Articles

Discovery

In Introductions, Scientology on December 7, 2010 by ryepdx

I had read a bit about Scientology about a year ago, along with Theosophy, Qi Gong, and a few other religions and cults, when I was exploring Wikipedia. I had remembered that it had been founded by L. Ron Hubbard, and that he had taken many, many drugs while forming his new religion. As he wrote in a letter to his wife in 1967, “I’m drinking lots of rum and popping pinks and greys…”

I decided to read into it a little more, as I considered I was probably the only non-Scientologist there and thus ought to be saavy to what my coworkers believed. What I discovered was the entirety of the “Bridge to Freedom” on WikiLeaks. I skimmed through the Operating Thetan, Level 1 course and read the “Keep Scientology Working” letter from L. Ron Hubbard, which is, if memory serves me right, required reading between levels. It was all very interesting, though more or less exactly what I would expect a drug-addled mind to come up with.

My interest in Scientology, and then the Church of Scientology, continued. I kept researching and reading, learning what I could. I learned that the Pre-Clear (i.e, unprivileged) information (or, in Scientological terms, “tech”) consisted almost entirely of time management, self-empowerment, and productivity techniques. It was essentially what you would get from reading a self-help book.

A few of the Church’s policies pricked my interest though, primarily the policy of “Fair Game.” The policy states that anyone who has been declared an enemy of the Church of Scientology (or Suppressive Person, SP for short) may have any action taken against them. As L. Ron Hubbard wrote: “[SPs are] Fair game. May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.” The use of this term, though not the practice of the policy, was cancelled in 1968 when L. Ron Hubbard issued the following order:

“The practice of declaring people FAIR GAME will cease.
FAIR GAME may not appear on any Ethics Order. It causes bad public relations.
This P/L does not cancel any policy on the treatment or handling of an SP.”

Through my studies I discovered that the Fair Game policy did indeed continue well into the mid-70s, as proven by the exposure of Operation Freakout, and, judging by the number of reports, legal cases, and settlements, continues even today.

I discovered that Clears (paying members of the Church of Scientology who have completed the first set of required materials) and all levels above are considered to be “the next step in human evolution,” referring to themselves as “homo novis” or “homo scientologicus.” As L. Ron Hubbard states: “Compared to a Homo sapiensHomo novis is very high and godlike.” All non-Scientologists, on the other hand, are referred to as “wogs.”

I began to realize that the Church of Scientology is a very unethical organization. Totalitarian and, in a sense, racist. Megalomanic (for they must “Clear the planet” to unlock OT IX) and purveyors of a “master race” ideology.  I found out about the actions of the Church against those who spoke out against it. These were handled in the way prescribed in the Fair Game policy.

I discovered Josephus Havenith.

Josephus Havenith was a Dutch Scientologist back in 1980. While his case is now 30 years old, the photograph of his corpse as it was found is singularly chilling. It is for this reason I focus on him, though there have been much more recent deaths linked to the Church.

I found the photo of Josephus Havenith on a Thursday night. All I had been learning up to that point had formed a fairly negative image of the Church’s leadership in my head (a number of current and former Scientologists decry Miscavige’s mismanagement) and a fairly negative image of the Church itself. The photograph drove it all home for me, though.

In the photograph, which you can look up yourself if you have the stomach, Havenith is laying in a bathtub, arms curled up like a starved Holocaust victim. There is a bit of blood coming from his nose. The water he lies in is a rusty red. There is no skin on his right arm and chest, nor on parts of his left arm. White blobs sit on bits of his skin above the water. He has been boiled in the bathtub he was laying in.

The image of Havenith haunted me all Friday morning. I realized then that the stories I was reading were real, that the abuses of the Church were real, and that I was, though somewhat indirectly, aiding the Church. I could not reconcile this with my conscience, nor could I quit immediately. I had some doubt, some uncertainty, so I kept silent and waited until later that night to read more.

To be continued…

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3 Responses to “Discovery”

  1. I always get Scientology and Christian Science mixed up. They both seem way off to me.

    Whitney

    • it’s easy to tell them apart: Christian Scientists don’t go after their critics with lawsuits, Christian Scientists don’t care whether you stay a member or not, Christian Scientists are not after all your money, Christian Scientists don’t lock other members up and then starve them to death.

    • They are similar where their views regarding illness are concerned. However, that’s about all that’s similar. Just remember: Christian Science is based on Christianity and Scientology is based on one man’s drug trips.

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