The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Scientology as a Criminal Conspiracy’

Posted on | August 7, 2012 | 34 Comments

This phrase occurs in an article about the bizarre science-fiction cult that my friend Jamie Kirchick published last month:

The broad contours of Scientology’s inception are well-known: In 1950, the pulp sci-fi writer L. Ron Hubbard published a self-help book called Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, which humbly claimed itself to be “a milestone for Man comparable to his discovery of fire and superior to his inventions of the wheel and the arch.” . . .
In 1952, Hubbard decided to merge his bunk scientific claims with his science fiction and market the mixture as a religion. He called it Scientology, or, “the science of knowing how to know answers.” According to Church defectors, and now infamous thanks to South Park, Scientology’s theology is essentially a discarded Hubbard novel. Human beings are the composition of spirits (“thetans”) cast off from the bodies of space aliens detonated 75 million years ago in volcanoes on the planet Teegeeack (also known as Earth) by a galactic warrior named Xenu. Man’s problems today are attributable to “engrams,” or the mental memory of painful experiences caused by the presence of thetans on our humanly bodies, which one can get rid of only through a process of spiritual “auditing,” a sort of counseling session performed on a low-rent lie-detector machine called an “E-Meter.” Those who join Scientology often end up spending vast sums on auditing and other Church gimmicks, leading detractors to characterize Scientology as a pyramid scheme in which members pay ever-vaster sums of money to ascend the Church’s “Operating Thetan levels.” A typical story involves the grief-stricken, 73-year-old widow who took on a $45,000 mortgage to pay for auditing after Scientologists preyed upon her following the death of her husband. . . .

Read the whole thing. It’s hard to believe anyone with an IQ above room temperature could be suckered into believing the nonsense promulgated by Scientology — but then again, is it really more absurd than the beliefs of the Democrat Party?


34 Responses to “‘Scientology as a Criminal Conspiracy’”

  1. crosspatch
    August 7th, 2012 @ 5:41 pm

    Knew someone years ago (around 1990) who lived at a Scientology compound in LA.  He worked a job but had to turn all of his earnings over to the “church” in exchange for living at the facility. He accumulated “credits” for turning over the money and could advance to the next level once he had turned enough over to them.

  2. William James
    August 7th, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

    Definitely a cult– sociologically speaking. Also NOT  related to any other religion but the “self-help religion.” Hubbard wrote lousy novels, too.

  3. matthew w
    August 7th, 2012 @ 5:57 pm

    I never knew all that.
    Only a half a click away from another cult, “JW”

  4. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    August 7th, 2012 @ 6:44 pm

    I knew a guy who published five rules on February 19, 2009 which humbly claimed to be “a milestone for Man comparable to his discovery of fire and superior to his inventions of the wheel and the arch.”  Or maybe that you might get a million hits in a year if you followed them…

  5. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    August 7th, 2012 @ 6:47 pm

    As Crack Emcee would say:  “Have you not been paying attention?”  

  6. Bob Belvedere
    August 7th, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

    Good one.

    FYI: There’s actually a Rule 6 that Stacy has never added to that post of his:

  7. Quartermaster
    August 7th, 2012 @ 7:21 pm

    It’s a marvelous work and a wonder that he survived the avalanche of unpaid bills his poor over stressed wife pelted him with upon his entrance to the tent. I suppose, in that case, avoiding being pelted would be rule 7. As we all know, 7 is the number of completion.

  8. Quartermaster
    August 7th, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

    I had a friend in Ohio, a fellow Professional Engineer, that bought into Dianetics and Scientology. Sound in his professional life, but very eccentric in his personal life. His wife went with him for awhile, then finally talked him out of it. I tried to warn him about, but he didn’t listen to me.

    I always called Scientology “the First Church of The Ka-ching!”

  9. Chris Wysocki
    August 7th, 2012 @ 7:38 pm

    I dunno McCain, do you really need another division of the Net.Kooks Hall Of Fame gunning for you? Because taking on Scientology never ends well.  I was a Usenet admin back in the day and believe me the  Co$ has forgotten more about making your life miserable than Neal Rauhauser and Brett Kimberlin have ever dreamed of.

  10. Thane_Eichenauer
    August 7th, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

    Have you read Ole Doc Metheselah?

  11. JeffS
    August 7th, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

     “Final Blackout” was a decent read. 

    But, by and large, most of his novels were not very good.

  12. John David Galt
    August 7th, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

    The “church” is also quite good at misusing the law to punish anyone who publicly disagrees with them.  See for one example, and links to more.

  13. “Scientology As a Criminal Conspiracy” | hogewash
    August 7th, 2012 @ 8:49 pm

    […] As a Criminal Conspiracy” Posted on 7 August, 2012 by wjjhoge Stacy McCain has a post on L. Ron Hubbard’s […]

  14. PaulLemmen
    August 7th, 2012 @ 9:36 pm

    Or Google any of the hundreds of articles in the Co$ war with the St. Petersburg Times (Now the Tampa Bay Times). Very comprehensive investigative reporting.

  15. rjacobse
    August 7th, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

    I suppose there’s a reason Stacy has that quote — “One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up.” — Arthur Koestler — up in the site header.

  16. Wombat_socho
    August 7th, 2012 @ 10:01 pm

     Their mocking title on the Internets isn’t Co$ for nothing.

  17. Wombat_socho
    August 7th, 2012 @ 10:02 pm

     This just in from last year: Anonymous 1, Co$ 0

  18. richard mcenroe
    August 7th, 2012 @ 10:02 pm

    Want interesting, look into the connections between Hubbard, Aleister Crowley and the JPL….

  19. MrPaulRevere
    August 7th, 2012 @ 10:18 pm

    Don’t take this the wrong way Paul, but maybe you should have aimed higher in your previous career. LRH seemed to have achieved the pinnacle in that field.

  20. W. J. J. Hoge
    August 7th, 2012 @ 10:53 pm

    Science fiction writer Harlan Ellison had this to say about L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology:

    Scientology is bullshit! Man, I was there the night L. Ron Hubbard invented it, for Christ’s sakes! … We were sitting around one night… who else was there? Alfred Bester, and Cyril Kornbluth, and Lester del Rey, and Ron Hubbard, who was making a penny a word, and had been for years. And he said “This bullshit’s got to stop!” He says, “I gotta get money.” He says, “I want to get rich”. And somebody said, “why don’t you invent a new religion? They’re always big.” We were clowning! You know, “Become Elmer Gantry! You’ll make a fortune!” He says, “I’m going to do it.”

  21. Stogie Chomper
    August 7th, 2012 @ 10:55 pm

    Yes, these cultists have been vicious with critics in the past, allegedly  framing one woman for a felony (she was eventually acquitted).  The cultists’ saying that you “are fair game” meant that they could do anything to punish you for your criticism, possibly even murder you.  This particular religion is one of the most absurd yet.

  22. Evilbloggerlady
    August 8th, 2012 @ 12:04 am

    I have heard this too. I did not need the story to know LRH was full of shit.

  23. CPAguy
    August 8th, 2012 @ 1:10 am

    Yes!  Now I finally know what Rule 5 is!

    Thanks, Bob!

  24. McGehee
    August 8th, 2012 @ 7:06 am

     Jet Propulsion Laboratory?

  25. PaulLemmen
    August 8th, 2012 @ 8:14 am


  26. Bob Belvedere
    August 8th, 2012 @ 8:15 am

    Hmmm…just like a certain guy who had everyone blogging about him on one day in late May…hmmm….

  27. Synthia Elizabeth Fagen
    August 8th, 2012 @ 11:48 am

    Yes, due to his “friendship” with John Whiteside Parsons . Fascinating stuff.

  28. richard mcenroe
    August 8th, 2012 @ 11:50 am

     Relying on Harlan Ellison is perhaps not quite as bad as relying on Wikipedia for your history, but:

    In 1946, according to Fred Pohl’s bio “The Way The Future Was,” Hubbard told a gathering of J.W. Campbell’s writers, “Just you watch; I’m going to pull off a scam that will make Barnum look like a piker.”

  29. richard mcenroe
    August 8th, 2012 @ 11:50 am

     Yep.  Quite the story.

  30. richard mcenroe
    August 8th, 2012 @ 11:51 am

    Space rat discovers abandoned ship full of alien medicines and goes traveling; if he doesn’t like your planet he refuses to cure your diseases.  That guy?

  31. Bob Belvedere
    August 8th, 2012 @ 12:16 pm

    Indeed it is [I thought the name sounded familiar]:

    And I rave; and I rape and I rip and I rend

    Everlasting, world without end,

    Mannikin, maiden, Maenad, man,

    In the might of Pan.

    Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! Pan! Io Pan!

  32. Quartermaster
    August 8th, 2012 @ 12:32 pm

    “They” got that right!

  33. JeffS
    August 8th, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

     Harlan Ellison wrote a lot of good stuff, but he sometimes didn’t stop applying his imagination where he should have.

  34. richard mcenroe
    August 8th, 2012 @ 3:21 pm