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

Chapter 15

Is Scientology Political?

Scientology and Scientologists are not revolutionaries. They are evolutionaries. They do not stand for overthrow. They are for the improvement of what we have. Scientology is not political.
-- L. Ron Hubbard{1}

Hubbard outlined a program for Scientology expansion in the mid-1950's, and while it pertained specifically to South Africa, much of it seems relevant to their policies elsewhere. Their goal then, Hubbard wrote, was 1) to get Scientology known 2) to get Scientology established in schools 3) to have Scientology established in the universities 4) to have it established in industries 5) to have Scientology in the mines 6) and finally, to get Scientology "into the government and government department and services."{2}

As for some of these goals, examples were cited earlier of the methods Scientologists used to get known and to get their methods taught in schools. The Australian Inquiry found that the Scientologists had explored the possibility of promoting Scientology in various government departments. They said that they "considered the Education Department to be a good procurement area" and made some effort to "infiltrate it," but with no real success.{3}

The Scientologists also tried to "take over" the British National Association of Mental Health. (To be discussed later) Hubbard seems to be especially interested in getting into this field. He was once planning to start an auditing program for retarded children -- a text for The Society for the Mentally Retarded Children which he said was a program "we are now piloting in the U.S." There is also some evidence that Hubbard wanted to get his auditing methods into prisons, because he said he was planning to write a book called The Criminal Mind for a "clearing course for prisons."{4}

Scientology has also approached business organizations to get their methods taught there, and has had some success in this field. In fact, they have gone into a number of business deals themselves.{5} There is a lot of private enterprise among Scientologists, some related to Scientology. For example, two Scientologists started a School of Stage Confidence using Scientology techniques,{6} and two other Scientologists put out a record called "Free" under a Scientology label, dedicated to L. Ron Hubbard.{7}

In East Grinstead, Scientology owns a number of houses and stores.{8} The Scientologists also tried to buy Lundy Island in England,{9} which is inaccessible for large portions of the year, "as a retreat for people with nervous disorders," one paper quoted the Scientologists as saying.{10} (According to another British paper, they were planning to buy it as a refuge for foreign students to beat the Government ban on their coming into the country.{11})

Scientologists once also sold a pill called "Dianezene" which Hubbard said would prevent and treat harmful effects caused by exposure to radioactivity. Twenty-one thousand of these tablets were seized on October 1, 1965, for being misbranded, adulterated, and containing less than the declared amount of stated ingredients.{12}

According to the London Sunday Dispatch, Hubbard allegedly sold stock at about $65 a share in 1959 to a company that didn't exist.{13} Hubbard apologized afterward, explaining that certain legal formalities he thought were completed were not. He returned all the money, and allegedly said, "It's lucky the police did not become involved, otherwise something most unpleasant might have happened."

Scientologists attempt to expand into various fields (schools, prisons, mental health, businesses, and as shall be seen, politics) because they believe they have a method that can and will save this world, and they altruistically feel they must get as many people as possible to join them or the world will be doomed. The Scientologists are actively trying to increase their number.{14}

In one of their recent advertising brochures, they wrote that if every person who took the course would bring in two other people, etc., "this planet would be clear in eighteen months."{15} Hubbard must also be very pleased with the potentialities inherent in the moon landing, since he wrote in Scientology Expansion, "I don't think Scientology will be contained very long on this planet -- expansion will be that swift."{16}

Another reason that Scientologists are trying to get into so many different areas may be found in their recently revised "Code of a Scientologist." This code not only states that their goal is to increase their number in the world, but also their strength.{17} Early in Hubbard's career, he claimed that Dianeticians, because of their higher I.Q.s, would form an aristocracy, and that this elite corps would subjugate the rest.

One sees with some sadness that more than three-quarters of the world's population will become subject to the remaining [one-quarter Dianeticians] as a natural consequence and about which we can do exactly nothing.{18}

"But even if they do want to take over," said one former Scientologist, "they can't become dangerous unless they become political and then somebody gives them a government or an army."

While the Scientologists may not see themselves as a political force yet, they do consider themselves to be as important as the major political forces today. A 1968 mailing from a Scientology Org said that Hubbard would compare the 1968 accomplishments of the United States, the United Kingdom and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics with the achievements of Scientology.{19} Hubbard has also hinted that the Russians might like to see him on their side.

In 1964, the Saturday Evening Post reported that Hubbard had stated that he had been approached for the secrets of Scientology by Castro's government. And the Russians, who didn't mind stealing My Fair Lady, etc., were supposed to have offered him $200,000 for Scientology. (When he supposedly turned them down, he claims his apartment was "blasted open" and his "basic manuscript disappeared.")

At other times, Hubbard has also said that the Russians offered him Pavlov's laboratories in 1938 and "large sums" to complete his work under their auspices. He repeated his charge that they had stolen part of his manuscript in 1942 and the rest of it in 1950, and connected this to his refusal of the Russian's 1938 offer. This 1938 manuscript, by the way, was called Excalibur{20} and Hubbard claims that the first four of fifteen people who read it went insane.{21}

Hubbard's interest in politics is not just verbal. In 1962 Hubbard wrote a letter to President Kennedy offering the services of Scientology and promising that "Scientology is very easy for the government to put into effect."{22} The letter begins by stating that it is as important as the letter sent to the White House on the subject of the atom bomb, signed by Professor Albert Einstein.

To show Kennedy how important he was, and how effective Scientology is, he told him that Scientology had "coached the British Olympic Team with the result that not one team member blew up in the events." (Hubbard's Italics) (He did not tell Kennedy that in an early issue of Ability, he had said that only two members of the British pentathlon team had received "Scientology ... processing."{23}) Hubbard also told Kennedy how the Russians had offered him Pavlov's laboratories, had been stealing his secrets, etc., and concluded with "I feel sure that there exists a growing library on Scientology in Russia."

He then told Kennedy not what the country could do for Scientology, but what Scientology could do for the country. "The government only need turn over to us anyone it desires to condition to space flight or anyone whose I.Q. it desires to have raised and we will take it from there," Hubbard offered. (At the cost of $6,250 per pilot, although this was not spelled out.) Hubbard added that Scientology "could decide the space race or the next war in the hands of America" and generously concluded, "This is a duty letter ... I do not wish to seem the cause of denying my own government this technology."

Hubbard has also been accused of getting entangled with politics while he was in Rhodesia,{24} and, in fact, may have been barred from that country a few years ago.{25} The Daily Mail in England reported that this occurred because the Rhodesian authorities believed he was using the political situation in that country to expand Scientology. At first no one complained: Hubbard had invested nearly $80,000 in Rhodesia; he bought a house for a reputed $40,000 and a hotel to "show his confidence in the country and its government" -- although they were worthwhile investments for him, too, because Scientology was said to have taken in $25,000 in a city of only 45,000 whites.

But the Daily Mail reported that Hubbard allegedly alienated people by constantly praising Ian Smith, expressing his sympathy for the cause of the white Rhodesians, and exploiting racial prejudices (allegedly by saying that the Africans wouldn't qualify for membership in Scientology because their I.Q. was too low). Such statements, had they ever been widely circulated, would not have made Hubbard popular among Scientologists in America, since Hubbard's constant emphasis of "freedom" and "equality" has recruited a number of American Negroes to the organization.

Scientologists may also have tried to get Scientology into the South African government -- but in much less subtle ways. The Rand Daily Mail reported on June 12, 1969, that one witness told the board of the South African Inquiry that Mr. Parkhouse, Scientology's chief executive there, planned to arm and organize 5,000 Africans to seize control of South Africa. Below is the quote from the newspaper.{26}

"Mr. Parkhouse asked me to process him on the E-meter" he [the witness] said.

"He had just returned from a trip to Mr. Hubbard's headquarters at Saint Hill Manor in East Grinstead, England. While processing him I discovered he had a terrific problem.

"Eventually he told me he was worried because he had been made responsible for organizing and arming 5,000 Africans to seize control of South Africa. I talked him out of it and he eventually stopped worrying about his instructions."

The witness also told the commission that he did not know what became of Hubbard's plans or of Mr. Parkhouse.

In Communication magazine, Hubbard outlined ways that Scientology could get into government.

Locate its leaders. Get a paid post as a secretary or officer of the staff of the leaders of that race. And by any means, audit them into ability and handle their affairs to bring cooperation....

A nation or a state runs on the ability of its department heads, its governors, or any other leaders. It is easy to get posts in such areas.... Don't bother to get elected. Get a job on the secretarial staff or the bodyguard, use any talent one has to get a place close in, go to work on the environment and make it function better.

The cue in all this is don't seek the cooperation of groups. Don't ask for permission. Just enter them and start functioning to make the group win through effectiveness and sanity.{27}

The Australian Inquiry related the story of a boy who took Hubbard's instructions quite seriously:

One preclear who had affiliations with the Australian Labor Party saw ... [Hubbard's] Zone Plan as "a very able plan for infiltration and subversion of the key institutions of the country," the intention of the plan being "to create by those subversive means a Scientology government" and he was so enthusiastic about the possibilities which Scientology offered for political domination that he concocted a plan to scientologize the Australian Labor Party.{28}

His plan to scientologize the Australian Labor party concluded as follows: "With Australia led by a government employing Scientology principles we should soon have a civilization which can extend influence overseas." He submitted the plan to Hubbard, and supposedly gained his approval. Later, the boy ran into some difficulties with the Labor party and changed his affiliations.

Scientologists are obviously political and have tried to get into government positions. Do they also have an interest in getting into the army to realize their ambitions? Who knows? It is interesting to note, however, that in a story Hubbard published in Astounding Science Fiction magazine when he was in his twenties, he had one of the characters say, "Now you see, if you run the army you are bigger than the army and it won't try to get you."{29}

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Citations & Notes

{1} 1st quote [48]
{2} South African goals [30]
{3} getting into schools in Australia [261]
{4} retarded child and prison program [78]
{5} Scientology tried to get into businesses [255]
{6} (27) Scientology school [212]
{7} (28) Scientology record [248a]
{8} (6) Scientology owns houses in East Grinstead & banned others [15]
{9} (7) try to buy Lundy [234]
{10} (8) for nervous disorders [218]
{11} (9) for beating ban [190]
{12} (10) Dianezene [255]
{13} (11) selling stock [208]
{14} (12) increasing number [115]
{15} (13) everyone clear in 18 months [116]
{16} (14) Scientology on this planet [17]
{17} (15) increasing strength [115]
{18} (16) forming elite corps, quote on subjugation [109]
{19} (17) Scientology and political powers [141a]
{20} (30) Excalibur [264]
{21} (18) offer of Pavlov's laboratories; manuscript stolen; etc [29]
{22} (19) Kennedy Letter [29]
{23} (20) 2 members of British team have Scientology [37]
{24} (21) Rhodesian situation [175]
{25} (22) Hubbard barred from Rhodesia [248, 222]
{26} (23) South African seizing control and quote from paper [247]
{27} (24) how to get into politics [52]
{28} (25) boy who tried [261]
{29} (26) Hubbard story in ASF magazine [106]
Extraneous citation notes:
{30} (29) UN [122]