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An indispensable book on Scientology

The book on Scientology by the former scientologist, Jon Atack, has a world-wide reputation of having rendered a faithful and thorough picture of the quasi-religious cult of Scientology. The extent of the author's sources are quite simply overwhelmingly large: He has drawn on official Scientology memoranda, publications, bulletins, court records and correspondence. In addition, the book recounts Atack's personal experiences, not only as a devout Scientologist for nine years but also his numerous interviews with hundreds of Scientologists, many of whom he has helped escape the Church's most insidious practices.

The book is divided into nine main chapters: chapter two, for instance, is concerned with the time before Dianetics, i.e. 1911-1949. Here Atack discloses the facts about what Scientologists maintain is the "truth" about Hubbard's travellings in the East, Hubbard as an "explorer", and Hubbard as a "hero".

In 1934, Hubbard was living in a New York hotel, trying to earn a living as a pulp fiction writer using such stirring pen names as Kurt von Rachen and Winchester Remington Colt. Here he met Frank Gruber, also an aspiring pulp writer. Gruber is said to have characterized Hubbard as having an extremely vivid imagination, for which the following story, reproduced by Atack from Gruber's book The Pulp Jungle, is a good example.
During one ... session Ron began to relate some of his own adventures. He had been in the United States Marines for seven years, he had been an explorer on the upper Amazon for four years, he'd been a white hunter in Africa for three years ... after listening for a couple of hours, I said, "Ron, you're eighty-four years old, aren't you?" He let out a yelp, "What the hell are you talking about? You know I'm only twenty-six." - "Well, you were in the Marines seven years, you were a civil engineer for six years, you spent four years in Brazil, three in Africa, you barn-stormed with your own flying circus for six years ... I've just added up all the years you did this and that and it comes to eighty-four years. ..." Ron blew his stack. (p.64.)

In 1950, Hubbard introduces Dianetics in his book of the same name, subtitled The Modern Science of Mental Health.
"Dianetics was supposed to "Clear" people of irrational behavior. A "Clear", according to the book, would have no compulsions, repressions, or psychosomatic ills. A "Clear" would have full control of his imagination, and a near perfect memory." (p. 107-8.)

In promoting Dianetics, Hubbard also addressed President Kennedy
"On May 25, 1961, Hubbard offered his mental "technology" to President Kennedy to assist in the Space Program. He repeated his usual tale about Russian interest in his work, saying he had been offered Pavlov's laboratory in 1938. He said Scientology "conditioning" would increase the IQ and "body skills" of astronauts ... The "conditioning" was to cost $25 per hour. Hubbard ended with an admonition to President Kennedy: "Such an office as yours receives a flood of letters from fakes, crackpots and would-be wonder-workers. This is not such a letter." (p. 153.)
"Sea Organization"

Further, Atack tells about Hubbard who, in 1967, fled to Las Palmas where he created the Sea Organization. Hubbard was adding the final touches to his OT3 Course (OT means Operating Thetan). Atack has explained that Sea Organization members were put into pseudo-naval uniform, adopted naval ranks and signed a billion year contract to serve "command intention". All Sea Org members are expected to receive martial arts and weapons training. They work long hours, usually devoting over 90 hours per week to Scientology, for derisory pay. They often spend weeks or months restricted to a diet consisting entirely of rice, beans and porridge. Discipline is harsh (taken from Atack's 1992 paper entitled The Total Freedom Trap, p.23 (available from The Dialog Center International).
Infiltration schemes.

Among several other fascinating revelations, Atack reveals the facts concerning the infiltration schemes of Scientology. One of the tasks of the Guardian Office, whose purpose Hubbard gave in a March 1, 1966 Policy Letter was "TO HELP LRH ENFORCE AND ISSUE POLICY, TO SAFEGUARD SCIENTOLOGY ORGS, SCIENTOLOGISTS AND SCIENTOLOGY AND TO ENGAGE IN LONG TERM PROMOTION", was to place "plants" in organizations perceived to be hostile. Atack explains, for instance, that in 1972 the American Medical Association was infiltrated; in 1973, the Interpol Bureau in Washington; and in 1974, the Internal Revenue Service (pp. 226-7). The way Atack describes such matters is, quite simply, riveting.
Cases and convictions.

In 1984, judges in both England and America condemned both Hubbard and Scientology. The following is extracts from a child custody case in London (taken from pp.338-9)

Justice Latey went on to describe Scientology as he saw it, and added:
Some might regard this as an extension of the entertaining science fiction which Hubbard used to write before he invented and founded the cult.... But in an open Society, such as ours, people can believe what they want to and band together and promulgate their beliefs. If people believe that the earth is flat there is nothing to stop them believing so, saying so and joining together to persuade others.

He then quoted the evidence given by American psychiatrist Dr. John Gordon Clark, during the trial:
Auditing is a simple, thoroughly designed means of concentrating the mind to a state of a controlled trance. The aim and result is progressively to enforce loyalty to, and identification with Scientology to the detriment of one's natural awareness of divergent ways of thinking and outside cultural influences. Love and allegiance are more and more given to Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard.

Justice Latey further wrote that "In blunt language 'auditing' is a process of conditioning, brainwashing and indoctrination."

Justice Latey compared the truth about Hubbard with Scientology's published claims:

To promote himself and the cult he has made these, among other false claims:
That he was a much decorated war hero. He was not.
That he commanded a corvette squadron. He did not.
That he was awarded the Purple Heart, a gallantry decoration for those wounded in action. He was not wounded and was not decorated.
That he was crippled and blinded in the war and cured himself with Dianetic technique. He was not crippled and was not blinded.
That he was sent by U.S. Naval Intelligence to break up a black magic ring in California. He was not. He was himself a member of that occult group and practiced ritual sexual magic in it.
That he was a graduate of George Washington University and an atomic physicist. The facts are that he completed only one year of college and failed the one course on nuclear physics in which he enrolled.

There is no dispute about any of this. The evidence is unchallenged.

Hubbard has described himself as "Dr. Hubbard." The only doctorate he has held is a self-bestowed "doctorate" in Scientology.

Mr. Hubbard is a charlatan and worse, as is his wife Mary Sue Hubbard ... and the clique at the top privy to the Cult's activities.

Further on Justice Latey spoke of "Confessional auditing" like this:
Contrary to the assurance of confidentiality, all "auditing" files are available to Scientology's intelligence and enforcement bureau and are used, if necessary, to control and extort obedience from the person who was audited. If a person seeks to escape from Scientology his auditing files are taken by the intelligence bureau and used, if wished, to pressure him into silence. They are often so used and uncontraverted evidence of this has been given at this hearing.

The conclusion, then, is that anyone who intends to find out about the reality behind Hubbard and Scientology should not be without a copy of this definitive book, filled as it is with the abuses, contradictions, falsehoods, paranoia, and greed of Hubbard and Scientology.