We are slowly and carefully teaching the unholy a lesson. It is as follows: We are not a law enforcement agency. BUT we will become interested in the crimes of people who seek to stop us. If you oppose scientology we promptly look up – and find and expose – your crimes. If you leave us alone we will leave you alone.
– L Ron Hubbard
Scientology. Tom Cruise believes in it. That’s not such a great start, is it? Look into his eyes, if you can, when he says that a scientologist is privileged because “he or she has the ability to create new and better realities”. Isn’t the creation of new realities the province of writers … and schizophrenics? New realities? Where? When? How?
Tom Cruise is only one of the public faces of Scientology – and it is a face that most people mock: there are many videos posted on YouTube cataloguing his antics so that you can too. But what is all about? Scientology is founded on the writings of Sci-Fi author L Ron Hubbard and his key text, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. The prolific Hubbard demonstrated his thesis in countless works of fiction and also founded Scientology. Or something like that. It’s all very complicated, with talk of ‘auditing’ and ‘clears’, but one thing is for sure, Hubbard did not have very nice things to say about your average homo.
In Dianetics he wrote, “The sexual pervert (and by this term Dianetics, to be brief, includes any and all forms of deviation in dynamic two such as homosexuality, lesbianism [sic], sexual sadism, etc., and all down the catalog of Ellis and Krafft-Ebing) is actually quite ill physically.” In other words, his source for these ideas was a couple of uptight hacks who claimed to be scientists, or something like that, and not the enlightened Thetan to whom Hubbard would turn to allow him insight into the problems of a troubled world. Or something like that. I couldn’t quite get my head around this metaphysical conceit.
Who was L. Ron Hubbard? What were his credentials? How did he reach these conclusions? Hubbard studied civil engineering at the George Washington University. He skipped a lot of classes, his grades were low, and he left without a degree. This was followed with work as a writer – an astounding 138 novels between 1933 and 1938 – and aviator. Then the war came. As did a couple cases in which he was relieved of command along with a couple instances of requiring psychiatric help. Then he came to write the defining book in the creation of Scientology: Dianetics. Who was better qualified than a Sci-Fi author with a history of psychiatric troubles to pen such a work?
Gay Scientologists have since embarked on the work of reinterpretation. This is how you can tell it has become a Proper Religion: a host of followers pick and choose, then ignore the things they don’t think should apply to them. Just think of these chapters of Dianetics as Scientology’s equivalent to Leviticus.
But it’s ok, they have the following quote from Hubbard: “It has never been any part of my plans to regulate or to attempt to regulate the private lives of individuals. Whenever this has occurred, it has not resulted in any improved condition.” Fair enough. So, once he had changed his mind “all former rules, regulations and policies relating to the sexual activities of Scientologists are cancelled.” When he said this he had resigned as executive director of the church, had just gone through a period of popping pills – it was all very Valley of the Dolls – and was also the self-appointed Commodore of a fleet of Scientologist ships that cruised the Mediterranean. He was waited on by teenage girls who would catch his fag ash and dress him. That sort of thing.
The paragraphs about homosexuality remain in Dianetics however, and this is the real point. In the 1950s Scientologists explored the idea of curing homosexuals, whatever that is supposed to mean. Hubbard said they should be removed from society to prevent immorality and the abuse of children. That writing is still there, and still open to them, in the same way that Leviticus is there for those having a hard time with the idea of sexuality, and rather than working it through seek out a prescriptive message. Plus it’s a cult and who knows what the hell goes on behind its closed doors
Links and Further Reading
For a dispassionate look at the life of L Ron Hubbard read the Wikipedia entry
See Tom Cruise talking about Scientology. Find out why a Scientologist is the only one that can help, even when driving by a car crash.
Scientologists do not brook criticism, especially on the Internet. Read about some cases that the Scientologists have mounted against people who do not agree with them
Explore the dark side of Scientology in detail on this Scientology Watch site
Read all about the principles of Dianetics. Perhaps you can figure out where the word science fits in: