Sunday, 1 September 2013

On this day...

My philosophy
Date: Thursday, 1 September 1966
Publisher: New Cosmic Star (Lawndale, California)
Author: L. Ron Hubbard
Main source: link (180 KiB)

The subject of philosophy is very ancient. The word means: 'The love, study or pursuit of wisdom, or of knowledge of things and their causes; whether theoretical or practical.

All we know of science or of religion comes from philosophy. It lies behind and above all other knowledge we have or use.

For long regarded as a subject reserved for halls of learning and the intellectual, the subject, to a remarkable degree, has been denied the man in the street.

Surrounded by protective coatings of impenetrable scholarliness, philosophy has been reserved to the privileged few.

The first principle of my own philosophy is that wisdom is meant for anyone who wishes to reach for it. It is the servant of the commoner and king alike and should never be regarded with awe.

Selfish scholars seldom forgive anyone who seeks to break down the walls of mystery and let the people in. 

Will Durant, the modern American philosopher, was relegated to the scrap heap by his fellow scholars when he wrote a popular book on the subject, "The Outline of Philosophy." Thus brick bats come the way of any who seek to bring wisdom to the people over the objections of the 'inner circle'.

The second principle of my own philosophy is that it must be capable of being applied.

Learning locked in mildewed books is of little use to anyone and therefore of no value unless it can be used.
The third principle is that any philosophic knowledge is only valuable if it is true or if it works.

These three principles are so strange to the field of philosophy, that I have given my philosophy a name: SCIENTOLOGY. This means only 'knowing how to know.'

A philosophy can only be a route to knowledge. It cannot be crammed down one's throat. If one has a route, he can then find what is true for him. And that is Scientology.
Know Thyself...and the truth shall set you free.

Therefore, in Scientology, we are not concerned with individual actions and differences. We are only concerned with how to show Man how he can set himself or herself free.

This, of course, Is not very popular with those who depend upon the slavery of others for their living or power. But it happens to be the only way I have found that really improves an individual's life.

Suppression and oppression are the basic causes of depression. If you relieve those, a person can lift his head, become well, and become happy with life.

And though it may be unpopular with the slave master, it is very popular with the people.

The common men likes to he happy and well. He likes to be able to understand things, and he knows his route to freedom lies through knowledge.

Therefore, for 15 years I have had Mankind knocking on my door. It has not mattered where I have lived or how remote, since I first published a book on the subject, my life has no longer been my own.

I like to help others and count it as my greatest pleasure in life to see a person free himself of the shadows which darken his days.

These shadows look so thick to him and weigh him down so that when he finds they are shadows and that he can see through them, walk through them and be again in the sun, he is enormously delighted. And I am afraid I am just as delighted as he is.

I have seen much human misery. As a very young man I wandered through Asia and saw the agony and misery of overpopulated and underdeveloped lands. I have seen people uncaring and stepping over dying men in the streets. I have seen children less than rags and bones. And amongst this poverty and degradation I found holy places where wisdom was great, but where it was carefully hidden and given out only as superstition. Later, in Western universities, I saw Man obsessed with materiality and with all his cunning, I saw him hide what little wisdom he really had in forbidding halls and make it inaccessible to the common and less favoured man. I have been through a terrible war and saw its terror and pain uneased by a single word of decency or humanity.

I have lived no cloistered life and hold in contempt the wise man who has not lived and the scholar who will not I share.

There have been many wiser men than I, but few have travelled as much road.

I have seen life from the top down and the bottom up. I know how it looks both ways. And I know there is wisdom and that there is hope.

Blinded with injured optic nerves, and lame with physical injuries to hip and back, at the end of World War II, I faced an almost non-existent future. My service record states: 'This officer has no neurotic or psychotic tendencies of any kind whatsoever,' but it also states 'permanently disabled physically.'

And so there came a further blow .... I was abandoned by family, and friends as a supposedly hopeless cripple and probable burden upon them for the rest of my days. Yet I worked my way back to fitness and strength in less than two years, using only what I knew and could determine about Man and his relationship to the universe. I had no one to help me; what I had to know I had to find out. And it's quite a trick studying when you cannot see.

I became used to being told it was all impossible, that there was no way, no hope. Yet I came to see again and walk again; and I built an entirely new life. It is a happy life, a busy one and I hope a useful one. My only moments of sadness are those which come when bigoted men tell others that all is bad and there is no route anywhere, no hope anywhere, nothing but sadness and sameness and desolation, and that every effort to help others is false. I know it is not true.

So my own philosophy is, that one should share what wisdom he has, one should help others to help themselves, and one should keep going despite heavy weather for there is always a calm ahead. One should also ignore catcalls from the selfish intellectual who cries: 'Don't expose the mystery, Keep it all for ourselves. 

The people cannot understand.'

But as I have never seen wisdom do any good kept to oneself, and as I like to see others happy, and as I find the vast majority of the people can and do understand, I will keep on writing and working and teaching so long as I exist.

For I know no man who has any monopoly upon the wisdom of this universe. It belongs to those who can use it to help themselves and others.

If things were a little better known and understood, we would all lead happier lives.

And there is a way to know them and there is a way to freedom.

The old must give way to the new, falsehood must become exposed by truth, and truth, though fought, always in the end prevails.

Reforming the world in Scientology's image // Hubbard's Electrometer: Tin can technology
Date: Thursday, 1 September 1977
Publisher: Valley News
Author: Brian Alexander
Main source: link (284 KiB)

The Church of Scientology attempts to reform individuals through its counseling and teaching techniques. It also has a large operation dedicated to reforming society. This comes under the heading of traditional religious activism, Scientologists say, but various government agencies say it goes far beyond. In this, the fourth and final segment of a series on Scientology, the Valley News explores the legal and political entanglements of the church.


The "applied religious philosophy" of Scientology has political as well as personal applications.

Beyond the level of "auditing" sessions and self-help courses, the Church of Scientology is embroiled in a wide variety of high-level political intrigues. Church officials maintain they are simply defending their religious prerogatives from government harrassment. Government officials claim the government is trying to protect the public from pseudo-religious quackery.

FBI raids on Scientology offices July 8 were the latest in a long line of government attempts to expose criminal actions allegedly plotted and performed by the church. In an affidavit filed prior to the dawn raids, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said the seizure of more than 150 church documents was intended to gather evidence that Scientology members had burglarized federal records. A high level church official, Michael Meisner, had "escaped" from church detainment to confess involvement in the burglaries, and to accuse the church of other illegal attempts to gather information it could not obtain through Freedom of Information Act lawsuits.

Meisner also says the church has acted to infiltrate the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service as a means of gathering information those agencies have compiled on the church.

Church officials deny the charges and suggest Meisner may have been planted in their organization in the first place. [Note from webmaster: Eventually, 11 highly placed Church executives were convicted, including Hubbard's wife.]

Subsequently, courts have ruled that the FBI searches were broader than allowable and that the documents seized must be returned to the church.

The Church of Scientology long has accused the FBI and U.S. Justice Department of having links to Interpol, the private international police agency. Recently, the church has claimed that Interpol is involved in smuggling narcotics into the United States.

The church, through its Association of Scientologists for Reform, operates a broad range of social activist groups which are officially autonomous but nevertheless are headed by Scientologists. They include:

* Narconon a drug rehabilitation group which is especially active in prisons,

* Committee to Rehabilitate Ex Offenders, dedicated to helping former prison inmates readjust to society,

* Citizens Commission on Human Rights which investigates abuses of mental patients in institutions,
Electroshock therapy is its prime target for reform,
* Gerus Society to improve medical care and nursing communities for the elderly,

* National Alliance for the Prevention of Alcohol Abuse, for rehabilitating alcoholics,

* Task Force on Mental Retardation protecting the rights of retardees,

* Applied Scholastic Institute, for remedying learning disabilities,

* National Commission on Law Enforcement and Social Justice, the only group directly sponsored by the church, which investigates "false" reports on individuals and churches compiled by various government agencies,

* Committee on Public Health and Safety, which probes medical abuses and claims of malpractice,

Sometimes these groups and their Scientology "advisers" take their accusations against private and public institutions to the public. The campaign against electroshock therapy, for example, has extended itself into a running battle with the psychiatric profession. Dr. Henry Work, head of professional affairs for the American Psychiatric Association, told the Valley News that Scientologists have picketed APA functions.

"They claim we're hurting the American people," he says, "whereas they have the God-given message. So we're not really very friendly (toward each other)."

Also unfriendly toward the church are a number of countries around the world, partly due to false reports circulated by Interpol the church suggests.

The founder L. Ron Hubbard is banned from England and Rhodesia according to one report. And the church itself is regulated in New Zealand and facing fraud charges in France. Although it was at one time banned entirely in parts of Australia, church spokesman Gene Esquivel says that decision was reversed last year.

In the United States, the Internal Revenue Service challenged the tax exempt status of the "church" from its beginning in 1951. Only 13 of the 24 Scientology churches in the U.S. are exempt from taxes now, although a church spokesman says the other 11 will eventually win in court.

The Food and Drug Administration spent several years, in court trying to prove that the Hubbard Electrometer (see accompanying story) used by Scientology ministers during auditing of parishioners was ineffective and was misrepresented. After a second trial the church was required to place a label on each of its Electrometers to the effect that the device has no diagnostic or treatment value and is purely a religious artifact.

FDA historian Wallace Janssen told the Valley News that the federal agency first became involved with Scientology in the late 1950s. During the period of public concern over the possibility of nuclear attacks, the church marketed a "drug" called Dianezine, which purported to protect against radiation sickness. Dianezine turned out to be simple vitamin pills, Janssen says, and the church pleaded no contest to the FDA's fraud suit.
Scientologists seem almost to revel in this long history of legal crossfire as evidence of their own impact on the established order. If the giant is attempting to squash them like ants, they reason they must be getting under his skin.

"It is not enough that an individual himself be unaberrated," wrote L. Ron Hubbard in Scientology's first manual "Dianetics, the Modern Science of Mental Health," "for he discovers himself within the confines of a society which itself has compounded its culture into many unreasonable prejudices and customs."

And so the Church of Scientology, with a total of 5.5 million members worldwide intends to "clear the planet" by cleansing its inhabitants of their "aberrations" and simultaneously reforming the world order.


Hubbard's Electrometer: Tin can technology

One of the most controversial artifacts of Scientology is the Hubbard Electrometer or E-meter. Here simple tin cans join an electrical conductance meter to indicate, supposedly emotional reactions to unpleasant memories.

Scientology counselors or auditors use E-meters to help pinpoint unpleasant memories which underlie all mental illnesses, according to the church. The person being audited holds the tin cans in his hands and the needle on the meter jumps when an unhappy memory is conjured up.

In the early 1960s, the Internal Revenue Service seized two of the devices during its investigation of the church's tax exempt status. The E-meters were turned over to the National Bureau of Standards for analysis G. F. Montgomery, an NBS engineer, testified as an expert witness in the fraud suit that ensued.

"In essence," Montgomery told the Valley News, "they were similar to electrical instruments of the sort that one uses in engineering practice to measure electrical resistance."

In this case, the tin cans are the electrodes and the meter measures electrical resistance of the skin. But Scientology spokesman Gene Esquivel says the resistance varies according to one's mental frame of mind.

"Your mind is what it registers," he says. "It's not your body it's your brain."

Controls on the device, according to Montgomery allow the operator to adjust the starting point of the needle and to increase or decrease deflection of the needle by adjusting the sensitivity of the meter.

Esquivel demonstrated the meter for a Valley News reporter placing the tin cans in the reporter's hands and adjusting the knobs quickly. As he lightly pinched the reporter's arm, the needle jumped.

Esquivel then asked the reporter to recall the pinch. Instead, the reporter thought of an appetizing bowl of luscious strawberries. The needle jumped "Okay? See that?" Esquivel said.

Next, he told the reporter to think of something pleasant. He predicted that the needle would "float." The reporter then thought of the pinch. The needle moved uncertainly on the meter. Esquivel seemed satisfied that the machine had operated as he had predicted.

"Contrary to representations made," wrote U.S. District Court Judge Gerhard Gesell in 1971, there is absolutely no scientific or medical basis in fact for the claimed cures attributed to E-meter auditing.

Gesell presided over the trial initiated by the Food and Drug Administration charging the E-meter was mislabeled. Church literature seized along with the E-meters misrepresented the device and failed to describe its proper use according to the judge.

Subsequently, the church was required to place a warning label on all of its E-meters and all materials referring to the meter:

"By itself, this meter does nothing. It is solely for the guide of Ministers of the Church in Confessionals and pastoral counseling. The Electrometer is not medically or scientifically useful for the diagnosis, treatment or prevention of any disease. It is not medically or scientifically capable of improving the health or bodily function of anyone and is for religious use by students and Ministers of the Church of Scientology only."

When Scientologist Esquivel demonstrated an Electrometer to the Valley News, the reporter noted that no such label appeared on the machine in use. Esquivel peered into every nook of the meter muttering to the effect that it's usually right here, etc.

"Of course," says FDA historian Wallace Janssen, "no investigation has been made to see if they are complying with the labeling restriction or not.


[Picture / Caption: The Hubbard Electrometer, demonstrated by two Scientologists]

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