|After selling some 100 million copies of 530
published works in 40 years,
L. Ron Hubbard is
finally on videotape.
The founder of Scientology and the author of "Dianetics,"
which accounts for 14 million of those 100 million books sold,
is captured on tape for the first time in "L. Ron Hubbard: An
Introduction to Scientology." [available on
Google video as of Nov. 20, 2006]
The 58-minute video of the 1966 film went on sale last week. The
bulk of the tape it a 25-year-old interview with Mr. Hubbard
conducted by a young and nervous British newsman identified as
Those looking for spiritual illumination will not find it here;
those looking for background of the man who created a religion
practiced by millions (even Mr. Hubbard is at a loss as to
how many) still may
feel shorted. By today's standards, the video is as rough as a
homemade movie. But since it is the only film of Mr. Hubbard,
who died in 1986, it will have to do for those interested in his
After a brief bit of personal history, wherein we learn that the
adventurer Mr. Hubbard "slept with bandits in Mongolia and
hunted with pygmies in the Philippines," Mr. Hubbard explains
the origins and concept of Scientology.
He gives general information on the "processing"
by "auditors" who help students raise their IQs and approach the
ultimate level of Scientology, called "clear,"
which is an enlightened state of worry-free existence.
He insists the electronic meter used to "show where Individuals
are aberrated" is misunderstood by those who ridicule it. Mr.
Hubbard also says Scientology has "definitely proven the
existence of life after death."
In short, Scientology "treats man as a spiritual being that has
been pulled down to the fleshy (existence)" by modern life. "The
aim of Scientology is to put individuals or groups of
individuals together and have them confront their own problems
and pull themselves up by the bootstraps."
Mr. Hubbard says his practices
are intended for people who are successful, in good health and
want to pursue "the study of truth or knowledge," his literal
definition of "Scientology."
"Is it expensive?" Mr.
Hitchman asks tentatively (in fact, Mr. Hitchman asks everything
tentatively). "It all depends on who you go to . . . but it's
far, far cheaper than any psychiatric treatment," Mr. Hubbard
says. He adds that, "I don't make a penny and it costs me I
don't know how much of my own personal fortune, and I've never
been recompensated for it."
The last few minutes of the tape is a hyperbolic come-on ("L.
Ron Hubbard, no better friend to man") to sign up at the nearest
Scientology school. It's hard to imagine anyone rushing out to
do just that after seeing the tape. "L. Bon Hubbard: An
Introduction to Scientology" is available for $19.95 from A.I.P.
Home Video. Call (800) 334-xxxx.