In Part 1 of this series, we were able to demonstrate that any claim of L. Ron Hubbard’s having been a spy in Java were demonstrably false. Like much of the myths around Hubbard’s life, his Java claims were really unnecessary in the grand scheme of things; it’s as though his many legitimate accomplishments were never enough, and when it came to anything remotely connected to the military or intelligence matters, gold plating his exploits was a must. The record shows that he volunteered to serve his country in a time of war, was deployed to combat theatre, and once there, could have made a contribution. Yet this reality wasn’t enough for Hubbard, and he would go on to exaggerate and lie about his Pacific service for many more years. In Part 2 of this series, I’ll be looking at his time in Australia as reflected in the record and then compare the record, historical context and other data points to Hubbard’s recollections. Continue reading “Debunking Military Lies Part 2: Hubbard’s Australian Idyll”
Today, we’ll take a look at how paranoid, far-right fringe political cult leader Lyndon LaRouche attempted to intimidate the musical world into redefining one of the fundamental aspects of musical physics. In some sense, LaRouche’s efforts are similar to what Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard did when attempting to reinvent the sound recording process as part of his own aesthetic theory.
The two stories are good for a few laughs. But ultimately, the moral of the story is quite serious. First, cults behave like totalitarian states in their attempts to control artistic and creative expression. Second, these examples remind us that cults are able to get their followers to believe strange things and to engage in quixotic quests that accomplish little save stroking the egos and lining the wallets of power-mad cult leaders. Scientology is far from alone in this regard, and combining our experience in Scientology’s ability to get members to do bizarre things with what we learn about similarities between cults can help the cult awareness community to help people more generally in the future. Continue reading “Lyndon LaRouche vs. L. Ron Hubbard: Why Two Paranoid Cults Tried to Redefine Music”
Recently, I’ve been looking into L. Ron Hubbard’s claims regarding his military career as a US Naval Reserve intelligence officer in the Pacific theatre early in WWII. I was curious as to the contexts of these claims, given the variances in accounts from Scientology historians such as Chris Owen, Jon Atack and Jeffrey Augustine. The Scientology Myths website also provides an excellent resource for source documentation regarding Hubbard’s naval service, as well as his brief time in the Marine Corps Reserve, though with a distinctly revionsist position as to Hubbard’s claims. While I’m interested in Hubbard’s brief Marine Corps service and will be examining that in the future, in this, the first of a multi-part series, I’ll be deconstructing his claims as to having been involved in espionage against the Japanese on Java in 1942. Future posts will look into his role as an intelligence officer in Australia from 1942 onward, as well as his postwar service and hospitalization.
My purpose here is to add to the existing body of research on the matter, by bringing my service background and life-long interest in military history to bear. The Pacific Theatre is of great personal interest to me, as my father served there as a Naval aviator. Indeed, his stories and those of friends and family, along my own reading on the subject, engendered a great deal of respect for those who fought in the Pacific, and were all significant motivators in my joining the Marine Corps. In revisiting Hubbard’s record, I hope to provide some useful additional context regarding his claims, and in doing so, further expose the exaggerations and outright lies of Mr. Hubbard in regards to his service early in WWII. For the most part, Hubbard served his country honorably in a time of war; it’s his exploiting his time in the Navy to further Scientology, as well as embellishing his service record, personal decorations, and overall contribution to the war effort that I find repellent. Continue reading “Debunking Military Lies, Part 1: Hubbard’s Tales from the South Pacific”
In this series, we will finally collect what we have learned about the Ideal Org program and the strategy behind it in one place. Here, we’ll take our best guess about why Scientology is so focused on building lots of expensive new churches that nobody visits. There is a strategy behind it, and there are rational reasons why Scientology leader David Miscavige thinks this is a good use of cash, but the logic behind the strategy may surprise you.
Part 1 looks at what Hubbard thought made a Scientology org ideal, and we’ll look at why Miscavige took the idea and turned it into something very different. There’s an underlying strategy as well as the usual cult needs to exploit both staff and members. Continue reading “Scientology Ideal Orgs as Destroyers of Wealth, Part 1: The Strategy”
In Part 4 of our series on Scientology financial crime, we conclude our look at the evolution of Scientology as a criminal enterprise, specifically at how Scientology’s many rackets have evolved over the last 20 years or so under the authority of David Miscavige. Having essentially abandoned auditing in favor of less risky income streams, we look at the “Golden Age of Tech,” “Super Power” and other scams such as the “Ideal Org” real estate portfolio racket and their place within the criminal enterprise that is Scientology in the 21st century. Lastly, we’ll examine Scientology’s vulnerability in the post-9/11 era of financial regulation. However, before we return to examining David Miscavige’s and Scientology’s behavior during the Lisa McPherson trial that we described in Part Three, it’s important to establish some additional contextual understanding of several key events in the mid to late 1980’s that influenced not only church behavior during the McPherson trial, but also served to shape the church’s behaviour and culture within Scientology into the present day. Continue reading “Scientology Financial Crime Part Four: Miscavige’s Golden Age of Grifting”
The Data Series is Hubbard’s “special sauce” for how to analyze an organization and either fix what’s broken or improve what’s working. Today’s post features Hana Whitfield, who spent years working directly for L. Ron Hubbard in the 1960s and 1970s. She recalls a story of Hubbard using the Data Series “tech” to fix a problem in the organization.
The ending of the story surprised me, and I’ll try to fit what happened into the overall context of the multi-part critique of the Data Series that Chris Shelton, Dr. Jeff Wasel and I have been doing. There are already two videos on Chris’s YouTube channel. Click for Part 1 and here for Part 2. We’ll have several more parts to go in the coming weeks. Understanding the Data Series is key to understanding why the Scientology organization will ultimately fail. Continue reading “Hana Whitfield Guest Post: What Happened when Hubbard Used the Data Series Himself?”
Effective today, we’re retiring the brand identity of JohnPCapitalist.com in favor of a new site name. We’re now posting at Reasoned.life. Yeah, there really is such a thing as a “.life” domain name, and we thought that it sounded cooler than “reasonedlife.com.” Cheaper, too: $1.99 to register the name for the first year instead of the ten bucks for a “.com” domain.
Two weeks ago, we wrote about the similarities between Scientology and its founder and the group Nxivm, whose founder, Keith Raniere, had been arrested in Mexico and extradited to the US on charges of running a bizarre sex slavery ring, where the women in the group were branded in their lower abdomen with Raniere’s initials.
Today, we follow up with another comparison, this time, focusing on the similarities between Nxivm’s “Rainbow Cultural Garden” program, designed to teach kids seven different languages at the same time and the Scientology “study tech” program pushed into often unwitting schools by its Applied Scholastics front group.
We look at how the similarities may portend a common feature of well-established personal development cults, pressured to come up with ever greater “super powers,” and ways to create second-generation members. Continue reading “Nxivm’s Super Kids Program vs. Scientology Applied Scholastics”
In Part Three, the penultimate segment in our examination of the third era in Scientology’s criminal evolution, we’ll look at how David Miscavige’s assumption of power reflected a continuation of Hubbard’s obsession with Scientology’s ruthless utilitarianism, as well as how Miscavige’s own violent, thuggish temperament reflected a Gotti-like use of fear as his primary mechanism of control. We’ll also examine how Scientology’s use of the legal system shifted from the harassment-focused days of Hubbard to a more nuanced strategic approach, as well as how several key incidents that occurred under Miscavige redefined how Scientology’s La Cosa Nostra (“This thing of ours” or “Our thing”) -like mindset operates to this day. Continue reading “Scientology Financial Crime Part Three: Miscavige’s 20th Century Mob”
In 1964, the Church of Scientology published a small document authored by L. Ron Hubbard called “Scientology Plan for World Peace,” which set forth a vision of a “one world government” headed by the UN, with all decision-making to be handled by diplomats and bureaucrats resident in a giant “International City” to be built in North Africa. This document was only circulated for a few years, perhaps only until the early 1970s, when it apparently was allowed to fade quietly from sight. While it’s been available on the web for a while, it hasn’t been the subject of much scrutiny.
We’ll give a general overview of the proposed structure of Hubbard’s world government but we’ll focus on the economic prescriptions Hubbard throws out to solve all the world’s ills. Unsurprisingly, they’re the usual Hubbard stew of naively simplistic ideas presented with unwavering confidence in their brilliance.
The biggest conundrum is why Hubbard would propose something under his own name that’s so far left on the surface. Hubbard’s political views, especially in the 1960s, were so rabidly anti-communist that they could have been lifted wholesale from the propaganda of the John Birch Society. We take a guess at Hubbard’s real motivation. In particular, the bland assurance in the introduction that “the following programme has no other purpose or interest than attaining these ends” is highly suspect. Continue reading “Hubbard’s 1960’s Bizarre Vision for the Global Economy”