For today’s post, I am indebted to an supporter of osteopathy, who has provided some interesting information about the activities of Narconon, which recently opened a small facility in the UK
Narconon is a Scientology front group, which claims to provide paid drug rehabilitation treatment, but actually delivers Scientology indoctrination.
The website Osteobiz, aims to coach osteopaths on the business side of their occupation. In one entry, the author warns about a range of cons and swindles which osteopaths are liable to be exposed to.
One of these is headlined “The Drug Rehab Centre Scam”… and that’s where Narconon comes in. Continue reading
“Dianetics: A Door To The Future” | James Blish | “Planet Stories” November 1950 | Download as .pdf
This series of posts is nominally about dianetics and Scientology in “Astounding Science Fiction”. However, I could not resist including this book review from another pulp science fiction magazine, “Planet Stories“.
It discusses L Ron Hubbard’s book, “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health”. Hubbard’s book had been published in May 1950 and was was reviewed in “Planet Stories”by James Blish, who was an imaginative and well-respected science fiction writer.
It demonstrates, once again, how intelligent, capable people who took a scientific, sceptical view of the world, nevertheless somehow accepted the unsupported claims Hubbard made for his creation and embraced dianetics (a phenomenon that I have discussed in this post).
During this series, we have seen this happen to John W Campbell (the editor of “Astounding Science Fiction”) and, elsewhere in this blog, the author William Burroughs.
In this post we will examine the long article by L Ron Hubbard entitled, “The Analytical Mind” which appeared in the October 1950 issue of “Astounding Science Fiction”.
The rest of the October issue was covered in the previous post in this series.
“The Analytical Mind” is Hubbard’s follow-up to the May 1950 article that introduced dianetics to readers of “Astounding”. Its almost as long, but it lacks the numerous illustrations that were a prominent feature of his original text.
At the time issue was published the “Hubbard Dianetic Research Dianetic Foundation was growing rapidly, and taking in a great deal of money. This was not to last, but as far as Hubbard was concerned, he was riding a perfect wave. He was now anxious to address criticism both from followers and outsiders. Continue reading
Download Issue as .pdf
The October 1950 issue of “Astounding” contains L Ron Hubbard’s follow-up to his long article in the May issue (discussed here in One | Two | Three parts) which had introduced dianetics.
Hubbard’s new article is entitled, “The Analytical Mind”. It’s another long haul, so we will examine it, in detail, in the next part of this series.
In this post, I would like to discuss the attitudes of writers who worked for “Astounding” and the readers who patronised it with reference to the contents of the October 1950 issue.
It seems to me that the stories, readers and writers of “Astounding” can be placed at different points on a rational – irrational continuum. At one extreme are the careful, rational people like L Sprague De Camp who wrote sceptical articles and carefully thought-out stories. Then there were the purveyors of power fantasy, whose fiction provided an escape from a disappointing reality. Next, there were those whose writing mistook fiction for reality. Finally there was the occasional outright fraud.
There are examples of each type in the the pages of this issue. Taking a closer look at them, and the historical context in which they operated, may help us understand why so many people took dianetics so seriously in the 1950s Continue reading
In this post we will continue to examine the the second Narconon workbook (download as .pdf) which is essentially identical to the Scientology practice know as “The Purification Rundown”.
In the previous post in this series, Hubbard claimed that the drug LSD could be stored in human fat cells and that, as a result, even people who had only taken the drug once would suffer recurring hallucinogenic experiences. We saw that is simply not the case because:
- It files in the face of scientific medicine – LSD is completely metabolised in 2-3 hours.
- Hubbard published no evidence whatsoever to support his claim
- The ‘proof’ which his supporters point to was manufactured by them and published in a highly suspect journal which presented hypotheses, not evidence, in any case.
As we read further into the Narconon workbook, we see Hubbard’s false claims about LSD being arbitrarily expanded to include, “medicinal drugs, food preservatives, tranquillizers, pesticides, chemical wastes, radiation and other toxic substances”. There is no evidence to support these claims either – especially the idea that ‘radiation’ can be ‘stored’, which is scientifically illiterate (see below).
Note: page numbers are those given by the .pdf reader software, not those of the books, to make it easier for readers to search for references. Continue reading
In the previous post in this series we started to examine the second Narconon workbook (download as .pdf).
This presents a central Scientology practice (the ‘Purification Rundown‘) as a drug rehabilitation technique.
We also covered the disclaimers that attempt to avoid any responsibility for the consequences of this ‘treatment’ and the worthless scientific paper that was presented as evidence that it works.
In this post we will move on to assess the ‘research findings’ claimed by L Ron Hubbard which form the basis for both Narconon’s ‘detoxification program’ and Scientology’s practice of ‘purification’ – the claim that drugs can somehow be ‘stored’ in fatty tissues and ‘reactivated’ years later to produce the same effect they had when first taken.
Note: page numbers are taken for the PDF software, not the document’s page numbering, so that the search facilities can be used
Rambam (Dutch TV) 2015 | View Online |
Rambam is a Dutch television programme which addresses consumer issues in an informal, irreverent and entertaining way.
To give you an idea of their style, they once investigated allegations that Dutch public honours were carelessly administered. They did this by packing out a stooge’s fake CV with three false references and accounts of volunteer work for non-existent charities (supposedly dedicated to the welfare of dachshunds and ecological gardens).
Not only did their stooge ‘win’ an honour in the King’s birthday list, but one of the programme’s presenters stood in for him, wearing a fake beard, when he was publicly presented with his honour by the Major of Utrecht.
In this programme, they infiltrate a Dutch Scientology Org – and reveal abuses that they take more seriously.
Watch it a video window (and read my commentary) after the break