The Writings of L. Ron Hubbard - What Are They?
copyright 2002 by Jeff Jacobsen
may be reproduced for noncommercial purposes
THE COURT: So now that I know that scripture can be
changed, policy can be changed, I don't want to hear
about policy things that are changed being protected
by the First Amendment because they are not. Continue,
MR. LIEBERMAN: I would disagree, your Honor.
THE COURT: Well, of course you would. And that is
what I said. You cannot have it both ways. So we'll
-- we'll get to that when we get to the First Amendment
[Testimony of Frank Oliver, July 15, 2002, in Estate of
Lisa McPherson v. Church of Scientology Flag Services
Organization, State of Florida, case Case No. 97-01235.
Afternoon Session, page 446]
"It is quite outrageous," Yanny [Scientology's attorney]
declared, "that a church in America now has to go to
such lengths to protect its religious scriptures from those
who are perverting them and thus defrauding the public."
[PR Newswire, July 17, 1985]
* * *
In the testimony of Frank Oliver in Florida, Scientology attorneys attempted
to prove that Scientology "scriptures" can be altered by an organization
within Scientology known as AVC International. This argument opens several foundational
questions concerning Scientology and religion in general. Are scriptures flexible?
Does altering Scientology scriptures violate the most sacred teaching of Scientology?
How did Scientology writings become scripture? Why are they given other designations
in different settings?
HISTORICAL VIEW OF SCIENTOLOGY WRITINGS
In 1950 L. Ron Hubbard published the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. As the book title states, and as is stated at least 35 times in the book itself, Hubbard called Dianetics a science. For instance, "All our facts are functional and these facts are scientific facts, supported wholly and completely by laboratory evidence" [Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, (1987 edition) p. 96].
"Dianetics is a science; as such, it has no opinion about religion, for sciences are based on natural laws, not on opinions." ["Dianetics and Religion" by L. Ron Hubbard, in The Dianetics Auditor's Bulletin, Vol. 1 No. 4, October 1950]
Early on, Hubbard also called Scientology a science;
"Dianetics and Scientology are no more than reason joining research in the humanities and research in the fields of energy and the physical sciences." ["Introduction" in The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology, by L. Ron Hubbard, 1976, Kingsport Press]
"For this is the science of knowing how to know. It is a science..." ["This is Scientology The Science of Certainty", Journal of Scientology, Issue 16-G 1953]
Early Scientologists considered that they were following a science: "If you are not a Hubbardian Scientologist, then you are not a 'scientologist' at all, as Hubbard coined that word to fit HIS science" ["The Ghost of Scientology" newsletter June 15, 1953 issue. quoted in The Road to Total Freedom by Roy Wallis, page 93].
In 1952 in Phoenix, Arizona Hubbard founded the "religious fellowship" called Hubbard Association of Scientologists [The Road to Total Freedom, by Roy Wallis, 1977, page 127]. In late 1953 he incorporated the Church of American Science and the Church of Scientology. [ibid. page 128].
Dianetics and Scientology were gradually and inconsistently turned into a religion [see "Religion" HCOPL of 12 February 1969]. As far back as 1953 Hubbard wrote his co-worker Helen O'Brien a letter stating "I await your reaction on the religion angle" regarding their for-profit Dianetics centers. After writing Dianetics, "the discovery of the existence of human soul, or 'Thetan,' spiritually qualified and refined all of the technical procedure, and new pastoral counseling techniques... became the religious practice and doctrine of the Church" [Scientology: A New Religion Emerges in the Space Age, 1974, Church of Scientology Information Service, page 53]. Hubbard wrote several books up to 1954, when he published The Creation of Human Ability, which "signals the final and complete transitions from the purely philosophic, to the wholly religious realm, of Scientology Doctrine and Practice" [ibid, page 54].
Creation of Human Ability is a confusing piece of the secular/scriptures
puzzle. The dust jacket twice calls Scientology a philosophy. However, the book
looks down on philosophy elsewhere, claiming that "these truths [have]
the aspect of precision observations rather than philosophical hazardings..."
[Creation of Human Ability, 1954, Garden City Press Ltd., UK, 1968 edition,
page 10]. Elsewhere Scientology is defined as "the Western Anglicized continuance
of many earlier forms of wisdom" and a list of the religions that Scientology
is related to are delineated [page 177ff]. "Scientology has accomplished
the goal of religion expressed in all Man's written history, the freeing of
the soul by wisdom." [page 180]. The supposition of these quotes is that
Scientology is a religion, yet "Scientology... is not a psycho-therapy
nor a religion." [page 251].
Continuing in the same book, Scientology is also defined as "The Science of knowing how to know answers." [page 286]. "Scientology is the science of knowledge" [page 187] and "Dianetics is more of an exact science than many which have before borne that name" [page 189, see also page xi]. So in the definitive book that is supposed to transition Scientology and Dianetics from secular to religious, you have that same book declaring that Scientology is a philosophy, not a philosophy, a religion, not a religion, and a science.
Hubbard himself in 1955 stated that it was a mistake to call Dianetics a science; "... the biggest mistake I ever made was the day when I said, 'All right, boys, we'll call this a science... and this science we will call Dianetics.'" [Ability, Minor 5, 1955, cir. mid-June, "The Hope of Man" lecture by L. Ron Hubbard]. He goes on to explain that the science of Dianetics changed to the, well, science of Scientology when he discovered the "awareness of awareness unit" called the Thetan. From this discourse we can see that Hubbard still insisted on claiming that his discoveries were scientific (including the discovery of the Thetan), but that he wanted his work to be religious as well.
In contradiction to the claim that Scientology was now a religion, in 1956 Hubbard was still writing that Scientology is a science. In Fundamentals of Thought he claims that Scientology has "brought the humanities, so long outdistanced by the 'exact science', into a state of equality, if not superiority, to physics, chemistry and mathematics." [Fundamentals of Thought, 1956, page 8]. As in the previous work, Hubbard doesn't keep his story straight. "Scientology is that branch of psychology which treats of (embraces) human ability," he states only a few pages later (ibid. page 13). "It is a precise and exact science..." [ibid. page 14] Probably the biggest contradiction Hubbard makes in this work to Creation of Human Ability is the statement that the discovery of the thetan was "established along scientific rather than religious or humanitarian lines..." [ibid. page 54].
In 1960 Hubbard wrote that "Scientology 1970 is being planned on a religious organization basis throughout the world. This will not upset in any way the usual activities of any organization. It is entirely a matter for accountants and solicitors..." [HCO Policy Letter of 29 October1962, "Religion"].
Hubbard had made medical claims about his dianetic auditing procedure that utilized a device called an e-meter. The FDA confiscated these devices and this wound up in court. Scientology used their religious claim as part of their defense, The court after reviewing Scientology's "scriptures" concluded that "[V]iewed as a whole the thrust of the writings is secular, not religious." [United States v. Article or Device "Hubbard Electrometer", 333 F. Supp. 357, 361 (USDC., 1971).At 362.]
In his 1965 book Scientology: A New Slant on Life, Hubbard found that after making his first clears "I have been, with some reluctance, out beyond any realm of the scientific known..." [Scientology: A New Slant on Life, 1965. page 34 of 1973 edition]. Hubbard declared that religion was more important in the quest for Truth than science. [ibid, page 35], yet on the very next page he declares that "Scientology is the science of knowing how to know." Hubbard himself seemed unable to decide whether Scientology was a religion or a science. Or perhaps he wanted it to be both.
On March 9, 1966, John McMaster was declared by Scientology to be the World's First Clear. McMaster later left Scientology, and looking back on his time within the organization, said that "for me, it was never a church. I did wear a ministerial collar at the UN... I was completely trusted." [Religion, Inc. by Stewart Lamont, 1986, page 57]
Around the late 1960s Hubbard was asked why he had turned Scientology into a religion. Some people, Hubbard said, might think it was mere opportunism. "There are many, many reasons. Amongst them is that society accords to men of the church an access not given to others. Prisons, hospitals, and institutions... cannot do otherwise than welcome men of the church..." [Scientology: the Now Religion, by George Malko, 1970. page 65].
By 1974 Scientology was pressing the "religion angle" and came out with a book explaining why Scientology is a religion. According to this book Hubbard's interest in religion began in his youth. Of interest here, the book explains the conversion of Dianetics from science to religion. Hubbard apparently wanted to write a spiritual treatise when starting on Dianetics, but he was pressured from others to make it a scientific work. "However, Mr. Hubbard managed to preserve a spiritual context for the work." [Scientology: A World Religion Emerges in the Space Age, 1974, Church of Scientology Information Service, page 52]. In fact, Dianetics is called scripture in this book [ibid., page 49ff]. One wonders, again, why the book Dianetics claims to be a science at almost every turn if Hubbard was trying to write a spiritual work, and why the book is still aggressively marketed on TV and in magazines in its original form.
The book goes on to attempt to explain that "the distinction between science and religion is an arbitrary one" [ibid. page 39] Appeals to Thomas Aquinas and some rather bizarre reasoning fail to make the point. Science and religion are not even cousins. Science is "systematized knowledge derived from observation, study and experimentation carried on in order to determine the nature or principles of what is being studied" [Webster's New World Dictionary, 3rd College Edition, 1986], while religion is "any specific system of belief and worship, often involving a code of ethics and a philosophy" [ibid.]. Science requires reproducible evidence, while religion requires faith. Science is a method of finding information about the universe, while religion provides an a priori statement about the universe from an unimpeachable source (from the believer's viewpoint). Science is secular, coming from the minds and actions of man. Religion is divine, coming from revelation or supernaturally inspired utterances. Science is about understanding the physical universe, while religion is about man's place in the universe. Science and religion are NOT arbitrary distinctions. They are mutually exclusive.
The attempt to turn a self-declared scientific work into religious scriptures seems ridiculous and hopeless. The only way to consider Dianetics scripture is to ignore every declarative sentence in it and its very name, Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health. Scientology itself fails to remember whether Dianetics is science or scripture. In a Scientology booklet (undated, but circa 1990) they mention that the publication of the book Dianetics: the Evolution of a Science (a precursor to Modern Science of Mental Health) "left tens of thousands of readers eagerly awaiting the definitive text of L. Ron Hubbard's new science" ["L. Ron Hubbard, The Man and His Works" page 5]. Weren't they waiting for new scriptures? Or was Hubbard hiding the fact that they were religious writings?
A 1976 book, The Volunteer Ministers Handbook, had Mr. Hubbard being positive that Scientology is a religion: "Were somebody to claim that Scientology was not a religion or that religion was a disguise, that would be about the most erroneous statement he could make because it is an extension, a direct extension, of Gautama Siddhartha Buddha." [The Volunteer Ministers Handbook, 1976, page xiii]. Hubbard also wrote The Hymn of Asia in which he attempts to show that he is the fulfillment of a Buddhist prophecy.
In 1981 Scientology was trying to set up in Japan. They seemed to be unsure whether to set up a secular or a religious organization: ["Sea Organization Aides Order 549-1, 29 January 1981]. In Mexico and other countries, as I understand it, Scientology is not designated a religious organization.
High level officials within Scientology were using the religion angle, at least in the United States: The writings of L. Ron Hubbard, [Warren] McShane said, constitute the scriptures of the Church of Scientology. These writings include Hubbard's book, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, which recently sold its seven-millionth copy [PR Newswire, August 29, 1984, Wednesday].
In 1992 Scientology told the IRS that "Scientology is a religion based upon the research, writings, and recorded lectures of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, which collectively constitute the Scriptures of the religion... The Scientology Scriptures are the sole source of all the doctrines, tenets, sacraments, rituals and policies of the Scientology faith. They encompass more than 500,000 pages of writings, nearly 3,000 taped lectures and over 100 films." [Scientology's IRS 1023 forms, page 3] ALL of Hubbard's writings and lectures on Dianetics and Scientology are today considered scriptures according to Scientology's web site (http://www.scientologytoday.org/corp/des4a.htm).
* * *
"Scriptures" are the writings and words that form the foundation of a religion. These writings are considered to be from a supernatural or at least super human source. The Koran, for instance, is considered to be the written words directly from God. Therefore, any change to the Koran would be a severe blow to the religion itself, since it would be an admission that God's words need altering. In some religions there are "canonical" scriptures which are considered so sacred that they are permanent and unalterable, while "noncanonical" writings are considered sacred but not as permanent. But even these less sacred writings are not willy-nilly changed. Scriptures "become fixed - i.e., limited to certain works that are alone viewed as fully authoritative and truly beyond all further change or alteration." [The New Encyclopedia Britannica Micropaedia, 2002, p. 571ff. See also Encyclopedia of Religion, Mircea Eliade Ed., 1987 MacMillan Publishing Company, vol. 13, page 133ff.]
For Scientology, Hubbard's writings are indeed canonical. The stress in Scientology is that all actions of a Scientologist and of the organization must be "100% Standard Tech." That is, they must follow exactly what Hubbard stated. Only Hubbard, who died in 1986, could change his writings.
"All discoveries and developments of Dianetics and Scientology were made by one man - L. Ron Hubbard. There never will be a new source. Our responsibility in this regard was to see that it was kept this way." [Religious Technology Center Executive Directive No. 450, 6 September 1991]
"Second, when one has attained a workable path to spiritual freedom, one must not change it." [David Miscavige in KSW News issue 47, 1995]
"To ensure the purity of the religion and its Scriptures, RTC supervised a massive five-year project to republish all of Mr. Hubbard's writings on Dianetics and Scientology. RTC ensured that the authenticity of each work was verified by comparing them word by word with his original manuscripts - only once RTC was satisfied that the works were accurate were they republished. RTC then helped see that archival editions of these materials were produced, thus ensuring the availability of the pure unadulterated writings of Mr. Hubbard to the coming generations. As part of this project, Mr. Hubbard's original tape-recorded lectures - most of them over three decades old - were restored using state-of-the-art technology, and then accurately transcribed. Even the translations of the Scripture are scrupulously checked for accuracy by RTC prior to any publication." [http://www.rtc.org/intro/page02.htm]
"This Scripture is the sole source of all doctrine regarding the religion of Scientology and it is an inherent principle of the religion that only by exactly following the path it outlines can mankind achieve spiritual salvation. This concept of orthodoxy in religious practice is fundamental to Scientology. Thus, any attempt to alter or misrepresent the Scripture is regarded as a most severe breach of ecclesiastical ethics." [http://www.bonafidescientology.org/chapter/04/index.htm]
Scientologists at almost every turn in their training must read "Keeping Scientology Working" which includes "Having the correct technology" and "Hammering out of existence incorrect technology." ["Keeping Scientology Working" HCOPL of 7 February 1965]. In fact, Hubbard states in this policy letter that he alone came up with Scientology and "group efforts, one can safely assume, will not add to it or successfully alter it in the future." In Hubbard's own words in probably his most widely and most often read policy letter, he clearly states that his works should be unaltered.
However, within Scientology is a group known as AVC International, which is Authorization, Verification and Correction International. In the Frank Oliver testimony hearing, Scientology attorneys attempted to show that their scriptures could indeed be altered. Showing Mr. Oliver exhibit 251;
Q And this was issued, on the second page, by Church of Scientology International.
Do you see that?
A Yes. I see that.
Q Mr. Hubbard had been dead for a number of years at this time. Correct?
A That is correct.
Q And do you see that this issue here cancels various policies. Do you see that?
A I would have to -- if you give me a moment to read the whole thing --
Q Yes. Why don't you do that.
THE COURT: What is OEC?
MR. LIEBERMAN: Organization Executive Courses. It is one of those collection of books of the writing of L. Ron Hubbard.
THE COURT: All right.
A Okay, I see what it says.
BY MR. WEINBERG:
Q All right, and do you see that this 1991 Executive -- HCO admin letter of 1991 cancels a variety of policies, including some that -- policy issues, including some that relate to the Guardian's Office that had been issued previously by Mr. Hubbard? Do you see that?
A I see what it says. But I don't know if -- I don't know this to be a true or authorized cancellation of anything.
Q Well, I mean, you are -- is it your position that the Church, in 1991, wasn't permitted to issue this policy? Is that what you're saying?
A I would -- at the time, had I been shown this policy letter at the time, I would have queried the issuing authority to cancel a policy letter or -- or cancel the use of any policy letter that was written by L. Ron Hubbard, as a normal staff member would have done if he was in question as to the authority of the issue.
THE COURT: What is, I guess, AVC Int?
MR. MOXON: It is a part of the Church called Authorization Verification --
THE COURT: What is it?
MR. MOXON: Authorization Verification. It is a part of the Church that authorizes policy to be issued. That is what that is.
THE COURT: It says here -- look at this, Counsel. It says a whole bunch of these -- most, really, weren't even written by Mr. Hubbard.
MR. WEINBERG: What, your Honor?
THE COURT: Well, it says none of the following
issues were written by --
MR. WEINBERG: Those weren't.
THE COURT: -- L. Ron --
MR. WEINBERG: But the ones that have to do with the Guardian were.
MR. DANDAR: It doesn't say that, Judge. And I think now they opened the door to try to make Mr. Oliver an expert witness.
THE COURT: No, I don't think so. I think they've asked him whether or not he's familiar with this. I don't know whether he is or he isn't. But it was of great interest to me because I now see that policy letters -- they'll have a little tougher time showing those were scriptures because if you can change something, well, you can't claim it is scripture.
MR. LIEBERMAN: Well, your Honor, that is a matter for RTC and David Miscavige. Not for Mr. Oliver.
THE COURT: We'll see. It might be a matter for the courts and -- it might be a matter the courts will have to decide. I'm telling you, you have policy letters that have always been determined to be scripture. David Miscavige in his own affidavit said that if it is not written, it is not the word. In David Miscavige's own declaration it's going to talk about the inability to change the scripture of L. Ron Hubbard and the writings of L. Ron Hubbard. So if it is something that can be changed, it is not scripture. If it is not scripture, it is not protected by the First Amendment.
MR. LIEBERMAN: Your Honor --
THE COURT: I mean, a policy of any corporation is subject to interpretation, it is subject to challenge, it is subject to all kinds of things.
MR. LIEBERMAN: Your Honor, with due respect, I do not see how the Court is going to sit here and determine for itself what the policy of the Church of Scientology is or how it is going to permit anyone other than -- than who is in charge of the Church now to determine what the policy of the Church now is.
THE COURT: Well, then let's say this. Mr. Reiss is connected with AVC how? If this policy was changed by AVC, who is it in charge of it? Who is it? That is the person that will have to come in -- be careful where you tread, Counselor. Continue on. [Testimony of Frank Oliver, July 15, 2002. Afternoon Session, page 449ff]
According to the Scientology attorneys' line of questioning, AVC International has the power and right to alter Scientology scriptures. Of course, there can be alterations for correcting misspellings, fixing typographical errors, adding items lost, and even removing items that may have been alterations of Hubbard's words. But the above indicates that even whole policies written by Hubbard are being cancelled by AVC.
Also, there are several web sites that are devoted to showing alterations within Hubbard writings that can only be called butchering. When older versions of these writings and taped lectures are compared with newer published versions, severe changes are obvious. The reader is invited to view examples at the following web sites:
It is also useful to get older versions of the "red volumes" (Technical bulletins) and compare the policies with the versions in the newer volumes. As one small example, the "Johannesburg Security Check" HCOPL of 7 April 1961 has become the "Johannesburg Confessional List" in the newer volume. Why the name change? Is this not an alteration of L. Ron Hubbard's writings? The change was made in 1987, after Hubbard's death. Certainly a huge tome could be produced of all the changes made to Hubbard's writings since his death.
Ex-members who still adhere to Scientology's Tech are claiming dangerous changes are being done to the Upper Level courses written by Hubbard:
DM [David Miscavige] has a meeting with the OT VIIIs. He tells them
that the OT 7 course did not work, was not working, and had to be
re-engineered. They would all have to do OT 7 again. In addition, the
1200 people would have to pay the increased price What he doesnt
tell them is that his squirreling of OT 7 and OT 8 is resulting in people
on OT 7 & OT 8 dying, having psychotic breaks, and leaving the church.
It is assumed that current Scientology management is altering Hubbard's original writings and lectures in ways that are called within Scientology "squirreling" and that violate their Scripture. I also assume this is done by AVC International, which must therefore be considered the Official Squirrel Group within Scientology.
SCRIPTURE VS. SECULAR
I contend that any writing cannot be simultaneously scripture and secular. Certainly scriptures can be used for secular purposes, but that does not change the intrinsic nature of the writings. Secular works by their very designation have nothing to do with religion. Scientology is trying to have it both ways so it can gain the benefits of a religion when needed and of a nonreligious social reform group when that is more beneficial to the organization.
The word "scripture," as has been explained, means religious sacred writings. "Secular" means "of and relating to worldly things as distinguished from things relating to church and religion." [Webster's New World Dictionary, 3rd College Edition, 1988] If something is scripture then it is not secular. Yet Scientology assigns both designations to the same works. This is important in legal cases, in applications for funding, and in other areas where such designations can turn results.
Scientology has formed several social reform groups that call themselves secular
and at times attempt to deny their connection to Scientology. ABLE International
is the controlling entity of Narconon, Crimonon, Applied Scholastics, and The
Way to Happiness Foundation. ABLE is listed in the Command Channels of Scientology
[The Command Channels of Scientology, copyright 1988] and is under the
Church of Scientology's IRS religious tax exemption.
While these organizations claim to be separate from Scientology, they are within Scientology's corporate hierarchy and still strive to fulfill Scientology's goals:
"Being on the front lines of creating a new civilization, as envisioned by Ron in the Aims of Scientology, ABLE Field Reps are producing the energy needed to push LRH Tech into society." [ABLE International Field Rep News issue 1, 1990]
"ABLE is a major forward thrust on the 4th dynamic. The products of ABLE have a direct effect on the expansion of Scientology" [ABLE International Newsletter vol. 1 issue 1]
"Only the technology of L. Ron Hubbard can help salvage these beings. We have the only technology to handle the ruins of society. The planet cannot be cleared [i.e. every person is a Scientologist, ed.] until these barriers at the lower end of The Bridge are fully confronted and handled with the tech." [ibid.]
Within these groups the writings of Hubbard that are used are called "secular." Some of the "scriptures" of Hubbard are slightly altered and works are published from this for the so-called secular organizations. The practices of these groups, however, come directly from Scientology "scriptures."
The appeal of Mr. Hubbards secular works are likewise unprecedented, as best exemplified by:
* The 11,000 students in Colombia now using Mr. Hubbards educational technology.
* The 30 American inner-city literacy programs now using L. Ron Hubbards Study Technology.
And the more than 175,000 businessmen and administrators in over 35,000 companies and corporations in 40 nations now studying Mr. Hubbards administrative technology. (To help meet that demand, seven new Hubbard Colleges of Administration have been opened in the last year.) [http://www.wise.org/lrh/chron/chron15.htm]. From this it sounds like Hubbard's educational, study, and administrative technology are secular. Which works fall under these categories?
"While Mr. Hubbard is also the founder of the Scientology religion, the Criminon and Narconon programs are secular and autonomous." [http://www.scientologytoday.org/News/2001/010205.htm] Why are Criminon and Narconon secular? What process turns some Hubbard technology from religious to secular?
Narconon's executive Director of their Stone Hawk center in Michigan states that "A few facts: The Narconon program is licensed to use only L. Ron Hubbard's secular, that is, nonreligious, research and development in drug rehabilitation." [http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/news/stories/20020726/opinion/302524.html]. This begs the question of which Hubbard writings are secular that Narconon is using.
Hubbard "set to work on the development of his Study Technology for secular use" [http://www.scientology.org/WORLD/WORLDENG/corp/lrh7.htm]. This statement implies that Hubbard took scriptures and somehow "secularized" them. What is this process?
"A secularized adaptation of the Purification Rundown is delivered in Narconon drug rehabilitation centers worldwide." [http://www.scientologytoday.org/Common/question/pg26-a.htm]. Again, there is some process to "secularize" the scriptures.
"ABLE is empowered to authorize qualified social betterment groups to use L. Ron Hubbard's technologies in purely secular and educational activities" [http://www.scientologytoday.org/Common/question/pg51.htm]. Can the "secular" writings be used for religious activities?
This list of organizations helping mankind "includes the many concerned Scientologists who are providing solutions through the secular application of L. Ron Hubbard's technology." [http://www.freedom.org.uk/video/] How do you apply religious teachings in a secular manner? If the religious teachings are altered, how can they be applied properly according to Hubbards writings?
Norman Starkey, long time high ranking Scientologist, said that "[t]he fact of the matter is that L. Ron Hubbard wrote prodigiously in numerous fields. His books on the subject of study are not a part of the religion of Scientology any more than his prolific output of fiction would be considered part of the church's doctrine." (letter to editor LA Times, July 30, 1997). Which books are being discussed here? What books that Hubbard wrote are considered secular?
"WISE [a Scientology group established to get businesses to use Hubbards Management Tech] also is responsible for licensing commercial enterprises offering secular services under the Scientology or Dianetics marks or secular works derived from Mr. Hubbard's copyrighted works to ensure usage does not violate the Scriptures" [1023 forms, pp. 89-90]. Strangely, WISE is a religious corporation that tries to push its secular nature. Are the green volumes that WISE uses to utilize Hubbards Management Tech considered secular or scriptures? Is there any difference between Scientologys green volumes and WISE green volumes?
"You can deliver up to 20 different secular LRH admin tech courses to new public as well as your staff." [Prosperity magazine, issue 49, page 13, 2000 ad "Bring Ethics and Sanity to the Business World"] Again, WISE is calling Management Tech secular. Yet: "Although originally designed for the growth and permanence of Scientology churches and never expressly intended for secular use, these works [the green volumes] represent the world's most broadly utilized system for administration" [http://www.scientologytoday.org/LRH/Work/pg0713.htm]. The green volumes weren't even "secularized."
One work that seems to have never been called religious, as far as I could find, is Hubbard's The Way to Happiness. This small booklet is called a "non-religious moral code" by Hubbard himself at its introduction in Ron's Journal 33. However, there is a strange twist. Hubbard created a "religious" practice in Scientology based on "The Way To Happiness" [HCOB of 16 January 1984, "The Happiness Rundown"]. The Way to Happiness Foundation is under ABLE.
* * *
WHY FRONT GROUPS?
Why does Scientology have separate "secular" front groups when their goals and methods are the same as Scientology's? Why not simply perform the same functions under the Scientology banner? I suspect one reason might be to gain entrance and funding where a religious organization may not go. For instance,
"We are moving into lines of corporation, government and external funding sources. If you have any commlines in these areas we will work with you. Contact the President ABLE Int." [ABLE International Newsletter vol. 1 issue 1]
"The Danish Military is paying all the expenses for a soldier to do the Grammar Course at Applied Scholastics there. He is experiencing rave results on the course and reports it is handling his ruin in life." [ABLE International newsletter 24 April 1991]
Would these corporations, governments, and military give money to the Church of Scientology? Probably not. Would they give it to a "secular" social betterment organization? Apparently so. Scientology has tried to hide its connection to these "secular organizations" as well [http://www.shipbrook.com/jeff/CoS/docs/coding1.html].
Consider a Christian church that alters the Bible by replacing "God" with "Joe" and other small changes to secularize the book. They form a "secular" organization that utilizes this altered Bible to help drug addicts. This organization seeks funding for its "secular" works. Can you see the questions this brings up? First, why not just help addicts as a Christian Church? Second, what is the purpose of the attempt to secularize a sacred work? Isn't this just a gloss of the actual practices and underlying religious philosophy that will still be employed? Finally, could this be fraud if it is simply a religious organization utilizing a secular front group in order to get funding it could not otherwise obtain?
Religion, meanwhile, is a useful cloak to fight criticism;
"For many years, the Church of Scientology has taken action to protect its scriptures from abuse," says a spokesperson. "It is in pursuit of its First Amendment right of free religious exercise that the Church has brought legal action to enforce existing copyright and trade secrets laws on the internet." ["The gospel of the web: Nick Ryan on the holy wars fought in cyberspace between religious movements and their critics" The Guardian 23.3.2000]
* * *
CHANGING SCRIPTURES: WEAKENING SOURCE
Scriptures are considered powerful by their adherents because they are seen as a solid foundation for ordering ones life. Scriptures convey unswerving Truth that can be relied on for believers as the guide for a personal path through daily travails.
The strengths of scriptures are weakened when they are easily changed. Altering scripture is like altering Truth; it weakens it and makes it suspect. If it changes, then how solid was it in the first place? What does this bode for the future if what you believe today might be changed tomorrow? If scriptures are the foundation of the religion, and they change like the shifting sands, then the foundation is sand.
Who gets to decide what the changes are and what needs to be changed? What if a believer decides to stay with the old scriptures? Are they now a heretic? If a groups scriptures are flexible and changing, why are they even called scriptures? What is the religious nature of writings that are not sure enough of their message that they are ever-changing?
Scientology has spent tens of millions of dollars putting Hubbards writings and lectures onto permanent materials and storing them in tunnels behind 10,000 pound bank vault doors. If Hubbards scriptures are alterable by AVC International, does this mean that the preservation project by Scientology is essentially meaningless? Why try so hard to preserve writings for a thousand years while AVC International is busy changing them anyway?
* * *
"Any hostility toward the functions and aims of the Church
of Scientology have been found usually to derive either from
personal prejudice against religion, or imagined threats to a
vested interest." [Scientology: A New Religion Emerges
in the Space Age, page xv]
Scientology uses the religious nomenclature on Hubbards works to gain the advantage accorded to religion. When someone criticizes Hubbards writings, its not just criticism, its religious persecution. But is it? I wrote The Hubbard is Bare to criticize the scientific claims in the book Dianetics. Since Scientology considers Dianetics to be a religious writing as well as a philosophy and a science, does that make me a religious persecutor?
Scientology has an entire web site devoted to showing that Scientology is a religion (http://www.qualifiedscientology.org/). They spent millions of dollars and filed countless lawsuits in their war against the IRS in order to gain religious tax exemption, of which the "secular" ABLE and its subsidies also gained this exemption. And yet, despite all this, they now want to "secularize" their scriptures!
A WISE web site promotes the use of Hubbard Management Tech in businesses. For instance, Walt Carleton states that "I became a member of WISE ten years ago, applying the benefits of membership to get L. Ron Hubbards administrative system into my business and training my employees at the Hubbard College of Administration International" [http://www.charter-committee.org/aboutus/page06.htm]. What if an employee of such a company states that they will not take such courses because they are based on scripture from a religion that they do not believe? Would Scientology state that the Management tech volumes are secular? This is a real world example of why it is important and necessary for Scientology to declare clearly and officially what Hubbard writings are scripture and what are secular.
Another real world case is the Lisa McPherson wrongful death case. Scientology attorneys have claimed in court that because Scientology is a religion, punitive damages should not apply. Again, the *claim* of Scientology that it is a religion produces profound consequences.
Its obvious that Scientology itself cant keep straight what Hubbards writings are. Their designations are based on opportunism rather than clarity. Rather than allowing Scientology to have it all ways, they should openly and officially designate which writings and lectures are scripture and which are secular. Courts would not be confused when religious questions arise, governments will know whether they are about to fund or grant exemption to a religion or secular social programs, and consumers will know whether they are considering a scientific breakthrough, a religious revelation, or a scam.
* * *
AUDITOR: Wow, your case is really screwed up.
PC: But I took all the courses! I went clear in '87, '89, and '93 with the proper PL's at that time!
AUDITOR: Well, all I can tell you is, this 2/08/02 version of the Clear Certainty Rundown shows you're not a clear. And now you have to re-read Dianetics since the newest version came out after you were checklisted on that.... I'd suggest that you just zip through these courses as fast as you can before the next version comes out and you have to start over yet again.
PC: I really liked the '87 version...
AUDITOR: Of course, as did many. And as you know, the squirrel group calling itself the 87's still use those scriptures. Poor souls, they'll never come up to present time.
PC: Why don't we just stick with the original PL's as written by Hubbard? Isn't he Source? Doesn't he know what's best?
AUDITOR: Well, times change, you know. If we stuck to his PL's we'd all be conversing by telex and mimeograph.
PC: Well, I'll confide in you. It just seems contradictory that here we are claiming that we are the legitimate Scientology organization because we have maintained the purity of the Tech, and at the same time, we keep altering the Tech. I mean, who's to say that the 87's aren't really better Scientologists than we are? Just because we legally own the copyrights, does that mean we are the better Scientologists?
AUDITOR: <hesitantly> You want to see something? <opens drawer and pulls out an original copy of Dianetics> There.
PC: <gasping in amazement!> Where did you get THAT!? You know the 1998 version of KSW says that all older versions of the Tech are to be destroyed!!!
AUDITOR: I'm a secret collector. And to tell you the truth, I use only the Tech that came from Hubbard's lips.
PC: A heretic! But my kind of heretic! Will you audit me to clear, once and for all?
AUDITOR: I will if you promise to keep this between us.
PC: I promise! It's as solid a promise as the Tech is solid!
* * *
Dr. Stephen Kent's Affidavit on whether Scientology is a religion
Scientology's Front Groups
Information on Scientology
Jeff's site on Scientology
last revised 12/13/02