The Scandal of Scientology, by Paulette Cooper | Next | Prev | Cites | Index

Chapter 13

Children and Celebrities

Education is necessary because one earns better after he has learned.
-- "Child Dianetics"{1}

There are two types of people that the Scientologists are very anxious to attract: children and celebrities. In England, the Scientologists already have a number of children in the Org, although Hubbard wrote that "serious processing" should not be done before a child was five years old, "extensive Processing" except in very unusual circumstances, should not be done before he was eight, and that no child should be "forced" into the prenatal area until he was twelve.{2}

The youngest Scientology clear right now is said to be eleven,{3} although the Scientologists have reported "processing" an eighteen month baby, and a baby who was just a few days old (by saying to him repeatedly, "Lie in bed. Thank you.").{4}

Hubbard has an extremely permissive attitude toward child-rearing: "So he tears up his shirt, wrecks his bed, breaks up his fire engine. It's NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS," he wrote.{5} He also said in Child Dianetics:

Care for the child? -- nonsense! He's probably got a better grasp of immediate situations than you have. Only when he's almost psychotic with aberrations will a child be an accident prone.

Hubbard also believes that it's pretty difficult to make a child grow up to be a pervert, and his description of what can lead to perversions is an example of Hubbard's amazing imagination and facility for cataloging a variety of unbelievable tortures: "Kicking a baby's head in, running him over with a steam roller, cutting him in half with a rusty knife, boiling him in lysol, and all the while with crazy people screaming the most horrifying and unprintable things at him."{6}

Hubbard's permissiveness, however, does not always extend toward children who don't want Scientology auditing. "If the child is even faintly unwilling to be audited, you can coax the child into short sessions, and then, as time goes on, lengthen them gradually," he wrote.{7}

Hubbard, who has seven children, plus seven grandchildren naturally has devised an auditing technique for kids. Children are given such simple processing as "Feel my arm. Thank you. Feel your arm. Thank you."{8} They are also sent back to relive their birth, and it is apparently as painful an experience for them as it is for some of the adult preclears, since Hubbard wrote:

If the auditor should make a slip, like telling the child that birth won't hurt him much when he returns to it, the child will be expecting a mild or nothing at all ... an auditor hasn't known frustration until he has run a child halfway through a painful experience only to find that a happy ending has been tacked onto it.{9}

Scientologists feel that their treatment is of great benefit to children, and they have made a number of active attempts to get their methods taught in schools. Below is a quote by Hubbard, ostensibly telling Scientologists how to deal with the press, but in fact telling them how to get Scientology in schools.

Hubbard recommends Scientologists put teachers and students on "meters" (E-meters), and give "daily mental activities" -- which is what they do in Scientology. It is interesting to note that Hubbard's obsession with sex and violence become apparent once again, inasmuch as the hypothetical case he chose concerns a teen-age girl who was raped.

Teen-age girl shows up in H[ubbard] G[uidance] C[enter] who has been beaten and raped by teen-age boys at High School and withholding it since. Audit it out, get parents to OK investigation. Call in press. Release story of vice and crime at local high school with the Org doing the investigation. On subsequent days, criticize laxity of police. Criticize principal. Finally, take more teen-age sex cases. Just day by day deal off a new action to the press. String the story out. Take an action. Hold a press conference. Put students on meters. Put teachers on meters. Get parents to sue. Finally, advise school hire a permanent mental consultant and give daily mental exercises to "teen-age monsters." Then wrap it up and skip it. You've made something evil become something good attained -- Scientology in schools.

At the end of this piece he gave the Scientologists another exercise to do: "Do a story design and calendar for Scientology Ministers demand FDA prove sterility pills aren't sex stimulants."{10}

One case in which the Scientologists did get into a school caused a scandal in England in 1960. At that time, Miss Sheila Hoad, owner of the East Grinstead Aston House Prep school for boys and girls from three-and-a-half to eleven, became friendly with an American Scientologist named Dr. (perhaps of Scientology) Thompson, who lived in an apartment adjoining the school.

Dr. Thompson gave Miss Hoad a book called Creative Learning: A Scientological Experiment in Schools, which was written by two Scientologists and was once actively promoted in Scientology publications. Miss Hoad proceeded to follow the instructions in the book, and for twenty minutes each day, instead of English grammar lessons, she gave the following exercises to do.

Session 1 consisted of 20 minutes of obeying simple commands like "stand up" and "sit down." The purpose of this was to have the "pupils follow the order without questions and happily." Session 4 consisted of the teacher saying "hello" and the kids saying "all right" for ten minutes, and then this process was reversed. In session 5, the teacher asked them to "remember a time that seems real to you," "remember a time when you were in good communication with someone" and "remember a time when you a felt some strange affinity for someone," and the teacher then acknowledged it. ("Thank you" "All right") There was a note that simpler words could be used for that lesson.

Then came the death lessons.{11}

Miss Hoad told twenty-five of her pupils to "close your eyes. Concentrate. Now imagine you are dying. Imagine you are dead. Now you have turned to dust and ashes. Now imagine you are putting the ashes back inside yourself." These "death lessons," as they came to be called, were given behind locked doors with a "Do Not Disturb" sign outside, and the children were told "never think about these lessons after they are over," which suggested to many that she was warning the children not to tell their parents about it.

But one nine-year-old pupil became so depressed after the lessons that her mother had to take her to a doctor and she whispered the secret to him. Another child, after ointment was rubbed on her chest for a cold said "Mummy, I am going to die. I feel funny inside." That mother, who had perhaps heard about Hubbard's attaching an E-meter into plants to see if they could feel pain, said "Let Dr. Thompson inject his cucumbers when he thinks they are in pain. But let him leave my daughter alone."

The other parents were equally outraged, although Miss Hoad insisted that the lessons were the same as saying "The Lord's Prayer."{12} The parents disagreed. Miss Hoad resigned after several parents pulled their children out of the school and even more were absent.{13} The Scientologists dissociated themselves from the treatment saying that those methods were "outdated and dangerous" and that the current practice was to imagine "beautiful things."{14} Dr. Thompson, who had a child in the school, said he would not remove the child.{15} Rumors to the effect that death lessons were being given in other English schools persisted for a long time after the incident.{16}

In addition to trying to get children to become Scientologists, Scientologists also actively solicit celebrities. Their celebrity chasing goes back to around 1955 when Hubbard invited his followers to write and tell him which celebrity they wanted, promising to allocate one to each person who asked for one. The person, however, was responsible for all the expenses involved in getting the celebrity into Scientology. Anyone who succeeded would receive two weeks of special coaching at the Phoenix Org, although they would have to pay for their own living expenses and transportation.{17}

Some of the people whom Hubbard hoped would become Scientologists, and whom he offered to allocate, were: Walter Winchell, Ed Sullivan, Marlene Dietrich, Ernest Hemingway, Danny Kaye, Joseph Alsop, Stewart Alsop, Sid Caesar, Liberace, Fred Allen, Arthur Godfrey, George Gobel, Fulton J. Sheen, James Stewart, Howard Hughes, Billy Graham, Bob Hope, Pablo Picasso, Walt Disney, Milton Berle, Jackie Gleason, Lowell Thomas, Red Skelton, Henry Luce, Walter Lippman, Groucho Marx, Cecil B. DeMille, Arturo Toscanini, Bing Crosby, Greta Garbo, Charles Addams, Donald O'Connor, Edward R. Murrow.{18}

Hubbard admitted that pursuing these celebrities would be a bit difficult, but he told his followers not to be dismayed and to pursue them relentlessly. "Put yourself at every hand across his or her path," wrote Hubbard, and do not permit "discouragement or `no's' or clerks or secretaries to intervene in days or weeks or months to bring your celebrity in for a formal auditing session."

Project Celebrity still seems to be one of their policies, since the Scientologists recently opened a Celebrity Center in California allegedly for the purpose of attracting Hollywood personalities. Last year it was claimed that the following celebrities were Scientologists: Tennessee Williams, Leonard Cohen, Mama Cass Elliot, Stephen Boyd, Jim Morrison, William Burroughs and possibly the Beatles.

One famous, in fact infamous person interested in Scientology that they do not boast about, talk about, or probably even want is Charles Manson, the convicted murderer of Sharon Tate and her friends. The New York Times stated that Manson first got interested in Scientology while he was incarcerated in the McNeil Island Penitentiary in Washington (Scientology has programs for prisons).

After his release, The Times reported, he went to Los Angeles where he was said to have met local Scientologists and attended several parties for movie stars, possibly the July 18 dedication of the celebrity center.{19} Scientology literature was also said to be found at the ranch when Manson and his family were captured.{20} But for reasons unknown, it is claimed that Manson may have been made a "suppressive person" by the Scientologists, and there have also been hints that he may have joined the Process, the sex and satan group which originally broke away from Scientology.{21}

Another bit of publicity that the Scientologists are probably not too pleased with concerns the murder of three people in Los Angeles.{22} Two were Scientologists. According to The New York Post, all three were brutally beaten, ritualistically stabbed, had their right eyes cut out, and were dumped 100 yards from a Scientology commune. One of the girls, Miss Doreen Gaul, nineteen, who came from New York to study Scientology, was naked except for a strand of Indian beads. The boy, James Sharpe was fifteen years old. The third was unidentified. Doreen Gaul's father allegedly told a New York Post reporter that she had lately become disenchanted with Scientology.

She was not the only one. For the past fourteen years, John McMasters, the first Scientology clear, appears to have been groomed by Hubbard to take his place when he dies. McMasters recently wrote a letter to Hubbard, and sent copies to "suppressives" and Scientology enemies.{23} Although McMasters declared that "I shall never withdraw my allegiance to Ron or Scientology" he announced that he was leaving Hubbard's ships to spread Scientology in Africa, because of his "horror at what such people on the Sea Org could do to mankind."

He criticized Hubbard and Scientology for their "savage and vicious ethics" and seemed particularly perturbed over the death of the three Los Angeles teen-agers. Their deaths may have partially precipitated McMasters' decision to dissociate himself from certain aspects of Scientology. "Somehow we are violating our basic ethics for such things to happen to us," he wrote. "These last two ghastly murders of our students, one of whom is a clear, need never have happened if we hadn't been mocking up [making] enemies so solidly."

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Citations & Notes

{1} initial quote [4]
{2} age to process [4]
{3} youngest clear 11 [283]
{4} processing 18 month and new born [47]
{5} Hubbard quote on permissiveness [4]
{6} Hubbard quote on perversions [6]
{7} Hubbard quote on coaxing children into auditing [41]
{8} children treatment [41]
{9} prenatal area [4]
{10} Hubbard quote on getting into schools; FDA assignment [261]
{11} death lessons [166, 210, 211, 162]
{12} same as Lord's prayer [209]
{13} Hoad resigns [167]
{14} (15) dissociate themselves [169]
{15} (14) Thompson keeps child in school [167]
{16} rumors elsewhere [209]
{17} celebrity chasing; names of celebrities; how to get them [27]
{18} who is Scientologist & famous now [138]
{19} Manson and Scientology [151]
{20} lit found at ranch [141]
{21} Manson and Process [141]
{22} 3 murdered [147, 275]
{23} McMasters letter [122]