The Codes of Scientology | L Ron Hubbard | Certainty: The Official Periodical of Scientology in the British Isles | Volume 6 No 8 | 1959 | Download as .pdf (A new tab will open – click on the grey ‘download through your browser’ button)
In this post we examine an issue of the British periodical “Certainty”, published by the Church of Scientology in 1959. It was in this year that L Ron Hubbard bought Saint Hill Manor in England, moved in, and made it the world HQ of his organisation.
The download above contains a scan of an original copy. As far as I know, this is not available anywhere else online.
This issue was aimed at people who were ‘training’ to be ‘Auditors’ – that is Scientologists who investigate the supposed past-life traumas of ‘ordinary’ members, in a private room, on a one-to-one basis, using the e-meter. At this stage of the operation, auditors were not under the absolute control of the Church of Scientology, as they are now, and freelance ‘practice’ could be quite lucrative.
In this issue L Ron Hubbard presents a number of ‘moral codes’ for auditors. The double-edged nature of these ‘commandments’ is unsettling. Far from protecting the public, they can be read as requiring auditors
- To conform to orders given by the Church of Scientology and force their clients to do so.
- Do whatever it takes to advance the cause of Scientology, placing this above the welfare of both their clients and the general public
However, in 1953 and 1954 Scientology had been incorporated as a ‘Church’. In1956, first became tax-exempt in all American states as a consequence.
Critics suggest that, among themselves, Scientologists believed that:
- They were studying an exact science
- Their claims to be a religion were a cynical ploy whose purpose was to exploit the provisions of the second amendment to the US constitution in order to to avoid tax.
This text ostensibly presents a number of moral codes binding upon auditors. However, it seems to have been written in order to reinforce Scientology’s claim to religious status and tighten discipline.
It’s notable for two things.
- The double-edged nature of many of its moral prescriptions, mentioned above
- The drive to sell things (there are almost as many advertisements for Scientology texts and paid membership organisations as there is content)
This text also provides some insights into the early history of Scientology in the UK.
The Scientology Degree Mill
The back cover is devoted to selling ‘courses’ that culminate in phoney ‘degrees’ which are obviously intended to be mistaken for real academic and medical qualifications.
After a mere eighty postal lessons (for which the customer pays all of the postage) you are awarded the worthless title of B. Scn (Bachelor of Scientology)
This is a wonderful example of ‘cargo cult science’ – aping the appearance of the real thing without having the slightest idea of what it really involved. That said, the people who signed up for these courses probably did so in the sincere belief that they were earning valuable and prestigious qualifications.
Although the course was priced at only £2, getting that far seems also to have already required the purchase of several books (by L Ron Hubbard, of course) and, not least, an e-meter.
Postal courses fell out of favour as more Scientology ‘orgs’ were established, probably because the organisation lost control of its materials when it mailed them to clients.
Another Appeal for Money, and an Introduction
When you open this pamphlet, you see that the left hand page is devoted to another appeal for money – this time for membership of a phoney ‘professional association’. This is the grandiloquently-named “Hubbard Association of Scientologists International” (precursor of the present International Association of Scientologists, or IAS).
It is stated that membership charges are used for “the further dissemination of Scientology” – however, Hubbard has just moved into a English Country house (Saint Hill Manor) after having paid for it in full from the proceeds of Scientology. It’s a fair suspicion that a lot of this money was actually spent by Hubbard on Hubbard.
The director and the secretary for HASI were both Hubbard’s wife, Mary Sue. She was later to become head of “The Guardian’s Office” (Scientology’s secret police force) and spend time in prison in the US for her part in organising “Operation Snow White” for her husband.
Despite their being presented to Scientologists as an ‘ideal couple’ (Mary Sue even wrote a pamphlet called “Marriage Hats” which dispensed relationship advice, Scientology-style) Hubbard abandoned his wife and went into hiding for fear of arrest for ordering her actions.
The other director of HASI is listed as Marilyn Routsong (USA) and the editor of this pamphlet was one Joan Jelinek.
The next page is an introduction to “The Codes of Scientology” because “We REALIZE that many of you may not have seen the Codes by which we abide”. As I observed above, Hubbard seems to have left it quite late in the day to present Auditors with moral guidance.
“The Codes of Scientology” turn out to consist of:
- The Auditor’s Code
- The Code of a Scientologist
- The Creed of the Church
- The Code of Honour
The editor observes:
When you abide by these Codes then you are successful. When you stray from them then you have mankind to answer to when success and progress are not among you fruits.
The pressure to conform has begun. If you follow our instructions, you will always succeed. If you don’t succeed, you must have done something wrong. All good things are due to Scientology. All bad things are your own, personal fault. This is a recurring theme in Scientology which is later developed further.
Another Course for Sale, and “The Code of a Scientologist”
At the time, this was delivered at Fitzroy Street in London, but there is a note to the effect that they:
have already received fifteen applications for Franchisees to run HAS Co-Audit Course in various parts of the country. The Auditors concerned are sitting on the HASI HAS Course to learn how it is run.
This appears to have been Hubbard’s preferred method of expansion – sell ‘franchises’ to enthusiastic members who ‘teach’ the initial Scientology ‘courses’. More ‘advanced’ (and expensive) material can, of course, only be undertaken at places like Saint Hill. Consequently, this system provided Hubbard with profit motivated freelance Auditors who fed him with customers already prepared to take Scientology’s most expensive services.
As Scientology expanded and acquired premises, those who had entered the pyramid scheme early became heads of ‘missions’ and took commissions from other auditors who worked under them.
This was a system that guaranteed rapid expansion and motivated staff. It continued until it was dismantled years later by David Miscavige, the man who was to assume the leadership upon Hubbard’s death.
The Code of the Scientologist
There are (traditionally enough) ten ‘commandments’ in “The Code of the Scientologist”, as stated by Hubbard. Some are unexceptional, but the code is salted with prescriptions which work more to the advantage of Scientology than the client they are supposed to protect. I will list them below.
1 To hear or speak no word of disparagement to the press, public, or preclears concerning any of my fellow Scientologists, our professional organization, or those who names are closely connected to this science.
In other words, whistle-blowers are not welcome, and even constructive criticism is verboten. “[…] those who names are closely connected to this science” undoubtedly include Hubbard, so you are also acknowledging that he is above criticism. Say anything negative about the guru, and you are breaking the rules. Some science.
6 To discourage the abuse of Scientology in the press.
This sounds innocent enough – however, at this time Scientology was approaching the height of its power to suppress negative comment in newspapers, magazines and books with legal action and abusive extra-legal actions. To a Scientologist “abuse of Scientology in the press” meant something different than it did to outsiders.
10 To engage in no unseemly disputes with the uninformed on the subject of my profession
Of course, everyone except Scientologists fall in to the category of ‘uninformed’. One of the ways that Scientology protects its fragile belief system is by discouraging and discussion of it. There is even a policy called “Verbal Tech” that prohibits Scientologists from discussion their own belief with each other.
In practice, avoiding “unseemly dispute” included avoiding any discussion of Scientology with outsiders at all.
The next two pages offer books for sale (left) and introduce The Auditor’s Code”(right).
I’m going to examine “The Auditor’s Code”, and the rest of this text in my next two posts, closing this one with a close look at some interesting features of the text promoting Scientology books.
It consists of a list of books which include 14 titles by L Ron Hubbard and a text entitled “The ACC Clear Procedure (the 5th London ACC)” also probably prepared by Hubbard.
The first line of the list reads “And we suggest you read them in this order” Interestingly, the three books at the bottom of the list (with the lowest priority) include two books by other authors and “All About Radiation”. This text is seriously flawed, even for a work by Hubbard, and is no longer printed even by the Church of Scientology. It seems that, even back in 1959, it was an embarrassment that was quietly being ‘retired’.
The two books by authors other than L Ron Hubbard are interesting. At one time Scientology commissioned, printed and published a number of pamphlets which described aspects of Scientology ‘for beginners’ and sold them officially, in orgs.
However, on the 21st of February 1983 an internal document (WDC ED 133 “Withdrawal of non-LRH books being sold in Orgs and Missions”) banned more than 66 texts (including translations) in 3 languages from being sold in Scientology Orgs.
It stated that,
Only LRH books and materials and those with per policy issue authority may be displayed and sold. There is only one technology that will take us all to TOTAL FREEDOM when applied standardly.” – the WATCHDOG COMMITTEE.
And included a substantial list of ‘banned’ titles.
I have published some of these texts (notable Reg Sharpe’s “This is Life: An Introduction to Scientology” and How to Cure the Selfish , Destructive Child by Ruth Minshull) in the ongoing series “The Church of Scientology Bans Its Own Books”
However, I have never seen nor heard of the two books that appear in this booklist before, and can only assume that these have since been banned, as well. They are:
- Intentions (Poems by Julian Cooper)
- Creative Language (by Silcox and Maynard)
L Ron Hubbard’s Very Own Best-seller List
The book adverts finish with an odd throwback to Hubbard’s pulp career. He occasionally wrote for “Astounding Science Fiction”, and it was the editor of that magazine, John W Campbell, who gave “Dianetics” its head start by promoting it heavily.
A regular feature in “Astounding” (“The An Lab”) listed stories from previous issues in order of popularity as expressed by reader votes. Hubbard’s stories rarely appeared high on this list. However, in his own periodical he features a “POPULARITY POLL” consisting of “Scientology best-sellers this month”.
Considering that readers are advised his books first, and only two other authors appear at the bottom of the list, it’s unsurprising that the top 5 Scientology books are all by… L Ron Hubbard. I suppose that, if you can’t get into best-seller lists any more, you can always start your own.
Join me again next time, when we will continue to closely examine this text.