The Total Freedom Trap:
Scientology, Dianetics And L. Ron Hubbard
by Jon Atack

[Introduction] [Involvement] [L. Ron Hubbard] [Expeditions] [Pulp Fiction] [The War Years] [War Wounds] [Sex Magick] [Dianetics] [Scientology] [Mental Science Becomes Religion] [The Personality Test] [Techniques] [The Secret Levels] [Ethics] [Harassment - The Guardians Office] [The Sea Organization] [Front Groups] [Narconon] [Scientology and Religion] [Manipulation] [Hard Selling] [Scientology Lies] [Litigation & Fair Game] [The Destructive Effects of Scientology] [Government Action] [Help for Members] [Further Information]


"Scientology is a religious philosophy in its highest meaning as it brings man to Total Freedom."
- L. Ron Hubbard, Religious Philosophy and Religious Practice, 21 June 1960, revised 18 April 1967.

"An endless freedom from is a perfect trap, a fear of all things ... Fixed on too many barriers, man yearns to be free. But launched into total freedom he is purposeless and miserable."
- L. Ron Hubbard, The Reason Why; 15 May 1956.

`The work of L. Ron Hubbard has been surrounded by controversy since he first announced his "modern science of mental health" in 1950. His followers assert that he is not only the reincarnation of Buddha but also Maitreya, who according to Buddhist legend will lead the world to enlightenment.

To Scientologists, L. Ron Hubbard is quite simply the wisest, the most compassionate and the most perceptive human being ever to draw breath.

Yet, Hubbard was dubbed "schizophrenic and paranoid" by a California Superior Court judge, and Scientology dismissed as "immoral and socially obnoxious" by a High Court judge in London. Scientologists have been convicted of criminal offences in Canada, the USA, Denmark and Italy.

An enormous amount of documented evidence demonstrates that Hubbard was not what he claimed to be, and that his subject does not confer the benefits claimed for it.

The Church of Scientology is an enormously wealthy, global organization, with over 270 churches and missions. Using profoundly invasive hypnotic techniques, Scientology has managed to inspire the at times fanatical devotion of tens of thousands of previously normal and intelligent people.


Most people come to Scientology when their lives are in crisis. Scientology uses manipulative recruiting techniques to heighten vulnerability, and falsely promises a solution for almost any problem. From the beginning, the new recruit is subjected to techniques which induce euphoria. The desire for this euphoric state can be ikened to a drug addiction, often rendering members all but incapable of critical thinking with regard to Scientology.

The Church of Scientology very rapidly comes to dominate the member, prohibiting contact with anyone hostile to the movement, and insisting that a huge conspiracy exists which is intent upon destroying Scientology. The mark of a fanatic is the inability to even consider evidence. Unfortunately most Scientologists simply close their eyes and ears to criticism.


"The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background and achievements. The writings and documents in evidence additionally reflect his egoism, greed, avarice, lust for power, and vindictiveness and aggressiveness against persons perceived by him to be disloyal or hostile." -California Superior Court Judge Breckenridge, speaking of L. Ron Hubbard, in a 1984 decision.

Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, creator of Dianetics and Scientology, was born in the United States, in 191l. Hubbard claimed he could ride before he could walk, and that he was riding broncos at the age of three-and-a-half, by which time he could also allegedly read and write.

He also claimed to have been a bloodbrother of the Blackfoot Indians by the age of four. However, the Blackfoot Indians dismiss " bloodbrothers" as a Hollywood fantasy, and there is no more truth in Hubbard's other boasts. His early life was undistinguished, and one childhood friend recalls that Hubbard was actually afraid of horses. Hubbard asserted that his grandfather was a wealthy cattle-baron. Factually, Lafayette Waterbury was a small town veterinarian, who ran a series of failing businesses.

Hubbard said that his interest in the human mind was sparked by a meeting with Commander Thompson, a U.S. Navy doctor, when he was twelve. However, Hubbard's extensive teenage diaries-used as evidence in a California court case-show no interest in psychological or philosophical ideas.

Hubbard told his followers that he spent five years between the ages of fourteen and nineteen--travelling alone in China, Mongolia, India and Tibet, and studying with holy men. He did not actually visit Mongolia, India nor Tibet. His two visits to China were short excursions in the company of his mother. Hubbard confessed the brevity of his Chinese stay in an interview with Adventure magazine in 1935.

Hubbard was nineteen when he entered George Washington University, where he intended to major in Civil Engineering. He failed to qualify for the third year of the course, because his grades were too low. It would later be claimed that Hubbard had degrees in both civil engineering and mathematics. He graduated in neither, and his grades in mathematics were very poor. While at University, Hubbard also failed a short course in "molecular and atomic physics", which prompted his ludicrous assertion that he was "one of America's first Nuclear Physicists".


During his last semester at University, Hubbard arranged the "Caribbean Motion Picture Expedition". It was later asserted that this expedition provided "invaluable data" to the University of Michigan and the Hydrographic Office, neither of which have any record of it. In fact, the trip was announced in the University newspaper under the heading "L. Ron Hubbard Heads Movie Cruise Among Old American Piratical Haunts".

In the event, the expedition reached only three of its sixteen proposed ports of call, failing to take any Film. In a 1950 interview, Hubbard dismissed it as "a two-bit expedition and a financial bust".

Hubbard's second supposed expedition was described by him as the "first complete mineralogical survey" of Puerto Rico. Again, there are no records of such a survey, because Hubbard seems to have spent most of his time in Puerto Rico prospecting unsuccessfully for gold. He worked briefly as a civil engineer's assistant before returning to the U.S.

In February l940, Hubbard talked his way into membership of the Explorers' Club of New York and was awarded an expedition flag for his proposed "Alaskan Radio Experimental Expedition". Hubbard was trying out a new system of radio navigation, and used the "expedition" to beg equipment to refit his 32-foot ketch, the Magician. Claims made by the Scientologists that the expedition was commissioned by the U.S. government are unfounded.

Writing to the Seattle Star in November 1940, Hubbard complained that the "expedition" had been hindered by repeated failures of the Magician's engine. Hubbard and his first wife spent most of their time stranded in Ketchikan, Alaska, while he tried to write enough stories to pay for costly engine repairs. Eventually, he used borrowed money to leave Alaska - money he failed to repay.


The Scientologists have claimed that upon leaving college Hubbard "went straight into the world of fiction writing and before two months were over had established himself in that field at a pay level which, for those times, was astronomical".

Factually, it took Hubbard several years to make even a precarious living from his writing. He wrote under such stirring pen names as Rene Lafayette, Tom Esterbrook, Kurt von Rachen, Captain B.A. Northrup, and Winchester Remington Colt. Under the name Legionnaire I48, Hubbard concocted "true" stories about his supposed exploits in the French Foreign Legion, but mainly he churned out adventure stories for the cheap "pulp" magazines.

He contributed to many such magazines, including Thrilling Adventures, The Phantom Detective and Smashing Novels Magazine, eventually turning to science-fiction and writing chiefly for Astounding Science Fiction. His pulp stories include `The Carnival of Death", "King of the Gunmen" and "Man-Killers of the Air". By the time he created Dianetics, in 1950, he was writing imaginative, if rather unstylish, science-fiction, and exploring ideas which he would later incorporate into Scientology.


Hubbard's eyesight had prevented his admission to the U.S. Naval Academy, prior to his enrolment at University. In 1941, he was accepted into the Navy Reserve after receiving a waiver for his inadequate vision.

Many outlandish claims were made by Hubbard about his achievements while in the U.S. Navy. For instance, he bragged that he had been the first returned casualty from the Far east. In fact, he was shipped to Australia in December 1941, and he sufficiently antagonised his superiors to be returned to the U.S. after only a few months. After his return, in March 1942, Hubbard was posted as a mail censor in New York.

The Scientologists have boasted that Hubbard "rose to command a squadron". Factually, he oversaw the refitting of two small vessels in U.S. harbours. His second such command was withdrawn after a cruise down the west coast. During the course of this journey, Hubbard managed to involve a number of craft in a 55-hour battle against what he believed to be two Japanese submarines. The incident was reviewed by Admiral Fletcher who pronounced "an analysis of all reports convinces me that there was no submarine in the area ...The Commanding Officers of all ships except the PC-815 (commanded by Hubbard) state they had no evidence of a submarine and do not think a submarine was in the area."

Hubbard completed this "shakedown cruise" by firing on a fortunately uninhabited Mexican island. He was removed from command, and Rear Admiral Braisted wrote in a fitness report, "Consider this officer lacking in the essential qualities of judgment, leadership and cooperation. He acts without forethought as to probable results ... Not considered qualified for command or promotion at this time. Recommend duty on a large vessel where he can be properly supervised."

The advice was followed, and Hubbard served briefly as a navigation officer aboard the USS Algol, before its departure from U.S. waters. Hubbard was one of hundreds of officers transferred to the School of Military Government on the Campus of Princeton University. This was to lead to Hubbard's later and completely false boast to have graduated from Princeton. In a more candid moment, Hubbard said that he "flunked" his overseas examination.


At different times, anywhere from 21 to 27 medals have been claimed for Hubbard, including a Purple Heart, awarded only to those wounded in combat. Not only was Hubbard not wounded, but apart from his imaginary submarine battle, he never saw combat. He received four routine service medals for his duty in Australia and the U.S.

In an article called "My Philosophy", Hubbard claimed to have been "blinded with injured optic nerves, and lame with physical injuries to hip and back, at the end of World War II ... My Service record stated ... `permanently disabled physically'." Elsewhere, Hubbard said that a few days before the end of the war, he managed to get the better of three petty officers in a fight in Hollywood.

In contradictory accounts, Hubbard claimed to have spent either one or two years at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital, developing Dianetics and curing his injuries through its use. The origin of Dianetics is obscured by conflicting Scientology accounts, which variously assert that his recovery came in 1944, 1947 or 1949.

Factually, Hubbard spent the last months of the war largely as an outpatient at Oakland Naval Hospital. His chief complaint was an ulcer, though between his admission to hospital and his separation from the Navy his eyesight deteriorated markedly. This visual deterioration became part of his pension claim to the Veterans Administration.


With his separation from the Navy, Hubbard abandoned his first wife and their two young children to take up the practice of "Magick". Hubbard had experienced a peculiar hallucination in 1938, while under nitrous oxide during a dental operation. He believed that he had died during the operation and while dead been shown a great wealth of knowledge. Upon his recovery, he wrote a book called Excalibur, but was unable to find a publisher.

Hubbard's interest in the occult also led to a brief membership in a Rosicrucian group. He told a friend that he believed himself protected by a guardian spirit whom he called "the Empress"; and he was to repeat this claim to one of his followers many years later. In 1945, Hubbard took up with Jack Parsons, head of the Pasadena lodge of Aleister Crowley's Ordo Templi Orientis.

Crowley styled himself "the Beast 666", servant of the Antichrist, and advocated the use of addictive drugs and bizarre sexual practices. Jack Parsons was a chemist and an early member of Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, but his passion was Magick (as Crowley respelled the word). Hubbard and Parsons performed sexual ceremonies to summon a woman willing to become the mother of "Babalon", the incarnation of evil.

The affair ended with Hubbard running off not only with Parsons' girl Sara, but also with his money. Hubbard married Sara Northrup bigamously, and started to write pathetic letters applying for a war pension. In October 1947, when according to later accounts he had "cured" himself through Dianetics, Hubbard admitted to suicidal tendencies and begged for psychiatric help in a letter to the Veterans Administration.

Hubbard continued to perform black magic rituals and started to use self hypnosis, confiding to his notebook such hypnotic affirmations as "all men are my slaves". His personal papers also make it clear that he was deliberately pretending war-related ailments so that he could claim a pension increase.

By this time, Hubbard was already addicted to the barbiturate drugs originally prescribed for his ulcer. His drug use continued during his Scientology career, even though he was to sponsor the Scientology anti-drug group Narconon. Although Dianetics claims to overcome compulsions with ease, Hubbard was unable to kick the tobacco habit, and chain-smoked over 80 cigarettes a day.


"Hypnotism was used for research, then abandoned." - L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health.

Hubbard gave stage demonstrations of hypnosis in 1948, and wrote to his literary agent about a new project with many selling "angles". Marrying hypnotic technique to research long abandoned by Freud, Hubbard came up with Dianetics. In 1950, he modified the hypnotic technique without further "research" to write the book Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health.

In a 1909 lecture, Freud explained a method for uncovering traumatic memories. Patients were asked to recall earlier and earlier life incidents on a "chain" until the emotional "charge" was released. Hubbard not only took the technique, he even retrained several of the expressions used by the translator of these lectures. Freud had abandoned the technique, because it was laborious and completely failed to uncover key repression's. In fact, after sometimes providing initial relief, Dianetics all too often deteriorates into the dangerous conviction that entirely imaginary incidents are literal truth.

Hubbard took Freud's technique, added a little of the then- popular General Semantics, and asserted that the "basic" or original traumatic incidents had occurred in the womb. In this he was following the work of Otto Rank, Nandor Fodor and J. Sadger. Hubbard also asserted that it was actually possible to recall prenatal incidents, right back to conception (the "sperm dream''). Fodor too had written of prenatal memory.

Hubbard redefined the existing term "engram" as a label for traumatic incidents where the individual has lost consciousness. Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health proclaims that by "erasing" the engrams, the individual is freed from compulsions, obsessions, neuroses, and such conditions as heart trouble, poor eyesight, asthma, colour blindness, allergies, stuttering, poor hearing, sinusitis, high blood pressure, dermatitis, migraine, ulcers, arthritis, morning sickness, the common cold, conjunctivitis, alcoholism and tuberculosis. Hubbard soon claimed cures for cancer and leukaemia.

No scientific evidence for these claims has ever been produced.

Once the first engram (or "basic-basic") has been erased, the individual is supposedly "Clear", free from all deficiencies, and possessed of a high IQ. After repeated challenges, Hubbard eventually put a Clear on show in August 1950, at the Shrine Auditorium, in Los Angeles. Despite Hubbard's claims that a Clear would have "a near perfect memory", the woman, a Physics major, was unable to remember a basic physics formula. She could not even recall the colour of Hubbard's tie when his back was turned.

Dianetics sold 150,000 copies before being withdrawn from sale by its publisher. The American Psychological Association cautioned would-be Dianeticists that no scientific evidence for the many claims made in Dianetics had been forthcoming. There can be no doubt that Hubbard had invented both cases and statistics to write the book.

Hubbard's following diminished as people realised that his claims were grossly exaggerated, and with the collapse of the first Dianetic Foundations and Hubbard's second marriage. Sara Hubbard charged that her husband had tortured her with sleep deprivation, drugs and physical attacks. She claimed that he had once strangled her until the eustachian tube to her left ear ruptured, leaving her hearing inpaired. Hubbard fled to Cuba, after seizing their baby daughter, in what proved to be a successful attempt to silence Sara.

With the backing of millionaire Don Purcell, Hubbard was able to return to the United States, where Sara accepted a divorce settlement. She withdrew her earlier claims, in return for their infant daughter, whom she had not seen for several months.

The new Wichita Foundation soon ran into trouble, and Hubbard abandoned it to its creditors, accusing Don Purcell - who had earlier saved him - of accepting $500,000 from the American Medical Association to ruin him. This was far from the last display of paranoia of Hubbard's part.


"We've got some new ways to make slaves here."
-L. Ron Hubbard, Philadelphia Doctorate Course lecture 20, 1952.

February 1952 found Hubbard penniless, and stripped of both the rights to Dianetics and most of his following. One of his associates stole the mailing lists of the Wichita Foundation, and Hubbard started to send out ridiculous attacks upon the Foundation and increasingly pathetic requests for money.

He also gave the Hubbard College lectures to a tiny audience, and within six weeks had created a new subject apparently out of thin air. He was later to admit his admiration for Aleister Crowley ("my very good friend") and in fact the fundamentals of Scientology have much in common with Cowley's "magickal" ideas-mixed in with a large helping of science fiction.

With Scientology, Hubbard asserted that we are all spiritual beings ("thetabeings", and later "thetans"), who have lived for trillions of years, incamating again and again. He claimed that through the use of his new techniques, anyone could achieve supernatural powers. In 40 years, no scientific evidence has been provided for these claims.

During the Hubbard College lectures, Hubbard also introduced the Electrometer, or E-meter, designed by Dianeticist Volney Mathison. The E-meter is actually a lie detector, closely related to the machine used in police polygraphs in the US.

In Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health, Hubbard claimed "Dianetics cures, and cures without, failure". Two years later, he dismissed these earlier techniques as "slow and mediocre". He now claimed that with Scientology, "the blind again see, the lame walk, the ill recover, the insane become sane and the sane become saner".


"l'd like to start a religion. That's where the money is." -L. Ron Hubbard to Lloyd Eshbach, in 1949; quoted by Eshbach in Over My Shoulder.

In several conversations in the late 1940s, Hubbard had assured listeners that the best way to get rich was to start a religion. By the time of his death, in 1986, it is alleged that Hubbard had amassed a personal fortune of over $640 million through Scientology (despite claims that he didn't even take a royalty from his books).

In April 1953, Hubbard wrote to one of his deputies asking what she thought of "the religion angle". Later that year, he incorporated the Church of Scientology, which was licensed by his Church of American Science. The incorporation was kept secret, so that Hubbard could distance himself from it.

It was only in the late 1960s, with increasing criticism of its methods by western governments, that Scientology retreated behind the trappings of religion. Scientology "ministers" take a course in comparative religion based upon a single book, and read the few ceremonies written by Hubbard. Their training takes a few days. They dress in imitation of Christian ministers, including a dog collar and a Christian-seeming cross. In fact, the cross is a Scientology cross, which clearly imitates that of Hubbard's role model, magician Aleister Crowley. It is actually a satanic "crossed out" cross.


Scientology recruits most of its followers from the street by offering a free personality test. The Oxford Capacity Analysis (OCA) was written by a Scientologist who was a former merchant seaman, with no psychological training. It has no connection with Oxford University, and derives ultimately from the Johnson Temperament Analysis Profile.

The current 200 question test provides Scientology with detailed personal information. In the past, the Church of Scientology has proved more than willing to use supposedly confidential information against former members.

In I991, a letter to Scientology recruiters offered a course teaching "how to tell people the results of their OCA so that they will reach for Scientology". Another internal document says that the Test Evaluator "is to point out to the person by means of a personality test evaluation what is ruining his life, and to show him how Scientology can save him from that ruin ... when you point out a low score ... say `Scientology can handle that'." The test is designed to ensure that very few people have an acceptable personality profile.

Scientology sales staff ("registrars") are extensively trained and drilled in hard-selling techniques. The first stage of recruitment is to focus the person's attention on the most distressing areas of his or her life (the "ruin"). Hypnotherapists might call this an "emotional induction". Any intense emotion tends to overwhelm critical thinking. The coolness of rational thinking is distinct from the heat of the emotions. The recruiter then plays upon the person's fear that the condition will worsen. Then the "solution" of Scientology is offered.

Whatever the problem is, the immediate solution will almost always be a Communication Course, and indoctrination into Hubbard's ideas about Suppressive Persons".


"Scientology is evil; its techniques evil; its practice a serious threat to the community; medically, morally and socially." -Report of the Board of Inquiry into Scientology for the state of Victoria, Australia, 1965.

While the basic ideas of Scientology had nearly all been expressed W by the end of 1952, Hubbard continued to pour out new techniques that were "guaranteed" to cure all human ills. He borrowed from many forms of therapy and meditation to create an elaborate "Bridge" which he claimed led to "total freedom".

Scientology indoctrination usually begins with the Communication Course Training Routines or `"TRs". These are supposed to enhance the ability to communicate, but have been called by one expert "the most overt form of hypnosis used by any destructive cult".

In the first TR, two people sit silently facing each other, with their eyes closed. In the second, they stare at each other, sometimes for hours on end, inducing hallucinations and an uncritical euphoria.

In the next stage, TR-0 Bullbait, the student has to sit motionless, while the "coach" does everything possible to disturb him or her. The student progresses to reading aloud disconnected phrases from Alice in Wonderland, and then to acknowledging statements read out at random from the same text. Then comes TR-3, where the student repeatedly asks the coach either "Do fish swim?" or "Do birds fly?". In the last "Communication Course" Training Routine, the student again asks one of these questions repeatedly, learning not to be distracted by anything the coach says or does.

Repetition is another way of inducing an altered or trance state. Following these procedures definitely makes the individual more susceptible to direction from Scientology.

From the Communication Course, the new recruit will usually go onto the "Purification Rundown", after a meeting with a Scientology salesperson, who convinces the recruit that the Rundown is well worth the high price demanded for it. Those on the "Purification Rundown" take extremely high doses of vitamins and minerals, and combine running and sauna treatment for five hours each day. Such high doses of vitamins can create various physiological reactions, including drug-like experiences. Hubbard attributed these reactions to stored drugs and pollutants being removed from the body. He even made the ridiculous claim that LSD lodges in fatty tissue. As LSD is both highly unstable and water soluble, this is impossible, but it shows Hubbard's usual scientific ignorance. The heat exhaustion brought on by the sauna can lead to euphoric experiences, yet again weakening critical thinking.

The sequence of steps on the Scientology Bridge has changed from one year to the next. After the "Purification Rundown' - and another interview with a salesperson-the recruit might well go on to the "Hubbard Key to Life Course" (at a cost of[[sterling]]4,000 or $8,000). This supposedly undercuts all previous education by returning the individual to the basics of literacy. Factually, because it treats all clients as pre-school children, it tends to cause age regression, making people yet more susceptible to Scientology.

From the "Hubbard Key to Life Course," the individual moves on to the "Hubbard Life Orientation Course" and thence to the "Objective Processes."

There are several hundred Scientology counselling procedures or "auditing processes". The "Objectives" were first introduced in the 1950s. Hubbard asserted that it is necessary to show the individual that reactive impulses can be controlled by being put under the control of another person (the Scientology "auditor"). This might be more simply termed "mind control". On the Objective Processes, the individual is given strict orders to repeat an overwhelmingly tedious cycle of behaviour.

In "Opening Procedure by Duplication", for example, the auditor and the client or "pre-clear" are alone in a room with a table at either end. On one table is a book, on the other a bottle. The preclear will be instructed, with unvarying wording, to look at the object at the other side of the room, to walk over to it, to pick it up and to identify its colour, weight and temperature. Sessions often run to two hours, and cases of 18 such sessions for this single "process" are not unheard of. Eventually, this arduous ritual leads to a sensation of floating, believed to be "exteriorisation from the body" in Scientology-but a common side effect of hypnotic trance. The Scientology Bridge is laid out in a series of steps, or grades, each with a purported result. On Grade Zero, for example, clients are meant to achieve the ability to "communicate freely with anyone on any subject". A Grade One "release" is supposedly without problems.

In 1959, Hubbard introduced "security checking", where Scientologists are interrogated, having to answer long, prepared lists of questions about their moral transgressions. The E-meter is used as a lie detector throughout these "sessions". A careful record is kept of all confessions, and this has proved to be a highly effective means of silencing dissidents.

This procedure, renamed "integrity processing", using exactly the same lists of questions as the earlier "security checks", finds a place on Grade ' Two, and is frequently repeated beyond it (at a cost ranging from [[sterling]]130 to [[sterling]]260, or $250 to $500, per hour). Scientology presumes that any of its members might become a security risk at any time. There is justification for this suspicion, as thousands have left the movement, including many leading lights.

There are two further release grades, before the "preclear' starts on the current form of Dianetic auditing. In New Era Dianetics, the preclear is asked to re-experience incidents from "past lives", which can lead to strange delusions on the part of Scientologists, compensating for the shortcomings of their real lives. Through Dianetics, preclears are supposed at last to become Clear, with the realization that they no longer need their "Reactive minds", where engrams are supposedly stored.

Once "Clear", they are ready for the Advanced Courses of Scientology, the "Operating Thetan" or "OT" levels.


In1952, Hubbard claimed that after Scientology auditing and indoctrination anyone would become "capable of dismissing illness and aberration from others at will". Scientologists have undertaken hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of hours chasing this illusion and Hubbard's often-repeated promises of supernatural abilities. In the late I960s, Hubbard released his Operating Thetan levels. An Operating Thetan is an individual supposedly capable of "operating" without need of a body, and Hubbard made many sugared claims for his extremely expensive OT levels.

The OT levels are kept secret by the Church of Scientology; however, the contents of most have long since been public knowledge. The first OT level consists of a series of drills, such as walking along the street counting people until one feels euphoric and has some sort of "realization". In 1992 "OT section 1 " was listed at [[sterling]] 1,000 or $2,200.

On the second level (costing [[sterling]]2,000 or $4,200) the "pre-OT" battles with seemingly endless lists of phrases and their contradictions ("l must exist" and "l mustn't exist", for example), often having to imagine seeing a light and feeling a shock at each phrase. At least one victim endured 600 hours of this mindnumbing ritual.

The pre-OT parts with a "minimum donation" of [[sterling]]3,400 or $7,200 to traverse the OT 3 "wall of fire". On OT 3, the recipient is assured that 75 million years ago the Earth was part of a Galactic Confederation ruled by an evil prince called Xenu. The Confederation suffered from massive overpopulation, so Xenu devised a scheme whereby the peoples of some 76 planets were shipped to earth and annihilated. The spirits or thetans of these victims were exploded, by putting H-bombs in volcanoes, and gathered on "electronic ribbons". Then they were "implanted" for 36 days with images of the future societies of Earth. According to Hubbard, all cultures and religions since derive from these hypnotic implants. He said, for example, that Christ is an illusion implanted at this time.

After implanting, the thetans were packaged together in clusters, and, according to OT 3 everyone alive is a mass of such clusters. The levels from OT 4 to 7 also deal entirely with these clusters and the body thetans which make them up. Anyone hearing of this material will supposedly become ill and die within days. However, towards the end of his life, Hubbard wanted to release the story (certainly one of his best) as a movie, to be called "Revolt in the Stars".

The contents of OT 8, released after Hubbard's death, and the highest level so far available, have been shrouded in secrecy. OT 8 is only available aboard Scientology's cruise ship, the Freewinds, after extensive Security Checking has ensured unquestioning dedication to Hubbard and his teachings. One former member asserts that the level deals with the individual's relationship to the divine. Rather than addressing the deity through prayer, however, the Scientologist is asked to remember times in former incarnations when he or she encountered God. The individual is then to remember what problems were solved by believing in God (the "prior confusion" which made them vulnerable to belief). In this way, belief in God is undermined.

On OT 8, Scientologists are allegedly taught that they exist in parallel universes, and are told to disconnect from their parallel selves. Finally, the Scientologist is to re-experience moments of his or her own creation, and discover any abandoned aspects of the self. This supposedly leads to a major realization about God. Former members who have suffered through this nonsense assert that the desired realisation is that Hubbard created all the living beings in the universe.. A leaked OT 8 Bulletin, which may or may not be genuine, claims that Hubbard is in fact the antichrist.


Hubbard stepped up his control over his followers in the mid1960s with the introduction of various so called "ethics" procedures. Anyone who criticises Hubbard or Scientology is labelled a "Suppressive Person", "SP" or "anti-social personality".

Scientologists who associate with anyone deemed an SP are termed "Potential Trouble Sources", and forbidden further auditing or training. Indeed, Scientologists can be ordered to cease communication with, or "disconnect" from, anyone considered unfriendly by the Church of Scientology.

"Disconnection" is virtually identical to the "shunning" practised by certain extreme fundamentalist groups.

Hubbard also introduced "ethics conditions" at this time, and gave "formulas" which are supposed to elevate one's ethical state. In the 1960s, Scientology staff put into "lower conditions" were deprived of sleep (often for several days), prevented from washing or shaving, forced to wear a black mark on one cheek, a chain or a dirty rag around the arm, and confined day and night to organization premises.

Hubbard put to sea with his closest followers in 1967. Aboard ship, anyone who displeased him was confined to the chain locker. Here the victim would crouch in bilge water and excrement in total darkness, surrounded by rats, sometimes for as much as two weeks without respite. Even children were put into the chain locker on Hubbard's order. In 1968, the chain locker punishment was -supplemented by "overboarding", where people, even nonswimmers, were hurled from the decks into the sea.

In 1973, Hubbard replaced these cruel and unusual practices with a new and profoundly effective form of humiliation-the Rehabilitation Project Force, or RPF. The RPF is still in use in Scientology organizations throughout the world. Those who fail to comply with orders, make mistakes or simply fall short of their production quotas are put onto the RPF. RPFers can only speak when spoken to, they are meant to eat table scraps, sleep even shorter hours than other staff, and comply immediately and unquestioningly with any order. They work a full day, doing physical labour, and are then expected to spend five hours confessing and hearing the confession of their RPF partner.

Only when they completely accept the authority of their superiors are they allowed to leave the RPF. Taming an individual in this way can take up to two years.


"Our organizations are friendly. They are only here to help you". L. Ron Hubbard, `Dianetic Contract', 23 May 1969.

Through the 1950s, Hubbard advocated ever-stricter measures to deal with critics and defectors. Hubbard's Church has always campaigned actively against anyone who uses Scientology techniques without following orders and paying tithes. Speaking of a hypothetical splinter group in 1955, Hubbard wrote, "if you discovered that some group calling itself `precept processing' had set up ... in your area, you would do all you could to make things interesting for them ... The law can be used very easily to harass, and enough harassment ... will generally be sufficient to cause his [sic] professional decease. If possible, of course, ruin him utterly."

In 1958, Hubbard institutionalised intelligence gathering in his secret Manual of Justice, which says, "intelligence is mostly the collection of data on people...It is done all the time about everything and everybody." This was the prelude to the creation of Scientology's secret police force and intelligence agency, the Guardian's Office. An "ethics file" is kept on every Scientologist. It contains every embarrassing admission made during counselling, write ups of transgressions and "knowledge reports".

All Scientologists are expected to report even the slightest criticism made by their fellow Scientologists about Hubbard, his organization or his teachings. A Scientologist who fails to make such a report is subject to the same penalties as the original critic. This policy is based upon that used by the Nazis, turning everyone into an informer, loyal only to Scientology.

After the introduction of "Ethics" policies in 1965, many people left Scientology to join a splinter group called Amprinistics. An enraged Hubbard wrote, "Harass these persons in any Possible way", and urged that their meetings be broken up.

The large amounts of money demanded by Hubbard, and the severe treatment meted out to his followers, inevitably led to public concern. Enforced "disconnection" has torn many families apart. Scientology was castigated by a government inquiry in Victoria, Australia, in December 1965. In February the following year, Lord Balniel requested that the British parliament launch an Inquiry- Hubbard responded by setting up the Guardian s Office, and reinforcing his policy of "noisy investigation" into anyone who criticised Scientology. As Hubbard said, `The DEFENSE of anything is UNTENABLE. The only way to defend anything is to ATTACK."

The Guardian's Office attacked without pause.

The Guardian's Office (GO) existed to promote Scientology, to attack critics, and to keep members in line. The GO acted as an intelligence agency, infiltrating newspapers, psychiatric hospitals and even government agencies; and as an internal police force, silencing defectors. Very few former Scientologists have spoken out against the organization, knowing that every detail of their lives is kept in their Scientology "ethics files". There is much irrefutable evidence that these files have been used against former members. The Guardian's Office grew into a daunting force with 1,100 staff by 1982.

In a secret directive, Hubbard wrote, "we will successfully bring the following facts into public consciousness ... People who attack Scientology are criminals ... if one attacks Scientology he gets investigated for crimes ... If one does not attack Scientology ... one is safe."

The Intelligence or Information Bureau of the Guardian's Office, or G0, was modelled on Nazi spy master Gehlen's system. GO agents stole medical files, sent out anonymous smear letters, framed critics for criminal acts, blackmailed, bugged and burgled opponents, and infiltrated government offices stealing thousands of files (including Interpol files on terrorism, and files on the interchange of intelligence material between the U.S. and Canada). Critics were to be driven to breakdown or harassed into silence.

Eventually, in the early 1980s, eleven GO officials were imprisoned in the US, including Hubbard's wife, Mary Sue, and her deputy, the Guardian, Jane Kember. In July 1992, the Church of Scientology and three Scientologists were found guilty of criminal acts in Canada Ten years before this conviction, the Office of Special Affairs had replaced the Guardian's Office.

The secret mission of both the Guardian's Office and its successor has been the discovery and elimination of the conspiracy which Hubbard believed was operating against him. At various times, Hubbard blamed Russian communism, neofascism, bankers, psychiatrists, the Internal Revenue Service and Christian priests for negative reports concerning Scientology.

His paranoid imagination saw enemies everywhere. As with all psychopaths, Hubbard was incapable of admitting error. He was oblivious to the anti-social nature of the practices which quite rightly provoke criticism of Scientology.


Having been asked to leave Rhodesia in 1966, and fearing British government action (he was later banned from entry), Hubbard fled to Las Palmas and created the Sea Organization. For eight years, from 1967 to 1975, Hubbard and his retinue (numbering several hundred) plied the Mediterranean and the Atlantic in a flotilla of unseaworthy vessels. The incompetence of the crews led to many accidents.

Sea Organization members were put into pseudo-naval uniform, adopted naval ranks and signed a billion year contract to serve "command intention". The management of Scientology became a paramilitary organization, under the direction of "Commodore" L. Ron Hubbard. All "Sea Org" members are expected to receive martial arts and weapons training. One executive was later to boast publicly that management was "tough" and "ruthless". Compassion is virtually unheard of in Hubbard's voluminous teachings. Sea Org members work long hours (usually devoting over 90 hours per week to Scientology), for derisory pay. They often spend weeks or months restricted to a diet consisting entirely of rice, beans and porridge. Discipline is harsh, the withdrawal of pay and proper food preceding banishment from sleeping quarters (when staff are assigned to "pig's berthing').

Sea Org members have restricted access to their children, usually only being allowed to see them for an hour or two each week. Children are kept in the "Cadet Org," with the specified intention of making them into Sea Org members. Indeed, Sea Org children can start working for the organization by the age of twelve, sometimes securing high positions before their fifteenth birthdays. Children as young as eight have acted as auditors, taking the confessions of adults.


In 1966, Hubbard wrote, Remember, CHURCHES ARE LOOKED UPON AS REFORM GROUPS. Therefore we must act like a reform group." Since that time, tens of front groups have come into being, some to enhance the public repute of Scientology, others to recruit new members.

The World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WlSE) licenses Scientologists to use Hubbard material in their business training programmes. WISE members offer such programs with no indication that the material they use is Scientology. In the U.S., Sterling Management has been criticised for selling expensive courses to health professionals, who are then recruited unto Scientology. The Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE) sponsors "reform" groups such as Criminon (which indoctrinates prison inmates into Scientology), the Concerned Businessmen's Association, Cry Out! (which cashes in on concern for the environment), Applied Scholastics (which trains people in Hubbard's "Study Technology") and Narconon.


Narconon was started by convict and drug addict William Benitez, in the mid-1960s. It claims to be a rehabilitation programme for alcoholics and other drug addicts, and at different times and in different places has briefly won state support (withdrawn when the close association of Narconon to Scientology is revealed, or when the inadequacy of Narconon's methods is demonstrated). Narconon works alongside Scientology's "Say No to Drugs Campaign", and is advocated by Scientologist and former cocaine addict, Kirstie Alley.

For several years, Narconon has tried to establish a large centre on the Chilocco Indian reservation in Oklahoma In December 1991, the Oklahoma Mental Health Board denied certification to this centre, ruling that "there is no credible scientific evidence that the Narconon program is effective". The program was also judged "unsafe". The Board complained that not only was medical supervision inadequate, but that graduates of the program were immediately taken on as staff. In Narconon, alcoholics and other addicts are not educated about substance abuse, but are simply put through the program. The Board also complained that `"the Narconon treatment plan is general in nature, applies categorically to all students and is not individualised." The Board reported that Narconon did no follow up studies (which, of course, dismisses any claim to the program's efficacy), and had inadequate discharge Planing. There was also particular concern that Narconon clients, including alcoholics, are told that if they are not able to drink after the program, then the program is simply not complete. Hubbard's "Purification Rundown" is at the heart of the Narconon Program. The Purification Rundown supposedly rids the body of drug residues through massive doses of vitamins, and five hours a day of ruining and sweating in a sauna. The Oklahoma Mental Heath Board complained of inadequate control of sauna temperature, and warned of the potential dangers, particularly to heroin addicts, of sauna use.

The Board had no doubt that "Narconon employs staff inadequately educated and trained in the care and treatment of drug and alcohol abuse clients"; and was shocked to find that "Narconon permits clients under treatment for drug and alcohol abuse to handle and provide medications to fellow Narconon clients, to supervise the sauna treatment of fellow Narconon clients, and to supervise clients with psychiatric disorders." No mental health professionals are employed by Narconon.

The doses of vitamins are so high on the Purification Rundown that they become potentially dangerous (several vitamins are poisonous in high doses; and vitamin B1 can have a disorienting effect similar to that of certain drugs). The Oklahoma Mental Health Board was especially concerned about the use of vitamin B3 in the form of niacin, which in large doses has been connected with liver failure. "Large doses of niacin are administered to patients during the Narconon program to rid the body of radiation. There is no credible scientific evidence that niacin in any way gets radiation out of the patient's body. Rather, the more credible medical evidence supports the existence of potential medical risks to persons receiving high doses of niacin".

In a surprise move, in August 1992, the Oklahoma Board of Mental Health granted Narconon exemption from state certification, without withdrawing its earlier criticisms.


"Reference was made to some unusual features of membership and to the strong commercial emphasis ... Regardless of whether the members ... are gullible or misled or whether the practices of Scientology are harmful or objectionable, the evidence ... establishes that Scientology must, for relevant purposes, be accepted as `a religion' in Victoria." -Australian court ruling.

Hubbard claimed that Scientology is non-denominational and does not clash with any religion. The claim is preposterous. In his secret writings, Hubbard asserted that Christ is a fabrication, an implanted hypnotic suggestion. Yoga, and therefore Hinduism, he dismissed as "booby-trapped".. In one interview, he said that his favourite book was Twelve Against the Gods, where author William Bolitho called Mahomet a psychopath. Of course, the doctrine of reincarnation which is essential to Scientology, is unacceptable to Judaism, Islam or Christianity.

Hubbard claimed that Scientology is "twentieth century Buddhism". However, the essential doctrine of "anatta" or` no soul" is completely denied in Scientology, which believes in an immortal and unperishable ego or "thetan". Further, Hubbard dismissed Buddhism through his statement that "No culture in the history of the world, save the thoroughly depraved and expiring ones, has failed to affirm the existence of a Supreme Being."

Scientology contradicts the teachings of all of the major religions by propounding that great wealth is a virtue, a measure of spiritual success. Hubbard divided the "urges to survive" into eight "dynamics". These are survival as or through self, family and procreation, groups, mankind, life forms, the material, the spiritual and infinity or the Supreme Being. Hubbard claimed that to make a sensible decision, it was only necessary to determine the effect upon these "dynamics", and choose the route which benefited the greatest number. No special place is given to the eighth dynamic, or God,, in this scheme, so it is possible for a decision to be taken because it advantages the majority of the other seven dynamics. This practice is unconscionable to all who believe in God.

Hubbard also dismissed the notion of compassion. Scientologists believe that everything that happens to an individual is self generated, so the unfortunate are called ``victims'', who have ``pulled in'' their misfortune. Sympathy is frowned upon, and considered to be a "lower" emotional reaction than fear or anger. All transactions must receive a proper "exchange", so Scientologists do not tend to work for, or donate to, charities (other than their own front groups). As Hubbard put it, "When you let a person give nothing for something you are factually encouraging crime". Scientology induces contempt for all non-Scientologists, who are called "wogs" or "raw meat".


"When somebody enrols, consider he or she has joined up for the duration of the universe - never permit an `open-minded' approach ... If they enrolled, they're aboard, and if they're aboard they're here on the same terms as the rest of us - win or die in the attempt. Never let them be half minded about being Scientologists ... When Mrs. Pattycake comes to us to be taught, turn that wandering doubt in her eye into a fixed, dedicated glare .. The proper instruction attitude is `. . We'd rather have you dead than incapable. "' - L. Ron Hubbard, Keeping Scientology Working, 7 February 1965, reissued 27 August 1980.

Hubbard claimed to have studied hypnosis from his teens onwards. At the outset, he admitted that his Dianetic "research" was done using deep trance hypnosis. In the early days, he also admitted that the Dianetic procedure could be trance inducing. The term "hypnosis" has aroused much controversy. Probably the most exacting conceptual framework was made by hypnotherapist Milton Erickson, who asserted that hypnosis is an interaction between people which accesses altered states of consciousness.

Contemporary psychology accepts that most mental processes occur below consciousness. A hypnotherapist accesses the unconscious in an attempt to place beneficial suggestions therein which will have the same motivating force upon the individual as his or her own decisions. In hypnotherapy, the client gives permission for this process to occur. In Scientology, the process occurs without consent.

Hubbard asserted that everything that exists is a product of consciousness: Reality is agreement", "the universe is an agreed upon apparency". From this perspective, Scientology seeks to change the individual's perception of reality, and replace it with Hubbard's notions, at the same time pretending that the individual is becoming more aware, and more "self-determined". Scientology claims to be scientific, but factually, it is impossible to undertake "auditing" without submitting to beliefs which have not been scientifically validated, such as reincarnation, possession by spirits (or body thetans) and the existence and influence of "engrams".

Restrictions are put upon Scientologists to prevent them reaching a critical understanding of Scientology. Explanation of Hubbard's work is forbidden; the materials must be quoted exactly. Dissent from the materials is also forbidden then Scientologist's "realisations" in counselling must align with Hubbard's pronouncements about the nature of reality. Any disagreement with Hubbard or his teachings will lead the individual to the "Ethics Office", a department of Scientology's internal police force.

The Scientologist may not talk about his "case" or problems other than to his or her auditor, thus inhibiting close relationships. The "technology" of Scientology is and always has been right (even when Hubbard changed it every few months), and failure to achieve spectacular success (i.e., euphoric states) is always considered to be the fault of either the auditor or the preclear, never of the techniques. Scientologists are led to believe that criticism (unless made by Hubbard) always stems from guilt about one's own transgressions. The individual's attention is focused inwards and so deflected from consideration of Hubbard's or Scientology's faults.

Scientology procedures are comparable with those of hypnotherapy. In Training Routine 0, two people are supposed to sit looking at each other "for some hours". Visual fixation has long been accepted as a means of inducing altered or trance states. Repetition is another method of induction, and Hubbard admitted that a number of his procedures are mindnumbingly monotonous. It is possible in Scientology to sit for several hours answering the same single line question, the wording never varied, such as "From where could you communicate to a victim?"

Eventually, the individual's entire perception and belief system is over-ridden by Scientology. The Scientologist may not talk about the Operating Thetan levels, so is separated from most of humanity, believing malevolent spirits to be the real cause of all disability and conflict. Scientologists do not accept any other perception of reality than Hubbard's. Hubbard derided hypnotherapy, psychology, analysis, meditation and religious counselling, claiming that Scientology is the only effective system.

Staff members, especially those in the Sea Organization, become even more suggestible through long working hours, sleep deprivation, poor diet and regular doses of the Rehabilitation Project Force.


"Advanced Courses [in Scientology) are the most valuable service on the planet. Life insurance, houses, cars, stocks, bonds, college savings, all are transitory and impermanent ... There is nothing to compare with Advanced Courses. They are infinitely valuable and transcend time itself." -L. Ron Hubbard speaking of his "Operating Thetan Courses" Flag Mission Order 375.

Hard selling techniques are another aspect of the use of undue influence or destructive persuasion upon members. Clients of Scientology are harassed with demands for ever increasing "donations" for auditing and indoctrination Completion of the Scientology "Bridge" costs in the region of [[sterling]]200,000 or $350,000 (there are Scientologists who have paid even more). Many Scientologists have found themselves homeless and deeply in debt as a result of high pressure selling. Sales interviews can last for as much as 13 hours; and depend upon the sophisticated manipulation techniques described in Les Dane's Big League Sales Closing Techniques.

Another alarming aspect of Scientology's greed is the sale of Hubbard artefacts, called "Special Properties" limited editions of Hubbard books and anything signed by Hubbard. These artefacts are pushed onto Scientologists with the insistence that they are highly marketable commodities with great investment potential. ln reality, they are virtually worthless outside the confines of the Scientology world.

Outrageous amounts are charged for these items. One former member was induced to spend some [[sterling]]26,000 (of which [[sterling]]10,000 was borrowed), with promises that the value of these "Special Properties" would rocket. Despite making extensive enquires over a seven year period, the "Special Properties" have proved unsaleable at anything like the price originally charged. The former member purchased a single, signed photograph of Hubbard for over [[sterling]]8,000. This is not an isolated case. one Scientologist spent an incredible [[sterling]]90,000 on "Special Properties".

The Scientology organization pours out advertising material, ranging from simple leaflets to full-blown television campaigns. Although Hubbard was highly critical of psychology, he was perfectly willing to use the techniques of motivational research. Careful surveys detainment key words, symbols and colours to which potential customers will react, without critical thought. Hubbard bragged about the manipulative effect of these techniques.

Scientologists are expected to pay out thousands towards courses, and then have to purchsae ridiculously expensive books, course packs, E-meters, and tapes of Hubbard lectures as a prerequisite to taking each course. The tapes generally sell for about [[sterling]]30 each, and Hubbard gave thousands of lectures. Every Scientologist is expected to buy at least two E-meters, ranging from [[sterling]]700 to [[sterling]]2,750 each. The components from which an E-meter is constructed make up only a fraction of this cost.


"Handling truth is a touchy business ... Tell an acceptable truth." L. Ron Hubbard, The Missing Ingredient, 13 August 1970.

Scientology claims over 7 million members internationally, yet an internal membership report for 1987 showed only 40,000: There are also often repeated claims that Hubbard books have sold millions of copies. In fact, Hubbard books have been "hyped" onto best seller lists through carefully orchestrated campaigns. Scientology has probably managed to sell more copies of Hubbard's books than have been printed, by buying back and reselling. One book store even received a consignment which already had its own price labels on.


In the 1960s and 70s, Scientology became notorious for its willingness to litigate. Such litigation was rarely successful, but made the media hesitant to report on Scientology, and caused many critics to withdraw. The pace of litigation slowed considerably with the decline of the Guardian's Office. Only major opponents are now sued. However, litigation against Scientology has increased. It has been reported that at the beginning of 1992, Scientology faced over 700 suits.

In his 1984 ruling in the California Superior Court, Judge Breckenridge stated, "In addition to violating and abusing its own members civil rights, the organization over the years with its `Fair Game' doctrine has harassed and abused those persons not in the Church whom it perceives as enemies."

In the Fair Game law; Hubbard asserted that those ajudged Suppressive by Scientology "May be deprived of property or injured by any means ... may be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed". The continuing use of Fair Game was also established in a London child custody case in 1984, and in a California Appeal Court judgment in 1989.

In this last decision, in the case of Larry Wollersheim versus the Church of Scientology of California, the court upheld Wollersheim's allegation that he had been subjected to Fair Game. Further, the judge ruled:

"...the Church's conduct was manifestly outrageous. Using its position as his religious leader, the Church and its agents coerced Wollersheim into continuing `auditing' although his sanity was repeatedly threatened by the practice ... Wollersheim was compelled to abandon his wife and family through the policy of disconnect. When his mental illness reached such a level he actively planned his suicide, he was forbidden to seek professional help."

In July 1992, the Church of Scientology was found guilty of infiltrating the Toronto, Ontario and Royal Canadian Mounted Police, along with the offices of Revenue Canada, the Ontario Attorney General and the state government.

Thousands of files had been stolen by Hubbard's espionage network.


As the Wollersheim case demonstrated, Scientology "auditing" can have a profoundly destructive effect After a survey of 48 groups, Conway and Siegelman reported that former Scientologists had the highest rate of violent outbursts, hallucinations, sexual dysfunction and suicidal tendencies. They estimated that full recovery from Scientology averaged at 12.5 years.

Members are entirely saturated with Hubbard's delusional and unscientific view of the universe. They come to see themselves as part of a small elite, harassed on all sides by a gigantic conspiracy. Scientologists speak and think in an elaborate language created by Hubbard (Scientology dictionaries run to over 1,000 pages of definitions). They are drilled to present a calm, cheerful appearance, whatever their real feelings. Most become "auditing junkies", unable to face life without regular "sessions". All aspects of the individual's life are invaded, as Hubbard held forth on almost every subject from business management to child rearing.

Scientology induces a phobic reaction towards mental health practitioners, so ex-members are usually unwilling to seek professional help in untangling themselves. This situation is compounded by the inability of most mental health practitioners to understand the cult experience. So most former Scientologists drift into other cult groups, or derivatives of Scientology such as est (the Forum or Landmark), Avatar, Dianasis, Re-Evaluation Co-Counselling, or Idenics.

Mental Health practitioners who have had contact with former Scientologists have diagnosed their condition as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. One psychiatrist has asserted that Hubbard reversed therapies used to reduce obsession, so creating obsessive disorders. Former members report a high incidence of Chronic Fatigue Disorder a lack of motivation and energy. However, as yet no research has been undertaken to confirm these reports.


In June 1992, the Church of Scientology was found guilty of criminal activity by a Canadian jury. Membership in Germany's leading political party is now denied to Scientologist because of the policy of infiltration. Scientology is under investigation in France and Spain. In February 1992, the European Council endorsed a recommendation that the member nations of the EEC should fund information groups to educate the public about New Religious Movements. As yet no action has been taken.


If a friend or relation becomes involved with Scientology, it is important not to attack their decision. A friendly, sympathetic attitude and a willingness to listen are very important. Showing the person material hostile to Scientology will generally only reinforce their infatuation, and make them more defensive and less willing to communicate.

Be honest but not aggressive with your concerns about Scientology.

Allow the person to talk without interruption about the benefits they feel they have received. In fact, allowing the person to talk is crucial, because the need to articulate ideas often clarifies thinking. Don't try to do their thinking for them. Don't interrupt or make sniping comments.

In a friendly environment, they will discover for themselves some of the contradictions inherent in Scientology. If prompted to look for such contradictions they may simply stop listening. When you are sure that the person does not feel threatened, ask if they are willing to look at material critical of Scientology, rather than just presenting them with the material.

Kidnap deprogramming is both morally offensive and illegal. It is also largely unsuccessful in Scientology cases. There are, however, a few consultants who will not resort to kidnapping and have a sufficient awareness of Scientology to be able to help members reconsider their involvement in a non-coercive environment.


Jon Atack, the author of this booklet, was a client of Scientology from 1974 to 1983. Since his resignation from the Church of Scientology, he has consulted to many leading newspapers and magazines, including the Sunday Times, Forbes magazine, Time, the Los Angeles Times and the Reader's Digest. In 1987, he was the main consultant to BBC TV's Panorama documentary. He has also consulted to TVS, Central TV, Granada TV, CBC, NBC, CBS and ABC.

Jon Atack's book, A Piece of Blue Sky (lSBN 0-8184-0499-X), is published by Lyle Stuart Books in the USA, and by Musson Book Company in Canada. A Piece of Blue Sky is a 400page history of Hubbard, his organisations and his techniques. It is available in the UK by calling 01342 316129 (0044 1342 316129 in the rest of Europe).

For a better understanding of Scientology beliefs and techniques, see Hubbard's Volunteer Minister's Handbook (lSBN 0-88404039-9).

For a better understanding of the manipulative nature of Scientology, see Steven Hassan's Combatting Cult Mind Control (lSBN 0-89281-243-5) and Thomas and Jacqueline Keisers' The Anatomy of lllusion (lSBN 0-39805295-6).

Margery Wakefield 's The Road to Xenu is an excellent first-hand account of membership, and includes Bob Penny's thought provoking Social Control in Scientology.

HTML by Martin Poulter and Modemac.