At the library yesterday we received a donation of DVDs from Bridge Publications Inc. the publishing arm of the Church of Scientology. We regularly receive unsolicited donations from publishers but as these DVDs were lectures by L. Ron Hubbard on Scientology, I was intrigued.
Now, Tom Cruise and his nutty ass aside, Scientology has got to be the single weirdest pyramid scheme mistaken for a cult, masquerading as a religion out there, and that’s taking into account the Church of Latter Day Saints and their Mormon Underwear.
What’s really fascinating is not just how blatant the Church of Scientology is about being so totally made up but how many people still join, thinking that they will somehow find joy and happiness and completion in the half baked proselytizing of some hack science fiction Author. I guess there are an awful lot of Star Fuckers out there who think that if they have a really good audit and become an Operating Thetan that they’ll get to meet Tom Cruise, his zombie wife and their soon-to-be super fucked up baby.
But that’s not the interesting part. What is fascinating is the hokey Space Opera that plays a large role in the basic scripture of Scientology. Wikipedia gives us a run down of the highlights. My favorite is this part:
The Marcab Confederacy is said to be one of the most powerful galactic civilizations still active. He describes it as:
various planets united into a very vast civilization which has come forward up through the last 200,000 years, formed out of the fragments of earlier civilizations. In the last 10,000 years they have gone on with a sort of decadent kicked-in-the-head civilization that contains automobiles, business suits, fedora hats, telephones, spaceships” a civilization which looks almost an exact duplicate but is worse off than the current US civilization.
(“Auditing Comm Cycles”)
The capital of the Confederacy is said to be “one of the tail stars of the Big Dipper“, probably Alkaid, a star 108 light years distant from Earth. The Marcabians used to rule Earth at some point in the past but lost control of it due to “losses in war and other things”.
The Marcabians had an oppressive political system: “if [a person] was considered to be in contempt of court or anything like that, [he was] simply fried since there was a curtain of radioactive material which went clear across the front of the bench anywhere that a witness or anybody would stand, and so on.” (“History and development of processes: question and answer period”) They invented income tax as a means of punishment, with the death penalty imposed for making even the slightest mistake in returns“one comma wrong and it’s ‘dead forever’.” The Marcabians also appear to have been distinctly socialistic, having “had plan balanced economies” (presumably some form of planned economy). (“E-Meter Actions, Errors in Auditing”)
They were also keen on motor racing and every once in a while Scientologists undergoing auditing “will run into [memories of] race tracks and race-track drivers”. Hubbard described this in some detail in a 1960 lecture:
They had turbine-generated cars that went about 275 miles an hour (443 km/h). They ran with a high whine. I notice they’ve just now invented the motor again. And they had tracks that were booby-trapped with atom bombs, and they had side bypasses. The tracks were mined, and the grandstands were leaded-paned.
(“Create and Confront”)
The tracks were deliberately designed to be as dangerous as possible, with “a mountain that you went up to the top of and fell off”, and death was commonplace. This, however, was not a problem, as Marcabian medicine was so good that nobody ever died permanently. According to author Russell Miller, Hubbard liked to reminisce to his followers about “how he was a race-car driver in the Marcab civilization”. One of the people who accompanied him aboard his private fleet in the late 1960s described Hubbard’s stories of life with the Marcabians:
LRH said he was a race driver called the Green Dragon who set a speed record before he was killed in an accident. He came back in another lifetime as the Red Devil and beat his own record, then came back and did it again as the Blue Streak. Finally he realized all he was doing was breaking his own records and it was no game any more.
Hubbard describes exactly this in his lecture “Create and Confront”, telling how he went through multiple lives as a Marcabian racing driver with names like The Green Rocket, The Red Comet, The Silver Streak, The Gold Bomb, and so on.
Hubbard stated that the Marcab Confederacy was now using Earth as a “prison planet”. When a person dies or “drops the body”, as Scientologists put it, his thetan is pulled into a Marcab-established “implant station” or “report station”. The idea that Earth is a “prison planet”, maintained by “entheta beings” or Targs who dumped their enemies on Earth, was first put forward in a 1952 lecture, “Electropsychometric Scouting: Battle of the Universes”. A steady flow of flying saucers is said to be still dropping off more entheta beings.
The report area for most has been Mars. Some women report to stations elsewhere in the Solar System. There are occasional incidents about Earth report stations. The report stations are protected by screens. The last report station on Earth was established in the Pyrenees.
(Scientology: A History of Man)
The thetans are brainwashed and sent back to Earth, where they find a new body to inhabit. Only Scientologists who have reached the level of “Operating Thetan” are said to be able to avoid this fate.
[…] Hubbard mentions a number of other alien civilizations in his writings, though he does not go into any detail about them. These include the “Three-and-a-half Invaders, … the Psi Galaxy, Galaxy 82.” (“The Story of a Static”) According to the official Church of Scientology notes accompanying the lectures in which he alluded to them, these were “made up” (presumably for humorous effect), contrasting with the supposedly real invader forces and civilizations cited above.
I love that last part. He just made up some shit to throw people off. Ya think?
But there are some very telling details to this elaborate story. Most notable (beyond the ridiculous time scales– Xenu apparently ruled this quadrant of the Galaxy for 2 Trillion Years) is how this advanced civilization that had beat death, liked racing cars and setting off random nukes, was just like the US in the 1950’s, only they were all evil Socialists who killed the inherently good-natured and capitalistic Thetans for sport and their technology was just like ours (down to even flying through space in Douglas DC-8s).
What’s telling about all this is that it emphasizes just what an unimaginative hack Hubbard was as a sci-fi author. He couldn’t conceive of a 200,000 year old space faring civilization that was any more advanced than the US at the height of the Cold War. Did they speak English and watch Leave it to Beaver as well? Take two hour long, four Martini lunches? Chase their secretaries around the office making lascivious faces? Enjoy a tight crew cut?
Maybe back in the fifties and sixties when Hubbard made this stuff up it sounded sci-fi and futuristic but fifty years on, it creeks like a badly made B-movie, complete with rubber aliens, technobabble and cardboard flying saucers.
It would be amusing if it weren’t for the thousands of people all over the world who fall prey to this nonsense. Bellow the silly Space Opera and gibberish about Thetans is an organization that takes in millions of dollars from people who are just looking for answers in a weird and confusing world, exploiting them and encouraging cult-like behavior, just to make a buck.
Operation Clambake is an organization dedicated to exposing this fraud. Drop on by and let them know they aren’t alone, that Tom Cruise and the crazy science fiction writer he worships aren’t going to win. A few trillion years form now, people will ask what was Scientology all about and will be able to snicker and laugh, they way w do now about other religions that have fallen out of fashion, like the cult of Mithra or Christianity.