, of having found his tolerance level. And he wrote in a book on the subject (he should have known the subject before he wrote the book), but he wrote in a book on this subject that he had had some—what was it?—sixteen hundred hours of processing. . . . I won’t say this is a lie, I’ll say the fellow is a medical doctor. [laughter] Anyway, he’s used to making statements which sound very, very profound. When you can’t cure a patient, you sure get to be an expert at profound statements which are kind of impartial about the whole thing. If you can’t do anything, you sure have to alibi for it all the time and you get into a habit of doing that.” L. Ron Hubbard, “Randomity, Automaticity and Ridges,” lecture on November 2, 1953, 1st American Advanced Clinical Course (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2008), transcript, 387–89. Wallis, The Road to Total Freedom, 50; Urban, The Church of Scientology, 63. Wallis, The Road to Total Freedom, 77–80; Urban, The Church of Scientology, 61. What Is Scientology? (1998 ed.), 776. Wallis, The Road to Total Freedom, 78. Dianetics Letters and Journals, 113–14. Dianetics Letters and Journals, 114. This text deserves fuller examination in the scholarly literature. It is also remarkable in that it presents an early challenge to Hubbard’s views on homosexuality in Dianetics (1950) and Science of Survival (1951) as a fixed feature of 1.1 (covert hostility) on the Tone Scale. See Sex in the Basic Personality (Wichita, KS: Hubbard Dianetic Foundation, 1952), especially 45–83.

2 4 3

Notes

243

97. Sex in the Basic Personality, vi. Oddly, the book was published in 1952 but includes a preface from Sterling that lists “April, 1950 Los Angeles” (x). Presumably this is a typographical error since Hubbard’s Dianetics was not published until May 1950. 98. Hubbard, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, 491. 99. The term is found in two early twentieth-century sources, but I  can find no evidence that Hubbard was aware of their existence or that they influenced his own usage. The first is a mention in English by Allen Upward (circa 1908) and the second apparently comes from the German philosopher Anastasius Nordenholz in his Scientologie, Wissenschaft von der Beschaffenheit und der Tauglichkeit des Wissens (Scientology: Science of the Constitution and Usefulness of Knowledge) (Munich: Ernest Reinhardt, 1934). See also Wallis, The Road to Total Freedom, 111, notes 1–2. 100. The “Camelback House” in Phoenix is today one of the L.  Ron Hubbard Landmark Sites. See “Camelback House, Phoenix, Arizona,” Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http://www.lronhubbard.org/ landmark-sites/phoenix.html; and Donald A. Westbrook, “Walking in Ron’s Footsteps: ‘Pilgrimage’ Sites of the Church of Scientology,” Numen 63, no. 1 (2016): 79–80. 101. L. Ron Hubbard, Handbook for Preclears (Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2007), 132. 102. L.  Ron Hubbard, “The Chart of Attitudes,” lecture on December 28, 1951, Scientology: Milestone One, transcript, 78. 103. This was due in part to Purcell’s financial difficulties and his involvement with the short-lived Synergistics movement, founded in 1954 by Art Coulter, a former Dianeticist. See Wallis, The Road to Total Freedom, 95. 104. L. Ron Hubbard, The Phoenix Lectures (Edinburgh: Publications Organization World Wide, 1968), republished in audio and transcript form by Golden Era Productions in 2007. 105. L.  Ron Hubbard, “Scientology, Its General Background, Part I,” lecture on July 19, 1954, Phoenix Lectures (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2007), transcript, 35. 106. L. Ron Hubbard, The Scientologist: A Manual on the Dissemination of Material (1955), in The Organization Executive Course: Dissemination Division, vol. 2 (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1991), 27. 107. Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, 216. 108. Urban, The Church of Scientology, 64–68. 109. Armstrong had access to some of Hubbard’s private writings during his time in the Sea Organization. The church has not confirmed the letter’s authenticity, although it was read into the court record in Church of Scientology of California

42

244

110. 111.

112.

113.

114.

115. 116. 117.

Notes v. Gerald Armstrong and not disputed. On this basis, Urban analyzed it in good faith. Urban, The Church of Scientology, 64–68. Hubbard, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, 205. The Camden church did not continue and was replaced in 1954 by the church founded in California by Burton Farber. Galusha was involved in the early Scientology movement and, after Hubbard’s death, founded an independent movement called Idenics. Mary Sue Hubbard became an important figure in Scientology history; her influence is assessed in chapter 5. For further discussion of the Church of American Science, see George Shaw and Susan Raine, “Remember the Whole Track? The Hidden Persuaders in Scientology Art,” in Stephen A. Kent and Susan Raine, eds., Scientology in Popular Culture: Influences and Struggles for Legitimacy (Santa Barbara, CA: ABCCLIO, 2017), 315–16. In the early 1980s, international management was restructured and most of CSC’s functions were transferred to the present-day Church of Scientology International (1981) in Los Angeles, as discussed in chapter 5. Hugh Urban has proposed that the cross may have been inspired by the eightpointed precursor used by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which counted Aleister Crowley among its members. Hubbard, however, claimed that the inspiration was a starburst cross found at a Catholic church outside Phoenix. It seems to me that both of these sources, Catholicism and Western esotericism, may have been at play and are not incompatible given the diverse sources synthesized in Scientology’s theology, practices, and culture. According to What Is Scientology? (1998 ed.), “The Scientology sunburst cross, the basic design of which was found by L. Ron Hubbard at an ancient Spanish mission in Arizona, is the official insignia for Scientology ministers” (909). In my view, one of the more obvious cases of appropriation is the influence of the Explorers Club membership bracelet on the design of Clear and OT bracelets that are available to Scientologists who have reached those levels. Hubbard was a lifelong member of the Explorers Club (New York City) and numerous photographs show him wearing his member bracelet. See, for instance, the cover of Dianetics Letters and Journals (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2012). See also Urban, “The Occult Roots of Scientology?”; Urban, The Church of Scientology, 67; Ability magazine, issue 14, 1955; and Ron: Images of a Lifetime (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2012), 210–11. See The Background, Ministry, Ceremonies, and Sermons of the Scientology Religion (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1999). Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, 218; see Dianetics: The Original Thesis, 81. “File clerk” refers to that portion of the analytical (rational) mind that the auditor may address during auditing to help discover an area of the preclear’s

2 4 5

Notes

118.

119.

120.

121. 122. 123.

124. 125. 126.

245

mind and memory. As Hubbard described, “The file clerk is the bank monitor. ‘He’ monitors for both the reactive engram bank and the standard banks. When he is asked for a datum by the auditor or ‘I,’ he will hand out a datum to the auditor via the ‘I.’ He is a trifle moronic when he handles the reactive engram bank, a contagion from the reactive mind, and he will at times hand out puns and crazy dreams when he should be delivering serious data.” Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, 242. L.  Ron Hubbard, “What Dianetics Can Do,” lecture on September 23, 1950, Dianetics Lectures and Demonstrations (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2007), transcript, 36–37. L.  Ron Hubbard, “Demonstration of E-Meter,” lecture on March 3, 1952, Scientology:  Milestone One (Los Angeles:  Golden Era Productions, 2007), transcript, 41–43. Dianetics:  The Modern Science of Mental Health, 218. In a lecture from late 1952, Hubbard admitted that he sometimes fell short of his own standards for auditing: “Of course, there’s always these two crimes in processing—you call them the ‘shuns’: invalidation and evaluation and one which I will cover a little later, conviction. Those are the ‘shuns’ as an auditor. Leave them alone! It’s all very well. Every once in a while I bust my own rules. You always got the privilege, you see, of busting rules. Every once in a while I bust my own rules and every time I do, I’m sorry. I can bust all kinds of rules in processing and never get into serious trouble. But when I  start busting ‘shuns,’ I  generally get a little bit sorrier, one way or the other—something will happen.” L. Ron Hubbard, “Standard Operating Procedure (SOP),” lecture on December 13, 1952, Philadelphia Doctorate Course, transcript, 140. L. Ron Hubbard, A History of Man (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 4–5. L. Ron Hubbard, Have You Lived Before This Life? (Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 1989), 150, 176, 183. Between-lives areas, implant stations, extraterrestrial interactions, and what Hubbard termed “entities” are taken up in a November 1952 lecture “The Role of Earth,” during which he tells the audience: “Now, as I say, this sounds science-fictiony. Well, don’t let it sound science-fictiony to you, because the truth be told, it’s not science fiction. In the first place, it’s not fiction, and it really isn’t very closely resembling what you read and call science fiction. Science fiction is just a very chimerical sort of a picture of it. Space is wild.” L.  Ron Hubbard, “The Role of Earth,” lecture given November 1952, Research and Discovery Series, vol. 12 (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1997), 267–68; and Hubbard, A History of Man, 109–11. Hubbard, Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought, 40. Hubbard, A History of Man, 71. Hubbard, Science of Survival, 71.

6 42

246

Notes

127. The “ARC Triangle” is also described in L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology:  The Fundamentals of Thought (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 45–48. 128. Hubbard, Science of Survival, 72. 129. Other foundational statements can be found in the “Qs, Prelogics, & Axioms of Scientology.” See L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology 0-8: The Book of Basics (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 53–74. 130. L. Ron Hubbard, “The Factors,” lecture on April 24, 1953, The Factors: Admiration & the Renaissance of Beingness (Los Angeles:  Golden Era Productions, 2007), transcript, 481. 131. “The Factors” concludes: “Humbly tendered as a gift to Man by L. Ron Hubbard, April 23, 1953.” L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology 8-8008 (Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2007), 237–41. 132. See Flinn, “Scientology as Technological Buddhism,” 209–13; Andreas Grünschloß, “Scientology, a ‘New Age’ Religion?,” in Lewis, ed., Scientology, 225–43; Stephen A. Kent, “The Creation of ‘Religious’ Scientology,” Religious Studies and Theology 18, no. 2 (1999): 97–126; Régis Dericquebourg, “Affinities Between Scientology and Theosophy,” Acta Comparanda, Subsidia IV (2017):  81–103; Urban, “The Occult Roots of Scientology?,” 91–116; Henrik Bogdan, “The Babalon Working 1946:  L. Ron Hubbard, John Whiteside Parsons, and the Practice of Enochian Magic,” Numen 63, no. 1 (2016): 12–32; and Aldo Natale Terrin, Scientology: Libertà e immortalità (Scientology: Freedom and Immortality) (Brescia: Morcelliana, 2017), 122, 131–42. 133. See, for instance, Donald A. Westbrook, “The L. Ron Hubbard Heritage Site in Bay Head, New Jersey as a Case Study of Scientology’s Intellectual History,” Acta Comparanda, Subsidia IV (2017): 225–42, and Urban’s use of bricolage as a concept for thinking about the many influences on Hubbard, in The Church of Scientology, especially chapter 1. 134. L.  Ron Hubbard, “Flows, Dispersals and Ridges,” lecture on December 10, 1952, Philadelphia Doctorate Course, transcript, 426.

c h a p t eR   3 1. L.  Ron Hubbard, “Keeping Scientology Working Series 1,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, February 7, 1965. Much of this chapter is based on my article “Saint Hill and the Development of Systematic Theology in the Church of Scientology (1959–1967),” Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 6, no. 1 (2015): 111–55. 2. This is a pseudonym, as are the names of all Scientologists cited in this chapter. 3. The volcano on the cover can be seen on the most recent 2007 edition (Bridge Publications). Visitors to the official Dianetics website are greeted by a video of a

4 2 7

Notes

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

247

violently exploding volcano. “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health,” accessed June 2018, http://dianetics.org. Its inconspicuous presence is not surprising, given that the buzz over Dianetics in the early 1950s had given way to the institutions and theology of Scientology by the late 1950s. See also Roy Wallis, “Societal Reaction to Scientology:  A Study in the Sociology of Deviant Religion,” in Wallis, ed., Sectarianism (New York: Halsted Press, 1975), 92. This seems to be a term of respect or possibly an assumption on the father’s part in light of the therapeutic methods he read about in Dianetics. Some early editions of Hubbard’s writings, at least the cover or book jacket, communicated this academic credential to the reader. Also, in the 1950s, Hubbard established the rank of “Doctor of Scientology” within the church—an obvious play to legitimacy based on the authority of science and the “cult” of expertise. However, in 1966, he canceled the title in “protest against the abuses and murders carried out under the title of ‘doctor,’ ” presumably a reference to psychiatrists. See L.  Ron Hubbard, “Doctor Title Abolished,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, February 14, 1966, and L. Ron Hubbard, All About Radiation (London: Hubbard Association of Scientologists International, 1957). The “Hubbard Communications Office Bulletins” (HCOBs) are republished in red ink just as they were originally issued. These are writings on “technical” matters, meaning the delivery of Dianetics and Scientology, and often contain helpful historical references, dates, and locations. The bulletins from 1959 onward are an excellent case study of the internationalization of Scientology. Fitzroy House (37 Fitzroy Street, London) is now an L. Ron Hubbard Landmark Site, staffed by Sea Organization members who host local events and tour visiting Scientologists and other guests. “Welcome to L.  Ron Hubbard’s Fitzroy House,” accessed June 2018, http://www.fitzroyhouse.org/. The first appears to be “HCO WW Changes Quarters and Address,” June 26, 1959, in which Hubbard wrote:  “This spring, with my own money, I  bought Saint Hill, the former luxury estate of the Maharajah of Jaipur.” In a December 1961 lecture, Hubbard described the move to England as a means to centralize the church’s communication network: “The reason why I operate in England might possibly interest you. ‘What’s he doing over in England? What’s he doing over in England?’ Well, England is in communication with the rest of the world. That’s right. That’s true. It’s not even a crack. . . . And England happens to make a better central for that particular type of activity. You can get to all parts of Scientology from England faster than from the United States.” L. Ron Hubbard, “The Goals Problem Mass,” lecture on December 31, 1961, Clean Hands Congress (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2009), transcript, 107–8. Until the 1970s, Scientology “missions” were known as “franchises” but served similar functions, namely the delivery of introductory Scientology services. The

8 4 2

248

10. 11. 12. 13.

14.

15.

16.

17.

18. 19. 20.

Notes present-day mission network was created as part of a corporate restructuring in the 1980s and resulted in Scientology Missions International (SMI), a part of the Church of Scientology International (CSI). “Special Information for Mission Holders,” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, July 14, 1959. It is possible that this source was written in part by an assistant, as the grammar shifts between first and third person. “News Bulletin,” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, September, 14, 1959. See L. Ron Hubbard, All About Radiation (London:  Hubbard Association of Scientologists International, 1957), and Hubbard’s April 1957 London Congress on Nuclear Radiation and Health Lectures (Los Angeles:  Golden Era Productions, 2005). Niacin is the key ingredient, as Hubbard believed it aids detoxification by opening capillaries to allow toxins to more easily leave the body (especially from sweating). Years later, in the late 1970s/early 1980s, niacin became part of a detoxification pilot program that Hubbard ultimately called the Purification Rundown—now the first major step on the Bridge to Total Freedom. This is according to Roy Wallis, who corresponded with FDA officials and observed that the raid went “largely unnoticed by the press.” Wallis, “Societal Reaction to Scientology,” 92, note 26. For more on the mechanics and use of the E-Meter, see Stefano Bigliardi, “New Religious Movements, Technology, and Science: The Conceptualization of the E-Meter in Scientology Teachings,” Zygon 51, no. 3 (September 2016): 661– 83, and Harriet Whitehead, Renunciation and Reformulation:  A Study of Conversion in an American Sect (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1987), 142–57. Past models of the E-Meter are on display at the L.  Ron Hubbard Life Exhibition, a museum of the Church of Scientology International in Los Angeles. Hubbard acknowledged this in a December 1952 lecture in which he referred to the meter then in use as “a very fancy and strange variety of Wheatstone bridge.” L. Ron Hubbard, “E-Meter: Demo,” lecture on December 1, 1952, Philadelphia Doctorate Course (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2007), transcript, 27. See Hugh B. Urban, The Church of Scientology:  A History of a New Religion (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011), 49–52, 62–64. L. Ron Hubbard, “Indoctrination in the Use of the E-Meter,” lecture on March 8, 1952, Scientology: Milestone One, transcript, 347. L. Ron Hubbard, Electropsychometric Auditing: Operator’s Manual (June 1952), in The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology, vol. 1 (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1991), 313–27. This description also makes sense of why the church uses the E-Meter as part of its “stress tests,” in which the public is

9 42

Notes

21.

22.

23.

24.

25.

249

introduced to the device and usually invited to take a personality test or purchase a book such as Dianetics. For more on needle readings and their significance in auditing, see L. Ron Hubbard, Understanding the E-Meter (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1988); L. Ron Hubbard, E-Meter Essentials (Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 1989); L. Ron Hubbard, The Book of E-Meter Drills (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1997); and L. Ron Hubbard, Professional Metering Course (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1996). These publications, it should be noted, are based on the Hubbard Professional Mark Super VII E-Meter model. The most recent version of the E-Meter, released December 2013, is the Mark VIII Ultra. See “Frequently Asked Questions,” accessed June 2018, https://www.hubbarde-meter.org/faq. html. Order of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Amended by Order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, March 1, 1973. In 1973, E-Meters and other material seized by the FDA were returned to the Washington, DC church. See William R. MacKaye, “Church Gets Back Books, E-Meters,” Washington Post, October 24, 1973, and the church’s 1968 publication with a chronology and primary sources related to the raid: The Findings on the U.S. Food and Drug Agency (East Grinstead: Department of Publications World Wide, 1968). The most recent version on the Mark VIII Ultra model reads: “This electrometer is a religious artifact intended only for use by Scientology ministers, ministersin-training and other qualified parishioners, as a guide in confessionals and counseling to help locate the source of spiritual travail. By itself this meter does nothing, and is neither medically [n]or scientifically useful for the diagnosis, treatment or prevention of disease. Ownership or use of this meter by anyone not in good standing with the Church of Scientology is prohibited.” See “What Is the E-Meter and How Does It Work?,” Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientology.org/faq/scientologyand-dianetics-auditing/what-is-the-emeter-and-how-does-it-work.html. Hubbard told the audience in 1957:  “Believe me, this organization knows a great deal about radiation since it was only two hundred and fifty miles from a hundred and some atomic bomb tests that were made in Nevada. The central headquarters of this organization were moved from Arizona only because grand pianos began to count like uranium mines. . . . Everything was alive and radioactive. Dust blew you in the face at night and you’d have a sunburn, but there was no sun. Now, that’s just too much radiation.” See L. Ron Hubbard, “Radiation and Scientology,” lecture delivered April 13, 1957, London Congress on Nuclear Radiation, Control, and Health (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2009), transcript, 127. Hubbard evidently referred to the Nevada Atomic Test Site, which has operated since 1951, tested over nine hundred nuclear devices,

0 52

250

26.

27. 28.

29. 30.

31.

32. 33.

Notes and been linked to increased rates of cancer in the area, as far as southwestern Utah. See also L.  Ron Hubbard, “How We Have Addressed the Problem of the Mind,” lecture on July 4, 1957, Freedom Congress (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2009), transcript, 2, and Carl J. Johnson, “Cancer Incidence in an Area of Radioactive Fallout Downwind from the Nevada Test Site,” Journal of the American Medical Association 2 (1984): 230–36. It is notable that while most Scientology organizations were not recognized as tax exempt prior to 1993, some individual churches had received this status, since they were separately incorporated and met eligibility requirements for exemption. For more on the church’s tumultuous relationship with the IRS, see Urban, The Church of Scientology, 155–77. See J. Gordon Melton, The Church of Scientology (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2000), 13. “Applied religious philosophy” is a classic formulation by Hubbard and the church to describe Scientology. Not surprisingly, it came up quite often in the interviews. For a further discussion of Scientologists and religious affiliation, see chapters 1 and 4. Public versions of the Nixon lists do not include Hubbard or Scientology. However, their inclusion is widely accepted among Scientologists. See, for instance, Heber C. Jentzsch, “Scientology:  Separating Truth from Fiction,” in Derek H. Davis and Barry Hankins, eds., New Religious Movements and Religious Liberty in America (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2002), 154; and Urban, The Church of Scientology, 100. See “List of Secret Target Groups,” Chicago Tribune, November 18, 1974, and Eileen Shanahan, “I.R.S. Kept Watch on ‘Subversives,’” New  York Times, November 18, 1974. L.  Ron Hubbard, “Concerning the Campaign for Presidency,” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, April 24, 1960. The article was featured in the church publication Ability, which in 1958 referenced Nixon’s name in support of the church-affiliated National Academy of American Psychology. As corroborated by FBI documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), two Secret Service agents, Joseph J. Ellis, Jr. and Andrew P. O’Malley, did in fact visit the Founding Church of Scientology in Washington, DC, in early March 1958. In one source, from March 19, 1958, Major Robert Everton Cushman, Jr., who served as Nixon’s executive assistant (and advisor on national security), thanked two members of the public, Roy Evans and Dr. Hart, for pointing out that Hubbard had used Nixon’s name (presumably a reference to the Ability article). Cushman emphasized that Nixon had no connection with Hubbard or Scientology and that the DC church had been “directed to refrain from any further use of the Vice President’s name.”

251

Notes

251

34. Memo from Cushman to Vice President Nixon, written in or around March 1958, obtained via the FOIA, and available in a “Pre-Presidential File” on L. Ron Hubbard at the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California. 35. In earlier writings and lectures, Hubbard is more conciliatory in tone toward psychologists, in particular Freud, presumably based on childhood acquaintance with Commander Joseph “Snake” Thompson, as mentioned in chapter 2. See L. Ron Hubbard, “Introduction to Dianetics,” lecture on September 23, 1950, Dianetics Lectures and Demonstrations (Los Angeles:  Golden Era Productions, 2007), 3–4; and L. Ron Hubbard, Handbook for Preclears (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 131, 133. 36. Hubbard, “Concerning the Campaign for Presidency.” 37. “My Whereabouts in November,” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, October 15, 1959. 38. This expansion took place almost exclusively in English-speaking countries and among mostly white populations. Exceptions include visits to South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where Hubbard attempted to establish bases for political influence on behalf of native peoples—which were ultimately unsuccessful yet grew some Scientology organizations that exist to this day. This also included short-lived and grandiose efforts to end apartheid in South Africa, where he lived in late 1960 and advocated for a democratic government in which every citizen had equal voter representation. Toward this end, he authored a “one man, one vote” constitution for the country, though it failed to gain traction. Hubbard moved to Rhodesia in April 1966 and researched setting up a Scientology base out of a hotel at Lake Kariba. He visited Prime Minister Ian Smith’s home with champagne to discuss plans for the country but was refused, and returned to England later in the year before founding the Sea Organization in 1967. Hubbard’s lectures about these efforts have been preserved and are now included in the scriptural canon. They also informed the naming and delivery of some auditing procedures, namely the South African Rundown and Johannesburg Security Check (“Joburg”). For more on the periods in South Africa and Rhodesia, see Urban, The Church of Scientology, 160–62; L.  Ron Hubbard, “About Rhodesia,” lecture delivered July 19, 1966, Saint Hill Special Briefing Course; and “Linksfield Ridge House, Johannesburg, South Africa,” accessed June 2018, http://www.lronhubbard.org/landmarksites/joburg.html. 39. The church grandly refers to the Briefing Course as “the most comprehensive single auditor training service in Scientology. It contains the largest, broadest body of information on the subject of human behavior, the mind, life and spirituality that has ever been available. It exists to train superlative auditors.” What Is Scientology? (1998 ed.), 262.

25

252

Notes

40. See “Should I  Participate in Auditing Services Before Training?,” Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientology.org/faq/ scientology- and- dianetics- training- services/ should- i- participate- in- auditingservices-before-training.html. 41. Hubbard, “What Do I Think of Auditors?,” Professional Auditor’s Bulletin, April 10, 1956. 42. “Saint Hill Manor,” L.  Ron Hubbard Landmark Sites, accessed June 2018, http://www.lronhubbard.org/landmark-sites/saint-hill-manor.html. 43. It should be noted, however, that the concept systematic theology is an external theological framework. To my knowledge, the phrase is not found in Hubbard’s writings or lectures, though a close parallel may be the concept of “Standard Technology” or “Standard Tech.” The Church of Scientology has no professional theologians, so the task of assembling and systematizing Hubbard’s theology is left to religious studies scholars and their categorizations. Indeed, there seems to be no obvious reason for the presence of theologians in the church since, as explored later in this chapter, Hubbard’s writings, lectures, and auditing techniques are considered direct sources for engagement, spiritual enlightenment, and training. Without a “church history department”—which exists in the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and many Protestant Christian denominations—the Church of Scientology relies on public relations representatives to communicate with academics, faith leaders, and journalists. See also “Standard Tech,” in Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary (Los Angeles: Publications Organization United States, 1975), 402–3. 44. There were, of course, many other developments in Scientology’s systematic theology—before, during, and after the Saint Hill period—but these are some of the more salient and recognizable by members today. Other examples include the systematization of auditing procedures, as well as “training routines” (TRs) for auditors to develop skills of communication, intention, and bodily control. Another example, on a more theoretical level, is what Hubbard termed the “goals problem mass” (GPM), which exists in the reactive mind and concerns past decisions that negatively affect the present and further complicate the removal of engrams. GPMs are addressed extensively in the Briefing Course lectures. 45. Applied Scholastics International was founded in 1972 and is one of the church’s “Fourth Dynamic” social betterment programs. Hubbard’s study methods are now used at dozens of tutoring centers and secondary schools around the world. See Melton, The Church of Scientology, 47–48; and “What is Applied Scholastics?,” Applied Scholastics International, accessed June 2018, http://www.appliedscholastics.org/about-us.html. 46. L. Ron Hubbard, The Study Tapes: Transcripts and Glossary (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2013).

235

Notes

253

47. Use of clay for this purpose is common and visitors to Scientology churches may notice materials available in course rooms for “clay demoing.” 48. Many Scientologists, however, would dispute the comparison with Dewey since he is linked to behaviorism and psychological/psychiatric schools of thought. See, for example, Humanitarian:  Education, Literacy, and Civilization (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2012), 13–16, and Bruce Wiseman, Psychiatry: The Ultimate Betrayal (Los Angeles: Freedom Publishing, 1995), 261–62. 49. See, for instance, L. Ron Hubbard, Introduction to Scientology Ethics (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 299, 330, and “Barriers to Study,” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, June 25, 1971, revised November 25, 1974. 50. “Studying: Data Assimilation,” lecture on July 9, 1964, The Study Tapes. 51. In 1975, Hubbard published the 577-page Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary (Los Angeles: Publications Organization United States, 1975). 52. However, Hubbard and Scientologists displayed an interest in pedagogy as far back as the 1950s, and surely he assimilated and expanded ideas from other individuals and traditions along the way. See L.  Ron Hubbard, “Teaching,” republished in Humanitarian:  Education, Literacy, and Civilization (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2012), 36–37, and Victor Silcox and Len Maynard, Creative Learning:  A Scientological Experiment in Schools (London:  Hubbard Association of Scientologists International, 1955). 53. For a description of Hubbard’s 1961 correspondence course through the New  York Institute of Photography, see Photographer:  Writing with Light (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2012), 79–83. He had a lifelong love of photography and even installed a dark room at Saint Hill Manor, which has been preserved for visitors at the L. Ron Hubbard Landmark Site in East Grinstead. 54. “Studying: Introduction,” lecture on June 18, 1964, The Study Tapes. 55. See “Personal Integrity,” Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientology.org/what-is-scientology/basic-principles-of-scientology/ personal-integrity.html. 56. “Study: Gradients and Nomenclature,” lecture on August 6, 1964, The Study Tapes. 57. See “Barriers to Study” and L. Ron Hubbard, Basic Study Manual (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1990), 23–70. 58. The church has produced its own dictionaries, such as the one that accompanies the “Student Hat Course,” where Scientologists listen to The Study Tapes taken from the Briefing Course. See Student Hat Dictionary (Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2013). 59. This is the current and most common disclaimer found in Hubbard’s books, taken from Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007). 60. See L.  Ron Hubbard, “What Is a Course—High Crime,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, March 16, 1972, and “Supervisor Two-Way

4 2 5

254

61. 62.

63. 64. 65.

66.

67. 68.

69.

70.

Notes Comm Explained,” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, June 27, 1971, revised December 20, 1988. See L.  Ron Hubbard, “How to Defeat Verbal Tech Checklist,” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, February 9, 1979, revised August 23, 1984. Restored versions of Hubbard’s lectures were also released. See The Complete Golden Age of Knowledge:  Six Exclusive Video Presentations That Announce and Bring to Life L. Ron Hubbard’s Congress Lectures, Basics Books and Lectures, and Advanced Clinical Course Lectures (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2010). Hubbard, “Definitions,” in Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 35. Hubbard, “Definitions,” in Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 37. In A History of Man, Hubbard described the “overt act” but not explicitly the withhold. However, he does mention the related concept of a “motivator”—“an incident which happens to the preclear and which he dramatizes.” He also discussed two concepts seldom referenced later: DED and DEDEX, which are, respectively, similar to overts and withholds. DED “is an incident the preclear does to another dynamic and for which he has no motivator,” and DEDEX is “an incident which happens to a preclear after he has a DED. . . . It is covered guilt. . . . The preclear is usually quite unwilling to give up the DED, but the EMeter will find it.” A History of Man (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 121–23. Grade II, one of the early steps on the Bridge, is an auditing level conducted with the E-Meter to unearth overts and withholds. The “end phenomenon” of Grade II is “freedom from the hostilities and sufferings of life.” What Is Scientology? (1998 ed.), 242. Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, 438. See “What Is Scientology’s System of Ethics?,” Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientology.org/faq/scientologyattitudes-and-practices/scientology-system-of-ethics.html; What Is Scientology? (1998 ed.), 648, 842; and L. Ron Hubbard, “Confessional Procedure,” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, November 10, 1987. There are numerous examples, including “Sec Check Questions—Mutual Rudiments” (June 20, 1961), “Sec Check and Withholds” (September 13, 1961), “Moral Codes: What Is a Withhold?” (October 4, 1961), “Sec Checking—Types of Withholds” (October 5, 1961), “How to Security Check” (November 2, 1961), and “The Missed Missed Withhold” (November 1, 1962), as listed in What Is Scientology? (1998 ed.), 926, 929. See also L. Ron Hubbard, “Responsibility,” lecture on January 1, 1960; “Overts and Withholds,” lecture on January 1, 1960; and “Zones of Control and Responsibility of Governments,” lecture on January 3, 1960, in State of Man Congress (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2009); and Senior Security Checker Course (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 1990). Hubbard, Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 64.

25

Notes

255

71. L. Ron Hubbard, “The E-Meter and Its Use,” lecture on December 31, 1961, Clean Hands Congress (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2009), transcript, 143. 72. Hubbard, “The E-Meter and Its Use,” transcript, 166, 168. However, Hubbard’s claim is complicated by the fact that some forms of confessionals, such as those connected with internal justice procedures, are not subject to the same priestpenitent privileges as auditing. In these cases, the Sec Checker indicates the difference to the confessor in advance of each session with the disclaimer “I am not auditing you.” See also Urban, The Church of Scientology, 107; and Roy Wallis, The Road to Total Freedom (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977), 148–49. 73. L. Ron Hubbard, Advanced Procedure and Axioms (Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2007), 128. 74. Hubbard, “The E-Meter and Its Use,” transcript, 166. Even so, the name “Security Check” is linguistically loaded and appears more investigatory than liberating. From a public relations and comparative religious standpoint, this helps make sense of the alternative “Confessional Technology.” 75. Hubbard, “The E-Meter and Its Use,” transcript, 158. 76. L. Ron Hubbard, “Blow Offs,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, December 31, 1959, revised February 9, 1989. 77. “The Factors of Clearing,” lecture on July 4, 1958, Clearing Congress, 28–29. 78. See, for instance, “The Posse of Lunatics:  A Story of Lies, Crime, Violence, Infidelity, and Betrayal” and “Defrocked Apostates: The Road to Redemption,” Freedom Magazine, Church of Scientology International, 2011, accessed June 2018, http://www.freedommag.org/special-reports/sources/posse-of-lunatics. html and http://www.freedommag.org/special-reports/sources/defrockedapostates-the-road-to-redemption.html. 79. Martha Stout, for instance, estimates that 4% of the population could be classified as having an antisocial personality disorder. The Sociopath Next Door (New  York:  Harmony, 2006), 6. See also Abraham M. Nussbaum, The Pocket Guide to the DSM-5 Diagnostic Exam (Arlington, VA:  American Psychiatric Publishing, 2013), 169, 227, 236–39. 80. “Why Ethics?,” in Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 226. 81. “The Anti-Social Personality, the Anti-Scientologist,” in Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 178–80. 82. See, for example, “PTS Handling,” in Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 203. 83. See, for instance, Laurence R. Iannaccone, “Sacrifice and Stigma:  Reducing Free-Riding in Cults, Communes, and Other Collectives,” Journal of Political Economy 100, no. 2 (April 1992): 271–91. 84. This is covered in several places, most prominently in journalistic sources, including Janet Reitman, Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2011), 340, and Lawrence Wright, Going

6 52

256

85.

86.

87. 88.

89.

90.

Notes Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (New York: Vintage, 2013), 387–88. At this point in Scientology’s history, there were few particularly prominent former members, and the Sea Organization did not form until 1967. Because of legal difficulties in the United States, England, and Australia, Hubbard’s chief critics in the late 1960s were governmental officials more than ex-members or journalists. However, these other groups became more prominent over time. The earliest and certainly most vocal anti-Scientology journalist was Paulette Cooper, who wrote The Scandal of Scientology (New York: Belmont-Tower, 1971). “Penalties for Lower Conditions,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, October 18, 1967, issue IV. See also “Suppressive Acts - Suppression of Scientology and Scientologists - The Fair Game Law,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, March 1, 1965. “Fair Game” was canceled in 1968, so Scientologists today seem unaware of it. However, I discussed the 1967 policy letter with a veteran Sea Org member who had worked for the Guardian’s Office (GO). He understood it to focus on Hubbard’s reaction to former Sea Org members more than nonmembers. However, as there would have been relatively few ex–Sea Org members in 1967 (the year the organization was founded), the policy seems at least in part directed at “suppressive” governments and individuals as well. In the 1967 recording Ron’s Journal 67 (RJ 67), Hubbard identified approximately one dozen individuals who were responsible for most of the suppression around the world. See Ron’s Journal 67 (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2005), and chapters 4 and 5 for more about RJ 67 and the Guardian’s Office, respectively. “Cancellation of Fair Game,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, October 21, 1968. Hubbard discussed legal tactics in sources such as The Scientologist:  A Manual on the Dissemination of Material (1955), in The Organization Executive Course: Dissemination Division, vol. 2 (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1991), 20–46. See also Urban, The Church of Scientology, 178–200. According to the 1978 edition of What Is Scientology?: “Disconnection has been replaced since 1968 by ethics counselings, which are quick and effective and designed to assist a person to recover his ability to act both causatively and rightly” (204). However, this volume also mentions confessional auditing (11, 81), which presumably would have been practiced as required on the Bridge, namely for Grade II auditing. Few Scientologists seem to be familiar with RJ 68, which was unavailable in churches that were otherwise well stocked with copies of Hubbard’s books and lectures. Presumably, this is because the cancellations were reversed. Further research should be conducted on the evolution that occurred between RJ 68 and the reinstatement of these policies. According to Hubbard’s Introduction to Scientology Ethics:  “Earlier, disconnection as a condition was cancelled. It had

2 75

Notes

257

been abused by a few individuals who’d failed to handle situations.  .  .  . We cannot afford to deny Scientologists that basic freedom that is granted to everyone else: The right to choose whom one wishes to communicate with or not communicate with.  .  .  . Therefore, the tech of disconnection was restored to use, in the hands of those persons thoroughly and standardly trained in PTS/SP tech” (207). See also L. Ron Hubbard, “Tech Correction Round-Up,” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, January 24, 1977, and L.  Ron Hubbard, “PTSness and Disconnection,” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, September 10, 1983. 91. Scientologist Leisa Goodman, as quoted in “New Religions: The Cult Question,” MTV, aired June 1995. 92. OT VII requires a visit every six months to the Flag Land Base in Clearwater for a “refresher” that includes study and a Security Check. 93. Forty-nine out of sixty-nine in the sample were asked this question, with fifteen yes and thirty-four no responses recorded. The flow of conversation in the remaining twenty interviews did not lead to the inclusion of this particular question. 94. Hubbard wrote:  “Suppressive Acts [high crimes] are defined as actions or omissions undertaken to knowingly suppress, reduce or impede Scientology or Scientologists.” They include felonies, inappropriate sexual behavior, blackmail, mutiny, unauthorized use of trademarks or service marks, creation of a splinter group (“squirrel group”), intentional alteration of Hubbard’s technology, spreading negative views about Scientology to the press, testifying hostilely about Scientology to state or public inquiries, suing a fellow Scientologist without first writing to the International Justice Chief (IJC) and receiving a response, failing to disconnect from an individual who conducts suppressive acts, and requesting/receiving a refund for training or auditing. 95. “PTSness and Disconnection,” Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 209. 96. “PTSness and Disconnection,” Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 208. 97. A simple Google search of “Scientology and disconnection” reveals testimonies from disconnected friends and family members, many of whom allege that the practice has damaged family life. The Church of Scientology International, meanwhile, has published a website that discusses disconnection and offers examples where the application of Scientology has improved familiar relations. See “The Truth About Disconnection,” accessed June 2018, http://www. scientologydisconnection.org. 98. In recent years, public relations officials have been more forthcoming and transparent about disconnection, even comparing it to shunning in other religious traditions, such as the Amish and Jehovah’s Witnesses. See “ ‘Disconnection’ in the Scientology Religion:  What Is It?,” Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination (STAND) League, accessed June 2018, https://www. standleague.org/facts-vs-fiction/whitepapers/disconnection-in-the-scientologyreligion-what-is-it.html, and “What Is Disconnection?,” Church of Scientology

8 2 5

258

99. 100.

101.

102.

Notes International, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientology.org/faq/scientologyattitudes-and-practices/what-is-disconnection.html. “The Creed of the Church of Scientology,” 1954, in L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology 0-8: The Book of Basics (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 409–10. One early source for Hubbard’s views on Christianity is a 1953 lecture, where he told the audience: “Religion, as you know it in the Christian Church, is well in the vicinity of 0.0 [on the Tone Scale]. It’s really close to death. They talk about ‘their God.’ A little bit higher they talk about ‘their Christ.’ Well, what’s God in this case? It’s themselves. But you’ve got to go all the way up through the dynamics to find him. You can’t go out and walk around geographically trying to locate yourself, your own God, because you are your own God. It’s so simple. You can’t walk around all over the place trying to ‘find Christ’ or ‘put Christ in your heart’ or some such thing as that, because as far as you’re concerned, when you got to a straight-up 7, you’d be Christ. Do you get the idea?” L. Ron Hubbard, “Inverted Dynamics” (Continued), lecture on October 14, 1953, First American Advanced Clinical Course (Los Angeles:  Golden Era Productions, 2008), transcript, 172. In another lecture from the same series, he contrasted the nature of divinity and responsibility in the two traditions: “The preclear, indoctrinated very early into the Christian church—they’re told ‘Have faith in. Have faith in. Have faith in. Have faith in. [pounding] It isn’t your town. It isn’t your house. It isn’t your doll. It isn’t your family. It all belongs to God. And God is somebody you can’t communicate with. We can prove it because every time you try to communicate with him to ask him to give you a new bicycle and so forth, why, he just doesn’t answer you at all. So you don’t exist. You’re not even anything with regard to God.’ ” Hubbard, “Restimulation of an Engram, Explained:  Self-Determinism,” lecture on October 26, 1953, First American Advanced Clinical Course (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2008), transcript, 601. For more on Christianity and Scientology, see Stefano Bigliardi, “On an Anomalous Piece of Scientology Ephemera:  The Booklet Scientology and the Bible,” Temenos 53, no. 1 (2017): 113–42. Of course, this is in contrast to some forms of gnosticism that view the flesh as a source of evil and distraction. Hubbard does not seem to have an inherently negative view of the body or view the flesh itself as suppressive—a designation reserved for individuals. However, he did display concerns about the uses and abuses of the corporeal, especially with respect to sexuality and psychiatry. See, for instance, Science of Survival (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 132; Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, 125; and L. Ron Hubbard, “Pain and Sex,” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, August 26, 1982. After the International Justice Chief (IJC) approves an excommunication, that office and its affiliates become the only outlets or “terminals” for the individual in the event he or she decides to discontinue anti-Scientology behavior and

9 52

Notes

103. 104. 105. 106.

107. 108. 109.

110.

111. 112. 113. 114.

115.

259

reapply for membership. Roughly, the re-entry process involves public renouncement, repayment of debts, completion of amends, and a formal request for reinstatement of membership. See L. Ron Hubbard, “Steps to Handle the Suppressive Person,” “The Scientology Justice Codes and Their Application,” and “Scientology Justice Procedures,” in Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 316– 19, 293–331, 335–54; and L.  Ron Hubbard, “The Continuing Act,” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, September 29, 1965. L. Ron Hubbard, “An Operating Standard Rule,” in Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 361. “Classification and Gradation,” lecture on September 9, 1965 (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2008), transcript, 3, 6. 1966 interview conducted by Tony Hitchman, Introduction to Scientology (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2006). See L. Ron Hubbard, “The One-Shot Clear,” in Dianetics 55! (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 219–24; and L. Ron Hubbard, “Handling with Auditing,” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, January 15, 1970. L.  Ron Hubbard, “Keeping Scientology Working Series 1,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, February 7, 1965. Hubbard, “Keeping Scientology Working Series 1.” Hubbard, “Keeping Scientology Working Series 1.” However, there is evidence that this mindset emerged in the early history of Scientology as well, such as this comment from 1955: “Where a ‘research department’ has been formulated, as in the Elizabeth Foundation, it has been a joke, and has actually done more to impede the forward progress of research than otherwise. . . . More actual biting data has been developed by myself under less money and under greater duress than in any other time or place.” L. Ron Hubbard, “Ownership, Special PAB,” Professional Auditor’s Bulletin 53, May 1955. The Religious Technology Center (RTC), for instance, exists to preserve the pure application of Hubbard’s technologies. In this sense, it is comparable to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. RTC is the holder of the trademarks and service marks of Dianetics and Scientology and licenses their usage. See “The Guarantor of Scientology’s Future,” RTC, accessed June 2018, https://www.rtc.org/guarant/index.html. Hubbard, “Keeping Scientology Working Series 1.” Hubbard, “Personal Integrity.” See Hubbard, Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 314. L.  Ron Hubbard, “Auditor’s Code,” Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientology.org/what-is-scientology/thescientology-creeds-and-codes/the-auditors-code.html. For instance, Scientologists are encouraged to write internal reports on violations of policy. The most well-known example is the “Knowledge Report”

0 6 2

260

Notes (KR). Reports are sent to the church’s ethics office for review and, as necessary, lead to follow-up and correction. See L.  Ron Hubbard, “Ethics Reports,” in Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 267–81.

c h a p t eR   4 1. L. Ron Hubbard, Ron’s Journal 67 (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2005), transcript, 1, 13. 2. This and other names in this chapter are pseudonyms. 3. See “Communication Training Drills,” in The Scientology Handbook (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2001), 156–81. 4. As one church source puts it, the purpose of this exercise is “To acquire the skill of being able to sit quietly and look at someone without strain and without being thrown off, distracted or made to react in any way to what the other person says or does.” The Scientology Handbook, 166. 5. What Is Scientology? (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1998), 180–81. 6. In Scientology parlance, missions are undertaken by Sea Org members who act in this capacity as “missionaires” (not missionaries) with specific objectives. This is in contrast to local church centers known as missions, where introductory Scientology services are offered. See L. Ron Hubbard, “Mission” and “Missionaire,” in Modern Management Technology Defined: Hubbard Dictionary of Administration and Management (Los Angeles:  Publications Organization United States, 1976), 334–35. 7. Some attempts have been made, however, including J. Gordon Melton, “A Contemporary Ordered Religious Community: The Sea Organization,” Journal of CESNUR 2, no. 2 (March–April 2018): 21–59, and Frank K. Flinn, “The Sea Organization and Its Role Within the Church of Scientology,” 2010, accessed June 2018, https://www.scientologyreligion.org/religious-expertises/the-SO-andits-role/page1.html. See also Susan Raine, “Colonizing Terra Incognita: L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology, and the Quest for Empire,” in Stephen A. Kent and Susan Raine, eds., Scientology in Popular Culture: Influences and Struggles for Legitimacy (Santa Barbara, CA:  ABC-CLIO, 2017), 14–16; Roy Wallis, The Road to Total Freedom: A Sociological Analysis of Scientology (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977), 140–42; Carole Cusack, “Scientology and Sex: The Second Dynamic, Prenatal Engrams, and the Sea Org,” Nova Religio 20, no. 2 (November 2016): 5– 33; and Amanda van Eck Duymaer van Twist, Perfect Children: Growing Up on the Religious Fringe (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015), 33, 157–58. 8. L.  Ron Hubbard, “Corporate Status,” Hubbard Communications Office Executive Letter, March 12, 1966. 9. L.  Ron Hubbard, “Founder,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, September 1, 1966, revised May 8, 1973. 10. Hubbard, “Founder.”

261

Notes

261

11. One key source is Hubbard’s audio recording Ron’s Journal 38 (1983), in which he expressed confidence in the abilities of the first trustees of the Religious Technology Center, as discussed in chapter 5. 12. He sold Saint Hill in 1966, having originally purchased it with his own money. See L.  Ron Hubbard, “HCO WW Changes Quarters and Address,” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, June 26, 1959. 13. During this period, good public relations were promoted through a musical group, the Apollo Stars, which played at numerous ports. See Don Jolly, “The Last Twentieth Century Book Club: Power of Source,” The Revealer, NYU Center for Religion and Media, April 8, 2014, accessed June 2018, https://wp.nyu. edu/ therevealer/ 2014/ 04/ 08/ the- last- twentieth- century- book- club- power- ofsource/, and Mark Evans, “L. Ron Hubbard’s Foray into the World of Music,” in Scientology in Popular Culture, 339. 14. One of the most bizarre incidents in the early history of the Sea Org took place in 1974 in Madeira, Portugal, where the Apollo and its crew were accused of being affiliated with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). This resulted in a protest from three hundred to four hundred locals, who demanded that the “capitalists” and “North American imperialists” leave and that “the yacht Apollo is CIA and we shall expel them from Madeira.” Scientologists were injured during the incident. Protestors threw rocks and other objects, and pushed three motor vehicles into the harbor. See “Conclusion from the Administrative Court of Lisbon,” June 17, 1985. 15. Hubbard, Ron’s Journal 67. 16. Hubbard, Ron’s Journal 67. 17. Hubbard, Ron’s Journal 67. 18. L. Ron Hubbard, “Indicators of Orgs,” in Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 229. 19. Notwithstanding the conspiratorial tone, there is independent evidence that these individuals, and others in England, did foster an inhospitable atmosphere for Hubbard during his years at Saint Hill, including publication of antiScientology articles. In 1968, Minister of Health Kenneth Robinson announced an immigration ban on Scientologists coming to the United Kingdom. In his official capacity, Robinson reported to the House of Commons that Scientology was “socially harmful.” Robinson was also a leader in the UK National Association of Mental Health. To Scientologists, his actions were clearly motivated by bias against Hubbard’s mental and spiritual practices. See Kenneth Robinson, Patterns of Care: A Study of Provisions for the Mentally Disordered in Two Continents (London: National Association of Mental Health, 1961), 22–27, 37–42, and Paulette Cooper, The Scandal of Scientology (New York: Tower Publications, 1971), chapter 8. 20. The tone and substance brings to mind anti-Semitic tropes and at the very least develops in the listener a conspiratorial sensibility that underscores a strong foil between the dozen or so “suppressives” and the Sea Org members who are poised to battle the forces of evil.

6 2

262

Notes

21. This allegation, which again I  cannot verify because specifics are missing, is consistent with Hubbard’s long record of antagonism toward psychiatry, which traces back to early writings such as Dianetics:  The Modern Science of Mental Health, 237–38, and Handbook for Preclears, 151. See also Donald A. Westbrook, “‘The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend’:  Thomas Szasz, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, and Scientology’s Anti-Psychiatric Theology,” Nova Religio 20, no. 4 (2017): 37–61. 22. Hubbard credited GO intelligence work as one cause of church growth in the 1960s: “Through the great alertness of organizations and their staffs, and through the services of intelligence officers, and through my own strategy on the matter, Mary Sue’s extremely good work, and overall coordinated performance by us, and not permitting ourselves to be distracted from our main purposes—has all come out toward a very high win for us.” Hubbard, Ron’s Journal 67. 23. The history and eventual dismantling of the Guardian’s Office are discussed in chapter 5. 24. OT I was released in August 1966 and OT II in September 1966 per What Is Scientology? (1998 ed.), 779. 25. Hubbard, Ron’s Journal 67. 26. See L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics:  The Modern Science of Mental Health (Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2007), 463–66, and L. Ron Hubbard, Handbook for Preclears (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 46. 27. See Melton, “A Contemporary Ordered Religious Community,” 28–29. 28. Hubbard, Ron’s Journal 67. 29. “Trapped in the Closet,” South Park, Comedy Central, first aired November 16, 2005. 30. The church has successfully worked with search engines, including Google, to remove content in violation of copyright law. See Hugh B. Urban, The Church of Scientology (Princeton, NJ:  Princeton University Press, 2011), 103, 186–89, and Janet Weiland, “Church of Scientology Simply Defended Copyrights,” San Jose Mercury, June 2, 2002, accessed June 2018, http://wwrn.org/articles/9181/ ?§ion=scientology. 31. L. Ron Hubbard, Introduction to Scientology Ethics (Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2007), 311. 32. Entheta is first described in L. Ron Hubbard, Science of Survival (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 6. For more on black PR and false data, see L. Ron Hubbard, “How to Handle Rumors and Whispering Campaigns,” in The Scientology Handbook, 730–37; “Hang-Up at Doubt,” in Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 134–35; and L.  Ron Hubbard, “Black PR,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, May 11, 1971.

6 23

Notes

263

33. This was reported to me by numerous Scientologists who have reached the OT levels. 34. Despite Hubbard’s original intention that Sea Org members be Clear or above, this is not a current requirement, and Sea Org members have reached many positions on the Bridge. Later in this chapter, I examine a 2010 census of the Sea Org provided by the Church of Scientology International. Position on the Bridge was not included in that data, but the preponderance of younger Sea Org members (teenagers through thirties) suggests they are on the lower half of the Bridge given the investment of time (and usually money) required to reach the OT levels. 35. See Hubbard, Ron’s Journal 67, and What Is Scientology? (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1978), 193–94. 36. J. Gordon Melton notes that members recite the code on Sea Org Day (August 12). The full Code of a Sea Org Member is included in Melton, “A Contemporary Ordered Religious Community,” 35–36. 37. See L.  Ron Hubbard, “Whole Track Facsimiles,” lecture on March 5, 1952, Scientology: Milestone One (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2007); Robert Genter, “Constructing a Plan for Survival: Scientology as Cold War Psychology,” Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation 27, no. 2 (2017): 159– 90; Susan Raine, “Astounding History:  L. Ron Hubbard’s Scientology Space Opera,” Religion 45, no. 1 (2015): 66–88; Albert I. Berger, “Towards a Science of the Nuclear Mind: Science-Fiction Origins of Dianetics,” Science Fiction Studies 16, no. 2 (July 1989): 123–44; Ingo Mörth, “Elements of Religious Meaning in Science-Fiction Literature,” Social Compass 34, no. 1 (1987): 87–108; and Hugh A.  D. Spencer, “The Transcendental Engineers:  The Fictional Origins of a Modern Religion,” MA thesis, McMaster University, 1981. 38. This is a reference to Roy Wallis’s classification of three major types of new religious movements (“world-rejecting,” “world-affirming,” and “worldaccommodating”). In my view, Wallis correctly classified Scientology as “worldaffirming” but failed to account for its counter-apocalyptic theology and the extent of its communal life (such as life in the Sea Org and parishioner volunteer efforts), observing that “its activities are principally of an individualistic character, with little value placed upon collective or communal enterprise.” Roy Wallis, The Elementary Forms of the New Religious Life (New  York:  Routledge, 1984), 6, 28. 39. One dictionary entry for the “Sea Org Symbol” (the organization’s seal or logo that consists of a five-pointed star within a laurel wreath) reads: “the Sea Org symbol adopted and used as the symbol of a Galactic Confederacy far back in the history of this sector, derives much of its power and authority from that association. Used throughout the history of this planet to crown poets, artists,

6 42

264

40.

41. 42.

43. 44.

45.

Notes champions, and conquerors, it not only represents the physical victory but the series of inner victories achieved by the individual, and the clarification and purification of his inner aims and purposes which lead to the outward victory. It is associated with the head, the traditional abode of the spirit. The star is a symbol of the spirit. The five-pointed star most commonly signifies rising up towards the point of origin. Its proper color is always gold. And note that the star is not trapped in its victory, but is in the open field towards the top of the wreath, allowing free exit, beyond its victory, and that is, in fact, in a field of blue, symbolizing truth (FO [Flag Order] 3350) . . . the star is the confederation and each one of those leaves is . . . the number of stars (6804SM-).” See L. Ron Hubbard, “Sea Org Symbol,” Modern Management Technology Defined: Hubbard Dictionary of Administration and Management (Los Angeles:  Publications Organization United States, 1976), 467. This is based on data from the Church of Scientology as of August 2017. This figure is also plausible based on an increase in Sea Org membership in 2012 and 2013 in preparation for the opening of the new Flag Building in Clearwater, Florida. See also Ivan Arjona Pelado, “My Thoughts on the Scientology Religious Order—The Sea Organization on its 50th Anniversary,” World Religion News, August 12, 2017, accessed June 2018, https://www.worldreligionnews. com/ featured- contributors/ scientologist- news- featured- contributors/ thoughts-scientology-religious-order-sea-organization-50th-anniversary. See What Is Scientology? (1998 ed.), 654. One Sea Org member indicated to me that some recruits, especially second- and third-generation Scientologists, believe that they were members of the Sea Org in a past life and are thus, in effect, continuing with the terms of a past agreement. This possibility is reinforced within the culture of the Sea Org when a member passes away. For instance, it is customary for an “in memoriam” document to be distributed by the Executive Director International (Church of Scientology International) to the deceased Sea Org member’s church, thanking the departed member for service, outlining career accomplishments, and granting a “twentyone-year leave of absence.” The leave of absence clause implies an expected age to re-join in the following lifetime. Later in this chapter, I discuss findings that the children of Scientologists are prime recruits, often joining as teenagers. Melton, “A Contemporary Ordered Religious Community,” 34. For instance, Hubbard’s introduction to A History of Man reads: “This is a coldblooded and factual account of your last 76 trillion years.” A History of Man (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 3. The content and sequence of these levels were revised over time; the most current version of the Bridge (2013) contains the word “new” to differentiate from the “old” or “original” versions no longer in use. See What Is Scientology? (1998 ed.), 591–96.

6 25

Notes

265

46. See Ron’s Journal 38 (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 1983). 47. Hubbard, Ron’s Journal 67. 48. L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics Today (Los Angeles:  Church of Scientology of California, 1975). 49. Scientology Volunteer Ministers, accessed June 2018, http://www. volunteerministers.org. 50. “Free Training Online,” Volunteer Ministers, Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http://www.volunteerministers.org/training. html. 51. L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary (Los Angeles: Publications Organization United States, 1975). 52. Sea Org members in Los Angeles informed me about the new dictionary project and I saw a draft or “pilot” copy at the Celebrity Centre in Hollywood. 53. These include Hubbard’s Administrative Dictionary, the first edition (1978) of What Is Scientology?, the Group Auditor’s Handbook, Hymn of Asia, and the “Tapes to Books Project” that was the forerunner of the Research and Discovery Series volumes (composed of transcripts of early Hubbard lectures). 54. “SO 1” refers to Hubbard’s “Standing Order 1”: “All mail addressed to me shall be received by me. I  am always willing to help. By my own creed, a being is only as valuable as he can serve others. Any message addressed to me and sent to the address of the nearest Scientology Church will be forwarded to me directly.” After Hubbard’s passing in 1986, the order was amended and mail is now sent to the Executive Director International at the Church of Scientology International. Long-term Sea Org member Guillaume Lesevre currently serves in this role. See What Is Scientology? (1978 ed.), front matter. 55. The 1974 incident in Madeira, Portugal, was mentioned in note 14. See also “The ‘Snow White’ Program and the Church of Scientology: The True Story,” white paper, Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination (STAND) League, Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, https:// www.standleague.org/facts- vs- fiction/ whitepapers/the- snow- white- programand-the-church-of-scientology-the-true-story.html, and Lawrence Wright, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (New York: Knopf, 2013), 130–31. 56. This basic narrative was confirmed by another Sea Org member who was on the Apollo at the time. See also Wright, Going Clear, 130, and Russell Miller, BareFaced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard (London: Silvertail Books, 2014), 326–27. 57. This may be the case from an economic standpoint. By 1979, the church had reportedly bought $8  million in real estate. However, Erin’s claim may more accurately reflect the current attitude of some Clearwater residents. In the mid1970s, relatively few businesses existed downtown to provide revenue for the

62

266

58.

59.

60.

61.

62. 63.

64.

65.

Notes city. See Julie Harrington, Martijn Niekus, and David Glassner, “Economic Impact of the Church of Scientology on Clearwater, Florida & Surrounding Areas,” Florida State University, Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis, July 2014, accessed June 2018, http://www.cefa.fsu.edu/sites/g/files/imported/ storage/original/application/8f0f11ef331827afe8e8acde82e57b66.pdf. Cazares resigned as mayor in 1978 and later served the city in other positions. He is mentioned in chapter 5 as a target of the now-infamous Guardian’s Office (GO), in particular the classified program referred to as “Project Normandy” run by Scientologist Jane Kember. Urban, Church of Scientology, 111; see also Mike Donila and Robert Farley’s 2006 obituary of Cazares in the Tampa Bay Times: “For the Disadvantaged and Against Scientology,” September 30, 2006. These have been reported in the Tampa Bay Times (formerly St. Petersburg Times)—which has a reputation for critical reporting on Scientology—including Mike Brassfield, “Outside Experts Call for Clearwater and Scientology to Work Together,” June 20, 2014, accessed June 2018, http://www.tampabay.com/ news/scientology/outside-experts-call-for-clearwater-and-scientology-to-worktogether/2185296; and Charlie Fargo, “Scientology’s Leader Reaches Out to Mend Fences with Clearwater,” March 21, 2014, accessed June 2018, http:// www.tampabay.com/ news/ scientology/ scientologys- leader- reaches- out- tomend-fences-with-clearwater/2171392. See also Tracey McManus, “Church of Scientology Takes Aim at Clearwater Marine Aquarium After Being Denied Land,” April 27, 2017, accessed June 2018, http://www.tampabay.com/news/ scientology/church-of-scientology-takes-aim-at-clearwater-marine-aquariumafter-being/2321768. In 2004, Robert Farley of the Tampa Bay Times wrote: “Scientologists now own more than 200 shops, restaurants, service outlets and small businesses in and around Clearwater’s downtown.” Farley, “Scientology’s Town,” St. Petersburg Times, July 18, 2004. See also Richard Leiby, “Scientologists Plot City Take Over,” Clearwater Sun, March 11, 1979. “Freewinds:  Welcome to the Church of Scientology Flag Ship Service Organization,” accessed June 2018, http://www.freewinds.org. Hubbard’s “Research Room” was salvaged by Sea Org member Frank McCall as part of a restoration effort and is now on display at the Sea Organization Museum in Clearwater. “Pinnacle of Technical Perfection” appears to have replaced “Mecca of Technical Perfection” in recent years, perhaps due to a push to dissociate the connection to Islam in post-9/11 America and use a term more apropos to Scientology’s soteriology. See Donald A. Westbrook, “Walking in Ron’s Footsteps: ‘Pilgrimage’ Sites of the Church of Scientology,” Numen 63, no. 1 (2016): 90–91.

6 2 7

Notes

267

66. L.  Ron Hubbard, “Welcome to the Flag Interne Course,” lecture on June 12, 1971. 67. Further research into the formative years of the Sea Org will benefit from study of the thousands of pages of Flag “Orders of the Day” (OODs), which provide a running record of life on the Apollo. One impressive collection of the Flag OODs is available at the Graduate Theological Union Library’s Special Collections in Berkeley. 68. Class V organizations, however, do have up to a handful of Sea Org members on staff since some of the positions (or “posts”) require it. In these cases, Sea Org members are held in high esteem among non–Sea Org staff, even though the latter usually hold most of the senior positions. The Sea Org positions at the Class  V church level are (1)  the Flag Banking Officer, (2)  the Flag Representative, and (3) the Deputy Flag Banking Officer for Marketing of Org Resources for Exchange. Sea Org members at a Class V church are in “Division 7,” the Executive Division, and part of the “Network Coordination Committee.” As such, their senior is not the Executive Director in the local church (as would be the case for non–Sea Org staff) but instead fellow Sea Org members at the continental level of management, for instance in Los Angeles (Western United States) or New York City (Eastern United States). 69. This data was communicated to me by Sea Org members, including those in CMO. 70. Hubbard, Ron’s Journal 38. 71. See “The Guarantor of Scientology’s Future,” RTC, accessed June 2018, https:// www.rtc.org/guarant/index.html. 72. CST also operates under the name L. Ron Hubbard Library, especially in connection to Hubbard’s nonfiction work and the needs of his personal estate. Long-time Scientologist Norman Starkey serves as executor and trustee of the estate of L. Ron Hubbard. Another CST-related entity is Author Services, Inc. (ASI), Hubbard’s literary, theatrical, and musical agency, which publishes his fiction through Galaxy Press. ASI hosts an annual “Writers and Illustrators of the Future” contest, open to the general public, to encourage professional science fiction writing and illustrating. See Author Services, Inc., accessed June 2018, http://authorservicesinc.com. 73. “What Is the Church of Spiritual Technology?,” Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientology.org/faq/churchmanagement/what-is-church-of-spiritual-technology.html. See also Mikael Rothstein, “Scientology, Scripture, and Sacred Tradition,” in James R. Lewis and Olav Hammer, eds., The Invention of Sacred Tradition (New  York:  Cambridge University Press, 2007), 25, 29. 74. See “David Miscavige,” Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientology.org/david-miscavige.html.

6 82

268

Notes

75. “David Miscavige,” Church of Scientology International. 76. The WDC is composed of members from the Commodore’s Messenger Org (CMO); the WDC chairperson also holds the title of Commanding Officer of the CMO. 77. According to The Command Channels of Scientology (Los Angeles:  Church of Scientology International, 1988): “The Religious Technology Center (RTC) is not part of International Management. It is a parallel policing body which ensures that the Church of Scientology International, whom it has licensed to use the trademarks and service marks, does put the trademarks to good use and is Keeping Scientology Working” (6), and “The Watchdog Committee (WDC) is the highest ecclesiastical authority in the Church. WDC does not manage. It is an inspection and police organization which inspects units of the Church and sees that they are established and functioning. It is responsible for forming up management units where they do not exist or re-forming them where they may be ineffective” (9). For more on the evolution of the church’s corporate structure, see chapter 5. 78. Technically, Sea Org members tell me, Midshipman to Captain are considered ranks, and Swamper to Chief Petty Officer are ratings. 79. Apparently, most staff only have earned ranks, not brevet ranks, so the issue does not commonly arise. 80. Most of the Flag Orders (FOs) are confidential and intended only for Sea Org members. However, the first two points in the Code of a Sea Org Member illustrate Hubbard’s grand expectations: “1. I promise to help get ethics in on this planet and the universe, which is the basic purpose of the Sea Org. 2. I promise to uphold, forward and carry out Command Intention.” See Melton, “A Contemporary Ordered Religious Community,” 35–36. 81. The census reflects membership data as of March 28, 2010. This information has been released to other researchers, including James R. Lewis. See James R. Lewis with Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen, “New Religious Movements and Gender— The Case of Scientology,” in James R. Lewis, ed., Sects and Stats: Overturning the Conventional Wisdom about Cult Members (Sheffield:  Equinox, 2014), 136–37; and Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen and James R. Lewis, “The Cult of Geeks: Religion, Gender, and Scientology,” in Lewis and Hellesøy, eds., Handbook of Scientology (Leiden: Brill, 2017), 406. 82. There is a slight discrepancy, as not all 5,514 members provided a current and joined age: 5,446 responded to current age, and 5,341 to joined age. 83. Further quantitative work remains on the average duration of service as a member, especially in light of the present estimate of seven thousand Sea Org members. While a lifelong (eternal) commitment is the goal, my interview sample suggests that many Sea Org members leave the organization, although some return or desire to return at a later date. As I discuss later in this chapter, many ex–Sea Org members remain in good standing with the church, while others are among its most vocal critics.

9 6 2

Notes

269

84. See “Are Young Children Permitted in the Sea Organization?,” Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientology.org/faq/ scientology-in-society/are-young-children-permitted-in-the-sea-org.html, and “Children, Sea Org Members, and Sea Org Orgs,” Flag Order 3905, November 27, 1989. 85. Castile Canyon School, also known as “the Ranch,” accessed June 2018, http:// castilecanyonschool.org/. 86. According to Hubbard:  “It is possible to process a child at any age beyond the point when he learns to speak. However, no serious processing should be undertaken until the child is at least five. Extensive dianetic processing is not encouraged, except in very unusual circumstances, until the child is at least eight years of age.” Child Dianetics:  Dianetic Processing for Children (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1982), 59. 87. Hubbard, Child Dianetics, 9–10. 88. However, Hubbard does acknowledge the influence of one’s social environment: “There are only two reasons why a child’s right to decide for himself has to be interrupted—the fragility and danger of his environment and you. For you work out on him the things that were done to you, regardless of what you think.” Hubbard, Child Dianetics, 10. 89. Hubbard, Science of Survival, 53. 90. I  did not encounter this claim in my interview sample, although I  did speak informally with a Sea Org member who confided that she and others chose to have abortions in order to remain in the organization. For a treatment of some of these issues, see Carole M. Cusack, “Scientology and Sex: The Second Dynamic, Prenatal Engrams, and the Sea Org,” Nova Religio 20, no. 2 (November 2016): 5–33. 91. Another pseudonym. 92. Per the 1954 Auditor’s Code: “Do not process a preclear after 10:00 pm.” Scientology 0-8:  The Book of Basics (Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2007), 363. 93. L. Ron Hubbard, “Study Time,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, August 2, 1971; and L. Ron Hubbard, “SSO Responsibility for Standard Staff Courses,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, October 29, 1979. 94. These include New Year’s Eve (December 31), Hubbard’s birthday (March 13), the anniversary of the christening of the Freewinds (June 6), Auditor’s Day (second Sunday in September), and the anniversary of the founding of the International Association of Scientologists (October 7), in addition to Sea Org Day (August 12), which is observed only within the Sea Organization. 95. Scientology:  The Fundamentals of Thought (Los Angeles:  Golden Era Productions, 2012). 96. Notably, a Class V Graduate Auditor (Dan’s training) need not be Clear in order to audit others to this state.

0 72

270

Notes

97. Some work has been conducted on Scientologists and disaffiliation from the church, including former members who continue to identify as Scientologists. See Elisabeth Tuxen Rubin, “Disaffiliation Among Scientologists: A Sociological Study of Post Apostasy Behaviour and Attitudes,” International Journal for the Study of New Religions 2, no. 2 (2011): 201–24. 98. If a Sea Org member joined between 1967 and 1975 in his or her late twenties/ early thirties, we would expect to see more members in their sixties/seventies. 99. A Google search of “Scientology,” “Sea Organization,” “L. Ron Hubbard,” “David Miscavige,” and related terms retrieves numerous critical sources on the first few pages (as of June 2018). However, many of the Church of Scientology’s own webpages and social media accounts are also displayed. 100. David G. Bromley, “The Social Construction of Contested Exit Roles: Defectors, Whistleblowers, and Apostates,” in Bromley, ed., The Politics of Religious Apostasy (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998), 36. See also Armand L. Mauss, “Apostasy and the Management of Spoiled Identity,” in Bromley, ed., The Politics of Religious Apostasy, 51–73. 101. Perhaps the most recent and widely distributed example was Alex Gibney’s documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (2015), based on Lawrence Wright’s 2013 book. 102. In his research of apostasy, Phil Zuckerman found that the former members he interviewed (though none were Scientologists) commonly expressed anger about some aspects of their past religious experiences, but not universally, and most also conveyed optimism and respect for religious traditions in general. See Phil Zuckerman, Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 136–38, 162–63. 103. For an expanded and modified view of Bromley’s typology in these terms, see Massimo Introvigne, “Defectors, Ordinary Leave-Takers, and Apostates:  A Quantitative Study of Former Members of New Acropolis in France,” Nova Religio 3, no. 1 (October 1999): 83–99. 104. Ordinary leave-takers from the Sea Organization, and the Church of Scientology more generally, are therefore difficult to quantitatively and qualitatively assess. It may be helpful to note here that some Scientologists disaffiliate from the church yet continue to identify as Scientologists, whether or not the church considers them as such. These include so-called independent or Free Zone Scientologists. See, for instance, James R. Lewis, “Free Zone Scientology and Other Movement Milieus: A Preliminary Characterization,” Temenos 49, no. 2 (2013): 255–76. 105. Bromley, “The Social Construction of Contested Exit Roles:  Defectors, Whistleblowers, and Apostates,” 28. 106. In fact, to my knowledge (via formal and informal follow-up), all interviewees from the 2012 sample continue to be members of the Church of Scientology.

271

Notes

271

107. Although this member did not state the reason for disqualification, possible reasons include connection to a suppressive family member, a criminal record, past institutionalization in a mental hospital, a history of electric shock, involvement in litigation against the church, consumption of LSD or Angel Dust, chronic illness, or personal debt. See “The Sea Org: Application Form,” Church of Scientology International, 2011, available at the Westbrook Scientology Collection, Honnold-Mudd Library Special Collections, Claremont, California, box 2, folder 6. 108. For more on the RPF, see Melton, “A Contemporary Ordered Religious Community,” 43–54; Juha Pentikäinen, Jurgen F.  K. Redhardt, and Michael York, “The Church of Scientology’s Rehabilitation Project Force,” Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), 2002, accessed June 2018, http:// www.cesnur.org/2002/scient_rpf_01.htm; Stephen A. Kent, “Brainwashing in Scientology’s Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF),” revised version of presentation to Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, San Diego, November 1997, and posted on the author’s University of Alberta website, accessed June 2018, https://skent.ualberta.ca/contributions/scientology/brainwashingin-scientologys-rehabilitation-project-force-rpf/; and “The Church of Scientology Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF):  Truth and Misconceptions,” white paper, Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination (STAND) League, accessed June 2018, https://www.standleague.org/facts-vs-fiction/ whitepapers/the-church-of-scientology-rehabilitation-project-force-rpf-truthand-misconceptions.html. 109. See L.  Ron Hubbard, “Sea Org Resignation, for Personnel Files,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, issue II, October 12, 1967; and L. Ron Hubbard, “A New Hope for Justice,” in Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 391. To be clear, this does not mean ex–Sea Org members are regarded as suppressive persons, but it does underscore the sense of betrayal felt by the group. 110. See L.  Ron Hubbard, “Blow Offs,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, December 31, 1959, revised February 9, 1989. 111. If a Sea Org member fails to complete the standard “routing out” process and leaves in an unauthorized manner—also known as “blowing”—then he or she may be excommunicated (i.e., declared an SP). 112. Rules and regulations concerning Committees of Evidence and Fitness Boards are detailed in Introduction to Scientology Ethics, as well as in Sea Org policy letters. 113. As far as I can tell, there is no Sea Org retirement plan for aging members. However, I was shown what amounted to a convalescent home in Clearwater, Florida, for elderly and chronically ill Sea Org members, in an area adjacent to Sea Org “berthing” (housing). 114. See L. Ron Hubbard, “Freeloaders,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, October 13, 1972.

27

272

Notes

115. Hubbard, Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 95–103. 116. “Condition of Liability,” in Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 102–3. When a Scientologist moves “out of lower conditions,” as it is commonly called, he or she is permitted to continue services at the church. 117. “Condition of Liability,” in Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 102–3. 118. “Condition of Liability,” in Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 102–3. 119. The church’s opposition to psychology and especially psychiatry is taken up in chapter  5 and also in Westbrook, “ ‘The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend’:  Thomas Szasz, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, and Scientology’s Anti-Psychiatric Theology,” 37–61. 120. See Ivan Arjona Pelado, “My Thoughts on the Scientology Religious Order—The Sea Organization on its 50th Anniversary,” World Religion News, August 12, 2017, accessed June 2018, https://www.worldreligionnews. com/ featured- contributors/ scientologist- news- featured- contributors/ thoughts-scientology-religious-order-sea-organization-50th-anniversary. 121. I observed a slight majority of female Sea Org members while touring facilities in Los Angeles, Clearwater, and East Grinstead. One explanation is that women may feel empowered within the Sea Org because of an egalitarianism in which roles are equally available to both men and women. Another factor may be Hubbard’s theology of the (gender-less) thetan. Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen and James R. Lewis provide quantitative data in support of a male majority within the church at large, but note that “it is in the greater attraction of women to the Sea Org that we see evidence for the imputed greater religiousness of the female gender,” in “The Cult of Geeks: Religion, Gender, and Scientology,” in Lewis and Hellesøy, eds., Handbook of Scientology, 406, note 2. See also Kate Bornstein, A Queer and Pleasant Danger (Boston: Beacon Press, 2013), 60, 71, 129; Roger Finke and Rodney Stark, The Churching of America, 1776–2005: Winners and Losers in Our Religious Economy (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2005), 243–44, 256–57; and Marta Trzebiatowska and Steve Bruce, Why Are Women More Religious Than Men? (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), chapters 2 and 3.

c h a p t eR   5 1. See Bernard Doherty, “Colonial Justice or a Kangaroo Court? Public Controversy and the Church of Scientology in 1960s Australia,” Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 6, no. 1 (2015):  9–49; and Bernard Doherty, “Spies and Scientologists:  ASIO and a Controversial Minority Religion in Cold War Australia, 1956–83,” Intelligence and National Security 31, no. 7 (2016): 993–1010. 2. One of the more unusual examples from this period, since it includes an interview with Hubbard himself, is the British documentary The Shrinking World of L. Ron Hubbard (World in Action Program, Granada Television, August 1968).

273

Notes

273

3. The 1978 edition of What Is Scientology? (Los Angeles: Church of Scientology of California) notes that the position of “Guardian” was established on March 1, 1966. “The purpose of the Guardian is: To help L. Ron Hubbard enforce and issue policy, and to safeguard Scientology orgs, Scientologists and Scientology.” On that same date, the “Church of Scientology of California Worldwide Guardian’s Office was established” (142). 4. Paulette Cooper, The Scandal of Scientology (New  York:  Tower Publications, 1971). 5. See Paulette Cooper, “The Scandal Behind The Scandal of Scientology,” accessed June 2018, http://www.paulettecooper.com/scandal1.htm. 6. Hugh B. Urban, The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011), 111. 7. See Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization v.  City of Clearwater, September 30, 1993, 2 F.3d 1514, 1531. 8. See Urban, The Church of Scientology, 167–70; and Jon Atack, A Piece of Blue Sky:  Scientology, Dianetics and L.  Ron Hubbard Exposed (New  York:  Carol Publishing Group, 1990), 226–35. 9. See Hubbard, Guardian Order 732, and “The ‘Snow White’ Program and the Church of Scientology: The True Story,” white paper, Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination (STAND) League, Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, https://www.standleague.org/facts-vs-fiction/whitepapers/ the-snow-white-program-and-the-church-of-scientology-the-true-story.html. 10. According to the Church of Scientology International: “The illegal activities of certain members of the Guardian’s Office, a former autonomous unit within the Church in the 1970s that was disbanded in 1983, represented a distortion of the Snow White Program, mislabeled as ‘Operation Snow White’ by certain critics.” “The ‘Snow White’ Program and the Church of Scientology: The True Story,” white paper, Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination (STAND) League. See Guardian Order 1361. 11. A Time magazine article in 1983 estimated that five thousand covert agents were involved. However, this number cannot be independently corroborated and a former GO staffer tells me the number was far lower; at its peak the GO had approximately five hundred staff in the United States, a fraction of whom were involved in questionable or illegal activities with the volunteers they recruited. See “Mystery of the Vanished Ruler,” Time, January 31, 1983, accessed June 2018, http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,951938,00.html. 12. See Urban, The Church of Scientology, 167–68. 13. Urban, The Church of Scientology, 167–68. 14. The FBI raided GO offices near Vermont Avenue and Sunset Boulevard (the present location of the Pacific Area Command, or PAC, base) and the Manor Hotel on Franklin Avenue in Hollywood (the present site of Celebrity Centre International).

4 72

274

Notes

15. Anthony Marro, “Federal Agents Raid Scientology Church,” New  York Times, July 9, 1977. 16. Urban, The Church of Scientology, 168. 17. Urban, The Church of Scientology, 168. 18. Urban, The Church of Scientology, 168. 19. The American Inquisition:  U.S. Government Agency Harassment, Religious Persecution, and Abuse of Power (Los Angeles:  Church of Scientology of California, 1977). 20. Declaration of David Miscavige, February 17, 1994, Church of Scientology International v. Fishman and Geertz. 21. Declaration of David Miscavige, February 17, 1994. 22. According to Miscavige: “Mr. Hubbard took no part in the disbanding of the GO or removal of Mary Sue Hubbard. In fact, the first he heard of it was five months after the initial purge, in July of 1981.” Declaration of David Miscavige, February 17, 1994. 23. Per Miscavige: “These documents had been removed by the GO from its own files in order to continue to hide their criminality from the Church. While the FBI had seized these documents in their 1977 raid of the Church, the GO had obtained an order sealing these materials from the public, including the Church. During a short period, the Court had lifted its sealing order and litigation adversaries obtained copies. And that is why we were only able to start discovering these acts when filed by the opposition in civil litigation.” Declaration of David Miscavige, February 17, 1994. 24. Declaration of David Miscavige, February 17, 1994. 25. Declaration of David Miscavige, February 17, 1994. 26. Declaration of David Miscavige, February 17, 1994. 27. This is debatable but plausible, as Hubbard seems to have had little to no contact with his wife during most of these years. Another piece of evidence in support of this view is that Hubbard also seemed unaware of the subsequent CMO-led expulsion of the GO, an organization he founded. See Ron’s Journal 38 (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 1983). 28. According to Miscavige:  “During the years 1981 through 1983, the Church kept a record of the names of individuals we found to have been involved in illegal activities, who condoned them, or who were in a position where they should have known and done something to stop them. Any individuals who were found at that time to be on staff were dismissed and informed never to apply for reemployment. A  list of names of ex-GO members either involved in, condoning, or being in a position to stop criminal acts is maintained by the International Justice Chief (IJC) at Flag Bureaux [CSI]. Church organizations are required to check with IJC prior to hiring any ex-Guardian’s Office staff member; that means anybody who was ever employed by the GO, whether he

275

Notes

29. 30. 31. 32.

33.

34. 35.

36. 37. 38.

39.

40. 41.

42.

43.

275

was involved in or cognizant of any criminal acts or not. The IJC then checks the names against the list of those banned from staff and informs the local Church organization whether it can hire the individual or not.” Declaration of David Miscavige, February 17, 1994. Declaration of David Miscavige, February 17, 1994. “Scientology:  Unparalleled Growth Since 2004,” Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientologynews.org/stats.html. Declaration of David Miscavige, February 17, 1994. International Association of Scientologists:  The Greatest Humanitarian Force on Earth, 1984–2014 (Los Angeles: IAS Administrations, 2014), 5. This booklet was published on the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of the IAS. In fact, when Hubbard reallocated worldwide Scientology assets to the Church of Scientology of California (CSC) in 1966, as described in chapter  3, CSC replaced the HASI as the senior corporate entity in the church at the time. International Association of Scientologists, accessed June 2018, http://www. iasmembership.org/. A photograph of the original “Pledge to Mankind,” with signatures visible, is available in Scientology:  Theology and Practice of a Contemporary Religion (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1998), 72–73. Hubbard himself expressed this logic in “Signs of Success,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Bulletin, May 1, 1958. “Pledge to Mankind.” In Dianetics (1950), Hubbard gave the equation that the preclear plus the auditor is greater than the forces of the reactive mind, which the preclear would be unable to confront alone. See Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 438. The IAS is run by the International Association of Scientologists Administrations (IASA), which distributes grants, publishes Impact magazine, and manages fundraisers. The IASA is also responsible for managing the IAS Members Trust, a reserve for humanitarian projects and legal affairs. “Scientology Case Settled Out of Court in Portland,” Spokesman-Review, December 18, 1986. Names and in some cases photographs of donors are published in the IAS magazine Impact. See also International Association of Scientologists:  The Greatest Humanitarian Force on Earth, 1984–2014, 64–69. “The History of Scientology’s Expansion,” What Is Scientology? (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1998), 594; and L. Ron Hubbard, “Ron’s Journal 30, 1978—The Year of Lightning Fast New Tech,” Executive Directive, December 17, 1978. OT IV and V are distinctive because, unlike the rest of the upper levels, they are delivered by another auditor and not solo audited.

6 72

276

Notes

44. The Purification Rundown—previously the “Purification Program” and even earlier the “Sweat Program”—is described in Hubbard’s Technical Bulletins (Subject Volume 3). 45. Hubbard recorded a music album, Space Jazz (1982), to accompany the book. The album featured Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Nicky Hopkins, and Gayle Moran. On another musical note, Hubbard later oversaw production of the album The Road to Freedom (1986), a collaboration that included John Travolta, Karen Black, Chick Corea, Amanda Ambrose, and David Pomerantz, among others. 46. The last nine volumes were published posthumously. 47. L. Ron Hubbard, “Author’s Introduction,” The Invaders Plan (Los Angeles: Galaxy Press, 2011). 48. See Stefano Bigliardi, “Earth as Battlefield and Mission:  Knowledge, Technology, and Power in L.R. Hubbard’s Late Novels,” in Stephen A. Kent and Susan Raine, eds., Scientology in Popular Culture: Influences and Struggles for Legitimacy (Santa Barbara, CA:  ABC-CLIO, 2017), 53–80; and Adam Possamai and Alphia Possamai-Inesedy, “Battlefield Earth and Scientology: A Cultural/Religious Industry à la Frankfurt School?,” in Carole M. Cusack and Alex Norman, eds., Handbook of New Religions and Cultural Production (Leiden: Brill, 2012), 583–98. 49. Ron’s Journal 38, “Today and Tomorrow—The Proof.” 50. See “RTC Matters of Concern” booklet, commonly found in Scientology churches. 51. Robert Lindsey, “L. Ron Hubbard Dies of Stroke,” New York Times, January 29, 1986, accessed June 2018, http://www.nytimes.com/1986/01/29/obituaries/lron-hubbard-dies-of-stroke-founder-of-church-of-scientology.html. 52. Urban, The Church of Scientology, 205. 53. See “Last Will and Testament of L. Ron Hubbard,” January 23, 1986, Creston, California; and Melton, “Birth of a Religion,” 29. 54. “International Scientology Briefing,” Hollywood Palladium Theater, January 27, 1986 (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 1986). 55. Hubbard sometimes employed a calendar that began with the publication of Dianetics in 1950. “AD 36” refers to “After Dianetics 36” (i.e., 1986). 56. Hubbard’s body was cremated soon after death, so this claim cannot be assessed. 57. The institutional and individual requirements put forward by the church for the release of OT IX and X are listed in a note to chapter 1. In a public source from 1977, Hubbard wrote that he completed OT VIII and “notes” for “a very large number of OT grades.” The full passage reads:  “For a number of years people have wondered when OT VIII would be released. Well, to tell you the honest truth, OT VIII has been in existence all those several years, and to it has been added a very large number of OT grades. None of them have been issued. Notes for all these grades are in existence. What I  have been waiting

2 7

Notes

58. 59. 60.

61. 62.

63. 64.

65.

66. 67.

68.

277

for is 2 or 3 months of free time to go over these materials and write them up and make them available through Advanced Organizations. Now I  will make a bargain with you. If you get  all the tech straightened out and the orgs and flaps and emergencies off my lines and get your training in and your Word Clearing in and everything flying and this civilization even more thoroughly pointed in a civilized direction, you will buy me those 3 months’ worth of time so I will be able to afford the time to write up all these Advanced Levels I have researched. Do your job well and buy me these three months. Is it a bargain?” L.  Ron Hubbard, “Tech Correction Round-Up,” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, January 24, 1977. “Funeral Service,” in The Background, Ministry, Ceremonies, and Sermons of the Scientology Religion (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1999), 113–23. L. Ron Hubbard, “Revision of the Birthday Game 1982/83,” Executive Directive 339R, March 13, 1982, revised July 30, 1982. See, for example, J. Gordon Melton, “The Succession Crisis in New Religions,” in Timothy Miller, ed., When Prophets Die:  The Postcharismatic Fate of New Religious Movements (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991), 1–12. Thomas C. Tobin, “The Man Behind Scientology,” St. Petersburg Times, October 25, 1998. Other perspectives on this period can be found in Kjersti Hellesøy, “Scientology Schisms and the Mission Holders’ Conference of 1982,” Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 4, no. 2 (2013): 216–27; Lewis, “Free Zone Scientology and Other Movement Milieus: A Preliminary Characterization,” 255–76; and Atack, A Piece of Blue Sky, 356–63. Thomas C. Tobin, “David Miscavige Speaks,” St. Petersburg Times, October 25, 1998. See Juha Pentikäinen and Marja Pentikäinen, “The Church of Scientology” (Los Angeles:  Freedom Publishing, 1996), republished by the Church of Scientology International as part of a series of “Religious Expertises,” accessed June 2018, https://www.scientologyreligion.org/religious-expertises/ the-church-of-scientology. See “Church of Scientology IRS Tax Exemption,” white paper, Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination (STAND) League, Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, https://www.standleague.org/facts-vsfiction/decisions/church-of-scientology-irs-tax-exemption.html. L. Ron Hubbard, “Welcome Address,” lecture on November 7, 1959, Melbourne Congress (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2005), transcript, 4–5. L. Ron Hubbard, The Scientologist:  A Manual on the Dissemination of Material (1955), in The Organization Executive Course: Dissemination Division, vol. 2 (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1991), 25. Hubbard, The Scientologist:  A Manual on the Dissemination of Material, in Ability, 1955.

8 72

278

Notes

69. See James T. Richardson, “Scientology in Court: A Look at Some Major Cases from Various Nations,” in James R. Lewis, ed., Scientology (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), 283–94. 70. See also “Why Is the Church of Scientology Considered a Pioneer Regarding Freedom of Information Laws?,” Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientology.org/faq/scientology-in-society/churchof-scientology-freedom-of-information-laws.html, and “The Right to Know,” Freedom Magazine, accessed June 2018, http://30th.freedommag.org/page37. htm. 71. See, for instance, Andrew Milne, “Overwhelming Religious Recognition for Scientology,” Freedom Magazine, accessed June 2018, http://www.freedommag. org/english/vol27i5/page14.htm. 72. Tobin, “David Miscavige Speaks.” 73. Tobin, “David Miscavige Speaks.” 74. Ninth Anniversary of the International Association of Scientologists, October 8, 1993, often referred to as “The War Is Over” event, and available for public viewing at most churches. 75. While this may seem routine, the IRS in fact rarely requests such in-depth evidence of a church or organization’s religious nature as part of the application for 501(c)(3) tax exemption. The application is primarily financial in nature, not theological; after all, the IRS is not professionally equipped to determine whether an organization is a religion or not, though its recognition of nonprofit status does carry legitimative weight to outsiders on the matter. See “Exemption Requirements—501 (c)(3) Organizations,” Internal Revenue Service, accessed June 2018, https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-organizations/ exemption-requirements-section-501c3-organizations. 76. Milne, “Overwhelming Religious Recognition for Scientology.” 77. Milne, “Overwhelming Religious Recognition for Scientology.” 78. In 1997, the New  York Times published details about the closing legal agreement. Neither the IRS nor the church confirmed its authenticity, but the IRS reaffirmed its 1993 decision. See Douglas Frantz, “The Shadowy Story Behind Scientology’s Tax-Exempt Status,” New York Times, March 9, 1997. 79. One example was the recognition in 2013 of a UK Scientology chapel as a “place of meeting for religious worship.” See “Supreme Court Judges Allow Scientology Wedding,” BBC News, December 11, 2013, accessed June 2018, http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-25331754, and “Landmark Victories for Religious Freedom,” Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientologyreligion.org/landmark-decisions/. 80. See, for instance, Philip Jenkins, Mystics and Messiahs: Cults and New Religions in American History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), chapter 9. 81. Important archival sources from this period are available at the University of California, Santa Barbara, which houses thousands of files obtained from

9 72

Notes

82.

83.

84.

85.

86.

87.

279

the bankrupted CAN, and the University of California, Los Angeles, which maintains the extensive Louis Jolyon West Papers. See J.  Gordon Melton, “Brainwashing and the Cults:  The Rise and Fall of a Theory,” Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), December 1999, accessed June 2018, http://www.cesnur.org/testi/melton.htm, and Anson Shupe, Susan E. Darnell, and Kendrick Moxon, “The Cult Awareness Network and the Anticult Movement: Implications for NRMs in America,” in Derek H. Davis and Barry Hankins, eds., New Religious Movements and Religious Liberty in America (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2002), 21–42. Robert Jay Lifton, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism:  A Study of “Brainwashing” in China (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989), especially chapter 22 entitled “Ideological Totalism.” Although the ideas of “brainwashing” and “deprogramming” are more urban legend than sociological and psychological reality, there has been serious work in NRM studies on religion, violence, and coercion, and one can of course find examples of violence—physical and psychological—in both older and newer religious traditions. In addition to sources cited in the introduction on the failings of the “brainwashing thesis,” see James T. Richardson and Massimo Introvigne, “‘Brainwashing’ Theories in European Parliamentary and Administrative Reports on ‘Cults and Sects,’” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 40, no. 2 (June 2001): 143–68; James T. Richardson, “Conversion and Brainwashing:  Controversies and Contrasts,” in George D. Chryssides and Benjamin E. Zeller, eds., The Bloomsbury Companion to New Religious Movements (New York: Bloomsbury, 2016), 89–101; “Memorandum in Response to the Task Force on Deceptive and Indirect Methods of Persuasion and Control,” American Psychological Association, May 11, 1987, republished by Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), accessed June 2018, http://www.cesnur.org/ testi/APA.htm; and James R. Lewis, ed., Violence and New Religious Movements (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011). Ted Patrick, as quoted in the Canadian documentary Deprogrammed (2015), EyeSteelFilm, Montreal, Québec, accessed June 2018, http://www.eyesteelfilm. com/deprogrammed. The attendance of thousands does not appear disputed. One source is Jay Mathews, “Scientology Winning in Court,” Washington Post, December 1, 1985, accessed June 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1985/ 12/01/scientology-winning-in-court/2e509da3-2b63-4a08-88ad-69c4e38550d6/ ?utm_term=.693c1d1882c5. Reminiscent of the Christofferson verdict, in 1986 a jury awarded Wollersheim $5  million in compensatory damages and an additional $25  million in punitive damages. The church vowed not to pay. Throughout the trial, officials and parishioners proclaimed “not one thin dime for Wollersheim.” The verdict was appealed and reduced to $2.5 million in July 1989. Finally, in 2002, the church

0 82

280

Notes

agreed to pay this fee, plus attorneys’ fees and interest, which amounted to $8.7 million, much of which went to Wollersheim’s outstanding legal fees. See Urban, The Church of Scientology, 183–85; and James T. Richardson, “Scientology in Court:  A Look at Some Major Cases from Various Nations,” in Lewis, ed., Scientology, 292. 88. Mike Konon, “Deprogramming Efforts Described in Kidnap Trial,” Evening Tribune (San Diego), July 11, 1980. 89. Konon, “Deprogramming Efforts Described in Kidnap Trial.” 90. Konon, “Deprogramming Efforts Described in Kidnap Trial.” 91. “‘Deprogrammer’ Busy in the Courts,” San Francisco Chronicle, August 6, 1980. 92. “Order Re Plaintiff’s Motion for Attorney’s Fees and Sanctions,” Paula Dain v. Theodore R. “Ted” Patrick, et al., United States District Court, Central District of California, November 1987. 93. See Anson Shupe, “The Nature of the New Religious Movements—Anticult ‘Culture War’ in Microcosm:  The Church of Scientology Versus the Cult Awareness Network,” in Lewis, ed., Scientology, 277–79. 94. Indeed, in its absence, there is no major institutional player in the United States, though a handful of small counter-cult organizations exist. 95. Reports of “deprogrammings” can still be found outside the United States. Human Rights Without Frontiers International, an organization based in Brussels under the leadership of Willy Fautré, has published research on these (and other) human rights violations. One recent report, for instance, described the kidnapping and abduction of Unification Church members in Japan. See “Annual Report,” accessed June 2018, http://hrwf.eu/causes/ annual-report. 96. “Police:  Woman Drove Car into ‘Evil’ Church of Scientology,” CBS Austin, December 16, 2015, accessed June 2018, http://cbsaustin.com/news/local/ woman-arrested-for-driving-car-into-church-of-scientology-called-church-evil. 97. Matt Hamilton, “Man Accused of Threatening to Kill David Miscavige, Church of Scientology Members,” Los Angeles Times, January 6, 2016, accessed June 2018, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-death-threats-davidmiscavige-scientology-20160105-story.html. 98. L.  Ron Hubbard, “Scientology Zero, the Dangerous Environment, the True Story of Scientology,” Hubbard Communications Office Information Letter, December 10, 1963. 99. See Urban, The Church of Scientology, 190–96; Carole M. Cusack, “Media Coverage of Scientology in the United States,” in Diane Winston, ed., Oxford Handbook of Religion and the American News Media (New  York:  Oxford University Press, 2012), 303–18; Nicole S. Ruskell and James R. Lewis, “News Media, the Internet and the Church of Scientology,” in James R. Lewis and Kjersti Hellesøy, eds., Handbook of Scientology (Leiden:  Brill, 2017), 329–31; Benjamin E. Zeller, “The Going Clear Documentary: A Matter of Framing,” in

281

Notes

100.

101. 102. 103.

104.

105.

281

Lewis and Hellesøy, eds., Handbook of Scientology, 381–95; and Terra Manca, “Presentations of Scientology in Prominent North American News Series,” in Kent and Raine, eds., Scientology in Popular Culture, 239–78. For more on Anonymous and Scientology, see Gabriella Coleman, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy:  The Many Faces of Anonymous (New  York:  Verso, 2014), chapter 2. Ex-Scientologist Marty Rathbun has written about these trends on his blog. L. Ron Hubbard, Science of Survival (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 224–25. L.  Ron Hubbard, “How to Handle Black Propaganda,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, November 21, 1972. See also Cylor Spaulding and Melanie Formentin, “Building a Religious Brand: Exploring the Foundations of the Church of Scientology Through Public Relations,” Journal of Public Relations Research 29, no. 1 (2017): 38–50; Ann Brill and Ashley Packard, “Silencing Scientology’s Critics on the Internet:  A Mission Impossible?,” Communications and the Law 19, no. 4 (1997): 1–23; and Hugh B. Urban, “The Rundown Truth:  Scientology Changes Strategy in War with Media,” Religion Dispatches, March 18, 2010, accessed June 2018, http://religiondispatches.org/ the-rundown-truth-scientology-changes-strategy-in-war-with-media. In a handful of sources, Hubbard refers to the ability of an elite and relatively small number of people to change society. The implication is that the goal of “Planetary Clearing” or “Clearing the planet” does not necessarily mean that all human beings need to become Scientologists or go Clear. In a December 1952 lecture, Hubbard remarked: “A survey of all of this demonstrated that at any one time on Earth there were not more than about 10,000 people of a caliber that was sufficient to do a little steering or leading.” In a lecture from October 1953, we find: “People condemn Dianetics and Scientology and say we’ve got a lunatic fringe! Sure we got a lunatic fringe, you bet your life. But do you know the only people interested in this, really, are an intellectual strata which number, I’m afraid, amongst the first five or ten thousand in the United States. You know there are only about ten to fifteen thousand intellectuals in this country? That’s a horrible fact, isn’t it? But it’s true enough. I’ve checked it up often enough.” L.  Ron Hubbard, “How to Talk to Friends About Scientology,” lecture on December 18, 1953, Philadelphia Doctorate Course (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2007), transcript, 118; and L. Ron Hubbard, “Inverted Dynamics” (Continued), lecture on October 14, 1953, First American Advanced Clinical Course (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2008), transcript, 180. See also L.  Ron Hubbard, “A Call for 100,000 Auditors, CSes and Supervisors and 10,000 OTs,” Executive Directive 259 International. See Blog Archive, Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination (STAND) League, accessed June 2018, https://www.standleague.org/blog/.

2 8

282

Notes

106. Roux’s recent publications on Scientology include Sur La Scientologie (Paris:  Éditions Pierre-Guillaume de Roux, 2018) and “Scientology Auditing: Pastoral Counselling or a Religious Path to Total Spiritual Freedom,” in Sarah Harvey, Silke Steidinger, and James A. Beckford, eds., New Religious Movements and Counselling:  Academic, Professional and Personal Perspectives (New York: Routledge, 2018), 130–42. 107. See Hubbard, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, 142, 193–95. 108. See Hubbard, Dianetics:  The Modern Science of Mental Health, 154–58; and “Regarding Barley Formula,” September 11, 2011, ScientologyParent. com, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientologyparent.com/ regarding-barley-formula. 109. See Tad Reeves, “I’m a Scientology Dad and Just Went Clear—What Was That Like?,” January 28, 2018, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientologyparent. com/my-story-of-going-clear-in-practical-terms; “Disassembling the Media Myth of ‘Brainwashing,’ ” January 3, 2017, accessed June 2018, http://www. scientologyparent.com/ disassembling- the- media- myth- of- brainwashing; and “Religious Choice of Children Raised in a Scientology Family,” December 29, 2016, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientologyparent.com/ do-children-raised-in-a-scientology-family-have-to-stay-in-scientology. 110. The Scientology Network (Scientology TV) was launched on March 12, 2018, and as of March 2018 is available in and outside the United States on platforms such as satellite television, smartphone apps, YouTube, and an official website (Scientology.tv). 111. “Welcome to Scientology Media Productions:  Religion’s Massive Communications HQ Opens to the World,” Church of Scientology International, May 28, 2016, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientology.org/scientologytoday/church-openings/grand-opening-scientology-media-productions.html. 112. For more on Scientologists and the media, see Donald A. Westbrook, “The Art of PR War:  Scientology, the Media, and Legitimation Strategies for the 21st Century,” Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses (2018). 113. Hubbard, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, 491. 114. L.  Ron Hubbard, “Scientology, Current State of the Subject and Materials,” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, July 30, 1973. 115. To standardize training, “Golden Age of Tech Drill Binders” were published with precise instructions for students. Another release from 1996 was the “Golden Age of Tech for OTs,” intended to refine drills for Solo New Era Dianetics for OTs (i.e., Solo NOTS, the solo-auditor method for OT VII). The latter came after RTC compared Hubbard’s OT VII notes with pre-1996 church sessions; discrepancies were discovered and eliminated as the church moved to align itself with Hubbard’s intentions.

2 8 3

Notes

283

116. Miscavige’s phrase “blind leading the blind” comes from the 1996 Golden Age of Tech release event. “Arbitraries” are insertions of non-Hubbard instructions or rules into the theory or practice of Dianetics and Scientology. As Hubbard put it, “An arbitrary, by definition, is an interjected law or rule or decision which does not fit or is unnecessary.” See L.  Ron Hubbard, “Executive and Governing Body Errors and Answers,” Admin Know-How Series 1, Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, October 20, 1966. 117. L.  Ron Hubbard, “The Theory of the New Grade Chart,” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, December 12, 1981. 118. L.  Ron Hubbard, “Statistics and Conditions of Existence,” in Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 71–91. 119. Miscavige described much of the research process in the 2007 event, but more work is required to establish the precise methodology by which the books were examined, updated, and republished, especially since some of Hubbard’s works are compilations, such as Scientology:  A New Slant on Life and Scientology:  The Fundamentals of Thought. It would be useful to compare first and early editions with the 2007 copies, though such a project would be hampered by a lack  of access to dictations that are housed in church archives. Fortunately, electronic copies of first-edition books are available online and print versions can be found in university libraries. See “David Miscavige: The Basics Books and Lectures,” accessed June 2018, https://www.scientology.org/david-miscavige/renaissancefor-scientology/basic-books-and-lectures.html. 120. L.  Ron Hubbard, “Keeping Scientology Working Series 1,” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, February 7, 1965. 121. Each text contains a new glossary and the lectures come with transcripts. See The Complete Golden Age of Knowledge:  Six Exclusive Video Presentations That Announce and Bring to Life L.  Ron Hubbard’s Congress Lectures, Basics Books and Lectures, and Advanced Clinical Course Lectures (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2010). 122. Miscavige, in The Complete Golden Age of Knowledge. 123. While certainly expansive, these materials do not include other important texts and lectures, such as the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course, Technical Volumes (“Red Volumes”), Management Series (“Green Volumes”), or Research and Discovery Series (“Purple Volumes”), not to mention other possible materials from Hubbard’s unpublished papers and recordings. 124. Miscavige, in The Complete Golden Age of Knowledge. 125. The Complete Golden Age of Knowledge. 126. David Miscavige, “Wake-Up Call:  The Urgency of Planetary Clearing,” Inspector General Network Bulletin No. 44, Religious Technology Center, September 11, 2001.

4 8 2

284

Notes

127. Most assists are performed without the E-Meter and involve what appears similar to a light touch massage (though Scientologists would dispute this simplistic characterization). Hubbard described them as a means to put the thetan in better communication with the body. This assists (hence the name) the spiritual being to heal or better control an ailing body. See L. Ron Hubbard, Assists Processing Handbook (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1992), and The Scientology Handbook (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2001), chapter 6. 128. See Amy Waldman, “Changed Lives:  Religious Leader Takes His Calling to Ground Zero,” New  York Times, September 20, 2001, accessed June 2018, http:// www.nytimes.com/ 2001/ 09/ 20/ nyregion/ changed- lives- religiousleader-takes-his-calling-to-ground-zero.html, and Alison Lesley, “The Church of Scientology Issues a 9/11 Commemorative Press Release,” World Religion News, September 11, 2013, accessed June 2018, http:// www.worldreligionnews.com/ religion- news/ scientology/ the- churchof-scientology-issues-a-911-commemorative-press-release. 129. Miscavige, “Wake-Up Call.” 130. L. Ron Hubbard, “The Ideal Org,” Executive Directive 102 International, May 20, 1970. 131. These include “Ideal Orgs” in Johannesburg (2003), Madrid (2004), New York City (2004), London (2006), Berlin (2007), Malmö (Sweden) (2009), Dallas (2009), Rome (2009), Washington, DC (2009), Brussels (2010), Québec City (2010), Las Vegas (2010), Los Angeles (2010), Mexico City (2010), Melbourne (2011), Moscow (2011), Inglewood (2011), Greater Cincinnati (2012), Tel Aviv (2012), Portland (2013), Kaohsiung (Taiwan) (2013), Sydney (2013), Basel (2015), Bogotá (2015), Tokyo (2015), Milan (2015), Atlanta (2016), Budapest (2016), Harlem (2016), San Diego (2016), Auckland (2017), San Fernando Valley (2017), Miami (2017), Copenhagen (2017), Dublin (2017), Birmingham (2017), Amsterdam (2017), Johannesburg North (2017), Salt Lake City (2018), Silicon Valley (2018), Perth (2018), and Orlando (2018). For churches in development, see “Building for the Future of the Scientology Religion,” Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientology.org/ churches/upcoming-churches.html. 132. As mentioned in a note to chapter  1, one prerequisite for the release of the next two OT levels, OT IX and OT X, is that “all orgs must reach the size of Old Saint Hill,” so it is possible that the Ideal Org program will contribute to this goal. See International Management Bulletin No. 124 of September 28, 1988, and International Scientology News, issue 31, 1993. 133. “Golden Age of Tech Phase II:  The Scientology Bridge to Total Freedom,” Church of Scientology International, November 17, 2013, accessed June 2018, http:// www.scientology.org/ david- miscavige/ golden- age- of- tech- phase- two. html. The 2013 release was followed by another in 2015: the “Golden Age of Tech Phase II for OTs.”

2 8 5

Notes

285

134. These are the Cause Resurgence Rundown and Super Power Rundowns, developed by Hubbard in the late 1970s and first tested among a small group of Sea Org members. These levels are somewhat unique in that they are confidential but can be delivered to eligible Scientologists on the lower half of the Bridge. See L. Ron Hubbard, “Ron’s Journal 30, 1978—The Year of Lightning Fast New Tech,” Executive Directive, December 17, 1978. 135. Some differences between the 2013 Bridge and the preceding version are refinements to the delivery of the Grades (I to IV) and the inclusion of a “Survival Rundown” (SRD) in place of what was previously termed “Objectives Processing” (i.e., auditing to orient one to the external or objective world). Other developments included a revised Student Hat study course and new auditor training materials. 136. At the events in late 2013, Miscavige spoke of “SPs” and “knuckleheads” who had failed to account for the extent of Hubbard’s writings. For instance, during Hubbard’s lifetime, publications known as “Board Technical Bulletins” (BTBs) were issued but later retracted on the assumption that they were written by others (and thus not genuine “Source” material). A Sea Org project was undertaken in the 2000s to discover which BTBs were in fact authored by Hubbard to assimilate the authenticated material back into Scientology’s canon and praxis. Access to and examination of these BTBs will be necessary for a fuller analysis of the “Golden Age of Tech Phase II.” 137. “Golden Age of Tech Phase II: The Scientology Bridge to Total Freedom.” 138. “Golden Age of Tech Phase II: The Scientology Bridge to Total Freedom.” 139. “Golden Age of Tech Phase II: The Scientology Bridge to Total Freedom.” 140. One exception seems to be CCHR, which is understandable since it offers an illuminating case study of Scientology’s contentious relationship with psychology and psychiatry. See, for instance, Matthew Charet, “The Citizens Commission on Human Rights and Scientology’s War Against Psychiatry,” in Lewis and Hellesøy, eds., Handbook of Scientology, 565–84. 141. L. Ron Hubbard, “The Aims of Scientology,” accessed June 2018, http://www. scientology.org/ what- is- scientology/ the- scientology- creeds- and- codes/ theaims-of-scientology.html. 142. A related organization, Youth for Human Rights International, promotes the UN declaration among children and young adults. See “Youth for Human Rights: Making Human Rights a Global Reality,” accessed June 2018, http:// www.youthforhumanrights.org. 143. Here we can see a possible connection between the sociology of “Fourth Dynamic Campaigns” and the theology of the “Fourth Dynamic Engram” that is the subject of OT III, as discussed in chapter 4. 144. Church publications offer different dates for CCHR’s initial establishment. The current organization, fully titled Citizens Commission on Human Rights International, traces to the March 16, 1969, founding of the Citizens

6 82

286

145.

146. 147.

148. 149. 150.

151. 152.

153.

154.

Notes Commission on Human Rights in the United States. Earlier, the CCHR United Kingdom organization was founded in December 1968. Today CCHR International in Los Angeles claims dozens of chapters internationally. See What Is Scientology? (Los Angeles:  Church of Scientology of California, 1978), 147; and What Is Scientology? (Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 1998), 457. “What Is the Citizens Commission on Human Rights?,” Citizens Commission on Human Rights International, accessed June 2018, http://www.cchr.org/ about-us/what-is-cchr.html. See J. Gordon Melton, The Church of Scientology (Salt Lake City:  Signature Books, 2000), 48–50. CCHR has promoted its work in CSI’s Freedom magazine and also in (apparently defunct or infrequent) periodicals such as Psychiatric Abuse Bulletin, Highlights, and the Journal for Personal Freedom. See “Global Locator,” Citizens Commission on Human Rights, accessed June 2018, http://www.cchr.org/ global-locator.html; and “Alternatives:  The Right to Be Informed,” accessed June 2018, http://www.cchr.org/alternatives/right-to-be-informed.html. See “Psychiatry:  An Industry of Death,” CCHR, accessed June 2018, http:// www.cchr.org/museum.html%23/museum/intro#/museum/intro. See Bruce Wiseman, Psychiatry: The Ultimate Betrayal (Los Angeles: Freedom Publishing, 1995), 145–56, 170–75. See Brian Bromberger and Janet Fife-Yeomans, Deep Sleep: Harry Bailey and the Scandal of Chelmsford (New  York:  Simon and Schuster, 1991), and The Chelmsford Report:  Australia’s Greatest Psychiatric Disaster (Sydney:  Citizens Commission on Human Rights, 1986). Quoted in Michael Robertson and Garry Walter, Ethics and Mental Health: The Patient, Profession and Community (New York: CRC Press, 2014), 219. This is the subject of another CCHR documentary, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual:  Psychiatry’s Deadliest Scam (Los Angeles:  Citizens Commission on Human Rights International, 2011). Hubbard’s views on psychology and psychiatry evolved. Sources from the 1950s reveal that he was at times more charitable in tone. See, for instance, L. Ron Hubbard, “Psychiatrists,” Professional Auditor’s Bulletin 62 (September 30, 1955), in The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology, vol. 3 (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1991), 185–88. See also L. Ron Hubbard, “Crime and Psychiatry,” June 23, 1969; “The Criminal Mind and the Psychs,” April, 26, 1982; and “The Cause of Crime,” May 6, 1982, all reprinted in Freedom Fighter:  Articles and Essays (Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2012), 159–61, 209–10, and 211–12, respectively. For a further discussion of Scientology’s anti-psychiatric theology, including material that formed the basis of this section on CCHR, see Donald A. Westbrook, “‘The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend’:  Thomas Szasz, the

8 2 7

Notes

155.

156.

157.

158.

159.

160. 161. 162.

163.

164.

287

Citizens Commission on Human Rights, and Scientology’s Anti-Psychiatric Theology,” Nova Religio 20, no. 4 (2017): 37–61. See also W. Vaughn McCall, “Psychiatry and Psychology in the Writings of L.  Ron Hubbard,” Journal of Religion and Health 46, no. 3 (September 2007): 437–47. Cruise’s views were also on display in an interview conducted by Matt Lauer on The Today Show in June 2005. See also Charet, “The Citizens Commission on Human Rights and Scientology’s War Against Psychiatry,” 565–84. Impact, the official magazine of the IAS, regularly features articles about CCHR. Each year, Miscavige awards IAS “Freedom Medals” to Scientologists who lead or promote the social betterment and humanitarian causes, including work for CCHR. These events are useful sources of data on CCHR and how its activities are perceived among Scientologists. Academic researchers are regularly invited to the IAS anniversary events and recordings are often available at local Scientology churches. On visits to CCHR’s international headquarters in Los Angeles (Hollywood) in 2012 and 2015, I  discovered fliers with the names of doctors and treatment centers where nonpsychiatric alternatives are offered. The Church of Scientology–affiliated drug rehabilitation program Narconon was not featured on that list, perhaps because it primarily treats dependence on narcotics. However, I am told that Narconon does accept clients who struggle with the use of psychotropic drugs, but only after a medically supervised withdrawal of the medication(s) in question. “On the track” refers to an individual’s time track, or life span, which extends beyond this life and into past lives. As examined in chapter 2, Hubbard also used whole track to refer to past lifetimes and the shared existence of thetans over a span of at least trillions of years. L.  Ron Hubbard, “Pain and Sex,” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, August 26, 1982. See also Hubbard, Dianetics:  The Modern Science of Mental Health, 242; and L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology: A History of Man (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 79. L. Ron Hubbard, “The Cause of Crime,” May 6, 1982, in Freedom Fighter: Articles and Essays (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2012), 211–12. Hubbard, “The Cause of Crime.” This possibility is a feature of Scientology’s space opera theology and is introduced in numerous publicly available sources, including Hubbard, Scientology: A History of Man, and L. Ron Hubbard, Have You Lived Before This Life? (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1990). See Westbrook, “ ‘The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend’: Thomas Szasz, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, and Scientology’s Anti-Psychiatric Theology,” 47–48. L. Ron Hubbard, The Way to Happiness: A Common Sense Guide to Better Living (Los Angeles, Bridge Publications, 2007).

82

288 165. 166. 167. 168. 169. 170. 171. 172.

173. 174. 175.

176.

177.

178.

179.

180. 181.

Notes Hubbard, The Way to Happiness, 1–3. Hubbard, The Way to Happiness, 7. Hubbard, The Way to Happiness, 13–16. Hubbard, The Way to Happiness, 155–56. Hubbard, The Way to Happiness, 204. Hubbard, The Way to Happiness, 206. L. Ron Hubbard, Ron’s Journal 33 (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 1982). “Most Translated Author, Same Book,” Guinness World Records, April 6, 2010, accessed June 2018, http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/ most-translated-author-same-book. United in Peace Foundation, accessed June 2018, http://unitedinpeace.org. “United in Peace: The Peace Rides, Riding for Peace Monthly Since October 2012,” booklet, United in Peace Foundation, 2013. Eric Garcetti, “Certificate of Recognition Is Hereby Presented to The Way to Happiness,” October 26, 2014. Crime statistics from South Central Los Angeles, Green Meadows, Watts, and South Los Angeles do support a correlation between the Peace Rides and subsequent decreases in violent crimes, though no official studies have been conducted. See LA Crime Maps, Los Angeles Times, accessed June 2018, http://maps.latimes.com/crime/, and Los Angeles Police Department Crime Mapping and COMPSTAT, accessed June 2018, http://www.lapdonline.org/crime_mapping_and_compstat. Nicole Santa Cruz, “The Game Meets with L.A. Gangs in an Effort to Stop Killings,” Los Angeles Times, July 17, 2016, accessed June 2018, http://www. latimes.com/ local/ lanow/ la- me- ln- rappers- gangs- meeting- 20160717- snapstory.html. Peter B. Gallagher, “A Colombia Miracle,” Freedom, Florida Edition, August 2015, accessed June 2018, http://www.freedommag.org/florida/201508-cb/acolombia-miracle.html. Lt. Col. Anstrongh Polania, Chief of the Department of Joint Operational Law, Ministry of Defense, Colombia, in a letter to Youth for Human Rights Colombia, March 5, 2014, letter and translation provided by the Church of Scientology International. See, for instance, Shannan Adler, “Caribbean Charm in Cartagena,” CNN, December 8, 2011, accessed June 2018, http://www.cnn.com/travel/article/cartagena-colombia-travel/index.html, and Jared Wade, “Colombia’s 2016 Homicide Rate Was Nation’s Lowest Since 1974,” Finance Colombia, January 2, 2017, accessed June 2018, http://www.financecolombia.com/ colombia-homicide-rate-2016-nations-lowest-since-1974. Gallagher, “A Colombia Miracle.” “Colombia Passionately Welcomes the First Scientology Ideal Org in South America,” Church of Scientology International, June 5, 2015, accessed

9 82

Notes

289

June 2018, http://www.scientology.org/scientology-today/church-openings/ scientology- cuts- ribbon- on- first- south- american- ideal- org- bogota- colombia. html.

c onc lusion 1. The proceedings were published in Acta Comparanda (Subsidia IV, 2017) and in a special issue of Nova Religio edited by co-organizer Régis Dericquebourg. See Dericquebourg, “Scientology: From the Edges to the Core,” Nova Religio 20, no. 4 (May 2017): 5–12. 2. Hugh Urban, for instance, cited an ex-Scientologist critic who speculated that we may be witnessing “ ‘the last generation of Scientologists,’ since young people today grow up on the Internet, live increasingly in cyberspace, and get all of their information online.” Hugh B. Urban, The Church of Scientology (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011), 199. 3. Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (New York: Knopf, 2005). 4. Hubbard College of Administration International, accessed June 2018, http:// www.hubbardcollege.org. 5. See What Is Scientology? (Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 1998), 378; The Scientology Handbook (Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2001), 617–19; and “Solutions to Administration,” Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http://www.lronhubbard.org/ron-series/profile/humanitarian/ solutions-to-administration.html. 6. Even the org board is imbued with theological significance. Hubbard told an audience that it was discovered during research of past lives (on the “whole track”). See L. Ron Hubbard, “Org Board and Livingness,” lecture on April 6, 1965 (Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2002); and “Organizing Board,” Scientology Online Courses, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientologycourses.org/ courses-view/organizing/step/organizing-board.html. 7. This is the Life Orientation Course (LOC) and offered at Scientology churches. 8. L.  Ron Hubbard, “Signs of Success,” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, May 1, 1958. Hubbard spoke of squirrels at even earlier points in the 1950s, including two lectures from the Philadelphia Doctorate Course (Los Angeles:  Golden Era Productions, 2007):  “Axioms and Logics:  Further Data,” lecture on December 6, 1952, transcript, 55, and “ARC/Cycles:  Theory and Automaticity,” lecture on December 8, 1952, transcript, 101. 9. This comparison was made by church attorney Lawrence Heller in 1982. See “The Flow Up the Bridge: The US Mission Holders Conference, San Francisco 1982,” Sea Organization Executive Directive Number 2104, November 7, 1982. 10. Massimo Introvigne, “Reza Aslan on Scientology:  Much Ado About Not Very Much?,” Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), accessed June

0 9 2

290

11.

12.

13.

14. 15.

Notes 2018, http://www.cesnur.org/2017/reza_aslan.htm. See also Eric Roux, “Scientology:  From Controversy to Global Expansion and Recognition,” in Eugene V. Gallagher, ed., “Cult Wars” in Historical Perspective: New and Minority Religions (New York: Routledge, 2017), 165–76; and Terril Park, “From the Church of Scientology to the Freezone,” in “Cult Wars” in Historical Perspective, 153–64. See, for instance, Carole M. Cusack, “‘Squirrels’ and Unauthorized Uses of Scientology: Werner Erhard and EST, Ken Dyers and Kenja, and Harvey Jackins and Re-Evaluation Counselling,” in James R. Lewis and Kjersti Hellesøy, eds., Handbook of Scientology (Leiden:  Brill, 2017), 485–506; Kjersti Hellesøy, “Scientology Schismatics,” in Lewis and Hellesøy, eds., Handbook of Scientology, 448–61; Kjersti Hellesøy, “Independent Scientology: How Ron’s Org and Dror Center Schismed Out of the Church of Scientology,” MA thesis, UiT, The Arctic University of Norway, 2015; James R. Lewis, “The Dwindling Spiral: The Dror Center Schism, the Cook Letter, and Scientology’s Legitimation Crisis,” Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 4, no. 2 (2013):  55–77; Shannon Trosper Schorey, “‘LRH4ALL!’: The Negotiation of Information in the Church of Scientology and the Open Source Scientology Movement,” in Lewis and Hellesøy, eds., Handbook of Scientology, 341–59; John H. Wolfe, “Common Sense Scientology,” Humanistic Psychologist 45, no. 1 (2017):  84–97; Elisabeth Tuxen Rubin, “Disaffiliation Among Scientologists: A Sociological Study of Post Apostasy Behaviour and Attitudes,” International Journal for the Study of New Religions 2, no. 2 (2011): 201–24; and Stephen E. Gregg and Aled J. L. Thomas, “Scientology Inside Out: Religious Belonging in the ‘Freezone,’” in George D. Chryssides, ed., The Insider/Outsider Debate:  New Perspectives in the Study of Religion (Sheffield: Equinox, forthcoming). There are other opportunities to better harness technology, such as the use of smartphones and tablets. The church has produced several apps, such as the iTunes app “Scientology Online Courses.” Members have produced apps on their own, with ecclesiastical consent, such as “Attitudes” about the basics of the Tone Scale. The church might also create cheaper and more portable versions of the E-Meter using new technologies. In 2018, the church began broadcasting the Scientology Network via satellite television and the web (Scientology.tv). See Hubbard, Dianetics:  The Modern Science of Mental Health, 125, where he writes about the “sexual pervert” in connection to “homosexuality, lesbianism, sexual sadism, etc.”; and L. Ron Hubbard, Science of Survival (Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007), 132–33, where 1.1 on the Tone Scale refers to “the harlot, the pervert, the unfaithful wife, Free Love, easy marriage and quick divorce and general sexual disaster” (133). See, for instance, D. L. Sterling, Sex in the Basic Personality (Wichita, KS: Hubbard Dianetic Foundation, 1952). L. Ron Hubbard, “The Resolution of the Second Dynamic,” lecture October 1952.

291

Notes

291

16. See “Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board, Religious Technology Center,” RTC, accessed June 2018, http://www.rtc.org/david-miscavige.html, and “David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board, Religious Technology Center & Ecclesiastical Leader of the Scientology Religion,” Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, http://www.scientology.org/david-miscavige/. 17. The church also notes that in 1982 Hubbard presented Miscavige with a “Star of Trust” pin, an accompanying card, and the following message:  “Trust and friendship are things forged in fire and pounded out on the anvil of life. We have been through a lot together. I trust you as you trust me. . . . The person wearing this pin is speaking personally for L. Ron Hubbard.” For further details and a photograph of the pin, see “David Miscavige: L. Ron Hubbard’s Trusted Friend,” Church of Scientology International, accessed June 2018, https://www. davidmiscavige.org/about/biography/l-ron-hubbards-trusted-friend.html. 18. L. Ron Hubbard, “Attitude and Conduct of Scientology,” lecture on November 3, 1955, Fourth London Advanced Clinical Course (Los Angeles:  Golden Era Productions, 2008), transcript, 530.

9 2

9 23

Bibliography

Adler, Shannan. “Caribbean Charm in Cartagena.” CNN, December 8, 2011. Accessed June 2018. http://www.cnn.com/travel/article/cartagena-colombiatravel/index.html. Affidavit of David A. Kyle. May 5, 1993. State of New York, County of Clinton. Affidavit of Jay Kay Klein. May 7, 1993. State of New York, County of Onondaga. Affidavit of Sam Moskowitz. April 14, 1993. State of New Jersey, County of Essex. The American Inquisition: U.S. Government Agency Harassment, Religious Persecution, and Abuse of Power. Los Angeles: Church of Scientology of California, 1977. American Psychological Association. “Memorandum in Response to the Task Force on Deceptive and Indirect Methods of Persuasion and Control.” May 11, 1987. Republished by Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR). Accessed June 2018. http://www.cesnur.org/testi/APA.htm. Andersen, Peter B., and Rie Wellendorf. “Community in Scientology and Among Scientologists.” In Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis, 143–63. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Anthony, D. L. “Brainwashing and Totalitarian Influence:  An Exploration of Admissibility Criteria for Testimony in Brainwashing Trials.” PhD diss., Graduate Theological Union, 1996. Anthony, Dick, and Thomas Robbins. “Conversion and ‘Brainwashing’ in New Religious Movements.” In The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements, edited by James R. Lewis, 243–97. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. Ashcraft, W. Michael. A Historical Introduction to the Study of New Religious Movements. New York: Routledge, 2018. Atack, Jon. A Piece of Blue Sky:  Scientology, Dianetics and L.  Ron Hubbard Exposed. New York: Carol Publishing Group, 1990. The Background, Ministry, Ceremonies, and Sermons of the Scientology Religion. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1999.

9 42

294

Bibliography

Bainbridge, William Sims. “The Cultural Context of Scientology.” In Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis, 35–46. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Bainbridge, William Sims. “Science and Religion: The Case of Scientology.” In The Future of New Religious Movements, edited by David G. Bromley and Phillip E. Hammond, 59–79. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1987. Bainbridge, William Sims, and Rodney Stark. “Scientology: To Be Perfectly Clear.” Sociological Analysis 41, no. 2 (1980): 128–36. Barker, Eileen. “Perspective:  What Are We Studying?” Nova Religio 8, no. 1 (July 2004): 88–102. Batson, C. Daniel, Patricia Schoenrade, and W. Larry Ventis. Religion and the Individual:  A Social-Psychological Perspective. New  York:  Oxford University Press, 1993. Beit-Hallahmi, Benjamin. “Scientology:  Religion or Racket?” Marburg Journal of Religion 8, no. 1 (2003): 1–56. Berger, Albert I. “Towards a Science of the Nuclear Mind: Science-Fiction Origins of Dianetics.” Science Fiction Studies 16, no. 2 (July 1989): 123–44. Bigliardi, Stefano. “Earth as Battlefield and Mission:  Knowledge, Technology, and Power in L.R. Hubbard’s Late Novels.” In Scientology in Popular Culture: Influences and Struggles for Legitimacy, edited by Stephen A. Kent and Susan Raine, 53–80. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2017. Bigliardi, Stefano. “New Religious Movements, Technology, and Science:  The Conceptualization of the E-Meter in Scientology Teachings.” Zygon 51, no. 3 (September 2016): 661–83. Bigliardi, Stefano. “On an Anomalous Piece of Scientology Ephemera: The Booklet Scientology and the Bible.” Temenos 53, no. 1 (2017): 113–42. Blair, Eric (George Orwell). February 16, 1938 letter to Jack Common. In The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell: An Age Like This, 1920–1940, 304. London: Secker & Warburg, 1968. Bogdan, Henrik. “The Babalon Working 1946:  L. Ron Hubbard, John Whiteside Parsons, and the Practice of Enochian Magic.” Numen 63, no. 1 (2016): 12–32. Bornstein, Kate. A Queer and Pleasant Danger. Boston: Beacon Press, 2013. Brassfield, Mike. “Outside Experts Call for Clearwater and Scientology to Work Together.” Tampa Bay Times, June 20, 2014. Accessed June 2018. http://www. tampabay.com/ news/ scientology/ outside- experts- call- for- clearwater- andscientology-to-work-together/2185296. Brill, Ann, and Ashley Packard. “Silencing Scientology’s Critics on the Internet: A Mission Impossible?” Communications and the Law 19, no. 4 (1997): 1–23. Bromberger, Brian, and Janet Fife-Yeomans. Deep Sleep: Harry Bailey and the Scandal of Chelmsford. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991. Bromley, David G. “The Social Construction of Contested Exit Roles:  Defectors, Whistleblowers, and Apostates.” In The Politics of Religious Apostasy, edited by David G. Bromley, 19–48. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998.

9 25

Bibliography

295

Bromley, David G., and James T. Richardson, eds. The Brainwashing/Deprogramming Controversy: Sociological, Psychological, Legal, and Historical Perspectives. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1983. Burroughs, William S. Ali’s Smile: Naked Scientology. Brighton: Unicorn Books, 1971. Bushman, Richard L. Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling. New York: Knopf, 2005. Campbell, John W. “Concerning Dianetics.” Astounding Science Fiction, May 1950. Carter, John. Sex and Rockets: The Occult World of Jack Parsons. Rev. ed. Port Townsend, WA: Feral House, 2004. Chagnon, Roland. La Scientologie: une nouvelle religion de la puissance. Villa de LaSalle, Quebec: Hurtubise HMH, 1985. Charet, Matthew. “The Citizens Commission on Human Rights and Scientology’s War Against Psychiatry.” In Handbook of Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis and Kjersti Hellesøy, 565–84. Leiden: Brill, 2017. The Chelmsford Report:  Australia’s Greatest Psychiatric Disaster. Sydney:  Citizens Commission on Human Rights, 1986. “Children, Sea Org Members, and Sea Org Orgs.” Flag Order 3905, November 27, 1989. Christensen, Dorthe Refslund. “Inventing L.  Ron Hubbard:  On the Construction and Maintenance of the Hagiographic Mythology of Scientology’s Founder.” In Controversial New Religions, edited by James R. Lewis, 227–58. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. Christensen, Dorthe Refslund. “Rethinking Scientology:  A Thorough Analysis of L.  Ron Hubbard’s Formulation of Therapy and Religion in Dianetics and Scientology, 1950–1986.” Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 7, no. 1 (2016): 155–227. Christensen, Dorthe Refslund. “Scientology.” In Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism, edited by Wouter J. Hanegraaff, 1046–50. Leiden: Brill, 2006. Christensen, Dorthe Refslund. “Sources for the Study of Scientology: Presentations and Reflections.” In Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis, 411–31. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. “The Church of Scientology:  Religion or Business?” Larry King Live, CNN, May 28, 1991. Church of Scientology International. “Are Young Children Permitted in the Sea Organization?” Accessed June 2018. http://www.scientology.org/faq/scientologyin-society/are-young-children-permitted-in-the-sea-org.html. Church of Scientology International. “Colombia Passionately Welcomes the First Scientology Ideal Org in South America.” June 5, 2015. Accessed June 2018. http://www.scientology.org/scientology-today/church-openings/scientologycuts-ribbon-on-first-south-american-ideal-org-bogota-colombia.html. Church of Scientology International. “A Comprehensive Overview of the Background, Theology and Religious Practice of the Scientology Religion.” Accessed June 2018. http://www.scientologyreligion.org.

6 9 2

296

Bibliography

Church of Scientology International. “David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board, Religious Technology Center & Ecclesiastical Leader of the Scientology Religion.” Accessed June 2018. http://www.scientology.org/david-miscavige. Church of Scientology International. “David Miscavige: L. Ron Hubbard’s Trusted Friend.” Accessed June 2018. https://www.davidmiscavige.org/about/biography/l-ron-hubbards-trusted-friend.html. Church of Scientology International. “Experts Conclude Scientology Is a True World Religion.” Accessed June 2018. http://www.scientologyreligion.org/ religious-expertises. Church of Scientology International. “Golden Age of Tech Phase II: The Scientology Bridge to Total Freedom.” November 17, 2013. Accessed June 2018. http://www. scientology.org/david-miscavige/golden-age-of-tech-phase-two.html. Church of Scientology International. “Landmark Victories for Religious Freedom.” Accessed June 2018. http://www.scientologyreligion.org/landmark-decisions. Church of Scientology International. “The Posse of Lunatics: A Story of Lies, Crime, Violence, Infidelity, and Betrayal.” Freedom, 2011. Accessed June 2018. http:// www.freedommag.org/special-reports/sources/posse-of-lunatics.html. Church of Scientology International. “Requested Donations:  Dianetics and Scientology Services.” Booklet. Flag Service Organization, 2015. Church of Scientology International. “The Right to Know.” Freedom, 1998. Accessed June 2018. http://30th.freedommag.org/page37.htm. Church of Scientology International. “Scientology:  Unparalleled Growth Since 2004.” Accessed June 2018. http://www.scientologynews.org/stats.html. Church of Scientology International. “The Sea Org: Application Form.” 2011. Church of Scientology International. “Walk in Ron’s Footsteps:  L. Ron Hubbard Landmark Sites.” Booklet. Los Angeles: Church of Scientology International, 2014. Church of Scientology International. “Welcome to Scientology Media Productions:  Religion’s Massive Communications HQ Opens to the World.” May 28, 2016. Accessed June 2018. http://www.scientology.org/scientologytoday/church-openings/grand-opening-scientology-media-productions.html. Church of Scientology International. “What Is Disconnection?” Accessed June 2018. http:// www.scientology.org/ faq/ scientology- attitudes- and- practices/ what- isdisconnection.html. Church of Scientology International. “What Is the Church of Spiritual Technology?” Accessed June 2018. http://www.scientology.org/faq/church-management/ what-is-church-of-spiritual-technology.html. Church of Scientology International. “What Is the E-Meter and How Does It Work?” Accessed June 2018. http://www.scientology.org/faq/scientology-and-dianeticsauditing/what-is-the-emeter-and-how-does-it-work.html. Church of Scientology International. What Is Scientology? Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 1998.

9 2 7

Bibliography

297

Church of Scientology International. “What Is the Scientology View of Democracy?” Accessed June 2018. http://www.scientologynews.org/faq/what-is-thescientology-view-of-democracy.html. Church of Scientology International. “Why Is the Church of Scientology Considered a Pioneer Regarding Freedom of Information Laws?” Accessed June 2018. http:// www.scientology.org/faq/scientology-in-society/church-of-scientology-freedomof-information-laws.html. Church of Scientology of California. What Is Scientology? Los Angeles:  Church of Scientology of California, 1978. Citizens Commission on Human Rights. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual: Psychiatry’s Deadliest Scam. DVD. Los Angeles:  Citizens Commission on Human Rights International, 2011. Citron, Danielle Keats. Hate Crimes in Cyberspace. Cambridge, MA:  Harvard University Press, 2014. Coleman, Gabriella. Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous. New York: Verso, 2014. The Command Channels of Scientology. Los Angeles:  Church of Scientology International, 1988. The Complete Golden Age of Knowledge: Six Exclusive Video Presentations that Announce and Bring to Life L. Ron Hubbard’s Congress Lectures, Basics Books and Lectures, and Advanced Clinical Course Lectures. Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2010. Cooper, Paulette. “The Scandal Behind The Scandal of Scientology.” Accessed June 2018. http://www.paulettecooper.com/scandal1.htm. Cooper, Paulette. The Scandal of Scientology. New York: Belmont-Tower, 1971. Corydon, Bent. L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman? New York: Lyle Stuart, 1987. Cowan, Douglas E. “Conversion to New Religious Movements.” In The Oxford Handbook of Religious Conversion, edited by Lewis R. Rambo and Charles E. Farhadian, 687–705. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. Cowan, Douglas E. “Researching Scientology: Perceptions, Premises, Promises, and Problematics.” In Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis, 53–79. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Cusack, Carole M. “Celebrity, the Popular Media, and Scientology:  Making Familiar the Unfamiliar.” In Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis, 389–409. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Cusack, Carole M. “Media Coverage of Scientology in the United States.” In Oxford Handbook of Religion and the American News Media, edited by Diane Winston, 303–18. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. Cusack, Carole M. “Scientology and Sex: The Second Dynamic, Prenatal Engrams, and the Sea Org.” Nova Religio 20, no. 2 (November 2016): 5–33. Cusack, Carole M. “‘Squirrels’ and Unauthorized Uses of Scientology:  Werner Erhard and EST, Ken Dyers and Kenja, and Harvey Jackins and Re-Evaluation

9 82

298

Bibliography

Counselling.” In Handbook of Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis and Kjersti Hellesøy, 485–506. Leiden: Brill, 2017. deChant, Dell, and Danny L. Jorgensen. “The Church of Scientology: A Very New American Religion.” In World Religions in America, edited by Jacob Neusner, 293– 312. 4th ed. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009. Declaration of David Miscavige. Church of Scientology International v. Fishman and Geertz, February 17, 1994. “Defrocked Apostates: The Road to Redemption.” Freedom. Church of Scientology International, 2011. Accessed June 2018. http://www.freedommag.org/specialreports/sources/defrocked-apostates-the-road-to-redemption.html. “‘Deprogrammer’ Busy in the Courts.” San Francisco Chronicle, August 6, 1980. Dericquebourg, Régis. “Affinities Between Scientology and Theosophy.” Acta Comparanda, Subsidia IV (2017): 81–103. Dericquebourg, Régis. “How Should We Regard the Religious Ceremonies of the Church of Scientology?” In Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis, 165–82. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Dericquebourg, Régis. “Scientology: From the Edges to the Core.” Nova Religio 20, no. 4 (May 2017): 5–12. Doherty, Bernard. “Colonial Justice or a Kangaroo Court? Public Controversy and the Church of Scientology in 1960s Australia.” Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 6, no. 1 (2015): 9–49. Doherty, Bernard. “Sensational Scientology! The Church of Scientology and Australian Tabloid Television.” Nova Religio 17, no. 3 (February 2013): 38–63. Doherty, Bernard. “Spies and Scientologists:  ASIO and a Controversial Minority Religion in Cold War Australia, 1956–83.” Intelligence and National Security 31, no. 7 (2016): 993–1010. Donila, Mike, and Robert Farley. “For the Disadvantaged and Against Scientology.” Tampa Bay Times, September 30, 2006. Accessed June 2018. http://www.sptimes. com/2006/09/30/Northpinellas/For_the_disadvantaged.shtml. Ellison, Harlan. “The Real Harlan Ellison.” Wings, November–December 1978. Evans, Mark. “L. Ron Hubbard’s Foray into the World of Music.” In Scientology in Popular Culture: Influences and Struggles for Legitimacy, edited by Stephen A. Kent and Susan Raine, 333–52. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2017. Fargo, Charlie. “Scientology’s Leader Reaches Out to Mend Fences with Clearwater.” Tampa Bay Times, March 21, 2014. Accessed June 2018. http://www.tampabay. com/ news/ scientology/ scientologys- leader- reaches- out-to- mend- fences- withclearwater/2171392. Farley, Robert. “Scientology’s Town.” St. Petersburg Times, July 18, 2004. The Findings on the U.S. Food and Drug Agency. East Grinstead:  Department of Publications World Wide, 1968. Finke, Roger, and Rodney Stark. The Churching of America, 1776–2005:  Winners and Losers in Our Religious Economy. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2005.

92

Bibliography

299

Fischer, Harvey Jay. “Dianetic Therapy:  An Experimental Evaluation. A  Statistical Analysis of the Effect of Dianetic Therapy as Measured by Group Tests of Intelligence, Mathematics and Personality.” PhD diss., New York University, 1953. Flinn, Frank K. “Scientology as Technological Buddhism.” In Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis, 209–24. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. “The Flow Up the Bridge:  The US Mission Holders Conference, San Francisco 1982.” Sea Organization Executive Directive Number 2104, November 7, 1982. Fox, Jack, Alvin E. Davis, and B. Lebovits. “An Experimental Investigation of Hubbard’s Engram Hypothesis (Dianetics).” Psychological Newsletter 10 (1959): 131–34. Frantz, Douglas. “The Shadowy Story Behind Scientology’s Tax-Exempt Status.” New York Times, March 9, 1997. Frenschkowski, Marco. “Images of Religions and Religious History in the Works of L. Ron Hubbard.” In Handbook of Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis and Kjersti Hellesøy, 104–40. Leiden: Brill, 2017. Frenschkowski, Marco. “Researching Scientology.” Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 1, no. 1 (Spring 2010): 5–44. Freud, Sigmund. The Problem of Lay Analysis. New York: Brentano’s, 1927. Gallagher, Eugene V. “Scientology’s Sunday Service: Scripture in Action.” Numen 63, no. 1 (2016): 95–112. Gallagher, Peter B. “A Colombia Miracle.” Freedom. Special Clearwater Edition, August 2015. Accessed June 2018. http://www.freedommag.org/florida/201508cb/a-colombia-miracle.html. Genter, Robert. “Constructing a Plan for Survival:  Scientology as Cold War Psychology.” Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation 27, no. 2 (2017): 159–90. Gibney, Alex. Going Clear:  Scientology and the Prison of Belief. HBO Documentary Films, 2015. Graham, Ruth. “Are Academics Afraid to Study Scientology?” (originally published as “The Scholarly Study of Scientology”). JSTOR Daily, November 5, 2014. Accessed June 2018. https://daily.jstor.org/scholars-on-scientology. Gregg, Stephen E., and Aled J.  L. Thomas. “Scientology Inside Out:  Religious Belonging in the ‘Freezone.’” In The Insider/Outsider Debate:  New Perspectives in the Study of Religion, edited by George D. Chryssides. Sheffield:  Equinox, forthcoming. Grünschloß, Andreas. “Scientology, a ‘New Age’ Religion?” In Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis, 225–43. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Hall, David D., ed. Lived Religion in America: Toward a History of Practice. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997. Hall, David D. Worlds of Wonder, Days of Judgment: Popular Religious Belief in Early New England. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989. Hamilton, Matt. “Man Accused of Threatening to Kill David Miscavige, Church of Scientology Members.” Los Angeles Times, January 6, 2016. Accessed June 2018.

03

300

Bibliography

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-death-threats-david-miscavigescientology-20160105-story.html. Harrington, Julie, Martijn Niekus, and David Glassner. “Economic Impact of the Church of Scientology on Clearwater, Florida & Surrounding Areas.” Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis, Florida State University, July 2014. Accessed June 2018. http://www.cefa.fsu.edu/sites/g/files/imported/storage/original/application/8f0f11ef331827afe8e8acde82e57b66.pdf. Hellesøy, Kjersti. “Independent Scientology:  How Ron’s Org and Dror Center Schismed Out of the Church of Scientology.” MA thesis, UiT, The Arctic University of Norway, 2015. Hellesøy, Kjersti. “Scientology Schismatics.” In Handbook of Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis and Kjersti Hellesøy, 448–61. Leiden: Brill, 2017. Hellesøy, Kjersti. “Scientology Schisms and the Mission Holders’ Conference of 1982.” Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 4, no. 2 (2013): 216–27. Hubbard, L. Ron. 1st American Advanced Clinical Course. Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2009. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Admin Know-How No. 30.” Hubbard Communications Policy Letter, September 1, 1973. Hubbard, L. Ron. Advanced Procedure and Axioms. Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2007. Hubbard, L. Ron. “The Aims of Scientology.” Church of Scientology International. Accessed June 2018. http://www.scientology.org/what-is-scientology/thescientology-creeds-and-codes/the-aims-of-scientology.html. Hubbard, L. Ron. All About Radiation. London: Hubbard Association of Scientologists International, 1957. Hubbard, L. Ron. Assists Processing Handbook. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1992. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Attitude and Conduct of Scientology.” Lecture delivered November 3, 1955. Fourth London Advanced Clinical Course. Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2010. Hubbard, L. Ron. “The Auditor’s Code.” Accessed June 2018. Church of Scientology International. http://www.scientology.org/what-is-scientology/the-scientologycreeds-and-codes/the-auditors-code.html. Hubbard, L. Ron. “The Auditor’s Code.” In Scientology 0-8: The Book of Basics, 378– 80. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Barriers to Study.” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, June 25, 1971; revised November 25, 1974. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Black PR.” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, May 11, 1971. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Blow Offs.” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, December 31, 1959; revised February 9, 1989. Hubbard, L. Ron. The Book of E-Meter Drills. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1997.

301

Bibliography

301

Hubbard, L. Ron. “Books Make Booms.” Executive Directive, July 25, 1974. Hubbard, L. Ron. “By L. Ron Hubbard.” In Writer: The Shaping of Popular Fiction, 123–27. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2012. Hubbard, L. Ron. “A Call for 100,000 Auditors, CSes and Supervisors and 10,000 OTs.” Executive Directive 259 International. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Cancellation of Fair Game.” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, October 21, 1968. Hubbard, L. “Cause and Effect.” Lecture delivered November 18, 1951. Thought, Emotion, and Effort. Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2007. Hubbard, L. Ron. “The Cause of Crime.” May 6, 1982. In Freedom Fighter: Articles and Essays, 211–12. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2012. Hubbard, L. Ron. Child Dianetics: Dianetic Processing for Children. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1982. Hubbard, L. Ron. Classification and Gradation. Los Angeles:  Golden Era Productions, 2008. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Concerning the Campaign for Presidency.” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, April 24, 1960. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Confessional Procedure.” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, November 10, 1987. Hubbard, L. Ron. “The Continuing Act.” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, September 29, 1965. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Corporate Status.” Hubbard Communications Office Executive Letter, March 12, 1966. Hubbard, L. Ron. The Creation of Human Ability: A Handbook for Scientologists. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Crime and Psychiatry.” June 23, 1969. In Freedom Fighter: Articles and Essays, 159–61. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2012. Hubbard, L. Ron. “The Criminal Mind and the Psychs.” April 26, 1982. In Freedom Fighter: Articles and Essays, 209–10. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2012. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Demonstration of E-Meter.” Lecture delivered March 3, 1952. Scientology: Milestone One. Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2007. Hubbard, L. Ron. Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary. Los Angeles: Publications Organization United States, 1975. Hubbard, L. Ron. Dianetics Letters and Journals. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2012. Hubbard, L. Ron. Dianetics:  The Evolution of a Science. Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2007. Hubbard, L. Ron. Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007. Hubbard, L. Ron. Dianetics: The Original Thesis. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007.

0 23

302

Bibliography

Hubbard, L. Ron. Dianetics Today. Los Angeles:  Church of Scientology of California, 1975. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Doctor Title Abolished.” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, February 14, 1966. Hubbard, L. Ron. Early Years of Adventure: Letters and Journals. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2012. Hubbard, L. Ron. Electropsychometric Auditing: Operator’s Manual. In The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology, vol. 1, 313–27. Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 1991. Originally published June 1952. Hubbard, L. Ron. E-Meter Essentials. Los Angles: Bridge Publications, 1989. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Ethics.” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, April 4, 1972. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Examiner’s 24-Hour Rule.” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, September 8, 1970; revised October 24, 1975. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Excalibur.” In Philosopher and Founder: Rediscovery of the Human Mind, 13–14. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2012. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Executive and Governing Body Errors and Answers.” Admin KnowHow Series 1. Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, October 20, 1966. Hubbard, L. Ron. “The Factors.” In Scientology 0-8: The Book of Basics, 77–80. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Five Years.” Auditor, no. 9 (1967). Hubbard, L. Ron. “Founder.” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, September 1, 1966; revised May 8, 1973. Hubbard, L. Ron. The Free Being. Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2009. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Free Service—Free Fall.” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, November 27, 1971; revised March 2, 1980. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Freeloaders.” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, October 13, 1972. Hubbard, L. Ron. “From Clear to Eternity.” In Scientology 0-8:  The Book of Basics, 430–33. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007. Hubbard, L. Ron. “The Goals Problem Mass.” Lecture delivered December 31, 1961. Clean Hands Congress. Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2007. Hubbard, L. Ron. Handbook for Preclears. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Handling with Auditing.” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, January 15, 1970. Hubbard, L. Ron. Have You Lived Before This Life? Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 1989. Hubbard, L. Ron. “HCO WW Changes Quarters and Address.” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, June 26, 1959. Hubbard, L. Ron. “How to Defeat Verbal Tech Checklist.” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, February 9, 1979; revised August 23, 1984.

0 3

Bibliography

303

Hubbard, L. Ron. “How to Handle Black Propaganda.” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, November 21, 1972. Hubbard, L. Ron. “How We Have Addressed the Problem of the Mind.” Lecture delivered July 4, 1957. Freedom Congress. Los Angeles:  Golden Era Productions, 2009. Hubbard, L. Ron. “How You Can Increase the Size and Income of Your Org.” Executive Directive 258–1 International, March 15, 1975. Hubbard, L. Ron. Humanitarian:  Education, Literacy, and Civilization. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2012. Hubbard, L. Ron. Hymn of Asia. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1974. Hubbard, L. Ron. “The Ideal Org.” Executive Directive 102 International, May 20, 1970. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Introduction to Dianetics.” Lecture delivered September 23, 1950. Dianetics Lectures and Demonstrations. Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2007. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Introducing Dianetics—Shrine Auditorium.” Lecture delivered August 10, 1950. Research and Discovery Series, vol. 3, 1–24. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1982. Hubbard, L. Ron. Introduction to Scientology. Interview with Tony Hitchman, recorded in 1966. Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2006. Hubbard, L. Ron. Introduction to Scientology Ethics. Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2007. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Keeping Scientology Working Series 1.” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, February 7, 1965. Hubbard, L. Ron. “L. Ron Hubbard Discusses the Development of His Philosophy.” Interview with J.  Stillson Judah. In Philosopher and Founder:  Rediscovery of the Human Soul, 87–91. Los Angles: Bridge Publications, 2012. Hubbard, L. Ron. “L. Ron Hubbard Speaks Out on ‘Battlefield Earth.’” Rocky Mountain News, February 20, 1983, reprinted in addendum to Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000. Hollywood: Galaxy Press, 2016. Hubbard, L. Ron. London Congress on Nuclear Radiation and Health Lectures. Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2005. Hubbard, L. Ron. Modern Management Technology Defined:  Hubbard Dictionary of Administration and Management. Los Angeles: Publications Organization United States, 1976. Hubbard, L. Ron. “My Only Defense for Having Lived.” In Philosopher and Founder:  Rediscovery of the Human Soul, 137–45. Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2012. Hubbard, L. Ron. “My Philosophy.” In Philosopher and Founder:  Rediscovery of the Human Soul. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2012. Hubbard, L. Ron. “My Whereabouts in November.” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, October 15, 1959.

0 43

304

Bibliography

Hubbard, L. Ron. “News Bulletin.” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, September 14, 1959. Hubbard, L. Ron. “The One-Shot Clear.” In Dianetics 55!, 219–24. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Opinion Leaders.” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, May 11, 1971. Hubbard, L. Ron. Org Board and Livingness. Los Angeles:  Golden Era Productions, 2002. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Ownership, Special PAB.” Professional Auditor’s Bulletin 53, May 1955. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Pain and Sex.” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, August 26, 1982. Hubbard, L. Ron. “PC Examiner.” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, April 21, 1980; revised October 18, 1986. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Penalties for Lower Conditions.” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, October 18, 1967, Issue IV. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Personal Integrity.” Church of Scientology International. Accessed June 2018. http://www.scientology.org/what-is-scientology/basic-principles-ofscientology/personal-integrity.html. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Personal Integrity.” In Scientology:  A New Slant on Life, 19. Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2007. Originally published in Ability, issue 125, 1961. Hubbard, L. Ron. Philadelphia Doctorate Course. Los Angeles:  Golden Era Productions, 2010. Hubbard, L. Ron. The Phoenix Lectures. Los Angeles:  Golden Era Productions, 2007. Hubbard, L. Ron. Photographer:  Writing with Light. Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2012. Hubbard, L. Ron. “A Prayer for Total Freedom.” Church of Scientology International. Accessed June 2018. http://www.scientology.org/what-is-scientology/ scientology-religious-ceremonies/a-prayer-for-total-freedom.html#slide2. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Press Policies.” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, August 14, 1963. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Press Relations.” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, May 25, 1964. Hubbard, L. Ron. Professional Metering Course. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1996. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Psychiatrists.” Professional Auditor’s Bulletin 62, September 30, 1955. In The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology, vol. 3, 185–88. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1991. Hubbard, L. Ron. “PTSness and Disconnection.” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, September 10, 1983.

0 35

Bibliography

305

Hubbard, L. Ron. “Radiation and Scientology.” Lecture delivered April 13, 1957. London Congress on Nuclear Radiation, Control, and Health. Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2009. Hubbard, L. Ron. “The Reason for Orgs.” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, January 31, 1983. Hubbard, L. Ron. “The Resolution of the Second Dynamic.” Lecture, October 1952. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Revision of the Birthday Game 1982/83.” Executive Directive 339R, March 13, 1982; revised July 30, 1982. Hubbard, L. Ron. “The Role of Earth.” Lecture delivered November 1952. Research and Discovery Series, vol. 12. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1997. Hubbard, L. Ron. Ron: Images of a Lifetime. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2012. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Ron’s Journal 30, 1978—The Year of Lightning Fast New Tech.” Executive Directive, December 17, 1978. Hubbard, L. Ron. Ron’s Journal 33. Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 1982. Hubbard, L. Ron. Ron’s Journal 38. Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 1983. Hubbard, L. Ron. Ron’s Journal 67. Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2005. Hubbard, L. Ron. Ron’s Journal 68. Los Angeles:  Church of Scientology of California, 1968. Hubbard, L. Ron. “The Safe Point.” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, April 1, 1982. Hubbard, L. Ron. Science of Survival. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007. Hubbard, L. Ron. The Scientologist: A Manual on The Dissemination of Material. In The Organization Executive Course: Dissemination Division. Vol. 2. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1991. Originally published 1955. Hubbard, L. Ron. Scientology 8-8008. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007. Hubbard, L. Ron. Scientology: A History of Man. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007. Hubbard, L. Ron. Scientology:  A New Slant on Life. Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2007. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Scientology, Current State of the Subject and Materials.” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, July 30, 1973. Hubbard, L. Ron. Scientology:  The Fundamentals of Thought. Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2007. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Scientology Zero, the Dangerous Environment, the True Story of Scientology.” Hubbard Communications Office Information Letter, December 10, 1963. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Sea Org Resignation, for Personnel Files.” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, Issue II, October 12, 1967. Hubbard, L. Ron. Senior Security Checker Course. Los Angeles:  Golden Era Productions, 1990. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Signs of Success.” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, May 1, 1958.

0 63

306

Bibliography

Hubbard, L. Ron. “Special Information for Mission Holders.” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, July 14, 1959. Hubbard, L. Ron. “SSO Responsibility for Standard Staff Courses.” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, October 29, 1979. Hubbard, L. Ron. State of Man Congress. Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2009. Hubbard, L. Ron. The Study Tapes:  Transcripts and Glossary. Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 2013. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Study Time.” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, August 2, 1971. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Supervisor Two-Way Comm Explained.” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, June 27, 1971; revised December 20, 1988. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Suppressive Acts—Suppression of Scientology and Scientologists—The Fair Game Law.” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, March 1, 1965. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Tech Correction Round-Up.” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, January 24, 1977. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Theory of the New Grade Chart.” Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, December 12, 1981. Hubbard, L. Ron. Understanding the E-Meter. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 1988. Hubbard, L. Ron. The Way to Happiness: A Common Sense Guide to Better Living. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2007. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Welcome Address.” Lecture delivered November 7, 1959. Melbourne Congress. Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2005. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Welcome to the Flag Interne Course.” Lecture on June 12, 1971. Hubbard, L. Ron. “What Is a Course.” Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, March 16, 1972. Hubbard, L. Ron. “What Dianetics Can Do.” Lecture delivered September 23, 1950. Dianetics Lectures and Demonstrations. Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2007. Hubbard, L. Ron. “What Do I  Think of Auditors?” Professional Auditor’s Bulletin, April 10, 1956. Hubbard, L. Ron. “Whole Track Facsimiles.” Lecture delivered March 5, 1952. Scientology: Milestone One. Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2010. Iannaccone, Laurence R. “Sacrifice and Stigma:  Reducing Free-Riding in Cults, Communes, and Other Collectives.” Journal of Political Economy 100, no. 2 (April 1992): 271–91. Ibanez, Dalmyra, Gordon Southon, Peggy Southon, and Peggy Benton. Dianetic Processing: A Brief Survey of Research Projects and Preliminary Results. Elizabeth, NJ: Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation, 1951. Internal Revenue Service. “Exemption Requirements—501 (c)(3) Organizations.” Accessed June 2018. https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitableorganizations/exemption-requirements-section-501c3-organizations.

0 37

Bibliography

307

International Association of Scientologists: The Greatest Humanitarian Force on Earth, 1984–2014. Los Angeles: IAS Administrations, 2014. International Association of Scientologists. “The War Is Over.” Ninth Anniversary of the IAS, October 8, 1993. Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 1993. Introvigne, Massimo. “Advocacy, Brainwashing Theories, and New Religious Movements.” Religion 44, no. 2 (February 2014), 303–19. Introvigne, Massimo. “The Aesthetic Theory of L. Ron Hubbard and the Freewinds as a Mobile Holy Land.” July 2017. Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR). Accessed June 2018. http://www.cesnur.org/2017/jerusalem-cyberabstracts.htm. Introvigne, Massimo. “Defectors, Ordinary Leave-Takers, and Apostates:  A Quantitative Study of Former Members of New Acropolis in France.” Nova Religio 3, no. 1 (October 1999): 83–99. Introvigne, Massimo. “Did L. Ron Hubbard Believe in Brainwashing? The Strange Story of the ‘Brain-Washing Manual’ of 1955.” Nova Religio 20, no. 4 (May 2017): 62–79. Introvigne, Massimo. “ ‘Liar, Liar’: Brainwashing, CESNUR and APA.” 1998. Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR). Accessed June 2018. http://www. cesnur.org/testi/gandow_eng.htm. Introvigne, Massimo. “‘The Most Misunderstood Human Endeavor’:  L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology, and Fine Arts.” Journal of CESNUR 2, no. 2 (March-April 2018): 60–92. Introvigne, Massimo. “Reza Aslan on Scientology:  Much Ado About Not Very Much?” Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR). Accessed June 2018. http://www.cesnur.org/2017/reza_aslan.htm. Introvigne, Massimo. “Scientology:  Genesis, Exodus, and Numbers—Fake News about Scientology Statistics.” May 6, 2017. Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR). Accessed June 2018. http://www.cesnur.org/2017/scientology_numbers.htm. Jenkins, Philip. Mystics and Messiahs: Cults and New Religions in American History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. Jensen, Eric. Brain-Based Learning: The New Paradigm of Learning. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2008. Jentzsch, Heber C. “Scientology: Separating Truth from Fiction.” In New Religious Movements and Religious Liberty in America, edited by Derek H. Davis and Barry Hankins, 141–62. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2002. Johnson, Carl J. “Cancer Incidence in an Area of Radioactive Fallout Downwind from the Nevada Test Site.” Journal of the American Medical Association 2 (1984): 230–36. Jolly, Don. “The Last Twentieth Century Book Club: Power of Source.” The Revealer, April 8, 2014. NYU Center for Religion and Media. Accessed June 2018. https:// wp.nyu.edu/ therevealer/ 2014/ 04/ 08/ the- last- twentieth- century- book- clubpower-of-source.

0 83

308

Bibliography

Jolly, Don. “Sexuality in Three Anti-Scientology Narratives.” In Handbook of Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis and Kjersti Hellesøy, 411–21. Leiden: Brill, 2017. Jones, Jeffrey M. “Americans Have Net-Positive View of U.S. Catholics.” Gallup, April 15, 2008. Accessed June 2018. http://www.gallup.com/poll/106516/AmericansNetPositive-View-US-Catholics.aspx. Kaufman, Robert. Inside Scientology: How I Joined Scientology and Became Superhuman. New York: Olympia, 1972. Kent, Stephen A. “Brainwashing in Scientology’s Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF),” revised version of presentation to Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, San Diego, November 1997. Archived at author’s University of Alberta webpage. Accessed June 2018. https://skent.ualberta.ca/contributions/scientology/brainwashing-in-scientologys-rehabilitation-project-force-rpf/. Kent, Stephen A. “The Creation of ‘Religious’ Scientology.” Religious Studies and Theology 18, no. 2 (December 1999): 97–126. Kent, Stephen A. “Scientology’s Recruitment Policies Targeting Celebrities,” in Scientology in Popular Culture:  Influences and Struggles for Legitimacy, edited by Stephen A. Kent and Susan Raine, 81–101. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2017. Kent, Stephen A., and Susan Raine, eds. Scientology in Popular Culture: Influences and Struggles for Legitimacy. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2017. Konon, Mike. “Deprogramming Efforts Described in Kidnap Trial.” Evening Tribune (San Diego), July 11, 1980. Koppel, Ted, and David Miscavige. Interview. ABC Nightline, February 14, 1992. Leiby, Richard. “Scientologists Plot City Take Over.” Clearwater Sun, March 11, 1979. Lesley, Alison. “The Church of Scientology Issues a 9/11 Commemorative Press Release.” World Religion News, September 11, 2013. Accessed June 2018. http:// www.worldreligionnews.com/ religion- news/ scientology/ the- churchof-scientology-issues-a-911-commemorative-press-release. Lewis, James R. “The Dwindling Spiral: The Dror Center Schism, the Cook Letter, and Scientology’s Legitimation Crisis.” Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 4, no. 2 (2013): 55–77. Lewis, James R. “Free Zone Scientology and Other Movement Milieus: A Preliminary Characterization.” Temenos 49, no. 2 (2013): 255–76. Lewis, James R. Legitimating New Religions. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2003. Lewis, James R., ed. Scientology. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Lewis, James R. “Scientology:  Religious Studies Approaches.” Numen 63, no. 1 (2016): 6–11 Lewis, James R. “Scientology:  Sect, Science, or Scam?” Numen 62, no. 2–3 (2015): 226–42.

0 93

Bibliography

309

Lewis, James R., ed. Violence and New Religious Movements. New  York:  Oxford University Press, 2011. Lewis, James R., and Kjersti Hellesøy, eds. Handbook of Scientology. Leiden: Brill, 2017. Lewis, James R., with Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen. “New Religious Movements and Gender—The Case of Scientology.” In Sects and Stats:  Overturning the Conventional Wisdom about Cult Members, edited by James R. Lewis, 131–39. Sheffield: Equinox, 2014. “List of Secret Target Groups.” Chicago Tribune, November 18, 1974. Lifton, Robert Jay. Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism:  A Study of “Brainwashing” in China. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989. Lindsey, Robert. “L. Ron Hubbard Dies of Stroke.” New York Times, January 29, 1986. Accessed June 2018. http://www.nytimes.com/1986/01/29/obituaries/l-ronhubbard-dies-of-stroke-founder-of-church-of-scientology.html. Locke, Simon. “Charisma and the Iron Cage:  Rationalization, Science and Scientology.” Social Compass 51, no. 1 (2004): 111–31. LRH Stories and More LRH Stories. “Old-Timers Network.” Two-DVD Set. SelfPublished, 1997–2000. Accessed June 2018. http://www.lrhstories.org. MacKaye, William R. “Church Gets Back Books, E-Meters.” Washington Post, October 24, 1973. Malony, H. Newton. Brainwashing, Coercive Persuasion, Undue Influence, and Mind Control: A Psychologist’s Point of View. Pasadena, CA: Integration Press, 1988. Manca, Terra. “L. Ron Hubbard’s Alternative to the Bomb Shelter:  Scientology’s Emergence as a Pseudo-Science During the 1950s.” Journal of Religion and Popular Culture 24, no. 1 (2012): 80–96. Manca, Terra. “Presentations of Scientology in Prominent North American News Series.” In Scientology in Popular Culture: Influences and Struggles for Legitimacy, edited by Stephen A. Kent and Susan Raine, 239–78. Santa Barbara, CA: ABCCLIO, 2017. Marro, Anthony. “Federal Agents Raid Scientology Church.” New York Times, July 9, 1977. Máté-Tóth, András, and Gábor Dániel Nagy. “Not an Extraordinary Group: Scientologists in Hungary and Germany—Comparative Survey Data.” In Handbook of Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis and Kjersti Hellesøy, 141–56. Leiden: Brill, 2017. Mathews, Jay. “Scientology Winning in Court.” Washington Post, December 1, 1985. Accessed June 2018. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1985/ 12/01/scientology-winning-in-court/2e509da3-2b63-4a08-88ad-69c4e38550d6/ ?utm_term=.693c1d1882c5. Mauss, Armand L. “Apostasy and the Management of Spoiled Identity.” In The Politics of Religious Apostasy, edited by David G. Bromley, 51–73. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998.

031

310

Bibliography

McCall, W. Vaughn. “Psychiatry and Psychology in the Writings of L. Ron Hubbard.” Journal of Religion and Health 46, no. 3 (September 2007): 437–47. McGuire, Meredith. Lived Religion: Faith and Practice in Everyday Life. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. McManus, Tracey. “Church of Scientology Takes Aim at Clearwater Marine Aquarium After Being Denied Land.” Tampa Bay Times, April 27, 2017. Accessed June 2018. http://www.tampabay.com/news/scientology/church-of-scientologytakes-aim-at-clearwater-marine-aquarium-after-being/2321768. Melton, J. Gordon. “Birth of a Religion.” In Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis, 17–33. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Melton, J. Gordon. “Brainwashing and the Cults:  The Rise and Fall of a Theory.” December 1999. Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR). Accessed June 2018. http://www.cesnur.org/testi/melton.htm. Melton, J. Gordon. The Church of Scientology. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2000. Melton, J. Gordon. “A Contemporary Ordered Religious Community:  The Sea Organization.” Journal of CESNUR 2, no. 2 (March-April 2018): 21–59. Melton, J. Gordon. “On Doing Research on Scientology: Prospects and Pitfalls.” Acta Comparanda, Subsidia IV (2017): 11–20. Melton, J. Gordon. “The Succession Crisis in New Religions.” In When Prophets Die:  The Postcharismatic Fate of New Religious Movements, edited by Timothy Miller, 1–12. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991. Miller, John J. “Ray Bradbury’s Dystopia: Fahrenheit 451, 50 Years Later.” Wall Street Journal, May 14, 2003. Miller, Russell. Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1988. Miller, Timothy. “Persistence over Millennia: The Perennial Presence of Intentional Communities.” In Spiritual and Visionary Communities:  Out to Save the World, edited by Timothy Miller, 1–14. Surrey: Ashgate, 2013. Milne, Andrew. “Overwhelming Religious Recognition for Scientology.” Freedom. Church of Scientology International. Accessed June 2018. http://www. freedommag.org/english/vol27i5/page14.htm. Miscavige, David. “Wake-Up Call:  The Urgency of Planetary Clearing.” Inspector General Network Bulletin No. 44, September 11, 2001. Religious Technology Center, 2001. Mörth, Ingo. “Elements of Religious Meaning in Science-Fiction Literature.” Social Compass 34, no. 1 (1987): 87–108. Muhammad, Ashahed M. “Nation of Islam Auditors Graduation Held for Third Saviours’ Day in a Row.” Final Call, February 28, 2013. Accessed June 2018. http:// www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/National_News_2/article_9651.shtml.

31

Bibliography

311

Muhammad, Charlene. “Nation Adopts New Technology to Serve Black Nation, World.” Final Call, April 4, 2011. Accessed June 2018. http://www.finalcall.com/ artman/publish/National_News_2/article_7697.shtml. Muhammad, Elijah. Message to the Blackman in America. Chicago: Final Call, 2012. Muhammad, Leo. “Leo Muhammad:  Auditing, Dianetics & Scientology.” YouTube. February 28, 2017. Accessed June 2018. https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=kNM1azd4UEw. “New Religions: The Cult Question.” MTV, aired June 1995. Nordenholz, Anastasius. Scientologie, Wissenschaft von der Beschaffenheit und der Tauglichkeit des Wissens. Munich: Ernest Reinhardt, 1934. Nussbaum, Abraham M. The Pocket Guide to the DSM-5 Diagnostic Exam. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing, 2013. O’Brien, Helen. Dianetics in Limbo:  A Documentary About Immortality. Philadelphia: Whitmore, 1966. “Order Re Plaintiff’s Motion for Attorney’s Fees and Sanctions.” Paula Dain v. Theodore R. “Ted” Patrick, et al. United States District Court, Central District of California, November 1987. Palmer, Susan J. The New Heretics of France: Minority Religions, la République, and the Government-Sponsored “War on Sects.” New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Park, Terril. “From the Church of Scientology to the Freezone.” In “Cult Wars” in Historical Perspective: New and Minority Religions, edited by Eugene V. Gallagher, 153–64. New York: Routledge, 2017. Pendle, George. Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Books, 2005. Pentikäinen, Juha, and Marja Pentikäinen. “The Church of Scientology.” Los Angeles: Freedom Publishing, 1996. Pentikäinen, Juha, Jurgen F.  K. Redhardt, and Michael York. “The Church of Scientology’s Rehabilitation Project Force.” 2002. Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR). Accessed June 2018. http://www.cesnur.org/2002/scient_ rpf_01.htm. Perry, Seth. “Scientology and Its Discontents.” Chronicle of Higher Education, October 2, 2011. Accessed June 2018. http://www.chronicle.com/article/ScientologyIts/ 129177. “Police:  Woman Drove Car into ‘Evil’ Church of Scientology.” CBS Austin, December 16, 2015. Accessed June 2018. http://cbsaustin.com/news/local/ woman-arrested-for-driving-car-into-church-of-scientology-called-church-evil. Possamai, Adam, and Alphia Possamai-Inesedy. “Battlefield Earth and Scientology: A Cultural/Religious Industry à la Frankfurt School?” In Handbook of New Religions and Cultural Production, edited by Carole M. Cusack and Alex Norman, 583–98. Leiden: Brill, 2012.

231

312

Bibliography

Prophet, Erin. “Deconstructing the Scientology ‘Monster’ of Popular Imagination.” In Handbook of Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis and Kjersti Hellesøy, 227– 48. Leiden: Brill, 2017. Raine, Susan. “Astounding History:  L. Ron Hubbard’s Scientology Space Opera.” Religion 45, no. 1 (2015): 66–88. Raine, Susan. “Colonizing Terra Incognita:  L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology, and the Quest for Empire.” In Scientology in Popular Culture: Influences and Struggles for Legitimacy, edited by Stephen A. Kent and Susan Raine, 1–32. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2017. Raine, Susan. “Surveillance in a New Religious Movement:  Scientology as a Case Study.” Religious Studies and Theology 28, no. 1 (2009): 63–94. Reflections of A.E. van Vogt. Transcript based on 1961 interview conducted by Elizabeth I. Dixon. UCLA Library Special Collections, Oral History Program, 1964. Reichert, Jenny, James T. Richardson, and Rebecca Thomas. “‘Brainwashing’: Diffusion of a Questionable Concept in Legal Systems.” International Journal for the Study of New Religions 6, no. 1 (2015): 3–26. Reitman, Janet. Inside Scientology:  The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2011. Religious Technology Center. “The Guarantor of Scientology’s Future.” Accessed June 2018. https://www.rtc.org/guarant/index.html. Richardson, James T. “Conversion and Brainwashing: Controversies and Contrasts.” In The Bloomsbury Companion to New Religious Movements, edited by George D. Chryssides and Benjamin E. Zeller, 89–101. New York: Bloomsbury, 2016. Richardson, James T. “A Critique of ‘Brainwashing’ Claims About New Religious Movements.” In Cults in Context:  Readings in the Study of New Religious Movements, edited by Lorne L. Dawson, 217–27. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1996. Richardson, James T. “Scientology in Court: A Look at Some Major Cases from Various Nations.” In Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis, 283–94. New  York:  Oxford University Press, 2009. Richardson, James T., and Massimo Introvigne. “‘Brainwashing’ Theories in European Parliamentary and Administrative Reports on ‘Cults and Sects.’” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 40, no. 2 (June 2001): 143–68. Robertson, David G. “Hermeneutics of Suspicion: Scientology and Conspiracism.” In Handbook of Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis and Kjersti Hellesøy, 300– 318. Leiden: Brill, 2017. Robertson, Michael, and Garry Walter. Ethics and Mental Health:  The Patient, Profession and Community. New York: CRC Press, 2014. Robinson, Kenneth. Patterns of Care: A Study of Provisions for the Mentally Disordered in Two Continents. London: National Association of Mental Health, 1961.

31

Bibliography

313

Rothstein, Mikael. “Scientology, Scripture, and Sacred Tradition.” In The Invention of Sacred Tradition, edited by James R. Lewis and Olav Hammer, 18–37. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Roux, Eric. “Scientology Auditing: Pastoral Counselling or a Religious Path to Total Spiritual Freedom.” In New Religious Movements and Counselling:  Academic, Professional and Personal Perspectives, edited by Sarah Harvey, Silke Steidinger, and James A. Beckford, 130–42. New York: Routledge, 2018. Roux, Eric. “Scientology: From Controversy to Global Expansion and Recognition.” In “Cult Wars” in Historical Perspective:  New and Minority Religions, edited by Eugene V. Gallagher, 165–76. New York: Routledge, 2017. Roux, Eric. Sur La Scientologie. Paris: Éditions Pierre-Guillaume de Roux, 2018. Rubin, Elisabeth Tuxen. “Disaffiliation Among Scientologists: A Sociological Study of Post Apostasy Behaviour and Attitudes.” International Journal for the Study of New Religions 2, no. 2 (2011): 201–24. Ruskell, Nicole S., and James R. Lewis. “News Media, the Internet and the Church of Scientology.” In Handbook of Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis and Kjersti Hellesøy, 321–40. Leiden: Brill, 2017. Santa Cruz, Nicole. “The Game Meets with L.A. Gangs in an Effort to Stop Killings.” Los Angeles Times, July 17, 2016. Accessed June 2018. http://www.latimes.com/ local/lanow/la-me-ln-rappers-gangs-meeting-20160717-snap-story.html. Schorey, Shannon Trosper. “‘LRH4ALL!’:  The Negotiation of Information in the Church of Scientology and the Open Source Scientology Movement.” In Handbook of Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis and Kjersti Hellesøy, 341–59. Leiden: Brill, 2017. “Scientology Case Settled Out of Court in Portland.” Spokesman-Review, December 18, 1986. The Scientology Handbook. Los Angeles: Bridge Publications, 2001. Scientology:  Theology and Practice of a Contemporary Religion. Los Angeles:  Bridge Publications, 1999. ScientologyParent.com. Accessed June 2018. http://www.scientologyparent.com. “Secret Lives—L. Ron Hubbard.” Channel 4, United Kingdom, November 19, 1997. Shanahan, Eileen. “I.R.S. Kept Watch on ‘Subversives.’” New York Times, November 18, 1974. Shermer, Michael. “Is Scientology a Cult?” Skeptic 17, no. 1 (2011): 16–17. Shermer, Michael. “The Real Science Behind Scientology.” Scientific American, November 1, 2011. Accessed June 2018. https://www.scientificamerican.com/ article/the-real-science-behind-scientology. The Shrinking World of L. Ron Hubbard. World in Action Program. Granada Television, August 1968.

431

314

Bibliography

Shupe, Anson. “The Nature of the New Religious Movements—Anticult ‘Culture War.’” In Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis, 269–81. New  York:  Oxford University Press, 2009. Shupe, Anson, Susan E. Darnell, and Kendrick Moxon. “The Cult Awareness Network and the Anticult Movement:  Implications for NRMs in America.” In New Religious Movements and Religious Liberty in America, edited by Derek H. Davis and Barry Hankins, 21–42. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2002. Silcox, Victor, and Len Maynard. Creative Learning:  A Scientological Experiment in Schools. London: Hubbard Association of Scientologists International, 1955. Smart, Ninian. The Religious Experience of Mankind. New York: Scriber, 1984. Spaulding, Cylor, and Melanie Formentin. “Building a Religious Brand: Exploring the Foundations of the Church of Scientology through Public Relations.” Journal of Public Relations Research 29, no. 1 (2017): 38–50. Spencer, Hugh Alan Douglas. “The Transcendental Engineers: The Fictional Origins of a Modern Religion.” MA thesis, McMaster University, 1981. STAND League. “Church of Scientology IRS Tax Exemption.” Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination (STAND). Accessed June 2018. https:// www.standleague.org/facts- vs- fiction/ decisions/church-of-scientology-irs-taxexemption.html. STAND League. “The Church of Scientology Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF): Truth and Misconceptions.” Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination (STAND). Accessed June 2018. https://www.standleague.org/facts-vs-fiction/ whitepapers/ the- church- of- scientology- rehabilitation- project- force- rpf- truthand-misconceptions.html. STAND League. “‘Disconnection’ in the Scientology Religion:  What Is It?” Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination (STAND). Accessed June 2018. https://www.standleague.org/facts-vs-fiction/whitepapers/disconnectionin-the-scientology-religion-what-is-it.html. STAND League. “The ‘Snow White’ Program and the Church of Scientology: The True Story.” Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination (STAND). Accessed June 2018. https://www.standleague.org/facts-vs-fiction/whitepapers/ the-snow-white-program-and-the-church-of-scientology-the-true-story.html. Stark, Rodney, and Roger Finke. Acts of Faith: Explaining the Human Side of Religion. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000. Statement of Sam Moskowitz. May 2, 1993, including “Secretary’s Report, Eastern Science Fiction Association, Meeting of November 7, 1948.” Sterling, D. L. Sex in the Basic Personality. Wichita: Hubbard Dianetic Foundation, 1952. Stout, Martha. The Sociopath Next Door. New York: Harmony, 2006. “Supreme Court Judges Allow Scientology Wedding.” BBC News, December 11, 2013. Accessed June 2018. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-25331754.

351

Bibliography

315

Sweeney, John. The Church of Fear:  Inside the Weird World of Scientology. London: Silvertail Books, 2013. Terrin, Aldo Natale. “Scientology and Its Contiguity with Gnostic Religion and Eastern Religions.” Acta Comparanda, Subsidia IV (2017), 185–203. Terrin, Aldo Natale. Scientology: Libertà e immortalità. Brescia: Morcelliana, 2017. This Is Scientology: An Overview of the World’s Fastest Growing Religion. Los Angeles: Golden Era Productions, 2004. Tobin, Thomas C. “David Miscavige Speaks.” St. Petersburg Times, October 25, 1998. Tobin, Thomas C. “The Man Behind Scientology.” St. Petersburg Times, October 25, 1998. Tøllefsen, Inga Bårdsen, and James R. Lewis. “The Cult of Geeks: Religion, Gender, and Scientology.” In Handbook of Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis and Kjersti Hellesøy, 399–410. Leiden: Brill, 2017. “Trapped in the Closet.” South Park. Comedy Central. First aired November 16, 2005. Trzebiatowska, Marta, and Steve Bruce. Why Are Women More Religious Than Men? New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. United in Peace Foundation. Accessed June 2018. http://unitedinpeace.org. Urban, Hugh B. The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011. Urban, Hugh B. “The Occult Roots of Scientology? L.  Ron Hubbard, Aleister Crowley, and the Origins of a Controversial New Religion.” Nova Religio 15, no. 3 (February 2012): 91–116. Urban, Hugh B. “The Rundown Truth: Scientology Changes Strategy in War with Media.” Religion Dispatches. March 18, 2010. Accessed June 2018. http:// religiondispatches.org/the-rundown-truth-scientology-changes-strategy-in-warwith-media. Urban, Hugh B. “‘Secrets, Secrets, SECRETS!’ Concealment, Surveillance, and Information-Control in the Church of Scientology.” In Handbook of Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis and Kjersti Hellesøy, 284–89. Leiden: Brill, 2017. Urban, Hugh B. “‘The Third Wall of Fire’: Scientology and the Study of Religious Secrecy.” Nova Religio 20, no. 4 (May 2017): 13–36. Varn, Kathryn. “Clearwater Official Resigns After Drunken Golf Cart Ride, Fight Downtown (w/Video).” Tampa Bay Times, October 11, 2017. Accessed June 2018. http://www.tampabay.com/news/localgovernment/clearwater-official-resignsafter-drunken-golf-cart-ride-fight-downtown/2340741. Velásquez, Giselle. “Inside the Church of Scientology: An Ethnographic Performance Script.” Qualitative Inquiry 17, no. 9 (2011): 824–36. Vosper, Cyril. The Mind Benders. London: Spearman, 1971. Wade, Jared. “Colombia’s 2016 Homicide Rate Was Nation’s Lowest Since 1974.” Finance Colombia, January 2, 2017. Accessed June 2018. http://www. financecolombia.com/colombia-homicide-rate-2016-nations-lowest-since-1974.

631

316

Bibliography

Waldman, Amy. “Changed Lives:  Religious Leader Takes His Calling to Ground Zero.” New  York Times, September 20, 2001. Accessed June 2018. http://www. nytimes.com/ 2001/ 09/ 20/ nyregion/ changed- lives- religious- leader- takes- hiscalling-to-ground-zero.html. Wallis, Roy. The Elementary Forms of the New Religious Life. New York: Routledge, 1984. Wallis, Roy. “The Moral Career of a Research Project.” In Doing Sociological Research, edited by Colin Bell and Howard Newby, 148–67. New York: Free Press, 1977. Wallis, Roy. The Road to Total Freedom:  A Sociological Analysis of Scientology. New York: Columbia University Press, 1977. Wallis, Roy. “Scientology:  Therapeutic Cult to Religious Sect.” Sociology 9, no. 1 (1975): 89–100. Wallis, Roy. “Societal Reaction to Scientology: A Study in the Sociology of Deviant Religion.” In Sectarianism, edited by Roy Wallis, 86–116. New  York:  Halsted Press, 1975. Weiland, Janet. “Church of Scientology Simply Defended Copyrights.” San Jose Mercury, June 2, 2002. Accessed June 2018. http://wwrn.org/articles/9181/ ?§ion=scientology. Westbrook, Donald A. “The Art of PR War: Scientology, the Media, and Legitimation Strategies for the 21st Century.” Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses. Published online August 10, 2018. doi:10.1177/0008429818769404. Westbrook, Donald A. “‘The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend’:  Thomas Szasz, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, and Scientology’s Anti-Psychiatric Theology.” Nova Religio 20, no. 4 (May 2017): 37–61. Westbrook, Donald A. “The L. Ron Hubbard Heritage Site in Bay Head, New Jersey as a Case Study of Scientology’s Intellectual History.” Acta Comparanda, Subsidia IV (2017): 225–42. Westbrook, Donald A. “Researching Scientology and Scientologists in the United States: Methods and Conclusions.” In Handbook of Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis and Kjersti Hellesøy, 19–46. Leiden: Brill, 2017. Westbrook, Donald A. “Saint Hill and the Development of Systematic Theology in the Church of Scientology.” Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 6, no. 1 (2015): 111–55. Westbrook, Donald A. “Scientology as ‘Spiritual Technology.’” Cosmologics, December 7, 2014. Accessed June 2018. http://cosmologicsmagazine.com/ donald-westbrook-scientology-as-spiritual-technology. Westbrook, Donald A. “Walking in Ron’s Footsteps: ‘Pilgrimage’ Sites of the Church of Scientology.” Numen 63, no. 1 (2016): 71–94. Westfahl, Gary, et al. eds. Science Fiction and the Prediction of the Future: Essays on Foresight and Fallacy. London: McFarland and Company, 2011. Whitehead, Harriet. Renunciation and Reformulation:  A Study of Conversion in an American Sect. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1987.

371

Bibliography

317

Wilhere, Greg. “Briefing on the L Auditing Rundowns.” Los Angeles:  Advanced Organization Los Angeles, 1987. Wilson, Bryan R. “Scientology: An Analysis and Comparison of Its Religious Systems and Doctrines.” Originally published February 1995 by Freedom Publishing, republished by Church of Scientology International. Accessed June 2018. http:// www.scientologyreligion.org/ religious- expertises/ scientology- analysis- andcomparison/scientology-and-other-faiths.html. Winter, J. A. A Doctor’s Report on Dianetics. New York: Julian Press, 1951. Winter, J. A. Are Your Troubles Psychosomatic? New York: Messner, 1952. Wiseman, Bruce. Psychiatry:  The Ultimate Betrayal. Los Angeles:  Freedom Publishing, 1995. Wolfe, John H. “Common Sense Scientology.” Humanistic Psychologist 45, no. 1 (2017): 84–97. Wolfe, John H. “Personality Testing in the Church of Scientology: Implications for Outcome Research.” Posted to SSRN, June 5, 2017; revised November 22, 2017. Accessed June 2018. https://ssrn.com/abstract=2980160. Wright, Lawrence. Going Clear:  Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief. New York: Vintage, 2013. Wright, Stuart A., and Susan J. Palmer. Storming Zion: Government Raids on Religious Communities. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. Zeller, Benjamin E. “The Going Clear Documentary:  A Matter of Framing.” In Handbook of Scientology, edited by James R. Lewis and Kjersti Hellesøy, 381–95. Leiden: Brill, 2017. Zinn, Howard. A People’s History of the United States. New York: Harper, 2005. Zuckerman, Phil. Faith No More:  Why People Reject Religion. New  York:  Oxford University Press, 2012. Zuckerman, Phil. Invitation to the Sociology of Religion. New York: Routledge, 2003.

831

931

Index

Advance! (magazine), 221n19 Advanced Clinical Course (ACC) lectures, 64, 102, 188 Advanced Organization (AO), 30–31, 140, 149, 221n19 American Medical Association (AMA), 25 American Psychiatric Association (APA), 25, 193 American Saint Hill Organization (ASHO), 104, 149 analytical mind, 71–72 Anonymous (group), 183, 214n22 Anti-Scientology Cult (ASC), 184 apocalypticism, 14, 55, 65–66, 122–23, 133 Apollo, 52, 64, 96, 126–29, 135, 137–40, 151, 160, 223n37, 261n14, 267n67 apostasy David Bromley on, 153–54 Sea Org members and, 14, 110–11, 153 secondary literature on, 270n102 Applied Scholastics, 14, 50, 104, 194, 206, 252n45. See also Study Technology ARC (Affinity, Reality, and Communication), 91 Aslan, Reza, 208

assists (auditing), 96, 190, 284n127. See also Volunteer Ministers Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE), 140, 165. See also Social Betterment and Humanitarian Programs Astounding Science Fiction, 60–62, 64, 66, 68, 73, 236n19 auditing Bridge to Total Freedom and, 21, 27–30 case supervising (C/Sing) of, 29, 150 Clear and, 22, 29, 34, 36, 75–77 co-auditing as a form of, 8–9, 36, 61–62, 118, 154 Dianetics (1950) or “Book One” techniques, 8, 45, 72, 74, 207, 224n50, 235n10 fixed donations for, 35–38 Golden Age of Technology (GAT) and, 186–87 New Era Dianetics, 29, 74–75, 149, 167, 224n48 Operating Thetan (OT) levels and, 30–33, 74–75, 94, 132–33 Scientology organizations and, 30 Security Checks and, 109–11, 114–15, 154–55, 255n72, 255n74

0 23

320

Index

auditing (Cont.) solo auditing and, 31–33, 39, 143, 167, 184, 205, 225n58 theory of, 28–29 training and, 29–30, 35–36, 44–47, 62, 72, 102–04, 118, 139, 149, 152, 186–87, 205 auditor classes of, 29–30 code for, 42, 86 definition of, 28 Hubbard on, 103 preclear and, 8, 29, 33, 35–36, 39, 42, 48, 72, 74–75, 80, 86–88, 89, 94, 98, 103, 108–09, 118, 123, 150–51 training of, 29–30, 35–36, 44–47, 62, 72, 102–04, 118, 139, 149, 152, 186–87, 205 The Auditor (magazine), 34 Auditor’s Code, 42, 86 Auditor’s Day, 7, 103, 269n94 Australia, 113, 159, 196, 256n85 Author Services, Inc. (ASI), 168, 209, 267n72 Baha’i studies, 204 barriers to study, 104–06. See also Study Technology Basics Books and Lectures, 8, 187–89 “Battle of Portland” (1985), 166, 178 Battlefield Earth (1982), 167 Bay Head, New Jersey, 70. See also L. Ron Hubbard Landmark Sites between-lives area, 90, 229n91, 245n123 billion-year commitment, 134, 152. See also Sea Organization blow, 156, 272n111 Bodhisattva, 23, 118, 131 Bogdan, Henrik, 69, 221n15 Book One Auditing, 8, 45, 72, 74, 207, 224n50, 235n10

Bradbury, Ray, 65 brainwashing Cult Awareness Network and, 177, 179 deprogramming and, 177–79 as pseudoscience, 3 Robert Jay Lifton and, 177 Scientologists on, 179–80 theory of, 177–78 Bridge. See Bridge to Total Freedom Bridge Publications, 140, 149 Bridge to Total Freedom Hubbard on, 28, 118 levels of, 28–29, 31–33 versions of, 223n40 Briefing Course. See Saint Hill Special Briefing Course (SHSBC) Brigham Young University, 206 Bromley, David, 153–54 Buddhism, 18, 83, 93, 118, 131, 144, 220n9 “Build a better bridge!” (Hubbard), 82, 186 bullbaiting, 48, 126 Bushman, Richard, 206 bypassed charge, 76 Cadet Org, 147–48. See also Sea Organization California Association of Dianetic Auditors, 235n11 Campbell, John W., 66, 70 Carnegie, Dale, 65 Carr, Sir William Emsley, 130 case supervisor (C/S), 29, 143, 150 Cause Resurgence Rundown, 223n43, 227n72, 285n134 Cazares, Gabriel “Gabe,” 138, 160, 266n58 celebrities, 12, 46, 51–52, 64, 181 Chairman of the Board (COB). See Miscavige, David

321

Index charisma, 165 Chelmsford Private Hospital (Australia), 196 Christensen, Dorthe Refslund, 24, 79–80 Christian Science, 78 Christofferson, Julie, 178 Church of Scientology International (CSI), 25, 34, 53, 128, 140, 160, 165, 185, 210 Church of Scientology of California (CSC), 85, 128, 163, 165, 176, 275n33 Church of Spiritual Technology (CST), 141, 165, 208 Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), 12, 14, 156, 193, 195–99 Class V Organizations, 30, 75, 140, 143, 267n68 Class VI auditors, 102–03 Classification, Gradation, and Awareness Chart of Levels and Certificates. See Bridge to Total Freedom Clear, 22, 29, 34, 36, 75–77 “Clearing the planet,” 56, 123, 126–27, 137, 144, 182, 194, 209, 281n104 Clearwater, Florida, 30–31, 35, 44–45, 75, 102, 107, 128, 138–40, 142, 147, 152, 160, 187, 192 Clinton, Hillary, 54 co-auditing, 8–9, 36, 61–62, 118, 154 COB. See Miscavige, David Code of a Sea Org Member, 133, 142, 268n80 Cold War, 13, 55–56, 65, 94, 100, 122, 133, 141, 156, 164 Committee of Evidence (“Comm Ev”), 115, 155 Commodore’s Messenger Organization (CMO), 140, 143, 162

321

Confessional Technology. See Security Check confidential scriptures, 9, 29, 31–33, 96, 130, 132. See also Operating Thetan (OT) Congress lectures, 102, 187–88 conversion, 50 Cooley, Earle, 169 Cooper, Paulette, 160, 256n85 cosmogony / cosmology, 23, 41 “Creed of the Church of Scientology” (1954), 117 Criminon, 14, 36, 194, 206 Crowley, Aleister, 69, 238n44, 244n114 Cult Awareness Network (CAN), 177, 179 “cult wars,” 177 Dain, Paula, 178–79 Daytona Beach, Florida, 128, 137–38 deprogramming, 177–79, 280n95 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), 196, 198 Dianazene, 97 Dianeticists, 59, 63, 82, 85 Dianetics analytical mind and, 71–72 Bay Head, New Jersey and, 70 Clear and, 22, 29, 34, 36, 75–77 Clear Certainty Rundown and, 75 Don Purcell and, 81–83 Elizabeth, New Jersey and, 62–63, 81, 259n109 Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation and, 62, 73, 77, 80–81, 86, 235n10 Hubbard’s development of, 60 hypnotism and, 60, 198, 235n6 IQ and, 62 John W. Campbell and, 66, 70 number of Clears from, 34, 75

23

322

Index

Dianetics (Cont.) past lives and, 62, 86 popularity of Dianetics (1950), 50 practicing medicine without a license and, 78, 81, 84 psychosomatic illness and, 42, 69–70, 72, 74, 80 reactive mind and, 45, 55, 57, 70–76, 108, 112, 118, 190, 198, 205, 225n51 Release and, 72 as a science, 42, 61 science fiction fans and, 13, 27, 60, 62, 64–68, 78, 90, 93, 167–68, 186, 208, 236n21, 240n71, 245n123 Scientology and, 77–85 Sigmund Freud and, 67, 69–70, 72– 73, 105, 238n45, 251n35 somatic mind and, 72 Tone Scale and, 72 Wichita, Kansas and, 10, 62, 81–83 “wins” from, 75–77 Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science, 60, 239n61 Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, 17, 60, 135 Dianetics: The Original Thesis, 18, 60, 81, 187 Director of Special Affairs (DSA), 6, 165 disconnection, 112–17, 185, 256nn89–90, 257nn97–98 E-Meter (electropsychometer), 8, 18, 21, 29, 31, 45, 73–74, 98–100, 107, 109–10, 140, 149, 161, 186–87, 192, 224n50 East Grinstead, United Kingdom, 31, 75, 79, 94, 95, 97, 102–04, 140, 159, 197 Eight Dynamics, 20, 56, 85, 117, 145 Eighth Dynamic (Infinity/Divinity), 20, 22–23, 33, 41, 91

Elizabeth, New Jersey, 62–63, 81, 259n109 engram, 45, 70, 73–74, 83, 86–87, 94, 109, 112, 117–18, 131, 132–33 entheta, 132–33, 159, 182–84, 194, 226n65, 262n32 Erhard Seminars Training (est), 50, 208 eschatology, 38, 41–42, 55, 90, 123 esotericism, 18–20, 28–29, 32, 42, 46, 69, 91, 93, 118, 131, 133, 208, 244n114 evolution, 88 Excalibur, 60, 240n71 Explorers Club (New York City), 244n114 exteriorization, 21–22, 48–49, 83, 86 Facebook, 116, 185 The Factors (1953), 91–94 “Fair Game,” 113–14, 256n86 Farrakhan, Louis, 44–46, 231n108 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 161–63, 273n14, 274n23 Feninger, Mario, 64 field auditing, 30, 47, 140 fixed donations examples of, 35–36, 227n72 Hubbard on, 37 Scientologists on, 36–38 Flag Building, 30, 139, 157, 192 Flag Land Base, 30, 137–40, 143, 192 Flag Orders, 146, 268n80 floating needle (F/N), 99, 109, 217n39 Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 97, 159 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (1938), 98 Fort Harrison Hotel, 138 Foundation for a Drug-Free World, 202 Founding Scientologists, 5, 59

2 3

Index Fourth Dynamic Campaigns. See Social Betterment and Humanitarian Campaigns Fourth Dynamic Engram, 132–33, 285n143 Free Zone Scientology. See independent Scientology Freedom (magazine), 175, 185 freeloader bill, 155 Freewinds, 7, 30, 33, 35, 76, 139–40, 143, 172, 202, 225n57 Freud, Sigmund, 67, 69–70, 72–73, 105, 238n45, 251n35 “From Clear to Eternity” (1982), 38–39 Galaxy Press (ASI), 267n72 Garcetti, Eric, 201 gender and sexuality, 39, 209 General Semantics, 62, 93 George Washington University, 25, 68 gnosticism, 18–19, 21, 28, 41–42, 69, 89, 91–92, 94, 117, 225n54, 229n91, 258n101 Goals Problem Mass (GPM), 252n44 Golden Age of Knowledge (GAK), 187–88 Golden Age of Technology (GAT), 186–87, 192–93 Golden Era Productions, 140, 215n28 Grade Chart. See Bridge to Total Freedom Grades (auditing), 29, 38 Guardian’s Office (GO), 114, 130, 159–65 Have You Lived Before This Life? (1958), 89 Hays, Russell, 70 Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, 244n114 History of Man (1952), 33, 88–90, 108, 254n65, 264n44

323

holidays in Church of Scientology, 7, 151, 155 Hubbard Association of Scientologists International (HASI), 82, 165, 275n33 Hubbard College of Administration International, 206 Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation, 62, 73, 77, 80–81, 86, 235n10 Hubbard, L. Ron. See also works by L. Ron Hubbard appeal to science fiction enthusiasts, 13, 27, 60, 62, 64–68, 78, 90, 93, 167–68, 186, 208, 236n21, 240n71, 245n123 on artists, 52 in Bay Head, New Jersey, 70 on Clear, 71–72, 80 David Miscavige and, 141, 162, 168 death of, 168–71 development of Bridge to Total Freedom and, 118 early years, 25, 67–68 in East Grinstead, UK, 31, 75, 79, 94, 95, 97, 102–04, 140, 159, 197 establishment of Scientology and, 85 as executive director of Scientology churches, 128, 130, 167 as founder and leader of Sea Organization, 128, 133, 141 hypnotism and, 60, 198, 235n6 on “Keeping Scientology Working” (KSW), 56, 119–20 later years, 166–68 on legal affairs, 174 Mary Sue Hubbard and, 85, 130, 159 memorial service for, 168–71 as the model Operating Thetan (OT), 22–23 origins of Dianetics and, 60

2 4 3

324

Index

Hubbard, L. Ron. (Cont.) on OT III, 130–31, 133 on overts and withholds (O/Ws), 29, 104, 108–12, 117, 129, 154, 189, 254n65, 254n66 in Phoenix, Arizona, 62, 82–83, 94, 97, 100 on Richard Nixon, 55, 101–02 Scientologists on, 26–27 on Security Checks, 109–11, 114–15, 154–55, 255n72, 255n74 as “Source” of Scientology, 23, 107, 121, 124, 167, 173, 186, 191, 193 on suppressive persons (SPs), 112–13 theory of study, 29, 104–08, 111, 118, 136, 188–89, 194 on unreleased OT levels, 169, 276n57 views on psychology and psychiatry, 55–56, 95, 101, 156, 177, 190, 193, 195–99, 286n153 in Washington, D.C., 25, 55, 67, 68, 85, 94, 96, 100 writing career of, 68–69, 167–68 Hubbard, Mary Sue, 14, 85, 130, 159–60, 162–64, 274n22 hypnotism, 60, 198, 235n6 IAS “Pledge to Mankind,” 166, 275n35 Ideal Organizations, 7, 189–92, 205 independent Scientology, 184, 207–08 Internal Revenue Service (IRS), 97, 127, 159, 174–77 International Association of Scientologists (IAS), 7, 34, 82, 165–66, 227n70, 269n94, 275n39 International Justice Chief (IJC), 115, 257n94, 258n102, 274n28 Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 115 Introvigne, Massimo, 208, 214n25

Jentzsch, Heber, 227n68 Jentzsch, Yvonne Gillham, 52 Johannesburg, South Africa, 85 Johnson, Alfreddie, 44–46, 201, 230n95 Judah, J. Stillson, 11, 219n51 “Keeping Scientology Working” (1965) compared to Ten Commandments, 122 as dogma, 120 Hubbard on, 56, 119–20 Scientologists on, 120–22 ten points of, 119 Kember, Jane, 160, 266n58 Kennedy, John F., 55, 102, 182 King, Cecil Harmsworth, 130 Korzybski, Alfred, 62, 64 KSW. See “Keeping Scientology Working” L Rundowns, 223n43, 227n72 L. Ron Hubbard Landmark Sites Camelback House, Phoenix, Arizona, 243n100 Fitzroy House, London, 247n7 L. Ron Hubbard House, Bay Head, New Jersey, 70 Linksfield Ridge House, Johannesburg, South Africa, 251n38 Original Founding Church of Scientology, Washington, D.C., 216n32 as “pilgrimage” sites, 25–26 Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, UK, 103 L. Ron Hubbard Personal Public Relations Office, 26, 165, 215n28 Las Palmas (Canary Islands), 129 Lesevre, Guillaume, 225n56, 265n54 Lifton, Robert Jay, 177

2 35

Index lower conditions, 155–56, 272n116 LRH. See Hubbard, L. Ron Maitreya (Metteyya), 23 Mark Ultra VIII E-Meter, 99. See also E-Meter Mathison, Volney, 98 McCusker, Joseph (Joe), 59–62 media depictions of Scientology in, 3–4, 10, 32, 47, 153, 179 Scientologists on, 52, 181–83 Meisner, Michael, 161 Melton, J. Gordon, 4, 24, 32, 69, 134, 218n42 membership data, 34, 51, 165, 226n62, 227n68, 227n70 mental mass, 98 “Merchants of Chaos,” 11, 183–84 MEST (Matter, Energy, Space, and Time), 22, 66, 80, 91, 93, 105, 117, 138, 229n90, 239n61 Miscavige, David on assuming leadership of Religious Technology Center (RTC), 171–72 as Chairman of the Board (COB), RTC, 108, 141, 158, 172, 173, 192, 210 as ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, 14, 141, 210 Ideal Orgs and, 190–92 L. Ron Hubbard and, 141–42, 162 Mary Sue Hubbard and, 162–64 role in preserving Scientology scriptures and practices, 186–88 role in securing tax-exemption from IRS, 174–77 Scientologists on, 172–74 as Sea Org member, 141–42, 162 “Wake-Up Call” (September 11, 2001) and, 189–90

325

Mission Earth series (1985–1987), 167–68 misunderstood words (MUs or Mis-Us), 104–07, 111, 188–89 money. See fixed donations Mormon studies, 15, 204 Muhammad, Elijah, 46 Muhammad, Tony, 44–45, 201, 231n104 “My Only Defense for Having Lived” (1966), 25, 65 Narconon, 14, 36, 50, 194, 206, 287n158 Nation of Islam (NOI), 40, 42, 44–46, 201 New Era Dianetics (NED), 29, 74–75, 149, 167, 224n48 New Thought, 93 Nixon, Richard M., 55, 101–02, 164, 250n30 NRM studies, 204 O’Brien, Helen, 83–84 Objectives Processing (Survival Rundown), 8–9, 244n50, 285n135 Office of Special Affairs (OSA), ix, 6, 35, 141, 143, 160, 165, 189, 205, 215n31 One-Shot Clear, 118 Operating Thetan (OT) confidentiality of OT materials, 9, 29, 31–33, 96, 130, 132 OT III, 130–31, 133 OT VII, 31, 33–34, 39, 115, 143, 167, 184, 205 OT VIII, 7, 30–34, 38, 39, 135, 139 OT levels on Bridge to Total Freedom, 31 “OT phenomena” (Advance! magazine), 221n19 pre-OT v. preclear, 31, 33, 36, 38, 89 Scientologists on, 32–33

6 23

326

Index

Operating Thetan (OT) (Cont.) solo auditing and, 31–33, 39, 143, 167, 184, 205, 225n58 trade secrets and, 32 unreleased OT levels, 169, 225n56, 276n57 Opinion Leaders (OLs), 12, 52 Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO), 69 Org(anizing) Board, 206 Orwell, George, 65, 78, 241n75 OSA. See Office of Special Affairs overts and withholds (O/Ws), 29, 104, 108–12, 117, 129, 154, 189, 254n65, 254n66 Oxford Capacity Analysis (OCA) personality test, 49–50, 249n20 Pacific Area Command (PAC), 149, 273n14 Parsons, John (Jack) Whiteside, 69 past lives, 18, 21–22, 41, 62, 73, 86–91 Patrick, Ted, 177–79 Paul, Ron, 54 PDC. See Philadelphia Doctorate Course Peace Rides, 201, 231n104 “Personal Integrity” (1961), 123 Philadelphia Doctorate Course, 62, 69, 83, 91, 238n44 Phoenix, Arizona, 62, 82–83, 94, 97, 100 pilgrimage sites. See L. Ron Hubbard Landmark Sites Prado, Ricardo, 202 Preclear (PC), 8, 29, 33, 35–36, 39, 42, 48, 72, 74–75, 80, 86–88, 89, 94, 98, 103, 108–09, 118, 123, 150–51 Pre-OT, 31, 33, 36, 38, 89 Processing. See Auditing Psychiatry and psychology, 55–56, 95, 101, 156, 177, 190, 193, 195–99, 286n153 “Psychs,” 76, 197–99

PTS (Potential Trouble Source), 112, 115, 195 public Scientologist, 155 Purcell, Don, 81–83 Purification Rundown, ix, 8, 28–29, 52, 74, 150, 167, 224n50, 227n72, 248n14, 276n44 reactive mind, 45, 55, 57, 70–76, 108, 112, 118, 190, 198, 205, 225n51 Reeves, Tad, 185 Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF), 154 Release, 72 “Religion angle,” 83–85 Religion v. cult, 2–3, 177, 180 Religious Technology Center (RTC), 14, 31, 108, 141, 158, 160, 165, 168, 171–72, 174, 186, 188, 192–93, 210, 259n110, 268n77 Research Room (Apollo), 129, 136–37, 266n63 Romney, Mitt, 206 Ron’s Journal 38 (1983), 168, 261n11 Ron’s Journal 67 (1967), 14, 129–33, 135, 256n86 Ron’s Journal 68 (1968), 114–15, 235n13 Roux, Eric, 185 Saint Hill Special Briefing Course (SHSBC), 64, 102–04 Science Fiction, 13, 27, 60, 62, 64–68, 78, 90, 93, 167–68, 186, 208, 236n21, 240n71, 245n123 Science of Survival (1951), 20, 80–81, 91, 184, 239n61, 242n96 Scientology anti-psychiatric theology and, 195–99 Bridge to Total Freedom and, 21, 27–30, 118 Camden, New Jersey and, 85, 244n111

237

Index Christianity and, 18, 41, 67, 107, 117, 258n100 early churches of (1953–1954), 85 Clear and, 22, 29, 34, 36, 75–77 “counter-apocalypticism” and, 56–57, 141, 205, 263n38 definition of, 17–18, 220n5 East Grinstead, UK and, 31, 75, 79, 94, 95, 97, 102–04, 140, 159, 197 E-Meter and, 8, 18, 21, 29, 31, 45, 73–74, 98–100, 107, 109–10, 140, 149, 161, 186–87, 192, 224n50 exteriorization and, 21–22, 48–49, 83, 86 future of, 102, 205, 210 gnosticism and, 18–19, 21, 28, 41–42, 69, 89, 91–92, 94, 117, 225n54, 229n91, 258n101 holidays and, 7, 151, 155 implants and, 90 independent Scientology and, 184, 207–08 internationalization of, 102, 191, 247n6, 284n131 “Keeping Scientology Working” (KSW) and, 56, 119–20 membership data and, 34, 51, 165, 226n62, 227n68, 227n70 Nation of Islam and, 40, 42, 44–46, 201 Operating Thetan (OT) and, 30–33, 74–75, 94, 132–33 “other practices” and, 42, 230n95 other religions and, 40–46 Phoenix, Arizona and, 62, 82–83, 94, 97, 100 relationship to Dianetics, 77–85 “religion angle” and, 83–85 rituals and iconography of, 85, 244n114 self-knowledge and, 17, 25, 91, 106

327

Standard Technology and, 94, 103, 105, 120, 140, 188, 192, 252n43 Theta-MEST Theory and, 80, 239n61 Scientology Cross, 85, 244n114 Scientology Media Productions (SMP), 157, 185–86 Scientology Missions / Franchises, 30, 47, 51, 126, 140, 165, 247n9, 260n6 ScientologyParent.com, 185 Scientology studies, 6, 15, 204, 206, 210 Scientology Scriptures. See also works by L. Ron Hubbard Advanced Clinical Course (ACC) lectures as, 64, 102, 188 Basics books as, 8, 187–89 Church of Spiritual Technology (CST) and, 141, 165, 208 Congress lectures and, 102, 187–88 Golden Age of Knowledge (GAK) and, 187–88 Management series volumes and, 283n123 Operating Thetan (OT) materials, 30–33, 74–75, 94, 132–33 other materials, 169, 276n57, 283n123 Religious Technology Center (RTC) and, 108, 141 Research and Discovery (R&D) volumes and, 240n80, 283n123 scope of, 8 Scientologist reflecting on creation of, 137 Technical Volumes and, 283n123 Scientologists on 1993 IRS tax-exemption, 176 auditing, 19–22, 37–38 brainwashing, 179–80

2 8 3

328

Index

Scientologists on (Cont.) “bunker mentality,” 183, 194 celebrities, 52 Clear, 75–77 David Miscavige, 172–74 Dianetics, 75–77 disconnection, 115–17 dissemination, 194–95 Eight Dynamics, 20, 56, 119 engagement with society, 193–95 entheta, 132, 182–84, 194 exteriorization, 21–22, 48–49 faith / belief, 17–19 Golden Age of Knowledge (GAK), 187–89 Golden Age of Technology (GAT), 187–88 independent Scientologists, 207 July 1977 FBI raid, 161–62 “Keeping Scientology Working” (KSW), 120–22 L. Ron Hubbard, 25–27 media, 52, 181–83 money, 36–38 occupations, 53 OT levels, 31–33 other religions, 40–46 overts and withholds (O/Ws), 111–12 parenting, 185 past lives, 86–91 politics, 54–55 psychiatry / psychology, 198–99 responsibility, 36, 57 same-sex marriage, 209 Scientology as religion, 2, 96, 100–01 Sea Organization, 144–47 self-censorship, 131–32, 181–83 sexuality and gender, 39, 209 social betterment programs, 193–95 Study Technology, 107–08

Suppressive Persons (SPs), 115–17 training, 29–30 Scientology organizations 1980s restructuring of, 164–65 Advanced Organizations, 30–31, 140, 149, 221n19 Author Services, Inc. (ASI), 168, 209, 267n72 Bridge Publications, 140, 149 Celebrity Centres, 8, 44, 51–52, 140, 149 Church of Scientology International (CSI) as “Mother Church,” 165 Church of Spiritual Technology (CST), 141, 165, 208 Class V Organizations, 30, 75, 140, 143, 267n68 Flag Land Base, 30, 137–40, 143, 192 Flag Ship Service Organization (Freewinds), 7, 30, 33, 35, 76, 139–40, 143, 172, 202, 225n57 Founding Church of Scientology (Washington, DC) (FCDC), 97, 99, 161, 216n32 Golden Era Productions, 140, 215n28 government raids on, 97–100, 161–64 Hubbard as executive director of, 128, 130, 167 Hubbard Association of Scientologists International (HASI), 82, 165, 275n33 incorporation of early churches (1953–1954), 85 International Association of Scientologists (IAS), 7, 34, 82, 165–66, 227n70, 269n94, 275n39 internationalization of, 102, 191, 247n6, 284n131

9 23

Index missions / franchises, 30, 47, 51, 126, 140, 165, 247n9, 260n6 Office of Special Affairs (OSA), ix, 6, 35, 141, 143, 160, 165, 189, 205, 215n31 Religious Technology Center (RTC), 14, 31, 108, 141, 158, 160, 165, 168, 171–72, 174, 186, 188, 192–93, 210, 259n110, 268n77 Saint Hill organizations, 102–04, 149 Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination (STAND) League, 185 Scientology Media Productions, 157, 185–86 Scientology Missions International (SMI), 248n9 World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE), 140, 206 Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination (STAND) League, 185 Sea Organization apostasy and, 14, 110–11, 153 billion-year commitment and, 134, 152 children and, 147–49, 157 Code of a Sea Org Member and, 133, 142, 268n80 daily life in, 149–52 Fourth Dynamic Engram and, 132–33, 285n143 freeloader bill and, 155 motto of, 133 origins of, 127–29 process for leaving, 152–56 ranks in, 141–42, 268n78 reasons for joining, 143–46 Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF) and, 154 as a religious order, 134, 140, 148, 154, 157

329

Sea Org Census (2010, CSI) and, 146–47 Sea Org Day (August 12) and, 7, 142, 155, 263n36 Sea Org orgs and, 140 sexual and gender norms within, 209 symbol of, 263n39 Sea Project, 128. See also Sea Organization Security Check, 109–11, 114–15, 154–55, 255n72, 255n74 Self Analysis (1951), 8, 207 Shannon, Claude, 70 Sherman, Dan, 25, 205 Singer, Margaret, 177 Smith, Joseph, 206 Smythe, Guillermo, 202 SO 1 Unit, 137, 265n54 Social Betterment and Humanitarian Programs Applied Scholastics, 14, 50, 104, 194, 206, 252n45 Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE), 140, 165 Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), 12, 14, 156, 193, 195–99 Criminon, 14, 36, 194, 206 Narconon, 14, 36, 50, 194, 206, 287n158 Truth about Drugs, 14, 193 United for Human Rights, 14, 193 Volunteer Ministers (VMs), 14, 136, 190, 193, 206 The Way to Happiness Foundation (TWTH), 14, 201 Youth for Human Rights International, 285n142 solo auditing, 31–33, 39, 143, 167, 184, 205, 225n58 somatic mind, 72

0 3

330

Index

soteriology, 23, 27, 35, 41, 80, 118–19, 121, 184, 194–95 soul. See thetan “Source.” See Hubbard, L. Ron South Park, 4, 32, 131–32 Space Opera, 41, 87–89, 94, 133, 236n21 Standard Technology, 94, 103, 105, 120, 140, 188, 192, 252n43 Starkey, Norman, 169, 267n72 Sterling, D.L., 82 Stress Test, 49, 248n20 Study Technology, 29, 104–08, 111, 118, 136, 188–89, 194 Sturgeon, Theodore, 70 Super Power Rundowns, 223n43, 285n134 Suppressive Person (SP), 11, 104, 112–13, 115–17, 130, 154, 183–84 Sweat Program. See Purification Rundown systematic theology cosmogony / cosmology and, 23, 41 disconnection and, 112–17, 185, 256nn89–90, 257nn97–98 ecclesiology and, 85, 164–66, 175, 244n111 education (Study Technology) and, 29, 104–08, 111, 118, 136, 188–89, 194 engagement with society and, 193–95 eschatology and, 38, 41–42, 55, 90, 123 evil (Suppressive Persons) and, 112–13 Saint Hill (1959–1967) and the development of, 94, 104, 252n43 sin (overts and withholds) and, 29, 104, 108–12, 117, 129, 154, 189, 254n65, 254n66

soteriology and, 23, 27, 35, 41, 80, 118–19, 121, 184, 194–95 Szasz, Thomas S., 12 “Target Two,” 171 Terrin, Aldo N., 24, 69 Theosophy, 93 Theta-MEST Theory, 80, 239n61 thetan. See also Operating Thetan (OT) exteriorization and, 21–22, 48–49, 83, 86 Operating Thetan (OT) and, 21, 23, 33, 41, 71 past lives and, 41, 62, 86–91 time track, 61, 287n159 Tone Scale, 72, 74, 82, 86, 106– 07, 119, 169, 189, 209, 290n12, 290n13 training (of auditors), 29–30, 35–36, 44–47, 62, 72, 102–04, 118, 139, 149, 152, 186–87, 205 Training Routines (TRs), 8, 29, 125, 252n44 Troeltsch, Ernst, 2 Trump, Donald, 54 The Truth About Drugs, 14, 193 Twitchell, Paul, 208 Unification studies, 204 United Churches of Florida, 138 United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (1948), 43, 193 United in Peace Foundation, 201, 231n104 Urban, Hugh B., 4, 10, 24, 69, 83, 162 U.S. Secret Service, 101–02, 250n33 Utilitarianism, 20, 117, 148, 164 van Vogt, A. E., 64, 66, 235n11, 239n48

331

Index Volunteer Ministers (VMs), 14, 136, 190, 193, 206 “Wake-Up Call” (September 11, 2001), 189–90 “Wall of Fire,” 129, 131, 133, 167 Wallis, Roy, 2, 9–10, 69, 79 “War is Over” event (1993), 174–77 Watchdog Committee (WDC), 141, 165, 210, 268n77 The Way to Happiness (1981) 21 precepts of, 199–200 atheism and, 200 efforts in Colombia with, 201–02 United in Peace Foundation and, 201, 231n104 The Way to Happiness Foundation (TWTH) International and, 14, 201 Weber, Max, 2, 165 West, Louis J. “Jolly,” 177 Western Esotericism, 18, 69, 93, 208, 244n114 What is Scientology? (1978 and 1998), 49–50, 53 Wheatstone bridge, 98, 248n17. See also E-Meter When Prophecy Fails (1956), 205 Whitehead, Harriet, 40, 47, 49 Whole Track, 88, 91, 94, 171, 287n159 Wichita, Kansas, 10, 62, 81–83 Wilson, Bryan R., 40–41, 43 Winter, J. A., 65, 80–81, 86, 242n85, 242n89 word clearing, 105, 107 word-of-mouth dissemination, 49–50, 75, 96 workability, 18, 41, 120 works by L. Ron Hubbard Battlefield Earth (1982), 167 Buckskin Brigades (1937), 68

331

“From Clear to Eternity” (1982), 38–39 “Creed of the Church of Scientology” (1954), 117 Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science, 60, 239n61 Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, 17, 60, 135 Dianetics: The Original Thesis, 18, 60, 81, 187 Excalibur, 60, 240n71 “The Factors” (1953), 91–94 Fear (1940), 68 Final Blackout (1948), 69 Have You Lived Before This Life? (1958), 89 History of Man (1952), 33, 88–90, 108, 254n65, 264n44 Introduction to Scientology Ethics, 115 “Keeping Scientology Working” (1965), 56, 119–20 Mission Earth dekalogy (1985–1987), 167–68 “My Only Defense for Having Lived” (1966), 25, 65 “Personal Integrity” (1961), 123 Philadelphia Doctorate Course, 62, 69, 83, 91, 238n44 Ron’s Journal 38 (1983), 168, 261n11 Ron’s Journal 67 (1967), 14, 129–33, 135, 256n86 Ron’s Journal 68 (1968), 114–15, 235n13 Science of Survival (1951), 20, 80–81, 91, 184, 239n61, 242n96 Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought, 50, 151 Self Analysis (1951), 8, 207 Triton (1949), 69, 235n6 Typewriter in the Sky (1940), 68–69 The Way to Happiness (1981), 8, 43, 45, 156, 187, 193–94, 199–202

2 3

332

Index

World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE), 140, 206 Wright, Lawrence, 11, 79 Writers of the Future Contest, 267n72

Youth for Human Rights International, 285n142 YouTube, 184 Zuckerman, Phil, 2, 270n102

3

4 3

35

6 3

37

8 3