Peter Chow: Science Fiction As Religion –

Sure Scientology Is Weird, But At Least 4,000 Children’s Bodies Weren’t Found Buried Underneath Their Schools.
This isn’t about the Catholic Church (another time) or about the horrible mistreatment of Indigenous children, but rather the strange story about a truly weird religion.
In 1950, L. Ron Hubbard  –  the founder of Scientology  –  published his bestselling book “Dianetics:  The Modern Science of Mental Health.”
Hubbard’s stated goal was to analyse humankind’s mental health problems and to offer a means for overcoming them.
Though he originally conceived of Dianetics as a “science of the mind,” Hubbard later adapted his theories into a religious approach, calling it the Church of Scientology.
Founded in 1954 on Hubbard’s teachings, and now led by David Miscavige, Scientology has spread from its origins in Southern California throughout the United States and the world, claiming a membership of 10 million adherents, generating a lot of controversy and debate along the way.
Born in 1911 in Tilden, Nebraska, Lafayette Ron Hubbard left George Washington University, where he was studying civil engineering, after two years.
He then had a successful career writing stories for “pulp” magazines in the 1930s, focusing on science fiction.
It was during his hospital stay in World War ll, that he began a personal quest for a “science of the mind.”
He later claimed to have healed himself of several serious war-related ailments using the techniques he explained in his 1950 book “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.”
As laid out in “Dianetics,” each human individual has an “analytical mind”, which (like Freud’s concept of the conscious mind) is normally in charge of making the daily decisions and judgments necessary for everyday life.
In times of stress, pain or other trauma, however, it is the “reactive mind” (similar to the Freudian subconscious mind) that takes over.
The reactive mind stores images of experiences, past trauma scars called “engrams”, which contain strong negative emotional content and other unrelated negative elements of those traumatic experiences.
Later negative emotional reactions from the stored engrams lead to destructive actions.
To help people bring engrams to their consciousness, confront them, and thereby eliminate them, Hubbard developed “auditing”, a one-on-one counselling process in which a counsellor, or “auditor”, would ask a series of questions designed to purge these unconscious memories and allow the analytical mind to regain control.
A key aspect of this process is use of an electropsychometer, or  E-meter, a device that measures the strength of an electrical current that passes through the skin, similar to a lie-detector device.
According to Hubbard’s teachings, E-meter readings indicate changes in emotional states that allow the identification of stored engrams.
In Dianetics the goal was to purge the mind of engrams, and individuals were said to have reached a major goal when they became “Clear,” a major goal in Scientology.
Those who become “Clear” are believed to reach a higher level of ethical and moral standards, greater creativity and control over their environment, and even less susceptibility to disease.
Audiences proved receptive to Hubbard’s claims of the healing powers of the mind, and the book quickly became a bestseller.
Dianetics groups spread across the country and abroad, even as the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association and other sceptical organizations questioned Hubbard’s claims regarding the scientific nature of his approach.
In  1951, the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners began proceedings against the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation for practising medicine without a license, which eventually led to that foundation’s bankruptcy in 1952.
Hubbard originally intended for Scientology to be considered a science, as stated in his writings.
In 1952, Hubbard published a new set of teachings of Scientology as a religious philosophy and in 1953, Hubbard proposed that Scientology should be transformed into a religion.
Hubbard reversed his hostility to religion he voiced in Dianetics.
Hubbard outlined plans for setting up a chain of “Spiritual Guidance Centers” charging customers USD$500 ($4,870 in 2021 dollars) for twenty-four hours of auditing.
In December 1953, Hubbard incorporated the “Church of Scientology”.
The movement spread quickly through the United States and to other English-speaking countries such as Britain, Ireland, South Africa and Australia.
In 1966, Hubbard stepped down as executive director of the Church of Scientology.
He was succeeded by  David Miscavige, who is the leader of the Church of Scientology today.
During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Hubbard spent much of his time at sea on his personal fleet of ships as “Commodore” of the Sea Organization, an elite quasi-paramilitary group of Scientologists.
Hubbard returned to the United States in 1975 and went into seclusion in the California desert after an unsuccessful attempt to take over the city of Clearwater, Florida in 1977 by infiltrating city government offices and media centers.
Hubbard spent the remaining years of his life in seclusion in a luxury motorhome on a ranch in California, attended to by a small group of Scientology officials.
He died at age 74 in 1986,  Scientology leaders announcing that his body had become an impediment to his work and that he had decided to “drop his body” to continue his research “on another plane of existence.”
Hubbard saw humans as immortal souls (“thetans”, in Scientology terminology) that are trapped within multiple bodies through various lifetimes.
He saw the spiritual self, the thetan, as the Soul, the true self that can exist apart from the body.
He also came to believe that thetans had inhabited other bodies before their present one, a concept not unlike that of reincarnation in certain Eastern religions.
The new focus on the thetan led Hubbard to postulate a comprehensive vision of the cosmos.
A former science fiction writer, Hubbard wrote that 75,000,000 years ago, Xenu was the dictator of a Galactic Confederacy, consisting of 26 stars and 76 planets including Earth, which was then known as “Teegeeack”.
The Galactic Confederacy’s civilization was comparable to our own, with aliens “walking around in clothes which looked very remarkably like the clothes we wear this very minute” and using cars, trains, planes and boats looking exactly the same as those “circa  1954” on Earth.
The planets were overpopulated, containing an average population of 178 billion inhabitants.
Xenu devised a brutal plot to eliminate the excess population.
With the assistance of evil psychiatrists (psychiatrists were always evil in Hubbard’s eyes), he gathered billions of his citizens under the pretense of income tax inspections (IRS inspectors are always evil as well), then paralyzed them and froze them in a mixture of alcohol and glycol to capture their souls.
The kidnapped populace were loaded into many, many spacecraft for transport to the site of extermination, the planet of Teegeeack (Earth).
The appearance of these spacecraft was similar to the Douglas DC-8 airliner (rollout in 1958), the only difference being; “the DC8 had jet engines with fans on it and the space planes didn’t”.
When they had reached Teegeeack (Earth), the paralyzed citizens were off-loaded, and placed around the bases of volcanoes across the planet.
Hydrogen bombs (newly invented by the US in 1952) were then lowered into the volcanoes and detonated simultaneously, killing all but a few.
“Atomic blasts ballooned from the craters of Loa, Vesuvius, Shasta, Washington, Fuji, Etna, and many, many others.
Arching higher and higher, up and outwards, towering clouds mushroomed, shot through with flashes of flame, waste and fission.
Great winds raced tumultuously across the face of Earth, spreading tales of destruction … ”
–  L. Ron Hubbard, Revolt in the Stars
The now-disembodied victims’ souls, which Hubbard called thetans, were blown into the air by the blast.
They were captured by Xenu’s forces and gathered into “vacuum zones” around the world.
The hundreds of billions of captured thetans were taken to a type of cinema, or “Implant Station”, located in Hawaii and the Canary Islands, where they were forced to watch a “three-D, super colossal motion picture” for 36 days.
This implanted what Hubbard termed “various misleading data”‘ (collectively termed the R6 Implant) into the memories of the hapless thetans, “which had to do with God, the Devil, space opera, etcetera”.
This included all the world’s religions.
Hubbard specifically attributed Roman Catholicism and the image of the Crucifixion to the influence of Xenu.
In addition to implanting new beliefs in the thetans, the images deprived them of their sense of personal identity.
When the thetans left the projection areas, they started to cluster together in groups of a few thousand
Each cluster of thetans gathered into one of the few remaining bodies that survived the explosions.
These became what are known as body thetans, which are said to be still clinging to and adversely affecting everyone except Scientologists who have performed the necessary steps to remove them.
A body thetan or a BT is a disincarnate thetan who is “stuck” in, a human body, and all human bodies are said to be infested by these disembodied thetans, or clusters of them.
High-level Scientologists are told that body thetans are responsible for physical and mental ailments, and are told to telepathically exorcize them using Scientology auditing processes.
A government faction known as the Loyal Officers finally overthrew Xenu, and locked him away in “an electronic mountain trap” from which he has still not escaped.
The location of Xenu is said to be actually the location of an ancient “Martian report station”, in the Pyrenees mountain range between Spain and France.
Teegeeack (Earth) was subsequently abandoned by the Galactic Confederacy and remains a pariah “prison planet” to this day, although it has suffered repeatedly from incursions by alien “Invader Forces” since that time.
In 1988, the cost of learning these secrets from the Church of Scientology was $6,500USD ($15,000 in 2021 dollars)
This was in addition to the cost of the prior courses which are necessary to be eligible for OT III, which was often well over $100,000 ($231,000 in 2021 dollars).
Belief in Xenu and body thetans is a requirement for a Scientologist to progress further along the Bridge to Total Freedom.
Those who do not experience the benefits of the OT III course are expected to take it and pay for it again.
The narrative of Xenu is part of Scientologist teachings about extraterrestrial civilizations and alien interventions in earthly events, collectively described as “space opera” by Hubbard.
Hubbard detailed the story in Operating Thetan level III (OT III) in 1967, warning that the “R6 implant” (past trauma) was “calculated to kill (by pneumonia) anyone who attempts to solve it”.
Each human has his or her own thetan, which Scientologists purify through auditing until the practitioner reaches a state of Clear.
While a Clear’s own thetan is now free of destructive engrams, his physical form is still inhabited by body thetans.
Clears work with the body thetans through a system similar to auditing, assisting the body thetans to get past their own traumas, at which point they leave the Clear’s body.
All body thetans have to be so processed before a Clear can reach the state of Operating Thetan, wherein one’s thetan is completely free of external limitations and can fully express its true potential, including operation outside of a physical body.
Scientologists are not made aware of Xenu until they have reached a stage known as OT-III.
Those who have not reached this rank actively avoid any materials that refer to Xenu, Scientology considering it improper and very dangerous to read them, although many have and survived.
Those who have reached the rank of OT-III publicly deny the existence of the Xenu myth, which is understandable in light of the idea that such knowledge is so dangerous to the unprepared.
The Xenu story is part of the church’s secret “Advanced Technology”, considered a sacred and esoteric teaching, revealed only to members who have completed a lengthy sequence of courses costing large amounts of money.
The church avoids mention of Xenu in public statements and has gone to considerable effort to maintain the story’s confidentiality, trying to hide the Xenu story.
Despite this, much material on Xenu has leaked via court documents and copies of Hubbard’s notes that have been distributed through the Internet.
In commentary on the Xenu text, academic scholars have discussed and analyzed the writings by Hubbard and their place within Scientology within the contexts of science fiction,
The church asserts that, through Scientology training, its members come to understand both themselves as spiritual beings and engrams as energy clusters that inhibit the thetan from achieving “Free Will” and functioning freely.
For Hubbard, the process of freeing the individual is the fundamental purpose of religion.
“For countless ages,” he wrote, “a goal of religion has been the salvage of the human spirit.  Man has tried by many practices to find the pathway to salvation.  He has held the imperishable hope that someday in some way he would be free.”
Consequently, the most sacred teachings of Scientology (the operating thetan, or OT levels) are concerned with assisting the individual to operate as a fully conscious and freely functioning thetan.
The individual Scientologist is also encouraged to develop a more inclusive worldview by identifying with ever larger realities, or “dynamics.”
At the earliest stage, the individual experiences the urge to survive as an individual first but then learns to identify with three other wider dynamics  –  the family, the nation, and then, all humankind.
These first four dynamics were expanded in Scientology to include four higher dynamics  –  the entire animal kingdom, the physical universe of MEST (matter, energy, space, time), the spiritual universe, and finally, Infinity or God.
These eight dynamics of survival are symbolized in the eight-pointed cross of the Scientology movement.
According to the church, when individual Scientologists become aware of the four higher dynamics and experience God, they are free to reach their own conclusions as to God’s nature.
But this freedom does not mean that belief in God is irrelevant or unimportant.
As Hubbard argued, “No culture in the history of the world, save the thoroughly depraved ones, has failed to affirm the existence of a Supreme Being.  It is an empirical observation that men without a strong and lasting faith in a Supreme Being are less capable, less ethical and less valuable to themselves and society.”
Nonetheless, the church does not prescribe specific teachings about God, but instead concentrates on helping its members to realise their inherent spiritual essence and abilities.
Since its origins, Scientology has faced opposition and controversy, including long-running criticism from the medical and scientific communities over Hubbard’s claims regarding mental health and the science behind the E-meters, as well as complaints over its status as a religion.
When Dianetics was introduced as a “mental therapy,” physicians and psychiatrists accused the church of practising medicine without a license.
Church leaders in turn charged psychiatry with denying the spiritual side of man’s nature.
Thus began a long-term conflict with the medical and psychiatric establishment, especially the American Psychiatric Association (APA), which centred upon the church’s opposition to the use of any consciousness-altering drugs.
Conflict with the APA, including a crusade against the popular drug Prozac, has been aggressively pursued by Scientology.
In 1958 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began revoking the tax-exempt status of individual Scientology churches.
For more than two decades, the IRS  refused to recognize Scientology as a nonprofit charitable organization, a status granted to most established religious organizations.
Scientology filed more than fifty lawsuits against the IRS.
Scientology’s lawyers hired private investigators to dig into the private lives of IRS officials and to conduct surveillance operations to uncover potential vulnerabilities and created a phoney news bureau in Washington to gather information on church critics.
At the meeting with the IRS, the church leader David Miscavige offered to cease Scientology’s suits against the IRS in exchange for tax exemptions.
This led to a two-year negotiating process, in which IRS tax analysts were ordered to step aside.
Ultimately, in 1993, Scientology was granted recognition as a nonprofit religious organization in the U.S.,  creating a tax exemption for the Church of Scientology International, and tax deductions for those who contribute to their programs.
The actions by the U.S. government brought attention to the church in both Australia and the United Kingdom, where government agencies there also moved against it.
In response to these attacks, the church created the Guardian’s Office in 1966 and assigned it the task of vigorously defending the church.
It brought legal actions against publications it deemed libellous, and in the 1970s it launched an extensive intelligence operation to gather information on critics around the world.
Scientology is under special scrutiny in Germany and France, the two countries most affected by contemporary anti-cult activity, fuelled by the murder-suicides in 1994 of 53 members of the Order of the Solar Temple, a French cult that believed in an imminent apocalypse.
Both countries refuse to recognize Scientology as a religion.
Former Scientologists have taken their cause to the Internet, not only attacking the church but also posting copyrighted material on their Web sites.
Especially harmful in the eyes of the church has been the posting of instructional materials for the OT levels, which are considered confidential sacred scripture.
Scientology launched the Scientology Network, a DIRECTV broadcast and streaming service in 2018, with Miscavige introducing its inaugural broadcast in a rare on-camera appearance.
Addressing the crowd at the opening, Miscavige called the channel,  “Our uncorrupted communication line to the billions.  Because as the saying goes, if you don’t write your own story, someone else will.”
Since Miscavige assumed his leadership role in Scientology, the press has reported accounts alleging illegal and unethical practices by the Church or by Miscavige himself.
A 1991 Time magazine cover story on Scientology described Miscavige as “ringleader” of a “hugely profitable global racket that survives by intimidating members and critics in a Mafia-like manner”.
Miscavige stated in a 1992 interview on Nightline  –  his only live televised interview to date  –  that the publication of the article resulted from a request by the Big Pharma company Eli Lilly, because of “the damage we had caused to their killer drug Prozac”.
Scientology operates Celebrity Centres, which are special churches that are open to members of the public but mostly cater to “artists, politicians, leaders of industry, sports figures and anyone with the power and vision to create a better world,” according to the church’s website.
Tom Cruise is one of the Church of Scientology’s most well-known members and outspoken advocates and is “considered a deity within Scientology.”
He became involved with the movement through his first wife, Mimi Rogers.
After the couple divorced in 1990, Cruise walked down the aisle twice more, with Nicole Kidman in 1990 and Katie Holmes in 2006.
The actor’s affiliation with the church led to the end of both unions in 2001 and 2012, respectively.
Miscavige is close to actor Tom Cruise and served as best man at Cruise’s wedding to Katie Holmes.
By 2013, Cruise admitted that ex-wife Katie Holmes divorced him to protect the couple’s daughter, Suri, from Scientology.
Other notable members include:
Actress Kirstie Alley – The former “Cheers” star says the religion helped her overcome a cocaine addiction.
Actress Elisabeth Moss – She said Scientology helped her get over her acrimonious marriage break-up.
Actress Juliette Lewis – People don’t understand Scientology,” said Lewis. ”
It’s completely progressive. It’s just tools for living.
I am no longer stuck in the bottomless pit of despair and apathy,” she said on the church’s site.
“Having achieved the state of Clear is the single most important thing that I’ve done for myself.”
Greta Van Susteren – The television host and her husband are members of the church.
“I am a strong advocate of their ethics.”
Nancy Cartwright – Cartwright is the voice of Bart Simpson on the classic animated show.
She said that the religion makes her want to become god.
In 2009, she recorded a call using Bart’s voice to encourage people to attend a Scientology event in Los Angeles.
Jerry Seinfeld – studied the religion 30 years ago, and credited it with making him more funny, but is no longer an active follower.
“I did some Scientology courses about 30 years ago,” Seinfeld told “Access Hollywood.”
“The only thing that bothers me about people knowing that is that it is not my complete wacko resume.   It’s just one aspect!”
Lisa Marie Presley – The daughter of the late Elvis Presley had been a member since she was a child, but she announced in 2012 that she was stepping away.
“I was slowly starting to self-destruct,” she said in an interview.
Demi Moore – Demi Moore practiced Scientology until marrying her now ex-husband Bruce Willis.
Willis asked Moore to quit practicing once they had children due to his own religious beliefs.
Nicole Kidman – Nicole Kidman was married to Tom Cruise for 11 years.
Scientology was blamed for their split.
Kidman never quite stuck with the religion and is now labeled a “suppressive person,” a term that Scientologists use to describe people who leave or doubt the religion and “seek to suppress other people in their vicinity.” essentially leaving her blacklisted by the church.
Katie Holmes –  Holmes and Cruise were married from 2006 to 2012 when Holmes filed for divorce.
When their relationship began, Holmes was studying Scientology, but eventually, it was Scientology’s hold over Cruise was the reason for their divorce.
Holmes feared “losing” her daughter, Suri, to Scientology.
Since their divorce, Holmes has likely been labeled a suppressive person and Cruise allegedly has little to no contact with his daughter.
Actor John Travolta – Travolta has practiced Scientology since 1975, when he was given one of L. Ron Hubbard’s books.
“As a Scientologist I now have the technology to handle life’s problems and I have used this to help others in life as well.”
Now Travolta is ready to leave Scientology for good and spill its secrets to the public.
This comes a year after his beloved wife, Kelly Preston, died of breast cancer.
It would give him closure  – and it’s the church’s biggest nightmare.
Travolta could expose classified church information.
The church has also been accused of exploiting children, perpetuating violence against members, and hiding money in Australia.
Travolta could help out the plaintiffs in many of the ongoing lawsuits against the church.
“He could single-handedly bring down the whole church,” one insider said.
Scientology’s numbers peaked in the early ’90s, but membership has probably recently declined.
A Scientology spokesperson vigorously denies this, claiming the Church of Scientology has “eight million to fifteen million members worldwide in 167 nations, a third of whom are in the U.S.”
All of this leads to one concluding question.
Did L. Ron Hubbard, as a pulp science fiction writer, invent one of the best plots of science fiction ever written and bring it into existence by enticing the public at large to support his own personal agenda as a religion?
Until the “thetans” meet Hubbard in their next life, they will never know.
Scientology Is Really Weird, But At Least 4,000 Children’s Bodies Weren’t Found Buried Underneath Their Schools.
Scientology Is Really Weird, But At Least It’s Not The Biggest Pedophile Protection Program On The Planet.
Which is the cult??
Scientology Is Really Weird, Yet The Crux Of The Christian Faith Is The Belief That A Man Died And Rose Again From The Dead.
Islam began in 610 AD.  The Seventh-Day Adventist Church was founded in 1820;  Mormonism in 1830;  Christian Science in 1879;  The Pentecostal Church in 1906.
Science fiction as religion  –  AD 1954 or AD 33 version??….or AD 610,  AD 1820,  AD 1830,  AD 1879 or  AD 1906 edition???
Take your pick.
Millions are Christian in name only. Christ is not a religion. Perhaps Pete is the weird one? Ron…..
SteviLeaks presents Peter Chow Daily Schedule
5am – 2pm : Do huge bongs in the shed bro
2pm – 12am : Write weird rambling on Sault Online
12am – 1am: Alternate between shaking and weeping for 1 straight hour because people with opposing viewpoints exist
1am – 5am : Sleep (one eye open, ever vigilant against alien abduction)
Steve’s daily schedule:
12am – 8:13pm: Cower in Mom’s basement
8:13pm – 8:13pm: Mom steps out into the backyard, Steve sneaks onto the computer and posts on saultonline
8:14pm – 12am: Cower in Mom’s basement

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