I'M READING another biography of L. Ron Hubbard, this one entitled, Bare-Faced Messiah. I've mentioned before (in this article) that when you encounter resistance to your criticism of Islam, you can sidestep to talking about Scientology, which has many parallels with Islam. Nobody seems to mind when you criticize Scientology (except a Scientologist, of course).
You can criticize something about Scientology, and then say the same thing about Islam, and if someone gives you a bad time about it, you can ask, "Why is it okay to talk about Scientology but not Islam?"
It is no more racist to talk about Islam than Scientology, for example. And you can make that point very effectively and very reasonably, and thereby greatly reduce the flak you take for doing something everyone in free nations should be engaged in: Religious and political criticism and free discussion. What's the point of free speech if we aren't exercising it?
Anyway, below are eight excerpts from Bare-Faced Messiah. As you read, I'd like you to consider what a conversation might be like if you said, "I was reading something about Scientology today that really surprised me." Then talk about it for a bit. And then say, "It reminded me of something very similar about Islam." And talk about that for a bit. This is received with less resistance than talking about Islam only. Give it a try and you'll see what I mean.
Here are the eight excerpts from the book:
1. While Hubbard (L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology) was skirmishing with the FBI, he was also tightening his grip on the Scientology movement and urging his followers to take action against anyone attempting to practise Scientology outside the control of the 'church'. He derided apostates as 'squirrels' and recommended merciless litigation to drive them out of business. 'The law can be used very easily to harass, and enough harassment on somebody who is simply on the thin edge anyway, well knowing that he is not authorized, will generally be sufficient to cause his professional decease,' he wrote in one of his interminable bulletins, casually adding, 'If possible, of course, ruin him utterly.'
In the same bulletin he offered the benefit of his advice to any Scientologists unlucky enough to be arrested. They were to instantly file a $100,000 civil damages suit for molestation of 'a Man of God going about his business', then go on the offensive 'forcefully, artfully, and arduously' and cause 'blue flames to dance on the courthouse roof until everybody has apologized profusely'. The only way to defend anything, Hubbard wrote, was to attack. 'If you ever forget that, you will lose every battle you are ever engaged in.' It was a philosophy to which he would adhere ardently all his life...
2. The same month as the Freedom Congress, the Central Intelligence Agency opened a file, No. 156409, on L. Ron Hubbard and his organization. CIA agents trawled through police, revenue, credit and property records to try and unravel Hubbard's tangled corporate affairs. It was a task of herculean difficulty, for the Church of Scientology was a cryptic maze of ad hoc corporations. The printed notepaper of the Academy of Scientology gave only a hint of its labyrinthine structure — on the left-hand side of the page was a list of no less than seventeen associated organizations, ranging from the American Society for Disaster Relief to the Society of Consulting Ministers.
Agents traced a considerable amount of property owned either by Hubbard, his wife, son, or one of the daunting number of 'churches' with which they were associated, but the report quickly became bogged down in a tangle of names and addresses: 'The Academy of Religious Arts and Sciences is currently engaged as a school for ministers of religion which at the present time possesses approximately thirty to forty students. The entire course consists of $1500 to $1800 worth of actual classroom studies...The public office is located at 1810-12 19th Street N.W. The corporations rent the entire building...
'The Hubbard Guidance Center, located at 2315 15th Street, N.W., occupies the entire building which consists of three floors and which was purchased by the SUBJECT Organization. The center also rents farm property located somewhere along Colesville Road in Silver Spring, Maryland, on a short-term lease. The center formerly operated a branch office at 8609 Flower Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland. In addition to the Silver Spring operation, the center has a working agreement with the Founding Church of Scientology of New York, which holds classes at Studio 847, Carnegie Hall, 154 West 57th Street, New York City. Churches of this denomination number in excess of one hundred in the United States...'
3. While he was still in Melbourne, Hubbard received an urgent telephone call from Washington with some bad news. Nibs (Hubbard's son), he was told, had 'blown'. To Scientologists, 'blowing the org' (leaving the church) was one of the worst crimes in the book: it was almost unbelievable that the highly-placed son and namesake of the founder would take such a step. Nibs had simultaneously held five posts in Scientology's increasingly cumbersome bureaucratic structure: he was Organizational Secretary of the Founding Church of Scientology, Washington, DC; Chief Advanced Clinical Course Instructor; Hubbard Communications Office World Wide Technical Director; and a Member of the International Council.
[Nibs] failed to take into account the fact that his father would automatically view his defection as an act of treachery...
4. Returning to a familiar theme, Hubbard urged his followers to defend Scientology by attacking its opponents: 'If attacked on some vulnerable point by anyone or anything or any organization, always find or manufacture enough threat against them to cause them to sue for peace...Don't ever defend, always attack. Don't ever do nothing. Unexpected attacks in the rear of the enemy's front ranks work best.'
5. 'It was not really possible to question what was going on,' explained David Mayo, a New Zealander and a long-time member of the Sea Org (the headquarters of Scientology worldwide, which was a small fleet of ships), 'because you were never sure who you could really trust. To question anything Hubbard did or said was an offense and you never knew if you would be reported. Most of the crew were afraid that if they expressed any disagreement with what was going on they would be kicked out of Scientology. That was something absolutely untenable to most people, something you never wanted to consider. That was much more terrifying than anything that might happen to you in the Sea Org.
'We tried not to think too hard about his behaviour. It was not rational much of the time, but to even consider such a thing was a discreditable thought and you couldn't allow yourself to have a discreditable thought. One of the questions in a sec-check (a security check, using a lie detector, which is done frequently throughout the organization) was, "Have you ever had any unkind thoughts about LRH?" and you could get into very serious trouble if you had. So you tried hard not to.'
6. Now sixty-two, Hubbard was also beginning to ponder his place in posterity. The Church of Scientology had been swift to make use of the recently enacted Freedom of Information Act, which had revealed that government agencies held a daunting amount of material about Scientology and its founder in their files, much of it less than flattering. Hubbard, who had never been fettered by convention or strict observance of the law, conceived a simple, but startlingly audacious, plan to improve his own image and that of his church for the benefit of future generations of Scientologists. All that needed to be done, he decided, was to infiltrate the agencies concerned, steal the relevant files and either destroy or launder any damaging information they contained. To a man who had founded both a church and a private navy this was a perfectly feasible scheme. The operation was given the code name Snow White — two words that would figure ever more prominently over the next few months in the communications between the Guardian's Office in Los Angeles and the Commodore's hiding place in Queens, New York.
7. At six o'clock on the morning of 8 July 1977, 134 FBI agents armed with search warrants and sledgehammers, simultaneously broke into the offices of the Church of Scientology in Washington and Los Angeles and carted away 48,149 documents. They would reveal an astonishing espionage system which spanned the United States and penetrated some of the highest offices in the land.
8. This is a quote from the government sentencing memorandum on Mary Sue Hubbard and the others, October 1978: "The crime committed by these defendants is of a breadth and scope previously unheard of. No building, office, desk or file was safe from their snooping and prying. No individual or organization was free from their despicable conspiratorial minds. The tools of their trade were miniature transmitters, lock picks, secret codes, forged credentials, and any other device they found necessary to carry out their conspiratorial schemes. It is interesting to note that the founder of their organization, unindicted co-conspirator L. Ron Hubbard, wrote in his dictionary entitled Modern Management Technology Defined that "Truth is what is true for you." Thus, with the founder's blessings, they could wantonly commit perjury as long as it was in the interests of Scientology."
All of this could be pulled straight out of the Muslim Brotherhood's playbook. Go on the offensive. Attack people who impede your goals. Use the courts to harass. Be merciless until people are apologizing profusely. Invoke "freedom of religion" as a cloak of protection. Create lots of different important-sounding organizations, and make the names seem mainstream and respectable, and try not to use your own religion's name in the title to throw people off your trail and to make it seem like a coalition of many religions. Create a "labyrinthine structure" of organizations to make it difficult for anyone to follow the money. Consider apostates as enemies to be destroyed. Criticism of the religion or the founder is completely forbidden, resulting in unthinking, uncritical (and therefore fanatical) followers. Scientologists use a lie detector. Islam uses Allah, who knows every thought you think and will judge you and punish you accordingly. Infiltrate government agencies in order to protect and promote the religion. And lying is allowed if it is done to further the goals of the religion.
Begin to talk about Scientology and Islam together and your conversations will be more interesting, less contentious, and more productive. With this new strategy, we should be able to reach more people in less time. Our goal is to educate non-Muslims, focusing on the undecided, because whoever is most organized will win.
Read about the Muslim Brotherhood's labyrinthine structure of their organizations.
Read about Scientology's "Fair Game" policy.
Read more about Scientology.
There's a biography of Hubbard that I think is the best book to read for an overview of Scientology. The book is called Messiah or Madman?