A Brief History of Scientology

L. Ron Hubbard published the book, “Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health” in 1950. Despite failing grades in his 2-year college career, Hubbard felt he had the background to develop a replacement for psychology and psychiatry.The book became a best-seller, and Hubbard began offering courses on how to practice dianetics.
Dianetics claims to be a method of handling mental problems that anyone can do with a friend. The basic theory is that some memories, called “engrams,” are incorrectly stored in our reptilian “reactive” mind and need to all be moved over to our properly functioning “analytical” mind. An “auditor” asks probing questions about the “pre-clear’s” past.
Using an “e-meter” – a crude skin-response galvinometer that the pre-clear is attached to – answers that produce a particular read on the e-meter are then gone over until the e-meter shows that these memories are no longer problematic.
Once all these incorrectly stored memories are moved to the analytical mind, a person is declared a “clear” and should have perfect mental health and improved physical health.
Almost from the beginning, Hubbard had trouble with the law. The New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners initiated legal proceedings against the Hubbard’s Research Foundation for conducting a school of medicine without a license.
In 1952 US Marshalls interrupted Hubbard’s speech to arrest him for failure to return some $9000. [Hubbard Dianetic Foundation Inc. In Bankruptcy No. 379-B-2, District Court of the United States for the District of Kansas; RTF: 51]
The Detroit School of Scientology and Dianetics was raided by the police on behalf of the Detroit Board of Health in March of 1953 for investigation of practicing medicine without a license.
In 1955, a $9000 damage suit was brought in superior court in Phoenix Arizona by Mrs. Estrid Anderson Humphry. In her suit she charged that her house in Paradise Valley, which had been leased by agents of Hubbard and the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation and the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International, had been extensively damaged by persons” with seriously deranged minds” who were placed there for care and treatment.
While dianetics claims to handle the individual’s mental and some physical problems, Hubbard in 1953 created Scientology, which is processing taken after going clear.
Scientology, declared to be a religion by Hubbard, deals with the human soul, called a “thetan.” The problem our thetan has is that it has other “body thetans” attached to it, which take over at times in unexpected and unwanted ways. Scientology’s secret “OT levels” are processes to get these other infesting thetans to detach and leave.
The e-meter is used in these processes as well, only now to find the body thetans rather than engrams.Once all your engrams and then body thetans are eradicated, you are an “Operating Thetan,” or OT, and the claim is you will have absolute control over matter, energy, space and time (MEST).
Scientology’s history shows its disdain for the law and ethics. This history is consistent and a bit frightening.
In 1963 the Food and Drug Administration raided Scientology headquarters and seized their e-meters.The FDA accused Scientology of claiming the e-meter could cure medical ailments. Later all e-meters were ordered to have labels disavowing any such claim.
Scientology found itself under close scrutiny in the US and abroad. The sixties would be a particularly troubling time for Hubbard who moved his base of operations to England in 1963.In 1965 the state of Victoria, Australia banned the practice of Scientology entirely.

” Scientology is evil; its techniques are evil; its practice is a serious threat to the community, medically, morally, and socially; and its adherents are sadly deluded and often mentally ill… (Scientology is) the world’s largest organization of unqualified persons engaged in the practice of dangerous techniques which masquerade as mental therapy.” Justice Anderson, Supreme Court of Victoria

In 1967 Hubbard wrote the famous “Fair Game” law, which allows that anyone declared an enemy of Scientology “may be tricked, sued, or lied to or destroyed.”Also that year Hubbard claimed to have resigned from his position as head of Scientology. He purchased three ships and headed for the high seas.This was the beginning of the Sea Organization, where Scientologists sign a pledge to work in Scientology for one billion years (Scientologists believe in reincarnation).
In 1968 both England and Rhodesia passed restrictions on Scientology.

After years of running the organization from aboard his ship the Apollo, Hubbard settled on a land base in Clearwater, Florida. Hubbard and his crew moved there in 1975.They purchased the Ft. Harrison Hotel and a former bank building in the downtown area under the name United Churches of Florida to hide Scientology’s connection.
Also that year Project Normandy was begun to take over control of the city of Clearwater.
While Scientology expanded slowly, behind the scenes their Guardian ‘s Office was conducting incredible illegal cloak-and-dagger operations against Clearwater’s mayor, Gabe Cazares.At the same time the Guardian’s Office was running operations against the IRS, the Justice Department, and other governmental bodies as well as anyone else perceived to be in their way.
In 1977, based on information from a defector, the FBI raided Scientology in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. The evidence from these raids led to federal convictions of 11 high-ranking Scientologists, including Hubbard’s wife Mary Sue. L. Ron Hubbard himself was in hiding.

In 1978 Hubbard was convicted in absentia of fraud in France for having obtained money for the church under false pretenses.
On January 21, 1986, L. Ron Hubbard passed away.Despite his anti-psychiatric stand throughout his life, the prescription drug Vistaril was found in his system.
In 1989 the US Supreme Court ruled that “fixed donations” for auditing in Scientology are not tax-exempt.
Also in 1991 a Canadian courted granted the largest libel conviction against Scientology wherein crown attorney Casey Hill won a $1.6 million judgment against Scientology’s libel against him.

In November 18, 1995 a healthy but disturbed Lisa McPherson, a 36 year old Scientologist, was taken to Scientology’s Ft. Harrison Hotel.On December 5, she was taken 45 minutes away by van to a Scientologist doctor, where she was pronounced dead.
After having been under constant care of Scientologists in a Scientology hotel, she was severely dehydrated, had lost up to 40 pounds, had bug bites, and had bruises all over her body.

Dr. David Minkoff eventually had his license suspended for a year in his role of Lisa’s treatment.The state filed suit against Scientology but later dropped charges when the medical examiner, Joan Wood, suddenly changed her testimony.

A civil wrongful death suit was scuttled a few years later after extensive assaults from Scientology. The family settled but has yet to be paid by Scientology. Lisa’s story continues to told on the net and in the media.
Scientology today claims to have 10 million members in 129 countries. “Membership,” though, appears to mean anyone who has taken a course sometime in Scientology’s 50 year history.
The International Association of Scientologists, Scientology’s official membership organization, reportedly has less than 100,000 members. The largest concentration of members is in the Los Angeles, California and Clearwater, Florida areas.
Scientology considers L. Ron Hubbard’s writings to be “scripture” and therefore follow all his policies.


Here’s a collection of some terrific writings about Hubbard and the organization he created.
The Creation of ‘Religious’ Scientology” by Professor Stephen Kent
Scientology Auditing and its Offshoots” by Robert Kaufman
Toward a New Model of ‘Cult Control’” by Robert Vaughn Young
The Orwellian Nature of Scientology” by Robert Vaughn Young
Scientology From Inside Out” by Robert Vaughn Young
My Perspective on Auditing” by Stacy Brooks
Scientology’s Rejection of the Family” by Stacy Brooks
Why the So-Called Beliefs of Scientology Matter” by Bob Minton
The Everchanging Tech of Scientology” by Jesse Prince
Why Scientologists Don’t Use Scents” by Jesse Prince
The Hubbard is Bare” by Jeff Jacobsen
Scientology’s Tax Exemption Should Be Rescinded” by Jeff Jacobsen
Wise as a Scientology Front Group” by Jeff Jacobsen

The Literati Contest

In 1999, Bob Minton started a “Literati Contest” on the Internet newsgroup called alt.religion.scientology that resulted in the submission of 12 very insightful essays into the “dark side” or inner workings of the Scientology organization and the real intent of L. Ron Hubbard.
In 2000, the Literatti Contest was continued by the Lisa McPherson Trust.
Official Rules for the Year 2000 Contest, Announcement and Background

2000 Winning Essays

“Scientology: Control, Freedom & Responsibility.”
The LMT asked for essays which would analyze how control, freedom and responsibility operate together or clash within the organization and how these interface with the non-Scientology world. How that is done or presented was up to the essayist. The essayist was also free to choose their own title for the piece.

First Place: Chris Owen
The Control Agenda”   PDF format

Second Place: “Anti-Virus”
Scientology: Soul Hackers”  PDF format

Third Place: “Peter Smith”
Doubletalk: Orwellian Reversal Of Meaning

Special Cartesian Award: Erik W. Snead
Scientology and the Paradoxes of Freedom

Special Junior Division: Astra Woodcraft
When Can I Start My Life?

2000 Honorable Mention

Eldon M. Braun
The Attention Fix

David Cecere
Control, Freedom and Responsibility

Patricia Krenik
Peeling the Onion

Arnie Lerma
The Art of Deception – II

Arel Lucas
Is Freedom It’s Own Reward?

Mark Plummer
What You Are About to Read is Entheta

Cheryl Sola
A World Without

David S. Touretzky
The Hidden Messages in Study Tech

“Christina Wilson”
Rose Colored Glasses

1999 Winning Essays

First Place: Joe Cisar
Doing Hard Time on Planet Earth
(12,000+ words – 79Kb)

Second Place: Scott Mayer
Making God Swallow His Laughter
(11,000 words – 69Kb)

Third Place: Arnie Lerma
The Art of Deception
(11,000 words – 69Kb)

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