by Jeff Jacobsen, copyright 1996
may be reproduced for noncommercial purposes
PART I THE CLAIMS
L. Ron Hubbard, a science fiction writer, published Dianetics: the
Modern Science of Mental Health, in 1950. Dianetics is a theory of the
mind in which an "auditor" guides a "preclear" through isolated past
incidents in the preclear's life and "runs" the memory called an
"engram" until it clears up within the preclear's mind. This process
called "auditing" is done with an "e-meter", a crude galvanic skin
response meter that supposedly helps find and "run" problematic
memories. Note that this is a precise physical *process* supposedly
discovered and scientifically tested by Hubbard. It is not a religious
appeal to spiritual help. Auditing was and is touted as a secular
scientifically proven method of handling mental and physical ills.
In 1953 Hubbard founded the Church of Scientology. Scientology is
advertised as a religion, and has even obtained tax exempt status in
the United States, though under mysterious circumstances. Scientology
uses the same auditing process and the same e-meter as Dianetics.
Hubbard taught in Dianetics theory that an "awareness of awareness
unit" was the basic entity of a human being. This is called "the
individual himself" in Dianetics or the "thetan" in Scientology. It
was by "very scientific, unquestionable means" (Ability magazine,
Minor 5, "The Hope of Man") that Hubbard discovered the awareness of
awareness unit, and "You and I or any scientist here in Washington
government... would have come to the same conclusions" (ibid.).
Thus, dianetic auditing and Scientology auditing both audit the same
entity and utilize the same process with the same e-meter, the main
difference being that Scientology auditing requires highly trained
Scientology teachings have been jealously guarded by the
church and only those who have completed Dianetics auditing and come up
to the training level of "clear" are allowed to take the secret "OT"
and "NOTs" courses that finally allow Scientologists to find out what
their church teaches. The secrecy of these documents and teachings
have been shattered in recent times, however. OT level 3, probably the
most important of the course levels, was revealed in 1985 in a court case
between an ex-Scientologist, Lawrence Wollersheim, and the church.
Wollersheim sued claiming that the church harmed him psychologically
and won his case. In 1991 the church sued Steven Fishman over his
statements published in a Time magazine cover article about the dangers
of Scientology (US District Court, Central District of California, case
number CV 91 6426 HLH). Fishman placed the OT levels as exhibits in
his case, and these were publicly available for several months. On
Christmas Eve of 1994 an anonymous person posted the OT levels to the
internet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology. Since then, the OT
courses have been almost regularly available either on
alt.religion.scientology or on a web page somewhere. Later the NOTs
courses (newer related courses to OT) were posted, and as of this
writing (September 1996) they have been posted 6 times.
Although the church claims that these courses are "trade secrets"
and are expertly guarded, they are nevertheless at this time widely
and easily available to the public.
One aspect of these teachings, and especially the NOTs courses, are
the medical cures that they seem to be promoting. While Hubbard had no
medical background and in fact only took 2 years of college courses
with dismal results, he still made astounding claims for his auditing
process, such as:
Heal a body HCO BULLETIN OF 24 APRIL 1969RA
REVISED 20 SEPTEMBER 1978
"The basic use of Dianetics is to make a well body
and to augment physical treatment."
Cure retardation [ibid]
"Whole classes of "mentally retarded" children have been made
more normal by teachers in London County Council schools using
relatively unskilled Dianetics. "
Cure goiter DIANETICS TODAY (1975 ED.) P.280
"I've seen a goiter the size of a baseball visibly shrink and
disappear in the space of one-half hour right after an engram
Cure polio DIANETICS TODAY " P. 353
"A girl crippled by polio was able to throw away her crutches
after my first session."
Cure arthritis History of Man p. 7
"Today, Eleanor has arthritis. She is audited... tonight she
doesn't have arthritis"
Speed broke bone healing DIANETICS TODAY " P.110
"A broken limb will heal (by X-ray evidence) in two instead of
Cure effects of drugs DIANETICS TODAY " P.481
"ONLY processing by Dianetics and Scientology can handle the
effects of drugs fully."
Raise the dead Magazine Articles on Level 0
Checksheet 1968, "Dissemination of Material" p.75
"A child had died, was dead, had been pronounced dead by a doctor,
and the auditor, by calling the thetan back and ordering him to take
over the body again brought the child to life."
Cure migraines DIANETICS " P.125
also see HCOB 15 Jan. '79 "Handling with Auditing"
Cure cancer THE HISTORY OF MAN (1961) P. 20
"Cancer has been eradicated by auditing out conception and
Cure skin cancer ALL ABOUT RADIATION (1979 ED.) P.114
Cure radiation sickness ALL ABOUT RADIATION " P.109
also PAB no. 82 "Scientology is the only specific (cure) for
radiation (atomic bomb) burns."
Improve eyesight PAB no. 111 "Eyesight and glasses"
also Dianetic Auditor's Bulletin vol. 2 no. 7 January 1952 "An
afternoon with Ron" "You are only three or four hours from taking
your glasses off for keeps."
Cure a broken ankle HCOB 30 July 1973 "Scientology, Current State
of the Subject and Materials."
Cure insanity HCOB 28 Nov. '70 "Psychosis" "The alleviation
of the condition of insanity has also been accomplished now..."
Cure bronchitis HCOB 14 Dec. '63 "Case analysis Health
"12 days after this auditing the coughing was still in abeyance."
cure brainwashing HCOB No. 19 Dec. '55 "The turn of the Tide"
"... in Dianetics in particular, we have the total antidote for the
eradication of brainwashing."
Miscellaneous claims DIANETICS (1987 ED.) p.72
"arthritis vanishes, myopia gets better, heart illness
decreases, asthma disappears, stomachs function properly and
the whole catalogue of illnesses goes away and stays away."
HISTORY OF MAN P.13
"The GE has the record of past deaths. Auditing it alters physical
structure, eradicates physical malformations."
HISTORY OF MAN P.14
"Paralysis, anxiety stomachs, arthritis and many ills and aberrations
have been relieved by auditing them."
Hubbard wrote that Scientologists taking courses were barred from
visiting a doctor without express permission from the church "except in
cases of severe emergency." (HCOPL 26 July 1965 "Release Declaration
Restrictions, Healing Amendments). One must assume that the church did
not really want sick people taking courses, and thus one could infer that
it was assumed that auditing could handle any illness of the student.
In 1963 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) raided the church
in Washington DC and confiscated their e-meters. The FDA sued the
Church of Scientology for fraudulant medical claims and called the
e-meter a fraudulant healing device. The church after many years
finally settled with the FDA. In part, the ruling that the church was
to abide by states concerning the e-meter:
"The device should bear a prominent, clearly visible notice
warning that any person using it for auditing or counseling of any kind
is forbidden by law to represent that there is any medical or scientific
basis for believing or asserting that the device is useful in the
diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of any disease. It should be noted
in the warning that the device has been condemned by a United States
District court for misrepresentation and misbranding under the Food and
Drug laws, that use is permitted only as part of religious activity, and
that the E-meter is not medically or scientifically capable of improving
the health or bodily functions of anyone.
"Each user, purchaser, and distributee of the E-meter shall sign a
written statement that he has read such a warning and understands its
contents and such statements shall be preserved." (United States of
America, Libelant, v. An Article or Device... "Hubbard Electrometer"
or "Hubbard E-Meter" etc., Founding Church of Scientology et al.,
Claimants, No. D.C. 1-63, United States District Court, District of
Columbia, July 30, 1971 (333 F. Supp. 357)
Obviously, the church was supposed to stop promoting their auditing
process with the e-meter as having medical value. And it was assumed
by the outside world that the church was at least minimally abiding by
the agreement with the FDA, though it continues to sell the works that
contain the previously quoted medical claims.
When the NOTs courses were posted on the internet, some who read
it perceived that portions of the series seemed to be stating that
auditing could cure illnesses. Since these courses were not available
to the public or even the FDA, no one had been able to observe any
possible medical claim except Scientologists in good standing who had
completed a long list of courses and reached the particular level of
H. Keith Henson, upon reading NOTs, was certain enough about one of
the series, #34, that he posted it in its entirety to the internet
newsgroup alt.religion.scientology, stating that he was exposing
medical fraud. He did this despite Scientology's well-known record
for suing and harassing critics. The church promptly sued him (U.S.
District Court, Northern District of California, case number
I have reviewed the NOTs material posted to the internet and assume
that it is the real thing, because 1) the church legally went after
those who posted the NOTs for copyright violations, 2) former members
vouched for the authenticity of the material, and 3) it is consistent
with other church writings.
Basically, the NOTs series are auditing methods that use an e-meter
purportedly designed to rid the Scientologist of a multitude of
unwanted spiritual beings attached to his/her soul. These unwanted
beings, called "Body Thetans" or "BTs", can allegedly cause physical
problems for humans.
Being a Clear but not having completed OT levels "doesn't
necessarily effect the person himself, but it does effect the body -
severely." Series 2 seeks to motivate Scientologists to take the next
courses by stating that "Clears should be told they are at risk until
OTIII" of "illness, possibly worse."
This series deals with mis-auditing problems. NOTs mis-auditing
can hurt the physical body "dangerously so" by stirring up dormant
A cluster of BTs can shut off nerve channels which can cause
deafness or blindness - "when a cluster suddenly mocks up mass, it
shuts off nerve channels." Extrapolating from this, one could
imagine many other illnesses caused by such a phenomenon, such as
blockage of the urinary tract.
BTs and clusters can effect a person's perception.
BTs are acting as various illnesses. Once audited away the illness
supposedly is gone.
"BTs or clusters being 'negative'... probably are the root of
"You can run into a cluster causing damage to the body."
There are several quotes within the series which clearly state that
auditing can cure illnesses:
"Clears should be told they are at risk (of illness) until OTIII."
"If a guy has a bad secondary, or a bad injury, you handle that with
Date/Locate [an auditing procedure using the e-meter]."
"If ill or injured handle [w]ith an Assist (NOTs 3)"
"Body distortions" are cleared up.
"The above are the full steps and sequences for handling a physical
condition." [this is the series that Keith Henson posted, claiming it
teaches medical fraud]
"If the person is sick as well as being subjected to a dangerous
environment, there would be no hope of recovery without auditing."
Particular cases of cures are documented within NOTs:
"This cluster... was the underlying cause of the stomach pain and
the stomach condition." "...a full recovery to health was
"Most people are sick due to some out-rudiment scene."
"He started recovering physically. Articulation handled and walking
improved." "This case was... considered incurable by the medicos."
I have not elaborated on these quotes too much because they would
require an introductory course into Scientology teachings to understand.
Suffice it to say that these representative quoted portions are written
in clear enough english to understand and comprehend.
The church's current magazines also contain glowing testimonials of
miraculous healings by using Dianetics techniques. Issue 65 of Centre
Magazine (an SMI publication) copyrighted 1995 has a claim that a man
was healed of cancer through Dianetics processes. In the island of
Mauritius, Scientologist Maria Slender started teaching Hubbard healing
theories. A man named Krishna Gopaloodoo decided to use Touch Assist
and Nerve Assist techniques on his soccer team members; "I learned...
so that I could cure the injuries of my players." Krishna's father had
lung cancer and the doctors said "his days were numbered." Krishna used
the Hubbard healing methods on his father, and he got dramatic results.
The father was xrayed again and "the latest X-Ray showed a marked
improvement in my father's condition." The cancer "started to clear."
On the church's internet web page are many testimonials, some of
which are about physical healing. For instance, "J.M." explains his/her
"chronic vascular disease" was described as most likely permanent by
specialists. After a week of auditing "all physical evidence of the
condition was gone. It is 1 1/2 years later and the disease has not
These healings were supposed to be the result of a precise,
scientifically proven process invented by L. Ron Hubbard using the
e-meter patented to Hubbard. All of the writings of Hubbard quoted
above are still published and sold by Scientology. Auditing is
scientific. Auditing heals. Auditing is a healing science. And
auditing requires the use of the E-meter.
It appears obvious that externally the church seemed to
comply with the FDA agreement while to insiders it was unabashedly
stating that auditing cures physical ailments. Apparently the church
felt safe behind its wall of secrecy.
How many Scientologists there have been who relied on the validity
of these medical claims is unknown. In one case, Roxanne Friend v.
Church of Scientology International, et al., "The Church settled this
case for nuisance value" (IRS form 1023 documents submitted by the Church
of Scientology). Friend "claimed the Church was responsible for her
cancer not being earlier detected by not allowing her to see a doctor"
(ibid). Roxanne Friend died of this cancer.
Perhaps Ray Mithoff or some other high ranking Scientologist could
fill in any history of failed handlings of medical conditions with
Scientology healing processes.
PART II THE RELIGION/SCIENTIFIC DICHOTOMY
The Church of Scientology will no doubt attempt to fall back on its
religious status and claim that these are spiritual healings and are
thus exempt from FDA or any other secular medical rules and laws.
However, the church's own writings destroy this defense.
Hubbard wanted to impress people with a scientific background, and he
inflated his training and experiences by vast proportions. Despite the
fact that Hubbard only had 2 miserable years of college level courses
at George Washington University, the church's books make the following
"L. Ron Hubbard, one of America's first nuclear physicists, ..."
[inside jacket of All About Radiation].
"...L. Ron Hubbard was trained in mathematics, science and engineering
at George Washington University, in government at Princeton and has a
Doctor of Philosophy degree." [inside jacket of A History of Man]
"I was a Ph.D., Sequoia's University and therefore a perfectly valid
doctor under the laws of the State of California." [HCOPL 14 Feb. 1966
"Doctor Title Abolished"]. Sequoia University was a diploma mill where
anyone for a small fee could obtain a diploma.
In Professional Auditor's Bulletin #82, "Scientology, Translator's
Edition" 1 May, 1956, by "L. Ron Hubbard, Ph.D. C.E." we have the
statement that Scientology "was organized by L. Ron Hubbard, an
American, who has many degrees" (Tech. Bulletins, vol. 2, p.406).
Hubbard stated "That was the first and only time the government offered
me a post as a nuclear physicist." (L. Ron Hubbard Creating A New
Civilization Tape Series Tape A Postulate Out Of A Golden Age
December 6 1956).
Hubbard also stated "I happen to be a nuclear physicist; I am not a
psychologist nor a psychiatrist nor a medical doctor" ("Dianetics: The
Modern Miracle". February 6, 1952).
Obviously, Hubbard was puffing his academic background toward the
scientific end. He wanted people to see him as a master of the
Hubbard claimed that his auditing process was scientifically valid.
L. Ron Hubbard constantly makes the claim that dianetics is a
"scientific fact." In fact, he makes that claim 35 times in Dianetics:
The Modern Science of Mental Health. For example, "All our facts are
functional and these facts are scientific facts, supported wholly and
completely by laboratory evidence." (DIANETICS, (1987 edition) p. 96).
Hubbard shows that he regards correct scientific experimentation to
a high degree by carefully hedging his approval of another scientific
experiment done by someone else. This test was conducted in a hospital
to see whether unattended children became sick more often than attended
children. "The test... seems to have been conducted with proper
controls," (DIANETICS, p.143) he cautiously states, not having
apparently seen the entire written report.
Both Dianetics and Scientology are declared to be precise sciences
In the Scientology book All About Radiation is the statement that
"Scientology has been called that branch of atomic science which deals
with human ability" (p. 46, 1979 edition).
Hubbard wrote that "Scientology is... more exact than what are
called the physical sciences" (Scientology 8-8008 p. 13).
"Scientology is the only workable system man has" (Introduction to
Scientology Ethics, p.64 1976 reprint).
Scientology "is, indeed, the most validated science of mind Earth
has ever known" (Journal of Scientology Issue 40-G, "Validation of
"It is carefully observed here that the *science* of Scientology
does not intrude into the Dynamic of the Supreme Being" (Professional
Auditor's Bulletin No. 83).
"Dianetics is a science; as such, it has no opinion about religion,
for sciences are based on natural laws, not on opinions" (Dianetics
Auditor's Bulletin Vol. 1 No. 4, October 1950).
"Scientology, which includes Dianetics, is a workable system. The
route is taped. The search is done. Now the route only needs to be
walked" (Dianetics Today p.951).
With all of the above, then, how can the church possibly claim that
its healing claims are *religious*? Dianetics was developed in 1950.
The Church of Scientology was created in 1953. There is evidence from
Hubbard's own writings that this "religion angle" was a business move
rather than an actual move into the religious world.
In 1962 Hubbard wrote "Scientology 1970 is being planned on a
religious organization basis throught the world. This will not upset
in any way the usual activities of any organization. It is entirely a
matter for accountants and solicitors" (HCOPL 29 October 1962
"Religion"). When Hubbard's healing claims began receiving scrutiny by
governments and others, Hubbard apparently saw the need to distance his
claims away from the secular to the religious. In United States v.
Article or Device, etc.) the court stated "The bulk of the material is
replete with falsehood medical and scientific claims devoid of any
religious overlay or reference." Such attacks were concern for the
Hubbard began to write of his concern that the church should appear
religious; "promotion of the practice of Dianetics as a *treatment* for
the sick or afflicted... by other than medical doctors, will violate
the medical practice laws where they exist and lead to trouble" (HCOPL
3 June 1969, "Legal Statement Concerning Dianetics and Medical Practice
Laws"). Hubbard began to teach how to make Scientology appear
religious; "Visual evidences that Scientology is a religion are
mandatory on the PES... Stationary is to reflect the fact that orgs are
churches..." (HCOPL of 12 February 1969, "Religion").
Today Scientology operates by selling different courses and levels
of training for very high, fixed rates. It claims that its upper,
secret levels of training are trade (and thus, business) secrets. Its
promotional mailings, TV commercials and other methods of recruiting
stress the secular aspects of Dianetics and keep the religious angle
in the fine print.
So which is it? Is auditing a religious practice or a scientific
process? From researching this question, I believe that auditing
is sold as a scientific process that is also used to handle spiritual
problems (the eradication of body thetans, or leech-like souls attached
to ours). Those who join the church must first become a "clear" by
taking Dianetics courses. Dianetics has NEVER to my knowledge been
touted by Hubbard as a religion. Dianetics is "The Modern Science of
Mental Health" as the title of Dianetics shows. Scientology on the
other hand deals with the soul, so it could be considered religious.
However, the Church has chosen to treat Dianetics and Scientology as
inseperable siamese twins, and in fact Dianetics is under the tax
exemption of the Church of Scientology, as I understand the church's
religious tax exemption. So, there seems to be a split personality
within Scientology; is it a religion that deals with spiritual
aspects only? Or is it a science that offers physical cures?
Can the Church of Scientology legally continue to promote auditing
as a medical panacea? The FDA apparently thought it had put this
question to rest, but it looks like they've never seen the NOTs
writings that are being sold at present and in fact have been for
years. H. Keith Henson's case is now going through the courts, where
his defense of his alleged copyright violations will be that he was
exposing medical fraud.
The FDA should review its case against the church in light of the
NOTs material. Potential Scientologists should be made aware of the
amazing medical claims made by the church so they can evaluate its
validity. And all of us should be cautious when dealing with an
organization that won't let you know what they teach until you hand
over thousands of dollars.
"Those who seek constitutional protections for their participation
in an establishment of religion and freedom to practice its beliefs
must not be permitted the special freedoms that this special sanctuary
may provide merely by adopting religious nomenclature and cynically
using it as a shield to protect them when participating in anti-social
conduct that otherwise stands condemned." (U.S. v. Kuch 288 FSup. 439