References | Bibliography | Inventory | App. A, B, C, D
1. Although Lafayette Ronald Hubbard died in 1986, his media and public relations policies are still in use today. Some corporations that use Hubbard's policies make use of the word "Scientology," however, not every "Scientology" organization uses Hubbard's policies exclusively. Other corporations, rather than use the "Scientology" label, express their grateful acknowledgment to "L. Ron Hubbard" somewhere in the text of their published matter. Finally, there are those groups who use Hubbard's material, but make no public mention of the fact. Hubbard also wrote material which is not employed under the "Scientology" label.
Hubbard's media policies have turned communication at an organized level with the media into a tangible asset. For example, in late December of 1996, an Open Letter to German Chancellor Helmut Kohl 1 was published as an advertisement in three major English-language newspapers. The letter, signed by 34 non-Scientologist Hollywood celebrities, implored Chancellor Kohl to bring an end to religious intolerance in Germany. It stated, "In the 1930s, it was the Jews. Today it is the Scientologists." Within a year, the U.S. House of Representatives discussed a proposal that, had it passed, would have condemned Germany for discrimination 2.
The Open Letter to Chancellor Kohl attracted the researcher's attention. This researcher was aware that safeguards to prevent a recurrence of Nazism had been installed in Germany. Nevertheless, the researcher was alarmed in the event that the Scientologist sympathizers could be relating fact or near fact. Subsequently the researcher has translated over 1,400 media articles and a half dozen books and booklets about Scientology from German and Russian to English 3. The researcher found that charges of discrimination were indeed filed by Scientologists against German officials in the human rights court of the Council of Europe. However, the cases were dropped. Vital pieces of evidence, such as names, times and places, were lacking.
The 1997 U.S. congressional proposal did not pass, but every year since then similar proposals have been introduced in the U.S. Congress. All have mentioned Scientology in Germany along the same vein as the 1996 letter to Chancellor Kohl. The yearly reports of religious discrimination are now being cited as proof that religious discrimination exists.
According to the German side of the story, studies have found marked similarities between the methods of Hubbard's technology and Nazism 4. In addition to these disturbing findings, Germany and other European nations have determined that Scientology operates an intelligence service on European soil 5. As a result, Scientology is under government surveillance in various countries overseas.
Scientology's stand against Germany has recently shifted. As of July 2001, Germany is taking second place behind France in celebrity Scientologists' testimony before Congress 6. Based on that testimony, a contributing factor to this shift in position was a new French law that would enable the government to dissolve associations whose members have been repeatedly convicted of crimes. Scientology's concern may be related to prior convictions of its members in France of fraud and inducement to commit suicide 7.
2. Some of Hubbard's policies that were previously unknown have been made part of the public record as a result of search-and-seizures carried out upon Scientology installations and as a result of legal hearings in various countries, including the USA. Many of these policies have also recently become widely available for purposes of research via the internet. This researcher proposes to describe Hubbard's policies dealing with communication in situations dealing with the media.
3. Although media and public relations policies and practices of Lafayette Ronald Hubbard are in use today, they are not always recognized. When they are recognized, they are not always understood. The following are some samples of Hubbard's practices in progress.
In 1996, L. Ron Hubbard's "purification program" was prohibited by the Russian Health Ministry 8, due in large part to the investigation results of A. L. Dvorkin. Within a year, Dvorkin was sued by a small group of organizations for publishing the opinion of the Russian Orthodox Church on "totalitarian cults." Before the lawsuit was heard in court, the Scientology contingent of the litigious group published a letter that solicited for incriminating information on Dvorkin 9.
In 1997, various head librarians throughout the USA received a certain pamphlet 10 from "Freedom for Religions in Germany." In 1998, this pamphlet was cited by the German Office for the Protection of the Constitution as part of a Scientology "hate campaign" 11 against Germany. The pamphlet was cited because it was listed as a source in a German Scientology magazine, "Freiheit." Although nothing in the pamphlet itself overtly indicated that it had been distributed by a Hubbard Scientology organization, the postage was paid for with a Los Angeles Non-Profit Org permit No. 3508. That is also the permit number used by the "Church of Scientology International." 12.
This year in Germany, Robert Minton, a private American citizen, sued German Scientology's "Freiheit" ["Freedom"] magazine for libel. In its defense, the "Freiheit" representative pointed out that there were a large number of newspapers 13 that had previously published the libelous information on Minton, and asserted that a "criminal charge" 14 had been filed against Minton for illegal activities. Minton's representative testified that the alleged "criminal charge" against his client had no basis in fact and that "Freiheit" magazine had used more resources in its attempt to incriminate Minton than it had admitted to.
This year in Florida, private investigators were hired to find crimes of former lead Scientologist Jessie Prince. Prince was indeed charged and tried, but the case against him was dropped. Jurors believed that the "Church of Scientology" had Prince "set up." Mike Rinder of the church's board of directors was reported to have said, "the church wants Prince exposed as a drug user because Prince repeatedly has testified against the church in court cases" 15. Prior to the trial, Rinder is reported to have said, referring to Prince and his associates, "We've been saying that these people, since they arrived, were just a pack of criminals" 16.
This year in a rural town in Pennsylvania, a staff member was looking for material to use for the local newspaper. In the absence of the lead editor 17, four articles that had been sent to the news room from "Bridge Publications" were inadvertently published 18. All four articles praised the same "new" 1990 book 19 by L. Ron Hubbard that promoted the same "purification program" mentioned in the first paragraph of this section. One of these articles emphasized that, in the interest of their children, parents should have the "right information" about drugs. This was followed by information that gave the erroneous impressions that all drugs harmed the human mind and that all drugs accumulated in our bodies as poison unless they were flushed out by Hubbard's "purification program."
To the researcher's knowledge, Hubbard's organizational policies dealing with media have never been evaluated in the USA other than by law enforcement and judicial agencies. At the same time, prominent social scientists (Richardson and van Driel, 1997; Wright, 1997; Skill and Robinson, 1994) have expressed criticism of the media for not being sufficiently versed in cults or new religious movements when reporting upon their actions. Due to an increasing social awareness of new religious reality, the researcher believes analysis of specific methods of communication is necessary to bring about a greater understanding in the field.
4. The intended audience for this research is anyone, academic or otherwise, who works to resolve conflict in communicating with cults or "new religious or philosophical movements." This particular study should be of special interest to people, especially those in the media, who deal with the organizations that use Hubbard's policies. Other anticipated audience are members of government and American taxpayers, as many organizations that use Hubbard's policies are tax-exempt.
5. In conclusion, Hubbard developed communication technology into an applied philosophy. It is the researcher's intention to identify and describe the means by which his legacy organizations get their message across to the media.
B. Proposed Research Method
1. The case study is the method to be used for this research. Organizations that apply Hubbard's policies are the sub-culture being studied. The aspect of the sub-culture are organizational communication techniques and policy. The communication techniques and policy of most interest to the researcher are those that are used by the organization to handle media. Hubbard's techniques and policy can be found in numerous publications, bulletins, policies and memoranda available in various publications.
2. The major authors who have described this research method are: Yin (1993, 1994), Hamel, Dufour and Fortin (1993) and Campbell (1975).
3. Detailed description:
a. Using informants is not a consideration in this research. Hubbard organizations have strict policies against their members communicating with critical researchers. However, virtually all of Hubbard's policy is in writing. Therefore the research data will be gathered from written material. Communications technologies are covered in detail in literature written by Hubbard or by those acting on his behalf.
b. If informants were to be used, they could be at risk of being expelled from the Church of Scientology or of being pressured to disconnect from relatives. Informants will not be used.
c. The kind of relationship the researcher will have with the data gathered will be objective.
d. The types of data collected for the research will be strategies, policies and instructions concerning communication technology and applications of that technology, especially those dealing with the media.
e. Virtually all communication in a Hubbard organization is in writing. However, there are various obstacles imposed upon the readers of Hubbard's literature so that the casual reader could not understand what is written under normal circumstances. One of the most obvious obstacles is that Hubbard used his own definitions for many standard English words. Another is that Hubbard coined words that do not exist in standard English. Beyond merely mechanical methods of altering the message that is gotten across by its media, Hubbard also employed other means, such as selective word substitution and reversal of subject and object. These techniques are documented in writing to train those who are assigned to use Hubbard communication techniques at various organizational levels.
The researcher intended to put specific excerpts of communications technology into context, assign them priority, correctly define the words if non-standard definitions are used and identify other techniques as needed. In retrospect, by virtue of the fact that the researcher was able to obtain actual courses of instruction using the Hubbard policies, the communication technology was already in context. The exception are the nine miscellaneous bulletins in appendix D. The other technique was to set up a matrix that sorted by: communication channels, data (including images), processes and points of contact.
f. The researcher's intent was to generally catalog Hubbard communication technology that has been in use. The emphasis will be on that technology used in media situations. The procedure used to keep track of the process will be a simple inventory. There are certain key words that Hubbard uses to describe interaction in media situations by which these techniques can be identified. These include, but are not limited to, "media," "newspapers," "dissemination," "propaganda," and "public relations" (PR).
g. The material will be reviewed objectively and subjectively, analyzed and catalogued. The analysis will consist of:
1) the questions, such as
a) who is the intended audience of the communication?
b) who originated the communication?
c) what is the intended effect of the communication?
d) how will the communication be interpreted?
e) under what circumstances is the communication valid/not valid?
2) propositions, such as
a) the strategic effectiveness of a message will, in cases, be proportional to the conflict that it implies,
b) communications at the management level will need less expertise to decipher the technique by which a message is communicated, and
c) communications at the media level will need more expertise to decipher the technique by which a message is communicated.
3) unit(s) of analysis, such as
a) strategies, policies and steps of instruction of a communication technique.
4) logic linking the data to the propositions, such as
a) the complexity of the technique can be measured in the number of impediments to understanding the technique that has been put in place, and
5) criteria for interpreting the findings.
h. The research design will lead to a hierarchy of data and technique. Hubbard's policies are very structured and fit functions as outlined in Hubbard's organizational chart.
i. The data is sorted by piece, from the bottom up, and presented from top down.
4. In order to ensure reliability, data will be gathered only from primary sources of policy. Most primary sources of Hubbard policy are copyrighted by either L. Ron Hubbard or the Church of Scientology and are labeled "policy," "order" or "bulletin." The validity of data can be checked by seeing if it concurs with other internal policy.
C. Preliminary Biases, Suppositions and Hypotheses.
1. A literature review has been done on the effect of communications regarding cults and the media. Scholars have overwhelmingly found that religions, in particular "cults," are treated unfairly by the media. Two complaints were that the media seek only to sensationalize catastrophic events and that reporters do not do adequate research. From the researcher's graduate mini-project, a survey of area churches showed that virtually all respondents felt that the public should be warned about deceptive practices in the area of religion. Approximately half of the 50 respondents, however, indicated they were not satisfied with the job the media were doing in warning the public about cults. From the literature review and the mini-project, the researcher has concluded that the media are in need of additional information in this area.
2. In the past, the media have focused solely on the effect of cults. One result of this is that the media have been much criticized for having no background material on their subject matter (Richardson and van Driel, 1997). The purpose of this research is to find out how one organization has organized its approach to the media.
3. The researcher proposes that Hubbard's policies on public communication merit further investigation. The researcher has found that not only have Hubbard's groups shown themselves to be willing to adapt in their approach to the media and to public communication, but that the media has been willing to do the same with Hubbard's organizations.
4. The anticipated findings are that Hubbard's communications techniques will be simple at the top and get more complex as the media are approached. The hypothesis is that communications technology can be used to protect as well as to propagate information. The researcher proposes that most of Hubbard's communication technology will have been developed by the late 1960s and will have stabilized over the last couple of decades.
5. The procedure that the researcher will use to remain "open" to unexpected information is that the researcher will always keep new categories available for unexpected categories of information.
6. The limitations of this study are that while the researcher is familiar with the Hubbard language and policies on communication technology, not all the policies are available. Even if they were, these findings could not be generalized to every non-mainstream group. However, the study could provide one perspective into communication with the growing, complex market of new religious and philosophical movements.