Scientology’s ‘Super Power’ Briefing Pack| Download as .pdf
L Ron Hubbard’s behaviour towards his followers alternated between ‘stick’ and ‘carrot’. Repressive periods were occasionally relived by ‘amnesties’ and the announcement of ‘new breakthroughs’.
The “Super Power Rundowns” were one of the ‘breakthroughs,’ supposedly invented by L Ron Hubbard to reinvigorate his exhausted staff. Scientologists present this as an act of charity, overlooking the fact that it was Hubbard who had overworked them in the first place.
This material was not made available to rank and file Scientologists and was almost forgotten until many years after Hubbard died in 1986. Then, the Church of Scientology’s new leader, David Miscavige, repackaged and ‘enhanced’ it as a residential course that would require purpose built premises and special equipment to complete.
The renovation of a building bought for this purpose began in 1988, in Clearwater, Florida (the international HQ of the Church). Although donations were continuously solicited the facilities were not completed until November 2013. Critics suggest that not all the money raised for the “Super Power Building” (now know as the “Flag Building”) went to the purpose intended.
This document is a ‘briefing pack’ for the people who were tasked with raising money for the realisation of ‘Super Power.’ It’s a revealing insight into the bizarre beliefs and practices that circulate among the most ‘advanced’ Scientologists – and the induced paranoia that motivates their actions.
In a slightly comic touch, the words “Super Power” on the cover bear the trademark symbol. It is indeed a trademark registered with the United States Trademark and Patent Office pertaining to, “Religious and ministerial services, namely, religious auditing to attain an increased understanding of self and spiritual gain”.
The pack opens with an extract from a Scientology magazine entitled, “Freedom” dated 30th October 1969. This magazine presents itself as engaged in investigative journalism It’s actually a propaganda organ for the Church of Scientology. It’s best known to outsiders for its unbalanced attack on a variety of high-level defectors (cover right) which was so vicious that many Scientologists recoiled from it.
This article article quoted in the briefing pack puts forward a very strange conspiracy theory. In short, Hubbard claims that agents of a foreign power have entered the US under the cover of “Social Scientists”, leaving domestic security services somehow helpless to deal with them. They are trained in, “[…] new intelligence technology [which] has been in use against the West since 1948 without detection or understanding.” and are planning “the abolishment of their hosts’ constitutions and cancellation of their boundaries”.
Hubbard claims that these infiltrators are responsible for the decline of educational standards, increasing crime and drug addiction, sexual perversion, insanity racial warfare among other things. He states that, “If action is not taken, if the trend is not halted, the West will be dead within a decade”.
Hubbard states that this “[…] has gone so far that anyone who mentions it is at once accused of “seeing a Red under every bush.” This implies that the enemy, who is going to bring about the “cultural destruction” of the West by 1979 is international communism. Since then, of course, the Soviet Union collapsed, followed by East Germany and many other nominally communist regimes.
The article ends with the words “L RON HUBBARD, Founder”, so he either wrote this for the magazine, or it is drawn from previous writings – a common practice among Scientology publications.
The following (full page) Hubbard quote now proposes his solution to this problem:
Some time ago I realized the resolution of this scene would require a powerful tech, tailored to check this downward spiral at each step of the way and get it reverting upwards. I set about to study and research and develop processes that would accomplish this. The result of that work is Super Power. Super Power is the answer to a sick, a dying and dead society. With it we literally revive the dead! With it we have the means to put Scientologists into a new realm of ability enabling them to create a new world! – LRH
What Is the Purpose of This Document?
It seems that the new leadership of Scientology is putting forward the argument that the ‘Super Power’ courses (which have lain dormant for so long) must be made available in order to save Western civilisation – and to give themselves greater credibility with Scientologists, they are doing so by stitching together out-of-context Hubbard quotes.
The importance of an apparently relevant Hubbard quote cannot be underestimated. It is an article of faith among Scientologists that Hubbard’s was effectively infallible. Evidence or argument are always trumped by a Hubbard quote, which are used to justify every official opinion and action.
A less charitable interpretation would characterise this document as a compilation of cherry-picked quotes to enable Scientology’s famously aggressive sales staff to raise money for the ‘Super Power’ building. It’s a mismatched patchwork worthy of Dr Frankenstein.
The next Hubbard extract, (pg 7) from way back in 1955, goes completely against type. Hubbard constantly argued that Scientology was the only means to save the world from a variety of terrible fates (including nuclear war). Consequently, he told Scientologists that they must be ruthless and unreasonable – especially when attacking their enemies – that the ends justify the means. In contrast, this extract tells that ruthlessness does not work, and only the practice of Scientology will save the world. More unrelated passages from Hubbard’s writing are provided.
More follow. The one on Pg 8, (from 1957) assures us that money and possessions are worthless when set against progress in Scientology. Pg 9 (1952) seems to argue that you needn’t worry about going broke because, if you don’t that prospect seriously, you can avoid it.
All of these passages are cherry-picked to support an appeal for donations to the cause of providing ‘Super Power’.
The Salesman’s Big Book of Useful Quotations
From pp 10-15 there are many more short passages and a lengthy extract from Hubbard’s writing which can be used by a Scientology sales person to encourage Scientologists to donate (and suggest that they are failing in their duties if they don’t).
On page 16 a quote from International Scientology News is put up alongside Hubbard:
CONTRIBUTE TO THIS NEW ERA OF EXPANSION. FIRST AND FOREMOST, MOVE UP THE BRIDGE TO OT YOURSELF. SECOND, AS A FIELD STAFF MEMBER, GET OTHERS IN AND UP THE BRIDGE. THIRD, CONTRIBUTE TO THE SUPER POWER PROJECT, AND TO THE CREATION OF YOUR NEW FLAG MECCA
The “New Flag Mecca” is, of course, the ‘Super Power’ Building.
A “Field Staff Member” incidentally, is a Scientologist trained to ‘persuade’ other member of the Church to undertake (and pay for courses). FSMs are also encouraged to procure donations for projects like ‘Super Power’ and receive a commission for their trouble.
Why Take the ‘Super Power’ Course?
According to Scientology, we are immortal, omnipotent beings called ‘Thetans’ who have somehow forgotten our real identity and mistaken our bodies for ourselves. The secret levels of Scientology (the OT – or ‘Operating Thetan levels) promise to restore many powers to the student.
The ‘Super Power’ course is presented as a ‘tune up’ for all Scientologists (pg 17).
‘Super Power’ is unusual in that there are no prerequisites – “Super Power does not replace the Grade Chart and can be run on any pc anywhere on the Grade Chart”. All you need to undertake it is a great deal of money.
In passing, I can’t help but observe that L Ron Hubbard’s 57 sense channels echo Heinz 57 varieties – and that both numbers are completely arbitrary.
David Miscavige Speaks
Allowing any Scientologist to take an ‘advanced’ course is a striking break with previous Scientology practice. This suggest that the motive behind it’s revival was reviving declining income, not Scientology doctrine.
This impression is reinforced when, after wading through pages of ‘technical’ explanations of ‘Super Power’ (and wild claims for its benefits) we come to the transcript of a speech on page 30.
For a religious leader, Miscavige has very materialistic concerns, boasting that the renovated building will posses:
370,000 square feet, — 22,000 cubic yards of concrete foundations, — five miles of carpeting, — 180 miles of electrical wiring, and — one million pounds of limestone floor tiles!
He also acknowledges the donors – who receive titles which depend entirely on the sum of money contributed.
Since the ‘Super Power’ building was completed, this practice has been extended. Scientologists can buy a ‘status’ for contributions to the International Association of Scientologists (ISA) which includes a gaudy trophy, presented by Miscavige himself if you give millions of dollars.
Extracts from other speeches on the subject by Miscavige follow. They make ambitious claims – for example that “[..] planetary clearing” is now in sight. In this millenarian vision, everyone would be a Scientologist who has completed sufficient courses to be declared ‘Clear’ – ending war an injustice and disease.
They are identified only by their initials and make no verifiable claims about real-world ‘powers’.
In fact, the benefits they claim can only be understood in Scientology terms , For example:
- “[it] put me back into comm with life”
- “I can now understand the Data Series Issues”
- “I had a major win on getting off a withhold [an un-confessed sin against Scientology, which is believed to hold the practitioner back] I’ve had for a very long time”
- “I realised I no longer had a back-off on things I did not understand”
- “I had moved out of thinkingness up to lookingness on the Know to Mystery scale.
This conforms once again that the document is intended to provide sales people with a variety of arguments to persuade Scientologists to donate to the ‘Super Power’ project.
Inside the ‘Super Power’ Building
This seems to have been something of an anti-climax. Courses are sparsely attended today.
The only information outsiders have about what goes on inside is from leaked computer renderings, circulated to potential donors, of the interior decoration and the strange equipment used to restore ‘perceptics’.
This use of equipment is another departure for Scientology. Previously, the only hardware required was the e-meter. The ‘Super Power’ building is supposed to contain specialised equipment to refine the perceptions of Scientologists such as a device for rotating and inverting their bodies (image left) and the puzzling ‘Oiliness Table’ (image right) which presumably has something to do with touch…
Finally… a Birthday…
It began as an unambitious project to put together a comprehensive list of books about Scientology. Then I started to include other media, then began to comment upon other things, then… well… I’m still here and still writing.
Thanks to everyone who has visited and sampled my blatherations during this time. If anyone has any suggestions for material that will take me to the end of year three, they will be gratefully received (you can comment below, or use the feedback form).
And all the best to every reader for Christmas and the New Year!