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"SCIENTOLOGY is evil; its techniques evil; its practice a serious threat to the community, medically, morally and socially; and its adherents sadly deluded and often mentally ill.
"It's founder is Lafayette Ron Hubbard, an American . . . who falsely claims academic and other distinctions, and whose sanity is to be gravely doubted."
While the British authorities hummed and hawed, an official inquiry in Victoria, Australia, in 1965 condemned Hubbard and his organisation in these unmistakable terms.
It branded Hubbard a fraud and Scientology as "a delusional belief system, based on fiction and fallacies, propagated by falsehood and deception."
When the Minister of Health, Mr. Kenneth Robinson, last week in the House of Commons finally announced steps to curb the activities of the Scientologists in Britain. he cited the Melbourne report and added that there was "little point in holding another inquiry."
Mr. Kevin Anderson, Q.C., who headed the Victoria State investigation, and his colleagues blasted the Cult of Scientology throughout 159 pages of their report.
The appeal of Scientology, they found, was often deliberately directed towards the weak, the anxious, the disappointed, the inadequate and the lonely.
Many of its processes were hypnotic, "wherein normal inhibitions and restraints are in abeyance."
Sexual matters, normal and abnormal, were frequently dwelt up on extensively and erotically.
Many people had paid large sums — amounts of over £1,000 were "not uncommon" — for processing by Scientologists.
As well as causing financial hardship, the cult bred dissension, suspicion and mistrust among members of the family and had caused many family estrangements.
Another disturbing aspect, said the investigators, was the filing of detailed records of "intimate disclosures" made by thousands of people when they were revealing "their most secret hopes and fears, their shame and grief and guilt."
Some of the evidence given to the board, and the files they examined, gave examples of "quite shocking mental depravity."
Notes made by "auditors" — Scientologists putting new recruits (or "pre-clears") through the cult's complex processes — often contained such comments as, P.C. gets often the urge; and "disturbed because he came to have auditing and now wants to have intercourse."
A woman being "audited" recalled living on the island of Lesbos, and believed she was the original Lesbian.
She also believed she was Karl Marx in a previous lifetime; and a man being "audited" at the same time thought that he was her wife when she was Karl Marx.
A man giving evidence — whose file contained a large number of references to "disgusting matters " — was asked: "Did the sex of the auditor affect you in that regard?"
"What do you think?" he replied. "A luscious doll sitting in front of you, and you have to cough up these horrible sex withholds. Of course, It did."
The Melbourne report also reproduced a Scientology "security," designed to ensure that staff and students in the Hubbard organisation did not deviate. Among the 150 questions it contained were:
* ARE YOU guilty of anything? Do you have a secret you're afraid I'll find out? Have you ever assaulted anyone, practised cannibalism, been in jail?
* ARE MY questions embarrassing?
* HAVE YOU ever plotted to destroy a member of your family? Has a member of your family been in an insane asylum, ever been pronounced insane, looted any place, conspired with anyone, practised fraud, ever had anything to do with Communism or been a Communist, been a newspaper reporter?
* HAVE YOU ever had any unkind thoughts about L. Ron Hubbard or Scientology?
* WHAT UNKIND thoughts have you had while doing this check?
"If there should be detected in this report a note of unrelieved denunciation of Scientology, it is because the evidence has shown its theories to be fantastic and impossible, its principles perverted and ill-founded and its techniques debased and harmful.
"Its founder, with the merest smattering of knowledge in various sciences, has built upon the scintilla of his learning a crazy and dangerous edifice.
"The Hubbard organisation claims to be 'the world's largest mental health organisation.' What it really is, however, is the world's largest organisation of unqualified persons engaged in the practice of dangerous techniques which masquerade as mental therapy."
The Scientologists hit back with a booklet titled, Kangaroo Court, which recalled the 11th century transportation of convicts from England to Victoria.
"The foundation of Victoria consists of the riff-raff of London's slums," it said. "Robbers, murderers, prostitutes, fences, thieves."
And later it said: "The insane attack on Scientology can best be understood if Victoria is seen for what it is—a very primitive community, somewhat barbaric, with a rudimentary knowledge of the physical sciences.
"In fact, it is a scientific barbarism so bigoted that they know not and do not know they are ignorant."
Hubbard's "remarkable acumen" as a high-pressure salesman was well-documented by the Melbourne inquiry.
He was said to have gone to great pains to ensure that anyone who showed the slightest degree of interest in Scientology was not thereafter able to escape the organisation's importuning.
Evidence was given of numerous cases in which up to 70 and more letters were written to people who had stopped visiting or communicating with the organisation.
The Anderson inquiry held 160 separate sessions throughout 1964, and heard 151 witnesses. The evidence—nearly 4,000,000 words—covered 8,920 pages of transcript.
A notable absentee was Hubbard himself. He refused to attend unless his expenses to travel from England were paid by the Victoria government. This was refused.
Health Minister Kenneth Robinson last week, in reply to a Parliamentary question by Mr. Geoffrey Johnson Smith, MP for East Grinstead, announced steps to curb Scientology in Britain.
These curbs are that Scientology centres will no longer be accepted as educational establishments; foreigners will not be allowed to come in as Scientology students; those already here will not be granted extensions as students; foreigners and Commonwealth citizens will not be granted work permits as scientology staff; and existing work permits will not be renewed.
Mr. Robinson said that he and the Home Secretary had "amassed a considerable body of evidence about the activities of the cult in this country," and would "keep a close watch on the situation."
Hubbard himself was last heard of cruising in the Mediterranean with a "Sea Org [sea organisation] of Scientologists." The organisation last year bought the old passenger ferry Royal Scotsman, which has now been renamed Royal Scotman.
They also have a former Hull trawler, the Avon river, last heard of at Valencia Spain, and a yacht which was recently at Las Palmas in the Canary Islands.
[Picture / Caption: Lafayette Ron Hubbard, the former American science fiction writer who founded Scientology, demonstrates his E-meter device with the leads attached to a tomato. An E-meter is a small electric meter in a box with batteries and transistors, and is said by Scientologists to "audit" people. The meter measures electrical resistance, but Hubbard claims that it really measures and indicates what the spirit is doing in the body. Other Scientology jargon: Thetan—the human spirit or soul; the immortal, indestructible being which is reborn again and again over trillions of years. Squirrel—an active Scientologist who is disloyal to the organisation. Theety-tweety—an over-enthusiastic "pre-clear " or recruit.]