ESSAY: The Corruption of Scientology

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Chris Owen

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Mar 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/12/98
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[a new essay, at last! I'll upload it to a Web server soon. In the meantime,
I'd welcome any comments you might have...]

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The Corruption of Scientology

How "the road to Total Freedom" was paved with gold

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CONTENTS

1. Introduction

2. 1930s & 1940s: Bilking the guillible

3. 1950-52: Boom and bust

4. The foundation of Scientology

5. "Promote until the floors cave in"

6. Creaming off the profits

7. Stashing the cash

8. Greed is good

9. Modern Times

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Introduction

One of the most controversial aspects of that controversial organisation,
the Church of Scientology, is its financial dealings. The Church's
corporate structure is fiendishly complicated, involving scores of entities
in dozens of countries, which are supposedly "each totally and legally
independent from one another, connected only by ecclesiastical bonds" 1 .
The complexity of the structure failed to deter the US Internal Revenue
Service from investigating Scientology's financial dealings following the
Church's exemption from taxes in 1957. The exemption was revoked in 1967,
leading to a 26-year legal battle which was resolved in somewhat peculiar
circumstances in 1993, with exemption restored to Scientology and its
associated entities. What had the IRS discovered and why did they mount
against Scientology what insiders claim to have been the biggest
investigation in its history? The answer was simple: Scientology had
operated corruptly and fraudulently for years under the cover of a
respectable tax-exempt religious institution. 2

The story of Scientology's corruption by its leaders is an extraordinary
and unedifying one, but the story really begins many years before
Scientology's foundation in 1952. It begins, as does all else in
Scientology, with that extraordinary and perplexing man, L. Ron Hubbard.

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1930s & 1940s: Bilking the guillible

In 1940, L. Ron Hubbard - the man who was to found Scientology - was a
down-at-heel science fiction author whose finances were so tight that,
rather than face expensive hospital bills, he had been forced to keep his
ailing infant son L. Ron Jr. in a makeshift incubator made from a cupboard
drawer lined with blankets and kept warm with an electric light bulb. 3
This helps to explain, though it doesn't excuse, Hubbard's use of classic
con techniques to obtain money and goods. During the 1930s he would buy
goods on payment from local department stores, without any intention of
meeting the payments but secure in the knowledge that it would be months
before they got round to repossessing their property, which he could use in
the meantime. Similarly, he represented himself as being the proprietor of
"Yukon Harbor Marine Ways" - which of course did not exist, but the
expensive paper and fancy letterhead enabled him to buy material for his
boat wholesale prices. 4

In a more serious vein, Hubbard turned to outright fraud after the Second
World War. After the end of the war he had taken up lodgings with Jack
(John) Parsons, the brilliant rocket scientist who founded the legendary
Jet Propulsion Laboratory but lived an extraordinary double life as a black
magician. Hubbard, Parsons and Sara "Betty" Northrup - Parsons' girlfriend,
later Hubbard's second wife and willing participant in sex magic ceremonies
involving both men - pooled their funds in March 1946 to form a company
called Allied Enterprises. It would buy yachts in Florida and sell them for
a profit in California. Parsons put up $20,970.80, Hubbard $1,183.91 and
Sara nothing (though she was an equal partner). In May 1946, Hubbard and
Sara went to Florida to buy boats. Having bought two schooners and a yacht,
they then went to ground without any attempt to transport the boats to
California for sale. In June, Parsons went to Florida to track down the
runaways. In the meantime, one of his associates, Louis Culling, made some
enquiries and soon discovered the truth, which he cabled to the infamous
English black magician Aleister Crowley:

"As far as I can ascertain, Brother John [Parsons] has put in all
of his money . . . Meanwhile, Ron and Betty [Sara Northrup] have
bought a boat for themselves in Miami for about $10,000 and are
living the life of Riley, while Brother John is living at rock
bottom, and I mean rock bottom. It appears that originally they
never secretly intended to bring this boat around to the
California coast to sell at a profit, as they told Jack, but
rather to have a good time on it on the east coast . . ." 5

The unfortunate Parsons brought suit in July but only recovered two of the
boats, half of his legal costs and a $2900 promissory note from Hubbard.
The other boat was sold by Hubbard to clear his own debts. He and Parsons
never met again.

It was probably a similar short-term financial shortage which in 1948
landed Hubbard in court for the first and only time in his life, when he
was charged and convicted of petty theft by passing forged checks. He was
arraigned in San Gabriel on 19th August 1948, where he pleaded not guilty
and a trial was fixed for 31st August 1948. When the day came he changed
his plea to guilty and was fined $25. Unfortunately the relevant file was
destroyed in March 1955 during a routine weeding-out of papers, so the
circumstances of the case are not now known. 6

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1950-52: Boom and bust

Considering Hubbard's record of financial duplicity during his thin years,
it was probably too much to expect perfect propriety when in 1950 his book
Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health unexpectedly became a
massive success and a nationwide fad in the US. With over 150,000 book
sales inside a year, Hubbard soon became a very wealthy man and took full
advantage of his newfound status of mental self-improvement guru. At the
Dianetic Foundation in Elizabeth, New Jersey, student Dianetic therapists
were charged $500 to (as Hubbard put it) "hang around the office and watch
what was going on". August 1950 saw him in California lecturing for a month
to 300 students at a cost of $500 per head, that event alone bringing in
$150,000 - the equivalent of a million dollars or more at 1998 prices.
Professional Dianetic therapy ("auditing") was charged at $25 per hour. 7
By the end of 1950, the six Dianetic Foundations were taking in millions of
dollars between them, doing a roaring trade despite the high prices
charged. The science fiction author A.E. van Vogt, who headed the Los
Angeles Foundation, recalled doing little but tear open envelopes and pull
out $500 cheques from people who wanted to take an auditor's course. 8

By 1952, however, the Foundations were all bankrupt and Hubbard was being
pursued by his creditors. What had gone wrong?

What had gone wrong was largely the fault of Hubbard himself. Perhaps hung
up on memories of his earlier poverty - somewhat ironic, considering that
his Dianetic therapy was supposed to eliminate painful memories - he had
behaved recklessly with the vast income of the Foundations. The expenditure
regime was based on a premise that Dianetics would go on expanding
indefinitely. There was no accounting, no organization, no financial
strategy or control. One member of the Elizabeth Foundation resigned in
protest at this, when one month $90,000 income was received but only
$20,000 could be accounted for. There is little doubt that much of the
missing money went into Hubbard's pocket, whom early associates described
as having "spent money like water". A.E. van Vogt recalled: "One day the
bank manager called me. He told me Mr Hubbard was in the front office and
wanted to draw a cashier's cheque for $56,000 and was it all right to give
it to him. I said, 'He's the boss.' " 9

He was not, however, boss enough to be satisfied. As the Dianetics boom
tailed off, the Foundations slipped inexorably into a financial crisis from
which there was to be no escape. Hubbard refused to acknowledge his own
responsibility for the mess and descended into a paranoid fixation on
supposed convoluted plots laid against him by Soviet Russia and the
American Psychiatric Association. He began writing rambling letters to the
FBI accusing his wife and various Foundation staff of being Communist
agents.

The freefall was halted for a while by a millionaire Dianeticist, Don
Purcell, and Hubbard's operations moved to the latter's home town of
Witchita, Kansas. But it soon became apparent that Hubbard had lost any
sense of direction he might have possessed: staff were hired and fired
arbitrarily as his attention and enthusiasm flitted from project to
project, from one grandiose scheme to another. Dianetics itself was clearly
a spent force - a major conference of Dianeticists organized in Wichita at
the end of June 1951 only attracted 112 delegates. Hubbard desperately
tried to revive income by increasing the price of a package of Dianetics
books and tapes from $1,000, to $1,500, to $2,000 and finally to $5,000
within only three months, but to no avail: in February 1952, the Witchita
Foundation was wound up. Its final accounts revealed an income of $142,000
and expenditure of $205,000. Hubbard had received fees amounting to nearly
$22,000 while salaries for all the remaining staff only accounted for
$54,000. The unfortunate Purcell found himself inundated with debts and
Hubbard's unpaid bills, some going back as far as 1948.

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The foundation of Scientology

Undaunted by the failure of Dianetics, Hubbard moved to Phoenix, Arizona to
develop his "science of the mind" into an exotic new form which he called
Scientology. Unlike the relatively fragmented Dianetics movement, the new
movement was rigidly centralised under Hubbard's absolute control;
independent Dianetics/Scientology groups inside and outside the US were
ruthlessly crushed out of existence. The new organisation was, at first,
avowedly secular, operating under the name of the "Hubbard Association of
Scientologists International" (HASI) - no suggestion of it being a
"church". But Hubbard evidently saw strong commercial advantages to
claiming religious status. Several of his associates, the writer Harlan
Ellison and publisher Lloyd Arthur Eshbach amongst them, recalled Hubbard
saying on a number of occasions that "if a man really wanted to make a
million dollars, the best way to do it would be to start a religion". 10

Religious status carried significant tax benefits, as well as making the
organisation more respectable and (so he hoped) less open to criticism. On
April 1953, he wrote a long letter to Helen O'Brien, the head of the
Philadelphia branch of the HASI, discussing the possibility of setting up a
chain of HASI clinics or 'Spiritual Guidance Centers'. They could make
'real money', he noted, if each clinic could count on ten or fifteen
students a week, each paying $500 for twenty-four hours of auditing. He had
clearly previously discussed the prospect of converting Scientology into a
religion. 'I await your reaction on the religion angle,' he wrote. 'In my
opinion, we couldn't get worse public opinion than we have had or have less
customers with what we've got to sell. A religious charter would be
necessary in Pennsylvania or NJ to make it stick. But I sure could make it
stick.' 11

In December 1953, Hubbard incorporated three new churches - the Church of
American Science, the Church of Scientology and the Church of Spiritual
Engineering - in Camden, New Jersey. The signatories of the deed of
incorporation were Hubbard, his third wife Mary Sue and his daughter
Henrietta. On 18 February 1954, the Church of Scientology of California was
incorporated. Its objects, inter alia, were to 'accept and adopt the aims,
purposes, principles and creed of the Church of American Science, as
founded by L. Ron Hubbard'. Another Church of Scientology was incorporated
in Washington DC and throughout 1954 Hubbard urged Scientology
organisations around the United States to convert their operations into
independent churches. Executives of the Hubbard Association of
Scientologists International henceforth described themselves as
'ministers', and some of the more flamboyant even took to wearing clerical
collars and pre-fixing their names with 'Reverend'. This become systematic
by the mid-1960s, when Scientology was coming under increasing criticism
from governments and newspapers; there is a clear correlation between
Scientology's claims of religiosity and major outbreaks of criticism of the
organisation and its methods.

Scientology had by now spread across the United States, into Europe, Africa
and Australasia, often building on established Dianetics groups in the
English-speaking countries. Hubbard adopted a McDonalds-style franchising
system which proved highly successful. Every aspect of Scientology was
rigorously copyrighted and trademarked, even including the name "L. Ron
Hubbard". Anyone wanting to use Scientology materials had to obtain them
from an approved Scientology franchise - they were later retitled
"missions" to play down the overt commerciality of the arrangement - which
had purchased a license from Hubbard to use his writings and lectures. Any
unauthorised use or adaptation of Scientology met with a strong response,
the people responsible being denigrated as "squirrels" or "Suppressive
Persons" because they were "a bunch of nuts". Hubbard ordered his followers
to harass competitors out of business:

"A person or an organisation using Dianetics or Scientology
wrongly or without rights, or a wildcat magazine, is best shut
down or shut up by hiring a private detective. Tell the detective
'We don't care if they know you're investigating them for us. In
fact, the louder the better.' " 12

"If you discovered that some group calling itself 'Precept
Processing' had set up and established a series of meetings in
your area... you would do all you could to make things
interesting for them. In view of the fact that the HASI holds
copyrights for all such material...the least that could be
done...is the placement of a suit against them for using
materials of scientology without authority...

The purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage rather than
to win. 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. If possible, of
course, ruin him utterly." 13

"[Members of the breakaway group Amprinistics] are each fair
game, can be sued or harassed ...

(2) Harass these persons in any possible way...

(4) Tear up any meeting held and get the names of those attending
and issue SP [Suppressive Person] orders on them and you'll have
lost a lot of rats." 14

Having destroyed any potential competitors, Hubbard set about squeezing as
much money out of Scientology as possible. The organisation was not large
numerically (the Philadelphia Doctorate Course, seventy-two hours of
Hubbard lectures which are still sold today, was attended by just
thirty-eight people) but the loyalty of its members made it possible to
charge high sums - a practice which became increasingly prevalent from the
1970s to the present day. Hubbard, however, was not content with a small
but profitable membership; he wanted to lead a mass movement earning
millions of dollars. So he turned his mind to the question of recruitment.

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"Promote until the floors cave in"

Scientology's methods of recruiting new members are amongst the more
unpleasant aspects of the organisation. This is discussed at length in two
separate essays (see "Promote until the floors cave in" and "The
Personality Test"), but it is worth touching on briefly to emphasise how
Scientology has, from the start, operated on a commercial basis. 15 The
British sociologist Roy Wallis provided what is probably the best summation
of the way Scientology operates - it is an "enrolment economy" dependent on
a constant flow of new members, whom it rapidly turns into "deployable
agents" tasked with further recruitment. The emphasis was on gaining more
and more members -

"... promote until the floors cave in because of the number of
people - and don't even take notice of that, just keep on
promoting." 16

This, in theory, should have led to exponential growth - during the 1950s,
Hubbard claimed that membership was doubling every six months, which may
have been true at that time- but in reality Scientology's growth has been
hindered by the Church's bad reputation, the gruelling work expected of a
staff member and the high costs of auditing, books and equipment. On the
Church's own figures (in the 1992 edition of What is Scientology?), almost
50% of members drop out after two years or less, and anecdotal evidence
suggests a far higher wastage rate. This necessitates a constant effort to
recruit fresh blood - replacements must be found for at least a quarter of
the Church's membership each year merely for the organisation to avoid
shrinkage.

The methods used have varied from the deeply distasteful to the
demonstrably deceitful. In 1956, Hubbard proposed "Three methods of
dissemination". These were: placing adverts for "personal counselling" of
troubled individuals, making no mention of Scientology, the intention being
to steer them into "weekly group processing units"; advertising for polio
victims to contact a "research foundation investigating polio" - again, no
mention of Scientology; and scouring the newspapers to find accident
victims to contact, whereupon the Scientology recruiter would "represent
himself to the person or the person's family as a minister whose compassion
was compelled by the newspaper story concerning the person." 17 Anyone
whose name gets onto a Scientology organisation's records as a possible
recruit gets sent numerous leaflets, magazines and handwritten letters. Roy
Wallis received one which ended amusingly and revealingly:

"p.s. please excuse the terrible typing but this is the 73rd
letter I have typed today and my fingers are aching." 18

The most visible recruitment method is the notorious "Personality Test" or
Oxford Capacity Analysis (OCA) - a so-called psychological analysis, rigged
to produce a plotted curve on a chart which supposedly shows that the
testee has a serious psychological problem. This, naturally, can only be
cured through Scientology. The vigorous attempts by Scientology recruiters
to get people in off the street to undergo the OCA have not done any good
for their reputation - people often seem to regard them as a nuisance and
the streets near Scientology offices are frequently littered with
thrown-away leaflets - but they are undoubtedly effective. Scientology's
figures (in What is Scientology?, 1992 ed.) suggest that nearly one in five
members are recruited this way, and anecdotal evidence supports this
picture.

New recruits to Scientology are quickly given training in recruitment
techniques so that they can market the OCA and attract still more people -
in Roy Wallis' phrase, they are turned into "deployable agents". It is in
this regard that Scientology is most overtly commercialised. The particular
method used is called the "Big League Sales Technique", adopted by Hubbard
in 1972 from Big League Sales Closing Techniques, a book "written by Les
Dane, an experienced US super-salesman" and adapted into a Scientology
framework in the "Big League Registration Series" of policy letters. 19

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Creaming off the profits

By the late 1950s, Hubbard was in clover again. Scientology's membership
was steadily rising into the tens of thousands and income was rising
accordingly. Between June 1956 and June 1959, the gross receipts of the
Founding Church of Scientology in Washington, D.C. rose from $102,604 to
$247,674. More than 90% of this income came from the sales of processing
and training services, including sales of E-Meters. Additional income was
realized from the sales of examinations and tests, tapes, and books, from
minimal donations, and from various other sources. In 1957, the US Internal
Revenue Service granted the Founding Church exemption from Federal income
taxes, in the belief that Scientology was a corporation "organized and
operated exclusively for religious ... or educational purposes, ... no part
of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private
shareholder or individual ..."

But unknown to the IRS, Hubbard and his family were helping themselves to
large quantities of the Church's income. From the inception of the Founding
Church in 1954 through to March 1957, Hubbard was paid a modest salary of
$125 a week ($6,500 a year). In 1957, with money streaming in, he began to
cream off the profits under the euphemistically-named "proportional pay
plan", paid in lieu of salary, amounting to 10 percent of the gross income
of the Founding Church. Other Scientology groups similarly paid a "tithe",
again usually 10 percent. In addition, Hubbard received royalties on his
numerous Scientology books, as well as lecture fees and other incidental
income. Between June 1955 and June 1959, Hubbard received over $108,000 in
royalties from the Founding Church and other Scientology organisations. In
total, he was raking in over $250,000 a year - considerably more than the
President of the United States. The rest of the family got a cut as well.
His wife Mary Sue obtained over $11,000 from the Founding Church in rents
and unexplained loans; his son, L. Ron Hubbard Jr, received about $1,500 in
loans and expenses; his daughter, Kay, received $3,242 in "salary" and
"wages" although there was no record of her ever actually performing work
for the Founding Church. 20

The IRS eventually discovered the questionable financial practices in which
Scientology was engaged and, in 1967, revoked the tax exemptions of the
Founding Church and all other Scientology entities. Three reasons were
given: (1) the Church's income was inuring to the benefit of Scientology
practitioners; (2) the Church's activities were commercial; and (3) the
Church was serving the private interests of L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology
practitioners. This set the scene for an epic 26-year battle between the US
Federal authorities and Scientology, which involved thousands of lawsuits
on both sides, large-scale espionage operations carried out by Scientology
against the IRS and other Federal agencies and by the IRS against
Scientology, and ultimately ended in a capitulation by the IRS in some
rather odd circumstances. (See the "Scientology versus the IRS" pages for
more details.)

As far as Hubbard's financial fortunes were concerned, though, it made
little difference. Scientology operations in the US had been divided
amongst a complexity of corporations and fronts, the lead one of which was
the Church of Scientology of California (CSC, which also wholly owned and
operated Scientology operations in the United Kingdom). In 1966, Hubbard
established a motley fleet of ships in the Mediterranean and "resigned" as
President and Executive Director of the Church, though - significantly -
this was not filed with the English Registrar of Companies until 1969.
However, Scientology organisation charts continued continued to place him
in the top position. He also held the rank of Commodore, the highest rank
in the Sea Organization, which was an elite fraternity of Scientologists.
He kept control over the Church policy by authoring numerous policy
letters; no policy was valid unless he approved it. He made numerous
administrative decisions and was closely involved in the Church's
intelligence operations against critics of Scientology and various
governments in Europe, Africa and North America.

Most strikingly of all, he retained total control over Scientology's
financial affairs and continued to use its income for his own advantage. He
was a signatory on all Churches of Scientology bank accounts. His approval
was required for all financial planning. He decided to open Swiss bank
accounts for the Church of Scientology of California and to put them in the
name of Operation Transport Corporation Ltd (OTC), a Panamanian company
judged by the US courts to be "a sham corporation"; millions of dollars
were transferred between OTC's accounts, Hubbard's personal accounts and
his personal safe aboard the Sea Org flagship Apollo.

Scientology had become big business, and the sums of money involved were
very considerable indeed. The profits of CSC alone amounted to
$1,494,617.53 in 1970, $881,131.18 in 1971, and $1,707,287.17 in 1972; its
gross income averaged about twice that. L. Ron and Mary Sue Hubbard
likewise profited. CSC paid them salaries totalling $20,249.27 in 1970,
$49,647.61 in 1971, and $115,679.76 in 1972. In addition, all the living
expenses of the Hubbard family were paid for by CSC - $31,720 in 1970. Then
there were the royalty payments due from sales of books and E-meters, paid
on a weekly basis and priced according to a formula devised by Hubbard
himself - the minimum sale price was to be five times the printing cost
plus two times the cost of postage to the church furthest from the
American-based printers. (The formula has since been revised, presumably
upwards given the increasing cost of Scientology materials). Royalty
payments netted Hubbard $104,618.27 in 1972 alone. "Creative accounting"
also appears to have played a part. Sir John Foster's 1971 inquiry into
Scientology in Britain highlighted the curious fact that while directors'
salaries between 1965-1968 averaged only about £2,800, payments of between
£70,000-80,000 were made annually to cover "expenditure of United States
Mailing List and Promotion." The nature of this expenditure was never
explained. 21

On top of all of that, when L. Ron Hubbard "resigned" in 1966, he told the
press that he had forgiven the Church a $13 million debt. However, behind
the scenes, an "LRH Finance Committee" had been established to determine
how much Scientology organisations needed to pay back to Hubbard. The $13
million "debt" included £2 million (then $4.8 million) for Saint Hill Manor
in England. But in April that same year he had told the UK Inland Revenue
that Saint Hill Manor was worth only £17,707.7/6 (then $42,494), i.e. less
than 1% of the sum which he was being "repaid". Other so-called debts
mysteriously included the purchase price of the yacht Magician in which
Hubbard had sailed to Alaska in 1940, long before the appearance of
Scientology and Dianetics. 22

Despite the fact that such debts had supposedly been waived by Hubbard,
from around the time of his "resignation" the practice of tithing 10% of
gross Scientology income to him was systemised under the euphemisms of "LRH
Debt Repayment" or "Founding Debt Repayment" (sometimes also called 'LRH
RR' or "LRH 10%"). A 1968 letter from the Flag division (headquartered
aboard Hubbard's flagship, Apollo) to the Advanced Org Los Angeles (AOLA)
discussed the need to build up cash reserves aboard the Apollo to repay L.
Ron Hubbard quickly. Each Scientology organisation had a Flag Banking
Officer (FBO) to supervise the organisation's finances; FBO correspondence
in March 1969 concerned ways to send loan repayment tithes from AOLA to L.
Ron Hubbard, then on board the Apollo, in a negotiable form other than
dollars to avoid possible losses from a feared devaluation of the dollar.

The actual amount of money involved is unclear but certainly amounted to
tens, probably hundreds, of thousands of dollars annually. Financial
records for the period October 9, 1972 to December 28, 1972 indicate that
payments designated either 'LRH Repayments,' 'Founding Debt Payment,' or
'Per HCO Policy Letter 7 Sept. 72,' totalling $19,324.41 were made during
this six-week period. John McLean, one of the witnesses called by the IRS
in support of its revocation of Scientology's tax exemption, testified in
court that the average weekly income of U.S. Scientology organizations
controlled by Flag was about $1 million and ranged as high as $1,400,000
during that year, implying an annual income of between $50-70 million - far
in excess of anything declared to the US tax authorities. Statistics were
posted aboard the Apollo each week showing the amount of weekly payments to
L. Ron Hubbard. These ranged between $7,000 to $22,000 per week. It was not
surprising that Hubbard quickly became a millionaire many times over.

With such large sums of money pouring into his own pocket, it was probably
no coincidence that in 1972 Hubbard revised the governing policy of
Scientology. In a statement which is still official Scientology policy
today, he listed the twelve key points of Scientology's financial affairs:

"A. MAKE MONEY

B. Buy more money made with allocations for expense (bean
theory).

C. Do not commit expense beyond future ability to pay.

D. Don't ever borrow.

E. Know different types of orgs and what they do.

F. Understand money flow lines not only in an org but org to org
as customers flow upward.

G. Understand EXCHANGE of valuables or service for money (P/L
Exec Series 3 and 4).

H. Know the correct money pools for any given activity.

I. Police all lines constantly.

J. MAKE MONEY.

K. MAKE MORE MONEY.

L. MAKE OTHER PEOPLE PRODUCE SO AS TO MAKE MONEY.

A small sack of beans will produce a whole field of beans.
Allocate only with that in mind and demand money be made ..." 23

-------------------------------------------------

Stashing the cash

At the same time, Hubbard was obsessed with the danger of Scientology's
income being cut off by governments being manipulated, so he believed, by a
shadowy conspiracy of Communists, neo-Nazis and psychiatrists. In a policy
still followed today, "Sea Org Reserves" were established to provide a
fallback fund to enable Scientology to continue operating even having
suffered a total cut-off of income. Hubbard ordered:

"If a management unit such as a Bureaux, a Continental Liaison
Office, an OT-Liaison Office or any agent thereof such as a
Guardian or FBO or Flag Rep is any good, THE NEAREST SERVICE ORG
WILL MAKE AMPLE MONEY TO PAY the managing unit and HAVE LOTS LEFT
OVER TO SWELL SO Reserves." 24

These reserves were defined as follows:

"SO RESERVES: Often miscalled 'Flag Reserves' or 'Management
Reserves' which they are NOT. SO Reserves are: The amount of
money collected for the corporation over and above expenses that
is sent by various units (via FBOs and the Finance Network) to
the corporation's Banks. It is used for purposes assigned by the
BOARD OF DIRECTORS and for NO OTHER PURPOSE. These are normally
employed for periods of stress or to handle situations. They are
NOT profit. It is NOT support money for 'Flag' or 'Management.'
It is NOT operating money (Examples: Huge sums were required to
cover WW when under attack and to catch the PUBS 1970 crash.)" 25

A number of Sea Org Reserve Accounts were set up under the name of OTC, the
bulk being in Zurich with the Swiss Bank Corporation; sizeable sums were
also deposited with the Banque Marocaine du Exterieur, Banco de Vizcaya,
Banco Unquijo and Banco Espirito Santo e Comercial de Lisboa. In all, there
were 16 active bank accounts. The sums stashed away grew prodigiously. The
year-end balances on these accounts were $1,772,981.72 in 1970,
$2,042,832.04 in 1971, and $2,561,688.98 in 1972.

Sea Org Reserves continue in existence today, though they appear to be
rather more sophisticated now. The leaked secret agreement between the IRS
and Scientology which ended their tax war in 1993 reveals the existence of
two companies, SOR [Sea Org Reserves] Services (UK) Ltd and SOR Services
Ltd. (Cyprus). The former does not appear to exist in English company
records, though its purpose is described rather opaquely in the records of
a related Scientology entity as being to "provide bookkeeping services".
Its non-appearance in the records suggests that it is based in one of the
UK's offshore tax havens - the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, which
hold separate company records. Cyprus certainly has a reputation as a tax
haven, albeit one tainted by a lot of mafia money from eastern Europe and
Russia. The amount of money in the reserves is not publicly known, but
given the public admission in 1993 of assets of about $400 million and an
annual income of $300 million reported by 18 out of 30 US-based Scientology
entities, it is likely that the sum is in the hundreds of millions. Rumours
of billion-dollar reserves are not totally implausible, but it is unclear
how much profit is made on that $300 million income and therefore how much
is diverted to the reserves. 26

During the 1970s, Scientology also accumulated huge sums in the United
States Churches of Scientology Trust, which supposedly had originated in
1962 but was not actually established formally by a Declaration of Trust
until June 23, 1973. That year, financial statements about the Trust rather
belatedly emerged in South Africa, revealing that the funds had grown at a
rate just as prodigious as those of the Sea Org Reserves. In 1970, the
Trust had $812,134.51; in 1971, $930,400.08; in 1972, $1,307,237.26; in
1973, $1,998,343.08. The sole signatories of this fund were none other than
L. Ron and Mary Sue Hubbard, plus a UK Scientology official named Denzil
Gogerly. All Scientology churches in the United States, plus, for a while,
the UK Church, tithed 10% of their income to the Trust. In 1972, a
Hubbardian panic over Swiss exchange rates led 4,222,015 Swiss francs
($1,119,678) to be withdrawn withdrawn from the Trust accounts in
Switzerland and brought to the Apollo, where it was locked in Mary Sue's
filing cabinet until 1975; she had the only key. Despite the fact that the
Trust's declared purpose was the defence of Scientology, between 1970 and
1972 only $9,290.47 was disbursed for this purpose. None of the money was
invested, but seems simply to have been hoarded in Swiss bank accounts. 27

Interestingly, the 1993 Scientology-IRS closing agreement lists as
"Scientology-related entities" a number of trust funds - Church of
Scientology Expansion Trust, Church of Scientology Religious Trust,
Scientology Endowment Trust, Scientology Defense Fund Trust, U.S. IAS
Members' Trust, Scientology International Reserves Trust, Flag Ship Trust,
International Publications Trust, Author's Family Trust B, United States
Parishioners Trust and the Trust for Scientologists. Author's Family Trust
B was the recipient of most of L. Ron Hubbard's estate and has been run by
Norman Starkey (aka "Commander Right Arm Norman Starkey, Executor and
Trustee of L. Ron Hubbard's estate" - International Scientology News issue
15, 1988).

Not much is known about the rest. Under the closing agreement, the last
four were to be wound up and their assets transferred to other corporate
entities (chiefly the Church of Spiritual Technology). It is not known
whether this has been done. Scientology trust funds exist overseas, as
well. The International Scientology Religious Trust (based at Messrs.
Whitman & Ransom, 11 Waterloo Place, London SW1), has mortgaged virtually
every Scientology property in England, including the London, Manchester and
Plymouth orgs and Saint Hill Manor itself. The value of the 1988 mortgage
was an impressive $4,645,000; it followed a rather peculiar $4 million
mortgage of the same properties to Church of Scientology of California,
seven days after that entity's dissolution in the UK on 31 December 1981.

---------------------------------------------------------

Greed is good

Why did L. Ron Hubbard cream off so much money from Scientology?

The answer appears to lie in Hubbard's own sense of self-importance. This
had been remarked upon many times by many people. Back in February 1942,
the US Naval Attaché in Melbourne had reported succinctly that "... he is
garrulous and tries to give impressions of his importance. He also seems to
think he has unusual ability in most lines." One certainly gets that
impression from Hubbard's writings, in which he makes numerous statements
ranging from the merely boastful to the outright megalomaniacal. An example
is the letter which he wrote to President J. F. Kennedy on 13 August 1962,
to advise the President that Scientology techniques were peculiarly
applicable to space flight and that the perception of an astronaut could be
increased far beyond human range and stamina to levels hitherto unattained
in human beings. To establish his bona fides, Hubbard claimed to have
coached the 'British Olympic team', producing unheard-of results. (This
was, of course, untrue). He concluded his letter with a stirring
declaration:

"Man will not successfully get into space without us . . . We do
not wish the United States to lose either the space race or the
next war. The deciding factor in that race or that war may very
well be lying in your hands at this moment. and may depend on
what is done with this letter...

Courteously,

L. Ron Hubbard." 28

Scientology is, of course, not the only religious organisation to regard
itself as special or a privileged group. But the degree to which it marks
itself as "élite" is perhaps rather unusual; outsiders are derided as
"wogs" and examples of "Homo Sap" (the emphasis being on "Sap"). This sense
of distinction was created and fostered by Hubbard himself, who quite
clearly continued to believe in his own superiority and extended that
belief to his followers.

As Scientology began to turn an increasingly large profit through the
1950s, Hubbard underwent what could only be described as gentrification.
Out went the loud American clothes; in came grey tweed suits and silk
shirts, many of which are still hanging in his closet at Saint Hill Manor
in East Sussex. The purchase of the Manor in 1959 set the seal on Hubbard's
transformation into a country squire. Photographs appeared in the local
newspaper of Hubbard standing on the steps of the building, wearing an
expensive suit and leather gloves. Seven years later, during an abortive
trip to Rhodesia to establish Scientology there, he represented himself as
a 'millionaire-financier' interested in pumping money into the crippled
economy of the country and stimulating the tourist industry.

The 1967 launch of the Sea Organisation and its motley fleet of ships - a
yacht, a trawler and an Irish Sea cattle ferry - was perhaps the high point
of Hubbard's self-fulfilment. Not only was he back at sea, but he was in
command of not just one ship but a whole fleet, without any awkward
superiors to puncture his aura of confident leadership. And although the
fleet's presence in international waters put it out of reach of
"suppressive" governments, Hubbard was able to keep a tight rein on the
global Scientology empire. Between forty and fifty feet of telex messages
arrived every day from Scientology offices around the world and he received
weekly reports detailing every org's statistics and income. Loyal members
of the Sea Org, who were paid $10 a week, believed the Commodore drew less
than they did, because that is what he told them. In an issue called "What
Your Fees Buy" ("Fees" later became "Donations"; the document is still
distributed today), Hubbard told Scientologists that he did not benefit
financially from Scientologists and had donated $13½ million, as well as
subsidising his own research. He claimed that he had not been paid for his
lectures and had not even collected author's royalties on his books.
Scientologists could take his word for it that none of the money they paid
to the Church went to him.

The reality was that Hubbard was receiving $15,000 a week from church funds
through the Hubbard Explorational Company and that huge sums of money were
being creamed from 'desk-drawer' corporations and salted away in secret
bank accounts in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. He was obsessively
concerned with the well-being of his money, as one of his aides, Kima
Douglas, later recalled:

While we were in the Bahamas, a story came out that the Swiss
were going to change the tax laws in some way that would affect
the money we held there. The old man went crazy. I heard him
screaming and yelling and ran upstairs to find what was wrong. He
was pacing up and down and shouting at the top of his voice, "Do
you know what they're doing? Everything's gone. Gone! Gone! We're
going to lose everything."' When he had calmed down a little,
Kima suggested that perhaps the money should be moved. Three
hours later, she was on a plane to Zurich, with two other
Scientologists, carrying handwritten instructions from Hubbard
authorizing the transfer of all his assets to a bank in
Liechtenstein.

When they arrived, they were taken down into the vault of the
bank and shown the money. Kima Douglas, who thought she could no
longer be surprised by anything in Scientology, was awestruck.
'Everyone's eyes widened. There was a stack, about four feet high
and three feet wide, of dollars, marks and Swiss francs in
high-denomination notes. I couldn't begin to guess how much was
there, but it was certainly more than the three of us could
carry.'

It took nearly two weeks to make arrangements to move the cash to
a bank in Liechtenstein and then the serial numbers - the first
and last note of each bundle - had to be noted. When the mission
returned to the Bahamas, Kima had to describe to the Commodore
the exact size of the various piles of money. 'He was very
pleased,' she said. 'He thought he'd outdone the Swiss.' 29

But what did he actually spend the money on? He was not an obvious
high-spender, though he certainly enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle. Saint Hill
Manor is an extremely plush building on which Hubbard spent considerable
sums, buying smart clothes from Saville Row, four-poster beds and electric
organs which he used to "revolutionise music". The Church of Scientology
today preserves it as a sort of memorial to Hubbard. Aboard the Apollo, he
and Mary Sue each had their own state-rooms in addition to a suite on the
promenade deck comprising an auditing-room, office, an elegant saloon and a
wood-panelled dining-room, all off-limits to students and crew. Hubbard had
a personal steward, as did Mary Sue and the Hubbard children, who all had
their own cabins. Meals for the Commodore and his family were cooked in a
separate galley by their personal chef, using ingredients brought by
couriers from the United States. This was in considerable contrast to the
rest of the ship's crew, who lived in cramped, smelly, roach-infested
dormitories fitted with bunks in three tiers that left little room for
personal possessions. And it was all paid for by the Church of Scientology
of California, as that body's accounts showed.

During the late 1960s and 1970s, Hubbard also enjoyed the use of
high-quality rented villas and apartments in Tangier in Morocco, Marseilles
in France, Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, New York City, Dunedin in
Florida and Hemet in California. He had a collection of cameras and
equipment reckoned to be worth over a million dollars. The final years of
his life were spent in a half-million dollar caravan parked on a ranch at
Creston, California. Again, these were funded at Church expense.

When the Sea Org finally came ashore in the mid-1970s, Hubbard went to
ground in Hemet, California to evade the scrutiny of the media and Federal
authorities. He had been out of the country for so long that contemporary
innovations such as shopping malls were a revelation to him and he would
spend hours wandering around them, buying plastic trinkets. Although he
never spent much when he was out shopping, he was investing huge sums in
stocks, precious stones and gold. Michael Douglas had been appointed the
Commodore's 'finance officer' and was managing an enormous portfolio of
stocks running into millions of dollars. There were bags of gold coins and
diamonds stuffed in two safes at the Hemet apartments and more jewels were
lodged in the vaults of a local bank. 30 They would have been of little
immediate use because of the need to first turn them into more spendable
assets, but would have served to reassure Hubbard that he would not be left
penniless if the worldwide economic collapse which he had frequently
predicted did in fact occur. The valuables effectively were a bulwark
against a paranoid fear.

---------------------------------------------------------

Modern Times

Hubbard went into hiding in February 1980, a few months after his wife Mary
Sue was jailed for five years for her part in the espionage plot against
the US Internal Revenue Service and other Federal agencies. In his absence,
an internal coup saw control of the Church pass to an 18-year-old Hubbard
aide, David Miscavige, who today continues to lead Scientology. Miscavige
had presided over a radical reorganisation of the Church's corporate
structure (under the title of "Mission Corporate Category Sort-out" or
MCCS). The aim of this reorganisation was twofold: to proof Scientology
against the US Internal Revenue Service's inquiries into the Church's
unpaid taxes, and to hide evidence of the huge sums still being channeled
to L. Ron Hubbard. The US courts minced no words in describing the purposes
of the MCCS:

The partial transcripts [of two tape-recorded MCCS meetings]
demonstrate that the purpose of the MCCS project was to cover up
past criminal wrong-doing. The MCCS project involved the
discussion and planning of future frauds against the IRS ... The
figures involved in MCCS admit on the tapes that they are
attempting to confuse and defraud the U.S. Government. 31

Mysteriously, the investigation into the apparently fraudulent nature of
the MCCS appears to have been dropped when Scientology buried the hatchet
with the IRS three years later. But the MCCS's objectives were very much in
keeping with Hubbard's 1967 directive on Scientology's tax affairs:

"The real stable datum in handling tax people is NEVER VOLUNTEER
ANY INFORMATION .... The thing to do is to assign a significance
to the figures before the government can .... I normally think of
a better significance than the government can. I always put
enough errors on a return to satisfy their bloodsucking appetite
and STILL come out zero. The game of accounting is just a game of
assigning significance to figures. The man with the most
imagination wins." 32

Evidently the new leadership had a lot of imagination. A plethora of new
organisations were established, including Bridge Publications, Church of
Scientology International, Religious Technology Centre and Author Services
Incorporated (amongst many, many others). ASI was the body responsible for
handling Hubbard's works of fiction; it had originated as "R Accounts",
Hubbard's personal finance department, staffed by Sea Org members. Between
1982-1987, Miscavige was its CEO and later Chairman. ASI's former Treasury
Secretary, Howard Schomer, has testified that money was being channeled
frantically into Hubbard's bank accounts during 1982. Schomer was in a
position to know, since he made the transfers. He has said that during his
six months at ASI, about $34 million was paid into Hubbard's accounts.
Schomer says this money came mostly from the Church, rather than from book
royalties. Yet again Scientology was billed retroactively by Hubbard. Orgs
were charged for their past use of taped lectures and Hubbard courses.
Schomer says there was a target figure of $85 million by the end of 1982.
If this figure was achieved, there would be fat bonuses for ASI staff. 33

Hubbard's death in January 1986 put an end to the continued inurement of
Scientology proceeds to his personal accounts. Suspicions lingered on,
however, that the Church's new leadership was continuing to profit from
Scientology's income. Is this actually the case?

There is no evidence to support such a conclusion (though it must be noted
that lack of proof does not necessarily disprove a proposition). Documents
filed with the Internal Revenue Service in 1993 state that David Miscavige
was paid $12,683.50 in 1991. His wife, Michele, was paid $31,359.25. This
is a fraction of what other religious organisations pay their leaders; the
United Methodist Church pays its leadership up to $85,932, plus housing.
Many of Miscavige's relatives, including his mother, father, stepmother,
brother, sister, brothers-in-law and sister-in-law, are listed either as
being on the payroll or earning commissions as fund-raisers. It has not
been reported whether Scientology pays benefits in kind to the Miscaviges
(along the lines of the Church of Scientology of California's subsidisation
of Hubbard's accomodation and living expenses). 34

What is clear, however, is that the Scientology leadership's financial
accountability appears to be negligible. The Church continues to be very
secretive about its financial status; it insisted on secrecy for the
agreement which it concluded with the IRS in 1993 (this was eventually
leaked at the end of 1997) and the accounts which it submits in Britain do
not provide much information on income or expenditure, apart than the bare
figures. The UK accounts of the Church of Scientology Religious Education
College International (COSRECI, the main UK Scientology organisation) show
a pattern of increasing payments of "amounts due to associated churches",
the sums in question often exceeding the entire yearly income by as much as
a third. However, the associated churches in question and the reason for
these payments are not given anywhere in the records. This is typical of
Scientology's minimalist approach to financial disclosure.

Minimalist it may be, but the annual returns of Scientology entities still
give more information than Scientology provides to its own members. There
appear to be no statements of accounts distributed to members, indeed no
financial information provided at all, other than the 20-year-old leaflet
"What Your Donations Buy". There is certainly no consultation with the
membership over large capital projects. Thus the quixotic building of a
replica clipper ship in the California desert in the mid-1980s was
accomplished at a cost of $585,000, but without any apparent consultation
with the Church members whose money was being spent. Likewise, tens of
millions of dollars were spent on building three atomic bomb-proof vaults
in which Hubbard's writings are stored, the doors of each vault costing $7
million; the project was carried out in complete secrecy and only became
public when a newspaper reporter received a tip-off, presumably from one of
the contractors.

The lack of transparency in Scientology's financial affairs is such that it
would put a Communist dictatorship to shame. Where transparency is lacking,
the possibility exists of corruption taking place away from scrutinising
eyes. There seems little prospect of unauthorised corruption happening at
lower levels in Scientology; the leadership exercises ferociously strong
control over financial affairs, through the "International Finance Police"
under the control of the memorably-named International Finance Dictator.
But (at least from the outside) there appears to be little restraint or
outside scrutiny of the financial and management decisions made by the
people at the top of the Scientology organisation. There is no compelling
evidence of wrongdoing, but until and unless Scientology is more open about
its financial affairs, suspicions must inevitably remain.

[------------------------------------------------------------]

1 Religious Services Enrollment - Application/Agreement and General
Release (Religious Technology Center). See also "Piercing the
corporate veil", an exposé of the corporate structure of Scientology.

2 According to US and French courts. The latter in 1973 convicted
Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard of fraud and sentenced him in
absentia to a four-year jail sentence. He never served it, thereafter
avoiding any countries from which he might be extradited to France.

3 Russell Miller, Bare-Faced Messiah (1987), chapter 4, pp. 64-65

4 ibid., chapter 4, pp. 71, 73

5 Archives of the Ordo Templi Orientalis, New York City

6 FBI memo dated 13th April 1967, obtained via FOIA.

7 Jon Atack, A Piece of Blue Sky (1992), pp. 112-13

8 A.E. van Vogt, interview with Russell Miller, Los Angeles, 22 July
1986

9 ibid.

10 Scientology has claimed that it was in fact George Orwell who said
this and that the quote has been misattributed to Hubbard. Orwell
certainly did say this; however, the multiple independent accounts of
Hubbard saying it suggest that he himself may have been quoting
Orwell. At any rate, it was not an original saying at the time in
question.

11 Russell Miller, Bare-Faced Messiah (1987), chapter 12, p. 213

12 L. Ron Hubbard, Manual of Justice, pp. 5-6

13 L. Ron Hubbard, "The Scientologist: A Manual on the Dissemination of
Material", Ability Major, no. 1 (early 1955), pp. 5, 7

14 L. Ron Hubbard, "Amprinistics", HCO Executive Letter, September 27,
1965

15 This is not to say that Scientology is not a religion - it certainly
shares many characteristics with mainstream religions, as a variety
of sociologists and theologists have observed. However, it is
probably unique in the degree in which it conducts religious
activities on a commercial basis (though again most mainstream
religions do have varying elements of commerciality).

16 L. Ron Hubbard, Organization Executive Course, Vol. 0, p. 83

17 L. Ron Hubbard, "Three methods of dissemination", Professional
Auditor's Bulletin, no. 73 (28 February 1956)

18 Letter to Roy Wallis, reprinted in The Road to Total Freedom (1973),
p. 160

19 L. Ron Hubbard, "Big League Registration Series No. 1 - Use of
Salesmanship Tech & Skills", Board Policy Letter, 2 November 1972.

20 Founding Church of Scientology v. The United States, US Court of
Claims, July 16, 1969

21 Sir John Foster, Enquiry into the Practice and Effects of Scientology
(1971), p. 37

22 Church of Scientology of California v. Commissioner of Internal
Revenue, US Tax Court, September 24, 1984;
Jon Atack, A Piece of Blue Sky (1992), p. 167

23 Church of Scientology of California v. Commissioner of Internal
Revenue, US Tax Court, September 24, 1984

24 L. Ron Hubbard, "Finance Series No. 11 - Income Flows and Pools -
Principles of Money Management", HCO Policy Letter, March 9, 1972

25 ibid.

26 "Scientologists Report Assets of $400 Million", New York Times, 22
October 1993

27 Church of Scientology of California v. Commissioner of Internal
Revenue, US Tax Court, September 24, 1984

28 Russell Miller, Bare-Faced Messiah (1987), chapter 14, p. 245

29 ibid., chapter 19, p. 329

30 ibid., chapter 22, p. 370

31 U.S. v. Zolin, U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, 20 June 1990

32 L. Ron Hubbard, Organization Executive Course, Vol. 3, p. 63

33 Jon Atack, A Piece of Blue Sky (1992), p. 289. See also "Piercing the
corporate veil".

34 "Scientologists Report Assets of $400 Million", New York Times, 22
October 1993

[------------------------------------------------------------]

Last updated 12 March 1998


--
| Chris Owen - chr...@lutefisk.demon.co.uk |
|---------------------------------------------------------------|
| NEW! - WORLD'S BIGGEST SINCLAIR WEB ARCHIVE: |
| http://www.nvg.unit.no/sinclair |
| OFFLINE VERSION: http://www.nvg.unit.no/sinclair/plansinc.zip |

Sim...@webtv.net

unread,
Mar 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/12/98
to

I flunk your essay Mr. Owen on the following grounds;

a) bogus structure,
b) clearly altered facts,
c) not a word of truth in it.

To me, a major disappointment. I see a big future for you in the
FICTION market though.

Simon

Zane Thomas

unread,
Mar 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/12/98
to

On Thu, 12 Mar 1998 01:41:13 -0500, Sim...@webtv.net wrote:

>a) bogus structure,

Eh? Wtf is that supposed to mean "simon"?

>b) clearly altered facts,

Care to be more specific?

>c) not a word of truth in it.

Please point out those sections you believe are lies, be sure to
provide evidence to support your rebuttals.

Zane


Martin Hunt

unread,
Mar 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/12/98
to

In article <yg5FVDAj...@lutefisk.demon.co.uk>,
Chris Owen <chr...@lutefisk.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>[a new essay, at last! I'll upload it to a Web server soon. In the meantime,
>I'd welcome any comments you might have...]

Yes, just one small matter:

> But Hubbard evidently saw strong commercial advantages to
>claiming religious status. Several of his associates, the writer Harlan
>Ellison and publisher Lloyd Arthur Eshbach amongst them, recalled Hubbard
>saying on a number of occasions that "if a man really wanted to make a
>million dollars, the best way to do it would be to start a religion". 10

...

> 10 Scientology has claimed that it was in fact George Orwell who said
> this and that the quote has been misattributed to Hubbard. Orwell
> certainly did say this; however, the multiple independent accounts of
> Hubbard saying it suggest that he himself may have been quoting
> Orwell. At any rate, it was not an original saying at the time in
> question.

Talk to RVY about this Orwell question; he has insight to add
about it, as I recall.

Excellent essay, Chris; you're a fine writer.

[p/m]

--
Cogito, ergo sum. FAQs: http://www.ncf.carleton.ca/~av282/

L. Ron Hubbard: "Clears do not get colds." - Dianetics.
David Miscavige: "I guess one could." - Koppel interview.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.


Ron Newman

unread,
Mar 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/12/98
to

In article <6e8029$2q0$1...@newsd-132.iap.bryant.webtv.net>, Sim...@webtv.net
wrote:

> I flunk your essay Mr. Owen on the following grounds;
>
> a) bogus structure,
> b) clearly altered facts,

> c) not a word of truth in it.

How about some *specifics* ?

--
Ron Newman rne...@thecia.net
http://www2.thecia.net/users/rnewman/

Scott A. McClare

unread,
Mar 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/12/98
to

(Sim...@webtv.net) writes:

> I flunk your essay Mr. Owen on the following grounds;
>
> a) bogus structure,

No such thing. The structure of an essay is, by nature, real.

> b) clearly altered facts,

Proof? None forthcoming, I see.

> c) not a word of truth in it.

What's the difference between this and "clearly altered facts"?

> To me, a major disappointment. I see a big future for you in the
> FICTION market though.

It would be a disappointment for YOU. People who spend their days doing
nothing but defending the pack of lies that is Scientology, have a great
fear of the truth. I don't blame you.

Of course, being a Scientologist <tm>, you'd know all about "fiction," as
Hubbard never wrote a word that wasn't.

Scott

--
Scott A. McClare SP4 GGBC#42 "I see you now and then in dreams
cj...@freenet.carleton.ca Your voice sounds just like it used to
http://www.ncf.carleton.ca/~cj871/ I believe I will hear it again
PGP 1024/E7950B29 via finger/keyserver God how I love you" - Mark Heard

Starshad

unread,
Mar 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/12/98
to

>
>>[a new essay, at last! I'll upload it to a Web server soon. In the
>meantime,
>>I'd welcome any comments you might have...]
>
>Yes, just one small matter:
>
>> But Hubbard evidently saw strong commercial advantages to
>>claiming religious status. Several of his associates, the writer Harlan
>>Ellison and publisher Lloyd Arthur Eshbach amongst them, recalled Hubbard
>>saying on a number of occasions that "if a man really wanted to make a
>>million dollars, the best way to do it would be to start a religion". 10
>
>...
>
>> 10 Scientology has claimed that it was in fact George Orwell who said
>> this and that the quote has been misattributed to Hubbard. Orwell
>> certainly did say this; however, the multiple independent accounts of
>> Hubbard saying it suggest that he himself may have been quoting
>> Orwell. At any rate, it was not an original saying at the time in
>> question.
>
>Talk to RVY about this Orwell question; he has insight to add
>about it, as I recall.
>
He may have been quoting Orwell, (wouldn't surprise me, I found a book by
Murray Leinster with a spaceship called "the Marcab" which predates Hubbub's
spew, suggesting he didn't have an original thought in his head) but he did say
it. On numerous occasions. I heard him.

>Excellent essay, Chris; you're a fine writer.
>
>[p/m]
>

Yes, very nice stuff.


>--
>Cogito, ergo sum. FAQs: http://www.ncf.carleton.ca/~av282/
>
>L. Ron Hubbard: "Clears do not get colds." - Dianetics.
>David Miscavige: "I guess one could." - Koppel interview.
>.

Bright Blessings,

Starshadow SP4

Chris Owen

unread,
Mar 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/12/98
to

In article <rnewman-ya0240800...@enews.newsguy.com>, Ron
Newman <rne...@thecia.net> writes

>In article <6e8029$2q0$1...@newsd-132.iap.bryant.webtv.net>, Sim...@webtv.net
>wrote:
>
>> I flunk your essay Mr. Owen on the following grounds;
>>
>> a) bogus structure,

Nope. Chronologies work fine for me.

>> b) clearly altered facts,

Sorry. A third of the footnote references are to Scientology sources,
the bulk of those being L. Ron Hubbard himself. The facts and figures
come from court cases and from Scientology's own financial records. Of
course, if you want to argue that Scientology invented all those
figures, go right ahead...

>> c) not a word of truth in it.

That's pretty sweeping - are you including the Hubbard quotations in
that, Simon? I'd speak to your Ethics Officer about that pronto...

>How about some *specifics* ?

No chance, Ron. He's a Scientologist; they're theologically exempted
from having to back up any statements they make...

Michael Reuss

unread,
Mar 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/13/98
to

>Chris Owen <chr...@lutefisk.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> No chance, Ron. He's a Scientologist; they're theologically exempted
>from having to back up any statements they make...

Right you are, Chris. Simon's brainwashed. He can't do jack to support
his knee jerking.

Damn them for doing this to Simon. And for that matter, damn Simon for
his willingness to do it to the next guy.


--
Michael Reuss (remove nospam from address to reply by e-mail)
Honorary Kid

Steve Jebson

unread,
Mar 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/13/98
to Sim...@webtv.net

Sim...@webtv.net wrote:
>
> I flunk your essay Mr. Owen on the following grounds;
>
> a) bogus structure,
> b) clearly altered facts,

> c) not a word of truth in it.
>
> To me, a major disappointment. I see a big future for you in the
> FICTION market though.

I flunk your flunk on the grounds of:

a) non-confront - you show no signs of having actually considered the
essay,
or, for that matter, read it.

b) generalities - you assert there's 'not a word of truth'. Can you
provide actual
evidence of even one falsehood?

c) incomprehensibility - just what is a 'bogus structure' and what does
the
structure of the essay have to do with its substance anyway.

You show inability to reason clearly, dramatization of service facs, and
suppressive use of generalities. If you have never taken LSD, I see a
very unpleasant future in the OSA ahead of you.

J. R. Ford

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Mar 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/14/98
to

On Thu, 12 Mar 1998 01:41:13 -0500, Sim...@webtv.net wrote:

>I flunk your essay Mr. Owen on the following grounds;
>
>a) bogus structure,
>b) clearly altered facts,
>c) not a word of truth in it.
>
>To me, a major disappointment. I see a big future for you in the
>FICTION market though.
>

>Simon

You mean like Science Fiction? Those three items cited above clearly
describe all of the work of some dead sci-fi writter that is often
discussed on this newsgroup. Let's see now....what was his name? Oh,
yeah, Hubbard. Every thing he wrote was a) bogus, b) clearly altered
facts, and c) not a single word of truth ever passed his lips.

Pretty good description Simon, perhaps you should try for a job as a
critic.

By the way, what are your crimes?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"It's one thing to have a bingo tournament
in the church hall; it's another to say the
bingo game itself is the practice of your
religion."
Joe Cisar
ARSCC Philosopher

Robert Vaughn Young

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Mar 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/14/98
to

Martin Hunt (mar...@islandnet.com) wrote:
: In article <yg5FVDAj...@lutefisk.demon.co.uk>,
: Chris Owen <chr...@lutefisk.demon.co.uk> wrote:

: >[a new essay, at last! I'll upload it to a Web server soon. In the meantime,


: >I'd welcome any comments you might have...]

: Yes, just one small matter:

: > But Hubbard evidently saw strong commercial advantages to


: >claiming religious status. Several of his associates, the writer Harlan
: >Ellison and publisher Lloyd Arthur Eshbach amongst them, recalled Hubbard
: >saying on a number of occasions that "if a man really wanted to make a
: >million dollars, the best way to do it would be to start a religion". 10

: ...

: > 10 Scientology has claimed that it was in fact George Orwell who said


: > this and that the quote has been misattributed to Hubbard. Orwell
: > certainly did say this; however, the multiple independent accounts of
: > Hubbard saying it suggest that he himself may have been quoting
: > Orwell. At any rate, it was not an original saying at the time in
: > question.

: Talk to RVY about this Orwell question; he has insight to add


: about it, as I recall.

Chris's wording is actually correct. I was the one who found the Orwell
quote and then we used it, as if someone else saying it meant that Hubbard
never did. Hubbard did and there were pleanty of witnesses and as Chris
said, it was hardly original. Traveling and circus tent evangelism was
rampant in the 30s in the US and many became evangelists to make money.

: Excellent essay, Chris; you're a fine writer.

Agreed.
--
*----------------------------------------------*
Robert Vaughn Young * The most potent weapon of the oppressor is *
wri...@eskimo.com * the mind of the oppressed. - Steve Biko *
*----------------------------------------------*

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