Scientology’s Propaganda Response to the 1977 FBI Raid

Press View The FBI Raid Download as .pdf (Download link will appear in a new tab) |Church of Scientology | 1977

When they were first presented, L Ron Hubbard quite explicitly asserted, in writing, that both Dianetics and Scientology were scientific enterprises – not religious in any way.

The problem with that approach was that dianetics and Scientology organisations had to pay tax, and Hubbard’s wild claims were subject to objective examination in the courts, where they could easily be refuted by real experts.

His eventual response was to reverse himself and register Scientology as a religion. This made it tax-exempt, and transformed easily falsifiable ‘scientific’ claims into religious doctrines protected by the US first amendment.

However, Hubbard made it clear to Scientologists that status as a ‘Church’ would not, “upset in any way the usual activities of any organization. It is entirely a matter for accountants and solicitors”. In other words, it was a convenient pretence

Scientology’s ‘religious cloaking’ was seriously  deployed in the aftermath of an FBI raid on ‘Guardian’ offices in Los Angeles and Washington, and today’s 31-page document shows it in action.

The Guardian’s Office was at that time Scientology’s secret police (subsequently replaced by the Office of Special Affairs or OSA). It had tasked two Scientologists with infiltrating the IRS. When they were apprehended by FBI agents,  raids were mounted to seize documentary evidence of suspicions that the Church of Scientology was running a systematic espionage operation.  It subsequently emerged that scientologists had been  illegally gathering information on an astonishing scale, stealing records from the offices of not only government agencies but also, bizarrely, psychiatrists. The operation was codenamed “Snow White

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“Ruthless”, a Book by the Father of Scientology’s Leader and “20/20 -A Father’s Story”

RuthlessUS_UK

US edition (left) & UK edition (right)

Ruthless: My Son David Miscavige and Me (UK Edition) | Ron Miscavige with Dan Koon | Silvertail Books | 2016

This book is based upon the experiences of Ron Miscavige, the father of David who is presently the ‘leader’ of Scientology. In it he discusses how he took his family into Scientology, how his son rose to power, and how he eventually escaped from a guarded Scientology compound.

From an outsider’s point of view this is an essential text for the things which Ron Miscavige reveals but, overall, a frustrating read.

The problem is with Ron himself. He is what people who study literature call an ‘unreliable narrator’ – he’s telling the truth as he sees it. Unfortunately, in his version of reality, Scientology should be taken seriously, and there are valuable insights in its early teachings.

Also, he is still impressed by writers who were big names in the (now largely forgotten) ‘New Thought‘ movement (AVA “Higher Thought). A list of recommended books appears at the end of his volume and recommends early works by Hubbard and some antique fringe writers of the ‘New Thought’ movements.

I happen to have one of the ‘New Thought’ texts he recommends (and will be putting it online in my next post). It’s a crude wish-fulfilment fantasy which depends on magical thinking. It claims that, if you follow the author’s instructions, you will be able to acquire anything you want, as long as you wish for it hard enough.

I’m not being sarcastic here. That’s literally the argument presented. If you are looking for a book with philosophical depth, or for a critical analysis of Scientology itself, you won’t get much out of this one.

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The Sad Tale of Scientology

the sad tale of scientologyTitle: The Sad Tale of Scientology: A Short history, 1980-85

Author: Eric Townsend

ISBN-10: 0951047108
ISBN-13: 978-0951047101

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The period 1980 -85 covers the transfer of power in the Church of Scientology from the deceased founder, L Ron Hubbard, to the new ‘leader’ David Miscavige.  It was marked by dislocation and conflict, during which many Scientologists left the organisation, but continued to practice.  Eric Townsend was one such ‘Independent Scientologist’. Continue reading