— both believe they are above the law.
— both believe that democracy is oppressive and irrelevant.
— both idealise their leaders.
— both are intolerant of divergent points of view.
— both want to eliminate suppressives–SPs or Jews.
— both promote the superiority of an elite–Operating Thetans or Aryans.
— both feel they are the chosen people.
— Scientologists believe they are immortal–Hitler promised the German people a special destiny.
— Scientologists work for a cleared planet–Nazis worked for the Final Solution.
“The Nationalist Socialists derived power from one source: … a fanatical autohypnosis which convinced disciples, succumbing to the totalitarian discipline in the promise of reaching transcendent reality, that they were the new men the age was waiting for.. ..that they were endowed with a secret energy which would enable them to take over Germany and the world. If they were properly prepared, mysteries would be revealed to them which would give them Satanic powers..”
Dusty Sklar, Gods and Beasts – The Nazi’s and the Occult, 1977.
Those familiar with Scientology will recognize how similar these are to the promises made by Hubbard to members of his own cult.
The Roots of Scientology
There have been many attempts to explain the philosophy of L. Ron Hubbard and the phenomenon of Scientology. Some, such as the critical biography Bare-Faced Messiah (1) or the insider report A Piece of Blue Sky (2) and “Scientology und (k)ein End” (3), have provided some pieces of the puzzle. But one important piece is missing from all previously published essays on the topic: a comparison between Hubbard and his unacknowledged role-model, Hitler.
The parallels are obvious–as much in the ideology as in the structure and organization of Scientology and National Socialism. Neither system would be possible without the so-called cult of leadership or personality cult. In both of them a crucial role is played by the Leviathan figure described by the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes in the book of the name. If we equate his “Mortal God”, the sovereign ruler of the Commonwealth or state with a political leader, he has the right to judge what is good or bad for his subjects and what opinions and doctrines are likely to maintain unity and encourage them.
Hitlerism and, in consequence, Hubbardism, can be defined as political religions (4) which have abrogated any link with God as head of the hierarchy, so that what was the Church becomes independent and shut into its own inner world. This inner-worldliness is based on its knowledge of the world as an inventory of concrete facts and of its own material and causal consistency.(5) This knowledge is attributed to a leader or saviour who will guide the destiny of his people and whom his subordinates recognize as god-like in his authority.
To enforce the leader’s claim to absolute power, democratic forms of government are considered inappropriate: such cult leaders tolerate no free elections, no freedom of expression. In the case of the Nazis, Otto Koellreutter defined this principle very clearly: “A state ruled by one man is always anti-liberal. It can can never be influenced or shaped by liberals but only by men who are always aware of their internal solidarity with people and the state. “(6)
So in Hubbard’s view it would seem logical that all previous democracies have only suppressed people and that all the efforts of the Christian Church, reformers and parliamentarians were only ever intended to drive the human race into disease, war and disasters. According to the delusions of its founder, addressed to his followers, Scientology (7) gives us our first opportunity to create a true democracy– “A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights and where Man is free to rise to greater heights.” (8). But this ideal Hubbardian civilisation is only possible in a nation of “clears” (9, 10). Cyril Vosper in The Mind Benders noted that Hubbard said that that it would require the continuing training of people by Scientology before any political system could work.(11)
Hubbard of course could not guarantee his vision. For humanity had a long way to go before they achieved the Scientology miracle, and this desirable development would be opposed by many adversaries or “suppressive persons”. (12) All those who face the spread of its ideology in the way of dedicated, Hubbard detailed descriptions and stylized them in the eyes of the followers to scorn. He followed an important recipe in the formation of mass movements. As Eric Hoffer pointed out in The True Believer (13): “Mass movements can flourish without faith in a God, but never without belief in a devil.” Scientology’s devil is the suppressive person.
In addition 17.5 per cent of the population was classified as a potential threat or “Potential Trouble Source” (14). The remaining 80 per cent were pre-Clears, ignorant but capable of learning (15), to whom he represented himself as the self-proclaimed savior of “knowing how to know” (16) with whoaw intervention he planned to achieve his self-proclaimed ultimate goal of “a cleared planet”. (17) To achieve this goal, Hubbard not only enticed thousands of young enthusiasts with an offer of bogus therapeutic courses and had them enter into a contract with the “Church of Scientology”, but also forged contacts in business and politics, either himself or, after his death 1986 by his “foster son” David Miscavige, who then became leader of the movement – in several countries, above all in Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe. This policy seems to have met with success in its early days.
Like Hitler, it seems reasonable that Hubbard got his hatred of Jews and belief in an “international Jewish conspiracy” (18) from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (19) and similar sources. Hubbard also believed he had tracked down a conspiracy implicating psychiatrists and corrupt priests. Their principal mission was to instigate mankind to perform evil deeds, and to enslave them. Hubbard, who had been described as a pathological liar (20) pressured his followers to fight against this conspiracy and through the mediation of Scientology’s “knowledge” to bring people back to the right path, which he called “the bridge to total spiritual freedom”. (21) The promises he made to them as Operating Thetans (22), were analogous to the equally imaginary higher levels of development promised by racial fanatics of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century to the “Aryan”.
Traditional religions and the associated religious institutions–according to Hubbard’s “consciousness implants” (23)–were the collective soul of humanity (24), used during their early years to ensure that all people would recognize their common origin. In the end, all preclears could be gods, according to Hubbard’s cosmogenesis “see the world as a game, from which they themselves descend, to become victims of their own forgetfulness and thus remain trapped in their own game.” (25)In order to make these imaginary ideas convincing for his followers, Hubbard made use of a concept first propagated by the Nazis’ equation between “Jews” and “subhumans”. Hubbard’s claim that psychiatrists were cosmic tyrants and notable misanthropes (26), responsible for every trauma and bad influence is like Hitler’s anti-Jewish madness. Hubbard denounced psychiatry as a tyrannical practice from the depths of the universe, contemporary with the origins of mankind, and the root of all evil. This mania has given rise to numerous inflammatory writings against psychiatry by Scientology. (27)
Hubbard extended the German component of the principle of racism, to cosmic dimensions. He conceived a megalomaniac plan to save the entire universe, as he wanted to fight the supposed causes of all worldly and material problems and conflicts on the spiritual level, and render them inoperative. As part of this psycho-spiritual “cleansing” of the world he made his followers into divine champions of the good, immortal soldiers of the light.
Hubbard must have know that this idea was not new when, shortly after the end of World War II, he put his vision to paper. But the founder of Scientology was a notable plagiarist–even when he claimed that his knowledge came from “many years of exact research and scrupulous review.” (28) Hubbard’s motto was “Better good copied than bad original”. Several theories he claims as his own findings come from scientific, psychological and philosophical works of various epochs. (29) He took anything that he agreed with–regardless of whose ideas it happened to be. at times he borrowed from Anastasius Nordenholz, Sigmund Freud (30) and Alfred Korzybski. He even stooped to borrow from those he castigated as evil psychiatrists. (31) From from the half-knowledge he collected, he constructed what is now regarded by Scientologists as “sacred science” (32), while Hubbard’s teachings are regarded as absolutely valid. (33)
It took Hubbard almost ten years to put together the ingredients of his occult ideology–a brand of mystical manipulation, of the totalitarian type defined by Robert Lifton. (34) According to his reference guide, leaders of such systems “often rely on historical precedent, God, or a supernatural power which has appointed the elect to receive mystical commandments and to fulfill them. (35) Hubbard’s fantasies of thetans and cosmic tyrants meet this criterion as well as Hitler’s image of the Aryan race and the German people, the chosen people whose true destiny was to lead the world. (36). Hitler promised that the German nation would have an immortal history. Hubbard went a step further and promised his followers personal immortality.
1) Russell Miller, Bare-faced Messiah, London 1987.
2) Jon Atack, A Piece of Blue Sky, New York 1990.
3) Tom Voltz, Scientology und (k)ein Ende, Düsseldorf 1995).
4) Eric Voegelin, Die politischen Religionen, München 1993.
5) Voegelin 1993, 49.
6) Otto Koellreutter, Der Deutsche Führerstaat, Tübingen 1934, 15.
7) Probably the first published text is L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology, Issue I, o.O. 1952.
8 ) Cited in Arbeitsgruppe Scientology der Hansestadt Hamburg (Hg.), Mitteilung des Senats an die Bürgerschaft, Hamburg 1995, Paragraph 3b, S. 8, (below: AGS 1995). From “The Aims Of Scientology”, by L. Ron Hubbard, http://www.piratehaven.org/~atman/factnet/rpt.txt. The Aims Of Scientology by L. Ron Hubbard, http://www.piratehaven.org/~atman/factnet/rpt.txt. has “A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights and where Man is free to rise to greater heights, are the aims of Scientology.” Taken with Scientology’s aim of clearing the planet, it is apparent that Scientology’s aim is not just to bring about a mere civilization, but to conquer the entire world.
9) In the jargon used in Scientology, a person goes clear when all negative “engrams” have been cancelled. According to Hubbard this can be achieved only through auditing, a hypnotic practice.
10) Voltz 1995, 151
11) Cyril Vosper, The Mind Benders, St. Albans 1973, 45.
12) L. Ron Hubbard, Ethics. In HCO Policy Letter, East Grinstead, 23 December 1965, Hubbard defined a suppressive person as a person or group which actively seeks to destroy Scientology or to inflict harm on it.
13) Eric Hoffer, The True Believer, London 1952.
14) A Potential Trouble Source or PTSs is a member of the cult who is in contact with and may be influenced by a suppressive person or SP, who is not a member of the cult.
15) Hubbard called people who had not achieved the status of Clear as Preclears (PC). He also called them “raw meat”.
16) Hubbard promoted Scientology as a scientific discovery, of importance to all people. He copied the approach of the German-Argentinian “race scientist” A. Nordenholz who in his 1934 book “Scientology” built what looked like scientific research on a basis of esoteric, para-scientific axioms.
17) The Scientology movement claims to have as its goal the salvation of mankind. In a number of promotional publications and tracts, Hubbard’s claim to global power and the slogan “Clear the Planet” are clearly stated. Various campaigns have been known as “Clear Germany” or “Clear Russia”. Stacy Young, a former Scientology officer, described Hubbard’s objective particularly clearly in an affidavit: “In fact, Hubbard wanted to create a new kind of person, who had climbed all levels of the Scientology ladder. They should leave behind the evolution of Homo sapiens and move on to become Homo novis. Scientologists believe that when they have achieved this state they will be able to travel through galaxies, in order to free other beings who are also trapped in the physical universe.” Stacy Young, Affidavit, October 1994).
18) Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, München 1925, page 702 f. “The Jewish financial establishment wants […] not only the complete destruction of Germany’s economy, but also its complete political enslavement.”
19) This book was leaked in 1917 by Alfred Rosenberg. In August 1921 it emerged that it was a forgery of the Tsarist secret police on behalf of the French right, which wanted to accuse Dreyfus of racial conspiracy. The Protocols were also used to justify the Jewish pogroms at the beginning of the 20th century in Russia. Rosenberg was still convinced of their authenticity and published the pamphlet again. More than 30 reprints appeared in Germany up to 1933. See: George L. Mosse, The history of racism in Europe, Frankfurt / M. 1990, 132.
20) Judge Breckenridge of the Supreme Court of California gave the following summary of Hubbard’s personality in a judicial opinion in 1984: “The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background and achievements. The writings and documents in evidence additionally reflect his egoism, greed, avarice, lust for power, and vindictiveness and aggressiveness against persons perceived by him to be disloyal or hostile.”
21) “The Bridge to Total Freedom” is a synonym for the Scientology course system developed by Hubbard. Research suggests that the total cost of the courses may be as much as $360,000. At the moment, of the fifteen stages of the “bridge” to “Operating Thetan”, only eight have been released to date. Roy Wallis, The Road to Total Freedom. A Sociological Analysis of Scientology, New York 1977.
22) An Operating Thetan, in Hubbardspeak, is a person who can at will be free of the constraints of the material universe, whose soul or “thetan” can leave his body and enter the spiritual universe. In the construction of this model Hubbard borrowed certain elements from paraphysics, which assumes that spirit beings exist in a fourth spatial dimension, which can be perceived only by specially gifted people. The conventional quantum mechanical world view does not support this. Four-dimensional world models are among the “paradoxical theories” (Gerhard Vollmer, Biophilosophie, Stuttgart 1995, 117) and can not be proved empirically.
23) L. Ron Hubbard, Professional Auditor’s Bulletin 31, in PABs, Book 2 (Nos. 25-49, April 1954 – April 1955), Kopenhagen 1973. “Religion does much to keep the assumption in restimulation, being basically a control mechanism used by those who have sent the pre-clear into the body. You will find the cross as a symbol all over the universe, and the Christ legend as implant in preclears a million years ago.”
24) Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos, The Religion Abounds in Galactic Tales, in Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles 1990: “Hubbard maintained […] that the concept of a Christian Heaven is the product of two implants dating back more than 43 trillion years. Heaven, he said, is a ‘false dream’ and a ‘very painful lie’ intended to direct thetans toward a non-existent goal and convince them they have only one life. In reality, Hubbard said, there is no heaven and there was no Christ. ‘The implanted symbol of a crucified Christ is very apt indeed. It’s the symbol of a thetan betrayed.’ “
25) Colin Wilson, Das Okkulte, 1. Aufl., Wiesbaden 1988, 136.
26) In a directive dated 5 October 1971 Hubbard wrote “[the psychiatrist] has in a century established for all time a record of inhumanity to man.” (HCO PL 051 071). See also Voltz 1995, p. 86. In the article False Purpose Rundown (5 June 1984), Hubbard wrote that there had been a group of beings a very long time ago and that it consisted of “psychiatrists and priests,” who were responsible for leading mankind to commit “bad deeds”. The new management of the Scientology movement was given the text of the article on 11 January 1990 and removed the word “priest”. The meaning of the directive was the same: to justify the demonisation of psychiatrists.
27) An overview of Scientology activities against psychiatry can be found in Lyndon J. West, “Psychiatry and Scientology”, The Southern California Psychiatrist, Juli 1990, S. 13 ff.
28) Hubbard, Dianetics 1975, IX.
29) Hubbard’s sources are clearly laid out in Jeff Jacobsen’s article, The Hubbard is Bare, 1992 (Jacobsen 1992). Jacobsen includes Thomas Hobbes as one of L. Ron Hubbard models. The English philosopher had presented in his book, Leviathan, man as a being whose life was governed by so-called dynamics – a concept which has central importance in the Scientology view of humanity.
30) In addition to the psychoanalytic insights of the Austrian psychologists, which are in part adopted in Hubbard’s Dianetics, Freud’s views on magic are relevant in this context. In his book Totem and Taboo (1912-1913, standard English edition 1981) he wrote: “The motives which urge the use of magic, are easy to spot: it is the wish of the people.” (1981, 89) If these desires were unchecked, they would be accepted as real power, at which point an “omnipotence of thought” arises. Hubbard’s concept of the Operating Thetan possesses this magical wishful thinking to a decisive (and destructive) degree.
31) Jacobsen 1992.
32) Robert Lifton, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, New York, 1961. According to Lifton, totalitarian organizations always present a “coherent vision which cannot be doubted.” Often a totalitarian world order is justified on the basis of “scientific breakthroughs.” The result is “sacred science”. Hitler had “racial biology”, Hubbard had the “science of knowingness”, “knowing how to know”.
33) Hubbard’s writings are considered to be “the law of the coming world order” and therefore may not be changed. After the death of its founder, they were inscribed on titanium and placed, at huge expensive, in a bombproof vault. Any follower of the movement who is critical of Hubbard’s writings is outed as a “Potential Trouble Source” (PTS). This incurs criminal status within the community and various severe penalties.
34) Lifton 1961.
35) Lifton 1961.
36) This provision is described in detail in Ernest Klee, Das arische Manifest, München, 1932.
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