Friday, September 29, 2006

The Crowley-Parsons-Heinlein-Hubbard-Cruise Connection, Part 2

(Part 1 is here.)

Which brings us to..

HEINLEIN

I highly recommend the linked biography of Robert A. Heinlein as the best I've seen on the Web. His works had a tremendous intellectual influence on me, and I'm forever in his debt--he showed me a world far bigger than the one I'd been shown by my parents, family and religion. Here, we'll focus on just one small aspect of Heinlein's life; his influence on L. Ron Hubbard.

From the above bio:

(1944, while Heinlein worked as an engineer for Navy Aviation in Philadelphia)--Heinlein kept in touch with his friends. L. Ron Hubbard was stationed in the Pacific, but toward the end of the war he wound up in Philadelphia and was a participant in Heinlein's think tank.

(...)

Also in 1950, Campbell began publishing the series of Dianetics articles by Heinlein's close friend, L. Ron Hubbard, after they had been rejected by the Journal of the American Medical Association. While writing the Old Doc Methuselah stories, and after serving as a magickal assistant for one of Aleister Crowley's most promising American disciples, Jack Parsons, in The Babalon Working, Hubbard developed a "new" theory of the mind based on his observations (and, some say, secret doctrines of Crowley's Ordo Templi Orientalis, or "O.T.O.") rather than on psychiatric theory. Hubbard's "Dianetics" was to be a "scientific" replacement for the pre-scientific Freud. Dianetics monitoring, using a psionic device called the E-meter (psionics devices -- machines that interacted directly with the mind -- were Campbell's new passion in the 1950's), became something of a fad in the science fiction community, but Hubbard was running into stiff resistance from the convention-minded medical community, who were inclined to become nasty about Dianetics monitors practicing medicine without a license. Heinlein had told Hubbard in conversations in Philadelphia during World War II that a religion could successfully front anything in the U.S.

Hubbard followed Heinlein's now ten-year old advice, abandoning Dianetics. The Founding Church of Scientology opened in January 1955 in Washington D.C. and in New York. Heinlein's advice to Hubbard had allowed him completely to bypass the medical opposition; for the next fifteen years, Hubbard's principal bĂȘtes noirs would be the Internal Revenue Service (but Heinlein was right: the IRS was never able to prove Scientology a fake religion under U.S. law, and they eventually gave up after being defeated in decision after decision).

So Heinlein is here credited with giving Hubbard the idea of founding a religion; Heinlein was also a student and admirer of Korzybski's General Semantics and many students and critics of Hubbard's Dianetics consider General Semantics to be an important influence on Hubbard's work. At any rate, among his many accomplishments Robert A. Heinlein may have helped give us the Church of Scientology...

HUBBARD

As a I said in Part 1, L. Ron Hubbard lived a life worthy of one of his own heroes; again, I don't want to try to write a bio here, but I do happen to have read many of his works, both fiction and non-fiction. I've read Dianetics a couple of times and one of the things that strikes me about it is that it didn't set up originally as a cult, a religion or a money-making machine, outside of book sales. It talks about people auditing each other, without charge, without organizations or fees to Hubbard. If it was planned from the beginning as a religion, it was a deep, long-term plan. Scientology wasn't founded until a couple of years after the book was published.

It may have been exactly this 'unlicensed' analysis/counseling aspect that got the psychiatrists and psychologists so riled up. From the Wikipedia bio linked above:

The New York Times published a cautionary statement on the topic by the American Psychological Association that read in part, "the association calls attention to the fact that these claims are not supported by empirical evidence," and went on to recommend against use of "the techniques peculiar to Dianetics" until such time it had been validated by scientific testing. Consumer Reports, in an August 1951 assessment of Dianetics,[18] dryly noted "one looks in vain in
Dianetics for the modesty usually associated with announcement of a medical or scientific discovery," and stated that the book had become "the basis for a new cult." The article observed "in a study of L. Ron Hubbard's text, one is impressed from the very beginning by a tendency to generalization and authoritative declarations unsupported by evidence or facts." Consumer Reports warned its readers against the "possibility of serious harm resulting from the abuse of intimacies and confidences associated with the relationship between auditor and patient," an especially serious risk, they concluded, "in a cult without professional traditions."

Whatever. There are a lot of fine psychologists and psychiatrists out there who do good work and help people; but one must also remember that their living depends on the barriers to entry set up by state licensing, educational requirements and professional credentials. Nineteen-fifty may have represented the apex of the psych profession's hold on the American public and it's member's mental health. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then, and a much greater variety of people, techniques and drugs have entered the marketplace, all claiming to cure what ails the psyche. Scientology is one of these.

There is a good deal of useful material on the Web about Scientology, pro and con. Here is the Church's official site; here is a digest of critical information and links. But again, to stick to our point, this is a key quote, from the Wikipedia Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre article:

The Church often quotes L. Ron Hubbard as saying A culture is only as great as its dreams and its dreams are dreamed by artists and that this is the reason the celebrity centers were established, to create a good environment for artists. Critics of Scientology point to the fact that Hubbard launched "Project Celebrity" in 1955 to recruit celebrities into the church and say that the centres were established for this purpose, because celebrity members give Scientology the publicity it needs to recruit more members. [2]

The Centre features a restaurant, a spa, a hotel and classrooms for the teaching of various celebrities such as Tom Cruise, Kelly Preston and other special dignitaries, such as Cruise's mother.

This is a technique that organizations, clubs and secret societies have practiced throughout history--the recruitment of the rich, famous and/or well-connected into the organization. These recruits are like a 'force multiplier,' with each one bringing in many more through their influence or financing.

One could spend a lot more time on the twists and turns of Hubbard's life and the history of his Church, but we are now approaching the last link in the chain, the man who, in the video in Part 1 took on Matt Lauer, the shrinks, the drugs, the 'chemical imbalances' and looked great doing it...

CRUISE

Again, from the above linked Wikipedia bio:

Cruise is arguably Hollywood's most outspoken member of the Church of Scientology. He became involved with Scientology in 1990 through his first wife, Mimi Rogers.[17] Cruise has publicly said that Scientology, specifically the L. Ron Hubbard Scientology Study Tech, helped him overcome his dyslexia.[18] It has been claimed that Cruise belongs to one of the highest echelons of the "Church of Scientology", known as "Operating Thetan Seven" or OT-VII [19], and it has been suggested that Cruise's increasing willingness to talk openly about Scientology may be a reflection of this.

(...)

Cruise also claimed in an Entertainment Weekly interview that psychiatry "is a Nazi science"and that methadone was actually originally called Adolophine after Adolf Hitler, a myth well-known as an urban legend. [24] In an interview with Der Spiegel magazine, Cruise claimed that "In Scientology, we have the only successful drug rehabilitation program in the world. It's called Narconon... It's a statistically proven fact that there is only one successful drug rehabilitation program in the world. Period". While Narconon claims to have a success rate over 70% [25], the accuracy of this figure has been widely disputed. [26] It has been reported that Cruise adopted his anti-psychiatry philosophies from Dr. Thomas Szasz, a leading critic of the moral and scientific foundations of psychiatry. [27] Scientology is also well-known for its anti-psychiatry stance, which may also have affected his viewpoint on the subject.

Sounds like even an Operating Thetan needs a fact-checker from time to time...but let us check into this Los Angeles Times article from December 18, 2005:

Like the previous owners, the church also has used the property as a sanctuary for its own stable of stars. It is here, ex-members say, that Hollywood's most bankable actor, Tom Cruise, was assiduously courted for the cause by Scientology's most powerful leader, David Miscavige.

Scientology has long recruited Hollywood luminaries. But the close friendship of these two men for nearly 20 years and their mutual devotion to Hubbard help explain Cruise's transformation from just another celebrity adherent into the public face of the church.

Now somebody needs a fact-checker; nearly 20 years would put the date back to 1985-6, which would be way back before Mimi Rogers supposedly turned him on to it. Or maybe this is accurate and the whole Cruise thing goes back to around the time Hubbard died (January 1986) and Miscavige took over the leadership.

Wow, that would be really intriguing.

If you've followed me this far, you might wonder where it's all going to end, this maze of connection across more than 100 years. Well, it's going to come back around in a circle, but at a higher level; a spiral, like all good stories.

Again, from the LAT story:

At these higher levels — and at a potential cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars — Scientologists learn Hubbard's secret theory of human suffering, which he traces to a galactic battle waged 75 million years ago by an evil tyrant named Xenu.

Refer to the Crowley quote near the beginning of Part 1. My suggestion is that you download the text here and follow the instructions. Or try doing The Work.

I'm going to wager you'll end up as 'CLEAR' as Tom Cruise!

And you'll still have your hundreds of thousands of dollars...

FINIS

3 comments:

Aaron DeWeese said...

Wow! I've always been fascinated by these people. I had no idea that there was a Heinlein / Hubbard link... To think!

Anonymous said...

Serious pro-scientology manipulative writing here. Anybody with half a brain can see the pattern on "ohh, we're neutral" pre-conditioning followed by biased quotes and opinionated and "flavored" statements. It's so poorly done, it felt dull. You guys accepted a science fiction book as a religion. If you had read stranger in a strange land first, you may have been warned. Enjoy the bogus like a good fictional story should be enjoyed, then put it aside, come back to reality and have a life. It occurred to me, too, that starting my own religion would be easy enough, considering how gullible people are if you reach them on the right spot. Some people have a talent for manipulating others, and Mr. Hubbard apparently was obviously a master at that. Still, this is neither science nor religion nor politics. If anything, it's economics... out of your pockets into theirs.

I'm awaiting my comment to be censored. Somehow all this makes me think of sneakers, purple cool aid and a space ship hiding behind a comet to pick you all up.

They should just change the title of "Dianetics' to "Brainwash for Dummies" - then it may at least be read with the right level of criticism.

Live long and prosper... Kaplar and don't "grok" to much (no worries there).

Wahrheit said...

Dear Anon--hope you return sometime to see this...I am intensely enjoying that you read this as some kind of "pro-scientology manipulative writing" since my conclusion was that you can be as "clear" as Tom Cruise for FREE. Re-reading the piece, I don't get how you came to your conclusion but I'm glad somebody is interested.

The referral logs lead me to strongly suspect that you came here from a Mac in Los Angeles, CA, which is of course the location of the Scientology Celebrity Centre and, at various times, the home of Parsons, Hubbard, Heinlein and Cruise. I suspect you are an agent of the Church, trying to draw me out. AHa!

You can email me at triumphe at "gee" mail dot com if you would like to discuss further. Or leave another comment, the email updates should be good for a few more years.

Best Regards.