Early in this book I wrote that I prefer complexity in man; a search for simplistic formulae not only offends me, but frightens me. I have to add that I loathe anything which preys upon human weaknesses. I know you can broaden this statement so that it includes every organized movement of faith ever known to man, but Scientology has been so shameless, so blatantly vulgar and, yes, commercial, in telling its adherents all about The Truth and how to achieve it, that it has made a unique place for itself in our times. The facts speak for themselves eloquently.
Somewhere in all the millions of words written and spoken about Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard manages to tell us exactly what Scientology's intentions and goals are and how it plans to achieve them. The various processes and drills may be hidden from casual outside view because of Scientology's ultra-strict code of internal ethics, but the entire phenomenon of this mass movement was never more clearly and honestly defined than when Church of Scientology Minister Bob Thomas told me that Scientology strives to help a person *control* his memories. While this may go far in explaining the processes and drills, it throws little light on some of Scientology's more fanciful theories and beliefs, and does little to explain *why*
so many people are getting into it. Some clue to the latter may lie in the types of persons drawn to Scientology.
Jack Horner put it this way, when he said, about himself and the majority of those who involved themselves with Scientology in the early days: "Most of us were reasonably pragmatic, heuristic, if you will. It was a question of does this bring about beneficial changes in people, and if so, good." Horner added, quite candidly, "We weren't in Scientology for games - we *were* in a way - but the point is that we were quite serious about it. For a lot of us in Scientology, while it might have had parts of it that weren't right, it was the only game in town."
Jerry Tannenbaum's view is broader, and gentler. "There are so many ways I have looked at Scientology," he told me, "in terms of its existence at this time; whether its existence is in actual fact good or bad. And when I view it that way, I couldn't say it's either good or bad. I could say, based on studies of other philosophies, Eastern philosophies, that a person is attracted to it if that's his Karma; if it's his Karma to be stuck in it and to be mentally hurt. That was the design, it's already in the cards for him to have that experience. When you talk about it in terms of Western philosophies, and psychology, it's very destructive. It makes an automaton out of a person. It robs that person of his own individuality. But these expressions are Western philosophy expressions."
Looking back on his own life, Jerry, who now embraces the tenets of Tibetan Buddhism, said, "I was naive, because I hadn't studied anything else. I studied sociology and psychology at college, then went to the Summerhill movement. I dropped out of college. I was...like that educational thing bothered me very much. There was not much that could be accomplished there in a short period of time. And I was energetic in that sense. After Summerhill I heard about Scientology and I met some people that were in it. They told me about it and it sounded great. It was the first time I heard of past life and actually studying it, so I was taken right in,
and I really went in hook, line and sinker, and I was very, very dedicated - that's a horrible word, *dedicated*, 'cause it starts with *ded* - and I was a great Scientologist. I had a lot of very warm friendships. There's one thing about the people all working together like that, as Hesse said in one book, *Demian*, when he saw all the soldiers going towards the front: he said there was something magnificent about the movement, their desire to move, to get the enemy. The shame is that they're so willing to die for a cause, instead of living for one. So the people in Scientology were like that, giving of themselves with tremendous energy for what they believe was good, which... it's a beautiful feeling." He paused for a moment, obviously remembering how it had all come to an end. "It was a little shocking when I left," he said with understatement. "All these friendships were just, Bluuunkk!" and he wiped his hand through the air as if erasing something with one broad stroke.
When I asked Gary Watkins what he thought the biggest thing wrong with Scientology was, he sat back to think, then hunched forward, rested his elbows on his desk, clenched his hands, and then laughed, to himself, and thought some more. It was a long time before he spoke. "The basic objective of the entire field is based upon the premise of clear, that people are unenlightened. The thing with Scientology is you first have to convince a man that he's not clear, and then tell him you'll clear him." Why, I wondered, was it made to look so complicated and inaccessible? Because, Gary said, "Ron Hubbard's understanding of problems people have, and his general understanding, is in terms of extraordinary phenomena. The books and the charts, they tend to complicate matters rather than simplify them. He didn't give enough credit to people: where they were, and what they do know and what they are accomplishing. It's a convincing story, it's really a convincing story. I would say, maybe, if Ron Hubbard hadn't gone through all this, somebody else might've had to, eventually, to go through all the complications. He made discoveries that were
well in advance of discoveries made in psychology and psychiatry, of aspects of mind, aspects of behavior, that eventually somebody would have come around to. The business of psychosomatic ailments being 70 percent of all ailments; a little bolder than anyone else, but psychologists and psychiatrists *admit* such phenomena." But there was always a personal quality to Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard's presence, and wrath, and it gives a cautiously realistic tone to what Gary says next. "Every time anybody got very close to it [Total Freedom], he stopped them. Every time anyone created successful promotion, he kicked them out, pulled them out of a post. Every time anyone started to gather a reasonable following, he shipped them out, or changed their function."
Putting all this together rang a small bell, something Jack Horner had said which I felt was on a lot of people's minds. "If I thought," he had said, "there was any way of working with Ron, I would, but I don't see any way of doing it." This one thought, common to so many ex-Scientologists, nagging them as they discuss their personal experiences and wonder about the philosophy and the man who made it all happen: What if he is right? What if, despite those personal qualities of Hubbard's which are dubious, despite that shattering moment when Scientology turned on them savagely and threw them out, despite their own analyses which reveal disparities and loopholes: what if L. Ron Hubbard really grabbed something big and worked out a system which does give you all the powers he identified, and what if his is the first and only system which can do it? It is frankly a terrifying thought.
But if it is right, and if that door to Total Freedom is exactly where Hubbard said man will find it, why all the fancy lingo, an the almost intentional intricacy of the gradients, as if it is more important to keep climbing up that ladder than reaching the top; as if L. Ron Hubbard - and it a suggestion which crossed my mind often as I talked and read and wondered about Scientology - himself doesn't know where he is
going. That what is important is just to keep it all *going*. Somewhere.
Bob Thomas, who is now head of the Hubbard organization in Los Angeles, and has become probably the most important Scientologist in the United States, explains this seeming contradiction calmly. "As the research advances the technology changes at the advanced level. It doesn't confuse, because the lower levels are not changed very radically by any of the new researches. It's like every stage of development that's reached, the next stage is researched and then put out." Doesn't that, I asked him, make processing eternal or endless? "If processing is eternal," he answered, "it's only because the degree of rehabilitation of the human being, from our point of view, is eternal. But there are finite states of attainment, approaching this infinitude. We have no limitations, we project no limitations as to how powerful and advanced a state of consciousness man can attain." What I really felt, I said, was that Scientology seemed enveloping, always there, to be lived with every moment of every day. Thomas disagreed. "Let's face it," he said with candor. "Everyone has a philosophy of life, whether they have articulated it or not. It's with them, in terms of the structure of their viewpoint. How they would verbalize it varies, but they all have, basically, some assumptions about life which are with them always." When I suggested that it all seemed as if man might never be free, totally, because he would always have to depend upon Scientology to show him The Way, Thomas said, "Freedom is a relative term. One of the basic Scientology viewpoints is that absolutes are not attainable in the physical universe. But you can get more and more and more free, and that's what's happening in Scientology: people are finding out more and more about themselves and the more they find out about themselves, the freer they are. We envision no ultimate limitation on how free an individual can be. The researches that Mr. Hubbard
is doing are designed to carry man forward toward that ultimate goal of Total Freedom."
More than one person has wondered about these current researches of Hubbard's, and his research techniques in general. During its investigation into Scientology, the Board of Inquiry in the state of Victoria, in Australia, heard one witness testify: "We never saw Ron actually engaged in research... because, as I understand, a lot of research was done in the early hours of the morning, but...the fact that the course was going, [that] was also part of the research program, as he would observe students and see what they were doing, and then, in his own time, what was going wrong and correct it...."
Another witness stated that "sometimes Ron would say if he wanted to do research on a certain process and there was at one time a number of students selected to run this process, but the majority of research he gets Mary Sue to run. So whatever he worked out, Mary Sue runs on him before he uses it."
Nick Robinson, the young Englishman who had spent enough time on board Hubbard's flagship to observe the man at work, said, "The way Hubbard did his research, so far as we could see, was to scout around the islands and the coastline of the Mediterranean and see what it suggested to him, you see. He was supposed to have total recall of past lives..." and "one incident which he described at the party following his return was that he had docked at Sardinia, and two thousand years ago, according to him, he had been the commander of a fleet of war galleys in the Mediterranean, and he had had an affair with the priestess of the Temple of Sardinia, and he used to make assignations with her by her secret tunnel into the temple - it was all beautiful Rider Haggard stuff. Well, at the island he made a little plasticene model of the secret entrance and sent his troops around to scout around for it. And there it was, lo and behold! It was a stone which
resembled the model. They thought this was the entrance. And when Hubbard described this at the party celebrating his return -" arriving at this exact spot two thousand years after the fact to find a large stone he had duplicated in clay, "the whole room sort of erupted into crys of 'Good Old Ron!' and whistles. I think I was the only one there who thought, 'Well, this is marvelous showmanship, but it doesn't prove a damn thing about past lives.'"
Monica Saxon, who developed the techniques of Dramanatomy which Jerry Tannenbaum teaches with her, looks back on Scientology with an insight which preceded her involvement. "I didn't go into Scientology to become an auditor," she says. "It looked interesting, and I went in to look at it. I was in classes where people audited each other, and with private auditors, and I reached clear - what they were calling clear then." There is a controlled serenity about Monica which comes through in her well-modulated voice; there is an unwillingness to laugh easily, yet a smile, when it comes, is warm and sincere. She has an oval, high-cheeked face, and eyes that are wide and soft. Her hair is long and falls down her back, and when she moves, you can see her full stature and the ease with which she gestures or takes a step. It is almost a dancer's body, implying great strength and control. Her eyes watch and listen and she answers directly, with objective self-knowledge. Her disenchantment with Scientology began at a congress in Washington, D.C. "The whole presentation," she explains, "was like a snake medicine show. He [Hubbard] even had a drummer, who would drum -" she rises and takes a determined pose, her right arm raised above an imaginary drum, "- as he was walking around, to make a point in his speech." She strides across the floor, her step purposeful, majestic. Then she becomes the drummer and lifts her arm, and then drops it. "Boom! and he would go into his point." She stops and turns to look at me. "Like indoctrination. Brain-washing. You know who he reminded me of? He looked like a
cross between Wallace Beery and W.C. Fields; W.C. Fields in those movies being a snake-oil salesman. Even his delivery was of that nature. And I'd been in show business for years before I did this work, and I looked, and I thought, Wow! this is a Big Show. I met him personally during the Congress, and he was playing the Great God. Just the way he'd say, 'How do you do - '" Monica's look grows almost somber, ministerial, her hand-clasp solid and cool. "He was presenting himself to be worshipped, really."
Yet some of the processes in Scientology genuinely appealed to her. "To look at Changes," she says. "If I was the auditor and you were the preclear, I'd say: 'Get the idea of changing.' And then you'd say something back to me, or just, 'Yes, I got the idea.' And then I'd say 'Get the idea of not changing.' And then you'd look at that and either say your idea of not changing or else just say, 'Okay, I got the idea.' This would be repeated for one hour. And then at the end of the hour we'd change and you'd become the auditor and I'd be the preclear and you'd give it to me. I found that was very creative; I looked at my own mind, how my own mind worked with the idea of changing or not changing, and that, to me, was what I was doing with that process. I don't know if anyone else was doing that with it."
Her criticism of Scientology is very simple. "What I really feel is that the whole technique - what he uses as technique - is training people how to indoctrinate other people. There's that certain point that you reach when you have to go through training to be an auditor to go beyond that. Actually, what happens with the training, what I saw, it's pretty strong: you get indoctrinated and pretty soon you - I watched the people, what they were doing before just slips away. And suddenly they're all *auditors*. It's drummed at you and drummed at you, and the memorization, what they call 'duplicating the data,' the memorization is strong so that there's no room - it pushes - it's like taking something and pushing it into a person at such
speed that anything that they had before is pushed right out. You come out as a scientologist."
Monica left it all in 1962. "When I was doing these processes," she says, "there wasn't any Grading going on with those particular types of processes. When they began to Grade, that's when I left. Because I felt, I am the judge of whether I got out of *that* what I wanted, and for someone else to say that they have a test that's going to tell me whether I got what *I* wanted out of it, well," she gives a small throaty laugh, "I don't consider that valid. Also, if you've come to a point where you feel in command of your own life, you don't need a test. I feel that a test is on a need basis, really. It's an ego basis. I didn't want that. If you need verification, then you're not really there. There are many philosophies where you reach a 'clear' point, but that's *your* 'clear' point. Nobody can test you on it. It's a personal concept. The clear that they mean is one that would make you available for Scientology. I saw that an attempt was being made not to let you have that state of clear. That they were going to use the notion, but were not going to allow it. And that's when I left."
Jerry has been listening, and now says: "I don't doubt that Hubbard - who I think is very impressive, a very good showman, very aware of many subjects, well-versed on many subjects - knows how to talk - working with a person could do great things. But when *he* does those great things and then writes a bulletin and says 'Everybody do this now with your preclears....'" He gives a small shake of his head. "There are so many *human* situations going. Like all a guy can think about is screwing his auditor; many ego things going on. Like people being auditors, and that leading to a great deal of ego. There's a tremendous amount of unconscious activity going on down there and he just sends out a bulletin expecting the same results he gets. That's ludicrous. It's ludicrous for a person to think that he can start an *organization of teachers* like that and achieve the results he's achieving. In the Eastern
sense, if he had brought one person to full enlightenment, it would have been much greater, than a thousand people to someplace lower." It is as if Hubbard no longer thinks of his followers as being plain old mortals. Says Jerry, "I remember a couple of guys who wanted to go into Reichian Therapy, and they talked about: 'Gee, it's great, you get these chicks in - you know, you work with people in the nude and you touch bodies....' It's like here you can go in and become an auditor in very short order. A tremendous amount of pretense." He shakes his head again and then smiles. "I feel like James Coburn, in 'Flint,' when he goes up to the girl and says: 'You are not a something-something-Pleasure Machine.' That's how I feel with any scientologist: You are not a Hubbard Scientology computing machine."
Is Scientology brainwashing? Has L. Ron Hubbard actually developed a set of techniques which empty you of everything you are - your "self," however flawed - to be replaced with Scientology data: *theta*, Ability, MEST, Power, Past Lives, and all the rest of it? If, as Hubbard believed from the first moment he introduced Dianetics, the brain is a perfect computer, why can it not follow that he knows how to clean out that computer and reprogram it properly? You will probably argue that if Scientology is brainwashing, so is religious liturgy, and so is going to school, and so is...*anything* we learn. We think of brainwashing as being performed under duress, but Scientology involves genuine faith on the part of its participants. Can the label still apply?
The process of brainwashing, as defined in the *Encyclopaedia Britannica*, is "Controlling physical and social environment to destroy loyalties to any non-Communist -" the definition is given in terms of Chinese Communist methods "- groups or individuals, to demonstrate to the individual that his attitudes
and patterns of thinking are incorrect and must be changed, and to develop loyalty and unquestioning obedience....The process involves the removal of social and perceptual supports; the weakening of the ego by physical pressures, the coercion of guilt-provoking behavior that then requires rationalization; the destruction of the person's self-image by humiliation and revilement; the rebuilding of this self-image through the positive personal relationships that develop in the enforced intimacy of the cell despite the ever-present atmosphere of hostility; a shift of perceptual and semantic frames of reference resulting from the desire to identify with the point of view of the cellmates and the need to rationalize coerced behavior; and the elaboration of this new frame of reference through the intensive group study programs. The depth and permanence of these changes in attitude and point of view depend on the personality of the individual, his degree of motivation to be reformed and the degree to which the environment continues to coerce his behavior and support his new frame of reference."
Whatever physical and psychological cruelties this description implies as being inherent to successful brainwashing are missing, and, more important, unnecessary in Scientology for one simple reason: Scientologists *want* to be in Scientology because it works. It works because, quite simply, it is voluntary self-induced brainwashing. And because it does work, so many young people who have grown disillusioned with social structures which do not work at all, who refuse to accept the notion that life is an impossible struggle which cannot be made absolutely *simple*, find some kind of solace and welcome within a totally forgiving system which promises spiritual eternity, identifies and locates all guilt, and then - *mirabile dictu*! - makes it all go away, and replaces it with something glowing and sure. Scientology, whether you want to call it brainwashing or not, works because when all is said and done, the people in it do it to themselves.
Scientology's astonishing and continuing success is being additionally reinforced by a pervasive sense of togetherness which emanates from everything Scientologists do. I felt it at the Scientology Congress I attended at the Hotel Martinique and saw it in the steady stream of "successes" which pop up all over the place. It was never more evident than in the sense of beatific frenzy which welcomed the pre-Christmas appearance of John McMasters. All of these things work to give enormous strength to the belief that Scientology works.
What is even more impressive is the ease and speed with which people are smoothly made a part of the movement. Bud Lee, the young free-lance photographer who told me what happened during the first two sessions of the Communications Course, went into great detail about what it felt like when he first walked in. I think that both subjectively and objectively it gives a very revealing picture of what it is that helps make Scientology work.
"I went over on a Monday, and when I first came in, all I saw were all these happy people around - good-looking girls wearing these abbreviated costumes. One had on a little tiny brown miniskirt with a peekaboo see-through blouse, and she looked like something out of *Playboy*, but more earthy. There was this young guy on a couch, a very good-looking young guy, probably about twenty or twenty-one, and I don't know how many good-looking girls he had around: these girls were coming over, and they'd sit on his lap, and one girl, a big girl, a blonde, she came over and sat on his lap and started kissing him, and kissing his ears, and then she got up and left and a little while later *another* girl came over. I'd literally just come in off the street, I didn't know anything about Scientology at this point, other than a very small briefing [from someone at *Life* magazine]. It looked like one wild orgy. And the common expression, every time you say something, they say, 'Oh, *beautiful, beautiful*.' They're always saying, '*beauti[ul*,' with sort of a smile that's not a big smile, but sort of a benign
smile. And these eyes that are not here nor there. They're like beautiful zombies, wandering around. So I was really enchanted by this whole atmosphere. Like I said, 'My God, if this is Hell...Wow! This is great! This is fantastic!' At *least* sixteen girls l saw that afternoon were really beautiful, really gorgeous! And I signed up for the $750 course, and I gave them a $50 down payment. And one girl came over to me and she sat down next to me and she said, real breathless, 'Hi, what's your name?' So I said, 'My name is Bud.' And she was really a gorgeous-looking girl, with long brunette hair, big hazel eyes, and very, very creamy white skin, and huge, soft breasts, and she just sat right next to me and began sorting out papers or something. And then she got up and said, 'Bye...' still breathy like that. 'I'll see you later.'"
From the first moments of confrontation in the Communications Course, Bud was taken by the whole thing. "At this point," he says, "I was still believing, I was sort of absorbing all this, and there were all these lonely people in the room: like there was a woman without a chin, and there was another girl who looked very kind of masculine, an uptight girl who had a leather outfit on. She was sweating. She didn't have any makeup. And there were all these kind of weird-looking people. And in addition to the weird-looking people there were some beautiful people, some really good-looking girls."
The next night, during the first break in Bull-Baiting, "this girl came in, Nina Jones, who looked like she just came out of *Glamour* magazine. She was wearing sort of a little Indian short minidress, and a band in her hair, and tight little curls, and necklaces, very cute looking, kind of peppy. And the moment she came into the room I knew she was in there for my benefit, because there was no other reason for her to be in that room. And she came over to me and said, 'Would you please come to my office? I'd like to talk to you.' She was very polite, you know, like they always are, with a sort of slight smile, and she said to me, 'Did you take any pictures?' And I
said, 'Yes.' And I told her it was for a magazine. I don't remember all of it, but one question sticks in my mind, she kept repeating it over and over again - the same thing like we were having in Bull-Baiting: 'What were you doing on the third floor? What were you doing on the third floor? What were you doing on the third floor? What were you doing on the third floor?' Like that, over again and over again and over again. And doing it without showing anger, or anything, just over again and over again and over again. And I said, 'I wasn't *on* the third floor.' I said, 'Or if I *was* on the third floor, I didn't know I was on the third floor.' And then I suddenly remembered, and I said, 'Oh, yes, I remember yesterday, there was a monitor who took me up to get some tickets for a class on Saturday or something, and we went up to an upper level, and I thought it was the second floor,' and I said to her, 'Isn't this the first floor?' And she kind of looked at me, very suspiciously, with the same face though, and said, 'Who were you talking to on the third floor? Who were you talking to on the third floor? Who were you talking to on the third floor?' And I explained to her that I hadn't talked to anyone. Then I remembered that I had bumped into somebody I had met in Key West last January, a sculptor I had met down there. He was in this hallway and they had these rows of chairs and they were stuffing envelopes. They were all like these zombies with these slight smiles, sort of, you know, looking up. They were all stuffing envelopes, stuffing envelopes. And he got up and practically kissed me. He threw his arms around me, and he said, 'Oh, man! You're beautiful!' He's one of these really hip people, with big moustaches and the mod clothes...he's in his forties, but he acts like he's fifteen. He's the type of guy who says, 'How's your ass?' and all that sort of thing. And I said to him, 'When're you going to be leaving?' So we went out and had coffee. Anyway, that's the person I talked to. He's perfectly innocent, he didn't know I was coming. I didn't know he'd be there or anything. But Nina was
convinced that I had been on the third floor and I had taken pictures of something on the third floor that I shouldn't have. I have no idea what's on the third floor other than the hall with the envelope stuffers. I know there's something in those rooms, but I didn't get to see the rooms, because there's a desk, with a girl behind it - same kind of smile - that separates you, and beyond her, who knows what goes on. If I was crazy, I'd suddenly imagine it's because they do it in the nude or something. But I really don't know what they do.
"So Nina examined me further, and then she mentioned Yvonne Chabrier, who is the reporter from *Life*, the researcher, she mentioned her name, and asked, 'Do you know Yvonne Chabrier? Do you know Yvonne Chabrier?...Yvonne Chabrier?' And I said, 'Yes, I do.' I didn't want to lie; I felt very *funny* lying. And she said, 'How do you know her?' and I said, 'Well, I originally came over here for *Life*, but they've already closed the story.' And then she *really* got uptight, and she walked out of the room, and said, 'I want you to come with me and meet this other guy,' I forget his name, Owen, or something, and he was in one of these little cubicles. And he sat down and he was much nicer. He did the same thing of cross-examining me, but he was more interested in what *Life* was doing. I explained to him that I didn't know what *Life* was up to, which I really didn't, because they had briefed me very little."
When it was all over, Bud not only apologized for what he had done, but turned over all of his film, exposed and unused. "I explained to them that I really *believe* in this stuff and that I thought they were doing a lot of good for a lot of people that had nothing else. That I would like to come back sometime, in the future, and take it up seriously. And they said, 'Maybe. in the future.' He, the guy, explained to me that I couldn't stay simply because I hadn't come of my own accord. They only are interested in people who come on their own; even if your *brother* sent you, he said, 'We won't take you. You come
because *you* want to come.' So, Nina gave me my fifty-dollar deposit back, and I went back and got my coat in the room, and I thanked the teacher, Bobbie, and I spent too long talking to her, because Nina came in and she was very uptight about me talking to Bobbie, and Bobbie was confused. I said, 'Thank you very much, I hope to meet you again in the future.' And Nina kind of looked at her, and then looked at me, and I said to Bobbie, sort of, like, 'Nothing to worry about.' And then I put my coat on, and went home."
Bud pauses in his narrative and looks back on the whole experience, and then says, slowly, "I really did believe. I believed right until the moment they came and took me out of the class. I was like one of those lonely souls, I felt just like the other people in the class...." He tries to laugh, but it goes dry. "There are really beautiful people in this, and I was really upset when they asked me to leave. I really was. I was more upset than they were. Because I wanted to find out, like I'm *dying* to find out what happens in the Fourth or Sixth Class. I wanted to see what they *did*. They really fed me the bait, and I bit!" He starts to laugh again, but instead stops and says, wistfully, "The girl who gave the first lecture, Bobble, was beautiful. She sat on the edge of this desk, and crossed these long legs of hers, and these big eyes, and she was very soft-spoken, and she said, 'Now is there *anything* you don't understand?'"
A few weeks later, Bud received a letter from the Church of Scientology which began "Dear Bud," and expressed something akin to sorrow that he had asked for his money back. It went on to express the hope that he would return, that whatever had happened could be worked out and forgotten. When we last talked, Bud was seriously considering returning so that he could find out, finally, what does happen in the Fourth or Sixth Class.
Yes, Scientology may be a form of voluntary brainwashing, but conversely, we, as social animals, seem to *need* phenomena
such as Scientology. Rollo May, the well-known psycho-therapist, discussed this question when he reviewed Dr. Winter's book, *A Doctor Looks At Dianetics*, in 1951. May suggested that there is something in us which is satisfied by a psycho-sociological movement which, as he put it, is a "confusion of fantasy with scientific claims. Apparently," he wrote, "modern people reach out on the one hand for scientific authority and on the other hand they seek some realm of fantasy in which their irrational tendencies can temporarily have full play." Speaking then as a behavioral scientist, May concludes: "Does this imply that modern man is not only anxious, demanding security, but also suffers in our commercial and industrial society from a suppression of fantasy life and imagination, and thus seizes upon the new forms of magic?" Nineteen years after that was written, with life accelerated to an almost maniac pitch, and a burgeoning interest in all forms of the occult as offering us some kind of an *answer*, man is looking to the seemingly irrational to explain the irrationality of modern times. The answer to May's question is Yes. If it were otherwise, Scientology would be unheard of and, though Hubbard would be the last to admit, unnecessary.
Scientology inures itself against outside criticism by insisting that anything written or said against it must be judged relatively, viewed against the equally "relative" merits of other forms of psychotherapy and spiritual activity, and be seen in a "proper" context. When *Life* magazine published the long article on Scientology in 1968, L. Ron Hubbard wrote the magazine a letter in which he said: "Those attacking Scientology run mental institutions. They make millions out of it. They advocate brutal, murderous actions against the insane. They are terrified of losing the avalanches of money gouged out of governments. They see Scientology taking it all away
with kind, effective measures. There is no question in their minds but that Scientology works. That's why they are attacking it. A thousand other philosophies and religions arise every year with no outcry from the madmen in charge. The hundreds of thousands of victims of the enemy, as in all fascist actions, cannot complain. They cannot even talk. They're dead."
Such an answer has become quite traditional with Hubbard. In an HCO Bulletin of May 5, 1959, he wrote: "The person who goes to a psychiatrist usually finds himself betrayed. He does not receive help, he receives brutality in the form of electric shocks, brain surgery and other degrading experiences. Even in the highest form of psychiatry it was common advice for the psychiatrist to tell the wife that the best cure for her troubles was to betray her husband, and vice versa." Surprisingly enough, when not speaking from what sounds interestingly close to personal experience, Hubbard has on occasion acknowledged that processing might cause a "nervous breakdown" which would require "observation" in a mental hospital. Describing what he named the "Sad Effect" in an HCO Policy Letter, he wrote: "We could call this Tearculi Apathia Magnus and everyone would be in great awe of it. But I see no reason to follow the Latinated nonsense of yesterday's failured sciences. Call it something simple and the auditor will feel he can do something about it and even the preclear will cheer up a bit. So it is 'the Sad Effect.' This is a state of great sadness, apathy, and misery and desire for suicide."
In Hubbard's now rare confrontations with the outside world, I found that you can never be sure whether he will be precise and decisive, as when he discusses the computer-like qualities of the mind and the statistical perfection of Scientology's *Standard Tech*, or mildly introspective and almost puzzled, as when, while discussing man's brain and its function during that filmed interview which is shown at all the free introductory Scientology sessions, he suddenly interrupts
himself to say, "What it [the brain] does? Well, I'm not quite sure...." And some moments later, in this same film, discussing the insane, he says, "The insane are, well, they're insane." This is not to imply that Hubbard is ever at a loss for something to say. He measures the mood of a moment, and then, with persistently winning charm, satisfies or confounds a critic or questioner with just the right answer. The last question asked by the interviewer who accompanied the British film crew which visited Hubbard on board his flagship was "Do you ever think that you might be quite mad?" I half expected Hubbard to rise up in righteous wrath and indignation and summarily order the intruders off the vessel, but he merely rolled the question over in his mind and then said, with obvious relish, "Oh, yes! The one man in the world who never believes he's mad, is a madman." And his broad face, giving him the look of a homey, beardless Santa Claus, split into a wide grin of sheer pleasure.
Recently, Eric Barnes, the Church of Scientology's public relations director for the Eastern U.S., appeared as part of a panel discussion on a television program and said, "Nowhere in all the eighteen years of attacks that have been made against Scientology - and always done in the same pattern - nowhere has anyone come up with one person who has been harmed by Scientology." What Barnes meant was that the cases on record involving individuals who have taken Scientology processing and ended up in mental hospitals cannot be introduced as evidence against Scientology because these persons were unwell before Scientology ever touched them. When Dr. Lewis L. Robbins, a prominent practicing psychiatrist who was also on the program, asked Barnes if Scientology makes an effort to determine whether or not someone might be emotionally or psychologically unfit, Barnes answered: "When someone walks in who's obviously rational, who sits and talks....We discover that someone has had institutional processing, or has been treated by a shock treatment, or
lobotomy, or leucotomy, which are the *tools* of the psychiatric trade, or convulsive drugs of one kind, we say, 'We're sorry, we cannot help you.' And that is the end of it." Simplistic but neat.
So the onus of any criticism is put on the critic. And what Hubbard knows is really sticking in everyone's craw is the fact that Scientology works! The only alternative for me then is to make some further observations about Hubbard's stubbornly heuristic approaches, and see where that leads.
Rollo May, in his review of Dr. Winter's book, wrote: "The one useful point in dianetics, in my judgment, is helping the patient to experience his feelings. Yet even this is not original: it is a form of abreaction, one of Freud's earliest techniques. As any psychologist knows, the difficulty is that the event about which the patient works out his feelings usually has no demonstrable relation to present reality...."
This question of somehow defining what is fantasy and what is real brings us to some questions regarding the E-Meter, that indispensable Scientology tool which John McMasters, the world's first *clear*, has said measures "disagreements," not lies. In his already quoted study of the polygraph, or lie detector, Dr. Burke M. Smith stated: "To be effective an instrument or a test must be valid and it must be reliable." No attitude could be more scientific, pragmatic, and in accord with what Hubbard has said over and over again. Dr. Smith went on to explain that sufficient evidence to evaluate the polygraph was lacking because "in the few cases in which effectiveness has been evaluated, confessions of guilt or attempts to deceive have been commonly taken as criteria for determining validity. The trouble with this is that in many cases the confession may have come before or during the examination, which is thereupon said to have been conclusive!" Dr. Smith cites a specific example, the case of a young bank manager who was subjected to what Smith called a "routine" polygraph examination. "He showed violent response
to the question: 'Have you ever stolen any money from the bank or its customers?' On a peak-of-tension test to specify the amount of money stolen, he showed strong reactions at the mention of the sums $800 and $1,100. He could not remember taking any such sum but, confused and convinced of the machine's infallibility, he confessed to having stolen $1,000 and told how he must have done it. The bank's auditors could find no such shortage or manipulation, and so the manager was referred for psychiatric examination." It was found that "the patient had strongly ambivalent feelings about his mother and wife and felt guilty about personal financial dealings with them involving the sums of $800 and $1,100. Both the mother and the wife were customers of the bank."
The same polygraph test was repeated by another examiner who also concluded that the bank manager was lying and must be guilty of theft because of his responses to questions where the word "customer" was used. Dr. Smith wrote: "Clearly the original polygraph results were not valid. It was not deception but an autonomic response to unconscious attitudes that had caused the strong polygraph reactions. The same effect was shown on a trivial question included as a control: 'Do you drink coffee?' The manager answered, quickly and truthfully, 'Yes,' but the polygraph showed a strong emotional reaction. The young man could not explain this, but psychotherapy revealed that coffee-drinking had been absolutely forbidden during his childhood; the memory of that prohibition had been lost or suppressed but remained potent. ...In fact," Dr. Smith concluded, "any word that happens to have strong emotional connotations for an individual and that is included in a critical question may elicit a response that is erroneously attributed to an attempt at deception."
Dr. Smith describes other "pitfalls that can lead to 'false positive' or 'false negative' interpretations of a record. Some people are emotionally highly sensitive even to supposedly neutral stimuli; others are unresponsive. A person who believes
what he says is true may show no emotional response even when he says what is objectively untrue. A person who is ashamed of his name may show emotion when he quite truthfully answers 'Yes' to 'Is your name Adolf Schicklgruber?'"
Finally, Dr. Smith raises certain ethical questions. "To say or imply," he wrote, "that the machine is infallible is to use a lie to detect a lie. To elicit admissions through fear of the machine or misrepresentation of its record is to force a confession....A person undergoing even a routine polygraph test may inadvertently reveal, particularly in the preexamintion interview, information about himself that he would not voluntarily have revealed. The polygraph operator is not a physician or a lawyer or a priest; he is anxious to pass on whatever details he can find to his superior or to the man who has hired him. If his findings cast doubt (rightly or wrongly) on the integrity or reliability of his subject or reveal idiosyncrasies or weaknesses, the subject's welfare or entire career may be harmed. Can such invasions of privacy be justified? It is said that taking a polygraph test is voluntary. Is it really voluntary, however, if a refusal can be interpreted as evidence of guilt or seems likely to jeopardize a job?"
Yet Scientology uses the E-Meter as an infallible tool in identifying and locating the most fundamental element of man: his spirit. And people being processed trust auditor and meter implicitly, not only because of Scientology's aura of religious counseling and benevolence, but because the needle does react, and the auditor seems to know *why*. One girl I talked to, who had taken assist auditing because she was having serious problems with her boyfriend, who was a Scientologist, said, of her auditor and the meter: "I never doubted that he was *capable* of auditing me. As I remember it, vaguely, he would ask me to take the cans in my hands, which of course at first horrified me - these jam cans in your hands - and the E-Meter would react. I always believed I made it react, if I had something on my mind."
The fact that a polygraph, much less an E-Meter, is incapable of telling fact from fiction is totally ignored by Scientology. People spin tales of past lives as Mark Antony, Cleopatra, being zapped by nasty Martians on some distant planet, pinpointing a dramatic moment 38 trillion years back, and come away from an auditing session convinced they have been telling the truth. It is as if Scientology ultimately *wants* everyone to believe in Gorilla Goals and "Boo-Hoos" and Being Three Feet In Back Of Your Head.
It is naive and facile simply to label Scientology a fraud and a con; that is not even the point. A con is when you get somebody to pay out money for something you say you will do for them, or sell them, and then you do neither. Scientology gives its disciples *exactly* what it promises, from the very first moment a lecturer defines "reality" in Hubbard's terms. If, at that moment, you "agree," you accept the definition and believe yourself to be a bundle of chaotic distortions and spiritual contradictions which Hubbard's system *can* salvage and enshrine in the universe as a truly free-floating spirit, then Scientology obviously succeeds. The only question you have to ask yourself is whether or not L. Ron Hubbard's vision of life is one you fundamentally agree with. Everything else, the now-terminated "suppressions," the heartbreaking disconnections, the so-called "billion-year" contracts which bind youngsters to Scientology for "ever," the accusation that it is tampering with people's minds, all that is secondary. That may sound outrageous to you, but every step of Scientology evolves from the several declarations L. Ron Hubbard makes about what life *really* is. If you agree with his basic assumptions, then whatever tampering is done to your psyche is nothing less than what you have "agreed" you want done so that you, too, can
achieve that perfect state of emptiness which he defines as clear.
It is a cruel truth, but one I feel I must subscribe to if I am to believe that any sincere determination to keep people from hurting themselves is not enough to justify banning a philosophy or religion. In a society which chooses to call itself free, any body of thought can call itself a philosophy and any one individual can found a religion.
If you can make yourself forget the menace of Scientology's Ethics, and forget about some of Hubbard's weirder inventions, one thing remains as a simple and genuine danger. Scientology's intention is to create a Brave New World with no room for outsiders, which, if you stop and think for a moment, is you and me. The pitiable converse to this already occurs every time a devoted scientologist leaves the warmth and security of any of Scientology's intensely active centers - remember that every Scientology office *always* has something going on - and returns, for a time, to the erratic panorama of contemporary society. I know of several instances when members of families have returned from Los Angeles, home of Scientology's American Saint Hill Organization, or from England, or particularly from the Sea Org, one of Hubbard's floating sanctums, and for two days have impressed their loved ones with the love and purity which seems to glow from their very being. Then, because they are not surrounded by fellow Scientologists whose presence recharges their cells with the Right Words and predetermined responses to that constant expression of Scientology's truths, these people dim and darken. Nothing around them seems sufficiently real. It is as if they have come down off a very sweet and shining trip, and only a return to the safety of their Scientology world will restore their functioning realities.
Finally, I don't really know what L. Ron Hubbard believes. I've often wondered whether or not he ever read Dr. Nordenholz's book with its dry postulatings of what might be done
with man's consciousness, or whether Buckminster Fuller's vivid blasts about the Game of Life made more than a passing impression. When he wrote of his visit to Heaven in his HCO Bulletin of May 11, 1963, complete with a description of the Gates, was he only speaking in allegory? Does he really believe that *thetans* have done all the things he has written and said they have done, possess all the powers they are presumed to possess; and raising Scientologists to an advanced level of ability where they will be able to absorb it all is the true heart of Scientology? Or is it simply a brilliantly conceived system of programming a human being so that after a certain amount of "processing," at a certain level, he will be prepared to believe...*anything*?
When all of L. Ron Hubbard's theories and mouthings are reduced to their essentials, when the *thetan* stands alone, stripped of his theological trappings of "games," "past lives," "randomity," "time tracks," and "implants," one tiny, nagging suspicion lingers on: Is it possible that all of us are simply involved in yet another of this man's vivid flights of fantastic fiction, and it is all nothing less than a superbly evoked living nightmare, manipulated somewhere by a giant typewriter in the sky?
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