A few years ago a magician friend dropped by the JREF with a very strange gift, a stack of bright red 12” x 8” x 2” books that would have taken up 19” of shelf space in the Isaac Asimov Library – if they’d been of any use other than door-stops. This was a set of Technical Bulletins from the Church of Scientology [COS] running from 1950 to 1979 – almost 7,000 pages of drivel that I now keep in a back cupboard to avoid being embarrassed. It had belonged to my friend’s mother, who bankrupted the family by her devotion to Hubbard and Scientology. However, I’ve found a use for this bound waste paper: when I’m interviewed on the subject, I trot out any volume – each some 5.5 pounds – to show a reporter just how vapid the contents are. I’ll give you an example of my having turned at random to one page in one of books, for a media visitor. To very slightly clarify the picture, I must translate a pair of the exotic terms used here.     “Mest” is an acronym used in Scientology formed from the first letters of the words matter, energy, space, and time, which Hubbard said were the component parts of the physical universe. In the COS, it’s frequently used in place of the term, "the physical universe," and is favored because it’s much more obscure. “Beam power” is something Hubbard said a “thetan” has, and a thetan is, to quote directly from the COS’ Holy Writ:   

The true identity of a person – an intrinsically good, omniscient, non-material core capable of unlimited creativity. In the primordial past, thetans brought the material universe into being largely for their own pleasure.  

Or so we’re told by Hubbard. Just one adjective here – “omniscient” – seriously rings my alarms. Does LRH’s sci-fi background show here, do you think…? Vocabulary out of the way, here’s a selection from the page randomly selected by the reporter, describing in Hubbardspeak what a non-thetan does. It’s word-for-word and mercifully short, just 180 words:    

He is confronted by life, he does not confront it.  

He is usually a bit blind to things as his ability to look AT is turned back on him by his lack of beam power. Thus he gives the appearance of being unaware.  

His emotional feeling is overwhelm.  

His mental state is confusion.  

He starts for B, winds up at –A*.  

Other not too well intentioned people can play tricks on a Qer and Aer. When they don't want to answer or comply they artfully bring about a Q and A.  

Example: Bosco does not want to staple the mimeo issue. He knows his senior Qs and As. So we get this. Senior: Staple that issue with the big stapler. Bosco: I hurt my thumb. Q and A Senior: Have you been to see the Medical Officer? Bosco: He wouldn't look at it. Q and A Senior: I'll go have a word with him. (Departs.) Bosco gets back to reading "Jesse James Rides Again" humming softly to himself. For HIS trouble is, he Qs and As with the Mest Universe!  

*That’s “minus A”    

I’m sure that’s all clear now, right? Very expensive words straight from the fevered encephalon of Ron Hubbard, folks! But just who was this intellectual giant? Lafayette Ronald Hubbard [1911-1986] was born in Nebraska. His life story is told in two very different versions. According to the COS, he was an explorer, a war hero, a scientist, and "the most published and translated author of all time.” Whether that was true or not, most of it, we discovered, was accomplished by the Scientology adherents who – in response to urging from the church leaders, would go out and buy up quantities of Hubbard’s books to fluff up the market and bring him up in the sales ratings, and then distribute them to local libraries – a popular way of inflating an author’s ranking. I first became aware of this when I asked the Fort Lauderdale Public Library why they had so many copies of LRH books on sale at every book-surplus sale they held.    

To critics, Hubbard was essentially a literary hack, a silver-tongued bum, a college drop-out, and a junior Navy officer who had the unique distinction of having opened fire on some Mexican islands during World War II. The 1950 publication of his book Dianetics, gave the public a glimpse of his thoughts on the workings of the human mind, but had no religious message, being a sort of amateur psychiatric view that traumatic events in one's past are the source of all mental – and most physical – problems. Hubbard taught that an auditor trained in the “science” of Dianetics, could neutralize those events, and thus the problems could be “cleared.”    

Well, the COS continues to blather on through their bumbling spokesmen, but there are signs that they’re having to fluff up their membership figures even more than usual, and presently, only Australia, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Kyrgystan, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, and the USA, grant Scientology the privileges of a legitimate religion, while other countries, notably Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, and the UK, refuse Scientology that status.  

Ah, but we here in the USA, have to be “politically correct,” especially in an election year…