FROM THE FILES OF THE FBI 210
[newspaper article, London Daily Telegraph, 8-8-68]
SCIENTOLOGY A HIGH-PRICE RACKET'
By ALEX FAULKNER
NEW YORK, Wednesday.
A CRITICAL account of scientology appears today in the New York
publication _Women's Wear Daily,_ which is devoted essentially to
fashions, but often explores other matters.
It says that "a new and quite apparently phony religion' called
scientology is beginning to emerge from the lower depths.
"In the United States it is still basically unknown except to cultists and
a few curiosity seekers. But in recent days subway posters have appeared
in New York urging everyone: "Step into the world of the totally free'.
"Its bible is a compilation of mawkish platitudes offering instant
happiness for $5 ([pounds]2 ls 8d), or a six-month course in understanding
for $1,500 ([pounds]625).
"Scientology is a racket with offices in key cities throughout the United
States and England. Its main teaching is total freedom' and it worships
no god but its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, a sort of Western guru with an
"Its services are conducted on Sundays at 2 p.m. in Central Park behind
the Metropolitan Musuem of Art with flower children, hippies, high school
dropouts and disillusioned adults.
"And one of the principal dynamics' or commandments for the cult's
worshippers is the sex act itself, pure and simple."
The debates in the House of Commons, says this publication, really come
down to the question of whether scientology is or is not a religion.
"It isn't," it asserts. "It's a high-priced confidence game. However, as
a movement, scientology continues to grow at an astounding rate here in
the United States and abroad.
"In New York City its membership reportedly has increased more than 500
per cent. in two years.
"At the Martinique Hotel on 32nd street, headquarters of one of its
thriving branches, followers of founder Hubbard include miniskirted girls,
bearded youths, part-time advisers and ministers.'
"There are also the curiosity seekers pondering whether to take the
initial step called processing' at a cost of $15 ([pounds][?] 5s).
"One convert' who was processed told _Women's Wear Daily_ that one thing
led to another and before I knew what happened I spent $1,000.'"