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               for Sun, 12 Jan 2003 01:04:01
-0500 (EST)
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 01:04:01 EST
Subject: IVySubs: Church or business?  a study in split personalities

**  ivy-subscribers relaying  **

Good evening!

  If I were to write a history of Dianetics and Scientology, I should
probably be well advised in advance of doing so by friends and relatives to
get my head examined before undertaking such an activity.  I shall be more
content to remain an imperfect walking history book of the aforementioned
subjects, and occasionally, when the mood overtakes me, to emit some
historical information and someone's thoughts and feelings about said

  Dianetics, as all will remember or eventually find out, did not come to
us as a religion.  It came to us as the "modern science of mental health."  
That's right!  it was considered to be a science.  This notion of it being a
science has been argued and disputed over the years by real or imagined
scientists who were much more apt to believe that structure monitors function
than that function monitors structure.  

  Sometimes folks just know something and claim it to be a scientific fact,
meaning the end product of all the rigorous things that science demands
before something can legitimately be called a scientific fact, but here they
are, claiming something to be a scientific fact without the science to back
it up.  The scientific community (a generality) has been and is pretty hard
on any individual or group that lays claim to a scientific fact without the
science to back it up being present.  Some centuries ago, a chap called
Kepler, an astronomer and mathematician, announced a lot of information about
the planetary bodies without the science to back up his premises, and it
wasn't until some time later that his conclusions were found to be
extraordinarily accurate.  He had the fortune or misfortune to simply know
something, and I like to think that scientific criteria to the contrary, it
always has been and will continue to be possible to just plain KNOW

  Knowing something can make a person either vary popular or very
unpopular.  In L. Ron Hubbard's case, he claimed to know a great deal about
the human mind and its workings, and placed his knowingness of these matters
far beyond the accepted authorities of the day, such as psychology,
psychiatry, psychoanalysis, quite a bit of philosophy, and most certainly
let's not leave out the religions.

  Well, this knowingness certainly got Ron into lots of trouble, especially
since he made no bones about challenging the 1950 existing establishment that
was holding the mental and spiritual monopoly of that time.  In 1950 and '51,
Ron and any number of Dianetic practitioners could and did get into trouble
with laws in various states that forbade the practice of psychological or
psychotherapeutic disciplines that were not accredited and/or licensed by
these states, especially if there was something called "money" involved in
such practice.

  I think it is fair to say that it was the difficulty in authenticating
practitioners of Dianetics that finally led Mr. Hubbard and his followers, at
least some of them, to the establishment of a religion and a church.  This
establishment surprised many of us early Dianeticists, and seemed a repugnant
and repellant idea that invalidated a Dianetic view of religions and their
churches as being one of the mentally and emotionally unhealthy things that
humankind might be exposed to.  If you doubt this, all you need to do is
Dianetically help another to find out what effect religion may have had on
messing up the human mind.

  So now a science it is no more -- it's a religion, with a church; and its
practitioners are ministers; and it's incorporated as a tax-exempt
not-for-profit religious and educational etc. etc. etc.  And so now, for
better or for worse, we're looking at a group that can operate in the field
of the spirit and the mind, and even the body, and do so without getting
charged with practicing psychology, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, or medicine,
without a license; 'cause we know that if you do practice those things
without a license, you get into a lot of trouble, largely due to the fact
that you are interfering with the income, with the finances, of said bodies.  
And there is no greater sin than having to do with the vast sums of money
that are possible to those disciplines, and what you're required to do before
you're allowed to feed at the financial trough.

  Well, having a church now gave Mr. Hubbard a platform in which he could
continue to challenge and decry the abuses and the ignorance of the mental
health establishment, and under the banner of spiritual healing even take
some good healthy shots, uppercuts and right hooks if you will, at American
medicine as exemplified by one of his oldest opponents, the American Medical

  It is of some interest, at least to me, that the United States is one of
the only civilized (or perhaps I should say uncivilized) and overdeveloped
countries in the world today that does not have a universal health plan for
its citizens, and that every attempt over the decades to get one has been
successfully destroyed in large part by the political clout of the medical
establishment in this country, even though the medical bill in the United
States at this moment has recently been tabulated at a number that works out
to over $5,000 per year for every man, woman, and child in this country,
even though there are millions of Americans with no health insurance and
without adequate access to medical assistance.

  Well, just one more fact, and then I'll get off Mr. Hubbard's and perhaps
my favorite hobby horse.  In the last few years, a very reputable body here
in the United States called the National Academy of Science etc. etc., after
a very thorough investigation of death caused by medical malfeasance, found
that in a given year, approximately 100,000 citizens -- yes, that's 100,000
citizens -- die through avoidable medical error.  Can you think of any other
group, business or otherwise, that could kill 100,000 of their customers
without losing credibility and without very heavy consequences for such
statistics?  That gives you some idea of how powerful the medical lobby and
structure is in this part of the world.

  Anyhow, coming back to Mr. Hubbard and his church: although Ron was
capable of assuming any number of beingnesses, they were usually to be found
in the area of heroic warrior, starship commander, intergalactic tough guy,
warship commodore, etc. etc., just to give you an idea of one of his favorite
flavors.  (I'm sorry I left out explorer and writer.)  But anyhow, now he's
got a church, and is expected to obey all the things that make a thing look
like a church and sound like a church, as well as maintaining the strict
requirements for maintaining a tax-exempt organization, which are usually
closely looked into by states and the federal government until such a church
has been around for 50 or 100 years to prove that it's doing with money what
it says it's doing

  Well, it wasn't too long after incorporating as a church that Mr.
Hubbard, by getting just past the midpoint of the 1950's, stopped following
the letter of the laws that govern tax-exempt organizations and remained in
flagrant violation of such laws nationally and internationally, until
finally, sometime I believe in the 1990's, his latter-day minions were able
to cut a deal with the Internal Revenue Service so that the churches of
Scientology could regain their tax-exempt status (real or imagined).  This
occurred after making more unnecessary trouble for himself and his
organizations and us practitioners in the field than I care to remember; and
although it was one hell of a game, it was an unnecessary game, an aberrating
game, and I saw very few if any people, including Mr. Hubbard himself, that
ever thought it was fun.  The schizophrenia of maintaining that one is a
church with tax-exempt privileges while operating as a business with money as
a motivation drove Mr. Hubbard and many of his followers, including yours
truly, right over the edge and into the abyss.

  I think on that note I shall end this historical vignette for the moment,
and promise in the next installment of the Perils of Pauline (just kidding)
to take up, with the help of certain philosophers and my own experience, the
idea or ideals of how it might be possible to practice one or more of the
healing arts without losing your soul to the lure and attractions of money,
even though your services may be sought after by many and the tendency of
some of your customers to idolize you.  I hope to explore such possibilities.

  Thank you ,.............

Home Page: - with extensive links to FZ!
There were comments to the list on the above.  While we have blanket OK  from
Phil to place his ivy-subscribers contributions in Homer's Archives, I have to
ask individually for others. One person, who refused permission, referred to a
book on Kepler, and quoted the following from it:

"When all these data were collected [by Tyco Brahe] they came into the hands
of Kepler, who then tried to analyse what kind of motion the planets made
around the sun.  And he did this by a method of trial and error.  At one
stage he thought he had it; he figured out that they want round the sun in
circles with the sun off centre.  Then Kepler noticed that one planet, I
think it was Mars, was eight minutes of arc off, and he decided this was too
big for Tycho Brahe to have made an error, and that this was not the right
answer.  So because of the precision of the experiments he was able to
proceed to another trial and ultimately found out three things.  * * *
Some several years later Keplar found a third rule . . ."  Feynman, THE