This week, we look at L. Ron Hubbard’s laughable attempts to define “art” and to tell his followers how to create it. Some of what he says makes sense, when considered outside of Scientology, but when it’s taken inside the cult, the definition of art takes on a more sinister meaning. Today, we look at how Hubbard’s ideas of art are just another form of totalitarian control, sublimating the creative impulses many of us have in service to the cult and its leaders, just as many cults twist normal sexual behavior.
We also look at how Hubbard used the “Art Series” as just another dimension in trying to set himself up as the Smartest Guy Ever, an expert in everything. Of course, his theories of aesthetics are just as lame as his theories about physics (just how warm it is in the Van Allen belt, among many howlers), evolution (he believed in the Piltdown Man, long after it was widely suspected of being a hoax) and medicine (smoking cures cancer).
Continue reading “Hubbard’s “Art Series:” Numbing the Brain; Destroying Creativity to Serve the Cult”
In Part 3, we’ll look at the controversy surrounding Hubbard’s departure and travel back to the United States from Brisbane, Australia, using some of the same previously cited sources from Parts 1 and 2 along with public records, such as those of the Naval Air Transport Service (NATS) and the Pan American Airways archive held by the University of Miami. I want to especially thank Jeffrey Augustine for laying much of the groundwork as to possible avenues for Hubbard’s travel home, specifically in response to Margaret Lake’s assertions as to this timeframe on her Scientology Myths blog. Ms. Lake attempts to demonstrate that much of Hubbard’s narrative about his return home from Australia is essentially true, and we’ll be rigorously challenging her claims as to the veracity of Hubbard’s narrative.
In researching her claims, I have come across empirical evidence that negates much of her argument, specifically the timeline of his return, his having called upon Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox to facilitate his return and his having used a Pan American Clipper for the entire journey to the United States. A major point of contention is where Hubbard was in the 14 days in between his departure from Brisbane on March 9th, and his arrival in San Francisco on March 23rd. I will provide a detailed examination of this timeframe, as well as show how Hubbard used duplicity, in the form of forged official orders, to steal a seat on a Clipper to fly home from Honolulu.
What emerges from my work is a hybrid narrative that like many of Hubbard’s stories, narratives and anecdotes, reflects some truth among the many lies. This particular series of events is important in Hubbard’s mythology. By debunking the veracity of Hubbard’s tale here, we are also debunking the very foundations of Scientology. Like his fanciful narrative of espionage on Java and saving Australia, his homeward-bound odyssey reflects his hubris and predisposition to constantly exceed his authority. More sinisterly, it shows his selfishness and cowardice, as in falsifying orders to return home from Honolulu via air, he undoubtedly bumped a more deserving fellow serviceman, or worse, a military dependent or other, more worthy passenger, as well as avoiding a potentially hazardous journey by ship.
It’s clear from Part 2 in our series that Hubbard’s brief time in Australia was a disaster, and certainly a far cry from both his and Scientology’s narrative of his single handedly saving our Antipodean allies from the ravages of Imperial Japan. If anything, the record demonstrates that he was considered a self-aggrandizing nuisance incapable of executing the few tasks he was given; his response to charges of incompetence reflects what would be a pattern throughout his life, wherein he would never admit fault or would blame others for his own failings, shirking responsibility wherever possible. Continue reading “Debunking Military Lies Part 3: Hubbard Fibs His Way Home”
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?”
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”
News over the last week or so on the cult front has featured multiple cults who seem to focus on sexual abuse of women members. We wrote extensively a week ago about the arrest of Keith Raniere, founder of Albany, New York-based Nxivm (pronounced “Nexium”). The indictment alleges that Raniere headed a secret “master/slave” group where the all-female membership were branded with his initials in their pubic region. Be Scofield, a journalist specializing in new-generation Internet gurus, recently published an article on yet another abusive group. Scofield looks at the followers of Padma Aon Prakasha, who leads various workshops in the US; 15 women and 2 men have accused Prakasha of physical and emotional abuse and other things. And the well-received Netflix documentary Wild, Wild Country about the 1980s Rajneeshee cult in Oregon recounts stories of physical abuse aimed at women.
We are writing to start a discussion about treatment of women in cults, including in Scientology. For those of you who are ex’s, we would be interested in understanding what happened to you, for both former staff/Sea Org and for rank-and-file members. And we’re particularly interested in whether high-control groups always end up committing abuse of women (and, probably equally of children). What general inferences can we draw and what can we do about it? Continue reading “Opening an Inquiry: Do Cults Always Abuse Women?”
Recently, Chris Shelton located a previously unknown letter from Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard to Ronald Reagan, who had been elected to President a few weeks earlier. The letter offers Reagan laughably bad advice on how to fix the US economy, which at the time of the vote in late 1980, had been wracked with soaring inflation and even higher interest rates for over a decade.
According to Chris, the letter was circulated among Sea Org members in the late 1980s as part of efforts to keep key people in the organization motivated to keep up the war against the IRS. So this letter was clearly intended for internal consumption, to burnish Hubbard’s reputation for brilliance, and to support the IRS campaign.
Dr. Jeff Wasel and John P. appeared as a guest on Chris Shelton’s podcast discussing the letter (also published today) and we’re presenting our analysis of the letter here. We’re writing after the podcast was recorded so our commentary here contains analysis and discussion that doesn’t appear in the podcast. Continue reading “Hubbard Cozies up to Ronald Reagan With Sage Economic Advice”
Scientology devotes an immense fraction of its staff to fixing substandard delivery of its services. It has more people devoted to detecting and deterring “thoughtcrime” from members whose loyalty may be wavering … and even more toiling away in a complex organization designed to ferret out and punish staff incompetence and disloyalty.
To a never-in, this smacks of a poorly designed product from an incompetent organization. But more importantly, it suggests that Scientology “tech” may actually be deliberately and cynically designed to be impossible to succeed at, with the punishment of failure used as a retention mechanism to keep people in the cult.
Hana Whitfield, a prominent ex-Scientologist who worked personally for founder L. Ron Hubbard for many years, has contributed her perspective on whether Scientology is intentionally (and cynically) designed to fail, whether it was designed to help people but failed at that noble goal or whether Hubbard had a very different approach. The answer will surprise you.
Continue reading “Hana Whitfield Interview: Was Hubbard Really Sincere About Helping People?”