Sunday, July 31, 2005

Scientology - Letter to Botswana Guardian 31/07/2005

Mike Mothibi
The Editor
The Botswana Guardian
P/Bag 00153


31st July 2005

Dear Mr Mothibi

I am surprised at your inclusion of a piece on the Scientologists (Botswana Guardian 29th July 2005, page 8) that did not cover both sides of the argument about this rather strange organisation.

In particular I am surprised that you did not at least report some of facts and evidence that disagree profoundly with the side presented by Ms Wohrnitz from the Church of Scientology.

When discussing their drug treatment programme Narconon which she claims has an outstanding record in treating drug addicts Ms Wohrnitz neglects to mention that it is under investigation in Russia and in the Ukraine. Similarly she seems to have forgotten that in February of this year the California State Superintendent Jack O'Connell urged all schools to drop the Narconon program after research concluded that it offers inaccurate and unscientific information and is seen by most as just a recruitment wing of the Church.

Your readers may not know that the treatment at the core of the Narconon program is enforced sweating, based on the very strange theory that this can rid the body of the drugs which appear as coloured sweat!

In 1989 Everett R. Rhoades, M.D., the US Assistant Surgeon General said of Narconon that it “cannot be considered medically sound”. In 1991 the Board of Mental Health of the State of Oklahoma declared that Narconon “is not medically safe”.

The claims made by Scientologists about Narconon are fairly typical of the many claims they make. L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology claimed that his religion could cure leukaemia and arthritis. In the Dianetics & Scientology Technical Dictionary copyrighted in 1975 and reprinted 1987 he stated that “Scientology is used to increase spiritual freedom, intelligence, ability and to produce immortality.”

Then there is the suggestion made by Scientologists that they constitute a religion because “it brings man to total freedom and truth”. This is despite Hubbard once stating (in Creation Of Human Ability, 1954, p. 251) that “Scientology... is not a religion.”

What exactly is it that Scientologists believe? Ask a Christian, a Muslim, a Hindu or indeed followers of any religion what they believe and they will tell you honestly and with pride. Ask a Scientologist and they simply won’t tell you. They make claims about what they DO, but not what they believe. Why are they so shy about their beliefs?

The answer is simple. What they believe is ridiculous. Once Scientologists reach a level of study called “Operating Thetan level 3” they are finally told one of the core beliefs of the Church. This is that 75 million years ago Xemu, the head of the Galactic Federation, decided to cure his over-population problems by murdering excess aliens by bringing them to Earth and killing them with hydrogen bombs. The souls of these people now haunt us all and cause us all our mental health problems.

When you confront Scientologists about this nonsense they become curiously evasive. In my experience they refuse to give a Yes or No answer when you ask them about this. Some of them have the good grace to look embarrassed though!

Ms Wohrnitz ended her article with a quote from Hubbard who, it might not surprise your readers to learn, was a science fiction author before founding his religion. He also had a history of mental health problems as well as drug use and he also had a habit of making rather extravagant claims about his war record, his academic history and his supposed scientific discoveries.

There are so many quotations from Hubbard but the one that struck me most of all is from a lecture he gave in June 1952, reprinted in Volume 1 of the Technical Volumes of Dianetics & Scientology on page 418:

“The only way you can control anybody is to lie to them.”

Finally your readers should be warned about their dealing with the Scientologists. When discussing critics of Scientology in 1967 Hubbard said that they may “be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.”

With best regards

Richard Harriman