The files that can be downloaded from the links above are copies of 42 issues of the bi-monthly “Journal of Scientology”, a Hubbard-period publication (issues 1 – 43, with the exception issue 42).
If anyone has a copy of issue 42, I would greatly appreciate a scan. Come to that, if you have any copies of any publications that are not here, please feel free send them here (contact me in the comments below or through the feedback page).
I recently posted 193 copies of “Ability” magazine, and noted that Hubbard seems to have had minimal involvement with this early volunteer-made publications. The ‘news’ featured in “The Journal of Scientology” revolves around Hubbard’s ‘work’, of course. However, Writing that appears under Hubbard’s byline frequently appears to be extracts from his books (which are also promoted) and is often the same extracts that can be seen in “Ability” magazine.
This presents an interesting parallel with the subculture of Science Fiction fans.
In a previous post, I linked to an academic paper entitled, “The Transcendental Engineers: The fictional origins of a modern religion.” The author described the healthy imaginative play indulged in by Science Fiction fans – and proposed that Scientologists were doing something very similar.
The crucial difference is that Hubbard erased the line between fantasy and reality. Science fiction enthusiasts are healthy people playing make-believe. Scientologists are deluded people who have have accepted another man’s fantasies as truth.
In “Ability” magazine, and “The Journal of Scientology” there is another parallel. Many SF enthusiasts write and publish ‘Fanzines‘. These are limited-circulation periodicals which discuss a sub-genre or the works of a single author which the creators particularly enjoy. These works are often of a very high standard, and are produced not for profit, but for for their own sake.
I propose that early Scientology were ‘Hubbard fanzines’, and the enthusiasm of their creators was exploited by Hubbard to sell his wares (‘congresses’, scientology training, books and e-meters) for personal profit.