Factnet Report:

Hubbard and the Occult

by Jon Atack

Part Two

In his 1952 lectures, Hubbard also referred to the Tarot cards, saying that they were not simply a system of divination but a "philosophical machine". He gave particular mention to the Fool card, saying "The Fool of course is the wisest of all. The Fool who goes down the road with the alligators at his heels, and the dogs yapping at him, blindfolded on his way, he knows all there is and does nothing about it...nothing could touch him" 30).

The only Tarot pack which has a alligator on the Fool Card is Crowley's 31). When I interviewed Gerald Armstrong, Hubbard's archivist, in 1984, he told me of a Hubbard scale dating from the 1940's. At the base of the scale was the word "animals". It then ascended through "labourers, farmers, financiers, fanatics" and "the Fool" to "God". Hubbard seemed to have seen himself as the Fool and was perhaps trying to create a trampoline of fanatics through whom he could achieve divinity. Indeed, if Scientology could live up to its claims, then Hubbard would be a "godmaker".

Of course, the Tarot pack also contains the Empress card and knowing this it is finally possible to understand what Hubbard believed his Guardian Angel to be.

Crowley examined the Tarot in The Book of Thoth 32). Of the Empress card he said "She combines the highest spiritual with the lowest material qualities" 33). Crowley identifies the Empress as the "Great Mother" and indeed on her robe are bees 34), the traditional symbol of Cybele. Crowley is not alone in the belief that different cultures give different names to the same deities. The worship of Cybele goes back to at least 3,000 B.C. She entered Greek culture as Artemis and to the Romans was Diana, the huntress. Crowley also identified the Empress with the Hindu goddess Shakti 35), and the Egyptian goddess Isis and Hathor. Crowley directly identified Isis with Diana 36). More usually, Crowley called the Empress by the name Babalon 37).

Contemporary New Age groups see the Great Mother in the aspect of Gaia the Earth Mother. This is far from Crowley's view. Diana, the patroness of withcraft 38) was seen by Hubbard rather through the eyes of Crowley than as a benevolent, loving mother. Hubbard made no reference for example to Robert Graves' White Goddess, but only to Crowley and peripherally to Frazer's Golden Bough and Gibbon's Decline and Fall, both or which give reference to the cult of Diana. To Crowley, the Great Mother, Babalon, is, of course, also the antichrist.

While Crowley's path was submission to the Empress, Hubbard seems to have tried to dominate the same force, bringing it into being as a servile homunculus. Hubbard's eldest son, although a questionable witness, was insistent that his father taught him magic and privately referred to the goddess as Hathor. The Blood Ritual confirms this assertion if nothing else.

Publicly, Hubbard was taken with the Roman name of the goddess, Diana, giving it to one of his daughters and also to one of his Scientology Sea Organization boats. Curiously this boat had been renamed The Enchanter and before Scientology he had owned another called The Magician. Hubbard had also used Jack Parsons' money to buy a yacht called Diane 39). "Dianetics" may also be a reference to Diana. Shortly before its inception, another former US Navy Officer and practitioner of the VIIIth degree of the Ordo Templi Orientis had formed a group called Dianism 40).

When The Blood Ritual was mentioned during the Armstrong trial in 1984, Scientology's lawyer asserted that it was an invokation of an Egyptian goddess of love 41). Hathor is indeed popularly seen as a winged and spotted cow which feeds humanity. However, there is an important lesson about Scientology in the practice of magicians. The teachings of magic are considered by many practitioners to be powerful and potentially dangerous and therefore have to be kept secret. One of the easiest ways to conceal the true meaning of a teaching is to reverse it. By magicians Hathor is also seen as an aspect of Sekmet, the avenging lioness. One authority on ritual magic has revealed the identity of Hathor as "the destroyer of man" 42). The important lesson is that Scientology has both a public and a hidden agenda. Publicly it is a Church, privately as the record of convictions shows, it is an Intelligence agency. Many public Hubbard works speak of helping people.

In his largely secret Fair Game teachings, however, Hubbard is outspoken in his attack upon either critics of himself or his works. For example, in What is Greatness? Hubbard says "The hardest task one can have is to continue to love one's fellows despite all reasons he should not. And the true sign of sanity and greatness is so to continue." In one statement of the Fair Game Law, however, Hubbard said that opponents "May be tricked, sued or lied or destroyed" 43). Of practitioners unlicensed by him Hubbard said "Harass these persons in any possible way" 44). Nor did he exclude the possibility of murder against those who opposed him 45). The harassment of critics, may explain the dearth of academic research into Scientology. Hubbard's use of contradiction to captivate and redirect his followers is worthy of a separate study 46), but it has its roots in his study of magic. Perhaps he related his "Dianetics" also to Janus, the two-faced god whose name is sometimes called "Dianus".

While Hubbard was supposedly researching his Dianetics in the late 1940s, he was in fact engaging in magical rituals, and trying out hypnosis both on himself and others. During the 1984 Armstrong trial, extracts from Hubbard's voluminous self-hypnotic affirmations were read into the record. The statements, hundreds of pages of them, are written in red ink and Hubbard frequently drew pictures of the male genitalia alongside the text 47). Amongst his suggestions to himself we find" "Men are my slaves", "Elemental Spirits are my slaves" and "You can be merciless whenever your will is crossed and you have every right to be merciless" 48).

Black magic is distinguished from white in the desire of the practitioner to bring harm. "Maleficium" is the traditional word for such magic. The "Suppressive Person declare" and the "Fair Game Law" speak reams in terms of Hubbard's intent.

Scientology is a neo-gnostic system, which is to say that it teaches the attainment of insight through a series of stages. These stages are called by Scientologists "the Bridge to Total Freedom". The Bridge currently consists of some 27 levels. These levels might be compared to the initiations of magical systems. While the stages appear dissimilar to those of Crowley's Ordo Templi Orientis, it is worth noting that both systems consist of stages, that both have secret levels and that both are numbered with Roman numerals. Hubbard also shared with Crowley a numbering system which begins at 0 rather than 1.

The Scientology Bridge has as its end the creation of an "Operating Thetan". Hubbard used the word "thetan" to identify the self, the spirit which is the person. He claimed that the word derived from an earlier Greek usage of the letter theta for "spirit" 49). I have been unable to find such a usage, but can comment that the theta symbol is central to the Crowley system where it is found as an aspect of the sign used for Babalon. To Crowley, the theta sign represented the essential principles of his system - thelema or the will. 50)

By "Operating Thetan", Hubbard meant and individual or "thetan" able to "operate" freely from the physical body, able to cause effects at a distance by will alone. In Hubbard's words "a thetan exterior who can have but doesn't have to have a body in order to control or operate thought, life, matter, energy, space and time" 51). Hubbard used the term "intention" rather than "will" 52), but the goal of Scientology is clearly the same as that of the Crowley system. The Scientologist wishes to be able to control events and the minds of others by intention. This seems to be exactly what Crowley called "thelema". In a 1952 lecture, Hubbard recommended a book which he called "The Master Therion" 53). This was in fact one of Crowley's "magical" names. I have been advised by an officer of one of the Ordo Templi Orientis groups that the reference is most likely to Crowley's magnum opus Magick in Theory and Practice. In that work, Crowley gave this definition "Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in confirmity with Will" 54). So the aim of both Crowley and Hubbard seems to have been the same.

As a recovering Scientologist, I must raise an ethical objection to the desire to control the minds of others without their consent. This is the purpose of many Scientology procedures 55), and can be seen either as deliberate "mind control" or as the black magician's contempt of others. Scientology is a curious hybrid of magic and psychology. After all, Hubbard boasted "we can brainwash faster than the Russians - 20 seconds to total amnesia" 56).

At the centre of Crowley's teaching is the notion that we can control our own destiny: "Postulate: Any required Change may be effected by the application of the proper kind and degree of Force in the proper manner through the proper medium of the proper object" 57), further "Every intentional act is a Magical Act" 58), "Every failure proves that one or more requirements of the postulate have not been fulfilled" 59). Hubbard taught that everything is down to the intention of the individual. He called such intentions "postulates". The victim of any negative event is said to have "pulled it in". Hubbard taught a contempt for "victims" and regarded sympathy as a low emotional condition 60). As Crowley put it "Man is ignorant of the nature of his own being and powers...he may thus subjugate the whole Universe of which he is conscious to his individual Will" 61).

Hubbard was to employ or parallel so many of Crowley's ideas and approaches that it is impossible, especially with Hubbard's references to Crowley, to avoid comparison. For example, in his Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health, Hubbard laid much emphasis on the recollection of birth. Crowley had earlier insisted that the magican must recall his birth 62). Crowley spoke of "A equals" 63), where Hubbard, again in Dianetics spoke of "A equals A equals A". Both men were noisy in their contempt for pyschotherapists 64). Both Hubbard and Crowley spoke of "past lives" rather than "reincarnation" 65). Indeed, the notion of past lives and their recollection is essential to both systems, as Crowley wrote "There is no more important task than the exploration of one's previous incarnations" 66). Scientology and Dianetics also rely upon the supposed recollection of previous incarnations. Crowley called this the "magical memory" 67).

Hubbard gave as the fundamental axiom of his system "Life is basically a static. A Life static has no mass, no motion, no wavelength, no location in space or in time." 68). Crowley was more succinct, called the self "nothing" 69). Hubbard was to say that even an "Operating Thetan" could not "operate" alone, and Crowley said "Even in Magick we cannot get on without the help of others" 70).

The first essential teaching of Scientology is that "reality is basically agreement" 71) or "reality is the agreed-upon apparency of existence" 72), which Crowley expressed as "The universe is a projection of ourselves; an image as unreal as that of our faces in the mirror...not to be altered save as we alter ourselves" 73). The controlling power of thought, or will, is evident in both systems, Crowley has it "we can never affect anything outside ourselves save only as it is also within us."74).

Both men believed that truth is unobtainable in the material world. Crowley expressed it thus "There is no such thing as truth in the perceptible universe 75). Hubbard said "The ultimate truth...has no mass, meaning, mobility, no wavelength, no location in space, no space." 76) Hubbard's concept of the "thetan exterior" - operating apart from the body is found in Crowley"s "interior body of the Magician" which can "pass through matter" 77). Both systems seek to get the spirit "out of the body" 78).

Crowley said "Evil is only an appearance...like good" 79), where Hubbard said that "goodness and badness...are considerations, and no other basis than opinion" 80).

Each spoke of a personal "universe" 81). Hubbard also followed in Crowley's footsteps with the insistence that the meaning of words should be clarified or "cleared" 82).

Crowley announced that Christ was "concocted" 83) which tallies with Hubbard's assertion that Christ was a hypnotic "implant" 84). Here the major difference between Crowley and Hubbard becomes apparent: Crowley was publicly outspoken about his views, Hubbard was careful to keep negative material secret. Scientology claims to be eclectic and non-denominational. Only in secret teachings is Hubbard's contempt for Christianity apparent 85).

The long series of lectures in which Hubbard called Crowley his "very good friend" and recommended his writings, centres on a technique called "creative processing" by Hubbard. It is unsurprising that this technique is common to magicians. Nowadays it is more usually known as "visualisation."


30 Hubbard, Philadelphia Doctorate Course, lecture 1, "Opening, What is to be done in the Course".

31 Thoth Tarot Deck, US Games Systems, NY, ISBN 0-913866-15-6.

32 Crowley, The Book of Thoth, Samuel Weiser, Maine, 1984. First edition 1944.

33 Book of Thoth, p. 75

34 Book of Thoth, p. 76

35 Francis King, The Magical World of Aleister Crowley, Arrow Books, p. 56

36 Crowley, Confessions, Bantam, New York, 1971, p. 693.

37 e.g, Book of Thoth, pp. 136

38 Cavendish, The Magical Arts, Arkana, London, 1984, p. 304

39 A Piece of Blue Sky, p. 99

40 Francis King, Ritual Magic in England, Spearman, London, 1970, p. 161

41 Litt, in Church of Scientology v Armstrong, vol. 26, p. 4607

42 Hope, Practical Egyptian Magic, Aquaarian, Northants, 1984, pp. 39 & 47.

43 HCO Policy letter, Penalities for Lower Conditions, 18 October 1967, Issue IV.

HCO Executive Letter, Ampriministics, 27 September IV.

44 HCO Executive letter, Amprinistics, 27 September 1975.

45 e.g. HCO Policy Letter, Ethics, Suppressive Acts, Supression of Scientologists, the Fair Game Law, 1 March 1965. The offending part of the text was read into an English court judgement (Hubbard v Vosper, November, 1971, Court of Appeal). In USA v Jame Kember and Morris Budlong, in 1980, Scientology lawyers admitted that despite public representations Fair Game has never truly been "abrogated" (sentencing memorandum, District Court, Washington, D.C. criminal no. 78.401 & , p. 16, footnote). The Policy Letter which did eventually cancel it, off 22 July 1980, was itself withdrawn on 8 September 1983. Unknown to MOST of its adherents, Fair game is still a scripture, and according to Hubbard's Standard Tech principle binding upon Scientologists. Hubbard issued a murder order in 1978 under the name "R2-45" (The Auditor issue 35) Thankfully, this order was not compllied with.

46 See for example the technique called False Data Stripping and Hubbard's comments on controllling people through contradictory instructions.

47 Interview with Robert Vaughan Young, former Hubbard archivist, Corona Del Mar, April 1993.

48 Affirmations, exhibits 500-4D, E, F & G, See Church of Scientology v Armstrong, transcript volume 11, p. 1886

49 Hubbard, Dianetics and Scientology Dictionary, Church of Scientology of California, L.A., 1975, "theta" definition 6.

50 The Babalon sign with a theta at the centre of a 7-pointed star is found in many of Crowley's works, e.g. The Book of Thoth. The winged sign of the OTO and the use of the theta sign can be found in various place, e.g. Equinox - Sex and Religion, Thelema Publishing Co., Nashville, 1981.

51 Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary, definition of "Operating Thetan".

52 e.g., PAB 91, The Anatomy of Failure, 3 July 1956. See also definition of "Tone 40" in the Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary, "giving a command and just knowing that it will be executed despite any contrary appearances"..

53 Philadelphia Doctorate Course, lecture 18

54 Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. xii

55 e.g., Dissemination Drill, CCHS, Opening Procedure by Duplication, Mood TRS & Tone Scale Drills, TRS 6-8, TR-8Q, the FSM TR "How to control a conversation". On the OTVII practised up to 1982, the student was expected to telepathically implant thoughts into others.

56 Technical Bulletin of 22 July 1956.

57 Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. xiii

58 ibid, p. xiii

59 ibid. p. xiv.

60 e.g. The Tone Scale. For a discussion of Scientology beliefs, see A Piece of Blue Sky, pp. 378.

61 Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. xvi-xvii.

62 ibid, p. 419

63 ibid, p. 9

64 e.g., Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. xxiv.

65 e.g. Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. 228. Hubbard Have You Lived Before this Life?, Church of Scientology of California, L.A., 1977, p. 3

66 Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. 50

67 ibid. pp. 50 & 228

68 Hubbard, Phoenix Lectures, Church of Scientology of California, Edinburgh, 1968, Scxientology Axiom 1, p. 146

69 Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. 30

70 ibid. p. 63

71 Phoenix Lectures, p. 175

72 Phoenix Lectures, p. 173, Scientology Axioms 26 & 27.

73 Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. 110

74 ibid. p. 121.

75 ibid. p. 143-144

76 Phoenix Lectures, p. 180, Scientology Axiom 35

77 Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. 144.

78 e.g., ibid, p. 147

79 ibid, p. 153

80 Phoenix Lectures, p. 180, Scientology Axiom 31.

81 Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, p. 251. Hubbard, PAB 1, General Comments, 10 May 1953.

82 Crowley, Magick Without Tears, Falcon Press, Phoenix, AZ, 1983, pp. xii, 26, 407 & 440. Hubbard, Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary, definition of "word clearing". Korzybski also advocated understanding of words.

83 Crowley, Magick Without Tears, p. 11

84 HCO Bulletin, Confidential - Resistive Cases - Former Therapies, 23 September 1978.

85 e.g. Hubbard, HCO Policy Letter Routine Three - Heaven, 11 May 1963 and the original preface to the Phoenix Lectures, Hubbard South Africa Association of Scientologists, Johannesburg, 1954 "God just happens to be the trick of this universe", p. 5. In HCO Bulletin Technically Speaking, of 8 July 1959, Hubbard said "The whole Christian movement is based on the victim...Christianity succeeded by making people into victims. We can succeed by making victims into people."